I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You. Couples often come into Marriage Counseling with so many different reasons why they don’t get along. Communication is a big issue as most people are unable to say what they need to say to one another. They could be conflict avoidant, meaning rather than express themselves they shut down and keep from expressing their feelings to avoid an argument or risk being vulnerable. In relationships people are Individuals first and Couples second.
In relationships where there are Co-dependency traits, meaning someone in the relationship is continually overfunctioning (doing all the work), that includes thinking for and telling everyone how to feel rather than concentrating on their own thoughts and feelings, people can lose their Sense of Self. The person underfunctioning may or may not realize this creates discord within the relationship as the one doing “everything” becomes resentful and angry. Over the course of time people in relationships who don’t put forth the effort to Individuate and Differentiate or be the Individual they need to be and become equally different from one another, emotionally shut down and stop meeting their partner’s needs. They start to solely concentrate on getting their own needs met. Because this process has occurred the intimacy has been broken between the couple as now the individual who is concentrating on themselves is no longer emotionally invested in the relationship. All the energy in concentrating on becoming a different individual for whatever reason, i.e. partner has emotionally shutdown or withdrawn for years, there’s been addiction that had been tolerated or enabled, some kind of abuse or neglect, etc. When the differentiated person develops a stronger Sense of Self they no longer need to be in the existing relationship. If the partner who has not differentiated does not do what is needed and expected in terms of exploring their individual issues and adjusting malbehavior the relationship may not be salvageable.
In Marriage Counseling an assessment is made after both individuals share their perspective of the problems affecting the relationship. Problem areas and individual issues are sorted out and identified and a Moving Forward Plan is developed to guide each person to achieve their goals to counseling and acquire the necessary practical tools in which to succeed. I help Couples with the Individuation and Differentiation process so they know what they want and need as an Individual so they know how to ask one another how to get those needs met.
If you or your partner is thinking about and stating the phrase “I love you but I’m not in love with you,” please call me at (858) 735-1139 and we can explore more about what that phrase means to you and where to go from there.