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Signs You’re in a Loveless Marriage (And How to Cope with It)

Signs You’re in a Loveless Marriage (And How to Cope with It)

When you are unhappy with your marriage, chances are you may be in a loveless marriage without being aware of it.

Loveless marriages are more common than you think, and there are a variety of solutions to ease the dilemma you may find yourself in. In this article, I will share insights on 3 critical signs of an unhappy marriage, what happens in a marriage without intimacy and whether you should stay in a marriage without love.

Sign #1 You Question Whether Your Partner Still Loves You

Love is a very strong emotion. However, if you find yourself asking whether your partner loves you, it indicates there is a problem in your marriage.

Emotional divides that make you question a partner’s love, can be caused by a lack of communication, conflicting values, sexual incompatibility or too much time focusing on the less than pleasing attributes of your partner.

Some women ask me whether their husbands love them during their consulting sessions. These women had already spent many hours discussing it with their female friends: “He does this and that, but he never tells me he loves me. Does he still love me?”

Males tend to communicate their love more through their actions rather than their words. If his partner then questions his love, it can make him feel unappreciated when he thinks he is showing his love via his actions.

If someone loves you in a relationship, you usually know it, as it is obvious by their actions and overall attitude toward you. However, when you question or doubt their love, it can put a wall of resistance between you which puts you both on the defensive. This can become a vicious cycle, where you constantly trigger each other and stop noticing the qualities you originally fell in love with.

How to Cope with It?

Build emotional connection and enhance feelings of attraction with your partner.

Yes, I know this is easier said than done. But it can definitely be achieved with the correct knowledge and technique.

Remember: you are 100% responsible for your life and the outcomes within it. You chose to date your partner; you decide how you interact with them; you made the decision to marry your spouse. These were your decisions.

Your choices are your responsibility, but it doesn’t mean you should blame yourself or your partner when things aren’t going as they should. You just need to make a few adjustments to how you are showing up within your relationship.

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Your spouse is not responsible for your happiness. Only you are responsible for your happiness.

If you indulge in thoughts about being in a loveless marriage, you will continually trigger yourself emotionally and therefore feel unmotivated toward the very actions that would save your marriage.

Marriage is just one way to make your life happier, and that’s only when it is maintained with the right intentions and actions. How you maintain your marriage is up to you. It’s your responsibility to build a strong emotional connection with your partner and continue your efforts to enhance attraction over the lifetime of your relationship.

Start by Creating an Inviting Environment

First and foremost, create a more inviting environment for you and your partner. Pay attention to the way you think, act and dress.

Know that your thoughts will always directly influence how you feel. Start by changing your own thoughts, words and actions from being negatively focused to being focused toward your ideal outcome and, you will create a flow-on effect which directly influences your partner’s behavior.

I understand that your spouse plays a key role in your marriage, but you can only influence your spouse’s actions and feelings; you cannot control everything. In fact, being controling is the fastest way to experiencing an unhappy and loveless marriage.

Stop Blaming Your Partner – and Inspire Them Instead

Stop blaming your partner for your lack of connection and take action steps each day to reignite attraction. As well as paying attention to how you look and feel, this includes lifting your partner up with appreciation and gratitude for their contribution.

It’s important to inspire your spouse to invest in your marriage because someone who invests in something expects it to work. For instance, you can ask for his/her help once in a while, so your partner feels that they are wanted and needed by you. Then, appreciate their effort.

When your partner is contributing to your life, and you are showing your appreciation, the emotional connection between you naturally becomes stronger.

Create Shared Experiences and Show Your Love Passionately

Secondly, create more shared experiences with your partner. This can be a date night once a week. It can also be having a holiday for two weeks once a year. Or several romantic weekends away. Don’t let your marriage become boring and predictable after the initial excitement of your wedding.

Lastly, show your love passionately. In life, you don’t get what you want; you get what you give. Hence, you should show your love first. Tell your husband/wife how much you love him/her and then see how things change. This is Law of Reciprocity.[1]

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Sign #2 You Are in a Marriage Without Intimacy

Marriages without intimacy are more common than you would assume. This can be due to sexual dysfunction issues, one’s sexual technique doesn’t fulfill another, or the couple simply has no time, energy or mood for sexy time. For many reasons, there are many couples who stop having a sexy time in the bedroom a few years after getting married. It’s one of those secrets that people just don’t talk about and keep hidden behind their bedroom door.

Know that if you are in a marriage without intimacy, you are not alone. There are many others in a similar situation.

Now you may wonder, “What happens in a marriage without intimacy?”

The honest answer is that a marriage without intimacy is a sure sign of relationship breakdown. Your marriage is just not healthy without intimate relations. Along with emotional connection, sexual intimacy is the glue which holds your relationship together. While one partner may imagine they can live without sex, it’s unfair and unrealistic to expect their partner to be okay with it.

In most healthy marriages, sex results from the combination of closeness, intimacy and emotional connection. Even as you age together, sex and intimacy remain a vital and loving component of a healthy and happy relationship.

