Marriage is a long-term commitment, and maintaining it can be difficult at times. It is a universal fact that all couples fight, and they resolve their issues over time. But, this is not the case all the time. Sometimes, issues prolong, and finding ways or the motivation to resolve them becomes difficult. This is usually the point where you realize that you and your partner have fallen out of love. If you want to figure out if you are stuck in a loveless marriage, the signs mentioned below should give you some idea.
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Signs You Are In A Loveless Marriage
Here are a few loveless marriage signs that will give you a better idea of the state of your marriage:
1. No Dialogue Between You And Your Partner
Do you feel you and your partner do not communicate about your wants and needs anymore? Does spending time together feel lonesome and non-engaging? If so, there is a possibility that you are headed toward a loveless marriage. Communication is a core element of a healthy, blossoming, and love-filled marriage. Common marriage stressors like children, financial issues, sexual expectations, etc., can be conveyed through open-ended and honest conversations. But, if you and your partner do not keep up this communication or even lack having fun conversations, chances are that you and your spouse are falling out of love.
If your partner keeps telling you that you are overly sensitive or makes you question your sanity, chances are you are being gaslit. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where a person tries to control you by making you doubt and question your own actions, emotions, judgment, etc. Such manipulative patterns are observed when control, and not love, is a predominant element in your marriage. Partners who are in love will usually be empathetic, try to understand your perspective, and work toward mutually benefiting solutions.
3. Attempting To Pursue A Third Person
The involvement of a third person in a relationship is the biggest red flag of a loveless marriage. Sometimes, people form relationships with other people because they do not feel satisfied or content in their marriage. If you find yourself or your partner invested in other people, forming sexual connections outside marriage, cheating, etc., then you should consider going separate ways.
4. One-Sided Love
Marriage is a two-way street, and there is no space for one-sided love in it. Both partners need to meet in the middle to make it work. But in some cases, reciprocation of the same love and effort is missing in the marriage.
The lack of motivation to work on issues and put an effort into making the marriage work is an early sign of a loveless marriage. If you find it exhausting to make an effort or feel no love toward your partner, you are in a loveless marriage.
5. Lack Of Sex
Your sex life can help you figure out if you are locked in a loveless marriage. Sex is a form of intimacy that helps to bring couples closer to each other, emotionally and physically. Studies also show that sex releases hormones like oxytocin that promote a feeling of happiness, which leads to a pleasurable and satisfying marriage (1). Cutting off sex from your bonding activities is likely to create distance and sow the seeds for no intimacy and love.
6. No Future
Nobody can look into the future, but if you or your partner cannot foresee a future with each other, it is probably because your long-term goals have shifted. Marriage without any future plans sounds like an unfair contract, and nobody wants to be in uncertain matrimony. Take note of whether your partner is avoiding conversations about the future or refraining from making any commitments.
7. Constant Disagreements
Disagreements and fights are part and parcel of every marriage, but when it becomes the dominating part of the marriage, it is a concerning issue. Most of the arguments among couples take some form of blaming, passing judgment, or one partner not meeting the expectations set by the other. Though disagreements in a marriage are inevitable, they are acceptable only when you resolve them in a healthy manner. Usually, a couple stuck in a loveless marriage keeps having the same arguments over and over again.
8. Losing Yourself In The Process
A marriage is a success when you can be your true self with your partner. If you start feeling that you are losing your authentic self, it may be time to re-evaluate your marriage. Losing yourself can feel like you are wearing a “mask” of their expectations, which makes you feel uncomfortable, sad, and frustrated. Not being yourself in front of your partner can prove to be toxic in the long run.
9. Constant Thoughts Of Breaking Up
Do you often think about leaving your partner for different reasons? Or, do you keep fantasizing about being single again?
This could be the starting point of you becoming aware of your marital problems. Once you are aware of your problems, try communicating them to your partner. Communicating your feelings can help you both gain a deeper insight into your problems. But if it makes it worse and the thoughts of separation persist, you could be stuck in a loveless marriage.
10. Giving Up Easily
When your bond is not based on the foundation of love, trust, support, and respect, giving up on the person becomes easy. If a conflict arises in such couples, instead of brainstorming solutions, they leave the situation as it is. They are no longer interested in anything their partner says or does. This behavior originates from heavy unresolved conflicts between the couple or because they are falling out of love.
11. No Quality Time
A marriage should feel easygoing and light. If you find yourself struggling to add sparkle to your dim marriage, then your relationship is probably fizzling out. Not spending quality time together can drag a marriage to its grave.
The signs mentioned above will help you get clarity on whether you are in a loveless marriage. If you are wondering if you should stay in this marriage, read the next section.
Should I Stay In A Loveless Marriage?
Marriage is challenging, and when trapped in a loveless marriage, it becomes even more difficult. The choice of staying or leaving a loveless marriage depends on you and the circumstances surrounding it.
1. Marriage Involving Abuse
No one deserves to stay in an abusive marriage. A spouse that uses physical and emotionally abusive methods to solve problems is not someone to build a life with. There is no justification for abuse. Hence, you should walk out of a marriage that is mentally and physically abusive. Prioritizing your safety and mental health will help you pursue opportunities that will help you grow. If the abuse has become physical and threatening in nature, do not shy away from planning your exit from that space and reporting your partner to the concerned authorities.
2. Marriage Involving A Mentally Struggling Partner
A marriage involving a mentally struggling partner can turn loveless. A person who struggles with mental health issues may find it difficult to live up to your expectations. It may seem like your partner does not love you enough to invest their time in you, but in reality, they are fighting with their own battle. Hence, giving them the right kind of support and encouraging them to communicate and seek professional help can help improve the situation. Sticking with your partner in such situations is important and needed. At the same time, do not ignore your own mental and emotional health in the bargain.
