Falling Out of Love? Your Marriage or Relationship Can Still Survive

Falling Out of Love

Can your marriage survive when you fall out of love?

Falling out of love with your husband, wife or partner is a very troubling experience. Even worse is when our partner says he or she has fallen out of love with us because it feels like a massive rejection. We ask ourselves questions like:

  • "Does this mean the marriage is over?"
  • "Can we get the feeling back?" and/or
  • "Shall we keep working at this relationship?"

To understand falling out of love, we first need to look at what's happening when we fall in love and the typical stages that marriages and love relationships go through.

You're going to find out why we fall out of love and why it's well worth persevering with relationships and marriages beyond that point.

What Comes after Falling in Love?

Many of us are not aware that relationships go through several distinct phases. This is why a huge number of us give up and start looking for someone new when we begin to have a sense that we're falling out of love and/or areas of conflict arise. But, persevering through these stages can open us up to a mature and steady love relationship that in the end is even more satisfying, and has greater longevity, than the falling-in-love stage we began with.

The Stages of a Love Relationship

  • Falling in love -- infatuation!
  • The biology of love -- hormones!
  • Getting through the difficult phase -- conflict! (This is usually where spouses or partners may feel they are falling out of love.)
  • The beginning of real love -- intimacy!

Falling in Love or, in Other Words, Romantic Love

So what is romantic love? Well, we know that it's often characterised by:

  • Feelings of falling in love,
  • Sexual desire and gratification,
  • A merging of two people,
  • A removal of boundaries,
  • A feeling of oneness with the other, and/or
  • Seeing the other as perfect in every way.

These kinds of feelings are no doubt pleasurable, but also they may all stem from our biological make up rather than from anything mystical.

Romantic love typified
Romantic love typified

The Biology of Love

From a biological perspective, our main drive is to procreate. So, what better way could there be to make babies than falling in love, seeing the loved one as perfection incarnate, and then having a deep need to make love as often as possible? What a fantastically clever mechanism for us to overcome our normal arms-length distance from each other and actually get close enough to procreate.

There are definite biological changes that take place when we fall in (or 'out') love:

  • Oxytocin. Cortisol, testosterone and oxytocin rush through our bodies creating the familiar feelings of butterflies in the stomach, tingling, excitement and rushes of emotion. Research has shown that oxytocin (known in scientific circles as the cuddle chemical!) promotes pair bonding, which is why it is produced in huge amounts during birth and lactation. It is also produced during an orgasm -- of course, most of us know how cuddly we feel after that.
  • Hormone levels dropping. Another factor in the research is that these hormones drop to normal levels after 12- 28 months of being in a relationship, which coincides directly with the feelings we have of falling out of love.

Romantic love has been exalted to an untenable position which is very unlikely to last more than a few years. People fall out of love and the relationship is usually over -- divorces, break-ups, and subsequently damaged families are the normal outcomes. We've become addicted to the hormone rush fueled by the media hype and don't know what to do when it's over, except to find someone new. But there is another choice and that is: to make a commitment to love instead.

Conflict in relationships is normal.
Conflict in relationships is normal.

The Difficult Phase

Think about your husband, wife or partner. The rush may be coming to an end. No longer is he or she seen through the rose-tinted specs furnished by hormonal love as perfect beings capable of fulfilling our every need and desire. Instead, we see the faults and negative characteristics more and more clearly, and even more scarily -- they see ours. Usually, during this phase of the relationship we argue and fight. No longer do the two wish to be merged into one super being.

What's happening on a psychological level is that we are reclaiming our individuality. This phase takes patience and negotiation and also the firm realisation that this is a normal part of a relationship.

  • Do your best to be loving, even when you don't particularly feel like it.
  • Develop the friendship side of your relationship.
  • Try not to be critical of the petty things like when they leave their dirty underwear on the floor or forget to put the trash out.
  • Remember that this other person is a separate individual with their own thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviours just as you are.
  • Be willing to compromise, accept changes and try to find mutually satisfying solutions to your difficulties.

This is where good communication will really help support your marriage through to the next stage. If you're not sure where to start, I recommend taking a look at this communication tool, which will help you identify the relationship areas that need discussion.

Above all, during this difficult phase of your marriage, do not resort to nasty tactics such as cheating, lying, being abusive or playing psychological games. Be honest about how you feel and take the risk of being vulnerable with your partner. Be aware that if these "rules" are broken, the relationship is unlikely to weather the storm because trust will be irrevocably damaged and that is the one thing, no matter how hard things become, that needs to stay intact if you're going to make to the next stage of your marriage.

Real love goes through many stages
Real love goes through many stages

The Beginning of Real Love

You may have thought that with the earlier explanation of how biology plays a role in love, and how we get confused between real love and romantic love, that real love doesn't exist. But, it does. It's a case of being aware that real love -- love of the ordinary quiet type, doesn't really start until the hormone rush is over.

Real love is a choice we make -- it's not based on feelings.

Anyone who has been in a long term relationship will tell you they don't always like their partner and they don't always have loving feelings toward them either. In fact, being loving in the absence of these feelings is real love because it requires effort.

Skeptical? Remember the times you have been up with your child in the night or, if you don't have children, a night when you have slept poorly. You feel tired and exhausted, maybe a bit emotional because of the sleep deprivation. All you want to do is curl up in a cosy blanket and go to sleep. Typically, unaffected by the lack of sleep, your child is crawling around full of beans and wants to play. Or a friend calls with a problem.

What do you do, then?

I would guess that most of you would put your own feelings aside and play with your child or talk your friend through his or her difficulty, even though you don't really "feel like it." If you've ever done so, this is a loving act indeed! You've made a choice to love not based on intense feelings but because you want to be loving.

This choice is what loving, long term relationships and marriages are based on. You can be guaranteed that the giddy infatuation will wear off. The hormones will subside. So long as you have followed the rules during the difficult period and have not broken the basic trust between you, you will find that infatuation is replaced with a deep abiding respect for one another -- a trust and level of support you have not known before and an intimacy that will surprise you in it's ability to fulfill and sustain you.

These joys only come to those who are willing to ride both the storms of hormones and of conflict, but they are well worth the effort. Falling out of love really isn't the end unless you let it become so -- it's the beginning of a whole new chapter in your marriage.

More by this Author


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 7 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

Wow! This Hub says so much concisely! I am impressed!

I really like the way you describe the relationship process, especially the Difficult phase. I had always considered that the secret to a long relationship was not breaking up, much the way the secret to a long life is not dying. I didn't know why, but I sure have a better understanding now!

I look forward to reading more from you!

Susana S profile image

Susana S 7 years ago Author

Thank you for the compliments Tom :)

I particularly like your comment about a long life! Not dying would be a great way to achieve that!

Tamarii2 profile image

Tamarii2 7 years ago from NEW YORK


Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

That is a clear explanation of what happens; thank you. Maybe that's why the second time around works better. Maybe we expect the rush and know we need to connect on a deeper level from the start. My wife and I did that and we haven't had any problems in 19 years.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

Thanks for share. It help us to find the true love.great hub

Joseph Thomas profile image

Joseph Thomas 7 years ago

Susana S,

Nice hub, nice concise look at the topic. Real Love wins out more than the average person recognizes! Thanks for tackling the subject.

Madison22 profile image

Madison22 7 years ago from NYC

Great article! I couldn't agree with it more....Thanks!!

RecoverToday profile image

RecoverToday 6 years ago from United States

I am glad I came upon this article. I plan to share it with my friend who is going through the difficult phase. It is tragic when so many marriages disolve because they come out of the romance/biology stage and get stuck in the difficult phase. What a concise and accurate article! Thank you!

TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 6 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Hi, thanks for becoming a follower. I'm following you also. I love your stuff, and this hub is kind of a personal favorite. I'm new to the hubbing experience, so I'm a little rough around the edges. I'm thinking of writing a hub on young love. (I've never gotten over my high school sweat heart from a million years ago.) If I do, I'd appreciate your help and or critique. Again, I love your work.


Susana S profile image

Susana S 6 years ago Author

Thanks a lot for the praise MWNP :) It's funny you know I like this hub on falling out of love too, but unfortunately I don't get many readers for it. It was a surprise to find a comment here! You'll see that I write a lot of sales type hubs with a spinkling of the more meaty hubs in between (so don't be put off if you see a lot of sales stuff from me, I need to do it to pay the bills!)

If you want any help, feel free to email me :)

Tony 6 years ago

This makes alot of sense but what happens if your wife has had an affair and cheated on her husband during this time of being confused and feeling out of love? The trust has been broken. How can you fix that if possible?

Susana S profile image

Susana S 6 years ago Author

Hi Tony, the only way to deal with it really is to talk it through either on your own or with a therapist. If you are both still committed to making the relationship work you can get through but it will take a lot of time. There are no instant fixes. Best of luck.

IdeaMorphist profile image

IdeaMorphist 6 years ago from Chicagoland

Perhaps I am young and naïve enough to not know what I am saying here... but I feel love is like the tulip bulb. Like you have said it can die and go away, like the flower over winter.... however, that initial attraction, sexuality and infatuation is like that bulb forever laying under the surface. While it may fade, if we work and cultivate the garden, ensure its health. Or trying new fertilizers to make it bloom again, it is always possible to fall back in love, or keep that love there when it is fading away.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 6 years ago Author

I agree with you IdeaMorphist and I like your analogy. It's just a shame that so often people give up when then bulb goes into winter mode, when if they rode it out they would find it has so much more to give and the bloom will be even better than last years :)

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks

Susana, I feel it is important not to conflate libido with romantic love. For that matter, we shouldn't confuse attachment with romantic love, either. By romantic love, I mean limerence (or attraction).

One of the problems is that we use the word "love" to describe so many separate and different things, that it can often be difficult to communicate clearly about it. There are three systems, involving completely different sets of neurochemicals, that are associated with the human reproductive process. Colloquially we call them lust, attraction and attachment.

It seems as if when you talk of falling in and out of love here, you are talking about lust and attraction as if they were inseparable, and then you refer to attachment as if it were "real love".

Well, all of these feelings: lust, attraction and attachment are "real" feelings, in the sense that they have real neural correlates. Not a single one of them is a choice. We can't choose what we feel. We can only choose what we do about it.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 6 years ago Author

When it comes to the feeling of falling in love, lust, attraction and attachment come together in a unique way and give rise to what one psychologist calls "passionate love". (I've chosen to call it romantic love). This is a transitory feeling, but many people don't seem to realise that.

Of course we can have lust without attraction e.g. feeling amorous and having sex with someone we are not attracted to. We can have attraction without lust, as in someone we feel deeply connected to, such as a friend, without feeling the need to have sex with them. But neither of these scenarios are what this article is about. It's about moving on from the social construct of what love is and understanding love relationships on a deeper level.

When I talk about real love I talk about intimacy not attachment because while clearly related they are not the same thing. A couple could not achieve intimacy without a healthy attachment (or at least working towards a healthy attachment), but they can have attachment without intimacy e.g. the couple that stays together out of habit but don't really know each other.

If this couple *chose* to they could work towards imtimacy which would by its nature increase loving feelings, so our actions can change how we feel. Making a choice to love and be loving even when we don't feel like it, can actually give rise to "feelings" of love.

Here is some interesting stuff on the psychology of love:

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks

Susana, I understand that you value relationships over and above the specific feelings that gave rise to them. That's a perfectly valid stand to take. I'm not trying to dispute this at all.

Here's the point I'm trying to make: many forms of love can last as long as or longer than the average relationship. The idea that infatuations are necessarily short-lived is mistaken. Limerence, for example, is an extremely strong emotion, that only some individuals experience, and it can sustain itself through decades with strong feelings that promote creative behavior. It's a form of being in love that lasts and lasts.

Are you familiar with Tennov's work on love and limerence?

Whatever the feeling, the choice to behave lovingly is not guaranteed to ignite it, nor does the choice to behave unlovingly necessarily extinguish it. Thank goodness we are not that easily manipulated by others -- or by ourselves.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 6 years ago Author

I agree, for some people the feeling of being in love sticks around a lot longer, even for a whole lifetime or after they are no longer together. But I guess it's not those people that will be coming to this page! For the majority of couples that initially started off feeling totally in love with each other those initial feelings of infatuation fade over time. Some people may not even have started out their relationships with infatuation. Like you say there is a lot of variation. But the most common experience does seems to be one of falling in love >> conflict >> falling out of love >> seperation.

I wasn't aware of Tennov's work, so I looked it up and enjoyed reading it. I think she is agreeing with me. "Tennov estimates, based on both questionnaire and interview data, that the average limerent reaction duration, from the moment of initiation until a feeling of neutrality is reached, is approximately three years. The extremes may be as brief as a few weeks or as long as several decades. When limerence is brief, maximum intensity may not have been attained.

Limerence generally lasts about four months, but further studies on unrequited limerence have suggested longer durations."

I can relate to the potential longevity of this kind of infatuation and the intrusiveness of it. There is someone I had a relationship with many years ago, who still intrudes into my dreams and it shakes me up every time. :) The question I guess is, is this kind of infatuation to be preferred or exalted over other forms of love? My view is that it is not, but others may disagree.

You are correct that there are no guarantees, but continuing to work on a relationship after the initial flourish can be well worth the effort. Of course for some it will just not work out no matter how hard they try, but they won't know that unless they do. My view is that falling in love, or limerance, takes no effort at all, for most of us long lasting love takes a lot. It's not about manipulation of ourselves or others, but rather a willingness to put in the work.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks

Hi, Susana, I read your reply a while back, and I had to let it sink in for a while.

I think it's perfectly acceptable to base a marriage (or long term relationship) on something other than being in love. What I'm not so sure about is that the majority of couples do fall in love in the first place. Throughout history, arranged marriages were the norm, and even when people started choosing their own mates, the primary consideration is usually finding someone willing to enter into the relationship and make a commitment, after which the appropriate candidates are whittled down to the least objectionable one. In other words, there's a market for mates, and people make reasonable choices based on what they can get.

Given that this market issue drives most choices, it is one out of a hundred or so individuals who actually gets to mate for love (whether within or outside marriage.) Even for that lucky individual things may not be mutual. He or she may have entered into the relationship for love, but the other party may not have.

Now, attachment is a perfectly good emotion to carry a relationship, too, and in the days of arranged marriages, it often set in regardless of how the parties originally felt about one another. Attachment does not require mutual understanding. It requires only a willingness to accept the other person and to cling to them and support them, even without understanding.

The problem that I see with telling people who married for romantic love that when love dies they should stick it out anyway, is that it kind of begs the question: if the relationship isn't going to based on romantic love, why make your choice of a partner on that basis? Maybe someone else would have been a much more agreeable partner if love were not the issue.

Impressed 5 years ago

I'm all for this indeed but not if there was any form of abuse in the relationship and you believe you have fallen out of love. Other wise I think it would be beautiful as a matter of fact I had to share this article it was quite informative. God bless

Sarah 5 years ago

Susana - Thank you for this insightful information. After 14 months, my sweetheart and I (both in our late 50's) are transitioning into winter mode. Although I did not notice any reference to age (or life stages), I find that with maturity comes an increase in the importance one places on relationship. I was alone for 15+ years and did not realize how much I missed having someone to share my life - but with age come other challenges, We're facing chronic health conditions, the end of our careers, merging our families and deciding how to 'structure' our relationship.

