I've been struggling with this one for a while now, mostly because, at several points, I have thought this about my wife. But I think I finally understand it and I now recognize just how badly phrased and immature it is.
I think that worrieddad's post
is the most relevant, though it's still too cynical for me. I love you,
When I think of my W, I want her to be successful in life, I want her to be happy, to protect her from pain, etc. I do love her. I always will. but I'm not in love with you anymore
I think that this is badly worded and it is so badly worded because of all of the bulls***t that we're fed from the time that we're born. I think that people associate 'in love' with that desire to stay together. After all, All you need is love
and when you have it you will "live happily ever after"(tm). This is such a childish and naive view on love, life and marriage and yet I am guilty of holding that concept close to my heart for so much of my life.
I think it simply means "I don't want
to be with you anymore", as worrieddad said, 'for whatever reason', infidelity or otherwise.
What I'm not sure of is whether, in the person's head that is saying it, is whether they are just trying to not say "I don't want you" by softening it with "not in love with you" or whether they are actually equating 'in love' with that desire to stay together.
For me at least, I absolutely do love my W, as a friend and even as lover. But I just don't want to be with her anymore. But if I didn't lover her, I wouldn't have gone through as much pain as I have through this process.
And yet I wonder how that translates to people who hear it. Do they hear, "I don't want you" or do they hear "they don't love me".
I can see why people read so much negativity into this statement (it is a rejection after all) but the person saying it wouldn't be saying it if they didn't actually care about the person that they are saying it to. Love doesn't make a marriage successful, it's just one piece of the puzzle. An important piece mind you, but it's still just one piece.