“I will always love you. But I’m not in love with you anymore,” my now ex-husband said matter-of-factly over breakfast.
I was beyond shocked. He had just returned from a month-long business trip. I knew that he had been acting distant and withdrawn while he was away, but I didn’t know my husband had fallen out of love with me. To say I felt like I had been punched in the gut would be a massive understatement.
Falling out of love is one of those awful parts of life that we don’t want to think about until we sense that it’s happening to us. At first, you might think you’re imagining things. But pretty soon it becomes clear that something is really, really wrong.
“Does my husband still love me?” you ask yourself.
Many of us view this whole “falling out of love” thing as something people have no control over, even when it happens to us or to someone who loves us.
When a relationship that was once hot slowly transforms to not, we are usually thrown into crisis mode, especially if we still love the other person. Then, without a serious understanding of how to fix a relationship, we either frantically try to make the other person fall back in love, or we completely stick our head in the sand.
We might even start idly Googling things like “why men lose interest” or “signs your husband doesn’t love you” while fantasizing about the hot affair we could have with someone else. Or, we might call our friends to endlessly analyze what we think he might be doing and obsess over what we should or shouldn’t do about it.
Stereotypically, women are usually the ones who monitor, protect, and nurture relationships (I’m writing this to women, even though these signs someone is falling out of love with you really apply to anyone, regardless of gender).
How do you know if your husband is still in love with you?
If your husband is still in love with you, you can tell by the way he does simple actions, like completing projects or chores around the house, especially the ones you hate doing. He will do mundane tasks for you without you asking.
A husband who still loves his wife may also display signs of affection, give you the time of day, and make plans with you for the short- and long-term; he wants to know how your day went and what the two of you should do this weekend.
The signs a man doesn’t love you anymore, however, are much less positive and have a lot to do with a husband who has emotionally and physically checked out. If he’s closed off from you, never informs you about what he’s doing, doesn’t show interest in your well-being, or hides things from you, these are all indicators that he’s not invested in your marriage.
1. He needs a lot of space.
Remember that feeling of not being able to get enough of each other? That bliss has been slowly replaced with the sense that your loved one is avoiding you or suddenly needs to “find himself.”
He might go missing for hours or days at a time. You might still spend time together, but now he doesn’t stay in touch like he used to. If you live together, he might avoid coming home after work. If you used to reliably spend your weekends together, he starts making other plans.
At first, he might have a reasonable excuse like “I have to work late” or “I’m really exhausted from my week” or “I have plans to do X, Y, or Z.” Eventually, his excuses for seeing you less seem more and more flimsy. But no matter what excuses he uses, it becomes harder and harder to connect with him.
When he does spend time with you, he acts like he’s doing you a big favor — which only draws attention to the fact that something is wrong between you.
2. He stopped doing things for you or passive-aggressively commits but doesn’t follow through.
In the beginning, he would run through fiery hoops to make you smile. But when a man loses interest in you, he becomes more and more selfish.
He might have stopped bringing you little gifts or showing that he cares. If he’s falling out of love with you, at the very least, he’ll withdraw from you emotionally.
3. He discusses your relationship in a hopeless, negative light.
Men tend to be problem-solvers. If they see a problem, they launch themselves into solving it. This naturally extends to relationships with the women they love.
A committed man will want to fix conflict and smooth things out with the woman in his life. Barring major extenuating circumstances, if he loves you, he will want to make things better between the two of you.
Sometimes that process includes letting off steam and getting relationship advice from his friends. This is pretty normal.
When he falls out of love, his tone will turn from one of genuine curiosity, love, and respect toward one of resigned, hopeless complaint. He will often start wondering out loud, “Is this all worth it?” and saying things like, “I’m just not happy anymore.”
These are red flags that he doesn’t love you anymore and he’s trying to figure out how to either fix your relationship or undo the life you shared together.
Photo: Ryan Boey / Shutterstock
4. He has lost interest in staying in touch.
Communication between you is strained, irregular, and tense. It feels like there is an elephant in the room that neither of you has any control over. He used to be flirty, chatty, and conversational, now he’s withdrawn and short.
It’s natural for someone to contact you with less frequency as your relationship goes on. And if you live together, the early days of constant texts, calls, and contact naturally level off. But when someone is falling out of love with you, they tend to dodge frequent contact with you.
5. The way you process conflict has changed.
When people fall out of love with each other, they handle disagreements differently than they used to.
All couples disagree and everyone has their individual conflict style. Some people fight like cats and dogs but making up is so passionate that the energy of reconnection sucks all the oxygen out of the room. Others rarely disagree but still make the effort to work together to resolve problems.
When a relationship between two people is working, they’re using some relatively consistent method to handle life’s arguments. When the love starts to go, so does any attention to managing conflict.
