There are tons of people out there who wake up a few years into their marriage and realize that they were never in love with their spouse. While this might come as a surprise to an aspiring, madly in love couple, the truth is, this is the reality of quite a few people out there.
If you actually think about it, people get married for a lot of reasons besides meeting their soul mate and falling in love. Maybe they got pregnant. Maybe they met someone who could provide for them financially. They might have gotten the whole, “you are not getting any younger” pressure from family. It could also have been that they met someone while on the rebound who showed them a lot of affection and care. None of these reasons indicate they married the person because they had romantic feelings for them.
While the easy advice is to tell people not to get married for these reasons, I also know there are a lot of people living this reality who want to stay in their marriages and would like to figure out how. My advice: you would have to allow your spouse do the things that will let you fall in love with them, if you want any hope of being in love in a marriage that started off, loveless. And of course they must be willing to do these things.
Is this possible? I’ve seen it happen.
My husband and I worked with a couple who had been married for decades. It had been decades of living independent lives and coexisting just because of the children. The woman had been pressured into marriage by her family and never had any affection towards her husband. This of course was worsened by the issues they dealt with over the course of the marriage, ranging from infidelity to physical abuse.
They had gotten to the end of their rope and decided to do more than ‘hang on’. Deciding that enough was enough, they reached out for help to see the possibilities of climbing out of the mess they created. The challenge was convincing the wife to let go of all past hurt. Once she was able to do that, the next challenge was convincing her that this man who had caused her all this hurt was capable of loving her – she just needed to tell him how she wanted to receive affection.
They both worked relentlessly on meeting each other’s emotional needs and when we saw them a few years ago their testimony blew our minds and brought tears to our eyes. Having experienced this couple’s journey, I am convinced it is possible to fall in love with your spouse even though you never did in the beginning.
If you realize you made a mistake by getting married for one of these reasons i mentioned above, know that it is possible for you to still fall in love with your spouse. You just need to find the courage to be vulnerable enough to let your spouse know what your most important emotional needs are – so they can start the long-term process of meeting them. Hopefully you are able to open your heart for this process to begin.
So you ask me, can I marry someone for the wrong reasons and hope to fall in love with them in the future? I’d say, first it is impressive that you can be honest enough with yourself that you are trying to get married to someone for the wrong reasons. Then, I’ll let you know that while anything is possible, nothing is guaranteed. It is not advisable to get married for the wrong reasons and hope against all hope that your marriage works out. It is possible that you suffer a broken spirit in the future if things turn out contrary to what you would prefer. The choice still remains yours though and if you are able to take the risk to potentially live in an unhappy marriage.
I’d ask that you talk through your feelings with your spouse-to-be and perhaps the both of you should not rush into marriage yet. Seek out a good marriage coach; one who will lay out the facts for you as they take you through pre-marital coaching, counsel you on what true marriage is and what your chances of making it in the future could be. While everyone’s situation is different and it is impossible to treat different cases with one prescription, I dare say taking this one major step to get counsel, will help to illuminate your next steps.
To happy times ahead,
ZeeZee is a certified Relationship and Marriage Coach who believes her purpose in life is to equip couples with the right tools for a successful relationship. Through her website and YouTube channel she shares practical tips and principles that help couples understand the inner workings of a healthy marriage.