How To Fall In Love Again (updated 12/7/12)


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  “I have no way of knowing whether or not you married the wrong person.
   But I do know that if you treat the wrong person like the right person,
  you could well end up having married the right person after all.
It is far more important to be the right kind of person
than it is to marry the right person.”

— Author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar

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I found this very wise story on another website. . . .

One day there was a wife who was wickedly angry at her husband. She was hurting bitterly from years of unmet needs, and disappointment in her husband’s behavior. She dreamed of ways to get back at him, to make him hurt in return.

Somebody told her about a very old wise man, who sat atop the nearby mountain. Surely he would have a clever and sinister idea for her.

At the suggestion, the woman climbed the mountain and found the wise man.

“Sir,” she told him. “All I want to do is to cause heartache for my husband. I don’t think he even has feelings, but if he does, I want to hurt them!”

Aaaaah, of course,” he responded with great empathy. “I will tell you what to do. For the next 2 months, I want you to just pretend that you actually love him. This is just for a short time, and there is no emotion necessary. Just ask yourself often, ‘what *actions* would I take if I loved him?’ and then do those things. Then, come back and see me, and I’ll tell you what to do to hurt him fiercely.”

“Okay,” said the bitter wife. “I guess since it is just for a short time, and no emotion is necessary, I can act like I would if I loved him. Oh, boy!”

In the following weeks, she enacted the plan wholeheartedly. She faithfully acted like she was in love with her husband, and then she returned to the sage on the mount, for the rest of the plan.

“So you followed my advice? Good!” said the wise old man. Ready? Here is what you do next. You climb back down that mountain and you just LEAVE your husband. That’s it. He will be so shocked after your kind actions, that you will break his heart!”

“Leave!” gasped the woman. “I can’t leave now!”

“But why not?” he asked.

“Because…” she began, stunned at her own discovery. “…because now, I love him!

“Aaaaah, yes.” smiled the sage. “I suppose you do!” . . . ………………………….

.(from:http://www.ginaparris.com/how-to-fall-back-in-love/)

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And here is a story written by Glennon Melton that she posted on her blog Momastery.com

There was a couple who’d been married for twelve years. The first two years were good, happy even . . . but then the kids came and work got hard and money got tight and the shine wore off of each of them. She used to see strong and silent but now she saw cold and distant. He used to see passionate and loving, but now he saw dramatic and meddling. They allowed themselves to become annoyed with each other. And so they stopped being careful. They stopped taking care of each other because they each decided they needed to look out for themselves.

And the distances between them grew longer and deeper until it felt impossible to touch even when they were in the same room. And one day she said to her girlfriend . . . I just don’t love him anymore. And it felt terrifying and exciting to say. And he said to his buddy . . . I don’t know if I ever loved her. And their friends said what about counseling but it all seemed tangled up too tight to try to unwind.

She got home from work one evening and fed the kids and put them to bed and she was tired to the bone. And he was late again. Late again. And even though he was late and the house was a mess, she knew that he would walk in the door, pour his glass of wine, and sit down at the kitchen table and relax. He’d sit and relax. She couldn’t even remember what relaxing felt like. She was always either going like hell or sleeping. Somebody had to keep the family running.

She stared at his bottle of wine on the counter. Then her eyes wandered over to their wedding photo on the wall. Clueless, she thought. We were cluelessBut happy. Look at us. We were happy. We were hopeful.

God, please help us, she said silently.

Then she walked over to the counter and poured a glass of wine for him. She put it next to his book on the kitchen table, the place he loved to sit and relax, and she went upstairs to sleep.

He tiptoed into the house fifteen minutes later. He knew he’d missed the kids’ bedtime again, he knew his wife would be angry againand he prepared himself for her steely silence. He hung up his coat and walked into the kitchen. He saw his glass of wine, and his book, and his chair pulled out for him. He stood and stared for a moment, trying to understand.

It felt like she was speaking directly to him for the first time in a long, long while.

He sat down and drank his wine. But instead of reading, he thought about her. He thought about how hard she worked, how early she woke to get the kids to school and herself to the office. He felt grateful. He finished his wine and then walked over to the coffee maker. He filled it up and set the automatic timer. 5:30 am. It would be ready when she came downstairs. He placed her favorite mug on the counter. And then he walked upstairs and quietly slipped into bed next to her.

The next morning she woke up and stumbled downstairs, exhausted, to the kitchen. She stopped when she heard the coffee maker brewing and stared at it for a few moments, trying to understand.

It felt like he was speaking directly to her for the first time in a very, very long while.

She felt grateful.

That evening, she stayed up until he got home. And she allowed her arm to brush his as they prepared dinner together. And after the kids went to bed and they assumed their TV viewing positions on the couch . . . he reached out for her hand. It was hard, but he did it.

And things started to unwind. A little teeny bit.

Look. I know it’s hard. It’s all so damn hard and confusing and complicated and things get wound up so tight you can’t even find the ends sometimes.

All I’m saying is that somebody’s got to pour that first glass of wine.

