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There is Hope
There are a number of ways to describe feeling like the love is gone – falling out of love, faded love, love loss, lost the love, etc. Regardless of what you call it when this happens, it hurts. In addition to the pain, the confusion that accompanies this feeling can be just as difficult.
We've written this article to help partners answer the questions they each have after the love has gone. With nearly 20 years of experience fixing broken relationships we have the experience, understanding and expertise to help. The following information will provide real-life examples from partner's who've felt the love was gone and there was no hope. You'll also find an explanation of what the love is gone and falling out of love really means, as well as answers to the most common questions partners have when in this very sad circumstance.
Read this article and you'll discover how you can get the love back when the love is gone.
Darin was struggling. He and Amara had a good life together and they'd worked hard to get it. He really had very few complaints. She was a great mom, worked hard, and was still an attractive woman. But no matter how hard he tried to look at things positively he couldn’t help coming back to the feeling that things just weren’t the same as they used to be.
He tried to ignore it and focus on the good things, but didn't change how he felt. Then he started to admit to himself that the love in their relationship was gone. He was pretty sure he'd fallen out of love with her and questioned if he was ever really in love with her in the first place. Regardless, he didn’t feel anything now. But he didn't know what to do – should he tell her, leave, or stay in a relationship that wasn’t as satisfying as he wanted?
Then, on a Friday night, as he was getting his golf clubs ready for a Saturday round, Amara came in and told him he needed to change his plans – the kids had soccer games Saturday and now her mom needed her to help with her dad who'd just had surgery. So she needed Darin home to help.
As she spoke he could feel his frustration and anger rising. He tried to stay calm as he explained that he'd these plans a long time ago and it would be tough to change them (not to mention he didn’t want to).
But when she became equally as angry and said,
Then he lost it, shouting at her,
Amara knew things hadn’t been right for a while, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
They used to have so much fun together. It was the two of them against the world. Then, over the years the kids, work, and house caused life to become so busy! Now they just tried to keep up with the hectic routine and get from one day to the next without arguing. Even with all that she knew she loved him. She could still see the man she married underneath it all. And she believed things would get better eventually. They just needed to get through the next few years. At least that's what she thought.
The night she told Darin he needed to cancel his Saturday golf game everything changed. The kids had their games and her mom was desperate for help with her dad. But she couldn’t juggle it all and needed Darin’s help. That’s part of a marriage, right, sacrificing for each other and helping when needed?
If you've heard these words from your partner, you know just how devastating they can be. What does "I love you but I'm not in love with you" even mean?
When the love is gone the relationship changes. Your once loving and caring partner may become distant, possibly argumentative, critical, or even angry. Or he may have stopped sharing any part of himself, leaving you feeling like you’re living with a roommate instead of a husband – no sex, affection, caring. However it's played out in your case, it leaves you feeling sad, lonely and empty.
It’s difficult to accept and even understand how that person you fell in love with no longer feels the same as they once did. And if you’re like the thousands of men and women we’ve counseled, the more you try to get close, the further you push your partner away.
Which leaves you faced with the heartbreaking reality of packed bags, separation, or even divorce.
It may come as a surprise to learn that falling out of love is actually a fairly common occurrence.
Relationships go through stages and so does the love. With effort, as the relationship matures the love can as well.
In our nearly two decades of experience of counseling people just like you we've found a number of factors can influence the loss of love.
At Guy Stuff we work with people facing these issues on a daily basis and we've seen firsthand the impact they can have on a relationship. Unfortunately, when problems are ignored or go unresolved eventually falling out of love will happen.
The most important thing to understand about falling out of love is that it can be reversed. Tragically, too many people assume when they no longer feel the love that it means the relationship has died and they're only option is to move on. This simply is not true.
There can be an endless number of questions that arise when it comes to feeling like the love is gone from your relationship. Below are few of the most common ones. These are asked and answered from the perspective of understanding male partners who are out of love, but much of it can be applied to females as well.
Sadly, it's a daily occurrence for us to hear wives say, "My husband doesn't love me." The reasons why they feel this way can vary greatly, yet there are some commonalities between all of them. Most significantly is the loneliness they feel.
Unfortunately, it usually takes a long time for a partner to finally admit they're no longer in love. This leaves the other partner often feeling like something isn't right, searching to find out, but unable to identify what exactly it is. Typically even when wives ask their husbands directly if there's anything wrong they deny it.
Feeling like your husband no longer loves you is one thing, but how can you really tell? That's a complicated question. However, there are certain behaviors that can occur, or others that should be occurring and aren't, that can be fueling that feeling.
