I Can’t Make You Love Me…

15 Jul

I’m don’t pretend to love country music, but I am a fan of Dollie Parton and Bonnie Raitt, especially Bonnie’s heart wrenching song,  I Can’t Make You Love Me. If your too young to remember, here are the lyrics:

turn down the lights
turn down the bed
turn down these voices
inside my head
lay down with me
tell me no lies
just hold me close
don’t patronize
don’t patronize me

i can’t make you love me if you don’t
you can’t make your heart feel
somethin’ it wont
here in the dark,in these final hours
i will lay down my heart
and feel the power if you wont
no you wont
cuz i can’t make you love me
if you don’t

i’ll close my eyes
then i wont see
the love you dont feel
when your holdin’ me
morning will come
and i’ll do whats right
just give me till then
to give up this fight
and i will give up this fight

The reason, I brought up this song is because Dr. B delivered some shocking news to me this morning, a couple whom we dearly love and care for are getting separated.  Dr. B was told by one of the spouses that the other said they were no longer in love.  As we discussed this turn of events, Dr. B brought up the Bonnie Raitt song – I Can’t Make You Love Me.  It’s a fundamental truth that you cannot make someone love you.  Even after 20 years of being together.   If your spouse has lost the desire, the fight, the fire to continue loving you (we all know that truly loving someone is a conscious decision you make everyday), then why stay?  I don’t believe you can continue to stay in a marriage knowing that your spouse does not love you, and there isn’t anything you can do about it.  Isn’t that what life is all about, Love?

I guess we saw it coming.  Over the past few months, being around this couple was “hard”, as one would belittle, and berate the other without rhyme or reason.  I guess that sometimes in a marriage a couple simply grows apart–for whatever reasons.  So ultimately it’s up to you to decide what you’re going to do.  Whatever decision this couple makes isn’t going to be an easy one.

What advice or words of wisdom can you give to this couple?  The floor is your….

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3 Responses to “I Can’t Make You Love Me…”

  1. Cindy July 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Two very dear friends of mine separated last year and one of them stayed with us for quite some time while they worked on their marriage. It was stressful for everyone (esp me since I was so close to both of them) but I’m glad I could give him safe harbor during that time, and he had my husband to talk to whose been through a divorce. Not with me, of course. 🙂

    They hired lawyers, were on the brink of divorce when the wife, who initiated the separation for the same reason, asked her husband to go to counseling. They went once a week together and each separately once a week. Two months later, she asked him come home realizing that should couldn’t do it all like she thought she could, and that the grass was definitely not greener.

    They continue to go to counseling, although just once a month as a couple now and it’s wonderful to see them so happy. Sharing the responsibilities of marriage, not hiding behind their child or their work but making an effort to make the marriage work.

    My words of wisdom? Seek counseling, even if you have to try a couple of different counselors, and go to couples sessions as well as individual sessions. And STICK WITH IT, even when it seems pointless and ridiculous because it does take time. Sometimes, it helps to get an outside person to help you see what’s inside.

    Even if the marriage does end up in divorce, at least the couple can learn to communicate and come to terms with what happened.

    • natashawilliams July 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm #


      Thanks for the comment. I’m so glad your friends made the decision to go to counseling, it can make a world of difference for many couples. I told Dr. B to to extend an offer to the one spouse to stay with us. I feel that our home would be a neutral place to retreat to. I hope they do seek counseling, like your friends, before they make a decision, especially since they have children together.

  2. Happy Nappy Bride July 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    It’s amazing how a song can be so beautiful and so heart wrenching all at the same time.

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