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My Husband Doesn't Love Me - 5 Things You Can Do About It


My Husband Doesn't Love Me Anymore - 5 Tips for WivesPart 1 of 2

If you're feeling that your husband doesn't love you anymore, you may be right.  A lot of husbands, and wives, are not "in love" with their partners.  However, most men have told me that this doesn't mean they don't love their wives, they're just not "in love" with them. 

A husband told me last week in my counseling with men that he loves his wife "as a mom, but not as a wife."

So what can you do to get your husband to love you again?  Here are a few suggestions.

  1. UNCONDITIONAL Make your love of your husband unconditional.  Don't make it dependent upon his loving you.  When most of us feel unloved, it makes us resentful and angry.  This can have the negative affect of making us less attractive, which contributes to our partners loving us even less.  It also causes us to make our loving our partners conditional on them loving us first. (Note-Unconditional love doesn't mean accepting abuse.  If your partner is emotionally, verbally, or physically abusive, set limits on accepting this behavior while you love him)
  2. RESPECT This is a core need for men.  When men don't feel respected, they don't feel loved.  Like all of us, when we don't feel loved by someone, it's harder for us to them love back.  Look for ways that you can show your husband respect.  Such as asking for his input on a decision, including him in what's going on with the kids, or letting him handle things he's good at.
  3. Coming . . . The 3 remaining tips will be published next week.  Sign-up for our blog on the right side of this page and be sure not to miss the last 3 things you can do to get him to love you again (you can get notified by email or RSS feed).

Take a look at this article about another wife who feels that her husband doesn't love her: How to Save My Marriage - When My Husband Doesn't Love Me Anymore.

* This is the first article of two on 5 things you can do when you feel my husband doesn't love me anymore.  The 3 remaining tips will be published next week.  Sign-up for our blog on the right side of this page and be sure not to miss the last 3 things you can do to get him to love you again (you can get notified by email or RSS feed).

Husband Rater QuizHow to Get the Husband of Your Dreams

Learn how your husband rates compared to other husbands and help him get back to being the man you fell in love with. Take our Free Husband Rater Quiz (quizzes for both wives and husbands).



I hate it when counselors and help-websites talk about respecting your husband. Well, I don't know how to respect my husband. I guess I never learned how. I understand how to "respect your elders" and "respect someone's property and space", but how do i respect my husband. I just don't know how to do it. Can someone give concrete examples on what to do? What respect looks like? I am certain that is one major problem in our marriage is that I don't respect him. I have been disappointed in him so many times...maybe that's my problem. I have wrong expectations of him. Either way, I don't know what to do to change how I think of him. I assume that's necessary to have respect for him. Can anyone tell me how to respect my husband?
Posted @ Sunday, October 10, 2010 9:06 AM by Angie
Out of curiousity, do you provide this identical advice to us male clients? Is it also our job or responsibility to start providing unconditional love, or is it dependent on our partners making the first step? My wife was very frustrated when we recently attended our first counselling session... despite both of us saying we were equally at fault in our current issues and the therapist agreeing, only my wife was given "homework" and/or behavioural changes, much like the ones you outlined above, and a couple of others. I can, apparently, just keep keeping on the way I am. Is this common practice within the therapy community? If so, could you explain the theory behind this choice and reasoning? Thanks
Posted @ Friday, April 20, 2012 10:19 AM by m
M, You'll have to ask your therapist their reasoning for the homework. If you both have got changes you need to make, then I doubt that your wife will be the only one with homework. Probably just started there, but won't end there.  
As far as the advice in this post, yes it does apply equally to both partners. Although some aspects, such as respect, men need more than women; women need love more. -Kurt
Posted @ Thursday, April 26, 2012 9:25 AM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
I respect my husband. I try my best not to say anything that will upset him. And everything I say upsets him. He'd rather I didn't speak. He cannot be told he is wrong. I don't know what to do. I don't feel my husband doesn't love me "any more". I feel as if he never did and I'm just slow and it took me 15 years to figure it out.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 01, 2012 12:45 PM by Heidi
I don't believe respect has anything to do with not upsetting him by saying something he doesn't want to hear, but then I'm not a counselor, just a husband myself with marital problems like anyone else. 
