Expected behaviors don’t happen and new, lovely ones are in their place: consideration, gentleness, sensitivity, generosity of time and effort. You won’t have to force it; it, too, will be a natural process.
There will be new things in the “you” that has experienced all this pain: guardedness, healing, and newfound respect.
Follow this guide to try to have a real conversation with someone.
The other kind of love—the tender feelings for children, or the compassionate love that you have when you’ve been married 50 years—is about giving.
When this continues, the commonalities aren’t so apparent. Now, just suppose the two of you want to maintain the marriage. How can you possibly fall in love with such a person again?
You are torn because it would be good to keep the relationship but the feelings just aren’t there. My answer is: Feeling can come back, but the process is backwards from the way it was the first time.
You become willing to be vulnerable and open more and more. In turn, your spouse will be able to talk about his/her dawning awareness of his/her past selfishness and hurtfulness and any regrets felt over them.
In these admissions, he/she too will be vulnerable, and this will open the door wider to falling in love again. It’s more than falling in love and even more than preserving a family.
You feel exhilarated because after carefully letting down your guard to someone, this person has appreciated having been given the tremendous gift of you.