In Love?

How do you know if you’re still in love after 34 years?  I know love changes as we grow older together.  But I feel like I’m just living with a friend.  Which is to say, I don’t feel equal to him in this relationship.  I guess that’s where my changing comes into play. Image Husband can still tell me why he loves me, but I can’t remember what made me fall in love with him all those years ago.  I also question the reasons he loves me: because I take care of him and do little things for him, because I’m (still) beautiful.  All superficial reasons and not because I’m smart or confident, or because he likes how I get all worked up about certain political issues.

We don’t see eye to eye on almost anything any more, though I usually don’t point it out.  I just listen to him tell me his opinion, and I’m pretty sure he thinks I agree with him, though I don’t say anything to indicate if I do.  I see no reason to tell him my opinions. 

He knows virtually nothing about my blog, and has never asked.  I can’t remember the last time he asked me anything about how I felt or why I felt that way.  He never even asked me what drove me to attempt suicide and has no idea (I assume) how much of my distress was (and is) related to him and his attitudes.

I’ll give him credit, he is trying to change certain things.  He doesn’t “play” his weird mind games with me any more.  He would just make odd statements as if I missed part of a conversation and when I asked him to clarify, he would just continue on as if I should know.  It took a long time to get him to stop doing that.  I finally convinced him that I hated that and it was not funny, but mean to mess with the head of someone who has memory issues.  I really must thank him.   I’m sure it takes a lot of effort not to do something he has done to me for years.  It always annoyed me, but since my memory issues had gotten so bad, I followed his imaginary conversations and would ask him questions.  When my mind was healthy, I’d catch on after two questions, but since my cognitive problems have worsened, I no longer realized he was “playing” with me.  I’m not sure you can follow that, but I needed to put it down.

I went to my first meditation class today.  It was interesting, and unfortunately, made me feel a little “churchy” for me at first.  But by the end I felt more like a student.  The Buddhist Center is very nice and filled with books and stone Buddhas, and beautiful beaded bracelets.  I bought a book, “The New Meditation Handbook” to help me practice at home.

Any way back to my subject of love.  So much about Buddhism and attaining happiness is doing for others.  That’s what got me into this whole midlife crisis!  So I’m a bit conflicted.  I mean, if I find being on my own would make me happy, but make my husband sad, I’m supposed to then stay with him?  But then I read something about not being anyone’s doormat.  What is the balance of doing for others, yet caring for yourself?  Am I taking things too literally?

15 thoughts on “In Love?

  1. Try not to “overthink” everything, Linda. I do it too…BIG TIME…so I know how hard it can be to stop. Be satisfied with “baby steps,” and “self-acceptance.” It really sounds like you’re on the way to an abundant life! I say, “Good for you!”


  2. I don’t think you should follow anyone else’s reasoning.. only your own. At the present time so much has wearied you to the point you don’t trust your feelings.. I think …I think one of the ‘best’ ways to tear down a relationship is by ignoring you husband/wife and unfortunately that’s what’s been happening to you for a long period of time. I lieu of what happened while married … I would have thought he would have bent over backwards to regain your trust/love …

    Part of loving someone I think is wanting to be with them and share so much of what we’re feeling/thinking… but maybe it’s just been habit you’re stopped doing it…

    Have you or could you open up a conversation with him and say you think you need to re-connect your relationship..Maybe doing some things like going out once in awhile for dinner/show (although I know money is tight) maybe to the beach …

    Anyway I hope you get some answers you need….Diane

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes, reconnecting is what we need. We haven’t had date night regularly for months. We were going out once a week. That’s probably what we need to do more of.

      But we need to do some NEW things together. Not the same ol trip to the bookstore where we go our separate ways for the next hour. Then get ice cream, talk about seeing a movie and going home to watch something off Netflix.

      Problem is, there are so many things to do I can’t figure out what to do. Finding things I’m actually willing to do, or should I be uncomfortable?

  3. You have to be happy for yourself, that is the only way you can really serve and help the world. If you do not have enough energy to carry your own burden, how could you even try to help someone else? So find your way to carry yours and see what’s next then 😉 I recommend you once more to answer my key questions to happiness (related to meaningful activities
    – What are my personal aims?
    – What are things that I like to do?
    – What are things that I don’t like to do?
    – What am I good at?
    – What am I bad at and do I want to change something about it?
    – When do I feel happy?
    – What is it then that makes me feel happy?
    – Is there any chance to trigger the reason for that happiness more often (e.g. by changing your workplace, join your working place community (or found it) or invest more time in a particular spare time activity)?
    – When do I wish to change something and why do I think this change is impossible instead of trying to go for the change?
    – When do I blame others and could I not do something about solving the problem myself if it is that important to me?
    Think about it, my friend and take care, Linda.
    Yours sincerely,

  4. 34 years is a very long time. My relationship is only 13 years old, yet it’s changed a lot too. I think this is the real love, the other thing is passion. I actually prefer this quiet and comfortable love. Neither of us is expected to look great all the time. We’re allowed to make mistakes.
    In young relationships, expectations are usually unrealistically high. We put too much pressure on ourselves and our other halves. I used to be afraid that we were turning into what seemed more like friends, but I think it’s the natural course of things.

    1. That’s good to hear, because I feel more like friends than lovers, and I miss the lovers passion. I feel so separate from my husband now. I’ve never felt separate from him before. Maybe that’s a good thing.

      Thanks for your priceless input. It’s truly appreciated.

  5. There are no rules to love, or how each of us see it. It affects each of differently and there are probably no direct answers because of this.. I can relate to most of what you say,, and in my case love is dead, or just wriggling its last life.. You have to follow your heart and decide,,, we can all throw advice at you, but in truth it your heart and love and dreams that count.. and to a large extent, maybe be selfish for your own happiness,, everyone is entitled to be happy… 😉 in my thoughts…

    1. Thanks for thinking of me. I hate this feeling of doubt, but I try to put it aside, and try to be true and realistic at the same time. I am not going to make any rash decisions at this point, but I will continue on my Buddhist path and see where it takes me. I’ll have to trust that what happens is what is meant to happen.

      Thoughts of peace and gratitude to you.

  6. i believe if you are not in love and not happy you have a duty to yourself to act. every day i want to make things good for my husband, that doesn’t mean i neglect myself. it isn’t selfish to want peace. i wish you peace of heart my friend.

    1. I am operating right now on the assumption that I’m staying married, yet still do the things I’ve (my husband) stopped myself from doing. I am realistic though, and constantly wonder how much change in me my husband can take. I think we’ll be ok, but I’m plagued by doubts. Writing about them makes me feel much better about things. And sage advice from my blogging friends is priceless and has kept me from acting rashly.

      As always, thank you for your caring words and obvious concern. I send you thoughts of compassion and gratitude.

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