While some marriages can sustain a lack of intimacy, usually one partner is not happy with this arrangement.

When encountering sexual function or other intimacy issues, it’s imperative to maintain a strong emotional connection and/or build mutual benefits in your marriage. Sadly, many couples who are in marriages without intimacy fail to build strong emotional connection or mutual benefits, so they end up in loveless marriages.

How to Cope with It?

Fix the problems in the bedroom and work on other areas outside the bedroom.

When you are in a sexless marriage, you need to fix the issues in the bedroom first. The best solution is to look for professional help in this regard.

Remember that in a marriage, you need to work together as a team. If one partner is suffering from a sexual function issue, then support them by providing emotional support and encouragement and get professional help. No one likes to feel like they are failing as a human, and most sexual issues can be corrected with the right knowledge and technique.

Your marriage is very important to you, so you may want to invest in professional consultation and improve the situation as soon as possible.

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An expert who specializes in this area can identify the root cause of a sexless marriage and give you appropriate advice; thus, you will benefit from this new knowledge and reignite the passion in your marriage. Of course, you will need to reinforce the emotional connection with your partner as well.

Build Mutual Benefits

Meanwhile, you can look at various ways to build mutual benefits with your spouse. For a male partner, mutual benefits need to be intimately focused. This is because a man without sexual intimacy is like a fish without water! Giving each other a sensual and loving massage at least once a week, with the simple focus on giving enjoyment to each other without any other expectation, will help him know you are still attracted to him.

Outside of the bedroom, there are other ways to build mutual benefits. For instance, if you already have children with your partner, you and your partner can spend more family time with children. If you and your partner have built a business together, you can spend more time working together developing your business.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean mutual benefits can or should replace sexual intimacy in a marriage but working on other areas of your marriage will certainly help to enhance connection.

Sign #3 You and Your Partner Are Not Even Friends

This is the BIGGEST sign of a loveless marriage. Yes, you read that right.

If your marriage lacks emotional connection or intimacy, you can usually still fix it. However, if you and your spouse are not even friends, that’s a much bigger problem.

Let’s look at two scenarios in which the husband and wife are no longer friends:

  1. Anna and Ben were married for four years. The first year was exciting, positive and romantic. The second year was okay. The third year was boring and run-of-the-mill. The fourth year was best characterized by basic conversations about logistics in life only, for instance, who would buy toilet paper on their way home tomorrow, who would send jackets to the dry cleaners, etc. In other words, they only talked to each other when they had to.
  2. Cynthia and David were married for five years and went into business together. The first two years was great. The final three years was terrible. They developed conflicts of interest financially; consequently, they basically became enemies in their business transactions.

These two couples were not even friends towards the end of their marriages. Hence, of course, they both felt like they were in loveless marriages.

How to Cope with It?

Evaluate whether your marriage has the potential to give you what you want.

First and most importantly, you need to know exactly what you want from this marriage. Do you want love, intimacy or both? Do you want financial freedom or power? Sharing the same direction and values makes it easier to work together on your marriage.

Since you and your partner are not even friends in this scenario, I recommend you make two lists using the power of logic:

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  • List 1 – pros of staying in this marriage
  • List 2 – cons of staying in this marriage.

When there are more pros than cons, you can stay in this marriage because there is something worth fighting for. But when there are more cons than pros, you no longer love your partner and don’t feel inclined toward working together to resolve your differences, leaving may be the better option.

You really need to weigh up those pros and cons because there are huge emotional and financial costs involved in ending a marriage, especially when children are involved.

Please note that not every marriage is meant to last forever. When you end a marriage, it doesn’t necessarily mean your marriage has failed. Honestly, your marriage has probably helped you in tremendous ways when you think about it.

For instance, when Anna and Ben got married, it was right for them at that time. They moved to the city together and started their new careers there. But as time went by, both Anna and Ben evolved and became different people. Their interests dramatically changed as they were growing into different directions. It doesn’t mean something must be wrong with them. It just means their marriage wasn’t right for them four years later.

Have a Shared Direction in Your Marriage

It’s important to have a shared direction in your marriage that you are both working toward.

When Cynthia and David got married, they didn’t have any conflict of interest. They actually had a very good time in the first two years of their marriage. They traveled the world together. But after David’s adult children from his first marriage became involved in his company, things became complicated in terms of finances. Consequently, ongoing conflicts of interest became an issue in their marriage.

In other words, everyone only did what they could with what they knew at that time. It was nobody’s fault.

When you marry your partner, the love is real. When you divorce your partner, the absence of love is also real. Therefore, both decisions are right – both decisions are made according to the reality of specific circumstances.

Final Thoughts

There are three major signs of a loveless marriage, yet each problem has relevant solutions.

It’s important to try your best and then make peace with the rest. Good luck!

More About Marriage

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Jacqui Olliver

Psychosexual Relationship Specialist

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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