There are some times when I just want to be alone again - but I truly love this man and am trying to work through (and enlighten him) this transition to a deeper phase. In a recent conversation, when we were attempting to get over an issue caused by lack of communication, he seemed surprised when I told him "When I say 'I love you' I'm not expressing a feeling, it's a commitment". That's the relationship my parents and grandparents had - it wasn't always rosy, but you could count on the person being there for you - and I think that's the true basis of a loving relationship.

Thank you for this wonderful resource to turn to as we work together to create this lasting (if not always romantic and exciting) relationship.

ilovetowrite94 profile image

ilovetowrite94 5 years ago

Your homework was really done on this hub. Excellent Hub!!

LKEP 5 years ago

Hey. Very helpful article...provided great gf of 10 yrs and mother of my child recently ended our relationship and cited this as the primary reason....given there were some other issues too...( behavioura issues on my part...respect, communication, anger mgmt) as well as the fact that we got together quite early...I was 16, she was 17...neither of us have had much experience being single...I think she's really feeling the need for that... I'm wondering if I should forward this to her....she's told me there's still a lot of love there....and part of her hopes her heart leads her back, but at the same time she's also made quite clear that "the door on our romantic relationship is closed for now. But its not locked" her seem fairly knowledgable regarding love and matters of the heart...I guess I'm torn....I don't want it to seem like I don't respect her feelings...cause I do very much...and I'm very much in favor of some time and space to ourselves...but I can't help but want to forward her this...maybe shed a bit of light on the fact that even if she's not in love, if we make a concerted, mutual effort to rekindle that love and truly try to make this work, maybe we don't have to give up our dreams of a happy future together and raising our daughter as a wecome any advice honestly...I'm realy torn!

huda 5 years ago


Me 5 years ago

How Long does the "winter" last.

Tulika 5 years ago

Lovely article!Loving someone despite knowing his/her short-comings is real love.And that comes with time....Being patient to each other is the key....

rose 5 years ago

i really loved this article,it has really helped me understand my realtionship,now i just to figure out what choice i have to make,to choose to love my boyfriend or to get another one.

Confused 5 years ago

I am really confused. After being with my husband for 20 years I have for maybe the last year started feeling that I am falling out of love. There hasn't been a catalist that I can see, no affairs or anything, just a gradual realisation on my part that I am not happy. I think he is less happy too but he is always so tired, his work takes all of his energy and there is nothing left for me. That used to bother me but now I dont mind him being immersed in work. I dont know what to do. We have 2 kids and I want them to be in a stable family. But I feel so sad all the time. My eye has wandered recently too but I haven't done anything about it, but I have dreamed that I have. Help

Susana S profile image

Susana S 5 years ago Author

Confused - It sounds like you are feeling lonely in your relationship? Do you make the effort to spend quality time together on a regular basis? Could you plan a trip away together for a few days or at the very least plan a night out? Commitments and responsibilities often end up taking up all of our time and we forget to have fun together - but it's important to have time together away from all of that.

Men often work hard at their jobs because they actually see it as the best way of loving and caring for their families, but as women we often don't really appreciate it in that way - we just complain that they are never at home!

There's nothing wrong with dreaming about other people, most of us do at some point. I would say get a good book to help you create the relationship you want - "How to Create a Magical Relationship" is a good one - you'll find an overview of it here:

You could also check out my relationship tool to help you both see which areas of your life are taking up too much time and how you can refocus your activities to make more time for the things which will support your relationship, rather than make you drift further apart:

Bwags 5 years ago

Can a spouse fall back in love after they have been rejected by their spouse over the years.

Confused 5 years ago

Thank you Susana, I will look at the links you gave. I dont know if it is too late though. I think part of the problem is that there is a third person in our relationship - his mother! She is always here and always critisicing me. I know she doesn't approve of me working - I work full time too and earn the same as him - I think she would rather I was at home cleaning the house and doing the washing all day.

The thing about the other man I keep thinking of is a problem. I have to avoid him now because I can't stop thinking about him. Which is totally pointless because he's married and wouldn't be remotely interested even if I were single. But also pointless because I'm not single and I really dont want to break up the family for the kids sake. At the same time I really feel that I need something more. It's not physical really, just someone to talk to that I have something in common with would be good. I think that is the thing about him, we have lots to talk about and really have a laugh in a way that I love. My husband just isn't interested in the same things as me and I dont think he ever really will be.

He's back. Got to go.

Confused 5 years ago

Thankyou for the magical relationship tool, its really clever you should put it in a book or something. We went away for a few days on our own and talked a lot and used the tool which really helped us think about what is important to each of us. He is thinking of reducing to part time at work or at least asking for better shifts so his mother wont always be here and he wont be so tired. He's agreed that I can start an evening class too if we can find a sitter other than his mother. I haven't seen the other man for over a week now but I do still keep thinking about him too but I know I have to stop because I think maybe its to do with him being a bit older and very kind so he makes me feel good about myself when he says things like he likes my hair down. My husband doesn't notice things like that, even if I've been to the salon. But when I told him that he was so shocked and said he was really sorry. So we're trying to work on it and everytime I look at the girls I know it would break their hearts if we did split so we have to try for them. So thankyou for your advice.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 5 years ago Author

Wow confused, that is great positive feedback on my relationship tool :) Thanks for coming back to let me know it was helpful and that you and your husband are working at getting things back on track - you've made my day! My best wishes to you both x

Robert 5 years ago


Unfortunately, I am recently experiencing a very tough time. I fear that my wife is falling out of love with me, after 31 years of marriage. We are seeing a marriage counselor, and we each see our own therapists. I am having a very difficult time understanding why this is happening. I am not perfect, but I have always treated her well, provided well, given lots of affection, made her laugh, tried to keep myself attractive to her etc. Up until just the past couple of weeks, she would initiate "I love you's", affection and intimacy. We discussed life plans like we would be together forever. Then the bombs came down. She is my soulmate and I am just crushed!

Reading your hub was very helpful to me. I plan to bring a printout of it to our next session, for discussion. I just hope that she is willing to try and make it work. Thanks.


Susana S profile image

Susana S 5 years ago Author

Sorry to hear that you are going through a difficult time Robert. I hope that the two of you can resolve your differences and move on together as a couple. There must be something special there for you to have been married so long.

Wishing you all the best :)

Mom 2 4 5 years ago

I agree with your article and feel it can be amazingly helpful for many. My problem is I am in a relationship that did not start with that initial love, we are together because I got pg, and now 6 years later with another child, I know I am not in love with him and don't think I ever was. I was married previously and he passed away suddenly a year before my partner and I met. I have experienced real love and even that middle road where the infatuation is gone. I have 4 children total and know without a doubt they are the reason my partner and I are together. Without the strong initial phase I worry we will never be happy, or more so I will never be completely happy. Any insight?

rose  5 years ago

I love this article so much, I have read it a few times now to keep faith in feeling this love again. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years and over the past month my feelings of being completely absorbed with our love has disappeared, and out of nowhere. This obviously worries me because just a few weeks ago I couldn't ever imagine my life without him by my side, I just want things to be normal again. I still love him and want to be with him, but I just feel numb towards everything. I feel like since neither of us want to give up on us, we will get through this. I truly think we are soulmates, and he is the only man I have ever wanted to grow old with. Do I just have to make it through this valley before these feelings start to come back.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 5 years ago Author

Hi Rose, I'm happy to read that you've been by to read my article several times - thankyou :) Your comment makes me wonder if you may be a little depressed? Numbness towards everything is a common symptom of depression. And of course if you are depressed that will affect how you feel towards your partner too.

If you are sure you aren't depressed then I also wonder whether you have some unexpressed anger or resentment towards your partner? Bottling up these kinds of feelings can also cause a sense of numbness and lack of loving feelings.

