12 Subtle Signs Your Spouse Has Fallen Out of Love
How can you tell if you're in a rough patch, or it's something more serious?
His friends come before you
At one time, you were inseparable and he always put you first. Now, he sees his friends all the time—and more often than he sees you. “Some people never grow up,” says Cathy W. Meyer, the About.com Divorce Support Expert and managing editor of divorcedmoms.com. “They don’t move past that stage of needing to hang with the guys or girls and do things boys or girls do.” Friends don’t have to be ditched completely; balance is important in a relationship. She offers a warning about a possible red flag about spending time with buddies. “If he would rather spend time with his friends than you, then that can bleed over into other aspects of the marriage and relationship.” For example, Meyer says he may have problems handling finances or making long-term goals for your marriage. “The good news is that most people manage to grow up once they face the reality of being married,” say Meyer. “The bad news is that some people don’t ever grow up.”
He has a new obsession (and it’s not you)
Your partner once spent every minute making you happy (maybe even to the point of being obsessed!). Now, he spends his time exercising, golfing, playing video games, or pursuing other passions or hobbies. It’s perfectly normal to engage in activities that make you happy. But he may be using these activities as a distraction from your relationship and falling out of love. “When the passion becomes an obsession, resulting in him ignoring your relationship, spending less time with you and ignoring his marital responsibilities, then it’s a problem,” says Francesca Di Meglio, the former Newlyweds Expert for About.com and writer of the Italian Mamma blog. She suggests raising the issue with your partner. “Sometimes your spouse has no idea you’re feeling neglected,” she says. “Pointing it out can give your spouse the signal to pay more attention to you and better divide his time.” Find out the best marriage advice from people who have been divorced.
He doesn’t care about his weight or appearance
He spent some serious time getting ready for your first date. Now you’re lucky if he combs his hair before you go out to dinner. If he doesn’t care how he looks or has let his weight fall by the wayside, it’s possible he has lost interest in your relationship and is falling out of love. He has no regard for whether or not you find him attractive. “Your marriage isn’t something you can take for granted,” says Di Meglio. “You have to put in an effort to send the signal that you’re still interested and in love.” These habits can have a deeper meaning too, says Marni Feuerman, a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida. “It can also mean an avoidance of intimacy,” says Feuerman. “A partner learns that this is a good way to get you to keep your distance.”
You don’t cuddle anymore
People cuddle to feel close to one another: calm, safe, and connected. But it’s problematic if he brushes you off when you move in to snuggle or he says he isn’t in the mood for this sign of affection. “It’s also concerning if one partner’s attempts at physical connection are frequently rebuffed,” says Feuerman. Find out why he isn’t in the mood. “It’s important to investigate if he is under stress or unaddressed issues are in the relationship,” says Lesli M. W. Doares, a marriage consultant and coach with a private practice in Cary, North Carolina, and author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: How to Create Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work. “It also may mean that he is no longer interested in meeting your intimacy needs because he isn’t invested in the relationship any longer.” This could also be a sign that your partner is cheating.
He doesn’t ask about your day
“Hi honey! How was your day?” Been awhile since you heard those words? Before jumping to conclusions, try to find out why he doesn’t want to chat, says Meyer. Maybe he had a long day and needs some time to himself. “If, however, he shows a lack of interest in your day out of a lack of caring for what kind of day you had, then you have to decide how important your relationship is with someone who has no interest in how the day went for you,” says Meyer. “If he doesn’t care about that, there are probably more things he doesn’t care about that are much more serious.” Here are 20 things happy couples do after work.
He won’t discuss what’s bothering him
You say, “What’s wrong?” and you get no response or a shrug—multiple times. You question the silence and his standoffish behavior, feeling you did something to cause it. “A lack of communication will keep you from fully connecting,” says Di Meglio. “If that constantly happens, you might lose touch. If you don’t nip that problem in the bud when it starts, you could grow apart.” Here are 14 little things you can do right now for a happier marriage.
He doesn’t grab your hand
Hand holding once came naturally. But now if it feels like you always initiate the action, this could signal a deeper issue. He may no longer find this sign of affection appealing or necessary. “A lack of interest in touching and connecting physically is a sign that there are problems in the marriage,” says Di Meglio. She suggests that you initiate touch to see how your partner reacts.
He seems uncomfortable around happy couples
Your partner shouldn’t long for what other couples have. If he seems jealous of couples who are giddy and in love, it may be because he is unhappy with your relationship or worried that happiness is impossible for the two of you. “The last thing you want to see when you’re unhappy is a happy couple,” says Di Meglio. Seeing couples in that state can also take an emotional toll. “He may feel pressure to take your relationship to a new level that he isn’t on board with,” says Doares. “He may perceive that you have expectations that he isn’t ready to fulfill.”
He can’t look you in the eye
You used to stare into one another’s eyes. Now, he barely looks at you when you chat or seems uncomfortable when you do maintain eye contact. Is he hiding something? Or afraid you’ll see the truth through the windows to his soul? “If your husband can’t look you in the eye when communicating, especially if you’re attempting to communicate about problems in the marriage, he is either hiding something, like his true feelings, or he is trying to avoid conflict,” says Meyer. She suggests quickly getting to the bottom of it by asking him why he’s avoiding your glance. “He may be uncomfortable because his feelings for you are changing and he isn’t ready to say anything yet,” says Doares. Check out these secrets marriage counselors know about your relationship.
He doesn’t talk about the future
You once spoke about having kids, where you want to live, what you want to do during retirement, and other hopes and dreams. If you no longer talk about the future, he may not want to have one with you and could be falling out of love. “If you don’t discuss the future, your spouse is no longer expecting to be with you for the long term or he’s simply not looking forward to it,” says Di Meglio. “Either way, it could doom the marriage.” Watch his behavior when these sorts of chats arise. “He might get noticeably uncomfortable when these discussions come up or simply refuse to make future plans,” says Feuerman. “He might be imagining a future without you in it.”
You don’t have common interests
We’ve all heard that opposites attract, and that is often the case with married couples. But it’s problematic if you don’t have any goals to work toward or anything that you enjoy doing together. “If there is no common ground and you don’t share anything over which you can bond, you risk being disconnected,” says Di Meglio. Your passions don’t have to be exactly the same, but you should get excited for each other’s interests as well as have similar goals. Find out the 8 secret signs your marriage is headed for divorce.
He treats you like a buddy
Yes, most people want their spouse to be their best friend. But you always need to be physically attracted to your partner and have that spark and chemistry. “Being ‘friend zoned’ by your spouse is a really bad sign,” says Feuerman. “Your partner might not be looking at you in a romantic way anymore.” And then all you have is a platonic relationship, not a deeper love for one another. “You must date and flirt and keep up the courtship forever because your spouse should always be more than someone with whom you split the bills,” says Di Meglio. Now, don’t miss these 7 expert-backed tips to get the love you want.