Why Men Say I Don’t Love My Wife


    7 Min Read


    Hearing men say, “I don’t love my wife,” is nothing new for me. Not feeling in love anymore and not knowing what to do about it is one of the common reasons men come to Guy Stuff.

    Often by the time help is sought the problem has only gotten bigger. Frequently, that feeling of not being in love anymore propels men to make poor choices, like cheating on their wives, and these choices have caused even more problems.


    Since we all want to be loved, it shouldn’t be surprising that most of us will look for love somewhere else when we don’t feel in love or loved by the one we’re with.

    Many men who don’t feel in love with their wives are afraid to say it out loud to anyone, especially her. Sometimes they won’t even admit it to themselves. Instead, they’ll tell themselves they still love her even though their actions say otherwise.

    What Kind Of Guys Say I Don’t Love My Wife?

    Feeling like you’ve fallen out of love with you wife affects many men. Here are a couple of examples from men I’m working with.

    • A guy who waited until his 40s to get married and has been for just over a year, but now says he doesn’t love his wife. What’s made this such a big issue for him is that he isn’t attracted to her sexually, and it’s causing significant distress for both him and her.

    • Another man who’s been married almost 20 years and has 2 teenage kids says there are times when he feels he doesn’t love his wife anymore. Not always, but frequently enough for him to seek counseling help. He wants to love her, but the feeling just isn’t there a lot of the time.

    • The last guy found out 2 months ago his wife was having an emotional affair with a coworker. They both admit they’ve been drifting apart for the past 6 years. Being cheated on is going to cause anyone to question whether they still love their partner. Still, he’s felt this way for a long while, which is one of the many factors that led to her having an affair.

    I have been married to my wife for 27+ years and I now find my wife unattractive physically (body & looks) to the extent that I can't even compliment her in honest. I look at younger lady's with pretty faces, large booty and great shape. My wife knows this and that I had an affair. She was younger, pretty body and I fell in love with her. Now years after the affair is over I still can't love my wife. What should I do? HELP. "- Kevin

    Different Forms Of Love

    Most of the time when men say they don’t love their wife, what they really mean is that they still care for her, even love her, but aren’t “in love” with her.



    • Passion

    • Excitement

    • Attraction

    are gone.

    In short, they just don’t feel like they did at the beginning of the relationship.

    The love versus “in love” battle happens to both sexes and is extremely common.

    One of the biggest causes of this struggle is unrealistic expectations of what love looks like in a mature relationship. In all relationships the love changes from what it was early on in the honeymoon or passion stage as the relationship grows and matures.

    For men in particular, love is often primarily expressed and experienced through physical affection and sex.

    Unfortunately, most middle-aged men expect the sex to be like it was when they were 20, and that’s just not realistic for either themselves, their wives, or most relationships as they mature.


    Sex with someone the first few times is new, exciting, and unique. It’s no longer going to be these things after you’ve been together for a while. But the same goes for everything – a new car, house, you name it.

    Boredom in a relationship is a common problem that can make a man feel he doesn’t love his wife anymore. Many of us expect the novelty, excitement, and love we feel initially to always be there, but those feelings don’t remain constant in any relationship.

    I need help. We have a 1-year old daughter and I'm 5 months pregnant with our second. My husband just told me he might want to get divorced after only 5 months of marriage and that he regrets marrying me because he's not in love with me. He says he cares for me deeply and does LOVE me but isn't "in love" with me. He said it's not my fault and I feel like I have tried everything to be a good wife and mother and it's not working. I don't know what to do, I want him to be happy even if that means he wants to be divorced, but I don't want to put my children through a divorce and I still deeply love him. We're a Christian couple and I keep praying things will work out but it isn't looking good." -Natalie

    Why Men No Longer Love Their Wife

    While unrealistic expectations of what love and marriage are supposed to be like are significant contributors to why husbands say they aren’t in love with their wives, there’s much more to it than that.

    Any relationship, especially a marriage, is going to have some history. And with history comes baggage.

    The biggest failing in relationships is communication. And as I said earlier, most men who don’t love their wives anymore haven’t told her.

    Is it just men who don’t communicate well?

    No, of course not.

    Almost no one wants to tell someone close to them something as hurtful as “I don’t love you.”

