Marriages are a promise of forever but sometimes, they lose their charm very early in the relationship. Arguments turn into fights and soon, one of the two is sleeping on the couch in the living room. If you’re wondering about the signs that you are in a loveless marriage, chances are that your relationship has already taken a hit. While coping with a failed relationship is not easy, acceptance is the first step to recovery.
So, what is considered as a loveless marriage?
To answer this question and many others, we have called upon our best expert help on the topic! Ms. Shazia Saleem, MA (Psychology) helps us to unravel the truths of a loveless marriage and when it is the right time for you to leave one. She says,”Love is an emotion. It is never static in nature and is bound to differ depending on many external factors that one experiences in their lifetime.”
People often fail to recognize the unhappy marriage signs. Sometimes the husband checks out emotionally from the marriage or the wife starts to avoid intimacy. That’s precisely when two people are left grappling with the emotional effects of a sexless and loveless marriage.
What Is A Loveless Marriage?
When emotions are not reciprocated the way they should be in a relationship, one might begin to feel lonely. In order for a healthy marriage to survive, partners must engage in open communication. When the love and compassion begins to feel one-sided, it might be the right time to ask yourself if you are in a loveless marriage.
If you’ve been noticing your spouse get distant while having a conversation, avoiding physical intimacy, spending lesser time with you, maybe you’re not admitting to something you already know of.
Why Does A Marriage Become Loveless?
It is true that with time the definition of love in a marriage changes. The love you share becomes more mature and serene. Instead of the early stages of passion and intimacy, the relationship gets characterised by strong bonds of care and respect. But in certain cases, love disappears forever. Here are some reason which can turn a union into a loveless marriage:
- The relationship might have taken a backseat in the couple’s lives, so they fail to give time to each other and forget to appreciate one another
- The couple is not able to come to terms with the differences they have in terms of their preferences, dreams, personalities and end up drifting apart
- Some specific incidents like a major fight might have triggered feelings of resentment towards each other, which the couple is not able to resolve
- An affair could have broken the trust and partners could be grappling with the torment and guilt which is the aftermath of an affair
- There could be circumstances like caring for an ill parent, dealing with sudden financial stress, joblessness or sexual inadequacy that can create havoc in a marriage
Some couples accept these problems and work hard to improve the status of their relationship, while others just accept their fate and continue living in a loveless marriage or go their separate ways.
Surviving a loveless, sexless marriage is not easy but how do you know when to leave a marriage or work on it further.
10 Signs You Are In A Loveless Marriage
There are many of us who look like ideal couples on the face of it but are actually stuck in loveless marriages for the sake of society. Such couples live bitter lives and indulge in extramarital affairs to satisfy their need for love and affection. However, if you want to work on your marriage and maybe even survive a sexless marriage without cheating, you must learn how to put your differences aside.
Yes, it is possible to make things better but only if you strive to do so by taking little steps every day. It is not easy but it’s definitely worth a shot.
Getting to know what characterises a loveless marriage will give you the opportunity to make a decision about the future course of your relationship. So we bring to you 10 tell-tale signs of a loveless marriage signs which will help you recognise whether you are in an unhappy marriage or not.
1. There is a huge communication gap between the two of you
As a couple, both of you are expected to share your opinions and thoughts with each other on a daily basis. But if you fail to do so, then a huge communication gap settles into the relationship which needs to be addressed.
Not talking to each other, just working on your respective projects, watching television to avoid each other or having regular disagreements on various issues.
If your relationship is going through these things, then there is definitely something amiss. Lack of communication may even lead to depression in marriage.
2. You both are not physically comfortable with one another
You are dealing with the emotional effects of a sexless marriage. Gone are the days when you used to express your love for each other without any inhibitions.
You used to hold hands, kiss each other and cuddle. But now, you will notice that you both are not physically comfortable around each other. The idea of having sex with your partner makes you feel awkward and vice versa because your marriage has turned into a loveless marriage and as a result, into a sexless marriage.
Intimacy has become so rare in your married life that you fail to connect with your spouse any more. However, you should know that lack of intimacy in your relationship is not just affecting your marriage, but your mental health too.
3. You continuously criticise each other
You’re both constantly chiding each other. For any mistake (no matter how small), you have to bear each other’s harsh criticisms.
