In This Article
Every couple dreams of marital bliss.
From the moment they start planning their wedding till death do them part, they are hoping to live a happy married life. Like most hopes and dreams, only a lucky few get to achieve them. It takes a lot of sacrifices, hard work, and a lifetime of grinding to reach the finish line.
Most couples start their married life in high spirits, but sometimes, many end up in a loveless marriage.
Starting their own family, making their own decisions, doing everything together, and so forth sounds like a lot of fun. All of the above is harder said than done.
Stress builds up, and romance takes a back seat. Even responsible couples find it challenging to find time for each other.
What is a loveless marriage?
A loveless marriage is simply when you do not feel loved or cared for by your partner. If both you and your partner feel unhappy in the marriage, chances are you are in a loveless marriage.
The spark dying down is one thing, but losing fundamental feelingsof wanting their company, being around them, doing certain things to make them happy, etc., can be considered signs of a loveless marriage.
Why does a marriage become loveless?
When two people decide to get married, nobody thinks or expects that they will fall out of love with each other. However, losing feelings for your partner is not uncommon. This can happen due to a variety of reasons.
- Marriage or relationship is not the priority anymore. Maybe their career is taking all their time and energy, or now that you both have kids, all the focus is on them.
- The couple has problems adjusting to each other’s personalities, dreams, and goals and end up drifting apart.
- A significant event such as adultery, dishonesty, or lying has caused resentment difficult to deal with.
- Financial stress, sexual inadequacy, or joblessness can cause one person to fall out of love with the other.
Related Reading: 7 Signs You’re in a Loveless Marriage
What is considered a loveless marriage?
There is a difference between a loveless marriage and a sexless marriage. A sexless marriage is when you are having sex less than once a year. However, it could be a sexless marriage for someone even if you had sex only monthly.
Marriage is not sexless if the amount of sex keeps both partners happy and satisfied.
A marriage can be considered loveless when the basic feelings of love, care, understanding, and trust do not exist in the relationship anymore.
There is contempt, resentment, and hatred for each other that has built over time. Both or at least one partner not wanting to work the marriage out can mean that you are in a loveless marriage.
20 signs of a loveless marriage
Have you heard of the story of a boiling frog?
As the story goes, if you put a live frog in boiling water, it will jump out. But if you put a frog in lukewarm water and heat it slowly, it will not perceive the danger until it’s cooked to death.
A majority of loveless marriages are similar to a boiling frog. The relationship degrades gradually, and the couple does not notice it until it’s too late.
Here are signs that your marriage is already in hot water.
1. You stop saying “I love you” to each other
One of the most apparent loveless relationship signs is the lack of affection when talking to each other.
Do you still remember when your relationship was new, and you couldn’t stop saying sweet nothings to each other?
The moment it stops completely is a red flag.
2. Every little thing turns into a huge fight
If the first sign signals an unhappy marriage, this sign means that your relationship is at a critical boiling point.
If little things about your spouse irritate you to the point of madness, it’s time to step back and reassess your relationship.
3. You turn to others for comfort
The moment your spouse becomes a source of hatred, some people turn to something, such as alcohol, video games, or someone else, for support. If this happens to you, then your marriage is in jeopardy.
A marriage without love is troublesome, but the moment partners start to love someone/something else, then it’s a sign that the love that once existed in the marriage is no more there.
4. You find staying at home stressful
A person should view their own home as a refuge.
It doesn’t matter if the person lives alone or with a big family. The ideal home life is a place where one rejuvenates and gets away from worldly problems.
The moment your home, particularly your spouse, becomes a source of stress, then your relationship is not working out.
The moment you find yourself making excuses to avoid going home, including really working overtime, it’s a sign you are stuck in a loveless marriage.
5. You avoid sex
A sexless marriage is already a red flag in itself, but if you or your partner is purposely avoiding it, that’s not just a threat to your relationship, but it could also lead to depression.
It’s a typical pattern for long-term couples to tone down sexual activities as they get older, but avoiding sex is a whole different issue altogether.
