Part 1 of 2
Have you ever thought your husband doesn't love you and wondered why? Maybe you’ve asked him, and he says he does, but you still don't feel it. Or maybe he says he's changed, or you've changed. Or maybe he just ignores you. So, you're left with the pain of feeling he doesn't love me.
That feeling that “he doesn’t love me” is incredibly painful and confusing. And sadly, it’s not uncommon in long-term relationships. That doesn’t mean it’s okay or healthy at all, but if you’re in a situation feeling that your husband no longer loves you, you’re not alone.
Why Doesn’t He Love Me Any More?
To help you begin to answer why he doesn't love you, let's look at some excerpts (in italics) from my Google Hangouts on Loving Someone Who Doesn't Love You.
The topic today is talking about a specific problem related to relationships and that’s loving someone who doesn't love you. I am going to talk a little bit about some of the situations where that happens, some of the ones that I typically run into in the counseling that I do, and make a couple of suggestions.
In the situation when you love someone who doesn't love you back there are a variety of different scenarios that can occur.
You can be single and be interested in somebody who isn't really interested in you back - we've all probably experienced that in some form or another. But the most common situation when one person loves and the other doesn’t, and where it's most problematic, is for those in an actual relationship. If you're in a committed relationship with somebody, perhaps a marriage, it probably started out as a loving relationship. And if it has now turned into one that feels one-sided, you’re likely feeling lonely, lost, and confused.
The typical reason for these feelings is the tendency for people to grow apart. If we're not intentional about really growing the relationship and working at building love continually, we're going to slowly drift apart. This can happen to all couples if they’re not careful. So, we have to keep a focus on keeping the love active and alive -- nourishing it like we would a garden.
The answer to why doesn't he love me could be partly found here – you’ve grown apart. If he says you both have changed, and that's why he doesn't love you, the above is generally how that happens.
Growing apart is typical. One of the problems that causes this is life stressors. We've all got demands like work, kids, dealing with money, health and extended family issues. All these things can interfere with being able to really feel like we're engaged with our partner.
There can be other things that can be contributing to growing apart. Attraction can be gone, and a lot of times when we hear that, in particular for men, we think it's sexual attraction. We don't find our partner sexually attractive. Actually, for a lot of guys it isn't so much that. A lot of times they just don't feel attracted to their partner because of some relationship and behavioral type things. I was working with a guy last year and he described his partner, when they would talk and deal with issues, like a pit bull who would just continually come after and after and after him. It wasn’t so much that he wasn’t attracted to her physically, he wasn’t attracted to her emotionally because of how she treated him.
In answering your question, why he doesn't love me, you've got to be willing to look at yourself and see how you could be contributing to his not feeling love towards you.
So the attraction can take on several different components, which can lead into us feeling like we don't love the other person and then the other person feels like their loving someone who doesn't love them back. Other things that can develop a lot of times when we are not feeling loved is we can reach outside the relationship. We run into affairs happening. Sometimes there can be midlife crisis events happening for people. A lot of times that’s what men struggle with. Or there can be other things that are taking attention away, like porn and those types of things.
What You Can Do If Your Husband Doesn’t Love You
If it feels like your husband no longer loves you it doesn’t have to be the end of your marriage. There are actually ways to bring the love back. But doing that will take some work.
It may also mean facing some uncomfortable truths about yourself and your contribution to the current circumstances. In a situation like this the fault usually lies on both sides. That can be difficult to accept. The positive is that it also means you may have some power to get it to change.
So, start by looking in the mirror. Do you like the person you see? Feeling that you do is the biggest first step on the way to bringing the love back to your marriage.
Once you have evaluated your part, you’ll need to work on changing the areas you can control. You can’t force him to love you, but you can choose behaviors that remind him of the person he fell in love with and why he loved you in the first place. We all grow and change, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’ve lost sight of who are or were, or have become someone you don’t recognize, then chances are he’s noticed too.
Love seems simple, but it’s really very complicated.
This is just the first stage of beginning to understand why you feel he doesn't love me, and the possible reasons why he really may not love you, at least not like he used to. In the next post, When He Doesn't Love You Back, we'll discuss some of the other factors in why couples don't love each other anymore.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published Aug 31, 2013 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- When He Doesn't Love You Back (Part 2)
- What It Means When Someone Tells You They Love You, But Aren't In Love With You
- If There's Another Woman, Should You Confront Her?
- Get More Help When the Love is Gone