Turn down the lights.
Turn down the bed.
Turn down these voices
Inside my head.

How love turns to something else is a story older than we'll ever get to be. But it's a story we all know, either by real experience or by the sad tales of those we've known. A marriage that's lasted years and years suddenly goes sour, seemingly overnight. A relationship that you counted on and trusted falls apart, seemingly out of nowhere.

It's not overnight. It's not out of nowhere. There have been warning signs that were blinking so loudly and glaringly that no one (except you) could have missed them. You can't count on your mate to always tell you what's on their minds. You have to guess a lot of the time. And you should know, after several years, whether you're guessing correctly or not. I try to guess almost every day. It’s important to stay married if you can.

Lay down with me.
Tell me no lies.
Just hold me close;
Don't patronize...
Don't patronize me.

A good friend of mine is going through a divorce right now. That's why he's not around that much these days. And his wife is his childhood sweetheart. They have two little boys together, and have been married longer than I have (which seems like an eternity). I worry about his children. I worry about him.

But what's done is done, and now I think about another good friend of mine who is getting married for the first time in a couple of weeks. He and his new bride are old enough to know better, so maybe it'll turn out fine. I do hope so. You would know both of these E2 users well, if you hang around here very much. I won't name names.

But there is one thing you can know for sure: You can't make someone love you when they don't. And the harder you try, the worse it gets. It's a chemical thing, I think. And you can't change it once it's done. You can change the things you did that shot off those chemical receptors and caused this in the first place; if you care enough to do so.

'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't.
You can't make your heart feel something it won't.
Here in the dark, in these final hours,
I will lay down my heart and feel the power.
But you won't. No, you won't.
I can't make you love me if you don't.

We've all tried. We've all forced it. It won't work. It's like trying to turn a slotted screw with a Phillips head screwdriver. And the story has been told over and over, in a thousand different languages.

I, however, have never heard it told better than in this song by Bonnie Raitt. She didn't write this song, but she had the good sense to put it in her own words and music. A former Austin real estate appraiser, Allen Shamblin, wrote the song with a friend of his, Mike Reid.

I close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holding me.
Morning will come and I'll do what's right.
Just give me until then to give up this fight.
And I will give up this fight.

In her live version, the "give UP" is stretched out to make you understand how this is the most important line in the song.

It's a lie. She will not give up this fight. She'll not leave in the morning. She'll continue to play out this game until she is told to leave. It's the same lie you've told yourself and I've told myself and a hundred thousand million lovers have told themselves since the beginning.

"Feel the power." The power of getting naked and showing each other everything you have. That's a lot of power. How many secret-holders are walking around with your secret power right now? Do you remember them all?

'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't.
You can't make your heart feel something it won't.
Here in the dark, in these final hours;
When I lay down I feel the power,
But you won't.
I can't make you love me if you don't.

If you want to stay married, pay very close attention to those things you do which change the chemical receptors in your mate's brain. You can see it happening. And when you quit caring, you'll be listening to this song, alone, one day.

It's a sad as hell song to listen to all alone.

Bonnie Raitt -- Luck of the Draw

CST approved

I walk over to him to say goodbye before leaving for work. The red dress I'm wearing is shorter than usual. With matching red heels, it showcases my long, shapely legs.

He laughs.

I ask him why he's laughing. He responds, "Your dress is short!"

Confused, I ask him whether he thinks I have the legs to carry it off. He tells me that I do. He doesn't say anything more, but then he laughs yet again.

Once upon a time he adored by legs. Now I'm lucky if I get a second glance. Hell, I'm lucky if I get a FIRST glance!

As I kiss him goodbye and walk out the door, I realize I'm weary of the stinging pain and humiliation of rejection. Anger and sorrow are intermingled in my heart.

I will see the one who desires me today, perhaps for the last time. I have not given in to that desire. But I also know that he will not laugh when he sees me in my short, red dress.

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