Where Did the Love Go?

On behalf of a friend:

What do you do when your significant other stops loving you? When you are tormented by the distance, yet haunted by the memories? Hanging by a thread but still can’t let go? Do you stay and try to fight or save face and quietly retire?

My husband is a caring, loving man, despite the flaws that we all share as human beings. He was, and still is, everything I wanted in a partner; but somewhere down the road, he fell out of love with me.

Perhaps I was a little too needy, a little too insecure. And perhaps this is just the natural order of things where everything has an ebb and flow, and now is when my shortcomings are front and center stage.

I could feel the passion slowly trickling away, the acts that were once out of love transforming into acts of duty and responsibility…

When an “I love you” text is reciprocated with a quick emoticon, terms of endearment are replaced with bare utterances, and time spent together is much rather spent with friends…those subtle changes that seem insignificant at the time slowly mound into a chilly silence.

The responsibilities and burdens of life have been steep. As a stay-at-home wife, there’s little I can do to bare them with him, and sometimes all I see when I look in the mirror is a liability that he, as a good man, is forced to live with.

A liability that might have been welcome initially, but slowly yet surely, became less special, less desirable, and less lovable…and his tolerance of my shortcomings started declining. Not that he was ever abusive, disrespectful, or even uninvolved…he was simply different, detached.

In return, I started becoming moody, jealous, and possessive…the harder I tried to snap out, the deeper I dug myself in. The more distant he became, the tighter I tried to hold on, and the more I suffocated him with my neediness and control. I repeatedly confronted him and asked him to justify his loss of interest, which he readily responded to with his nonchalant dismissiveness.

I stalked him in fear of him having an affair, which he wasn’t. I asked him if he wanted a divorce, which he didn’t. I wondered if he was going through some sort of crisis I was unaware of, which he denied…

A few years ago, I would’ve shouted at myself: “GET OUT, RUN AWAY. Make the tough choice and move on!”

I was once braver, stronger, and more decisive. I could lean on a solid support system and really didn’t depend on anyone.

My husband is a good man, whom I love and genuinely care for. But things aren’t so simple now. We share a history that keeps me hopeful that someday the tides will be in my favor. We share a home we worked hard to create, as well as a once-pleasant life. Whatever the future brings is unknown, but I hope that with it, I am able to regain my strength and awareness that we both deserve better.

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About the Author | R. O.

R.O. is an ex-trainer and teacher with a passion for exploring the depths of human relationships and giving tailored advice accordingly. Her experience traveling the world and meeting different people has given her a keen eye for cultural influences and the infinite ability of humans to surprise themselves and one another. She lives with her husband and is expecting a baby girl.

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