Tim B 5 years ago

What does it feel like to actually fall out of love though. A deep love stage? Okey here is my problem. I'm a deployed soldier who has had problems with Anxiety/Panic attacks. I went home for a 2 week leave and they stopped, I didn't have any problems. In the mean time I was deployed, I was planning a wedding... I know that alone is stress. We planned the wedding to be on this 2 week leave I had. It went great by the way and so did the 2 week leave- I loved every second being with my new wife. But from the day of the wedding I had to leave 4 days later... We took a small Honeymoon upnorth it was great. It came time to come back home, and things where still great. The night before I had to leave... I had a panic attack It literally hit me in less than a second. My parents happened to be over and a friend of mine... An well I had to get them out as rude as it was. A voice popped into my head (I DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR IT) but when I looked at my wife who was cooking dinner it said, "you don't love her and you never did." Could this be due to stress/anxiety, or is that falling out of love. Shes my bestfriend and always has been, I've been having problems coping with what went through my head (which started 6 days ago) even today. I think about it constantly fighting the fear off. I say I'm in love because it's a feeling I have. Shes my bestfriend, and has helped me through life alone, and my first 8 months of a stressfull deployement. I still have adriniline rushes that pump through my heart when the thought comes of why I even thought it in the beginning. I love how you put everything, But this doesn't feel right> I hear a couple sessions in the clinic for myself... (But I would like to add, the second I had that thought and broke down... I told her about the thought and I told her its an irrational one, I've been happy with her since we started dating. We've lived together for over 2 years, and dated years before that. She understands I've had problems and I am on a deployment. I'm just curious more or less. >Is this what it feels like... Depressed everyday, Fighting a voice you don't want to hear... Its not that I'm not in love with her, it's I never did love her. Its not like me... I've been on a search rampage for days. An am looking for more or less answers now... But its a fight, a fight I'm going to win & one I have to win for me... and us. So what do you all think- Anxiety/depression due to coming back into theater (only being married for 3 days) or is it something more. I've never ?'d "us". We had our problems but we haven't for quite some time (months)... ?????

Susana S profile image

Susana S 5 years ago Author

Hi Tim,

Usually falling out of love happens over a period of time and not suddenly. The tingling feelings and stomach churning just kind of fall away - but as I've said in the article that doesn't mean that love has gone - only that the initial rush of emotion has petered out.

From what you've said I think the main problem you have here is depression and anxiety and that because of those things, your mind is playing tricks on you - scaring you even further and provoking further anxiety by telling you that you do not or have never loved your wife.

My advice would be get as much help as you can to deal with the depression and anxiety and also NOT to fight against this thought. Just allow it to be. The more you try to push it away, the more power and strength you give it and the more negative feelings and anxiety you will create for yourself.

If you can say to yourself, "Ok, I've had this thought but my mind is not quite right at the moment because I'm suffering from depression and anxiety, so I will just allow it to be and not take it too seriously."

As I said to the lady above, depression frequently wipes out positive feelings and this is most likely what is happening with you. Once you overcome the depression and anxiety, positive feelings will return. One book that I think would really help you is "Overcoming Depression" by Paul Gilbert. I have a short write up of it on this page:

Good luck and best wishes

julie 5 years ago

hi your article makes so much sense to how am feeling thnkyou .i will try this.

Sharonlerose 5 years ago

I don't really care for the article, although I enjoy some of the comments. I think the tone of the article is very authoritative and sure without offering any real support for its basic assertions. Mostly, it seems like the author's personal experience and conclusions thereon, or pure speculation. I'd like to see an article like this with some actual references. It seems amatuerish otherwise.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 5 years ago Author

Fair criticism I suppose. I've added some references which support the article. Also my background is in psychology and counselling, so what I've written here comes from that basis (rather than personal experience).

whatswrongwithm3 5 years ago

"attachment without intimacy e.g. the couple that stays together out of habit and have grown apart"

result---> I have fallen in love with a 16 yr old girl 3000 miles away on a social networking site and i don't even know her. I can hardly wait to fall out of love now 'cause it's killing me not to be with her.

Cynthia 5 years ago

My husband of 22 years has informed me he in not in love with me he loves me, but not in love. He wants to move out but has no where to go. I have asked him to go with me to talk it out and he has agreed, but he said he did not think it would work. Any advise?

Gatormania 5 years ago

Hello Susan,

Recently my fiancée gave me an ultimatum. She said that if I don't get my job situation straight then she will return the ring that I gave her. She has a much better job than I have and she has helped support me every since we have been together. She has on many occasions let me borrow money, and even helped me pay off some school debt. I have been in and out of work in the past three years and she is fed up with. However, she is not materialistic and she doesn't expect me to have some great paying job right now. She just wants me to stop relying on her when I get into jams.

At first I was cool about it, agreed with her. As time went by I started having ill feelings about her and I stated trying to find things about her that I didn't like. I also started questioning her beauty in a way that I never questioned it before. These feelings really hurt me because I cannot say in my mind that I don't want her, don't love her, or don't want to marry her. The thought of "I don't want her, or she is not attractive" has constantly been entering my mind and I am afraid that these thoughts will overtake what I think in my mind. I love her and I am willing to do what I can to keep her but these thoughts are really bugging me. I have also felt pressure about finding a decent job with some decent pay and this has really stressed me out.

What is my problem?

Frank 5 years ago

Hey Susana,

Me and my girlfriend have been together for about 4 and 1/2 years now. About 4 months ago I got a job at a place about 6 hours away from my girlfriend (she's still in college). So long story short after 3 months of being there we had a really long talk and she told me that she will always love me and doesn't want to lose me but isn't "in love with me anymore" like I am with her. I think she was getting used to the idea of me being away forever and is trying to get over me. So, about a month ago I ended up moving back home and were still broken up at the time even though we still hang out a little bit, but I'm not sure what her feelings are right now and its driving me crazy not being with her :(. But, I don't want to ask her if her feelings changed yet because I'm afraid it might make things worse, like if she still doesn't feel the same way then it will be to awkward for us to hang out which I don't want or she might feel that I'm pressuring her into making a decision and I don't want to do that either. Any advice? Thanks for your help!

outofluv 5 years ago

Thanks for the eye opener, I thought i was losing my mind after being married for 18yrs with 2 wonderful children.I did not no it was normal to fall out of love but the fact of the matter is i have. In fact as mean as it sounds sometimes i don't even like him, i mean what do you do with that, i can't talk to anyone about it until is a depressing place to be but i,m generally a patient person so i wait. i can relate with confused on her feelings on all levels including thinking about another person.perhaps unlike her i took it a bit further but not a physical level. its finished although i think about it alot i need to move past it i know what i,m suppose to do what i probably will do because like confused keeping the family together is of the up most importance.i feel guilty for the level selfishness i showed, however without that experience i think i may have been worse off kind of dead inside not caring about what happened. its made me feel more strive for better (Health wise)and also realize that i was actually out of love. it also made me realize i am worth it. now i have to make are marriage worth it and keep moving forward one day at a time.

ralph 5 years ago

Hey Susana.. I wanted to see your input on my situation. Me and and My wife have been married for 5yrs..knowing her for about almost 10...I am 32 and she is 27...on Aug 19 she moved out and said that she has been unhappy for 3yrs...we get along great...there was no violence between cheating...our issue was lack of communication...when we argued we would take a time out for about 20min and than we would look at each other smile and make up...for the past 2 months our sex life was down mainly her not in the mood...and when we did she felt that it was like a chore..and myself was not really into it but my love for her is still strong to this day..i can honestly say that everyday that i woke up to her i fell in love all over again..but now she said that she feels that were becoming like roomates...she said she loves me very much but not in love like before...and now i found out she met somone via Facbook for only 3 weeks...and within the first 2 weeks he bought her 2 plane tickets for them to go to PR for her Bday in Nov...she told me that he is someone special buts not serious? but i know for a fact that they are getting to know each other "very" pains me to know that she hasn't filed for divorce for what ever reason but she is seeing this other guy...i already know that he is 34yrs old and only after 3 weeks of knowing her is already saying this like i love you..u mean so much to me...we have a great connection and things like that...he doing things with her that i did but than after awhile it faded alittle until she nudged me to do willingly...i need help with this...i love her unconditionly..what should i do...i dont want to give up...but i feel she already did...

