Wondering if you’re in a loveless marriage? Staying in the marriage because of your kids? Or, is it because your parents expect you to? Or, is your partner not reciprocating your feelings?
I hate that you are facing such circumstances. If only I could change your life with a magic wand. Though not a wand, I have this think-piece to navigate through your situation.
Here, you’ll find out if you’re really in a loveless marriage. Whether you want to bring back love to the marriage or want to keep on, I have an answer for all.
However, don’t stay forcibly if you can’t stand it.
So, with hopes of removing your worries, let’s begin this journey…
What is a loveless marriage?
In a loveless marriage, two people don’t love, care, cherish, or respect one another. Or, one doesn’t reciprocate the other’s feelings. It’s not the same as a sexless marriage.
In a healthy marriage, love is an essential bond that unites two souls into one. However, when this love ceases to exist, surviving the marriage slowly yet steadily becomes burdensome.
As per New York City sex therapist Ian Kerner (Ph.D.), in a loveless marriage, your partner doesn’t make you feel loved, cared for, or cherished. Your partner doesn’t reciprocate your feelings and you feel lonely.
Some confuse a loveless and sexless marriage as the same… but they aren’t. A loveless one refers to a lack of emotional intimacy… a sexless one lacks sex altogether.
Many people say they can make a loveless marriage work. But it’s undoubtedly an unhappy marriage, so sooner or later either or both partners will feel frustrated in it.
It isn’t the same as losing the honeymoon phase spark. Rather, both partners entirely lose their feelings for one another. You don’t feel like spending time together and give up on making them happy.
Anxious how your marriage might take this form? Let’s learn from these…
Reasons why a marriage turns loveless
With time, you both faced different difficulties in life. As a result, you grew apart in some ways and closer in others.
However, some situations might harm your marriage much more intensely than others… which leads to a loveless marriage. So, let’s check the unfortunate scenarios here…
1. Your life circumstances are in the way
Life isn’t always flowery and we all suffer at some point. This might make one partner lose interest in the other.
It might be financial pressure, sexual frustrations, a sudden job loss, nurturing an ill family member, or any kind of unexpected life obstacle.
2. You can’t reconcile past the differences
Hardly any couple in the world have matching personalities, preferences, and goals. Something or the other always contradicts even among marriages with overflowing love.
However, you might have a loveless marriage if you can’t compromise and eventually drift apart.
3. You have unresolved resentment
You experienced a dirty fight in your marriage. This eventually led to bitter resentful feelings towards one another. You can’t work past these feelings because it hurts you so badly.
You took too long to resolve the fight which led to a lack of communication for a prolonged period. This made it all the tougher to resolve the issue but you’re still hung on it.
4. Someone cheated in the marriage
If one of you cheated, lied, or broke the trust of the other… it’s possible the offender out of you two feels too guilty to reach out.
While the other person feels resentful for being subject to such feelings. The incident drove a wedge in between you two and you can’t think past it.
5. The marriage isn’t a priority anymore
Possibly, you both are more committed to other aspects of your life… like your job or children. You only focus on them and not on one another.
You pushed your marriage to the backseat and didn’t have enough time for one another. Either or both of you take one another for granted. You don’t appreciate the little things they do.
Anxious if your marriage is loveless? Well, it’s time to look out for these…
Loveless marriage signs
Society might convince you you’re in a loving happy marriage. Perhaps because your partner does all the household chores or pays for everything.
However, marriage isn’t about that… It’s all about feelings and responsibilities. So, let’s check if you’re in a loveless marriage here…
1. You feel physically sick around them
When you don’t feel good being around someone, your brain will react to them differently. You might even feel bad physically… it might not stop at just negative emotions.
If you get nausea, body ache, severe headaches, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, drowsy, irritable, depressed, anxious, or any other physical discomfort around your spouse… that’s an alarming sign of an unhappy marriage.
If your body doesn’t feel fine around them, it might be because of a lack of love.
2. Someone snaps too much without reasons
As per John Gottman, for healthy relationships, the magic ratio of negative to positive interactions is 1:5. Pay attention to how frequently you have negative and positive interactions in your marriage.
If you have much more negative exchanges, feel that you or your spouse always snaps at the other… that’s a sign that something is wrong in your marriage.