    A common pattern in long-term relationships looks like this:

    Problems Aren’t Communicated

    Many partners don’t communicate well and so they avoid communicating at all - especially men.

    As a result, big and small issues accumulate, and the effect they have on you doesn’t get communicated. This creates a buildup of negative emotions, like

    and as this happens over time it can cause you to feel and tell yourself (and maybe others), “I don’t love my wife.”

    Problems Aren’t Addressed

    Even when issues between couples are communicated, it usually isn’t done very effectively or productively.

    There are a variety of reasons for this.

    • Avoiding conflict

    • Confusion about how to resolve the problem

    • Fear of making things worse

    are just a few.

    But again, most often issues are just ignored.

    Problems Aren’t Resolved

    A couple once told me (actually, I hear this a lot) they’d gotten past the fight they had the prior week.


    When I explored what they meant it turned out nothing had been resolved or done to prevent the same thing from happening again. Some time had just gone by, and they each felt less impassioned about the topic.

    This is what most couples describe as – "We resolved it.” When in actuality they really haven’t resolved anything.

    Unaddressed and unresolved problems become baggage. And baggage is a big reason why men no longer love their wife.

    No man wakes up one day and decides they no longer love their wife, they fall out of love over time.

    Is Love A Feeling Or An Action?

    Love is a feeling that should produce actions that demonstrate it and lets the other person experience it.

    Frequently in problem relationships love is said (although often not much), but not shown.

    Love should be seen in,

    • Caring actions

    • Compromises and sacrifices

    • Behavior that shows respect

    • Admiration and appreciation

    Yet too often many of us get wrapped up in the desire to feel what love felt like at the beginning.

    • “I just don’t feel in love with her”
    • “I don’t feel any love from her”

    As you can see from these statements the feeling of love is actually developed from actions or non-actions.

    Is love a feeling or an action?

    It’s both working in tandem.

    I am a married man since 2011. I don't know whether I love my wife or not. When she stays with me I have no problem, but when she goes home to her parents leaving me alone, my problems start. I can't live without her even a day. I am thinking about her all day. She says she loves me much more, but I feel she doesn't love me, and doesn't even care about me." -Nirav

    What To Do When You Don’t Feel In Love

    Unfortunately, by the time most people (men or women) don’t feel in love they also usually don’t have any motivation left to change anything. And this is a big, big problem because love feelings develop out of actions.

    If you don’t have any desire to try, how do you form actions that can produce in-love feelings?

    This is why when most men say, “I don’t love my wife anymore” it usually means, “I’m done.”

    But it doesn’t have to mean “done”.

    Since love feelings ebb and flow about anything, even for a child, they can flow toward you just as well as flow away from you.


    It takes effort though. Time just isn’t enough. And the right kind of effort is required. But first that problem with motivation must be addressed.

    This is one of the many things I do in my counseling work with men – help them develop the motivation to try and then teach them how to direct their efforts in the most effective ways possible, which can look different in each relationship.

    What To Take Away

    Feeling like you don’t love your wife is sadly pretty common. And don’t fool yourself guys, women often feel like they don’t love their husbands anymore too.

    As counterintuitive as it may seem, these feelings are part of a normal cycle within long-term relationships. The problem is that “I don’t love my wife” is often a misinterpretation of what you’re really feeling.

    Men who say, “I don’t love my wife anymore,” often mean that the love has changed and they can’t see what it looks like now.


    • Love changes with time. It goes from hormone fueled lust and infatuation to something more mature, stable, and capable of creating a foundation for a future together.

    • These changes can mean diminished excitement and even physical attraction. Men feeling these changes can mistakenly read them as, “I must no longer love my wife.”

    • Those feelings of excitement and attraction can be brought back – they just take the right kind of effort. Yet this can be disconcerting since everything seemed effortless at the beginning.

    If you’re not careful and fail to make the effort to correctly understand what you’re feeling, appreciate the changes, and work to keep love and the relationship strong, you may end up making devastating mistakes.

    Is it possible for "I don’t love my wife” to be turned back into “I love my wife.”?

    Yes. Absolutely.

    Have you felt this way yourself? Or has your husband told you he’s no longer in love with you? Would you please share a little about what that’s been like for you?

    Editor's Note: This post was originally published October 08, 2020 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


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