Because love is not something for which to search or wait or hope or dream. It’s simply something to do. . . . ……………………………………………………………………………………………

(from: http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/09/766)

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Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor (or your spouse); act as if you did.  As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets.  When you are behaving as if you loved someone you will presently come to love him.” – C. S. Lewis, in “Mere Christianity,” from the section “Charity” (parentheses mine)

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Corrupt forms of love wait for the neighbor to “become a worthy object of love” before actually loving him.  This is not the way of Christ. . . .  Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love; and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbor worthy if anything can.” – Thomas Merton, “Disputed Questions,” pg. 125.

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Love is not a feeling; real love is an action, an activity. 

“When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion–through the fact that for someone we take an extra step or walk an extra mile.  Love is as love does, not as love says. 

“Moreover, real love is a choice.  We don’t have to love, we choose to love.  If we are not loving, it is not because we are not feeling loving; it is because we have made the choice not to love.  Real love does not have its roots in a feeling of love.  To the contrary, real love often occurs in a context in which the feeling of love is lacking, when we act loving despite the fact we don’t feel loving. 

“The tendency to confuse love with the feeling of love allows people all manner of self-deception.  Many, many people possessing a feeling of love and even acting in response to that feeling act in all manner of unloving and destructive ways.  On the other hand, a genuinely loving individual will often take loving and constructive action toward a person he or she consciously dislikes, actually feeling no love toward the person at the time and perhaps even finding the person repugnant in some way. 

“True love is not a feeling by which we are overwhelmed.  When love exists it does so with or without a loving feeling.  Genuine love, therefore, is volitional rather than emotional.  The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love, to be a loving person.  This person has made a commitment to be loving whether or not the loving feeling is present.  If it is, so much the better; but if it isn’t, the commitment to love, the will to love, still stands and is still exercised.”

– M Scott Peck, abridged from “The Road Less Traveled

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13 Responses to How To Fall In Love Again (updated 12/7/12)

  1. Rutholutoye says:

    How can you love some one who does not love you?

    • John says:

      Hello Rutholutoye,

      Thank you for the question and apologies for not responding. I either missed this comment when you first posted it, or initially I didn’t know what I wanted to say in response to it, so I put it on the backburner, and way led to way, one thing led to another, and it’s almost a year later and I find this comment once again. I tend to suspect the later is what happened, so my apologies to you for that.

      And realizing that, any advice I have for you in particular is likely well past the point of it’s being useful for the situation you were originally seeking it for.

      But, without knowing anything about your situation in particular, how do you love a person who does not love you?

      “Not being loved” can take many forms. From neglect, indifference, being taken for granted–all forms of not being cherished; it can also include abuse (being repeatedly lied to–having your trust abused; being told one thing but the person doing another thing; being physically assaulted and threatened and intimidated; being verbally abused and always told you’re wrong or no good, or that the way you do things is wrong, no good, et cetera). Or not being loved can mean you’re really attracted to someone, but he oshe doesn’t reciprocate and just wants to be “friends.”

      So how do you love someone like this?

      We’ll that’s the problem. I’m not sure what sort of situation you’re in.

      So I’m not sure in waht way to respond.

      But speaking very generally, Love is an active force; it is something that is proactive, that goes and works for the good and the betterment and the growth of the person we “love.”

      So if we are going to love another person and try to help that person grow, that means we have to have some idea or blueprint as to what it means to be a fully functioning and or well-developed and grown-up human being. We can’t love another person or ourselves without knowing this. So parenting–especially self-parenting–and at times being a kind big brother or big sister to those we “love” is part of what loving others means.

      Love also means endurance, persistance, not giving up easily–“Love is patient.”

      Love also does not seek it’s own end. We don’t love the other person because of how she or he makes us feel; we love the other person for their own sake; we love the other person because we know how to love and we can see ways that we are able to love and be good to/for that other person.

      Love also tends to be on the whole kind and warm. Love is not cold, continuously critical. There is a lot of tenderness to love.

      This blog is all about love–what it means to love another, what it means to love ourselves, what it means to grow up. My hope is and was that this blog and the many posts that we’re already on here at the time you posed your question, and the many posts that have been posted since you posted your question, as well as the book recommendations (“Recommended Reading” — https://realtruelove.wordpress.com/recommended-reading/) may have served as a resource and wise guide in helping you to answer your own question.

      Kindest regards to you, Rutholutoye,

      John

  2. Shine says:

    May be this quote will help you:

    Love fills everything. It cannot be desired because it is an end in itself. It cannot betray because it has nothing to do with possession. It cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks. Anyone who tries to imprison love will cut off the spring that feeds it, and the trapped water will grow stagnant.” Paulo Coelho

    Just aim at love, not possession. It’s a very difficult thing indeed, needs lot of discipline, kindness and forgiveness. Just listen to your heart. It will tell you when to stop. Love is not something solved by reason. It’s a puzzle posed by emotions.
    I heard somebody say this once to me. “Real love has nothing to do with possession. The persons who begs it loses it, the one who gives it lives it.” In true love you want someone’s happiness and in false love you seek the other person…………..All the best.