Yes, love does fade over time. Like anything, love needs to be nurtured and cared for, much like a garden. While it may have arisen when you first met your partner seemingly without effort or intent, it doesn't stay that way.
The feeling that the love in your relationship is fading, or that the love is gone altogether, is one of the toughest circumstances you can find yourself in. And although it may feel like it, it doesn’t happen all at once. Change in the love between two people, or the fading of that love, is something that occurs over time, gradually.
People often ask if the love in a relationship always fades, or if love in a marriage is destined to fade away. No, love in a marriage or any relationship changes over time, but it doesn’t have to fade or go away altogether. Keeping it strong, however, takes regular work and effort on the part of both people. And it takes an understanding and acceptance of the natural changes of love. Beliefs that the love will always be there, never change, and not take any work are the primary causes for love fading over time.
Changing false beliefs about love and learning how to keep it alive and vibrant are keys to having a happy and successful relationship. Unfortunately, most of us were never taught how to do this. The good news it that you can prevent the love from fading or rebuild it if it's already fading by learning a few important strategies for keeping love strong.
If you've found yourself asking – "Is he falling out of love with me?” or “Are we okay?" – you aren’t alone. Relationships naturally go through ups and downs, and the level of passion changes, so knowing when your partner actually is falling out of love with you can be tricky. Until he comes right out and says it, you'll have to rely on what you know about him and your relationship to interpret his feelings.
Looking at the differences in your partner and relationship over time can help give you an idea as to whether he may be falling out of love with you. What's different now from earlier on? Consider also whether he seems, and the two of you as couple are, truly happy. If you're wondering if the love could be gone then you probably aren’t. So what’s changed? Can you point to a possible source of unhappiness?
When you're wondering if he's falling out of love with you, spend some time considering what things are like now compared to after the honeymoon wore off (typically two to three years in).
These things will likely not give you a concrete answer, but they'll give you a start in figuring out if your partner is falling out of love with you – or perhaps already has.
Yes, there are warning signs in a relationship when he's falling out of love with you. One of the biggest is the interest each partner has in the relationship itself. A common red flag is when a partner no longer seems to care much about their partner or relationship, and shows no interest in doing anything to make that change. We can see this in Darin's response to Amara when she asked for his help with the kids on that Saturday.
If you recognize even some these elements in your relationship you have a problem. While this could mean he's fallen out of love, it doesn't always. Each couple is different and the signs that your husband or wife is falling out of love with you can be different too.
There can be a number of reasons for any one of these and it doesn't have to be because the love is gone. However, if these aren't a result of the love fading they'll certainly cause it. If you're seeing changes in your partner’s behavior toward you, or are noticing changes in your own feelings toward him, then it's definitely time to explore more about the health of your relationship.
Despite how it may seem, people don't suddenly fall out of love. It just isn’t something that happens overnight, although it can feel that way. Much like the how a slow drip of water will erode the ground beneath it – a lack of attention to your relationship combined with the stressors of life can wear down the love and cause it to fail.
It can be easy not to notice the slow drift apart since it's often just like that small drip of water without an obvious, immediate effect. And then one day something happens, like a fight over who knows what, and then one partner says seemingly out of nowhere, "I'm not in love with you."
Did the spouse fall out of love suddenly at that moment? Most likely not – they probably had been feeling that way for a while and mulling over what to do about it for months, possibly even for years. The fight just happens to be the spark that gave them the courage to finally say it out loud.
Few people are so cold blooded that they enjoy telling their partner they don't love them. Instead, most people dread having to do it and don't know how. This struggle can be compounded by the fact that most couples don't communicate well, especially regarding difficult subjects they disagree about. Being busy, growing apart, and losing the connection you once had means you don’t communicate the way you used to as well.
This is the story of Darin and Amara. For her it felt like he fell out of love suddenly because of how it came out, but there had been signs for quite a while. Amara just ignored them or told herself it would get better with time. While Darin was never honest with her that he was struggling with their relationship, until he blurted out in frustration, "I’m not in love with you anymore."
The truth is that people don't fall out of love suddenly, it occurs over time. It's important to know that this doesn’t have to mean the love can’t come back, however, but bringing it back will take some time too. And it can come back even if your partner says it isn't possible for their feelings to change (we've seen it happen).
There's no easy answer to the question of why he doesn’t love you anymore. Nor is there likely a single answer either. The answer to why he doesn't love you is usually complex and multi-faceted.
