Falling out of love

It has been a very busy two weeks for me. Work and most importantly family life has caught up with me. My wife ended up in Hospital for a week but she is back home now. Both herself and the baby are OK. This time apart made me realise how much I miss her when she is away. This is a far cry from where I was a couple of years ago with my rOCD. I had anxiety and panic attacks when I was with her. As I was replying to a message from a fellow rOCDer and we talked about falling out of love. I always wanted to discuss this but never really remembered doing it. SO here it goes:

From time to time, I receive an email from someone that is suffering from rOCD asking me if they fallen out of love because they can’t feel anything anymore. I will split this question into two parts: love and lost feelings (or not feeling).

1) Love – one of the biggest mistakes in any relationship is assuming that love is a static entity. What do I mean by this? I mean that we assume that if we find the “right” partner love will develop and flourish by itself and the flames will burn for eternity. This could not be farther away from the truth. Love is not a static entity. Love is a moveable or flexible entity. LOVE IS HARD WORK. If we want to feel more love for someone else then we need to give more than we normally give. Why do we hear about falling out of love? Because in most cases (excluding abuse and things alike), people at a certain time stopped giving and doing the things that NURTURE the relationship. Routines settled in, bills to pay, other interests, etc. The bottom line is that if you want to have a solid and long-lasting relationship you have to put effort in everyday. What starts as seed can only grow stronger if you water and feed it everyday. The problem is that we confuse the seed with the fruit.

2) Lost feelings – Can you feel depressed and feel happy at the same time? Can you feel anxiety and love at the same time? With rOCD the centre of our anxiety is our relationship. But the anxiety is not in our partner. The anxiety is inside ourselves. In certain cases our partners go blissfully unaware of our internal struggles and are very happy in the relationship. The first mistake we make is to try “force” feelings back. We put ourselves into two different situations. For example, we kiss our partner and wait to see how we feel. Or we imagine or see our partner with someone else and see how we react.   We do these mental tests that normally do more harm than good because we do not understand a basic principle: We cannot fill a cup that is already full! If we want to regain our ability to feel, first we must get rid of the anxiety that fills our cup.

So the concept of falling out of love is mostly a Hollywood concept and out of touch with the real world. People do distance themselves through choices they make. This is where we need to start taking responsibility as a society and not blame it purely on feelings.If someone works 12 hours a day, hardly sees his wife and spends most of the time interacting with an attractive colleague is it really a mystery finding the other person interesting and exciting?

It is even more complicated when we deal with people that suffer from anxiety disorders as another level (or levels) of emotions are layered on top of what we would like or hope to experience. So don’t be surprised if it is difficult to feel at this stage.

Hope this helps someone.

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38 comments

  1. Hi
    Thank you.
    Happy to hear that your wife and the baby is fine!
    I had an interesting experience the other day. My anxiety dissapeared and the feelings came back.I felt so good and in love and like I would have seen him fully.
    Now I have the anxiety again and see my bf through that and its hard to believe if it was true and is that something what is “true”?

    After that experience I believe you more:)

  2. Another amazing post! it’s true that TV and movies always show easy peasy passionate relationships and talk about ‘the one’ etc etc. They never talk about love being a choice, one that can be hard sometimes. Everyone has their days where they question, where it would be easier to walk away, where you feel guilty, unfortunately with rOCD it can be hard to let those feelings go. Thanks so much for this blog, it reminds me I’m not alone and that I’m not a bad person. Hope your wife is home soon and feeling better 🙂

      1. Is love a choice even for rOCD sufferer even at least can not trust on my feelings?I just have this horrible anxiety 24/7 even few those good monents.how can I make a choice when I just feel anxiety all the time?or can I?

  3. In the “love” category, I just find it difficult because Im trying to do the same things I used to do for him, even more, but sometimes I feel no desire to. I say to myself, “Why do this for him, if I dont even know how i feel about him”
    and it makes it all so hard.

    In the “lost feelings” category, I find myself constantly trying to force feelings back. I sit here like “Well what if he went with another girl” then I wait to see my reaction from it. For a while this would help. I would say to myself that I would hate seeing him with someone else, and help convince myself that I still care. This became a habit for me that whenever I felt crappy I would try to think of situations like (god for bid) but if he ended up in the hospital, then I would be upset, so thats a good sign, or if he talked to someone else, I would be upset, so thats a good sign.

    However none of this helped. It only helped for a short period of time.

    Also with the kissing thing, I would kiss him and i would ask myself “How do i feel while im doing this” I wouldn’t let myself simply enjoy it.

    It came to the point that whenever I thought about kissing him it wouldnt have the same romantic feeling cause i “didnt know how i felt when i kissed him”

    I’m just not sure what steps to take to get these thoughts out of my head.

