I remember an old song that had the following stanza,
Love and marriage, love and marriage
They go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you, brother
You can’t have one without the other.
Now, some would say that whoever wrote this song was not married. We are acutely aware of couples who are wedded and definitely unhappy. Some have chosen to live together under the same roof, sleeping in separate rooms, involved in relationships outside of the marital bonds. So, in those instances, it would appear there is marriage, but, no love. Then, we look at couples, who have lived together for decades, seemingly content without that small piece of paper that does not define their union, a marriage license.
It would appear then, that you can have love without marriage. But, can you have marriage without love? Yes, you can.
If you are defining marriage only as a legal arrangement sanctioned by the government, sure. The legal system authorizes the licensing of realtors who don’t sell real estate, driver licenses for people who don’t drive. There is nothing on a marriage license that says love is mandatory.
But, if you are defining marriage as a relationship where two people are committed to sacrificially forgiving, without love, you will not have marriage. How else do you forgive betrayal and rejection without love? Without, forgetting old hurts/slights and releasing them, how is the slate wiped clean for new and fresh memories to replace the damaging ones, without love?
Boomer wisdom would encourage every married couple to seek to rekindle love if it is missing. Seek counseling if affordable and possible. Spend time remembering why you chose marriage to begin with. Those lofty goals to always see the good, and to downplay that which is not, is a great start to revitalizing the love in your marriage.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love. And, your marriage deserves it more now, than ever before. Be a role model. Model a marriage that is colored and quilted in LOVE.
Blessings to you!