You can try to hold on to the love you felt at the beginning of your relationship, but you might be ignoring signs that you’re not really in love with your partner anymore.
We can fall in love with how someone makes us feel at the beginning, but the real test of a healthy relationship comes in time with issues and healing after hurt.
When the relationship kicks in, you see each other's flaws, and the spark disappears. If you don’t actively address issues and resolve them along the way, the relationship slowly falls apart.
Sometimes the love just dies.
When you can’t get the love you want, you slowly build walls to protect yourself from getting hurt and end up becoming distant without actually breaking things off.
So how can you tell if your relationship is breaking down? Here are the tell-tale signs you're falling out of love.
10 Hidden Signs You’re Not In Love With Your Partner.
1. You don’t want to admit it’s over.
When the relationship is at the point of no return, you can deny the relationship is ending for the sake of the children or for fear of being alone and starting over again.
Maybe it's just because don’t want this to have been a 'failed' relationship.
2. Feeling like the grass is greener elsewhere.
When your heart is not in the relationship anymore, you can find yourself craving the love that you’re not getting and subconsciously become interested in other people as a source of companionship.
You can latch onto someone else to escape the feelings in your marriage without realizing that you need to just cut things off.
3. You Hold onto false hope.
You might hold onto false hope or want your partner to change because you cannot accept the way they are. People can only change if they want to.
4. You’ve lost yourself.
You give so much of yourself that you end up abandoning who you are to the point of feeling diminished. After a while, you can no longer pour from an empty cup and end up shutting down as a means of coping.
5. You’ve swept things under the rug.
When the issues are too difficult to manage, it is easy to sweep them under the rug until it gets to be too much to clean up.
6. You’ve bottled up your emotions.
You can ignore how you feel for the sake of keeping the peace. When you fear conflict, things can fester until it leads to resistance or resentment, anger, and eventually, detachment.
7. You look for exit routes.
When you don’t want to lose the person that you care about, you can find ways to sabotage the relationship to "act out" your unmet needs.
Perhaps you’ve ignored your needs to the point that you can’t handle the feelings anymore and seek possible exit routes to get out of the relationship in order to alleviate your anxiety.
8. You’ve checked out of the relationship.
You’re in survival mode, you’ve stopped expressing yourself because it leads to the feeling of being rejected for who you are. You go through the motions of life, doing what is expected of you, but deep down you are no longer there anymore.
Deep down you are no longer present in your relationship and checked out because you get more pleasure outside of the relationship.
9. You’ve lost the spark and desire for each other.
You don’t want intimacy anymore or find ways to avoid sex because you don’t feel that connection or spark anymore. It feels more like routine, a chore or an obligation.
Sex becomes something you do to make the other person happy. But it’s not what you want anymore because you’ve lost the emotional connection.
10. You don’t let them in.
You've turned away from the connection to meet your own needs, to the point you don’t need them anymore, but you don’t want to give them up or don’t want to hurt them.
So you just don’t let them in.
How can you fix the situation if the love is gone?
If you don’t recognize the signs that your relationship is falling apart and address the issues along the way, you can slowly lose your love for each other permanently.
Holding onto hope is not enough to keep the love alive, without being attentive to one another’s needs in the relationship.
The problem occurs when you’re stuck in your negative feelings and end up protecting yourself by pushing each other away.
Communication is the cornerstone.
The ability to communicate determines the longevity of the relationship.
The longer the hurt is unexpressed, the more that it comes out as negative behavior, such as blame, contempt or unfair criticism.
It's OK to let go, too.
Sometimes it’s too late to fix the marriage. Other times, it’s the perfect wake-up call to do something to save your relationship.
If we reject ourselves by not honoring how we feel, then we can set our partner up to reject our needs when we allow things we don’t want in the relationship.
The antidote is learning how to express our needs in a way that invites our partner to turn toward us, and vice versa.
If it’s not too late to repair your relationship, you can seek therapy to release the emotions that get in the way, so you don’t end up protecting yourself in a way that pushes your partner away.
Nancy Carbone is a relationship therapist and psychodynamic psychotherapist. To find out more about her services, visit her website.