6. You regret marrying the person
One clear sign of being stuck in a loveless marriage is when you blame your partner for not achieving everything you could have done if you hadn’t married them.
Regretting your decision to marry your current spouse shows you subconsciously believe you made the wrong choice.
Related Reading: 8 Signs You Married the Wrong Person
You and your spouse fight a lot, and when you do, it never ends with a constructive conversation.
It always starts with shouting, finger-pointing, name-calling, and eventually a list of all the wrong things each partner did since time immemorial.
It then ends with one partner walking out in anger or violence.
If your relationship has gone from unicorns and rainbows to hellfire and brimstone, then you’re not only in a loveless marriage, you’re in a dangerous one.
8. You have divorce fantasies
You think about a life without your partner, where you two are not married. In your fantasy, you may be married to someone else, an idea, or a person you know already. If you think about a life without your current spouse, it is a sign of being in a loveless marriage.
9. You do not care about each other’s concerns
Whether those issues are personal, family-related, or about work, you both do not care about each other’s concerns anymore. You do not listen or lend an ear when your partner wants to talk, and they behave similarly.
Not caring about what bothers you both is a clear sign that you are in a loveless marriage.
10. You feel alone
Even as your partner is around you, say sitting on the couch with you or watching a movie with you, you feel alone. You know they are disconnected from you and disinterested in the activity. Most likely, that is how you feel as well.
11. You do not trust them anymore
Trust is one of the essential foundations of a marriage. If you feel you cannot trust your partner anymore, chances are, the love is already gone. If you suspect infidelity or question your place in their life, you are in a loveless marriage.
12. Everything about them annoys you
When we are in love with someone, their little quirks make us smile. However, when we fall out of love, or the feelings disappear, the same things start to get under our skin and annoy us.
If you feel annoyed by literally every little thing your partner does, chances are you are in a loveless marriage.
13. One of you has already cheated
When we are in a monogamous relationship, cheating or infidelity can be a dealbreaker. Suppose one of you has already broken the marriage rules without considering the consequences. In that case, it will have on the other person and your relationship. You may be in a loveless marriage.
14. You both have secrets
One of the bases of a loving relationship is honesty. If you both keep secrets about any part of your life from each other, the chances are that honesty and trust are missing in your marriage. In the absence of those, it is most likely a loveless marriage.
15. You do not want to stay committed anymore
When we are in love with a person and want to stay in a marriage, commitment is the way to go. However, if you feel you have fallen out of love, you may no longer want to stay in a committed marriage.
16. You feel the urge to explore
Maybe you settled in your marriage too soon, because you were in love with your partner then. However, if you feel the urge to explore relationships – whether it is sexually or emotionally, chances are that you are in a loveless marriage.
17. You both criticize each other
It has come to a point where you both cannot think of anything the other person does right. You feel that everything your partner does is wrong and cannot stop criticizing each other.
Related Reading: 10 Ways on How to Deal With Criticism in a Relationship
18. They are always defensive
If you ever point out a problem to your partner, they are always defensive instead of listening or understanding where you are coming from. They start to point out things wrong with you instead of accepting what you are saying or trying to find a solution.
Related Reading: How to Stop Being Defensive in Relationships
19. You are both attracted to other people
If you are in a loveless marriage, chances are you will find yourself incredibly attracted to other people very frequently. If you feel sexually or emotionally attracted to other people apart from your partner, you are in a loveless marriage.
20. You had different reasons to get married
While the common notion is that people get married for love, it is not always the case. If you both got married for different reasons, eventually, when the reason subsides, the love in the marriage would, too.
Why stay in a loveless marriage?
Do you wonder why and how to stay in a loveless marriage?
A loveless marriage does not necessarily mean a relationship that cannot be worked out. All those signs are just manifestations of deeper problem/s in your relationship. But one thing is for sure, you and your spouse need to be partners again.
In love, sex, and marriage. Only then can you resolve problems as a couple. If you both want to work on your marriage, you can choose to stay in a loveless marriage and make it a great partnership again.
Not sure if your marriage is worth fighting for? Watch this video.
How can I be happy in a loveless marriage?
