- What Is a Loveless Marriage?
- What Are the Reasons That Turn Marriage Loveless?
- Signs of a Loveless Marriage
- How to Decide Whether to Stay In or Leave a Loveless Marriage
- How to Cope and Stay Happy in a Loveless Marriage
- Does Being in a Loveless Marriage Lead to Divorce?
- Things to Do to Add Love Back Into Your Loveless Marriage
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Monotony and predictability set into every marriage after a while. Regardless of how much people were in love at the beginning, marriages lose their luster over time. However, regardless of how good things seemed initially, some people find themselves stuck in a marriage they are unhappy about and continue living in a loveless marriage. This article explores what it is like to be in an unloving marriage and what to do about it.
What Is a Loveless Marriage?
Love and the bond that comes with it is the reason why most people marry. Simply put, a loveless marriage is when one or neither of the partners feels loved or cared for by the other. A loveless marriage has reached a stage where neither partner is a source of joy or comfort for the other, and it is more like being with a familiar roommate that you don’t really care much about.
In an unloving marriage, conversations become dry and lack warmth. If anything, conversations are best avoided before they trigger the next argument. The partners start focusing exclusively on the negative traits of the other and are constantly trying to blame the other without wanting to hear their side of things.
Eventually, in a loveless marriage, the partners start avoiding each other mentally and emotionally. The fights and arguments also subside as there is a general sense of indifference. While this creates a mental and emotional distance, it is also mentally and emotionally taxing on both parties.
What Are the Reasons That Turn Marriage Loveless?
The meaning of love changes over the course of a marriage. It goes from the intense passion and intimacy in the beginning to the mature and serene sense of familiarity and belonging. In certain marriages, love comes to an end because of many complicated reasons. Here are a few of them:
- A busy life could have made the relationship take a backseat, and they failed to give time to each other or took one another for granted.
- The couple can no longer reconcile their differences and come to terms with their preferences, personalities, and dreams and eventually drift apart.
- Specific incidents such as major fights in the family could have triggered resentment and strained the relationship beyond repair.
- An extramarital affair by one partner would have broken the trust with the other making them cold and distant. In the aftermath, both the partners would be tormented by the fallout.
- Circumstances such as financial stress, job failure, caring for an ill relative, or sexual inadequacy can drive a wedge in a relationship.
Signs of a Loveless Marriage
These are some of the strongest signs that there is no love left in your marriage:
1. The Criticism Never Ends
One of the sure sins of a loveless marriage is that you and your spouse criticize each other at every opportunity. When love is replaced by mostly cold judgment, then the warmth fades, and the relationship becomes a battleground.
2. There Is No Sex
Nonexistent sex life is a major indicator of an unhappy marriage. Even when you do have sex on occasion, it doesn’t feel good but instead makes you feel more empty or sad. Happy couples have a healthy sex life which leaves them in a state of glow. The opposite is true for unhappy couples.
3. You Would Rather Spend Time With Your Friends
If you constantly choose to talk to others or friends more than your partner, that shows discomfort and broken communication. If you feel that talking to friends is better than your partner as you harbor feelings of resentment, that’s a sign.
4. You Don’t Support Each Other During Tough Times
Relationships are a source of safety and security as both the people know that the other can be relied upon when things become difficult. In a loveless marriage, you are all alone in facing your problems as you know for certain that your partner cannot be relied upon. The constant sense of apathy also makes you ignore your partner in their hour of need.
5. Your Fights Keep Repeating
One important observation you will make in all loveless marriages is that the partners cannot agree on almost anything. Because of the fights that seem to sprout up regarding almost every topic, it becomes common to fight over the same things repeatedly. Eventually, it builds a deep resentment in each other as the same feelings come repeatedly.
6. You Avoid Each Other As Much As Possible
Because of all the resentment and lack of love between the two of you, you will find every opportunity to avoid sharing your day or the activities or even plans for the weekend. When something exciting happens, you will not feel like sharing with your partner, but rather with friends or family who mean more to you.
7. You Sweep Issues Under the Rug
Loveless marriages often turn into a circus with elephants occupying every room in the house. Whenever there is a problem that you know will lead to an argument or conflict, you tend to sweep it under the rug to avoid unpleasant exchanges. This tends to leave issues lingering and further escalate things between the two of you.
8. You Feel More Complete When Alone
In a happy and functional marriage, the partners tend to bring the best qualities out of one another. However, in an unhappy marriage, you feel the need to want your own space and feel more of yourself when separated from your partner.
9. You Stop Arguing
When you no longer care about each other, there is no need to talk things over or settle problems. Instead, you ignore everything and do not want to talk anymore. Eventually, you would not care about the problems of the other partner and carry on with life.
