My girlfriend and I have been together for a year and a half.. our marriage has died, literally. We don't have sex nor the urge, we fight constantly.. but we can't let go of that love we once had. What is your advice to save it?
Love is a Verb
Love is a verb. We generate love through actions - be that acts of kindness and thoughtfulness (sending notes, saying "I love you," offering a back rub, etc) or acts of service (i.e. cleaning the house, paying bills, running errands, etc). Love is something that we do, not something that we "have." So when you say you don't have sex and you fight constantly, I'm inclined to ask, "what love is it that you are generating that you can't let go of?" (read more about this)
Healthy balanced relationships involve three main ingredients, including: passion, commitment, and intimacy. It sounds as though you have a strong commitment (we can't let go of that love we once had), but you are lacking in the areas of intimacy (connectedness, respect, caring, compassion, sharing, etc) and passion (feelings of attachment physically and emotionally that create a sense of aliveness, excitement, and joy with one another). There are many reasons you may be struggling with the sexual aspect of your relationship (see my post on this topic).
If this is true, your work revolves around the areas of passion and intimacy. Seems to me you'd be best off focusing first on the intimacy. There's a great book by Mathew Kelly titled, Seven Levels of Intimacy, wherein he describes in great detail the ways in which we deepen our intimacy with another through sharing. If you are unable to share without fighting, well, then I must resort to my standard suggestion: seek counseling! If you're in Indy, come see me, if not, seek out a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist who is specifically trained to work with couples. (www.imagotherapy.com)
by Michele O'Mara, LCSW