How to cope in a loveless marriage? How to survive a loveless marriage?
Living in a loveless marriage is not easy. If your relationship is exhibiting more than a few loveless marriage signs, it’s time to think about moving forward with your marriage or divorce.
If you want a divorce, then prepare yourself for what’s to come.
Keep your nose clean, and don’t give your spouse ammunition if the divorce arbitration becomes messy. Some examples are getting caught cheating, neglecting your children, or irresponsible spending.
Do your research about divorce and what to expect, also run a financial calculation to see if you can afford being separated from your partner. This is especially true if you are not the breadwinner of the family.
If you are looking to reconcile, you may need a marriage counselor’s help to restart constructive communication.
If you are still willing to fix your relationship, don’t sabotage it by getting into more fights.
Unless it’s a modern arranged marriage for money or power, most loveless marriages are just a couple having a rough patch.
The romance is gone, and responsibilities just got in the way. Rekindling your relationship takes a lot of work. That’s why you have to be determined about doing it yourself.
Just like how it took time to turn your dream marital life into the cesspool it is now, it will also take time to put it back together.
Over time, you will know if your partner is also willing to fix your marriage.
Agreeing to go to a marriage counselor is a good sign. One or both of you may have committed infidelity as an escape. Discuss it privately with your therapist.
Laying your cards on the table can help regain trust, or it can damage it beyond repair.
What does a loveless marriage look like? ›
A loveless marriage is a relationship where one or both partners do not feel in love. Instead of being romantic lovers, they often feel more like roommates or siblings. Being in a loveless marriage often breeds isolation, resentment, and hopelessness.What are the signs of an unhappy husband? ›
- He doesn't spend time with you anymore.
- He has a new obsession.
- Your husband is emotionally unavailable.
- Your husband stops communicating.
- He will not discuss the future.
- Your husband has developed a short temper.
- Your husband starts nitpicking.
A common sign of high levels of exhaustion in marriage is the absence of motivation to do anything with or for the spouse. You don't want to look your best anymore, ideas of activities to do, and places to see have vanished, and you really have no desire to spend a lot of time with that person.What are red flags in a marriage? ›
Red flags in a relationship include excessive jealousy and frequent lying. You should also be wary of a partner who frequently criticizes you or puts you down. Another major red flag is an unwillingness to compromise — relationships shouldn't be one-sided.What is Gaslighting in a marriage? ›
The term gaslighting became popular in the 1960s. It is used to describe the manipulation of another person's perception of reality. Gaslighting is a common tool used by narcissistic and abusive spouses to control their partners. When done correctly, gaslighting can make a spouse doubt their own senses and memory.What does a lonely marriage look like? ›
Being in a lonely marriage doesn't mean you're physically excluding your partner from your life, but you're emotionally excluding them from your thoughts. While you two may talk, you're not communicating your hopes, fears and dreams.When should you walk away from a marriage? ›
There are times you MUST leave—if there is ongoing abuse or if you are in danger of physical harm, you should only consider staying safe. Repeated bouts of addiction, cheating, emotional badgering, and severe financial abuse need to be handled with extreme care as well.What makes a woman unhappy in marriage? ›
The cause of every unhappy marriage is most likely a deep-rooted sense of unfulfillment. A feeling that there is not enough love, affection, trust, respect, or other crucial components for a satisfying connection. By nature, a woman is more connected to her emotions.What are the signs of an unhappy wife? ›
- She stops wanting to have sex. ...
- She shuts down because she doesn't feel heard. ...
- She stops taking care of herself. ...
- She starts talking to male friends instead of her husband. ...
- She starts drinking more heavily. ...
- She starts having physical ailments.
A narcissistic husband is usually a very selfish person and will only think about themselves, and not about you or your relationship together. They might expect you to do all the housework, or they may want to have sex with you when they want it, but not when you want it.
