Happily (N)ever After

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Now I Love You, Now I Don’t

This has the potential to become an amazing discussion. There are no “right” answers; our perceptions are as unique as the realities in which they are based. I would love to hear yours.

0 thoughts on “Happily (N)ever After

  1. cb

    “But love? Real love? The promise I make… Once it’s given, it simply IS. And for me, that promise is forever.”


    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      THANK YOU for that affirmation.

      Sometimes I think I am alone in that. I’ve had people say “I love you” after such a short acquaintance it leaves me scratching my head, thinking, “Do those words not MEAN anything to anyone but me?” Because for me, it IS a promise. And I keep my promises.

      1. cb

        Given the divorce rate, I can understand why you might think you are “alone in that.” My Mrs and I are coming up on 40 years of marriage. Through “thin and thin” and becoming “real”. We were once young and beautiful. Now we are older, and some would say less beautiful. But I still love her and tell here so every chance I get. Because it IS a promise. And I keep my promises.

        From reading your blog, any guy who is lucky enough to win your love is an idiot not to hang on tight forever.

        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          Well, I may have loved me an idiot once or twice…

          Congratulations on 40 years with your Mrs! Becoming real, especially with your life partner, is far from painless. But then again, when it’s through thin and thin, you don’t mind so much. 🙂 (I adore that Velveteen Rabbit quote, by the way. Every time I read it, I smile.)

          As for youth and beauty… It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But really, the most sparkling beauty, the kind that does not fade but instead becomes stronger and more ethereal over time… *That* kind of beauty is in the eye of the Beloved. <3

          1. cb

            With regard to having loved you an idiot once or twice: You are definitely not alone there, so don’t take it personally. All men are idiots, genetically wired to spread their speed. We get smarter once the raging hormones start to mellow.

            As for me (and I forget who originally said this) the secret to a long happy marriage is to “find a women who will have you … and do everything she says.”

            I know a lot of couples who have been and will be together forever, but these are rare.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Words have power. Speaking aloud a feeling, an idea, a belief, etc… I try to be very careful about what I say, when I say it, and to whom. Once a thing is said, it is (in my opinion) impossible to take back, because – to borrow a phrase from When Harry Met Sally – It’s already OUT THERE.

  2. Lesboi

    I think love ebbs and flows, up and down, in and out. Sometimes love dies. I believe that some people are only meant to walk a while with us and others for a lifetime or more. I still love many of my exes but I don’t want to be in a relationship with them anymore.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Ebb and flow… Yes, I like that visual.

      Sometimes we are swept by the tide; other times, marooned on shore.

      As for Love being a forever thing… I think sometimes we are prone to equate Love with Togetherness. With coupledom and permanence. But that’s not really the way it goes, is it? Loving someone (then, or now) does not guarantee (or warrant or require) a Relationship. And if, for a while, we *do* enjoy a relationship… There comes a time when the only thing left to say is “Goodbye.”

      1. Lesboi

        Yes, exactly! People change and sometimes we don’t love the changes. I’ve been with my partner for 18 years but it hasn’t always been easy and we’ve both changed a lot over those years together. It takes a lot of effort and sometimes that’s just not enough and then you have to let them go for both of your sakes. I had a girlfriend once who loved me one week and hated me the next. That’s a whole different thing and something I don’t ever recommend putting yourself through. Just walk away from someone like that.

        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          Congratuations on 18 years! That is truly amazing. 🙂

          Yes, people change. Ideally, we stretch and grow and constantly evolve into better versions of ourselves.

          But “ideally” doesn’t always mesh with Reality.

          1. Lesboi

            Thanks a lot! I’m not really sure how we’ve stuck together so long to be honest.

            Yes, ideally we stretch and grow together in the same directions and become better people. In reality, it’s just not often that way. People often get lazy in relationships and let themselves go (mentally, physically, etc.). The thing that works for us, I think, is that we think of ourselves as a team. Once we decide on something we work together to make it happen. Being willing to compromise is important. Sacrificing for the other occasionally is important. All one way is never healthy so it has to be balanced out with giving and taking. This is so hard to do in reality because at the root we are all a bunch of needy kids wanting to get our way. Bottom line, I think, is people have good intentions and possibly some fairy tale idea of what love is but reality is a b*tch and the fairy tale turns into a nightmare very quickly. If both people aren’t dedicated and willing to work/compromise/sacrifice/grow it’s doomed to fail. The other thing that I’ve had to learn the hard way is that love isn’t about the other person saving you or making you a better person. All that is on you and you alone. Love and relationships enhance our lives but we’re the only ones who can save us. If more people took responsibility for their own crap and stopped blaming other people we’d all be much happier and healthier mentally.