Sophie m 5 years ago

This makes alot of sense to me.i have been depressed and on u think this can make u feel like u are falling out of love?

steph 5 years ago


Manda Pants 5 years ago

Great, great article!

In a comment before someone may have questioned your credibility, but reading all the other comments I see people turning to you for support, sou must be credible after all!

My boyfriend and I have been dating for four years and we still find ourselves in the conflict stage. I think the "honeymoon" stage ended for us 2 years ago. I stick with my boyfriend because despite the crappy times we sometimes have, I know that he's a good guy and will always be there for me. Knowing this, I think I can also see that our relationship will get better and that our love can grow so much more as the years go on.

Thanks for the great article, I'm definitely going to read the other hubs you have written :)

Take Care!


Natasha 4 years ago

Great article! Whisk I read this a year and a half ago. My marriage was over more than a year now. My ex husband grew out of love and decided its over for him. I thought we were going through the normal stages of marriage and are having fight and quarrels like any married couple. Many times I felt we are not connected as before and that he is not loving me as before. I confronted him and he assured me he loved me more than before and that the lust stage is over and we are just in the true love stage. I convinced myself that everything is fine until one day we had a big fight where things got out of control and he said it was over. He then told me he had no feelings towards me and didn't find me sexually attractive. I was shocked to hear that and thought he's just saying that because he was mad at me and is just taking out his anger on me. I then discovered that he has been feeling this way for more than two years and was putting up with me for the sake of our child. I s I still feel hurt and guilty for not following my gut feeling. I also feel betrayed as he was keeping his frustrations simmering inside him and never shared them with me. I still feel that I love him but he obviously closed this chapter in his life to the extent he never asks about our kid. I whist we both were reading this kind of articles on marital stages/ conflicts before. It really makes sense that every marriage passes through a trough phase but the couple should have the commitment and the willingness to stick together and not give up on each other so easily.

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Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

Very interesting and detailed. I like the part where the true love begans after the conflict stage is over. We need to be patient and persevere to let the conflict stage pass away.

Bob John 4 years ago

So how is this "real love" different from ordinary friendship? If the romance and attraction is gone, why should this person be your wife or husband instead of just one of your friends? Why should we not instead seek new partners so that we can feel passionate again?

robert 4 years ago

I am in the middle of a he's time we hit our hard time a little while back my wife has had an affair. I still love her though and forgive her. I can trust her also but I am afraid she will not let me in. same thing she says she loves me but is not in love. 3 children under five means there is a lot to lose. The way forward seems hard to find. I am trying to develop the deeper friendship but it is hard to break down the walls we both helped build. Perhaps I can forgive her for the the affair because I know I helped it happen. Any advice.

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Susana S 4 years ago Author

My advice would be to get away together for a few days and use it as an opportunity to really talk to each other. Couple counseling is something else you could look into. The only way you'll both move forward is through communication. Good luck!

Nayeli 4 years ago

My boyfriend and I are going through the samething, He says his love was fading away but he says he still loves me and is just confused.. He has so much going on at his house his parents argue so much almost everyday I just want some advice on how I could help him get through this HELP!!

Paige 4 years ago

I moved out of my marital home due to verbal abuse. Yelling and belittling me in front of our children etc.... I thought some space would be good ESP because I didn't want my daughters to see me always crying while he yelled at me. Not to mention his affairs with other women. Fast forward 7 months later he has said he doesn't see us reconciling but we have been going to counseling and spend time together with our girls and have been intimate on several occasions. I suspect he is seeing someone else which given he did that while we were married. Do I continue to work on our marriage or just give up?

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Susana S 4 years ago Author

Nayeli - Ask him what he wants/needs. If he can be clear and honest with you then you'll know how to help him (if he wants help that is).

Susana S profile image

Susana S 4 years ago Author

Hi Paige - from what you've said he doesn't sound like a very good husband (he sounds like a big kid, not an adult that is capable of a grown up relationship). I guess the only way this marriage will survive is if 1: he wants it to and is willing to grow up 2: you really want it to and are also prepared to completely accept that he will probably always cheat on you. Do you want to accept that? Some women do, but most of us need a man who will be faithful.

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princessandie 4 years ago from S.California

I have been w/the same man for almost (20) years. While sick a few years back, he verbally abused me. I was able to get over it as I figured it was hard on him to see me in pain.

When he recently got a new job things changed. Though I still love him; however, I am frightened he will do it again since starting his new job he verbally abused me for a 2nd time. I'm not sure why the 1st time it didn't bother me; but this 2nd time has hurt me inside and does bother me. I worry it will happen again. So I've decided to work on my own dependance more, even though I've always worked. Love is a funny thing. I think sometimes hurtful words can be worse than physical abuse.

Janice 4 years ago

Thank you so much.

Judith 4 years ago

I see that the obsession had to fade but I don't think real love can be devoid of feelings. I hate my partner for having cheated and I'm trying to decide if I should leave. I can honestly say I feel no love for him and without feeling what is loving?

Andrea Papke 4 years ago

I find in life there are many changes. So if you have a hobby, or something you enjoy, it'll pull you away from sadness to a feeling of love. No-one can really take away are happiness--unless we let them. Thou, it maybe shocking to discover your spouse has cheated, we can always fall in love again.

Tim 3 years ago

At almost age 50 and 24 years of marriage,my wife says she does not love me anymore and wants a divorce.Papers filed and I have been served after dodging being served for over 2 months.This is shocking and heartbreaking since the early years of our marriage she had always went out of her way for me,always beyond what I was expecting.It felt like I had married a one of kind Angel.I will admit that I have contributed some problems we have and have not denied that to her.Looking back to try and determine where things came apart.We never had kids of our own,at the age of 40 we adopted a boy 3 and his little sister 22months.Things became very challenging but we were very happy with our new family members.Time moved on for a couple of years and it was discovered our son is on the autism spectrum,we overcame that and he is a wonderful boy at almost 13 now.Next at around 45, my wife had to under go a hysterectomy,removing the uterus and one ovary.She was only to be in the hospital for a few days,but had serious difficulty and had to stay for 4 weeks,a very trying and troubling time.Even after coming home it was a very slow recovery for her.Other problems came up.Discovered she could not have gluten in her diet after Dr's misled her with acid blockers,learned she was type2 diabetic.On top of this she has had to deal with stress from her work,being a parent and what ever I had brought to her.Prior to her surgery,she had always looked past my issues or other stresses that came into the mix,had always been willing to express and share love/affection,we had great moments as husband and wife in the bedroom. Post surgery,no sex for over a year now and we have had very little before a year ago.I have been very sensitive and patient about why that is and I have not strayed.Effects of her surgery has made it very uncomfortable for her.Attempts were made to find solutions but were soon put aside.Then my own issues come along,was laid off from a 4yr job in Aug.2009. Became Mr.Mom and took time to remodel our home.Ended up having a distal bicep tendon injury to my left arm,had surgery,had 3month recovery,house budget got spent quickly paying someone to finish up the remodel but still not complete.Job options are few to choose from,I have found some odd jobs but yet to find full time work that will pay above breaking even or going in the hole with gas and child care in the mix. After reading many similar stories of other couples going through this.I say all this to ask the questioned,is there any data or studies to support the effects on a marriage do to a Hysterectomy.What I have read and what I see first hand,it changes a women to a sad extreme.Today we are still under the same roof and sometime in the same bed.She is very icey,wont even set out a coffee cup for me,getting just a hug is out of the questioned.Everything and everyone are ahead of me in the pecking order,that includes the dogs.Yet I continue to grocery shop,cook ,clean,laundry and taxi the kids as needed,soon I will be banished from our home with very little means and not sure where to go.I have pleaded with her to seek help for her and us.She denies she has change from who she once was.Claims she had her hormone levels checked by way of blood work and they are just fine,says she feels great,that she is clear minded.Given her age and what she has been through,I can't buy that she is just fine.Thank you for reading my post,all comments welcome.