I do need respect from my wife, more than she does. She needs my emotional side the most, she's very demanding like that. But I would explain "respect" to be more inline with honoring what he does or who he is, or at least place a value on it. Personally, I work 60 hours a week, and I want my wife to respect my time and efforts for our family. I want to feel there's a value on that. If she demeaned or didn't care about the things I did, I would feel disrespected.  
So again, I don't think not saying something to your husband to not upset him really qualifies for "respect", in less of course you're holding back discouraging or demeaning comments.
Posted @ Friday, May 04, 2012 9:33 AM by Ken
I try so hard to show an interest in his hobbies but I just am not. I thought its better to be honest in our marriage than lie and say that something he's done is wonderful when it's not. It's not that I think he doesn't love me he told me so in a phone call from overseas. I'm shattered and don't know what to do.
Posted @ Sunday, May 06, 2012 3:45 AM by L McCorkell
Ken, Thanks for sharing. You make some good points and I hope help Heidi and other women understand more where men are coming from. -Kurt
Posted @ Tuesday, May 08, 2012 1:41 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
L McCorkell, Try the suggestions under respect in the blog post, as well as what Ken above suggests. Talking to a counselor for more specific suggestions is another option.-Kurt
Posted @ Tuesday, May 08, 2012 1:43 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
Thank you for the helpful comments but now how do I get my husband to talk to me. He is still overseas and the only communication I've had is him telling me that he loves me but isn't in love with me and doesn't want " to do us anymore" . I can't ring him because I'm so devastated and am not making any sense but friends have said he's clear and quite adamant that we're over. Is there any hope because I don't want to lose my 20 year marriage
Posted @ Wednesday, May 09, 2012 5:28 AM by Lou
@L McCorkell 
My wife and I really aren't interested in each other's hobbies either, and really more than that; Hobbies, music, religion, etc. We don't share the same interests in many things. But that's not to say I don't appreciate or respect her perspective, her interests, etc. It really has taken years for us to come to this point, to be honest though. For the first 8 or 9 years of our marriage, she would just get upset every time I disagree or have a different view point, or if I went off to do my own thing that didn't include here. Through these last 5 years, she's really come around to understand more that we can appreciate each other for our differences, and it's actually gotten MUCH better around the house with her. I don't know specifically how or what she changed, but I've had to work with her almost the whole way. 
I think you're confusing what respect might actually be. In my opinion, you don't have to be interested in his hobbies, those are his and probably his personal getaway/space, but you can still respect HIM. 
I can only guess at this point, at the problems you're having. Is your marriage difficulties due to him desiring you to be involved in his hobbies? 
I'm just trying to talk with you and give you another perspective. I'm not a counselor and I don't mean to offend.
Posted @ Monday, May 14, 2012 8:28 AM by Ken
I don't think you can make your husband of 20 years talk to you. You need to discover why he's fallen out of love with you, or why he wants to pursue a life without you. I think that much he owes you after 20 years.  
It's possible that you may need to accept that he doesn't want to continue the marriage. Either way, you should probably seek professional counseling for yourself. 
There's too much I don't know to offer advice. I feel like I'd be assuming too much.
Posted @ Monday, May 14, 2012 8:57 AM by Ken
Lou, Be patient, give him some space and don't push the matter with him, and get some guidance from a counselor. -Kurt
Posted @ Friday, May 18, 2012 8:15 AM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
Thank you - this has really helped!
Posted @ Sunday, August 26, 2012 11:48 AM by Beth
im really upset :( like i dont know what to do , although that helped alot. my husband and i dont have any children because he doesnt want me to have a baby... and he wont tell me whhy , but i can tell by the way he acts towards me when i bring it up. he already has 2 kids but the mom has em. so can anyone tell me or help me find out why he acts rude about having a baby with me?
