Part 2 of 2
It can be really tough to love him when he doesn't love you back. Unreciprocated love can be one of the most painful circumstances to endure. We all need love. Most of us can love for a while without getting love back, but not forever. Too long in a circumstance like that and both people will start to suffer.
So what can you do when he doesn't love you back?
In the first article, He Doesn't Love Me, we started to look at some excerpts from my Google Hangout, Loving Someone Who Doesn't Love You. Some were very illuminating. Let's look some more to see what we can learn about what to do when he doesn't love you back.
When looking at the responses from couples in this situation, the person who actually is not loving often has a fairly passive aggressive attitude. Partners rarely go to the other and say, "I'm not feeling like the relationship is meeting my needs." Instead they will let things go along, allowing problems to go unaddressed and resentment to grow. This often just seems easier than facing a difficult and uncomfortable conversation. And because people don't want to deal with those types of issues, they end up doing the things I mentioned previously and look outside the relationship.
Many of us we avoid issues that we anticipate could create conflict. This often leads us to taking a passive aggressive approach to dealing with problems. So instead of telling you the painful truth when he doesn't love you, he avoids it.
Putting your head in the sand, however, will not make issues get better or go away. In fact, it most likely will make them much worse. When love has faded from a relationship, whether it is one-sided or on the part of both partners, there are signs. Waiting too long to respond to them makes those conversations more painful. And, as I mentioned, living in a relationship without love makes temptations seem more appealing and what’s worse - justifiable.
Betraying your partner with someone else is never justified, no matter how “out-of-love” you are. Once you have crossed the bounds of your relationship and initiated an affair – physical or emotional – you have opened up a whole new world of problems. There is nothing about this that will make things better and no explanation that will make your partner say, “Oh, its okay then.”
One of the keys to dealing with this is actually being really direct about addressing the problem. A lot of people aren’t comfortable doing that. They don't know really how to communicate very well, which is why somebody like me is in business to be able to teach people how to do that.
A common phrase I hear from a lot of guys is that they "love their partner," but they're "not in love" and that love is gone That difference a lot of people make between "loving" versus "being in love" is a lot of times at play when we are in a situation where someone is feeling that they're not being loved back.
What people sometimes don’t understand is that love changes over time. Couples or individual partners often get scared when that initial passion that was felt in the beginning starts to fade. They begin to believe that the love is simply gone. Couples who have been together for a long time will tell you is that those passionate feelings often come back. Life is complicated. There is work, family, kids, and many other distractions. As a couple you will face many tough times together. The absence of that star-struck feeling doesn’t have to mean things have gone bad, It may just mean as a couple (or as an individual) you’re working on, or focusing on, something else right now.
That being said, your husband not loving you back does happen. But it doesn’t mean you can’t bring the love back.
One of the reasons you may feel he doesn't love you back is because he really doesn't love you in the same way he used to. When men tell me, "I love her, but I'm not in love with her," their partner often feels he doesn't love her at all.
Love is something that is not just words. A lot of people misinterpret this or misunderstand this. It's really an action. It's a behavior. It's something that we really need to be actively doing and when we’re not, that contributes to the growing apart. Typical responses for the person who is feeling that they love someone who doesn't love them back a lot of times are problematic because they accept it and it becomes something that really becomes normal. Unfortunately, over time that enabling and just kind of accepting it allows some of the things I mentioned earlier, like an affair to happen. A lot of times people will minimize and excuse behaviors that they shouldn't be.
People don't just land in unloving relationships. They allow once loving relationships to grow into unloving ones. What started out as a loving relationship, slowly over time becomes less and less loving, until one day not loving each other back becomes normal. If you find yourself in a relationship with someone you don’t feel loves you back, here are some suggestions.
- Talk. The love may be fading, or perhaps your partner is distracted by something else and has no idea how his distraction is being perceived. Regardless, voicing your concern starts a conversation and that’s progress in the right direction.
- Consider what has changed. What is different now than when things were good? Did you stop doing things together that you enjoy? Do you treat each other differently now? Bringing back some of the things that existed when you were happy can help re-frame things and re-initiate some of the original feelings.
- Make new efforts. Being bored in your relationship can be mistaken for someone not loving you back. Shaking things up with new activities and new approaches to things can sometimes breathe life back into your relationship.
We really need to be able to be direct with our partner when we feel like there's a disconnect, when we are not feeling like we're getting the love that that we really need in the relationship. We really need to approach them and address that. A lot of people don't out of fear of what that might lead to, and that ends up further contributing to the relationship that falls apart because we just feel like we are loving someone who doesn't love us back.
When he doesn't love you back is a very painful place to be. But the key to changing it starts with honesty - with yourself and your partner. Remember, you didn't start out in an unloving relationship -- you both allowed your relationship to become one. Take responsibility for that you'll take the first step toward getting the love back that you want and deserve.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on September 29, 2013 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- Why Doesn't He Love Me? (Part 1)
- "I'm Out Of Love" - What Do I Do?
- I Have No Sexual Desire For My Fiancée
- Get More Help When the Love is Gone