While many factors may contribute to a couple's thoughts about marriage, studies show that love is the main reason why many people decide to get married. Therefore, it can be confusing to navigate married life if you feel your spouse doesn't love you anymore.
Before you make any significant decisions regarding your relationship, it can be helpful to recognize your feelings and investigate what's driving them. Consider the following reasons why you may feel your spouse doesn't love you and the next steps you can take.
Avoid Making Assumptions
Even if you feel your spouse's love for you has changed, you may not understand how they feel unless you ask them. Instead of assuming their actions align with certain feelings, try bringing up your concerns honestly and compassionately. Consider actively listening to the response. Your partner may be open with their thoughts and feelings if you show concern and empathy.
You may also recognize the importance of trust when communicating with your spouse. If your spouse says they love you, but you don't believe them, it could signal that you lack trust. If you are experiencing relationship-related fears, you may be struggling with an insecure attachment style or experiencing anxiety. A counselor may be beneficial in treating these concerns.
Possible Signs Your Spouse's Love For You Has Changed
If you feel that your spouse's love for you has changed, it may be helpful to recognize the causes of your feelings. The following might cause you to feel that your spouse's love has shifted.
While these may cause you to feel that your partner's love has changed, it may not be a sure sign that it has. The best way to learn how your partner feels is by asking them. These actions may also indicate your spouse is facing challenges in their own life and could benefit from your support or professional help.
They Stop Talking To You
If your spouse used to tell the details of their day with you and ask you for advice, it could be alarming if they suddenly stopped doing so. It is possible that this could be a sign that their connection to you has decreased.
Studies show that healthy couples can consult with each other about important matters, and not talking can be a barrier to working together. However, closing off from the world may also signify your spouse is experiencing a mental health condition or personal issue. In this case, you might ask them if they want support.
Their Attitude Towards You Has Changed
At times, spouses find it easiest to trust and open up around each other. They may display different characteristics around you than they do around other people. However, it can be difficult if your spouse begins displaying a negative attitude toward you but remains positive around others. Rather than viewing this as a sign that they don't love you, ask them what is driving their behavior change.
They Have Been Unfaithful
Both emotional and physical infidelity can lead to stress and strong emotions. However, infidelity during the marriage doesn't always mean your partner no longer loves you or your marriage must end. This choice is something you may discuss with your significant other or counselor to understand. If your partner has cheated on you, you may decide that it is best to separate, even if they still care for you.
They Are Not Available
It may feel upsetting when your spouse begins to become distant, either physically or emotionally. However, there may be various reasons why they could be distancing themselves from you.
Rather than becoming upset or angry with your spouse, you may choose to let them know that you've noticed their changing behavior and would like to understand the cause and feel reassured of their love for you.
Investigate Your Actions
Along with evaluating your spouse's actions and their potential causes, you can also look at your actions and if they've changed throughout your marriage. Your spouse's altered actions may be a response to your behavior.
It may also be helpful to evaluate your life outside of your marriage. If you are experiencing a lack of self-confidence or navigating a challenging life event, you may find it difficult to believe your spouse loves you. Understanding yourself may help you better understand your relationship with your spouse.
For example, studies show that being optimistic in relationships is one of the most effective ways to increase marital satisfaction. If you have been feeling or thinking more negatively lately, your spouse may have picked up on it.
Understand How Your Spouse Shows Love
It may be helpful to recognize that not everyone shows love similarly. To better understand the different ways that individuals can express love, look at the work of counselor Gary Chapman. In his bookThe Five Love Languages, Chapman explores the five different ways that people feel love.
According to Chapman, individuals express love in these different ways and each person has different ways they prefer to receive love. If you and your spouse don't know each other's love languages, you might not be able to make each other feel truly loved.
By having a conversation about your love languages and when you feel seen, heard, and loved, you may be able to improve how you express your love for each other.
Here are some examples of what showing love in someone’s love language might look like:
- Physical Touch: Offer back rubs, hold hands when you walk places together, cuddle, kiss each other
- Words Of Affirmation: Write notes saying what you love about your spouse, give compliments, write long love letters, communicate openly and honestly
- Quality Time: Ask your spouse about their day, participate in their favorite activity with them, take them on a date, spend uninterrupted time together
- Gift Giving: Surprise them with gifts for no specific reason, put thought into presents, express excitement and happiness when you receive a gift from your spouse
- Acts Of Service: Put gas in their car, bring home dinner so that they don't have to cook, offer to complete the grocery shopping, help with chores
Evaluate Your Next Steps Together
After you've talked with your spouse about how you feel and spoken your thoughts, you may decide to plan how to move forward. This plan may involve ongoing conversations where you check in with each other or set aside time to show each other you prioritize one another. It could also look like making each Tuesday a date night or talking to each other after work about your days.
You may also remember that it's okay if you can't navigate your challenges alone. Whether you're facing relationship doubts or one spouse is experiencing mental health challenges, turning to a professional counselor may help.
Talk To An Expert
If you and your spouse are willing to work on your relationship, couples' therapy may be beneficial to you. Online therapy offers a convenient way for couples to meet with a licensed therapist from home. By working from home, you may be more comfortable opening up about the challenges the two of you are facing.
Research suggests that online couples therapy helps improve relationship confidence and satisfaction. Along with improving the relationship, online treatment may also improve the quality of life for both individuals. If you prefer to work on your challenges alone, you can also seek individual therapy.
Individual therapy is available through platforms such as BetterHelp, whereas you may find couples therapy on sites like ReGain. Read below for counselor reviews from previous users who have reached out for professional support in their relationships.
Taking steps to address your concerns about your spouse’s feelings for you may feel scary. However, open communication could open the doorway to a more trusting and safer relationship.
If you’re still experiencing fear, anxiety, stress, or other mental health concerns, you may benefit from speaking with a compassionate counselor to help you obtain greater clarity about your marriage.
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