3. There’s no end of criticism between you
The Gottman Institute also considers criticism as one of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse in marriages. Sometimes, you can’t help but criticize because your spouse doesn’t notice their mistakes.
However, if the criticism is a regular in your marriage, there’s an unhealthy lack of respect in the mix.
This might show up like absolute statements “You’re always like this”, “You never remember it right”. Without respect, love is impossible.
4. They completely shut down
Another issue Gottman Horsemen reveals is stonewalling. When you confront your spouse about anything, how do they react? Do they answer or comfort you?
If your spouse stops talking whenever you confront them, keep quiet for even days until you leave a topic… that’s called stonewalling.
If they stonewall you frequently, you can’t ever resolve any issue… with this even if the marriage isn’t loveless yet, it might soon be.
5. Contempt overflows in your marriage
Other than stonewalling and criticism, contempt is another of Gottman’s red flags.
If someone in the marriage excessively relies on sarcasm, you roll your eyes, or simply call off the other one as immature… that’s a sign of contempt.
Once it begins, it’s hard to stop… moreover, it’s the worst way to treat someone.
Contempt is so hurtful and it’s only possible if someone not only loses feelings but also hates the other… the other possibly did something that led to this.
6. They have a hyperactive defense mechanism
If either of you always jumps to a defensive stance whenever you face confrontations… that’s another J. Gottman red flag of a dying marriage.
Spouses behave defensively when they can’t invest in marriage anymore. They have this notion that their spouse is attacking them through confrontations.
Their mindset completely revolves around protecting themselves instead of the relationship.
7. You don’t perceive them as someone close
If you have unresolved conflicts, you might continuously feel hostile toward one another. In healthy relationships, couples fix what doesn’t feel right.
However, if you guys don’t want to fix things, you stopped seeing one another as the closest to your hearts… that’s definitely a major red flag.
8. You both go to great length to avoid the other
Do either or both of you make excuses to stay out of the other’s radar? Perhaps you laze on the couch until your partner is asleep. Or, you return late from the office so you spend less time with your spouse?
As per relationship therapists, these are subconscious warning signs. You two don’t feel as much love towards one another any longer. Loving couples go out of their way to spend more time together.
9. You don’t connect during sex
During sex, how do you feel? Don’t just think about pleasure… focus on the overall situation. Do you feel connected, happy, joyful, and elated while having sex?
Couples in loveless marriages, don’t feel right having sex with one another. The lack of intimacy during sex turns your sex life lifeless.
However, this has nothing to do with how frequently you have sex. If you bond in ways other than sex, you’re still safe.
10. You fantasize about a divorced life
During your free time, do you fantasize about a life without your spouse? Perhaps, you feel life without them is full of happiness and positivity?
Perhaps, you can’t actually get a divorce easily, so you contain these feelings into daydreams. If a moment’s escape sounds much more attractive to you than a married life… that’s an alarming sign of a loveless marriage.
11. You stopped fighting completely
In marriages, when partners start avoiding fights, it’s worse than fighting. Fruitful disagreements and conflicts are natural and healthy signs of relationships. It implies that the two still care about one another.
However, if there’s no fight at all, that’s a sign you both gave up on the marriage. You know nothing’s left to save your marriage so you continue it this way.
12. You don’t feel a sense of connection
When you spend time together, do you feel a sense of connection or unity? In loveless marriages, people give up on showing vulnerabilities and treat one another like acquaintances.
If you sense your marriage and feelings for your partner are stand-still… if you no longer feel close, but two people living together or co-parenting without feelings… All of these are dangerous signs.
13. You have negative assumptions about them
Do you usually connect every relationship issue with your partner’s traits?
For instance, your partner feels upset when anything goes wrong in their family. You say “They’re emotionally unstable because of their folks”.
Do you make your spouse a flawed person because of life situations? If yes, then deep inside you don’t love them at all.
If everything about your marriage is negative in your mind… you fell out of love way back.
14. You feel comfortable apart
Do you feel comfortable in the same room? When a relationship ages, you find more repulsive facts about one another.
If you grow distant from the differences, you’ll feel more comfortable, free, and feel yourself away from them.
In loveless marriages, when you’re forced to stay together… you’ll constantly feel uncomfortable together.
