When a partner feels like they're not in love it can be one of the most difficult circumstances to have to face. Do you keep trying, do you call it quits, or do you possibly seek help? What’s even worse though is when only one partner feels like they’re out of love. We work with many couples in this situation and get many questions from women in particular asking, “How can I get my husband to love me again?” Below is an inquiry from a woman wondering exactly that and my response.
How can I get my husband to love me again? He told me 5 months ago he wanted a divorce and that he wasn't in love with me anymore. He was going to leave after the holidays. They came and went and he stayed. He was going to leave in February then it was eventually now it is after our daughter graduates. He asked me to attend his family Easter dinner with him but still insists he is done. I am not sure that he is and that is why he hasn't left even when I told him to. He won’t do counseling and doesn't talk about his feelings. I feel he must still feel something if he hasn't left or filed for divorce. I think my husband is having a midlife crisis and doesn't know what he is doing. Is it too late to try and save my marriage and get my husband to love me again?" –Alissa
Alissa is in a situation that is far too common, especially during the middle years of life. Her concern that her husband may be having a midlife crisis is a valid one, but it’s not the only possible explanation for what’s going on.
“How can I get my husband to love me again?” is a question I hear from women a lot. First, we need to remember that we cannot ‘make’ another person do anything. A good phrase to keep in mind is “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” This is a hard truth to accept when you love somebody and they don't love you back. However, fighting this truth just makes things worse.
Second, it's hard to accept your partner's words when their behavior is inconsistent and contradictory. If your husband really isn't in love with you anymore and is done as he has told you, then you're right, it doesn't make sense that he hasn't left. The reason he hasn’t is likely as you suspect because he's confused about what he wants and what he should do. Just as you're confused, so is he.
Lastly, the way to get your husband to love you again is by drawing (attracting) him back to you, not by forcing him to love you. What drawing him back can look like will be different for everyone. Attracting him back to you doesn’t only have to mean altering your appearance, losing weight, or anything else superficial. Although, if you’re physically unhealthy, or feel uncomfortable with yourself, doing those things can do a great deal for your self-esteem and confidence. And increased self-confidence and self-satisfaction are, all by themselves, very attractive qualities.
The key is to focus on less on fixing him and more on how you can make yourself happier. You can’t control someone else’s feelings or responses, but you can do things for yourself that create contentment, pride, and happiness. When he sees you spending your energy on yourself rather than on him it will likely get his attention.
How To Get Your Husband To Love You
Here are some ideas on how else to answer the question, "how can I get my husband to love me again?"
- Give Him Space. A big mistake is to fear that letting him go means losing him, when actually you can lose somebody by holding on to them too tightly.
- Go to Counseling. Getting a professional's opinion on yourself and your relationship can be eye opening and invaluable. Don't worry that he won't go with you and go without him (marriage counseling can still work with only one person).
- Look At Yourself. Take some time to look closely at yourself and your behaviors. Generally, in a circumstance like this there are issues that both partners need to address. This could mean changing a behavior he dislikes, such as nagging or too often reminding him of the things he does wrong. Maybe it could possibly be something about your appearance. It’s also a good idea to ask yourself if you're truly happy with yourself and your life. It could be that your own internal discontent is part of what he’s seeing in you and that it’s not making him happy either. Above all, don't be desperate to keep him -- desperation is a big turnoff.
Your husband almost certainly has a lot of things he needs to change about himself. But it's a big mistake to focus on these at first because he's probably not willing to hear that from you. Nevertheless, it’s still possible for your husband to love you again. By looking inward first and making sure that we ‘re the best version of ourselves, our partners are better able to see the things they fell in love with in the beginning and rediscover the love the once felt.
Making positive changes to ourselves can change our relationships. So no, it’s not too late to get your husband to fall in love with you again.
Will this get your husband to love you again? I don't know and neither will you until you try. I've seen some pretty cold hearts soften though with this approach. I know it doesn't seem logical to focus on yourself when he obviously has issues, but you have to accept that he's not ready to face them yet.
So start where you can. How can I get my husband to love me again? Shift your focus to yourself and creating your own happiness that isn’t dependent upon him.
Wondering how to get your husband to love you too? Can you relate to any part of Alissa's story? Please share your experience with others below.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published July 28, 2012, updated January 09, 2018, and has been updated again with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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