You and your partner will make each other feel horrible by highlighting each other’s defects. Instead of helping you become a better person, the continuous criticisms from your spouse will demoralise you and will weaken the bond that you share with him/her.
If you were in a happy relationship, then your partner would give constructive advice and not discourage you with harsh comments.
4. You look for happiness outside the marriage
This means you are either prefer spending time alone and enjoying what life has to offer you, or you find yourself getting attracted to another person. While coping with a sexless marriage you start looking for intimacy outside it.
This other person is someone you are able to connect with. Who seems to care for you and respect you more than your spouse.
You might be having an emotional affair with this person without even realising it. An emotional affair takes place when you get overly comfortable with someone outside your marriage and end up sharing intimate details about your life with this person.
Related Reading: From An Innocent Friendship To A Sexual Affair – How Emotional Infidelity Ruins Relationships
5. Your loveless marriage is not worth fighting for anymore
Often, when a couple fights, it means there is a connection that they have and that they care for each other. Albeit a flawed one, fighting is a form of communication too.
After the reconciliation, the couple is able to experience new bonds of renewed love and respect in the relationship. But if your married life is devoid of fights, then there is something wrong.
It shows that you both do not care any more and do not intend to fight for your relationship. You have subconsciously decided that your loveless marriage is not worth fighting for.
6. You both fail to appreciate each other
Playing the blame game has become a common phenomenon in your unhappy marriage. For any problem that you face, you both start blaming each other instead of finding a solution together. Nothing you do makes your spouse happy and vice versa.
The mutual feelings of appreciation are long lost in the relationship and you both start taking each other for granted. Sometimes, you might feel that you’re the only one making efforts to make the relationship work. This is a sign of a loveless marriage.
7. You hardly care about your responsibilities towards your partner
There comes a point in your loveless marriage when you hardly care about your responsibilities towards your partner. You do not keep track or simply don’t care about what your spouse’s preferences.
What they want to eat, their likes/dislikes, their television preferences etc are of no concern to you. You start caring more about your own needs, likes and dislikes and you might not even feel ashamed to shun your responsibilities.
Your spouse can exhibit this same behaviour as well. You both become selfish in the relationship. You do not care about the sexless marriage effect on your husband. You withdraw from sex which leaves high and dry.
8. A future without your spouse seems more positive to you
It will become obvious to you that you are unhappy in your loveless marriage when you start thinking about a future without your spouse.
If you start fantasizing about a life in which your husband/wife has no role to play, then it means you feel imprisoned in your relationship and you want to escape the clutches of this unhappy marriage. Your partner might also feel the same.
9. Spending time with your partner feels like a task to you
You dread spending alone time with your partner. Given a chance, you would rather spend your free time alone or with your family members or friends.
Both of you even stop making efforts to plan dates or mini-vacations, because you want to avoid being alone together. There is no effort at intimacy from the husband.
One of the alarming signs of a loveless marriage is when you start disliking the company of your partner. Maybe that’s when the time has come to walk out.
10. Deep down in your heart, you know you’re in a loveless marriage
Even though you keep telling yourself that all is well in your marriage, your heart knows your true feelings. Your gut knows that you’re facing depression in marriage due to the sheer lack of love and affection.
Listening to your heart is probably the best thing to do.
How to survive a loveless marriage
Realising that you are in a loveless marriage is hard. The person who you thought was the love of your life is now almost a stranger to you. You can feel that your marriage is almost over. But don’t worry, you’re not out of options yet. Here are a few possibilities for you if you are in an unhappy and in a lacklustre marriage. Look at the following options to survive a loveless marriage:
- Both of you can make efforts to work things out by either confronting one another or taking the help of a therapist. We suggest the latter.
- You can continue living in a loveless marriage and live totally separate lives.
- Meet a marriage counselor and set marriage counselling goals that you would want to achieve.
- You and your partner can discuss trying out an open relationship .
- Or last but not least, you can try to move on and get a divorce to find happiness elsewhere.
The decision will ultimately depend on what you truly feel about the relationship and whether you think there is a possibility to instill love in the relationship once again. So whichever path you choose to take, make sure you tread carefully.