15. You ignore their opinions entirely
Every day in your life you make new decisions and head toward your goals. In happy marriages, couples talk to one another before major decisions.
You have your own money and freedom… but in marriage, you must get a second opinion.
However, if you know that your partner’s feelings will obstruct your decisions… so you completely dodge them and work on your whims. That’s when you no longer have respect or love for them.
16. It began with the communication gap
When was the last time you guys communicated well? All relationships need communication as one of the foundation pillars. If you don’t talk, you’ll only assume and argue even more.
A lack of communication might result in depression, unresolved conflicts, avoiding one another, drifting apart, and in the end falling out of love.
17. You flinch from physical intimacy
If you feel awkward with physical intimacy and you know one another for quite a lot of time… you clearly don’t love them. They’re like a stranger in your heart and your marriage no longer has love.
18. You seek happiness outside your marriage
Married couples aren’t bound to stick to one another all day long… however, they choose to because they’re one another’s source of happiness. Do you feel the same?
If not, you might seek enjoyment outside your marriage. If you seek people to connect with emotionally or intellectually – probably didn’t find one yet – that’s a red flag.
You find your marriage uninteresting and can’t pour your feelings into it.
19. There’s no appreciation for the marriage
When was the last time either of you thanked the other for something? Maybe it’s because they prepared food or did a chore for you?
If you can’t remember saying or hearing ‘thank you’ in the marriage, then that’s an issue. Some couples follow ‘No-thank-you-no-sorry’ rules… but those are only valid for minor situations.
For major favors, if you never appreciate them and take them for granted… that’s a sorry sign of a loveless marriage.
20. You both slack off in marriage responsibilities
Married life is full of responsibilities towards one another. If neither of you cares about them, don’t notice what your partner likes and dislikes, focus on yourself more as days pass, that’s definitely fishy.
If the individual needs to get the spotlight over the mutual ones… your feelings aren’t on the same page anymore. Your selfish desires might be the end of this marriage.
21. You feel time together is burdensome
When you spend time together, does it feel like a chore or a 9-5 job? During date nights, do you feel burdened to behave a certain way? Do you hate the idea of decking up for your partner?
If you feel like that about spending time together… That’s an alarming sign. You pretty much dislike them and it’s time to walk out.
22. You don’t mind fighting publicly
Fighting publicly is the worst a couple can do to themselves… it’s no worse than airing your dirty laundry outside.
Nobody needs or wants to witness them… however, if you both fight dirty outside and disrespect one another, there’s nothing left.
You don’t care about one another’s feelings, let alone love. This is a sign your marriage needs professional attention.
23. Your priorities are all over the place
Sometimes, life does its miraculous backflips, and boom! You’re busy with work, your parent’s health, financial issues, social obligations… and you have no time for yourself.
During such circumstances, you can’t deny these commitments and focus on your spouse. However, do you feel bad about it?
If you don’t mind prioritizing something else in your life… that’s another of the major signs of a loveless marriage.
24. They don’t reciprocate your efforts
Perhaps, it’s not about you… but your partner’s feelings? You express your love and try to revive the marriage, but they don’t reciprocate? If yes, your partner doesn’t love you much anymore.
If your partner suffers from mental health issues like a narcissistic personality disorder, they might not even notice that they’re wrong.
25. You doubt their feelings for you
If you’re doubtful of your partner’s feelings… certain issues led to this conclusion. Probably, they don’t give you much time, don’t satisfy you emotionally or sexually, or don’t communicate.
When someone loves you, whether you’re married to them or they have a crush on you… most of the time, you can feel it.
If you can’t feel that love, ask questions like “do they love me?”… That’s a sign that they don’t.
26. There’s no friendship between you guys
Marriage can’t work without friendship. Without friendship, you’ll always feel a wall in between. You can’t connect to them freely and feel something restrains you from bonding frankly.
If you don’t bond like friends, there’s a lot of distance. Eventually, this distance might increase and your marriage might become completely loveless. You still have time so don’t ignore this sign.
27. You can’t remember when you last said “I love you (too)”
Not everyone feels comfortable saying “I love you” initially. However, as time passes in marriage, it becomes a daily habit. So, when did you guys say it last?
If it’s not within the last three weeks, you won a red flag. Your partner doesn’t show you affection while communicating. If they won’t try to make your heart flutter with words… something’s definitely wrong.