What is walkaway wife syndrome? ›
What Is a Walkaway Wife? Also referred to as the "neglected wife syndrome" and "sudden divorce syndrome," walkaway wife syndrome is "nothing more than a term used to characterize a person who has decided they cannot stay in the marriage any longer," says Joshua Klapow, Ph.Why do I feel lonely in my marriage? ›
Loneliness in a marriage can be caused by a number of different things. Family, work, and stress often play a role, but internal factors such as your own unrealistic expectations and fear of vulnerability can also make it hard to connect with your spouse.How do you know your marriage wont last? ›
The number one warning sign that your marriage might not work is you stop trying. You stop communicating, or you stop showing affection or planning date nights — you basically stop nurturing the relationship because you or your partner has checked out.What does an unhealthy marriage look like? ›
When a marriage is unhealthy, issues of control are usually evident. Finances are an easy weapon of control. One partner starts deciding how money is spent and how much the other spouse can spend. Control can also spill over into areas like friendships and outside activities.What are the red flags of a narcissist? ›
Here are some narcissism red flags to look out for: Lacking empathy. They seem unable or unwilling to have empathy for others, and they appear to have no desire for emotional intimacy. Unrealistic sense of entitlement.What is the 3 month rule? ›
STORY HIGHLIGHTS. People in new relationships should wait three months before thinking long-term. Important discoveries about another are usually made in that three-month period. Don't bother worrying if a man is husband-material until you really know him.What are 4 major predictors of divorce? ›
The Four Horsemen are four communication habits that increase the likelihood of divorce, according to research by psychologist and renowned marriage researcher John Gottman, Ph. D. Those four behaviors are criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt.What is a manipulative husband? ›
Someone who manipulates their partner may use a variety of tactics, including gaslighting, lying, blaming, and criticizing. Their goal is to undermine their partner's sense of self-worth, making it more difficult for their partner to stand up for themselves.Why do I feel so unloved by my husband? ›
Feeling alone and unloved in marriage can also be triggered by depression as well as jealousy and anxiety. These strong emotions can alienate a partner such that you fall into a vicious circle. All these are symptoms though that could mean something much deeper is going on.What is emotional neglect in a marriage? ›
Emotional neglect occurs when a spouse fails on a regular basis to attend to or respond to their partner's emotional needs. This is marked by a distinct lack of action by one person toward the feelings of the other, including an absence of awareness, consideration, or response to a spouse's emotions.
What is emotional abandonment in marriage? ›
In the context of a marriage, the feelings of neglect, being left out, and not being heard are collectively referred to as emotional abandonment. It occurs when one partner is so preoccupied with their own concerns that they are unable to notice the struggles, concerns, or problems their partner is experiencing.Who is more likely to leave a marriage? ›
A 2015 study by the American Sociological Association revealed that women initiate 69 percent of all divorces in the U.S. Further, the same study found that college-educated women initiate divorce at an even higher rate of 90 percent.Is it better to divorce or stay unhappily married? ›
American studies mirror our findings. A 2002 study found that two-thirds of unhappy adults who stayed together were happy five years later. They also found that those who divorced were no happier, on average, than those who stayed together.What are the four pillars of an unhappy marriage? ›
Usually, these four horsemen clip-clop into the heart of a marriage in the following order: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.What are women's biggest complaints about husbands? ›
- “He Never Asks How I'm Doing” ...
- “I Have to Handle Everything” ...
- “He Always Wants To Fix, But Is Rarely Willing To Listen.” ...
- “He's Not Emotionally Present.” ...
- “He's Always Looking at His Phone.” ...
- “He's An Overgrown Kid.”
Signs you're falling out of love
You're less interested in spending time with them. You feel more comfortable apart than you feel together. You're thinking about them less and less. They start to feel like a burden.
