That a relationship can end no matter the commitments made at the very beginning is a jarring reality for many married couples.
And yet they do, frequently.
From a lack of intimacy to broken expectations or boundaries, some damage is irreparable.
Other times, distance and dulled love signal a somber season in your marriage—a clear sign that something needs to change.
So, if you’ve woken up one day with the words “I don’t love my husband anymore” ringing in your head, know first that you’re not alone.
And that it may not mean the end at all.
But it’s definitely time to make some choices.
Let’s explore together.
In this article: 📝
- Is it normal to not love your husband anymore?
- How do you know if you’re not in love anymore?
- What are signs you don’t love him?
- How do you know when your marriage is over?
- What to do if I don’t love my husband anymore?
- How do I start leaving my marriage?
Is it normal to not love your husband anymore?
We’ve all heard the famous statistic: almost half of all marriages in the US end in divorce.
Or how about the one where 20% of marriages end in the first five years?
Sure, divorce rates are now dropping, but so are marriage rates.
Well, we’re no longer as influenced by things like tradition, social expectations, or restrictive gender roles.
Women are now more financially independent, affording them the freedom to leave an unhappy marriage—even an abusive one.
These days, we’re better empowered to value our happiness and better equipped to honor our emotional and physical well-being than ever before.
And it’s not simply a matter of grass being greener either or, you know, keeping options open.
No longer loving your partner is not an overnight revelation—it tends to stem from long stretches of trying.
And it’s common.
Some have even coined the term walkaway wife syndrome to describe the moment a woman chooses to leave after one two many unmet requests.
Lack of emotional closeness, opposing love languages, little support with kids or responsibilities, or even low intimacy, can all slowly harm a relationship over time.
And then there’s the “final straw” reasons: Addiction, infidelity, and domestic abuse.
Falling out of love can, and often does, happen.
And it’s perfectly acceptable in wider Western society to leave an unhealthy, unhappy relationship.
But the question of what you do when married but not in love anymore is entirely up to you.
We talk through some options below.
How do you know if you’re not in love anymore?
We all have different definitions of love.
In fact, according to the Ancient Greeks, there are six main types of love:
- Eros: Sexual passion
- Phili: Deep friendship
- Ludus: Playful love
- Agape: Selfless love for all
- Pragma: Longstanding love
- Philautia: Love of the self
In a way, marriage can touch upon all these different types of love, but many argue that there’s a difference between being ‘in love’ and ‘loving’ someone.
When we ‘love’ someone, we generally refer to Pragma and Philia—a deep, long-term commitment.
We know we would go to the ends of the Earth for this person, which in practice, means taking turns shouldering responsibilities.
But being ‘in love’ refers to Eros and Ludus.
While we still know we would do anything for this person, our love may not ignite the same passion it once did.
The sexual spark may no longer be there, or we may no longer ‘get butterflies.’
Certainly, the ‘honeymoon period’ does not last forever with couples, but the affection does.
How many old couples have you seen still holding hands? They may not be having sex, but they are likely still in love.
If the thought of your partner doesn’t make you smile, you may love them—but you may not be in love with them.
What are signs you don’t love him?
Now for the serious stuff. Not sure what to do when you don’t love your husband anymore?
Before you make any decisions, you need to assess the strength of your marriage.
Is it “I don’t love my husband,” or is it “I don’t like my husband?”
Are the issues small bugbears or signs of toxicity and abuse?
There are a few ways you can find out.
Here are the most common signs you’re falling out of love:
1. You feel resentment
A classic sign for many not in love with their husband anymore is a general feeling of resentment.
The things you used to find to be cute quirks may now annoy you, or you may feel as though everything they do drives you nuts.
Don’t feel bad if you feel this way.
Many marriages can turn to resentment over different issues, for example, parenting styles, money, or life circumstances upsetting the balance.
A bereavement in the family, for example, can be hugely challenging in a marriage.
2. You’re distancing yourself from him
You may be ‘with him’, but you could be in a world of your own, such as being engrossed in your cell phone.
But it’s not just the lack of hand-holding and hugs.
If you find that you no longer prioritize time with them anymore— making time for everyone else or pursuing activities that don’t (or can’t) involve them—it’s a clear sign.
Love and relationships take effort and work (even after years together), but actively choosing not to reveals a lot.
3. You’ve nothing to say anymore
A classic test is when you get good news: is your husband the first person you call?
Even if you’ve nothing new to share, losing interest in each other should set alarm bells ringing.
If only because it’s natural for long-term partners to be best friends.
And this usually comes with a special bond—a desire to share, to seek support from each other, and yes, even make space for connecting over the most mundane things.
4. Your relationship is becoming toxic
You may be picking at each other all day, every day, over the tiniest things.
Or maybe you’ve both sunk into passive-aggressive comments or backhanded compliments.
If you’ve more bad things than good things to say about him (or to him), it could be time to say goodbye.
5. Something feels missing or ‘off’
That you’re even here Googling for signs you don’t want to be with him or questioning your love is a sign in itself.
If you’re feeling a loss of connection or constantly unsure of your relationship, it needs to be looked at.
It doesn’t need to mean the end of your marriage but could be the shake-up you need to reconnect again.
Or at the very least, opening the door to having a conversation about how happy your marriage really is.
It may surprise you to learn they’re feeling it too.