    • John says:

      Some really good advice here, Shine. Thank you for responding and for sharing.

      At places, my thoughts as to what love is diverge and disagree with yours, but such is life/

      I agree that real love has little to do with possessiveness. But my eyes tend to glaze over whenever I hear the word “heart” mentioned–as in “listen to your heart.” Listen to your gut makes at least some sense to me as an expression, but listen to your heart has no meaning to me.

      Does that make me heartless?

      Does that mean I’m too much up in my head and not in touch with my emotions and feelings enough?

      I don’t think so. I’m very in touch with my feelings and my emotions, and others parts of my “self” as well; and it’s all because I do think so much and because I do tend to be fairly self-aware.

      I do agree that real love requires a lot of discipline, forgiveness, kindness, and that it is a very difficult thing–a very difficult thing for us to get to the place where we can actually really love another human being and be salutary for that person–on the wholem much more of an asset and a good thing for and towards that person, instead of a drain or a liability or a sump or an emotional vampire or toxic, et cetera (all those pop-psych phrases).

      And I do agree that in real love you don’t want the other person for yourself as a means, as a blanket or as a form of roundabout or indirect self-medication (“I love you because you make me feel a live, together, happy, better, complete,” etc). Rather, in real love we want the other person’s happiness *and* growth and development and maturation as much as we want our own. Most people tend to leave this latter part off–the growth/development/maturation part–and just focus on the “happiness” part, which is a very nebulous and ill-defined ideal. Many things that will make us happy in the longer term do not make us feel happy at the moment or in the short run (http://fullcatastropheliving.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/the-pursuit-of-happiness-doesnt-always-make-you-feel-happy-and-in-fact-it-shouldnt-and-heres-why/).

      And that’s a difficult thing for many people to grasp.

      But when we love another, we want the person’s long-term happiness as well. And that means that we want and work for and help assist in developing their virtues, their character, their conscience, their moral and psychological courage, their wisdom, their emotional maturity and stability, and so on. And we wish and work for this happiness and these qualities and characteristics as diligently as we wish for and work towards them in ourselves.

      Which means that if we aren’t yet working (or haven’t yet worked) towards these qualities and characteristics within ourselves, then we aren’t able to love another, because we haven’t yet learned how to love ourselves.

      So in my expereince and my opinion, love is much more than a puzzle posed by the emotions or the heart; and it is something that be assisted by reason (or wisdom and conscience). In other words, what sense does it make for reason to disparage itself and say that it can’t assist us in helping us become more loving and better able to love another. The heart alone won’t do it. In order to love, we need raise our level of “being” or increase our level of personhood and better our conscience and the way we think and how aware and decent we are. Reason is an inexorable part of the solution.

      Thanks again for reading and for responding and helping out and adding your wisdom, Shine.

      All the best,

      John

      • ELIA MURUNGA says:

        I thank you all and humbly happy for such insight a bout true love ..many times people have wondered even to the extent of saying their is no true love no..no their is …love is not what we feel well we can feel but that is not all it is what we do either you have felt it or not we still act as thou we have them then feelings will come by themselves i can say feelings are link complementarity…i will show you the most excellent way here… Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

        Love never fails.love knows no ends its river of life.

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  7. BESTIE says:

    HELLO I just wanted to say thank you so much for doing this for me and many others. At the beginning of the break up I felt like I would never love again and that my life has ended. Thanks to all your advice, I now have the courage to face every new day. My heart has healed tremendously and I feel like I can now really move on. If it wasn’t for your words then I would probably still be in that dark place of my life. Thank you, thank you!

    • John says:

      Thnak you, Bestie, for reading and commenting. I’m glad my words and thoughts have been of some solace and encouragement for you. You are more than welcome!

  8. Alina says:

    Beautiful insight, we need to hear this more and more and more!! You know how you often hear or see these ads against smoking, or pro healthy diet advice? We should start an international campaign teaching/showing how giving love is the real meaning of love. It should become common knowledge! People need a regular confirmation, because since the beginnings of human kind we have struggled in confusion: how to love another without getting burnt/despite their defects/mistakes/offenses etc? The key, i feel, is to love for the sake of loving, for the sake of becoming a better human and bringing your love giving capacity to sublime excellence. We need to display love proudly, generously, lavishly and profoundly, in order to inspire others. And remember to love ourselves equally. Everybody loves a lover, don’t they? Passionate people move the world with their flame. Let’s set the world on fire 🙂

  9. Alice Liddel says:

    This is all about men devaluing women and women being forced to stop having expectations of being treated humanely and to treat their abuser as some sort of amazing person worthy of love.

    Not everybody deserves love. You’re not supposed to just give. You should receive. If your husband does not meet your needs, is distant, disappears when you need a helping hand, thinks parenting his children is something he needs to be commended on, demands your labor, emotional or physical, and your love –

    Then leave him.

    For more info., read Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. Type the title in google and also type PDF. Read it urgently.

    Husbands are not children or pets you are obligated to take care of. If he refuses to treat you as he wants to be treated, then you shall RIGHTFULLY be angry at his INJUSTICE and you shall leave his ungrateful self.

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