28. Everything is a fuel to fight
Whenever you two aren’t on the same page, how do you deal with it? Do you talk it out calmly and figure out something?
If not… if you guys always end up fighting over something in your relationship, then that’s your emergency siren. Something’s off, so take time to understand it.
29. You seek others’ support
When you face hardships in your life or marriage… who do you seek comfort from? Do you think your friends or family can help you get better through it? Or, do you wash away your pain with substances?
If it’s true, then love is long lost from your life. It’s just you to survive in a loveless marriage.
30. You regret marrying them
Another sign of being in a loveless marriage is regretting your marriage. When older couples bicker, they say “I fooled myself by marrying you, so many better men/women were waiting for you”.
Clearly, they do it just in the heat of time. However, if you think about it deep in your mind, even when there’s no issue in the relationship… Undoubtedly, it’s a loveless marriage.
31. You feel lonely
When you’re together and enjoying a movie date night or sipping on hot beverages together… Do you still feel lonely? If yes, that’s another sorry sign of a loveless marriage.
You feel they’re forcing themselves but you can’t even talk about it. If you don’t communicate about your issues, it might soon take a worse turn.
32. You can’t trust them
Trust is one of the important pillars to sustain a relationship. For some reason, do you find it hard to trust your spouse? Are you always suspicious about them?
If your partner makes you feel insecure in the marriage, then love probably doesn’t exist anymore. Nobody makes their partner feel suspicious and let it be.
33. They’re the definition of ‘annoying’
Remember when you first met them, you found their quirks cute. It was because you were in love back then.
Their friends or family might not feel the same about those quirks because of the lack of intense feelings. The moment you find their quirks ‘annoying’, that’s when you fall out of love.
34. Someone was unfaithful
If your partner already cheated on you… or it was the other way round… that’s pretty much it. Adultery is an unforgivable dealbreaker.
If one person can’t stay loyal to marriage and hurts the other without any consideration… that speaks tons about their feelings. Cheating isn’t possible unless it’s a loveless marriage.
35. You hide things from one another
Honesty is another crucial part of relationships. If your partner isn’t honest, you’ll have trust issues. Moreover, if you guys have secrets from one another… why can’t you be honest?
Is it because you know it’s something ethically wrong and they won’t accept it? If you gotta tiptoe around your marriage… and not be honest, that denotes it’s loveless.
36. You wanna explore beyond the marriage
Do you think that you got married too soon? Think that there were more options out there but you missed out?
After getting married, if you wanna have adventures outside your relationship… This sounds like you’re bored.
Married couples get bored… that’s natural. However, if they seek the solution outside the marriage, it’s a serious situation of a loveless marriage.
37. You both find others attractive
Do you feel attracted to others? Do you often get crushes on others even when you’re married? It might be a romantic, emotional, or sexual attraction to anyone other than your spouse.
If yes, that’s because it is a loveless marriage. If you love your partner and you’re in a monogamous relationship… you can’t bring yourself to like anyone else.
38. Your goals of getting married were different
Some people get married for love, some to please their parents, some for security, and so on. If you both got married for distinct reasons… it will show itself in the marriage.
This is a definite sign that it’s a loveless marriage and it won’t last long.
39. You have different attachment styles
If one of you has an anxious attachment style, i.e., lacks boundaries, depends on others’ feelings to feel confident.
While the other has an avoidant attachment style, i.e., keep things to themselves, don’t talk issues out.
In this situation, one person chases and the other withdraws endlessly. This later on results in relationship issues… even if there was any love, it fades away.
40. You’re in denial
Another regular sign of a loveless marriage is denial. In the back of your mind, you notice many signs that there’s no love… however, you don’t want a separation.
You know that if you accept the reality, there’s no other way than a divorce. However, if you don’t confront the situation, you’ll also lose your chance to save your marriage.
41. Your bodies say it all
Body language also matters when you talk with your loved ones. If you love a person, you’ll have a softer tone, make eye contact, face them during conversations, and have an open stance.
When you don’t want to talk with someone, you’ll face away from them, avoid eye contact, cross your arms, or rest your hands on the hips… all of these are defensive body language.
If you or your partner does any of these, you might not love one another anymore.