Narcissists are misogynists. They hold women in contempt, they loathe and fear them. They seek to torment and frustrate them (either by debasing them sexually – or by withholding sex from them). They harbor ambiguous feelings towards the sexual act.What are things narcissists do in a relationship? ›
Narcissistic partners act as if they are always right, that they know better and that their partner is wrong or incompetent. This often leaves the other person in the relationship either angry and trying to defend themselves or identifying with this negative self-image and feeling badly about themselves.What is the GREY rock method with husband? ›
The phrase 'grey rock' is a metaphor for a way to deflect and/or defuse further abuse from a partner, a family member, or even a coworker. Simply put, it's when a person who is enduring abuse purposely acts as boring as possible during encounters with their abuser.What is the #1 cause of divorce? ›
Lack of commitment is the most common reason given by divorcing couples according to a recent national survey. Here are the reasons given and their percentages: Lack of commitment 73% Argue too much 56%
What is stonewalling in a relationship? ›
What does it mean to stonewall someone? In simple terms, stonewalling is when someone completely shuts down in a conversation or is refusing to communicate with another person.How do you know when it's time to separate? ›
- You're Actively Avoiding Your Partner.
- They Don't Act Like Your Partner.
- You Don't Trust or Respect Your Partner.
- You've Tried and Tried and Tried … But Nothing Changes.
- You're Worried About What Others Might Think.
- You're Staying Together For the Kids.
- It's Cheaper to Stay Together.
Emotional abandonment is, “other people not meeting your emotional needs, leaving you feeling rejected, unloved, or painfully lonely,” explains Kibby McMahon, PhD, a clinical psychologist and co-host of the podcast “A Little Help for Our Friends.”When a woman feels neglected in a relationship? ›
What happens when a woman feels neglected? When a woman feels neglected in a relationship, she is likely to feel as if she isn't important. This can lead to her also feeling sad, depressed, or hopeless. She may also begin to feel lonely as if she has no one to turn to because her partner is emotionally unavailable.How do you survive a lonely marriage? ›
- Tell your spouse you're lonely. ...
- Appreciate the little things. ...
- Plan how to handle the loneliness together. ...
- Be patient. ...
- Connect with your partner. ...
- Find opportunities to be together. ...
- Attend couples therapy.
After all, almost 50% of first marriages, 60% of second marriages, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. While there are countless divorce studies with conflicting statistics, the data points to two periods during a marriage when divorces are most common: years 1 – 2 and years 5 – 8.How many years does the average marriage last? ›
What is the average length of marriage? On average, the length of a marriage in the U.S. is seven to eight years. Some states have a higher rate than others, but the divorce rate for the country is around 50%.What causes love loss in marriage? ›
Lack of sexual attraction and emotional connectedness are two of the most common factors contributing to the loss of love in marriage. Falling out of love is also not as uncommon as most people think. Research says, nearly 50% of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce.Can a marriage survive if there is no love? ›
A marriage that lasts 50 years, even if the couple was not romantic for the last 20 years, is considered successful, whereas a love-filled 10-year marriage is not. Many couples choose to live in a loveless marriage due to children, financial reasons, or simply the practicality of living under one roof.What causes a loveless marriage? ›
There are several reasons why a marriage could become loveless. It could be that one or both has fallen out of love. It could be that their careers have forced the marriage to take a backseat in terms of their priority. Financial stress can also result in a loveless marriage.
How do you deal with no love in marriage? ›
Get back to basics
If marriage without love is stifling your happiness, try to recapture who you were when you were first together. Something made the two of you fall in love with each other, and you need to find that again. There was a time when you were happy and in love, and you need to think back to that time.
- You Don't Talk Anymore. ...
- You Don't Talk About Them. ...
- You're Bored. ...
- They're Hardly on Your Mind. ...
- Your Love Life Has Become Unexciting. ...
- Everything They Do Annoys You. ...
- Your Relationship Is No Longer a Priority.
Besides no longer getting excited to spend time together, you may find yourself flat-out avoiding your partner. You may stay late at work, see movies or eat dinner by yourself, or even take the long way home to avoid being with your partner for a moment longer than you have to.What does a sexless marriage do to a man? ›
Anxiety, stress, and depression are also common sexless marriage effects on the husband. When a husband is denied sex at home for a long time, his mental health is likely to deteriorate from stress, overthinking, and inability to release the feel-good hormone from sex.When there is no intimacy in a marriage? ›
There are a few common reasons why couples develop a lack of intimacy. Stress is the most common reason. Stress can come from various sources such as pressure from work, child care, and financial troubles in the family. There are several studies that show the link between stress and a decrease in sex drive.