Case 1: High school sweethearts who have been together for ten years finally get engaged. They have not even made plans for the wedding when they decided to call off the wedding and then break up for good.

Case 2: A couple who had been together for fifteen years had a child who died. After they buried their child, they could not bear to be together again and got divorced.

Case 3: Two empty-nesters, married for twenty-five years (been together for thirty-four years), got a divorce and began dating other people.

Falling out of love

The commitment to stay together because of the promise made at the altar during the wedding takes a lot of work. But sometimes, even if they did all they can, a couple’s “forever” is only as long as, say, thirty years. The reasons for “falling out of love” depend on each person. They could also depend on the circumstances leading to the falling out. In case of couple number 2 listed above, the death of a child could be such a profound loss that a couple may lose sight of where they are supposed to be headed in their relationship, according to their vows.

In the case of couple 3, they may have made their children their world for the longest time that when they finally had the time to be together again as a couple, they do not know anymore how to be a couple. Sure, they could have started again from scratch—courtship, dates, discovering each other again—but they both might have felt too familiar with each other that there is nothing more to look forward to.

In case of couple 1, there were no vows made yet but they suddenly felt they are not meant to be together and called it quits before any legalities could happen (less messy that way, for sure).

Fix or flee?

Surely there are things the couples mentioned above did to save their relationships. Falling out of love can be slow, like a gradual increase in feelings of resentment, indifference, anger. Or it could be quick as a snap—one moment you feel so in love and the next day…nada. No more.

In saving a relationship, it is important for both parties to acknowledge that there is something wrong. It is also important that both parties are on the same boat when it comes to repairing the damage. But when all is said and done and things don’t turn out for the better, do not force it. Perhaps both partners can work their way to become amicable exes—after all, they had all those years together under their belt.

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