  3. Jayne

    This conversation is as wide as the ocean and as deep as a penny. Ebb and flow and promises, growth, choice, enlightenment, understanding… Now I love you, Now I don’t…an impetuous statement of a child or it can be the flippant summing up of years. I believe love changes as the people do and with conscious attention to quality, people can strive and remain together happily, not by default, but it has to be a joint effort. When one person gives up, it’s over…or on its way to die. The past holds the love and so it remains where it lived. One person loving or remaining true to their promise means nothing in the partner doesn’t care. That’s merely being consistent, stubborn or bull headed. I was one who did that so my answer of course reflects that fact. I have to say that I believe in lifetime promises of love but not every promise can be held for a lifetime even though you believe it can be at the the time you make it. Realities change and we can change with it while keeping promises but love is sometimes in the releasing of a promise, rather than keeping it.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      So in ending the relationship, was the love ended as well?

      I hear what you’re saying about love having been alive in the past, and that is where it lives still. But what of now? Or, in the context of Ferns’ post: If you don’t love him now (I’m assuming your default here is your ex-husband), does it mean you never really did?

      In my lifetime, I’ve said “I love you” to very few; I still love each of them, regardless of whether we have remained in a relationship. Sometimes loving means letting go, even when we’ve bloodied our hands (and our hearts) with holding on.


      1. Jayne

        I can say that I love him and I would defend him against danger and not just because he is my ex husband and children’s father but because he is the counterpart and co-architect of our past, out of which came 2 good people. Am I going to be caring for him when he’s old? I will bet against that.
        I am one to get carried away big time in sexual fantasy and creative thought or writing or joking around and pushing the edges but with love, I need evidence and evidence changed over the period of my marriage. The bottom line of evidence was presence because anyone can walk away and quit. You need good reasons to stay. Understanding what constituted my promises in the context of marriage was pivotal for me because I believed in love differently than my fiance did at that time. You can’t know how life will change you. Promises are sort of like fairy tales in my mind. They’re beautiful and true and sometimes poignant and strong. You don’t want to disbelieve but we are more diverse than promises can cover. I do not mean to demean promises either. I promised to love the man I married and I loved him greatly by divorcing him respectfully. If that wasn’t loving him then I have no idea what love and honor means. (like I said, this subject is vast and shallow)

        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          “…because I believed in love differently than my fiance did…”


          I have gone round and round and round with those who have said the words to me, because I *refuse* to say them back – at least not (typically) for a LONG while – until we are on the same page about WHAT IT MEANS.

          Even in my marriage, I have to constantly clarify. Because I have a very constant viewpoint when it comes to love, and my husband… Well, his “I love you” to/about his girlfriend means something vastly differentvto him than does his “I love you” to/for/about ME. It can be confusing.

          And you’re right: You CAN’T know how life will change you. We go through changes both as individuals and as units. Sometimes with all the patience and grace of a hurricane. Those storms are not always possible to weather.

          1. Jayne

            The definitions of words as vast as “love” change as we ourselves have more experiences and so our definition of what promise is must change too. I do not believe in keeping promises that you grow out of because they were promises … Of course you have to pick THE TWO words that are as valuable and as malleable as 24k gold itself!!!

          2. Jayne

            I DO believe in maintaining honor. That is the line in the sand. A promise can be undone because of change and growth in an honorable way. Compassion has a lot to do with all of this and my brain is hurting now. I’m better go cuss someone out for parking crooked.

  4. Jayne

    “wide as the ocean and as deep as a penny” was to insinuate vastness and unexpected shallowness of a subject that is always perceived as deep and NOT shallow. Simple answers can be found in shallow areas … I always looked in the deep ends and my answer wasn’t there. It was simple and clear in the shallow tide pool.

  5. dysfunctionalwomansdigest

    My thoughts on love are simply that the power is in the present moment. For that moment only can I truly say that I love someone and I cannot guarantee the future. I believe that the fear of being loved one day, and not the next, is primarily due to self-centered motives of “what is going to happen to me without you?” There are bonds of connected-ness that we ascribe to as a part of civilized society but emotions are not part of that agreement. Emotions are fickle and what is truth today, may not be truth in the future. Honestly, I would like to say it is otherwise, but that would not be authentic.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

      I’m not sure quite what you mean by “power” being in the moment, but admittedly I don’t consider love to be about power, so perhaps I’m having a semantical (is that a word?) block. Additional thoughts/interpretations in that direction would be most welcome.

      I have a hard time wrapping my head around “in the moment” when it negates – or has the potential to negate – in the next moment. It’s 4:37pm and I love you… Now it’s 7:43am and I don’t…? I’ve never experienced that kind of “love” – not from either side – so it is hard for me to understand. It seems flip, somehow. Untrustworthy. And if it is only momentary, how does one differentiate Love from other “feelings” like Lust or other slake-able sensations?

      You bring up a good point about fear. It is not a good basis for anything, most especially not a relationship. I have experienced a desire to have someone in my life long-term, but I have not experienced that desire accompanied by fear of losing them. I know many people do though. Or vice versa. I think perhaps it’s tied to the concept of Togetherness. The idea of We. Maybe it’s due to my independent nature, or possibly it’s related to being non-monogamous, but I don’t equate the two. “I love you” does not mean “We’re an item now, and as such, “we” is the pronoun of choice.” It *can* mean next-level decision-making and considerations and twining of lives (or facets thereof), but to me, that’s a separate thing entirely. In nerd speak: Correlation is not Causation.

