Being In Love Verses Loving Someone

@Shellyann36 (10863)
United States
January 29, 2012 1:00pm CST
February is quickly approaching and of course that brings the famous Valentine's Day holiday. So in the interest of Love I decided I would post about it. A friend of mine recently approached me with a problem she is having with her boyfriend of four years. I was rather perplexed with the problem to tell you the truth. She is very upset and in some ways I can understand why but in some ways I can relate to what he told her. They have been together four years and they have children together. They are like every couple with problems of course but nothing drastic like cheating or abuse of any kind. Recently, while visiting his mother's house they went through old photos of the family. In with the boxes of photos was a particular photo of him and a woman that he had dated for two years. This photo had been taken several years ago back when he was in his 20's and now both he and my friend are just turning 40. My friend did not think anything of it and it did not bother her in the least until they were on the way home. While on the way home they were talking about the photos of his family and friends and the subject of him and the previous girlfriend came up. He was honest with my friend and admitted that he had really been in love with this woman and he proceeded to tell her how the relationship ended, how she dumped him and later after he had gotten married how he figured out that he still loved her. His marriage at the time was on the rocks and breaking up so he moved back to his home town and got back in contact with this woman. Five years had passed since they broke up but she again let him down and told him that she was not interested in him. So this led to a discussion about his marriage and why it fell apart. Then my friend asks him so how many times have you been in love, 3 times? Meaning, his first love, his ex-wife and of course herself.. now this is the kicker. He immediately answered only once! My friend took it as a joke at first as if he had mis-spoke his true meaning but he went on to say that he had not been in love with his wife. Then my friend asked him was he not in love with her. His response shocked her and hurt her feelings. He told her that he loved her but he was not "in love" with her and he would never allow himself to be "in love" with her because it hurt too bad when things were wrong with the relationship. So now my friend is feeling hurt, broken hearted and let down and she does not know what to do. She is torn between just breaking off the relationship or holding onto it and trying to resolve what she see's as a problem. Now my take on this. I can see it from both sides. I can see how it would hurt her and make her feel as if their whole relationship had been a lie. I can also see it from his point of view. Men and women think about emotions and feelings differently and I can see where he would love her but yet not be in real love with her. I really had no advice that I could give this friend. I did tell her that I could see how both parties felt. I also remarked on how he has been with her for so many years they have children together and there is no major problems like cheating, abuse etc. He is good to her and is not out partying with friends or doing anything that would even make her suspect he is cheating. He comes straight home from work, calls her during his breaks and work and he is a very attentive father. Most women would kill to have a man like this by their side but she is still hurting from the shock of it all. I told her to take some time and really weigh the pros and cons of the relationship and of what he said. What do you fellow MyLotters think of this situation? Does she stick it out with him or break up with him?
1 person likes this
10 responses
@cruride (66)
• United States
29 Jan 12
Wow, this is a tough situation. I can see how she can be hurt and disappointed. I would have no words for her either. I do think though if there relatinoship was on the rocks or bad this should not interfere. Maybe she can look it as the following: he wants to be in this relationship, he cares for me and the children, but he is afraid iofopening his heart fully. This is a really big pill to swallow though and I don't know how I would react hearing this information. :(
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 12
I meant wasn't on the rocks...
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
Yes it is a tough situation. Her feelings are very hurt because she feels that she is "In Love" with him. To have him tell her this as readily as he did, no bones about it, has shook her to the core. She is questioning everything about their relationship at this point. Perhaps she is seeing bad things that are not there or perhaps she is realizing that things are bad and that because she was "In Love" she just ignored the bad things. I really am at a loss for words for her. Thank you for stopping by.
@obe212003 (2302)
• Philippines
30 Jan 12
somehow i could relate to this guy, lol! honestly, my very first love also dumped me, and although it was hard to admit at first, but i really do love her as compared to what i feel for my present wife. On the contrary, she is happy right now, and i am quite happy and content with my life right now. Love lost is love gained. i may not have her, but i am happy, content and committed, amen...
1 person likes this
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you are in a good relationship. Does your wife know how you feel? If I were you I would keep it to myself or you might have the same problems my friend is having. Have a great day.
@GardenGerty (100502)
• United States
30 Jan 12
Being "in love' is passion and hormones. "loving someone" , being faithful, and committed, is a choice. It sounds as though he has the same view of "being in love" as I have of being on a roller coaster. In both situations you are out of control, and for many, this is not a comfortable way to feel. I think he has been honest with her, and he is choosing her, daily and choosing to be the loving partner and it is time for her to choose to love him back.
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
Thank you very much. Excellent way to look at it. I will have to say this to her and try to make her feel not so negative about the situation. Right now she is looking at it as a relationship destroyer. Her feelings are getting in the way of common sense.
