I don’t love you anymore. Are there any more painful words in any language than those that tell you you are not loved anymore?
It was Mother’s Day 2009 when I heard these words from my husband for the first time.
“I don’t love you anymore,” the words rang around in my head and sucked the air from my lungs.
How had our conversation gone to hell so fast? I had so carefully planned what I was going to say trying to not to hurt my husband’s feelings. He’d been a carpenter at the World Trade Center site. In the years that followed 9-11, he worked all the time and was often exhausted. Could that be it?
He had been staying at an apartment my family owned in the Bronx four nights a week because of his long commute and even longer hours. Had he been cheating the whole time? Rumors and whispers my family and their city friends had known about but had tried to shelter the boys and me from began circulating.
Maybe I should have seen red flags, but since 9-11, he had been working long hours.
And I trusted him.
Why shouldn’t I have? We held hands every night as we fell asleep and ended every phone conversation with those three little words, “I love you.” We’d struggled with ups and downs as many couples do, but we’d had a wonderful year and were closer than ever…or so I thought. Ironically, as he was giving me his “I don’t love you anymore” speech, he was also saying that we were closer than ever, good friends in fact.
But I guess he couldn’t love his friends?
I was confused. I did love my friends, but my friends weren’t getting me pregnant, and no friend of mine would hurt me and my children for their own benefit.
What to do When Told, “I Don’t Love You Anymore.”
Hearing the words, “I don’t love you anymore” can be hurtful no matter when or how they are uttered, but when someone we love has a sudden change of heart, the shock can be overwhelming. The words, “I don’t love you anymore,” echo in our empty hearts, minds, and souls. Like an unrestrained ping pong ball, “I don’t love you anymores” bounce off unseen, internal places where love once overflowed but where now nothing is left but hollowness. They threaten to destroy the very fabric of our beings.
At this time, it is important to establish an attitude of calm. While this can seem impossible, flying off the handle does nothing to help your situation and can cause your husband to justify his reactions. Try taking a deep breath, thinking before responding, and writing your feelings out and then destroying the paper rather than using your voicemail to give life to your panic.
Life can seem out of control, and many deserted spouses experience feelings of worthlessness.
It is important to realize that your value does not come from others but from a higher power. God, your Father, knew you before your parents did. Your Lord knew and loved you even before you were conceived; He knew everything you would face and every reaction you would have to what you face – and He still Loves you. He created you and still finds value in you. Before taking anything to your spouse or to your friends, take your pain and cries and desires to God. Turn to Him first and continuously. Pray without ceasing as we are told!
The Love we received from God is the one true, perfect, never-ending Love we will ever experience. Do not allow the agony of being abandoned by an imperfect human outshine the loving value of this perfect Love God freely gives to you.
Listen carefully. Search for the positive. Find the hidden whisper of your Lord telling you, “I will always love you.”
Those little words carry so much meaning because, unlike we imperfect humans, God never breaks His promises. HE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. Find comfort in that and step into whatever comes next with confidence in His call to you.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
~ 1 John 3: 1