There’s a common misconception around relationships and marriage which most of us picked up through books, TV shows, movies and all the lovey-dovey pop songs, it sounds like this… “they lived happily ever after, the end.” And then you suddenly discover that your wife no longer loves you
That’s a pretty staggering statistic when you consider that most of us still get married, believing it will be forever.
Put into perspective, if you were offered a business deal, where half of everything you had worked for all your life was on the line and the likelihood of the deal being successful was only 50% – the vast majority of people would say NO, absolutely not for me.
Marriage and relationships can be a rollercoaster ride. No one studies how to be emotionally and financially tied to someone who will change over time. Every couple has joy and trouble. Marriage will never stay the same.
So what can you do to be prepared? What do the relationships that survive the volatile times have that the ones that don’t are missing?
If you’re reading this article then there’s a good chance that you are worried that your wife doesn’t love you you, or perhaps you’ve already heard her say just that and now you’re desperately scouring the internet to find out what you can do to change her mind…
I’ve been where you are.
That bottomless pit in your stomach that’s threatening to swallow you up right now is full of foreboding and every possible thing that you can imagine could go wrong feels like it’s just around the corner.
So what can you do? What “should” you do?
What Are the Signs That Your Wife Doesn’t Love You?
When it comes to long-term relationships, a lot of people think that sexual desire and passion go away after the couple gets married. It’s true that some things, like becoming a parent or losing a loved one, can make a person temporarily less interested in sex, close connection, affection, and emotional transparency.
If your wife appears to be losing interest in you, don’t assume you know what she’s feeling. There are many normal and understandable reasons for one or the other partner in a relationship to need a little space or time to themselves.
Signs Your Wife Isn’t Interested
Below are some common signs that indicate you may be in a relationship with a partner who is actively pulling away from you and the relationship rather than just someone who needs a little time and space to work through some personal issues:
- Are you noticing a difference in the way she communicates with you where she used to be considerate and now she’s either ice cold or rude and mean?
- Has she started spending all her time away from you, out of the house and avoiding you when she is around?
- Is she picking a fight with you about anything and everything?
- Has she started taking her phone with her whenever she leaves the room, taking phone calls out of earshot and changing password on devices which were once shared?
- Has she stopped asking for your feedback and no longer seems to value your opinion on stuff?
- Has she admitted to feeling connected or attracted to another man or woman in her life?
- Does she show no concern about your well-being anymore?
So What Should You Do When You Feel like Your Wife Doesn’t Love You?
Stop Chasing Her
In the honeymoon period at the beginning of your relationship everything was easy, carefree, fun and happy.
Then things change and we forget the things about each other that we originally fell in love with. Those differences that we felt complimenting each other are often the things we find irritating – “Why can’t she just love me the way I want her to…?” And she’s thinking the same!
But the truth is that those differences are a key part of your attraction and why you work well as a couple – try to name some of the ways in which she approaches life differently to you, and list how those things make your life easier in the long run.
Do you know your primary love language? Gary Chapman’s popular book, The Five Love Languages, talks about the ways in which we each express love and feel loved, yet most people give love in the way that they like to receive love, and this is often different to the way that your partner likes to be loved.
The Five Love Languages Are:
- Physical touch: affectionate caress, non-sexual touch, hugs, massages, kisses etc.
- Words of Affirmation: appreciative feedback, non-sexual compliments, positive encouragement, gratitude etc.
- Quality Time: Planning date nights, dog walks, exercising together, hanging out and goofing around or even just a simple chat over a cup of coffee.
- Gifts: A gift that relates to something you know about her, something she enjoys, maybe some down time at a spa if she’s tired and stressed out.
- Acts of service: This can be anything…a cup of coffee, DIY projects, taking care of the kids, cooking dinner…but most importantly be reliable and consistent.
Take the 5 love languages test here to find out your love language:
While you’re there, see if you can work out your partners too. Or ask her to take the test. Once you have an idea of her top two love languages, think about how you have been showing your love to her in the ways that make her feel loved.