Often, people will completely give up on arguing or they will pick confusing and abrupt fights and use them as an excuse to leave the scene — thereby, gaining more precious alone time.
A partner who is falling out of love will often simply give up on disagreeing with you in any way — settling instead for placating you (then doing whatever they want anyway) or completely avoiding conflict altogether. Instead of caring about fixing the relationship, they care about minimizing the simple inconvenience of disagreeing.
6. He stops responding to your bids for connection.
You know those ways you connect with your partner throughout the day like flirting, texting about the weather, sharing little stories, or a certain a look, a little touch? Renowned relationship researcher and marriage counselor Dr. John Gottman calls these attempts to connect, “bids.”
In Gottman’s research, he found that people who stayed together responded positively to each other’s bids for connection 86 percent of the time. Couples who got divorced responded positively to each other only 33% of the time.
I don’t recommend that you start tallying up the times that your partner ignores you. But if you’re dealing with someone who is regularly turning away from your attempts to connect with him, most likely, it’s a sign that they are falling out of love with you.
Photo: Syda Productions / Shutterstock
7. You’ve started walking on eggshells around him.
Your once-loving partner has started treating you rudely. He makes disrespectful or negative comments that might seem little or minor on the surface but really aren’t.
He might compare your relationship to another couple’s in a negative light. He might compare you unfavorably to other women or his exes. He might say mean things under his breath when you’re talking, then refuse to acknowledge it when you call him out on it.
Suddenly, your little quirks that he used to think were cute and part of what made you unique irritate the heck out of him. It seems like everything you do suddenly happen to annoy him.
Whatever he says, the loving voice of approval has been replaced by the disapproving voice of discontent. It starts to feel like you’re walking on eggshells — waiting for the next insult or nit-picky criticism.
8. Your physical connection is in the toilet.
There many normal reasons why your sex life may go through a slump. However, if it feels as though the passion has completely died and your partner isn’t interested in reviving it — either he’s falling out of love with you, your relationship has crept into platonic “roommate” territory, or a mixture of both.
In a healthy relationship, it doesn’t matter how often a couple is intimate as long as they agree upon what’s optimum for them. Usually, when a relationship gets rocky, one person has lost interest in sex and the other completely gives up on trying to initiate, has started acting out, cheating or suffers angrily in silence from the lack of intimacy.
Couples who turn away from each other in the bedroom cultivate an environment of hurt, mistrust, and lack of desirability. When someone is falling out of love with you, not only does this make you feel terrible, but your pleas to connect are likely to only fall on deaf ears.
9. He’s gotten weird and protective with his phone.
While he might not see communicating with you as a priority when you’re apart, he may stay glued to his phone when you’re together as a way to distract himself from spending real time with you.
If he’s flirting with other women, he might never, ever leave his phone out for fear that you will find out he’s been at least emotionally unfaithful (if not worse). At any rate, he distrustfully guards his phone like a dragon protects its gold.
10. He doesn’t communicate with you.
If your husband has fully stopped communicating with you, isn’t as open about his thoughts and feeling as he once was, and you haven’t directly addressed the issue, he might start to think it’s normal. Soon enough, he will be living his own life without you in it.
If you don’t take the steps and put in the effort to have a real conversation about your status, you will regret it later when he eventually moves out or plans to leave you.
His hesitancy to talk to you, even about simple or small things, shows he’s not interested in your once caring relationship.
Photo: Daniel_Dash / Shutterstock
11. He’s bored with you.
The worst feeling is constantly trying to keep someone’s attention when they aren’t having any of it. If your husband is painfully bored of you and you notice he’s only bored when you’re together, there’s a problem.
This could mean he has other things on his mind — another woman, his friends, or something else — but he’s choosing not to talk to you about it. Maybe he spends a lot of time watching TV or being on his phone whenever you try to be around him.
If he shows a complete disinterest when you’re trying to have fun, take this as a sign that he might not be in love with you anymore.
12. He always picks fights.
Arguing and disagreement are normal parts of relationships and marriages, but creating a mountain out of a molehill is a bad sign. If the two of you can’t sit down and have a civil conversation without it turning into a fight, that’s an issue.
You might always feel on edge, nervous that if you say something it will incite an argument. And when you try to disengage or diffuse the situation, it only makes matters worse.
This only shows that he has no intentions of fixing the real issues in your relationship, or he might just want a reaction out of you.
13. He’s completely selfish and no longer cares about your needs.
When you notice that your husband isn’t listening to you anymore and isn’t doing the things you ask him to do to help, he’s become more selfish and doesn’t care about your wants and needs.
If he only does things that please himself and not you, and doesn’t even think about you or take you into consideration, it’s a red flag. You might be reluctant to compromise if you want him to be happy, choosing to do things or go places only he enjoys.
