I often hear from wives who aren’t sure where to turn after they believe that their husband just doesn’t love them anymore. Sometimes, these wives come to this realization after watching their husband’s behavior. Other times, this comes after a big argument or a large issue has cropped up. Occasionally, it is the husband who is making this claim for himself. However it has happened, the wife has come to the conclusion that she is unloved, and she is often very hurt and confused by this.
She might say, “my husband won’t exactly admit that he no longer loves me, but he doesn’t deny it either. When we first got married, he would rush home to me. We didn’t have much money, but we could always have fun just being together. We used to love to cook and sing together. I can’t remember the last time we did that. Now my husband routinely comes home late for work and he doesn’t have much to say to me when he finally does come home. I will try to be pleasant and to have a nice evening and although he is cordial, he doesn’t engage with me in the way that he used to. Last week, my mother had a bit of a health scare. She fell and really hurt herself, so I felt it was necessary to go and spend a few days with her and to handle some safety issues around her home. Previously, my husband would always accompany me on these types of trips. We were always in this together. Last night, he told me that he was just too busy and that he wouldn’t be going with me. When I got sad about this, I told him that it felt like he didn’t love me anymore. He sort of laughed me off and didn’t answer my concern. When I think back and go over the last couple of years, I can see a lot of other incidents like this – where his behavior could have been reassuring and loving, but it wasn’t. I guess I just didn’t want to see it at the time. Some of my friends say that I am making too much out of this, but I don’t think so. I am pretty sure that my husband no longer loves me, and I don’t know how to deal with this. I don’t want a divorce. I don’t want to lose my marriage. But how do you have a marriage without love?”
Understanding Where You Are Now And Where You Could Be In The Future: I understand your concern. There was a time in my own marriage where I felt my husband’s love slip away. I did not want to face reality, so I just looked away and hoped that things would get better. They didn’t. We separated. So I would never encourage you to just ignore this or to not address it. You should always address what makes you uncomfortable and uneasy about your marriage. With that said, I am almost positive that before and during my own separation, my husband truly believed that he no longer loved me. I’m also pretty certain that he believed that the love could never come back.
And yet, here it is years later, and we are still married today. And since we have made big changes and improvements to our marriage, I feel extremely loved and valued. The way that I am treated today is vastly different to the way that I was treated then. (And my husband would probably say the same thing.) But it took a lot of effort to get from that day to this one. The point that I am trying to make is that even if you are right and your husband thinks that he doesn’t love you, it is possible to change that.
I firmly believe that we all tend to be heavily influenced by the circumstances and situations that surround us. If our marriage becomes a bit tired and we don’t see a quick and immediate fix for it, we are at risk of believing that we no longer love our spouse in the way that we used to. Ours is an instant gratification society filled with “perfect” social media images that just aren’t real. So there is a real tendency to throw something away or to make vast changes when things no longer appear to be perfect. We convince ourselves that we are dealing with a lost cause and that our efforts to change things might be a waste of time.
That’s the bad news. Now, here is some good news. The above scenario is not set in stone. My marriage is one example, but I know of plenty others. If you can change the sour situation and circumstances, you can also change the perception of the feelings. Yes, our marriages change with time. The man who used to rush home now has countless responsibilities on his shoulders. It may have nothing to do with his wife, but he notices that when he comes home, he doesn’t feel like he used to. This isn’t his wife’s fault, but sometimes, he attaches these feelings onto her and withdraws from the marriage. This is unfair, but the one ray of light here is that if both parties can figure out a way to lighten his load or to change the home dynamic so that home is his safe place to fall, suddenly his feelings about his wife are going to change also.