42. You spend time in silence
When you spend time together, do you both mostly stay silent? Spending time in silence isn’t an issue unless it happens all the time.
If it does and you don’t even try to break the silence… that’s the ominous sign of a loveless marriage. You guys don’t want to know about one another because you don’t want to connect.
43. You withdraw from friends and family
Do you avoid your friends or family? Do you stand them up at the last minute? Is it because they’re worried about your marriage and you wanna avoid them at any cost?
Deep inside you know there’s no love in the marriage but, you don’t want to think on this topic. If your folks dissect the topic too deeply, you know you can’t keep denying it.
You’re afraid of accepting reality… this is another sign.
44. Date nights never happen
Can’t remember when you last went on a date night? Then perhaps you guys ignore one another because you don’t have fun together. You no longer put an effort to surprise one another with food.
You can’t bother yourself to get ready for a date night. You’re too tired after a long day’s work. Or, you’re short on money… The excuses keep coming and no dates happen which is another sign.
45. You fought about the same thing repeatedly
Do you keep having the same fight all over? That implies you never have effective communication. Or, that you must work on a ton of more issues… it’s not just one that takes you back to the past.
If you can’t sort out the issues and keep hanging on to one topic, love probably flew off from your haven long back.
46. You considered an emotional affair
Probably, you didn’t work on it… but did you ever fall for someone emotionally? You loved how they were your support system even without marriage.
That person gave much more attention to you and shared interesting thoughts. Nobody knows about your feelings because you didn’t engage with them physically.
If you were close to emotionally cheating ever, that’s a clear sign of a loveless marriage.
47. The blame game never stops
Whenever something goes wrong, is it always their fault? Perhaps, you can’t notice your faults even when they point them out? This is the most common reason behind getting couples’ therapy.
If you’re always blaming your partner, but never notice your issues or try to improve yourself… that’s a sign of lost love.
48. You can’t concentrate on life
Perhaps you can’t focus on your work or other aspects of your life? Your mind is full of issues about your marriage.
When you can’t perform well in other stages of your life for personal reasons… that’s a sign that something is off in your marriage.
49. You can’t make future plans
Lovey-dovey couples can’t stop making future plans… whether it’s about child planning, which school you’ll admit your future child in, or where you’ll go after retirement.
If you stopped planning far in the future, deep within you know the reasons. You fear this marriage may not work out because of your feelings. This is another sign of a loveless marriage.
50. Your instincts say it’s a loveless marriage
Deep inside, do you have a hunch that this marriage isn’t working? Do you feel your partner or you can’t reciprocate feelings?
If your instincts say something’s wrong in the relationship… then it really is. Don’t ignore this ominous feeling.
Think you’re in a loveless marriage? Can’t decide what to do? Don’t worry, I’ll help you out here…
How to decide whether to stay or leave a loveless marriage?
There are different reasons for people to stay back or leave a loveless marriage. However, only you can decide what your heart wants. Your family will tell you to stay back and therapists won’t ever give you a solid answer.
Different couples have different reasons to stay or leave a loveless marriage. It also depends on the couple’s reasons to split or stay. Most people want to stay for goal-based or emotional reasons. Usually, people stay for…
- Children’s welfare
- Financial stability
- Reluctance toward asset splitting
- Love for in-laws
- Embarrassment and shame
- Splitting of mutual friends
- Fear of others’ gossip
- Fear of loneliness
- Fear of starting over
- Fear of hard luck in remarriage
However, it’s not always possible if there are some unhealthy dynamics. People usually never stay behind if any of these happen…
- Domestic violence
- Anger issues and contemptuous dynamics
- Sexless or low sex
- Prolonged separation for work
- Messed up priorities and broken promises
- Extreme frugality or prodigality
- Substance abuse
- Clashing parenting style
You know best what happens in your relationship, whether it’s tolerable, whether it’s right to tolerate for your and your children’s physical and mental health.
Your loved ones and priests won’t know your circumstances so their views and advice may not be useful. Marriage and family therapists won’t help you with the last call either. So, decide for yourself in this situation.
Want to survive the marriage? Don’t wanna lose the happiness quotient? Well, let’s have a quick look at these…
How to survive a loveless marriage and be happy?
Before you compromise to stay in a loveless marriage, check for all the other options. Don’t stay back forcibly if that doesn’t make you happy.