    I also cant tell if this is ROCD or not, which scares me.

    1. I know how u feel.. I’ve been going through this for 3 months now but at the end of February it got worse.. I asked myself questions like u did but only worked for a tiny bit.. I became immune to the questions… I feel like the anxiety is gone.. I don’t like the way I feel. I hold his clothes and cry asking why.. next month I see a therapist hopefully it’s not too late….

  4. I’m a rollercoaster. I have ups and downs and in every down i feel like breaking up with him. I hate this feeling and I think it’s time to let him go. I tell myself I don’t care but why am i so sad then? I have OCD and anxiety, too. Everytime I have my ups, I think ROCD is gone for good. But, as you can see, it’s not. Or is it time to say goodbye?

  5. Thank you for this post…I am not in a relationship as such, but dating. I find this can make things a little harder as I don’t have any ‘original feelings’ to fall back on when I am questioning things (a close friend went through the same thing after several years of marriage…I think that it helped her to know at the very back of her mind that at some stage she did feel love for her husband…I am pleased to say that she got over it and they are doing just fine now). I am comforted by your words, and by reading the responses to your post, that I am not alone in all this. It is easy to think, ‘yes, but my case is different’, and maybe it is…but we all appear to be suffering from variations of the same issue. My rOCD has been with me a long time and has meant that I haven’t really given anyone a chance since my first relationship in my early 20s. Through you, I have found a specialist OCD therapist, and am determined to work through this thing. I have to try hard to be positive that I can conquer it (as I have other obsessions in the past)…today I choose to be positive 🙂 Thank you for your blog, it’s so useful and resonates a lot with me. I hope to be able to do the same for others one day.

  6. I’ve never been so happy with my partner then over night I felt anxious as if it was all going wrong. In fact I’d moved house, was not getting in with my friend and had, had one of my staff leave. So I was extremely stressed but very anxious my boyfriend would think I couldn’t cope and then he became the problem.
    After reading your blog it makes me feel hopeful and less mad!
    Thank you

  7. I wanna be saved from what my anxiety and rocd did to me… it feels I don’t have it anymore… does it mean it’s the end…
    Everytime I hold him I cry bc I am afraid this will be the last time I’ll ever hold him again……..
    I just want things back to normal again… every morning I wake up feeling like I don’t love him anymore.. it feels like no matter how hard I try nothing works… please help me I want help!! I never wanted to feel this way for my Boyfriend we’ve been together 3 1/2 years I don’t want it to end!!

  8. Hi Blip!
    Thank you for your site!
    Please please answer me, im ik such a fear! Ive been suffering from rocd for 4 months basically what happened today is that i come across this forum and girl saying that:we must accept that maybe we did fall out of love, but we are deciding to stay because love is a choice and not a feeling.
    Now i understand that love is a choice, and you wont be feeling in love 24/7 and that after some time honeymoon period is over but is she saying that we actually stopped loving our partner????? Im soo scared! I dont even know is it possible to stop loving someone in one second for God sake and i wont accept thart i dont love my bf especiall since i have those momenta of clarity when I KNOW i love him! She is lying right or she just missubderstood something?

    1. Can you see where the problem is? The more you fear the less you feel and the less you feel the more you fear. There is always going to be something that will make you spike. And this is why I say that forums sometimes are not the best thing if you are trying to recover. Her experience is her experience not yours.

    2. That’s what’s keeping me from falling back in love with my partner. I keep thinking of every single blog, what people have said to me, or all the times I had really bad thoughts… I have anxiety when I think of the possibilities of him being with someone else… it makes me wanna stab my wrist.. I keep testing myself too and it worked for awhile then it stoped… I rather have this be Rocd then hsve it be my true feelings…. I really hate myself too bc I let the stresses of last year get in the middle of my relationship…. he visits me for the first time tomorrow in 2 weeks. But I am nervous bc I am scared of two things. One bed bugs… and two what if I dont feel excited when I see him. I get jealous that other people get to see him before I do too..

      1. It sounds to me like you have rOCD. I am currently experiencing almost the exact same things. And if you really did not love your partner, you would not be worrying about all of this so much. Some of my friends who ended relationships just simply did not care anymore. The thought of falling out of love with their partner did not phase them at all. And I know that sometimes you may feel like it doesn’t phase you at all (when the OCD is kicking in), but if you truly were not in love with your partner it would not bother you so much. Just accept the fact that it is not your relationship, but simply the way your brain is reacting to things. It is an internal battle and not an external one. I too have had to accept this, and I am so happy that I have found an answer. Now we just have to focus on getting better and working towards a happier path. This will all make you a stronger person in the end. Just remember that it WILL get better and one day you will look back and you will think “how could I have felt that way”

  9. In your book you mention that when people ask you if they are falling out of love one of the components of the love triangle is missing, which is usually the Passion, and how this isn’t surprising as this component is mostly biological! This doesn’t mean that the anxiety caused the Passion to fade somehow right? Because no matter how much anxiety I have felt I could still feel the passion somehow for my loved one!