Find Your Personal Center Again
It’s easy to lose yourself in a long-term relationship. We get used to relying on our partner for validation that we’re a good man, an attractive man, a strong man, husband and father. But the problem with that point of view is that we lose the ability to KNOW those things about ourselves without needing someone else to confirm that we’re lovable and worthy.
Ultimately what we’re talking about here is, how to build self confidence. Using this difficult time in your life to re-find (or find for the first time ever) your personal mojo, that sense of self confidence that no matter what life throws at you (and it will always throw surprises at you) you will learn and grow and evolve to be a man who knows how to respond to his circumstances with confidence and calm, masculine strength and conviction.
Don’t start this work to “save your marriage” that’s guaranteed to fail because you will always be trying to please her and trying to make her feel good. No, start this men’s personal adventure to find out just how calm, clear and confident you can get in knowing who you are, what you want and no longer being afraid to go after it, passionately, enthusiastically and confidently – create rock solid, healthy self esteem.
Regain your control and change your perception. Be healthier. Reconnect with good male friends. Consider your life and ask if this is what you want or if you can picture something better. What would that life look, sound, and feel like? Tell me more. What would you do, see, experience? Be crazy. What seems impossible right now? Imagine that.
That vision is what I help you create through my masculine confidence coaching program.
Communication is key YES, but not without connection
Marriage counselling: most therapists and counsellors will tell you that communication is the most important thing in your relationship and they have a very good point. The problem is that most people want to talk about the problems in the marriage from a place of disconnection where trust and care are missing and of course the result is that after an hour of talking about what we’re not happy with in the other person, the problems seem much bigger than before.
But how can you talk with each other from a place of connection when one of you is pulling away and wanting to be disconnected?
All you can do is be honest, express how you’re feeling, express what your concerns are, state what you want and any fears that you have about the future. Then stay open minded and curious, ask questions to empathise with her experience, listen to understand not to challenge or prove her wrong, don’t take her initial reaction as her true reaction, let her take some time to respond to your questions, don’t demand she make you feel better (she is not responsible for your emotions), this will give you the best chance of re-connecting and finding out what’s really going on for her.
Often this is the start of a completely new level of communicating, but it’s key that you stay out of judgment, stay calm and know that this one conversation is not going to be the make or break of your whole relationship.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ― Brené Brown
Avoid jumping through her hoops. If someone doesn’t love you, it’s because of how she views herself, her life, and how it is now compared to how she imagined it.
If your attempts to reconnect are met with silence, criticism, or a lack of willingness to understand your concerns, fears, and needs, know your boundaries.
Boundaries are self-expectations. No one must follow them to “make you happy.” Boundaries are always black and white because they’re signals for calm, clear action.
Having non-negotiable boundaries supports your self-worth, confidence, respect, and esteem.
“I am a man who expects enthusiasm from anyone I choose to date.”
What happens if a partner doesn’t share your value? Perhaps you’re expressing your expectations. If you’ve done that, it could be to end the relationship.
You can state your boundaries calmly, with care, consideration, and even love. Long-term, you know the relationship can’t continue without this, so you can set your sights on the future where this will be a core part of your next relationship.
It may still be with her, but you must stand up for yourself first.
When you stand up for yourself, your wants and needs without making her responsible for your emotions, you build self-respect and self-worth.
A woman can’t respect a man who doesn’t respect himself.
Whether or not your marriage works out in the end, making positive changes to yourself will help you feel more confident, less dependent on outside validation and calm your fears and anxiety.
We are all here to learn, grow and become the best that we have the potential to be, in fact I’d argue that this is the most enthused, engaged, motivated and satisfied you will ever be – when you know who you are, what you want and you’re on the path to creating it – no matter what.
If you would like help with knowing whether it’s time to move on or call it quits, contact me for a free 60 minute coaching call here.