This article is from Issue 52: July/Aug 2011

Is Falling in Love a Myth?

Why we need to redefine what love is.

Sherry and Jake had been married for almost nine months. Nine heart-wrenching months.

Looking back at their relationship, they weren’t really sure what went wrong. Sherry and Jake had met at their campus Bible study two years before as seniors in college, and frankly, it was love at first sight.

She was sitting with a group of girls, trying to make conversation about the tiny fraction of things she could find in common. She immediately caught Jake’s attention because she was nothing like any of the other girls Jake had met. Sherry was different. She had an edge to her, an outside-of-the-box mentality you either loved or hated. A boldness and a courage that was not afraid to stand alone. From her belief system to her style of clothing, Sherry was never bashful about being who she was.

Their connection was instant. They had so many common beliefs, dreams and ideas. Hour-long conversations passed by like minutes, and spending time together never seemed to get old. Their many shared passions only fueled the passion they felt for one another. It was a feeling like they had never experienced before. They wanted to conquer the world together. And after a year and a half of dating, they decided they would and got married.

Fast-forward two years, to Jake and Sherry sitting in my office with tears in their eyes. Just by looking at them you could tell they were made for each other. They had so much in common—from their musical taste to their theological beliefs and all the way down to their matching tattoos. But something had gone terribly wrong.

The goals and dreams they had together had somehow fizzled in the daily grind of marriage. Their passions for conquering the world had never launched the way they thought they would. Bitterness, anger and selfishness had crept into their marriage in a very real and unpredictable way. They were left with broken dreams and broken hearts, and an emptiness that left them wondering if this marriage had been the right thing to do.

The uncontrollable feelings that had led them to fall in love had somehow taken con- trol yet again, though this time, they were falling right back out of love.