    1. rOCD can be a different experience for everyone. Be careful about the logic e.g. if I feel the passion, then it is not really rOCD. There is no hard and fast rule about these things. Some people obsess more about the intellectual than the physical aspect too…

  10. Hello kayla thank for writing.. so due to not resting my mind through out the anxiety I will continue to feel like I am not in love with him.. I keep asking myself questions over and over again…. I still imagine hurting myself when I think he will be with someone else.. my family and friends and my baby said that I have been obsessing about it for so long that I really fell like I am not in love with him… I feel like I failed him kayla…. 😥 out of all my Boyfriend’s he is the best. I kept obsessing over it over and over again and now it makes me wanna ran and I feel like I am emotionaly drained… I wanna save it but I read so much stuff it made me give up hope…. 😥 I had our 4 year anniversary planned… I was gonna make cupcakes and tacos with him 😦 I stay in my room all the time cry banging my head wanting this to be a dream…. 😥 😥 kayla I am so scared if u wanna message me my email is mkillia930@Gmail. Com I hate how I feel I obsessed so badly….. 😥

  11. Hello Amanda. Just do your best not to google your thoughts and questions about your relationship. You will most likely get replies saying “then you must not be in love with your partner” or “I guess he is not right for you”. But what these people do not know is that you have OCD and that the problem is your OCD and not your relationship. I know it is hard not to google your thoughts because you seek reassurance, but this is one thing that I have had to stop doing. When I would talk to some people about it, then just assumed I wasn’t in love with my partner since I was having the thoughts in the first place (but they didnt know I had OCD). So just do your best to keep telling yourself that it is the OCD talking, and not your relationship. Maybe speak to a therapist as well. I recently started taking medication and speaking to a therapist and it has helped me greatly. And this is coming from someone who had pretty much every negative thought possible about my relationship. Just remember that you need to sort your OCD out and you will once again begin to feel happy.

    Kayla

    1. 😥 is there anyway to fix the damage that has been done.. I have stressed myself out completely to the point of no return… I don’t want him to be my ex.. I really don’t…. I obsessed too much to get me to this point…

  12. What do I do, I have suffered from anxiety for as long as i can remember (i’m 34) and i have very many OCD traits. I am with an amazing man. He is everything I could ask for. Everything I want and need. Yet here I am questioning if I love him, questioning if Im attracted to him, looking at him to see if I feel anything towards him. Are we compatible. Do we “click”. Do I love him. Would I feel different if I was with someone else. I feel myself becoming distant from him and i dont want that. Surely if I really did love him I wouldnt feel like this. The thought of being without him isnt pleasant. In clearer moments I want my future to be with him. I just feel so so sad, unhappy, confused and anxious. These negative thoughts consume me at the moment, I cant get them out of my head. I know if i lost him, i’d cope but i’d be devastated. What do I do?

  13. Hi to the blog owner, regarding the physical attraction part and lust, what happens if everything goes fine as you do therapy a…if currently you don’t feel attractiveness and lust towards your spouse would it one day come back suddenly when she would have not changed,..and you would one day start feeling attracted again to her appearance? I don’t understand…

    1. I will try to answer with one question. Let’s imagine you have married the most beautiful woman in the world (miss Universe or a super top model). When she is 90 years old, will she be as attractive as a 20 year old?

  14. I’ve done that for months asking myself questions over and over again… I regret so much.. he is such an amazing boyfriend best I have ever had in my whole life.. I keep thinking about how I feel he deserves better then me a how I think he is better of without me… I hate when I think I don’t want him anymore…. I feel like the anxiety is over… X”'( I really don’t want a new relationship I don’t! I hate feeling the way I do! The one thing that I read that did damage to me was u never truly love him… that ur too young….. 😥 😥 I hate it!!!!! I believed in all the lies and now I….. feel like I don’t love him anymore and it hurts I wanna rip my head off and die!!! I hate it!! I wrote so much online and yes many people did say that to me….. 😥 most likely someone on here will say it too… I imagine him with someone else way too much to the point it damaged me badly believing he is no longer mine….. 😥