3. Marriage Involving Children
Parenting young children and dealing with a loveless marriage can be overwhelming. Individuals who are trapped in such loveless marriages usually stay for the sake of their children. Any decision you make about staying with your partner or separating from them should be made keeping your children’s wellbeing in mind.
As separation and divorce are taboo in many cultures across the world, a lot of people give in to the abuse and silence of loveless marriage. If you are subjected to abuse, staying in the marriage is pointless. Also, putting up with a loveless marriage at the cost of your mental health will also worsen the situation. That being said, there are ways to revive the love in a loveless marriage. Find out more in the next section.
How To Revive The Love In A Loveless Marriage?
Rekindling love and passion requires time and willingness from both sides. The first step to adding the love back in a loveless marriage is figuring out your issues and countering those issues together. Here are a few ways on how to survive a loveless marriage:
1. Seek Marriage Counselling
The concept of a picture-perfect marriage that you see in movies and TV shows does not exist in reality. The reality of relationships is that they require time, energy, and a level of commitment by both partners. All couples deal with issues and disputes, but issues like a loveless marriage need the attention of a professional counselor. Marriage counselors bring couples back on track by addressing their deep-lying issues and helping them alter their perspectives. A marriage counselor is an unbiased third party that can help both the people look at each other with a perspective they may not have considered previously. Changing perspectives and creating an understanding will help you and your partner know each other better. This not only helps you address the issues in a more sympathetic manner, but it also trains both of the partners to have productive arguments that acknowledge both of their grievances.
2. Appreciate Your Partner And Their Company
Doing something as simple as expressing words of gratitude can help ignite romance in your love life. The secret to a happy marriage is appreciating your partner for who they are and recognizing their efforts. By doing so, you are creating a positive environment – the person who is at the receiving end will feel valued and encouraged to continue to invest in the relationship.
Communication bridges the gap between confusion and clarity. Keeping your partner in the dark about your needs, wants, and expectations could be harmful to your marriage. Try practicing expressing what you feel – this will help you both understand each other better and express love in a manner that serves both of you well. Communication does not only involve putting your thoughts across but also building the right space for and a willingness to hear your partner’s thoughts without any judgment. It is one of the most successful ways to grow in a partnership and can ignite a spark you may have never felt in the past.
4. Making Quality Time For Each Other
A happy commitment like marriage requires knowing and spending time with each other. Finding ways to spend time with each other will make you both bond over things of similar interests and see the unknown sides of your partner. Spending quality time can look like cozying up for a movie date night, visiting a new cafe, or traveling across the world together. Investing time will pave the way for love as your partner will feel valued, prioritized, and happy.
5. Pour In Intimacy
Spice up your marriage with more physical intimacy. Physical expressions of affection like kissing, holding hands, touching, cuddling, hugging, etc., can bring out passion and love among couples. Couples that choose to work on intimacy in the same manner that they address other issues in their relationship are bound to succeed because intimacy is a huge part of being married.
6. Avoid Holding Onto Control At All Times
Do not forget that marriage is a bond between two people, but in the end, you are both individuals. If you or your partner are in the pursuit of controlling the other person, one of you is likely to get fed up with the relationship. The only way to ensure a control-free marriage is by not monitoring their actions, trusting them, and giving them their space and time. Distancing yourself when required from your partner is healthy and builds more love.
7. Take A Trip Down Memory Lane
Do you remember what activities you and your partner used to enjoy doing the most during the early days of your marriage? It could be watching movies or surprising each other with gifts. Bringing back your puppy love days can rekindle your romance with your partner. These gestures will bring out the love, affection, and intimacy you had during your honeymoon days. It also adds more perspective to the journey you both have had, and it helps appreciate the bond you have shared over the years.
8. Practice Forgiveness
Marriage has its ups and downs, and arguments are a normal part of it. As normal as it sounds to have such hurdles in marriage, it can also be extremely toxic if you or your partner hold onto grudges over these fights. Holding onto grudges builds resentment between you both. To avoid this, forgive your partner and bury your past grudges.
Forgiving releases any negative space occupied by your emotions and fills it with more love for your partner. Accepting or making a sincere apology is the key to a good marriage.
9. Have More Sex
Your bedroom can be the perfect place for bringing back passion and romance in your loveless marriage. Initiating sexual activities, talking about fantasies, being emotionally vulnerable, and trying different forms of sex can reignite the flame in your loveless marriage. As mentioned earlier, sex helps in building a deeper connection and creates a physical and emotional bond that boosts your love life.
10. Prioritize Working On Yourself
It is not selfish to work on yourself even when you are in a committed relationship. Working on a loveless marriage can be exhausting. And, sometimes, you need to light the spark inside yourself to bring out the spark in your marriage. Working on yourself can look like identifying your triggers, improving how you react to situations, working on your weakness, and strengthening your spiritual core. Remember, you can only bring joy and happiness to other people when you feel it first. Hence, start building yourself to build your relationship.
11. Change The Way You Fight
Changing the way you fight requires using words and statements that do not trigger you or your partner. If you feel you are on the verge of bursting out in anger, take a moment back to cool down and then talk it out with your partner. Try to maintain your cool and shake off your anger when before you disagree with your partner.
A healthy marriage does not avoid conflicts but solves them so that they do not become unresolved issues in the future.
Figuring your way through marital issues can be overwhelming and require a lot of patience. A loveless marriage requires willingness and effort from both sides to reignite love and passion. It is not impossible to bring back the light in your marriage, but both partners need to put in a whole lot of hard work and motivation to revive the love between them.
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