In a relationship, there needs to be healthy compromise. If your relationship is one-sided, you’re just going to feel pushed around and hurt.
14. He constantly rejects you.
If you try to make an effort to plan a romantic date for the two of you, and always put an effort in to finding new things to do together, he rejects anything that you have in mind. This goes hand in hand with him having selfish tendencies.
By rejecting you in this way, he’s showing that he doesn’t truly care what you have to say, or even what you think. It may cause you to have thoughts about giving up on the marriage altogether.
If your husband isn’t appreciating you and all the effort you put into your marriage, consider that he might just be fully checked out.
Photo: Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock
15. He treats others better than you.
If you notice that your husband seems to be in a better mood, and is more polite and generous around others, it’s a huge sign he’s lost respect for you and, subsequently, has fallen out of love.
There should always be mutual respect in a relationship, and by treating others well while not doing the same for you, it shows he has no problem hurting you. And that’s not a good sign.
If you actively try to cheer him up and get nothing in return, he’s using you for your kindness and hurting you by showing you that he’s happier with other people.
16. He doesn’t want to be around you.
This might be an obvious sign, but if your husband stops staying at home with you, or spends only a few nights there and is constantly out with friends, that’s a sign he not only doesn’t love you anymore, but that he can’t even stand to be near you.
Maybe he’s said out loud that he doesn’t enjoy your company or emotionally cuts you down. If this is the case, you need to have a serious discussion about how this makes you feel. Without a clear understanding or communication, the relationship will fall apart quickly.
17. You suspect he’s cheating.
Just the fact that you might have suspicions that he’s cheating indicates he’s emotionally checked out.
Whether it’s text messages, emails, phone calls, or staying out a little too long at night, his actions are making you believe that he’s seeing someone else behind your back.
When you ask him or question him about whether or not he’s cheating, he might dodge the question altogether, hesitate, or lie — and you should be able to tell if he’s not being honest, as he’s your husband and you know him best.
What should really worry you that he’s fallen out of love is if you have actual proof of his infidelity, because a man who is in love with you would never do that.
18. He doesn’t go out of his way to make you happy.
In a relationship, partners show their adoration and love through small acts of kindness.
If the two of you have been struggling to keep your relationship together and he stops going out of his way to bring a smile to your face, sadly, it means the love he has for you has faded.
One of the hardest things is to fall back in love. There’s not much you can do to change his attitude or force him to put in an effort if he’s not willing to do even the smallest thing to make you happy.
Because when it’s true love, your happiness is their happiness.
19. He doesn’t talk about a future together.
Planning for a future together is an essential part of any long-term relationship. Typically, married couples discuss the future and where they see themselves in 5, 10 or 15 years from now.
Maybe there was a time in the past where the two of you talked about your visions or goals for the future, what you wished to accomplish together, if you wanted children, wished to buy a home, or if you desired to travel. But now, the two of you might not even mention it.
If you trying bringing it up to your husband and he shows no interest or refuses to even speak about those things, he might not even desire a future with you. He could be envisioning his life without you because he isn’t in love with you anymore.
Photo: Shift Drive / Shutterstock
20. He tells you directly that he’s lost that loving feeling.
While he may be emotionally and physically distant, disrespectful, and unwilling to patch things up with you, the biggest indicator that he doesn’t love you anymore is if he tells you straight-up.
If this happens and your husband reveals his true feelings towards you, don’t fool yourself into thinking he’s making it up; instead, accept the reality of the situation. You’re with a man who doesn’t love you the way he once did.
Of course, the pain and shock are devastating. You will feel rejected, abandoned, hurt, and maybe even angry.
What do you do if your husband doesn’t love you anymore?
We’ve been taught that when someone falls out of love, that’s it — game over. Sadly, this is not true.
Ask any happily married old couple how they stayed together all that time and if they’re honest, they’ll admit that their love story wasn’t 24/7 perfection. People fall in and out of love with each other all the time.
However, there are a few things that will drive him away forever.
Don’t panic or frantically start trying to do all kinds of loving things to force him to reconnect with you. This never works to make a man fall back in love with you. Not only have I tried it and failed myself, but my successful clients report that when they do a bunch of stuff to make someone fall in love with them again, it always fails.
You can’t make someone love you by forcing them to pay attention to you. Love is like a see-saw. When one person does more, the other person automatically does less. That’s why doing a bunch of loving actions in your partner’s direction will only lose his respect and inspire him to move toward you even less.
If you feel an overwhelming urge to do something right now to prevent him from leaving, I don’t blame you. I know exactly what that feels like. But you must keep your wits about you.
People fall back in love with each other all the time, but you can’t force anyone to see your value. Backing way off and working on yourself is exactly the powerful kind of magic you need to get things back on track.
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