How do you know when your marriage is over?
If these signs of falling out of love weren’t enough, any one of these ‘relationship killers’ could spell the end for your marriage:
If either of you have taken naughty thoughts to the physical, you may no longer wish to be together.
Of course, many couples can have transgressions, such as ‘one night stands’, and move past it.
But not every couple defines cheating the same way (making it super hard to get solid stats)—emotional infidelity, flirting online, or strongly wanting someone else can all count.
According to research, men are more open to extramarital sex while women find it harder to forgive an emotional affair.
The crucial factor that links relationships that survive cheating is a want to move past it.
And that’s something only you can decide.
An unwillingness to work on it
The second biggest relationship killer, then, is not wanting to fix your relationship.
Between stress, life, and other commitments, deep bonds and connection takes work. On both sides.
Even physical intimacy takes active effort.
If you find that no part of you feels open to or willing to try and change your patterns for the better, it’s a big red flag.
An abusive relationship doesn’t just mean physical abuse—emotional abuse, sexual abuse, coercive control, and financial abuse are all forms of domestic violence.
And it’s not always obvious (even to the person experiencing it).
Domestic abuse happens slowly over time, eroding the self-confidence and self-assurance needed to break away.
Signs of an abusive partner
Here are some red flags that your partner may be abusing or manipulating you:
- Controlling all finances
- Controlling what you wear or how you behave
- Explosive temper
- Isolating you from friends and family
- Rarely admitting fault or blame-shifting
- Wanting you available at all times
- Intense emotions or behavior
- Withholding information, affection, or resources
And while gaslighting is now fast getting the public attention it should, it can be difficult to pin it down when you’re directly experiencing it.
In this case, your greatest red flag is your physical sensations around this person.
Signs you’re being gaslighted
Some signs your partner is unsafe for your mental well-being:
- You feel like you’re walking on egg-shells
- You feel the need to apologize often
- You struggle to trust your own judgment
- You feel unsure or like something is wrong
- You feel like you’re ‘losing it’
- You feel the need to hide or lie about your feelings
- You’re afraid to speak up
- You no longer feel comfortable making decisions
If you’re feeling abused physically or mentally, then it’s time to get out.
And when you’re ready to walk away, there are steps you can take to ensure your safety (especially if children are involved).
What to do if I don’t love my husband anymore?
Like the human survival instinct, you’ve two choices if you decide you don’t love your husband anymore: Fight or flight.
And no, not fighting each other.
If you believe your marriage is worth saving, the two of you can discuss what’s going wrong and work together to solve the issues.
This can include steps like:
- Seeking counseling: Sometimes, an external perspective can help. Therapists can provide coping strategies and clarity.
- Open communication: Talk to your husband about your feelings. It’s essential to be honest yet compassionate.
- Spend time together: Reflect on your feelings, maybe by taking a short trip alone or indulging in a new hobby. You could even try dating yourselves separately and coming together afterward to share any new insights you’ve learned.
- Seek support: Talk to friends or support groups. They might provide a different perspective or share their experiences.
Note: You don’t need to prove your decision to anyone or answer for it. If you believe that separating will be better for your mental or physical health, your husband’s health, or indeed, the welfare of your children, then it’s time to walk away.
How do I start leaving my marriage?
Making the decision to leave your marriage is a significant and often challenging step.
Especially when considering the emotional, financial, and logistical aspects involved.
Every scenario is entirely different, just like every dynamic.
You’ll find more details in our deep dive into what to do when you want a divorce.
In the meantime, there are some steps to keep in mind before you move forward:
- Emotionally prepare: This might mean seeking therapy or finding a support group for you. This can give you the guidance, support, and coping strategies you need during this tumultuous time (especially if the relationship is abusive).
- Consider a plan B: Your relationship may be salvageable, but only you can know. If you’re still on the fence, it’s okay to explore all other options, whether it’s a trial separation or couples counseling.
- Book a legal consultation: Before making any decision, it’s important to fully understand the legal ins and outs of getting a divorce. A family lawyer can help you prepare for potential scenarios and what to expect.
- Plan: Speak to trusted loved ones about living arrangements and sort out the logistics, including arrangements for the kids, before you put anything in motion.
- Document everything: Yes, this means assets and financial transactions plus securing passports, certificates, and tax returns. But it may also involve interactions and episodes of abusive behavior. If it feels relevant to your life, document it.
- Consider communication: If safe, decide what you’re going to say to your partner, and pick a time to have the discussion. Be prepared for them to fight back. And if you are worried about abuse, have a friend waiting.
- Safety first: If you’re in an abusive relationship, prioritize safety. This could mean secretly planning your exit, finding a secure place to stay, and seeking support from organizations specializing in domestic abuse.
Remember, no matter the stats or happy endings, every individual’s journey and experience are unique.
Yes, the steps outlined above provide a general roadmap, but you’ll face unique challenges and emotions based on your specific circumstances.
What’s most important is to prioritize your well-being and happiness, whether that means rejuvenating your marriage or seeking a fresh start.
You deserve happiness, security, and peace of mind.
It’s not a matter of how to survive a loveless marriage but how to prioritize self-care, healing, and personal growth.
Surround yourself with a supportive community, whether it’s friends, family, or professionals.
And remember transitions, no matter how painful, can also be opportunities for profound growth and transformation.