@kaylachan (4776)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
30 Jan 12
Every relationship has its good and bad moments. And, when I read this, the same thought came to me. He may love her, but not share the same feelings he did for his first wife, or any ex lovers he might've left behind, but he could've meant it in the sense, of those women meant different things to me then you do. And, didn't mean that he didn't love her and wasn't completely devoted to her. Which apparently he is since he seems so attentive to her needs at any given moment. Your friend needs to take this into consideration, and not expect things to be any better then they are. She's taken him for who he is all of this time, why should a misunderstanding tear the relationship appart? I'd understand being a little insecure, but come on.... really now?
1 person likes this
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
Hi kaylachan. Thanks for the reply. In many ways I think she is over-reacting. Perhaps there is more there that is wrong that she is not letting on. I don't really know. I do know that it has hurt her very badly and she is really having a hard time with it. I know that she does love him and seems to be "in love" with him. Frm what I have witnessed he loves her too and he is great with the kids. I think that in the back of her mind she is just wondering if its her or the kids that he is really there for and if he is just settling with her because of the kids.
@kaeirole (669)
• Philippines
30 Jan 12
they have to do something about it..they should talk more regarding this issue..you're friend must initiate moves to trace the reason why his husband won't allow himself to fall in love again..maybe you're friend isn't just the type of person who makes things for man to fall..they are the ones who solve the issue..and your friend can even be a big help to her husband to clear things out about that girl..
1 person likes this
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
Yes they need to talk more. He has really been non-responsive about it to her. His stance is that he is there with her and supports her and the kids and he does love her, what more does she want from him. This of course is not helping her emotions at all. I don't really know what she is going to do. I see how hurt she is and I see how it is making her fall apart. I just hope she really thinks about things before she make a fast decision. I also think for him to not be "in love" with her then there are issues with the relationship that he is not being honest about. Thanks for stopping by.
@jazzyrae (1747)
• United States
29 Jan 12
i honestly do not know what to say it sounds like he has way to much emotional damage to be in a seriouse relationship i think that your friend is saddly better off on her own. That is awfull i can understand if he still had fellings for the ex wife but to tell your friend that he never loved her that is just awfull i hope i understood the story right if this is the case i just cant belive he would tell your friend that. wow
1 person likes this
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
You misunderstood just a bit. He does not still have feelings for the ex girlfriend but he said that he has only been "In Love" once and it was with his first serious girlfriend. He admitted that he did not love his ex-wife because she was just someone he married to get over his first "love". My friend is facing the fact that he is not "In Love" with her but claims to love her.
• United States
29 Jan 12
i would say break up with him and htat is just me but if she wants to stick it out with him then more power to her then
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
She has had so many emotions since this happened. She did actually think about leaving him and it is not 100% clear that she will either leave or stay. The problem with leaving is that they have small children together. If not for that, I think she might have left him already. She is really upset about the situation. Thanks for stopping by.
• United States
30 Jan 12
ur welcome then i say stay and try to work it out with him
@prinzcy (5058)
• Malaysia
30 Jan 12
It must be hard for your friend. But I can't advise her to stay or just to break up with him as I am also the one being 'loving someone' situation with my boyfriend. For me, it's not like I am in love with someone else but that 'in love' feeling for him, is not there yet. I don't dislike him either nor I am seeing another guy. Maybe it's because our relationship still new that the feeling doesn't grow yet. I already told my boyfriend, he said he'll wait for me. Your friend and him need to talk about this. She can't just bottle it up.
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
It is very hard for her and she is tearing herself up about it. She has tried to talk to him and he gets frustrated because he does not understand why she feels this way. In his eyes he loves her and that should be enough. I see both sides. I see how being loved should be enough but I also see it that he could be "settling" at the moment on her and that might not be the case later on. Thanks for stopping by.
• Kenya
30 Jan 12
That's a tricky situation, but does she feel loved in the relationship? How did they end up getting married in the first place if they were not in love with each other?
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
She does feel love in the relationship. They are not married. They live together and have children together. I guess they are common-law married but not officially. They have talked about marriage but have not set a date. They both love each other but he dropped the bomb on her that he was not "in love" with her and it really hurt her feelings because she is "in love" with him. Now she is second guessing the entire relationship. Thanks for stopping by.
@deodavid (4150)
• Philippines
29 Jan 12
Hey there shellyann36, This is really a big issue because of what he said he probably scarred her for life , the best advice is just let her have her time think things through she is in the best spot to decide on this by herself and for the guy i guess he has his own reasons.
@Shellyann36 (10863)
• United States
30 Jan 12
Hello there deodavid. It is a big issue and she is so confused and really hurting. I think that he has done lots of damage to the relationship for certain and hurt her tremendously. I agree she has to really think on the situation and not make hasty decisions. Thanks for stopping by.