10. You Grow Apart Steadily Over Time
In a healthy relationship, partners learn from each other’s mistakes and grow together. In a loveless marriage, every little difference makes the couple grow apart.
How to Decide Whether to Stay In or Leave a Loveless Marriage
The answer to this question depends on what your relationship is built on and the problems with it. There are two approaches that you can take to make a decision:
1. A Goal-Based Approach
A goal-based approach is completely objective in why you would want to keep the marriage alive. It is because of a singular goal that you have chosen. The goal could be because you have children, and the two of you would want to give it your all before deciding to end it. To make this work, both the partners should be willing to give it their hundred per cent.
2. The Emotional Approach
In the emotional approach, the main reason for being in the relationship is the involvement with the partner or the fear of being alone when the marriage breaks. It could also be because you have a financial dependency on your partner and parting ways makes your future look more uncertain and daunting. With psychotherapy, it is possible to address the fears and build a stable life and create a happy future.
How to Cope and Stay Happy in a Loveless Marriage
The key to surviving a loveless marriage is to change your approach towards your partner. Regardless of how much you think they are wrong, whether they are actually right or wrong, continuing to interact with them with the same old mindset wouldn’t work. Instead, try these coping methods:
1. Change the Environment to Make It More Inviting
Bring about changes that make it possible to work on the relationship and make it more inviting for the two of you. Change the way you think, act, speak and dress, so your partner notices that you are putting in an effort. Start by working on the way you think about your partner and the situation so you would not trigger the same patterns of anger and retaliation. Remember that you have more control over how you feel than your partner does.
2. Blame Less and Inspire More
Blaming your partner for all the troubles in the marriage will only bring things back to square one. Instead, stop blaming and take responsibility even if it seems unfair at first. Work on yourself, your actions, and how you look to inspire your partner to do the same. Ask them for help somewhere, so they know that you still need them and they are valued. Keep inspiring them to invest in the marriage at every opportunity by showing them genuine appreciation.
3. Share More Experiences and Show Passion
Bonds are built-in moments where you share amazing experiences. Have a date night once a week or two, take a long vacation once a year, or have romantic weekend getaways. Show your love and passion in the things you do for your partner.
Does Being in a Loveless Marriage Lead to Divorce?
After everything has been tried for a long time, and neither of you can still feel happy regardless of the change in the other, then divorce is one of the options. Talking to a therapist individually to share things that cannot be shared with others will give you the needed clarity to proceed or not proceed with the divorce.
Things to Do to Add Love Back Into Your Loveless Marriage
If your romance is still hanging by a thread, it is possible to bring it back before it is permanently gone. Here are some ideas that might help:
All the things that have happened so far make you want to leave, but it’s time to let go of the past and forgive to make way for what can be. Just like how you can’t fall in love overnight, you will need time to completely let go and rekindle your feelings with your partner again.
2. Change the Way You Communicate
Old communication patterns will inevitably trigger old emotions, and the cycle would soon start. To overcome this, do not think about attacking your spouse because of something that annoys you; instead, change your words and communication style to elicit a different response from them. Show more love and playfulness in the new way in which you communicate to rebuild intimacy.
3. Respect Boundaries
To bring back the lost love, it’s important to feel respected. Avoid doing things that make them feel uncomfortable or angry. Respect their boundaries beyond which they wouldn’t like being pushed. Once respect is established, love flows by itself.
4. Spend More Time Together
Find ways to spend more time together, creating positive experiences as it is the strongest way to bond. Revisit your old restaurants and places you would hang out at the beginning of the relationship. Take time away from work and friends specifically to be with your partner.
5. Improve Your Sex Life
In all loveless marriages, the sex life would have gone dead. Bring it back by making things exciting in the bedroom. Invest time into looking good and being in better shape or dressing up to look more appealing. Rekindling the romance in the bed is a strong way to bring love back into your marriage.
6. Fight Healthily
While you’re working on rekindling the romance, fights inevitably come up now and then. Set boundaries to how far you want to push each other before calling it quits. You could also use softer and kinder language to get the point across instead of trying to destroy them with every line.
7. Prioritize Yourself
It is important to work on yourself in the process of bringing back the love. Over the years, one or both of you has likely become someone you weren’t when you first met. Therefore work on looking good and getting back the attractive factor that drew them to you in the first place.
An unhappy marriage is not just a rough patch but a serious spot that can go downhill without the partners working on it. If partners can make it work after much trying, it is worth saving the marriage. However, if there is no way to fix things, it is alright to end your marriage and take a step towards achieving happiness.