The other options might be uncomfortable and unpleasant… but it’s way better than a lifelong adjustment. Leaving isn’t easy, as you’ll face your friends, family, and mutual friends’ judgment.
However, if you’re willing, here’s the secret to how to live in a loveless marriage…
1. Be friendly and end the blame games
If you always behave negatively with your partner, act high and mighty, or get angry… control these impulsive reactions. Let your partner notice your efforts.
Don’t blame your partner for inconveniences and notice if you also contributed to it. If something goes wrong, ask them to help you fix the situation.
This way, you’ll feel optimistic and happy and inspire your partner to be the same.
2. Seek help to stay in a loveless marriage
If you lose motivation for staying back in the marriage, then remember why you wanted to stay back in the first place. Was it for the kids? Or are you incapable of fetching for yourself?
You began this painful journey for a reason which is much more painful than staying. Ask those who advised you to stay back about the benefits.
Discuss with your loved ones how much you suffer in the marriage and how much you might suffer if you lose it.
Consider couples therapy to work on your communication skills and try to minimize conflicts.
3. Increase your shared passionate experiences
Invest more time in your marriage. Go out on romantic and adventurous dates on the weekends. Share as much time and experience as you can with one another.
Put more effort into the date so you can get your love and passion across to their heart. Alternatively, choose your favorite date activities so your spouse understands your efforts.
4. Fix your reasons for staying back
Many people stay back because they fear others’ judgment and gossip. Did you figure out yours yet? Well, if you’re unsure about your reasons, it’s time to discern them.
If you identify them, you’ll know better if it’s worth the shot. I know you wanna stay, but it’s still important to make sure you have the right reasons.
If you find out that the reasons aren’t as solid, you can ponder on leading a better life alone.
5. Allow yourself bliss
You chose to stay back because you don’t wanna make a ruckus in your spouse’s, children’s, friends’, or parents’ life. Remember that you don’t need to appease others.
It never helps so always focus on your happiness… even if it means leaving your marriage. You’re not responsible for how others feel because life gives you only one chance… if you lose it by pleasing others, when will you truly smile?
6. Set your eyes on healthy hope
Your partner’s feelings towards you or your marriage dynamics won’t change overnight. So, don’t hope for miracles and focus on the possible changes.
If it’s an abusive relationship, hoping won’t change a dime of the dynamics. Make sure your hopes are achievable before you begin.
7. Build your life your way
Try out new hobbies all alone and focus on what life has to offer you. Your partner may be unable or unwilling to spend time with you all the time… does that mean you must sacrifice your desires?
Definitely NOT. If they don’t care about your joy, you will. Don’t let your relationship issues catch the spotlight. Be happy on your own and do what you like and love.
8. Appreciate the present
Everything isn’t fine so don’t ignore your troubles. However, don’t let your life be all about problems and problem-solving. Focus on what you have and got from the marriage in the present.
What benefits did you get from it? Is it financial stability, sweet children who always look out for you, loving in-laws that support you through everything?
It’s easy to dwell on the past and hold on to bitterness, but that might trouble you.
9. Connect with your faith
Religious and spiritual beliefs and practices help you calm yourself. All religious chants have a soothing effect on the believer’s body.
Medically reviewed Harvard studies proved that religious and spiritual beliefs decrease the risks of depression and substance abuse.
This will also help your emotional and mental well-being and attract optimism in your life.
10. Make new friends
No need to sulk in a marriage where your partner doesn’t care to give you time. Create healthy and happy relationships outside your marriage.
Where your spouse doesn’t give you enough time, don’t let them get in your way of socializing. Though not ideal, you can also seek happiness from friendship.
Connect with people with similar stories or shared interests. Companionship is important in human life.
Help them deal with their life, rather than always talking about yours. This will also help you feel better about yourself.
Don’t wanna just survive? Want love back in the equation? I have exactly what you need here…
Things to do to add love back in loveless marriage
If you want to add the lost love to your marriage, you both must work together. You need a basket full of effective communication, patience, faith, and hope that you’ll be back again. Get rid of all the unrealistic expectations and hop on this journey…
1. Forgive the sins
Since you both want to make it work, begin on a fresh page. This isn’t as easy as said so take time to forgive one another’s past mistakes.