Posted @ Monday, September 17, 2012 12:10 AM by pamela
my husband tells me he had fallen out of love from me, he wanted freedom, he wanted to find himself, why he committed an affair, but still promises he'll be back after solving his unresolved problem, the same person i married to. a part me is telling he's sincere but the other is not. can you give me your opinion?
Posted @ Sunday, October 07, 2012 8:43 AM by ces
A year ago, my husband's job asked him to work out of state. He did so and would come home on the weekends for 36 hours. After the children finished school in June, we made the move too. I knew it would be a tremendous adjustment for all of us to be a family once again. 
There never was any thought or reason to believe he had/ ever had an affair. However, he is out of the house 14+ hours a day. Sex is scarce and when we do have sex, half way through, he becomes flaccid.  
He had recently taken a week off from work- the fist time off he has taken in 2 two years. While the kids were at school, he did a lot of work around the house, rather than try to spend some time with me. I could see that he was completely unable to unwind. Two days prior to going back to work, he actually sat on the couch with me and snuggled while watching TV together. I was wonderful. 
Last night (4 days since snuggling) I lost it. I'm so many miles away from my family, my friends, my kids are missing home and he's constantly doing something in the house rather than being a part of the family. 
I called him out on breaking a promise he had made with the kids in helping with a school project. I saw this coming and so I just did it with them. I know he does not like being criticized, but you just can't do that to children. Not when they felt the loss of him over the last year. 
He came out with a round about version of "I don't love you anymore" and then proceeded to tell me how he has no time or abilities to focus on anything but his career. He also told me this has been going on for a long time, we don't see eye o eye on anything (This blew me away being I wasn't aware of such), and there is no point in both being miserable. He told me he doesn't want to have sex and then he doesn't want to have sex with me. He then said that he was willing to give up his marriage and children for his career. 
His job gave him this opportunity and we agreed that the move would be better financially and a better place to raise our kids. The job also sort of made it clear that this is a "sink or swim" kind of situation. I understand the distress he is feeling with so much pressure and never would ever wish to remove in the very least, his children out of his life.  
While I don't fully understand how he could feel this way, I have been trying real hard to be supportive and understanding. I have made sure to try not to add to the stress level, but now I can't help but feel very betrayed. Why take us away from what was familiar and what was always home just to dismiss myself and the kids? I see his downward spiral and I'm trying to hold on not to see him crash and burn. I feel lonely, lost and unloved.  
How do I get my husband back?
Posted @ Wednesday, October 17, 2012 8:23 AM by Lori
Lori,I really felt for you when I read your letter. And also for your husband. From his point of view I would imagine that he has had to overcome the fact that he has given up so much of his life to be able to provide for your family. It was a complete sacrifice to give up all other aspects of his life and only focus on his career. After a time that career becomes his life. For him I am sure he feels you demand more than he can give. On a level he must feel he has given all he can give. In the way he has learnt to live he also cannot see how much of a sacrifice you have made to raise your family all by yourself. He has forgotten how to engage with you and your kids. That's why he tries to busy himself with fixing things around the house and also why he appears to lose interest during sex. It's difficult for him,so difficult to change the way heh as learnt to survive. And I totally get your frustration, your devastation of putting everything on hold, and now when you are finally together,he doesn't or can't to the party. It leaves you feeling unloved and wondering if it was worth it to stick it out all these years. If I were you, I would tell your husband how much he means to you, I would tell him how much you appreciate his sacrifice. Let him know that you are his soft place to fall. The fact that he can't carry on in sex is most likely(even though he's adios)not you, it's probably because he feels so low about himself.  
Posted @ Monday, October 29, 2012 3:48 PM by Annie
I feel like my husband is falling out of love with me. Since I became pregnant with our daughter, nine years ago, he pretty much quit going places and doing things with me. He will not participate in any activities outside the home with us. I became very dissapointed in him when he didn't even show up to watch our daughter cheer for a football game. Made me lose a little respect for him. We will go to the grocery store together and out to eat every once in a while, but that is it. I feel like when he misses out on these activities it pushes us apart. I invite him to go places with us all of the time and he just laughs at me. I don't expect to spend every waking moment with him, but I feel like he is missing out big time by not sharing life with us. He says he loves me, but I feel like he feels he's obligated to. I try to talk to him about my day and he seems uninterested. I don't know what to do. I love him, but I'm tired. Tired of trying. I don't want to seperate, but something has to give soon. I'm tired of not feeling loved. I think he is selfish for not doing things with our daughter. I plan activities for our daughter for her benefit, not mine. I feel like he should be involved in some way in her activities, but he doesn't care. That makes me lose respect for him. So how can I respect him if he doesn't earn it?