  15. Each month it gets worse last month I had anxiety and now I feel like I don’t anymore.. I just want things back to normal again so badly kayla.. there is no reason for this to be happening…. I just obsessed over him being with someone else and if u was falling out of love with him… I really love him alot! I feel scared seeing him alot now… I get excited seeing him until my brain realize I am happy… it’s unfair… all the good things I wanted to happen is happening like him getting a job and seeing him truly happy again… my anxiety did so much and scared me half to death… kayla I don’t wanna lose him… all my friends and family knows everything will be alright but I don’t because I am scared… 😥 😥

    1. Hi amanda,

      I read your posts and like many others here i suffer from rocd as well, so i know what you are going trough
      Said before by others you need to stop talking to others or google your symptoms. This will worsens your situation… Trust me. If you don’t have ocd you have no idea how it is! My family and friends thought i was nuts with all these questions. They said just quit the relationship if you are not sure, but this only made my anxiety worse, so please start focusing on good things.
      One of my friends tought me something which helps me a lot.
      Imagine some sand in your hand… When you hold it tight it will start falling out between your fingers! But if you loosen your hand the sand will stay on your palm. This is the same with your thoughts. The more you tighten up the more they keep coming back while if you just let them pass they will eventually go away.
      Hope this helps you a bit and please know that you are not alone and that things will get better, day by day!
      Greetz c

      1. I ask myself questions each and everyday.. I stoped looking stuff up but I remember wat they all said… I take things to heart too much that is my down fall… 😥 I think about everyone else’s relationships even people I don’t even know… 😥 I am stuck… I ask myself all the time are u lying or pretending… I have moments where I do feel like I am in love with him but they don’t last long… 😥 everytime I think of him with someone else I get so angry I acream and punch the closest thing near me not caring about the pain… I have seperation anxiety big time due to my past… I even get scared to be near him but I still feel like waking up to him is heaven on earth… I have never in my whole life been so afraid to lose anyone but my mother… he is the one true happiness in my lfe.. I just hate my brain and wish it would just stop… 😥 it’s been going on 5 months and I still have anxiety.. I hate it! 😥 I feel like he would be better off without me bc I wouldnt be holding him down… I feel like I am but I know I am not… I have nightmares I also wake up screaming if a thought randomly comes into my head… my body is getting worened down from all this….

      2. Hi amanda

        I do know how you feel, it is horrible but please know that it will pass but you have to work very hard. You know when you are” normal” that all is fine, so hold on to those moments. What helped me was post-its on important places with noted that all is fine.
        You are at this stage too terrified to think clearly and that is why you are scared of every thought coming into your brain and the nightmares are also well known. You just don’t know what is happening and that scares you.
        Did you seek help already?
        If you want to email me you can
        Misscw@hotmail.com

  16. Chantal I don’t feel comfy talking on emails.. last time I did that it caused me more voices…. please I know I heard this from everyone I talked to.. saying if u obsessed about something for so long it will come true.. or feel too real for anyone to handle.. I don’t wanna lose my baby.. I really don’t want another guy I grosses me out.. I believe I have damaged my feelings badly.. now I am not able to see him all the time.. I still obsess about things still and now random feelings and voices come which I know is the damage caused by the trauma I have caused myself..

    1. I also never got help.. I was trying but nothing.. I think if I did I would be stronger for him and me… I feel like a.failure I don’t deserve him never did.. I am deeply afraid to leave my room.. I still have bugs in my room which caused me alot of stress.. my boyfriend and my other friend knows about it.. I stress out about god due to my family trying to shove god down my throat…. I gained lots of weight… I miss him alot and when he left I break down to where I almost threw up… I kept crying alot out loud saying come back please don’t go! X”( I feel like I am gonna lose him due to everything that has happened… I think about yhe future way too much… over and over again… I ask myself am I lying or do I love him enough or am I just pretending to the point where I feel it… 😥 I want it to end and I want our relationship back to normal before the stress and anxiety entered my life…

      1. Don’t worry about things falling into place because when they fall it is always in the right place. There is no damage girl, it is all in your mind and when the anxiety goes you will see that too, but you need to fix the anxiety and not the damage.
        Hang in there

  17. I just feel like the anxiety has really affected me badly… my obsessing I have no way to get help.. I am always stuck in my room… sometimes I feel in love with him and sometimes I don’t… when I saw him foelr the first time in 3 weeks I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling :”) I believe that’s a good sign despite how I have been feeling. He ledt today and I miss him alot and everytime I leave I start crying believing I will never see him again… 😥 I hate going outside alot and have anxiety when I do. My friend believes I feel this way bc I am so use to feeling sad about him and my sister believes if I forget all the stuff I read I would be happy with him more again. I never go to sleep without his hoodie either bc it’s the only thing I have left to cuddle with when he is gone.. I miss him every day and I really don’t care to have a new bf at all I just want my gin gin.. 😥

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