When You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
A lot of musicians have been celebrating landmark anniversaries lately: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark 5 – to name but a few. While listening to an oldies station the other day, I got to thinking about all the great artists from that era. Right in the mix of pop music in the early 60’s was The Righteous Brothers. They recorded their great hit, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, in 1964. Have you heard it recently? Have a listen right here:
When I hear this song, and others like it, I get to thinking about the challenges of relationships – how fragile it all can be. This is often the crux of the issue when people come to see me for consultation – they’ve lost a sense of closeness, tenderness, affection, and sexual chemistry that they long to recover. People can feel that things are slipping through their fingers.
“Why don’t I have affectionate feelings for my wife?”
“Will I ever get the feelings back again? I’m willing to wait–two weeks, three weeks even, but if I don’t start feeling those old feelings or I think we won’t have what we used to have, I’m outta here!”
What you’re hearing is men and women who are distressed with not feeling in love with their partner, having no desire to have sex with their partner, maybe even feeling numbness or totally turned off by their partner. They recognize that they can’t make themselves feel a certain way but they may not recognize how they got to the place of not feeling anything.
It’s Probably Been Happening for Awhile
One man recognized when he came back from out of town his wife never cooked, he had to cook and do the laundry and he resented that. Another women was actually very clear about when the problem started and how it was maintained. When her husband asked her multiple times during the day to have sex and kept asking she was turned off. She felt disrespected. He did not hear her say now is not a good time.
Can This Problem be Solved?
Sometimes it can be a quick fix. In the case of the woman who felt disrespected, once her husband heard her in session and realized what he was doing was pushing her away, he backed off from approaching her so often. She then began approaching him and surprised him by setting up dates to have sex.
A quick fix and return of romantic feelings is not always the case, however. Some conflicts are difficult to unearth and are even more difficult to work through. And it may be that one partner has already checked out and is hoping to hear that restoring loving feelings cannot be done so they can just leave. It can really be helpful to work with a couples therapist to resolve conflicts and perhaps restore romantic feelings.
How has this been for you?
Ever faced this before? What helped? What fizzled? I’d love to hear your thoughts – below.