Posted @ Friday, November 02, 2012 7:30 PM by Christina
Well I have been with my husband one year 1 month , about in October he changed for me went from so much love to ignoring me most the time I don't understand I so everything for him , we had a fight and he still upset he said he for gave me but I don't think so , so he email 2 ex girlfriends I god out he said he was depressed I told him it was wrong I was going to leave he told me sorry he would never do it again , I was so hurt but I stayed , he use to hold my hand in the car now never , and I want to make love all the time he acts tired , but has it when he what's it , don't tell me all the sweet loving words like before we are new in our relationship , so why so fast to change I'm so tired I want to be happy how do I make him love me like before ?
Posted @ Tuesday, February 05, 2013 7:48 PM by Barbara
this is a load of crap.
Posted @ Monday, March 25, 2013 12:06 AM by loadofcrap@gmail.com
I posted back in October. I want you all to know that my husband did leave me two days later. I later found out that he had several affairs over the course of three years.  
I am writing today to share with you the incredible journey I have taken. I realized after the anger, fear and heartache, that without blaming myself or blaming him; I had to figure out what changed in our relationship to allow him to finally cross that line he never crossed before. 
For starters, our communication became completely broken. I spilled out everything I was feeling... in the not so nicest of ways and he bottled everything up and shut down. My desires for intimacy and affectionate actions, such a cuddling on the couch became demands and verbal shame for him to do so. Did this make him want to spend more time with me or the kids? No. It drove him beyond the point of return.  
In the 5 months of being separated, we filed for divorce. I found myself in this all. I forgot that not only did I exist under all the demands of being a wife and mother, but I also realized that I forgot I had a marriage to him.  
I'm not saying his affair was a punishment to fit the crime. It was an easy solution for him to wander and forget. I took that time to change my ways and get back in touch with me. 
He motioned to stop the divorce and moved back in with us. Our relationship had two choices- End more amicably or have a better relationship than we ever had before. 
So far, it's been better than we ever experienced.  
I am not going to suggest for one minute that residual insecurities disappear magically. They don't. Be open. Be logical. Be honest with your spouse and especially yourself. Seek therapy for yourselves and together. Be sure you give your children the same opportunity too. Heal as an individual, as a couple and most importantly, as a family.  
If anyone wants to discuss this further, I am willing to do so. I know how distraught everyone here is. It is the ugliest and scariest feeling to have. Best wishes and may you all find what you're looking for.
Posted @ Saturday, April 06, 2013 10:41 AM by Lori
Dear Lori, 
Could you email with some advice going through he'll right now and wondered if you could email me tamsindunn@live.co.uk. Thanks elizabeth
Posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 2:28 PM by elizabeth
I have been married for 6 years and together with my husband for 11 years. I started dating him when I was 17. We moved in together and I got pregnant a year later. We didn't get married until my son was 4 years old. We have had our arguments and fight but we always seemed to get through them. I will admit that we have said some horrible things to each other. I've told him that He is a horrible father and that I do not respect him, that he does not love me and so on. I said all of those things because he was very distant from me and our son not because I meant them. About a month ago we got into a huge fight and I told him that I wanted him to leave. When i said that I didn't really want him to leave I was looking for him to fight for me and let me know that he loves me. He left that night to his friend house and said that he need some time to figure out if he wanted us anymore. I agreed to him spending the wee there but freaked out the second night and called him and begged him not to leave us. He came home the next day and was very cold to me. He said that he wasn't in love with me anymore but he loved me and that he wanted to try to work things out. i did everything I possibly could to try to make him happy and it seemed like it didn't matter to him. I was doing all of the work and he would just come home from work, go running, sit on his cell phone and go to bed. He just keeps telling me that he is not happy. When I ask his why he says he's not in love with me. when I ask what dose not in love mean to you he says I don't know. He is under a ton of stress at work and I know that his is depressed. I don't want to separate my family and I'm willing to do anything to save our marriage. He did agree to marriage counseling. I hope it helps us.
Posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:59 PM by Amanda
Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:17 PM by NICOLE
Hi Lori,  
I felt your pain while reading about your journey and I would love to know if you could email some advice? I'm also going through he'll right now and wondered if you could email me?
Posted @ Sunday, October 13, 2013 7:49 PM by Chelly
I have no idea what respect is when it comes to my husband. Married 45+ years and since that day I've been depressed. I've been told I'm crazy, husband is gay or has something on the side, all these things are untrue. 
He may be a terrble person and I'm a fool for staying in the same house as him. Right after the 'I Do's' were said things changed. We did have sex on our wedding night my first and last.. He hated me sex, couldn't understand why any one in there right mind would do something so gross and disgusting to another human. He never explained to me why he felt the way he did, and he never let me try and help him. He decided to fix his problem by moving to our basement, he volenteered to work midnights, and I was never to bother him or talk to him. I wanted to leave but I had very little money and no where to go. I tried to talk to him many times only to get shut down. I had to decide what to do, I chose to stay which was wrong and I've kicked myself every day for the mistake. We still don't have a lot of money so I'm stuck and accepted my terrible error I made and finish my life alone and lonely.
Posted @ Friday, November 15, 2013 11:44 PM by Amy (Denver)
Well I don't know much about relationships myself, but all I know is that if we worship the grounds our partners walk in, then what does that makes us?...Im learning that we push our relationships to the edge when we say things that we shouldn't say to our husbands like, Why didn't you call me when you said you was? Or, why do you drink so much and hangout with your stupid friends who has no life? Or, where did you go that you didn't have time to just call me and let me know that your ok?... things like this will push any mens away from there dramatic wives..im one of them..So what's worse is that me and my husband live 5633 miles apart due to the immigration status...but, that shouldn't be any excuse for me to distrust my own husbands whereabouts..i learned that we've been apart for 9months too long and sometimes I feel like we are distancing ourselves so much because we need to be loved emotionally and physically.. so now its all about trust..not respect..respect is when you go clubbing n do something that will make your husband trust you more..not wanting the desire to cheat.. I found out now that a mans attraction is when you make yourself unavailable to him..i know it sounds stupid, but if your too clingy and needy, then he will only run as far away as possible...so in order to keep my marriage burning with fire, I would say things like, hunn, im going out drinking with my friends tonite and I won't be back to answer your calls because im gonna be busy dancing n drinking the nite away, and then bammm, he starts to sound as if he's kind of scared to say yes hunn its okay, but you keep pushing at it like baby, do you trust me? And husbands is like, well, its not you that I don't trust, its the mens in the clubs I don't trust, and bam, that's where he starts to wonder about you more, like, wow, my wife is not paying attention to me tonight..and that's one of the many secrets to use on your husband...being to clingy makes a man wonder why do I have to deal with this type of clingy women or a needy woman when there's so many out there that are not...so by saying things to avoid contact with hubby is working for me, I use to be the one who waits by the phone every time he decides he wants to call me, it can be a week and then he decides to call me, I don't call him anymore because I was the clingy n needy one on the other side of the fond, so now he calls n calls n sometimes the phone is ringing and he also texts me but the key is, don't answer it for sometimes, give yourself some ME time so your heart won't be jumping out to him everytimes he calls..making yourself unavailable is the perfect method of keeping your relationship n that fire rekindle..don't wait for him, go out n be yourself again like before you even got married..making yourself unavailable is the key to him of missing you and wanting you and of course giving him back that spark again when you first dated.... 