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marion langley 3 years ago from The Study

I'll have to add that book to my reading list. :-) Married a decade, yay! We have also found that the feelings come and go and come and go and come and go and come :-) With intimacy the feelings, when they cycle around, mean that much more. It's gotta be especially tough for people the first time the feelings sink if they're conviced there is only one love destiny out there...then they wonder if they were ever right for each other in the first place and question if they married the right person. I've heard this from a number of divorced people and it makes me sad. Thanks for writing and encouraging people to work hard and cling to hope.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 3 years ago Author

You're so right Marion. Feelings change in intensity, and like you say they come and go. The good thing about that is it's very possible to fall in love with our spouse many times over! It is sad that so many give up at the first fence and never get to learn that.

Mia 3 years ago

Your article came up when I did a google search on the topic of falling out of love. To be honest, this is my problem now. It's incredibly frustrating to me because it felt like it was all of a sudden.

There was one argument that, for whatever reason, pushed me to the "point of no return". Typically when we argue I get upset and move on the next day/stop thinking about it. But I think I was just so upset this last time and frustrated that I started thinking about all the things my partner does that bothers me, how it's always something that we argue about, how he's so hypocritical, etc... over the following days I realized that I didn't feel anything anymore.

The thought of him dating other women doesn't even bother me now, when it used to. I find myself wondering about other men and people, and he isn't really attractive to me anymore. I have to force myself to have sex. I also don't really care if I spend time with him in a day or not. I sat down to talk to him about the things that had bothered me, and we made agreements to try and improve our communication, and he promised to try and stop doing the hypocritical things that bothered me, etc ... and while I'm glad that he promised to do that, I feel like I don't really care internally whether he gets better or not. I feel so detached.

I don't know what to do. This is my first time ever experiencing something like this. He feels like just a friend and a roommate; nothing else. I feel like if I stuck around anyway and did nice things for him "just because" like you mention in your article, that I would have to force myself to do those things for him, not because I care or love or genuinely want to. Does that mean it's really over? What do I do?

Jessica 3 years ago

hi! I've been in a relationship for 6 months now and 4 days ago (august 17th) when I came back home from a wonderful week with my girlfriend the thought of not loving her anymore or not being in love with her anymore crossed my mind and I've been thinking about it ever since. We talk everyday we text, we call and we talk through skype but it doesn't feel the same sometimes (most of the time) I don't even feel like talking to her, I feel weird when I say I lover or when I call her love or princess or baby and I feel guilty when she says the same, she doesn't know what I'm going through and I don't want to tell her because she has been through so much for the past few months and I don't want her to be worried about it. I'm going to be with her again in two weeks because college is starting, we share the same apartment and room and the moment I see her I want to feel that I love her again, I want to feel that now, or before being with her again, I want to be able to stop thinking about this. I don't want to be loving just because I want to, I want to be loving not only because I want to but because I love her. I feel depressed but I don't even know if I'm depressed, I feel guilty because I don't tell her how I feel, but I just can't, and the "I don't love her anymore/I'm not in love with her anymore" won't get out of my head.

Please, how can I get through this, and don't tell me to tell her because I cannot do that. Please I just want this pain to be over, this feeling and thought is killing me :(

What can I do? I woke up with a text from her saying "I LOVE YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING" I told her "me too , princess" but I feel so guilty. she called me this morning and she told me she loves me I said I love her too, and still I feel guilty. please help me :(

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fivesenses 3 years ago from new delhi

Every relationship needs to be worked on ,to make it grow stronger and better...nice tips.

carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 3 years ago from Northeast United States

I voted this hub up and interesting ! :) Good way to tell it like it is without sugar coating it. This is why I believe most people should wait to get married and have children to see if they can weather the storm first.

grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I agree with all your points and your conclusion. You presented your article very nicely, talking about the stages of love, and concluding with the benefits of committed love. I have seen "macho" (for lack of a better word) men ending up with women who are so young and who marry these men for money, not love. When the man is sick and ailing, he needs a committed, loving long term wife to be there for him. A young woman who is there for what's in it for her will not be there when he is no longer fun to be with.

Janie 2 years ago

What happens if you are just not sexually attracted to your husband anymore?

Susana S profile image

Susana S 2 years ago Author

Janie - that tends to be a side effect when there's a build up of anger/resentment. Deal with that any you may find that the attraction magically returns.

Catherine 2 years ago

Iv bn in relationship for 14 yrs with my partner hv 3 children and he recently told me he doesn't love me and needs time to see what he wants and sort his head out I really don't no what to do can we work on it or is it really over?he works away a lot witch has played part on us .

Me 2 years ago

What if you never were really in love?

Amanda 2 years ago

Hello I've been going through alot of depression lately do to the what ifs. I've felt moments where I feel like I wasn't in love with my partner and that I made me think I didn't want to get better.

I've been with my boyfriend for 3 1/2 years now. I still love my partner but due to the depression I don't feel as much as he loves me and this relationship is really worth saving to me

nettieboop 2 years ago

I just found this and it has helped so much. Now... to put it into practice.

I met the guy of my dreams 9 months ago today. We've both been through some very difficult relationships - both been left and cheated on, etc. We thought we'd finally found each other. I always joked about us being old together and that I would have to be the one to die first in old age because I would miss him too much. The whole relationship was so lovely. We always held hands. We spoke every day throughout the day, all day. He always said he loved me, xoxo's, bought me little love tokens, etc. It was sweet. 5 weeks ago, his father who'd been suffering from lung cancer (whom he had a very severed relationship with due to abandonment when he was a kid, but my ex was trying his best to be there)took a turn for the worst. I suggested that he go over there as quickly as possible, as he might not have a chance to say goodbye otherwise. He did and he helped his father the last week of his life. He saw his dad suffer a great deal, but he never got what he wanted, that resolution. His dad. He called me throughout, with updates, to unload, etc. He wanted to come home for a couple of days (his dad lives in another state) for some 'normalcy' before heading back to deal with the aftermath. He really wanted to come straight to me before he headed to his own house. He asked me to go with him and his son to the funeral, etc. for support and I went, in a heartbeat. It was difficult. I saw him start to shut down. His relationship with his step and half brothers is chaotic, but family nonetheless. After the funeral we headed back home, where Christmas awaited us 3 days from then. It was more chaos, it was busy, it was a whirlwind of having to do last minute shopping, wrapping, hosting dinner, etc. 3 days after Christmas he decided very impulsively to quit smoking. He warned that he'd probably be a not so nice person for the next few weeks. Between Christmas and New Year's he became more distant, detached, numb, sad...A couple days later I noticed that our online communication was a little different, not as warm, etc. That night I asked him if everything was ok, if he wanted space to himself that weekend, I was more than happy not to go to his place for the weekend if he just wanted to be by himself. He said he had a lot things in his head, a lot of things were coming up. I had him call me to clarify a few other cryptic things he said in text and he just said it, with no hesitation...I don't think my heart feels as strongly as yours does for mine. I've tried so hard to feel 'passionately in love' with you but that should just happen on its own. (I WAS IN SHOCK) He doesn't feel 'in love' with me. He thinks I'm amazing, caring, supportive, the most amazing woman he's ever met but he can't feel that 'passionately in love' piece that he once felt. (Who does after nine months???) I asked how long he'd been feeling this way and he said 4-5 weeks (basically 1 week before his dad took a turn for the worst.) That was that. He's shut the door. The person I once knew is gone. What I'm hearing does not match what he was like. At all. He bought me a vintage typewriter for Christmas (I'd once said it would be fun to have so that I could type him love letters) that he carefully researched. 4 weeks prior had bought me a sterling silver antique spoon that was stamped "I love you more than coffee". 5 weeks prior had said in a text "When are you coming over? Feels like I haven't seen you in forever. I had a bad dream that you broke up with me and I woke up all sad." See what I mean??? I just doesn't make sense. But he just turned that switch off. He told his neighbor that he thought I was amazing but didn't want to screw up my life. He also said that I could be the perfect woman for him but he honestly didn't feel 'in love' and no once could force him to feel that. I'm so confused. I'm so HURT and SHOCKED. I miss him like crazy.