      Hmmm, fickle emotions…

      [ . . . thinking . . . ]

      1. dysfunctionalwomansdigest

        Thank you for your response! We have an opportunity to get some great dialogue going! What I mean by “power is in the present moment” is simply that we only have this exact moment in which love may be expressed. I feel strongly that when someone finds themselves in a love relationship, that love may be temporary or permanent dependent on the viability of the pair to continue to bring whatever it is that each contribute. If, after a time, the purpose for the relationship has been learned and the lesson mastered, then the couple can choose to grow together or travel their own paths. In either case, the love expressed between the two does not diminish simply because of its lack of longevity; similarly, longevity does guarantee love. The choice to stay committed in a love relationship, is a form of duty and maturity. To say that “I love you, today” is more truthful that saying “I will love you forever” because we do not have the ability to see into the future. Some people lack the ability to commit to anyone (I see this all of the time with men who are in their 50s and have never been married) and I also look at our biology: we are stronger in a pair, so it is desirable to remain paired-up; this, however, is not “love” in the sense that I consider it to be which is unconditional and free. Keep in mind that I am also a romantic cynic! Please let me know what your thoughts…I very much enjoy your prose…DWD

        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          I am not so much a cynic as I am a pragmatic realist when it comes to romance. I know that people are people (read: fucked up humanoids with ‘issues’), that choosing to open up is also choosing to open myself to possibilities, and that getting hurt is one of those possibilities.

          Does all love last?

          In its original form, no. It changes over time. And that’s where, for those of us who choose longevity, we have to be mature in our expectations. The “drunk in love” phase is not actually love at all, but a biochemical response. I won’t say the words if that endorphin rush is in place. *That* is fleeting. The deeper settling, the maturation of emotion, the love in action, the unconditional affectionate regard for an individual and their individuality… When the honeymoon is over, and those things remain, then – and only then – will I say the words. Because those things are the roots from which all else can grow, regardless of coupledom or commitments or lack thereof.

          As you say, we don’t know the future. But we can venture toward it from a place of knowing, on a foundation more solid than a fleeting emotion.

          Or not. 🙂

        2. Mrs Fever Post author

          And, P.S.

          I was *nodnodnod*-ing to your “in the moment” explanation. Yes. “I love you, NOW” makes perfect sense to me in this context.

          The ‘forever’ thing…

          I’m still pondering that; I have conflicting viewpoints within myself, I think.

          1. Mrs Fever Post author

            Well, that and opposable thumbs. 😛

            The thing is, once I love, I just DO. It may change form (romantic to platonic to familial, etc) but it’s still there. So it has a starting point. Maybe. Or maybe it was just always there, waiting to be recognized, and therefore is ‘forever’ (as defined: eternal, without beginning or end).

            And I think of love through the eyes of a child, and through the eyes of an innocent, and through the eyes of the aged, the jaded, or the one whose basic needs on Maslow’s hierarchy are not being met, and the concept changes.

            And I think of my mother, who loves me for who I have become as well as for all the previous incarnations of myself.

            And I think if my (biological) father, who I loved once, but who killed that love – and the relationship – with his fists and his rage and his loaded gun. Do I love him? NO. Did I once? Yes, I did. And that childish love, because it was once, will always be. But that particular “forever” stays in the past; it is not the forever of continuance.

            If that makes any sense.

            Yet when I say “I love you,” I mean it. NOW, and going forward.

            So… You see? Conflicting views.

            And there are so many more facets to love than romance. Or types of love, if you prefer. It’s… Nebulous. At best.

            Welcome to my brain. 🙂

          2. dysfunctionalwomansdigest

            I love your brain! I don’t think that will change, either! I would really enjoy hearing more about your father. I, also, had a love/fear/repugnant/desperation-driven relationship with my father…interesting, huh? Thanks for your response…XO

          3. Mrs Fever Post author

            There’s nothing to tell, really. My father has been out of my life for nearly thirty years. The man I call “dad” adopted me, and while he’s no paragon, he was a step up. (My mother has terrible taste in men, which makes no sense to me, because her father was a prince. But it matters little whether I ‘get it’ or not; her life is hers. I’ve worked hard not to repeat her mistakes.)

          4. dysfunctionalwomansdigest

            Interesting, though…I am always fascinated with resilient women (and I include myself in that category) who challenge the formative information of personal development and continue forward to redefine their own values and contracts with life. My own father was a handsome, charismatic man who was a sex addict. He adored women and feared them but also acknowledged their strength. My mother is narcissistic and that left a far more indelible imprint on my psyche! However, I am resilient to the core and I have chosen to approach life on my terms using the information that has been given to make my own way. Thank you for your response!