Posted @ Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:33 AM by michelle
My husband and I have been married for over 6 years and dated for 2. We got pregnant after just after we got engaged. Our relationship changed after I got pregnant. My husband had a difficult time accepting the changes women go through when they are pregnant and told me I needed to control my emotions. Things really changed in our relationship because of this. We both said a lot of things that were not very nice. Recently I have had a difficult time as my husband is very distant and cold with me. He will have sex with me, but only if I initiate, and there is NO cuddling, it is cold. There is no intimacy (we sit at seperate ends if the couch, no hand holding). What is worse is I complain about it and tell him I can tell he is not happy and ask him how I can make him happy. He tells me it is what it is. I have told him that he is an amazing father, and I can see how important the kids are to him, but in the end it will be the two of us. I have mentioned making him happy and the possibility if splitting. It is really difficult living with someone who does not love you! He is an amazing man, but he does not love me!
Posted @ Saturday, August 16, 2014 8:18 AM by Kay
Kay, Just as people fall out of love, they can also fall back in love too. There are posts on this blog discussing that -- look under Relationship Advice and Marriage Problems. Get some professional counseling help with or without him so you can learn how you can rekindle the love. -Kurt
Posted @ Saturday, August 16, 2014 8:20 PM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
I would like to answer the post by Amy in Denver who posted Friday, November 15, 2013 11:44 PM. 
Amy, it totally sounds like your husband has some very serious issues that you simply can not be expected to handle. The fact that this has been going on for 45+ years tells me that the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Short of heavy duty therapy for each of you individually and as a couple, there is nothing you can do for your husband. He has to want to help himself.  
You, however, are another story entirely. Get yourself into some counselling pronto. If you can't afford to pay try other options like a local pastor. Talk to somebody! Get yourself some help and live your life. Life is a gift and very precious, yours as much as anyone else's. There are social groups out there that don't cost a dime to join. Join a church if you can find one that shares your beliefs. If you can't share yourself with your husband, share yourself with the world. You do not have to live alone and lonely. 
As for money, start putting some aside. Even if it's just a dollar at a time. Eventually it will add up. Find something you love to do and do it. Maybe it will be something you can use to make extra money. You didn't mention whether or not you work. If not, consider getting a job if you can find one you think you will enjoy. You don't mention your age, but if you have been married 45+ years, I'm guessing you may feel your age could be a problem with getting a job but don't worry about it...many places want to hire mature individuals because they know how work! Another plus is that some jobs come with Employee Assistance Programs that include free counselling sessions. 
I'm making a lot of assumptions here and I hope I haven't offended. There is one thing I have learned in my 50 years...just because a person in your life has made some choices that affect your life in a negative way doesn't mean we have to take it lying down. We maybe can't change that person, but we can change how we react to their actions! You have a life to live and you have a right to live it!!!!
Posted @ Sunday, August 31, 2014 10:16 AM by Sue
Sue, Great advice and encouragement for Amy. Agree with it all. Thanks for sharing! -Kurt
Posted @ Monday, September 01, 2014 8:14 AM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
About "respect" - I try to include him and ask for his opinion as much as possible but he is indifferent every single time, whether it's an important or unimportant decision. His favorite answer is "I don't know" about whether to move or not, or simply what to eat tonight. How can I encourage him to be a part of the decision making if he constantly cops out every time? What can I do?
Posted @ Sunday, September 14, 2014 8:23 AM by Jessica
About "respect - I give my husband many opportunities to make decisions or help in deciding things, but he's always (ALWAYS) indifferent regardless if it's an important or unimportant decision. Whether it's about if/when/where we should move, or what to eat for dinner, his favourite answer is "I don't know." What can I do to get him to be more of a participant, or how can I show him respect if he won't let me?
Posted @ Sunday, September 14, 2014 8:39 AM by Jessica
Jessica, Try asking him how you could talk to him differently so he'd be more interested. Maybe he'll give you a suggestion of something you could do differently. However, it's very possible that this is more him than you. Take a look through the posts under the tag, 'Understanding Men,' for suggestions on dealing with a man who won't change. Get professional counseling help if you have to. -Kurt
Posted @ Monday, September 15, 2014 8:03 PM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
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