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Tashaonthetown 2 years ago from South Africa

Great article and good information.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 2 years ago Author

Then there's nothing to fall out of.

amanda 2 years ago

I was madly in love boyfriend.. but I let my anxiety stress depression and my overthinking get in the way... I got worried bc I read all these blogs and I was afraid I was doing bc of attachment , using him, or pretending... I believe heis my soulmate. My mom believes that I am co fused due to suffering with anxiety for so long... I've with for 3 1/2 years... I just want to feel love for him bc I think my feelings were robbed... I do anything for things to be like they were again...

Susana S profile image

Susana S 2 years ago Author

Things will never be like they were before - that's just life. But you can make them special again. Think about the good things you bring to the relationship and then give your boyfriend as much of those things as you can. Plan a trip away or a special day out. Do something for him that you know he'll love.

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cbsievers 2 years ago from Waynesville, North Carolina

I feel qualified to comment on your article. I have been around the block. I have been in 2 long term relationships. One a marriage, resulting in 2 children. It lasted for 24 years. Another, not a marriage, but lasted 17 years- 14 of them living together. I am 68 year old. My parents had a marriage, exactly as you described. But, it takes two. One cannot do it alone. Would I go back to either of the men? Yes, with qualifications. My ex-husband, would have to love me for who I am. We talk often, but there is always the tug that if I would change he could love me. With the other relationship, I would have to know that he knew what love was, and being "in-love" is not it. So, not much hope on that front. I feel that the one big problem in relationships is that we think the other person is supposed to fill what we feel is missing in us and our lives. Maturity is needed to know that we must look within ourselves to find that 'high' we find missing. Pursuing things we love, opening our eyes to the world around us will do that. Long term love is not a 'high' (although moments of it can return through the years), but a steady, expression of commitment, that has a different type, but equally rewarding, feeling of fulfillment. We grow, we evolve and a strong relationship helps us to do that, rather than hindering us. Two people together can do this, but it is not easy, and only if both work on acceptance.

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mathira 2 years ago from chennai

Susana, every couple go through this difficult phase in their married life. Your hub is an eye opener to couples who feel lost and worried that their problems might make them drift apart.

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kalinin1158 2 years ago from California

Most people would probably say that cheating is the worst of all deal-breakers, but I find that trust can be broken in many ways. Sometimes a careless word(s) can hurt so deeply, it's hard to trust your partner not to hurt you again. And you're right, when the resentment sets in, the attraction kind of goes away...

I've only been married for 1,5 years, but we've already went through the conflict stage, with each of us re-asserting our own individualities now. This sort of "separate togetherness" is a little frightening because you think: how far will it go? But I guess it's better than mutual separation. We still spend a lot of time together, and we love each other, but the "conflict phase" left a really bitter taste in my mouth, and I'm not sure if things will ever be the same ever again.

Thanks for the hub, love and light :-)

Brian Urbina profile image

Brian Urbina 2 years ago

The falling out of love aspect is fascinating, I think it would be best categorized as less of a heavy passionate love to a more settled down version. You still care deeply about the partner but it's no longer the whirlwind of intensity.

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Susana S 2 years ago Author

A lovely explanation Brian!

Amanda 2 years ago

Hello.. I visited thia website before when I was deeply depressed... right now I have medication... but now I know I may no longer be in Love with him.... I obsessed about it for 8 months and my worst nightmare is coming true...... is there a way I can save my relationship.... I hace moments where I know I am in love with him but they don't last long.... I feel like I miss him less or I am afraid I am not gonna wanna do all the beautiful things we use to do... :-( I still dress up nicely for him but I read something on yahoo answers.. a therapist says to her after the depression is over u really may not be in love anymore.... :'( I saw that and I cried badly... but now since the meds I feel nothing!! I cried when he left... not wanting him to leave I don't wanna new before... I am scared to be near him... I am scared right now..... I wanna save my relationship I don't wanna be just friends with him... I don't want him to be with someone else.... please help me!

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Susana S 2 years ago Author

Amanda, the more you cling to trying to make things conform to the way you think they should be, the worse things are going to be. None of us can make our emotions conform - that is not the way they work! Emotions ebb and flow, they are not static. No matter what anyone tells you that initial state of being in love does not last forever. Everyday love feels a lot less intense and it's ok!

Worry is also damaging you and your relationship. Worry serves no purpose whatsoever, so get out of the habit.

Get a book on mindfulness, learn to focus your mind on the present - it has been shown scientifically to improve depressive symptoms. A book I recommend is Manage Your Mood by David Veale and Rob Wilson.

Aside from those things I think you need to focus on three things:

1. What do you bring to this relationship? What do you give that is special, important, valuable? Write them down. Focus on doing those things as much as you can.

2. What enjoyable things can you do together? Can you go somewhere new? Have a little holiday? Get out and have some fun.

3. Are you truly appreciating the little things your boyfriend does? Remember to say thank you when you notice something he does for you or for the home/family. Does he work hard to bring money home? Does he fix things in the home/car etc. Think of all the things he's done recently.

Let me know how you get on :)

amanda 2 years ago

Could it be possible I tricked myself into feeling this way is that possible! !? :-( I don't feel depressed... I still get upset when I think of him with someone else... I get mad... but my depression tricked me badly... my feelings feel like there gone... I hate it... :'(:'(:'(

Susana S profile image

Susana S 2 years ago Author

I would go talk to someone, a counselor or psychotherapist. Someone who can help you sort out your thoughts and feelings. It really does help a lot. Anti-depressants can take away the depressed and anxious feelings for a while, but they often numb us to *all* feelings (I know I took them for years). I would get learning, reading and self exploring. Anti depressants are a short term answer, not a long term solution.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 2 years ago Author

BTW that's not to say you shouldn't take them Amanda, I wouldn't recommend that, just that they are not the whole answer.

We get depressed and anxious when we get stuck in a particular mind state and don't move through it. That's ultimately what needs to happen and it only happens when you do the work on yourself.

caitlin 2 years ago

So even if u did fall out of love the relationship can still be saved?

Susana S profile image

Susana S 2 years ago Author

Yes. Many people fall in love with their partners many times over. It's not necessarily a one time event.

Richard, UK 2 years ago

Thanks for the article. It's helped me understand the cycle of a relationship, such as my case. My partner says she's fallen out of love with me and sees no future also like her other relationships. I'm shocked and refusing to let go, a little in denial. I guess there's some hope....!

Susana S profile image

Susana S 2 years ago Author

There's some hope if she was willing to work on things.

kelly 23 months ago

I'm amazed that you're still answering comments all these years later and I hope I will be lucky enough to get a response...