Over the years at Guy Stuff we've heard a lot of different answers to this question. There are a large number of reasons that husbands will give for no longer loving their wives. And equally as many reasons for why wives fall out of love with their husbands. Without talking to a couple personally, it's impossible to give a general answer that's accurate for someone’s specific relationship.
You've likely already asked him why he doesn't love you, and he's probably either told you that it's not true, he does still love you, or just won't answer the question.
Most people will justify why they do this, but that doesn't change the negative impact it has on their partner and relationship. When we aren't getting what we want from our partner it can be very difficult the offer what they want to them. This can be a vicious cycle and a difficult one to break without help.
Feeling unloved and unappreciated is a big problem in many relationships, and can be used as justification for checking out and looking elsewhere for love. If you're still wondering why he doesn’t love you anymore continue reading for more clues. The reasons why he may not love you can be complicated, and sometimes hard to see and understand. In fact, we'd recommend you re-read this article again in a day or two after you've had some time to think and observe his behavior.
The absence of sex in a relationship can occur for many reasons. Some of them can be physical or psychological. But, the love being gone will also result in a sexless marriage. And the opposite can be true as well – no sex can lead to a loss of love. If your husband doesn’t want sex anymore, or if you feel he no longer finds you sexually attractive, you need to find out why.
It's important to understand that all relationships and people change over time. The hot and heavy sex that typically exists at the beginning of a relationship will eventually cool. That's natural. But in healthy relationships physical affection and sex are important parts of building intimacy and connection. When sex disappears couples loose a key component to maintaining that level of closeness.
If these things (which can usually always be fixed) aren't factors, then it may be a matter of the love being gone.
It's pretty clear that Jill isn’t interested in having sex with her husband. Her explanation also makes it clear there are other factors in her marriage that are causing their love and closeness to fade and those are also heavily impacting their sex life. Jill is far from alone nor is her reasoning that different from that of men as they can lose interest in sex for similar reasons regarding the relationship connection and closeness.
This doesn't mean if you're complaining, "my husband doesn't want sex anymore," it's your fault. But it's possible something you're doing or not doing could be a factor. Regardless of the reason, since most men want to have sex, if your husband doesn't it should definitely be a warning sign that something's not right and shouldn't be ignored.
It's easy to think when the love is gone that it must be because your husband is cheating. While this is always a possibility, it's not usually the cause.
Affairs are often a symptom of falling out of love. They're also one of the most painful and difficult things for a relationship to endure. Understandably, when a husband cheats their partner is going to assume the love is gone and question if it can ever come back.
While cheating doesn't usually cause the love to fade (that's usually already happened), cheating does involve loving feelings that have developed for someone else. This immensely complicates the lost love for the spouse. It's now more than just "I'm not in love with you anymore," it's become "I love someone else." Even if your husband hasn't cheated, many people will withhold their love because of a desire to find and give it to someone else.
It's extremely common for partners to blame cheating for the fact that the love is gone within their relationship.
Be very careful about obsessing over the question, "Is my husband cheating?" and acting on suspicions of cheating. Almost nothing else has the power to make a husband fall out of love faster than being falsely accused by his wife of cheating.
"Your advice really helped me. My wife and I have been getting closer. She texts me often and tells me she loves me. But I'm taking it one day at a time. Again, thanks for your help Dr. Kurt. Your advice saved my relationship. Thank you so much!"
Yes, in many cases it is possible to fall back in love and have a happy and healthy relationship again. It's important to remember what we've already discussed above, the reasons for falling out of love can be complex and the disconnect typically develops over time. All of this is to say that there's no quick fix, and while it's possible to get the love back, it always takes time, as well as lots of patience and hard work.
The fact that you're here, reading this information though, says that your relationship is important to you and so the effort can be well worth it.
Relationships go through many phases. Having difficult times and even questioning if you should be together is normal. There isn’t a relationship out there that hasn’t experienced problems – despite how perfect some of them look or what people say about how good there's is. Take it from some experts who know firsthand what's really happening in relationships and marriages behind the closed doors.
The biggest differences between successful and unsuccessful relationships at getting the love back is the communication, commitment of both partners, and willingness to work together in making things good again. Often when the love is gone these are weak areas in the relationship. The good news is that these are all changeable. By working together, possibly with a counselor, bringing the love back into your relationship is entirely possible. We help couples do this every day.
Growing your love again can be complex. This is why bringing it back often takes help. We know it's possible and how to do it because at Guy Stuff we've worked with countless couples who, with our help, have found the road back to a happy relationship.
When you fall out of love it can be as confusing for you as it is for your partner. You may still think about how things used to be and yearn for the love you once had, yet it seems impossible that it could ever come back.
