Love is not based on the feeling that I love or do not love someone. Moreover, it evolves with time. When a couple show their love in a different manner or less visibly this does not mean that it no longer exists.
It is true however, that different temperaments, time and suffering may bring on difficulties in the relationship.
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- So how can love not wear out?
By encouraging it to grow. We do not love just because the other person is lovable. Making love grow means wanting the happiness of your partner. It is also looking for the good that he or she does and not always keeping track of all the negative things. It is wanting to please your partner and giving freely. It often means taking the first step
- Love is based on a mutual decision to live out a committment and not on the limitations that we may discover in ourselves. For example, if your parents are divorced, this does not mean that you are condemned to get divorced. You can build an authentic relationship based on love, forgiveness and being forgiven. So there is no need for fatalism. To decide to love means to renew that choice every day and to work at deepening the relationship.
- In order to make love grow, we have to let love be rooted in Love. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.(Rom 7:19) When God created man and woman, marriage and love were in harmony. If we are open to what God has to say, we will understand that because of original sin (see Question 31) we are inclined to behave badly. This is what undermines love: arguments, anger, neglecting the other’s needs, selfishness….But with God, we can escape from our failures. He invites us, while respecting our freedom, to be connected to Love once again, to acknowledge our faults and to allow ourselves to be re-created. In the sacrament of marriage, we receive the capacity to renew our love by drawing on the Love of God. (see Question 15)