You got nothing lingering on them so let’s try to get it out of the system. This is a slow process so have faith that you’ll both make it through.
2. Focus on your words
Either or both of your communication patterns sucked, so work on it. If you talk like the old days, your partner will remember the past. So, you’ll never achieve point #1.
When something goes wrong, communicate in a calm, playful, and optimistic way… provoke a positive reaction from your spouse.
Suppose they forgot to take out the trash. You can say either of these…
“Babe, you always forget to take the trash out… won’t you ever learn?”
“Honey! Mind taking the trash out? It’s still lying around here.”
No pressure on becoming lovey-dovey and using respectful words. Intimacy will eventually follow suit.
3. Fence up for protection
Once again, communicate to find what you both hate hearing. Be more specific about what makes you angry and uncomfortable. Build proper boundaries and work on maintaining them.
If you guys respect one another’s boundaries, you’ll feel appreciated, and at peace, and love won’t take long to return.
4. Bet on time together
As per you two, which one was your best date? If you have different opinions, recreate both dates. Make excuses to go on dates.
Visit the most places that have pleasant memories of you both. Talk about how you felt back then, immerse in nostalgic moments.
Work, friends, parents, children… all of your other commitments can wait for a moment. Spending time together won’t hurt your situation.
5. Work on the sex life
Without love, spouses don’t feel interested in sex. Before you change the loveless status, work on the sexless aspect. Infuse exciting bedroom dynamics so you look forward to it.
Workout to be in shape, invest in good outfits to appeal to your partner’s appetite, roleplay, or realize fantasies to put your bed on fire. This is a great way to return love in the marriage.
6. Build healthy fighting dynamics
No couple on earth thrives to the end of time without fighting. It will always happen, even in the best relationships. What changes do you want in your fighting ways?
Do you want them to stop using vulgar words? Or do you want them to lower their voice? Do they give you the cold shoulder? Or, do they come too strongly during fights?
There’s no end to fights, but there can be a different way to approach them… so you don’t feel hurt.
7. Keep yourself first
Remember the ‘you’ from before the relationship or marriage. After being in a relationship, people change due to the experiences in the relationship, to compromise, to make your partner happier.
Though you made them happy, you lost a beautiful part of yourself. Work on yourself to bring back the lost beauty.
Your partner took your sacrifice for granted but they didn’t know they actually liked those parts.
8. Discuss what you find loving
From this list, choose what you like:
Quality time with undivided attention, nonsexual affectionate contact, verbal adoration, emotional intimacy, outdoor activities, together time doing one another’s favorite activities, efforts on physical appearance, thoughtful gestures, and sex.
Each of you must make separate lists and add anything you like or remove the things you want. Score what you like the most with 10 and the least with 0.
9. Define what drains you
Here, choose what you dislike about one another:
Defensive nature, stonewalling, anger issues, controlling nature, substance abuse, unequal responsibility division, parenting styles, poor finance management, and untidy work.
Create a list for yourself, add more or remove some drainers. Score what you hate the most 0 and the least 10.
10. Follow a love score
Exchange the two sheets and explain which ones make your heart flutter most and the least, which ones piss you off the most and least. If something is unavoidable, how must you compromise?
Since this is just the beginning, try to score at least 5 for the first few weeks. You might not reach your goal yet but believe in the process. If you honestly follow it, it will work out soon.
Try this out for at least 3 months to notice improvement. If you find even minute changes, continue on this path.
Still unsure if you’re in a loveless marriage? Fret not because I got a shortcut for you here…
Loveless marriage quiz
The signs might be too long to read and if you’re a lazy bum like me… I know you want something quicker.
