It was a beautiful, warm, sunny summer day. The kind you don’t forget when you live in Sweden. My wife and I were at a lake, enjoying spending some alone time. With 3 kids under the age of 10, 2 businesses and everything else that comes with life, it was a rarity that we spent quality time where it was just us two.
We were having our problems, sure, but I figured it was just normal married stuff. It’s hard keeping each other a priority with everything else going on in life and I had made a major effort since a falling out late the year before caused me to take a good look at what I was bringing, or, more accurately, not bringing to the marriage.
That’s when she said, “Neal, I love you, but I’m not IN love with you.”
What the hell does that even mean?
I didn’t even know what that meant really but, I sure knew that it wasn’t good. It felt like someone had reached down my throat, with both hands, and was twisting my stomach in knots.
It would be some more months of my trying to figure it out, us moving further apart, coming back together, sex, while still connected and orgasmic, was becoming more seldom, as were other forms of intimacy like the deep conversations that our friendship was built on when we first met. We were ignoring everything we ever learned about what to do and not do in a relationship and, by the end of that year, I felt more alone than I ever had.
So, what does it mean when your partner says ILYBINILWY?
Long term relationships go through different phases. Depending on what you read, there are 3 to 5 phases of long-term love. The phase of disillusionment is where we found ourselves when my wife uttered those words while sitting at that beautiful lake. Disillusionment happens after the falling in love and attaching phases. During the attachment phase, all of the things that challenge us to step up and stop treating love as just a feeling that happens to us and instead of treating it as something we do start become stronger and stronger. It’s during this phase that the hormones of falling in love have gone away and when, unfortunately, most couples decide they are no longer “in love” and, have affairs, stop trying or, call it quits.
This is a real shame because, when couples can learn to do love and accept one another and all of their faults, they can get past disillusionment into a lasting connection which, in many ways, is an even better phase than the falling in love part. Because, at this point, you know each other so well, you usually have a family and, you’re older, more mature (hopefully) and can continue to lift each other to new heights by this commitment to sticking it out through the tough times. Of course, not ALL relationships should be saved but, that’s a subject for another post.
When you hear the ILYBINILWY, you most likely have much to save. Much to gain by realizing that this is just another phase of love in long-term relationships and getting past to the lasting connection.
I know the pain you’re feeling
Are you feeling the pain of hearing these words? Are you scared of what the future holds for you? I understand. I’ve been there and I can tell you, it gets better. There are ways to release the fear, anger and confusion you may be feeling. If you haven’t heard these words but, you get the sense that something is not quite right, there are ways to right the ship there as well.
The interesting thing is that, they’re both the same things. If you’d like to know more about how to make it past ILYBINILWY or, how to avoid those words ever being spoken to you, you can contact me by clicking here.
Working with me, men gain a confidence and clarity long missing in their lives and, this affects all aspects of their lives, most noticeably their romantic relationships. During the process, men feel more alive, calm and focused than they perhaps ever had. Would you like to gain these feelings too and begin living the life you were meant to? Contact me today.