I've been with my boyfriend for 3.5 years now. we met, we clicked, it wad the most incredible feeling in the world, stronger than anything either of us had ever felt before. we quickly agreed that we would be together forever and I started planning the wedding. 3 years later he still hasn't presented me with a ring, we are still not married, and honestly I thank god for that fact! thank god he is not my husband! calling him my boyfriend doesn't feel like enough but fiancée is too much.

we have a 2 year old daughter together and I feel like we push this relationship for her sake.

he is not motivated. he doesn't provide for this family. he doesn't contribute anything but a sour attitude and a potty mouth. he hasn't had a job for longer than 4 months since I've known him and the unemployment in between jobs seems to last longer than the employment. and its not due to jobs being unavailable or lack of skills - he is a welder and jobs are everywhere. he just simply does not want to do it.

I have tried talking to him and have given up on the idea. he is childish and incapable of having a grown up discussion about anything, let alone areas in which he could use a bit of improvement.

I feel nothing for him now but resentment. I shudder at his touch. I am so beyond depressed it is not even funny. but I can remember what it was like before I learned of his shortcomings. it was like he lived inside my head, I could feel the energy between us, he would say things I was thinking, and I was too afraid to say. if that's not a soulmate, I don't know what is.

I've held on for this long but I'm at my max. I can't do this anymore. but I truly believe that we could just be us again if he would just go to work every day like every single other person on the damn planet! but he is impossible to talk to so I will never get that message across.

but I can't keep living this way.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 23 months ago Author

Hi Kelly, we can never go backwards in relationships, only forward. People change when they become parents and it sounds like your guy has not changed for the better. I think you have 3 choices: 1. accept him the way he is, including the fact that he doesn't work and that you can't communicate with him 2. get couple counseling and see if that helps shift things 3. move on and find yourself another soul mate (we have many soulmates throughout our lives, not just one :)) Good luck!

Stephanie 23 months ago

My husband and I have been married 24 years. We have one through all he stages of marriage you discussed. At year 16 my husband was deployed over seas for 2 years. Prior to his leaving we had a strong loving passionate relationship. We communicated throughout the two years through letters, emails, phone called, etc. , seeing each other once. Things felt like they hadn't changed. However, when he returned he said he felt differently toward me. Since his return 6 years ago we stayed strong as best friends as he has dealt with depression, affair(9 months younger woman), PTSD, drinking, etc. I've stood by his side and have forgiven him for the affair. However, he still can't be sexual w me. From the outside everyone sees this couple who are talking all the time, holding hands, saying I love you, quick kisses, kind words. We have everything going but passion. My husband now says he doesn think he can do it anymore. Came out of the blue coincidentally a week after the woman he had affair w contacted him again. He wants the passionate love back. I'm devestated. He promises me that it has nothing to do w her text and that he has not made contact w her. I believe it made him think that things aren't any different intimacy wise for us, since the 6 year since he broke off affair. I view our marriage as 90% great, w the 10% only being the sex. We're going to attend marriage counseling again, but is ot realistic to think it can be saved? He said he feels like he had had a mask on since he returned and keeps trying to find passion for me. Any advice would be appreciated.

kelly 23 months ago

I was afraid you'd say that.

thank you. I appreciate it.

still in love 22 months ago

Hi my wife and I jst recently separated and she moved out. This was caused by her falling out of love with me. And also she strted talking to some else. Whn I found out about it she said that he made her fell good about her self and made her feel wanted again. I nvr stop loving her and I've always been faithful with her. But she said tht she's been feeling out of love for 3yrs befor our brake up. She is no longer seeing this guys anymore. I knw she still loves me because of wht she does. She also says tht she is confused and needs time and doesn't knw if she wants to wrk it out yet. She still comes and spends the night at our house time to time. I tell her tht I still love her and wnt to be with her and I wnt to wrk things out. She tells me not to wait for her but I cant help not wanting. We've been together for 20yrs now been mearried for 4yrs. Im giving her time we've only been separated for 4 months but it feels like forever. Can u help.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 21 months ago Author

Oh bless you. I guess all you can do is keep on loving her, keep on communicating, keep on listening to her and hopefully she will remember why she fell in love with you.

kakapisicAe 21 months ago

I really liked what you wrote. I don't usually comment on stuff like this, but I really want to because you sound like a nice person who is optimistic and you have helped me feel at least a bit better and a bit more hopeful about things and stuff!! I have relationship problems and that is the very reason why I came to this page, but I loved what I read and it gave me reassurance and hope. I'm sick of reading crap that is not encouraging and does not focus on how beautiful love really is. That is, relationships can be saved, there is hope. I love to read stuff like that, it gives me hope and it made me feel a bit happier, even if it was for a short moment. The reason why this appeals to me is because I am a hyper ultra pessimist and most intensely worried, anxious and paranoid individual about the person who I care about the most. That's just the way I am. But even though I don't feel as much in love as before there is something in your article that has happened to me: I might not be feeling as much spark of feelings as before, but I am still COMMITTED and I have intention to carry on with what I'm doing. Those things are different to feelings and they must show who is truly a loyal and committed person who loves with all their heart and who does not. I am a full on lover. I still love this person and I have intention to carry on with it. I am committed.

Susana S profile image

Susana S 19 months ago Author

You can get past most things in relationships when commitment is strong. One thing I need to add to this article is that in long term relationships many people find that they fall in and out of love many times over, so just because you're not feeling it now it doesn't mean you won't again in the future. Best of luck!

JohnS15 19 months ago

Since about a month and a half ago, my girlfriend (Over thinks everything) of a year (Both our first real relationship) has been seeming annoyed with me constantly. Last week I asked her whats up and she said she's really confused about whether she wants me or not.. She also said she thinks she's fallen out of love with me. Up until our 11th month together, she was extremely in love with me and she couldn't keep herself away from me. But now she doesn't want to hangout that much and gets annoyed with me easily. She also said that every time we hangout, she feels really happy and that she wants to be with me, but when i leave, conflicting emotions of whether she wants to be with me or not clouds her head. I showed her this page saying that this could be a stage between us and she became even more confused. How long could the difficult phase last? Any suggestions to help push through this? Is there anything i could say to her that might help fix our situation?


JohnS15 19 months ago

My girlfriend is confused about everything in the relationship also, any question i ask is answered with "i dont know" I know she truly doesn't know. Were in school together too and have 3 of the same classes. I constantly want to be with her and kiss her, touch and talk to her.. Could it be possible that im not giving her enough space even though she didn't care before? Thanks

MsKenzieBayBee 19 months ago from Newport News, Virginia

This article was very helpful.... thanks

Chuck Fasst profile image

Chuck Fasst 16 months ago from Portland, Oregon

I would guess that a couple of the longer posts above are describing unfortunate relationships with a Narcissist. Everything changes once one becomes involved with one of THEM! I am writing about a man who fell out of love with his mate so he simply got rid of the whole family and went on his merry way.

abbaelijah profile image

abbaelijah 12 months ago from Nigeria

humm !

this is a lovly and real detailed hub

I really gain a whole lot info why humans fall in and out of love.

thanks for sharing such a great info!

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lovefindsitsway 11 months ago from India

Nice post on biology of love thanks for sharing

steve 8 months ago

my wife and i of 18 yrs are on the rocks and its all my fault she feels numb towards me because the scars are so deep she says but i know that we can find away around it .i accussed her of cheating on me for many years .im a jealous and insecure man but i now know the problem wasnt her but me ,she doesnt know if she has the fight left in her for this time she wants to move out for a bit to figure it out .im an emoctional reck because i have relized what i have done but i hope its not to late.i cry all the time and randomly break done iam trying to be strong but she is the best thing that has ever happened to me i really appricate what she does as a wife and around the house i love her so much

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