Moreover, you might be too busy to match every sign. So, here’s a more interesting way to find out your marriage situation…
1. Do you have a joint account?
B. Yes, they asked me to
C. That’s a flop idea, why share finances at all?
D. I don’t trust them enough for that
2. How do you resolve conflicts?
A. We take space and communicate calmly
B. We give one another cold shoulder for days and then resolve it
C. We fight aggressively, take a break, and return
D. We never do
3. When did you last have sex?
A. A few hours back
B. A few nights back
C. Last week
D. Over a month back
4. How do you talk with others about your marriage?
A. I protect privacy first and share as much as needed
B. I avoid them when they pry in
C. I listen to others’ spouse’s stories and mentally compare
D. I gossip about how they’re so bad with others
5. When did you feel loved last?
A. Months back
B. Last year
C. Years back
D. I can’t remember
6. Do you ever fantasize about divorce?
B. Now that you say, I might
C. I did once in a while
D. Yes, and it distracts my work
7. When do you guys hug?
A. Whenever we can
B. Whenever something good happens
C. After sex
8. Do you think you’re in a loveless marriage?
A. No, I’m here for fun
B. I’m unsure
C. Why else am I here?
9. Do you share the same bed?
A. Of course
C. Why not? It’s my asset
10. How do you feel about spending time together?
A. I like it
B. I yearn for it, but it doesn’t happen much
C. It’s boring and full of silence
D. It feels like torture
11. Do you find one another funny?
A. Yup, they have a nice sense of humor
B. No, they weren’t funny ever
C. Yes, that’s the only thing good about them
D. No, they disgust me
12. Do you think you want someone better?
A. No, I’m happy with my partner
B. I do, but I don’t want anyone else
C. I hope they’ll change
D. Yes, I regret marrying them
13. Do you think they’re hiding something?
B. They don’t work like that
D. Obviously, they behave completely different
14. Do they reciprocate your efforts?
B. Whenever they can
C. They make excuses to refuse
D. They take me for granted
15. When did you last go on vacation?
A. Weeks back
B. Months back
C. Last year
D. Can’t remember
16. Are you guys friends?
A. We started off as friends
B. We were friends before, but not anymore
C. We’re spouses, why must we be friends?
D. We were never friends
17. Do you agree on parenting styles?
D. They must agree with me
18. Did you have a crush on anyone after your marriage, other than your spouse?
B. I appreciate beauty, but not crushes
C. There was this one time I almost emotionally cheated
D. I get a crush every other day
19. Do you think they use you?
B. A little
C. It was a thing of the past
20. Do you keep secrets from one another?
A. I don’t find the need
B. Only if it’s about our friends
C. I don’t wanna, but they don’t have time to listen. So in a way, yes
D. Too many to count
If you mostly answered A’s
Congratulations, your married life is full of love. You love one another the most in the world. You work in your marriage with love as your priority.
You communicate effectively, trust one another, and give one another moral support. Your deep bond is the result of lots of effort.
If you mostly answered B’s
Your marriage is fine but put in more effort. Your relationship is going well and you both have enough feelings for one another.
However, at times, you take one another for granted. You got so much attention that sometimes you feel it’s alright to ignore them. This might not happen forever if you don’t reciprocate your feelings and appreciation.
If you mostly answered C’s
Your marriage is on the verge of being loveless. Neither of you gives enough time to the other. Your disinterest in the marriage is mutual, so you can’t notice what’s wrong.
Don’t be so laid back unless you want to end things soon. Remember why you got married and your purpose in the marriage. Communicate about it to them.
If you mostly answered D’s
Unfortunately, you’re in a loveless marriage. You both hardly care about one another and there’s a lot of disrespect in the marriage. You hardly pay attention while communicating.
You guys always have conflicts, feel annoyed, and are stuck in marriage. If you don’t wanna stay back, don’t force yourself. Don’t wait for them to declare it’s not working.
A word from ThePleasantRelationship
Divorces are always a way out of the stubborn rough patch in your marriage.
However, not everyone is ready to go through so much hassle because of asset division, alimony, child custody, and all the dirty courtroom fights.
Actively work on your relationship if you want to tune into the good old days.
If you and your partner don’t love one another but wanna keep going, decide on ways to minimize conflicts.
If you wanna leave, then make your child an excuse to stay. Otherwise, you’ll later blame them for ruining your life or expect them to stay grateful for your sacrifices. Both are equally unfair to them.
Surabhi wakes up every day with a drive to craft words that can create a soulful impact. Creatively adventurous, she is always seeking to learn new skills and acquire new experiences. With a hidden soft corner for languages (especially Urdu), she writes poetry occasionally, binges on romantic shows, and LOVES to talk. A hustler, admirer, chaser, Surabhi is just another-someone who refused to give up on her dreams. She says, she is just somebody who’s trying to make herself a writer and for now, she’s just writing...