And if you find yourself in the very sad and heartbreaking situation of being told by your partner they've fallen out love with you, figuring out what you can do about it can be equally as hard. Denial, anger, arguing and depression are all common and normal reactions, but they also don't change anything and usually complicate things if not managed appropriately.
One of the first things to do when you fall out of love is rather than succumb to that feeling and accepting it as your new reality is take some time to carefully evaluate your relationship and how you got here. You may be able to see some of where and why things went wrong.
If you still love your partner but they've told you they no longer love you, it can seem like you're powerless to change how they feel. And they may have told you exactly that –
It's important to understand when you fall out of love (or your partner does) that it doesn't have to mean it's over. There are always ways to change how you feel and bring the two of you back together.
There's no one size fits all answer or exact formula to follow for how to fall in love again.
How you fall in love again, whether it’s with your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, is a very individual and personal process. And it will take commitment and work on the part of both partners to make it happen. This can be tricky if a couple has been having problems for a long time. In these situations one partner is often more motivated and willing to try than the other.
Unresolved problems and the accumulated feelings that accompany them create big barriers to falling back in love. All couples can struggle with effectively communicating and this hampers resolving things even more. As a result, there likely are a number of issues that have built up over time and must be worked through first before falling in love with each other again is even possible. If you feel you and your partner can't talk about these things you're not alone.
When the problems and barriers have been removed then is the time to learn healthy, successful ways to build and maintain a love connection. Falling in love again and staying in love requires active and consistent effort by both partners in order to keep the connection strong. Without healthy, regular habits to nurture their love, partners will naturally drift apart. Since most partners don't know how to do this, falling out of love is quite common.
At Guy Stuff we've helped many couples find a way back to love and happiness – but it takes work. Yet when you've built a life and family together, or at a minimum have invested time and energy into a relationship together, then making the effort to learn how to fall in love again is well worth it.
Darin knew when he said he wasn't in love with her anymore that things had reached a turning point.
But it was true, right? He didn’t love her anymore and he was fairly certain things were over. He missed the fun and “in love” feeling he used to have, but that was gone now. It wasn’t fair to him or her to pretend otherwise he thought. But he wasn’t sure what that meant.
Amara had retreated to their bedroom that night and he finished prepping for golf the next day. He slept on the sofa and left early the next morning before anyone was up. He never knew how she worked it out, but he played golf and she managed to get the kids where they needed to be.
Saturday night, after the kids were in bed, she said they needed to talk. She wanted him to consider counseling. She said they didn’t know how to talk to each other anymore and needed some help to figure out what was going on and what they needed to do next.
It seemed pointless to him, but they'd been married a long time and had kids. He supposed that he owed that to her. Besides, it might make things easier for her if she heard from someone else that it was time for them each to move on.
Amara couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
They had a life and kids and she still loved him.
She knew from experience that getting into it right then would just start a fight and wouldn’t get them anywhere, so she left Darin alone and went to their bedroom.
Saturday morning she called in some favors and got everyone taken care of. She even cut helping her mom short so that she could have some time alone to think.
She had no idea what to do next, or what Darin really wanted, but she felt sure they could fix things, she just didn’t know how. After the kids went to bed she asked Darin to talk. Counseling – that was their only hope she thought. She prayed he would say yes. And, although she could tell he didn’t want to, he did.
Neither liked the first counselor, so they looked again and found Guy Stuff. Both liked the no nonsense approach. Even though it wasn't easy looking at themselves and accepting the parts they each played in their marriage getting to where the love was gone.
Yet as uncomfortable as counseling was at times they stuck with it. Darin really connected with Dr. Kurt and actually got more into it as he saw things start to change. He and Amara started to see hope again and that just made them both try even harder.
Does Darin and Amara’s story sound familiar? Waking up one day and feeling like the love gone isn't uncommon.
We know how immensely painful and difficult it is to face the reality of a partner telling you the love is gone. Over the years we’ve heard countless stories from both women and men trying to understand how their relationships have gotten to this point and what they can do to heal them.
At Guy Stuff we successfully work with couples trying to find their way back to each other. This one of the reasons why over 300,000 people just like you visit the Guy Stuff website every month looking for answers and hope. We understand the issues each couple is facing are as different as the couples themselves.
That's why we’ve designed a series of simple questions to help you assess if the love is really gone in your relationship. Our Love Is Gone Quiz can help you identify the challenges you face as couple and give an idea of the areas that need the most work.
The quiz takes only a couple of minutes to complete. You'll receive your assessment immediately.