I Don’t Love Him Anymore: Moving On From A Relationship
"I don't love you anymore". There are few phrases as heart-wrenching as this. In some relationships, love may fade gradually for both partners, and the end is an amicable split. In other relationships, love might burn brightly at one end and flicker and die on the other. If you’re no longer in love with your husband or boyfriend, it could be time to go your separate ways.
When Love Fades
There are some relationships in which abuse, neglect, or differences of opinion are obvious catalysts for love fading. Other times, everyday life may wear on the relationship and reveal holes that aren't easily repaired.
If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or Text "START" to 88788. You can also use the online chat.
Perhaps the first step in moving on is acknowledging that the relationship has truly ended. Even when you are the one to initiate the split, moving on can be a difficult task. Relationships have a way of invading every aspect of your life. Thus, moving on from a cherished relationship can be frightening and lonely, even if the love is no longer there.
The Hard Conversation
The second step in moving on might be having the breakup conversation. When you no longer love your husband or boyfriend, you may be faced with the heart wrenching task of telling him that your relationship is at its end. These types of conversations can be difficult, embarrassing, and painful. Some people hope to avoid them by gradually disappearing from their partner’s life. Although this might be tempting, you owe it to yourself and your former partner to take the time and effort required to have the conversation and officially end your partnership. This will provide you both with the closure you need to move forward.
There may not a single, easily defined method to successfully moving on from a relationship. It can be a deeply personal journey that can move in fits and spurts and in a large number of directions. Moving on can mean feeling on top of the world one minute, resplendent in your newfound freedom, and sobbing into your childhood stuffed animal the next. That’s normal. A relationship ending can be a complicated road that doesn’t follow a simple, linear fashion.
If you are the person who instigated the breakup, you might feel as though you are not allowed to grieve. Don’t fall prey to that mindset. Remember that you should give yourself the space to grieve your relationship and its loss, even if you were the catalyst for that loss. Honor yourself and the relationship you once had by giving yourself plenty of time to heal.
Tools To Heal
There may not be a concrete series of steps to guide every single breakup toward healing and moving on. Still, there are some steps you can take to make sure that you are healing as smoothly and effectively as possible. These steps might help you avoid some of the pitfalls that frequently occur following a breakup.
- Making space for your emotions. When you feel emotion well up within you, give yourself the time and freedom to feel it. If you feel angry, give yourself a few minutes or more to feel that emotion. Let it wash over you, breathe deeply, and then allow it to leave just as suddenly as it arrived.
- Sharing your experience. Whether you share your feelings with a friend, a family relative, or a therapist, make sure you are taking the time to work through and truly process your feelings. Feeling your feelings is a start, but verbal processing is another important step in sorting through your relationship wreckage and moving forward.
- Getting out and about. It may be tempting to stay cooped up in your house after a breakup, especially if you and your partner's social lives revolved around one another. Doing so could prolong your breakup blues, though. Try to get out with friends or loved ones when social invitations arise. It could be helpful to create new memories with the people you trust.
- Looking to the future. Think about the opportunities that have surfaced since your relationship ended. Recall the reasons the relationship ended in the first place. Looking to the future can make the present more bearable and remind you that the pain is temporary.
When Healing Stalls
Sometimes, healing will stall, and the pain of a breakup may become overwhelming. This doesn't necessarily mean that you've made a mistake or that you need to go out and try to rekindle your relationship with your husband or boyfriend. Instead, it might mean you are experiencing loneliness or discomfort with the novelty of being single. It could be helpful to remember that moving forward is not a linear journey. You may go months without thinking of your former partner only to have a week or two where the pain of a breakup hits you like a ton of bricks. While it may feel strange, it could be a normal part of the grieving process.
If, however, you notice that your grief is not resolving, it could be a signal of a more serious issue. For example, if you are having trouble getting out of bed or you begin to lose interest in things you previously loved, these could be warning signs. Significant lifestyle changes like breakups can precede mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, for example.
Symptoms of anxiety include feeling anxious or nervous for extended periods without a direct cause, physical symptoms such as a racing heart or accelerated breathing, and feelings of impending doom. Anxiety can be a temporary condition, but without intervention and treatment, it can also become persistent.
Depression symptoms can be more difficult to identify because depression affects everybody differently. Mood changes are the most significant symptoms and can include increased feelings of irritability, anger, exhaustion, or apathy. Physical changes such as weight loss or gain, increased or decreased sleeping patterns, and chronic exhaustion, can also indicate the presence of depression.
These disorders can significantly impact one’s quality of life, and both can compromise overall health and longevity. If you have developed the symptoms of anxiety or depression, it’s not advisable to try to handle it yourself. Both of these conditions require the intervention and subsequent treatment of mental health professional.
While it can be frightening or unnerving when anxiety and depression develop, both conditions are treatable. Depression and anxiety rates have continued to climb over the past decade. Thus, treatment has become more readily available and more diverse in its delivery and approach. Therapies can include talk therapy modalities as well as trauma-based therapies to get to the root of both anxiety and depression.
Although the most common form of therapy is a standard in-office visit with a psychiatrist or psychologist, there are many ways to engage mental health professionals. Some people benefit from therapist-led group sessions, which are more akin to support groups than actual treatment sessions.
Going through a painful breakup could make it difficult to see a therapist in person, though. You may be feeling particularly emotional, which might make it hard to discuss things with a stranger, especially in a clinical setting like a counselor’s office. Some people report that an online environment is more conducive to these types of discussions. This type of counseling can be more convenient, too, since it can be accessed from your mobile device.
Scholarly research in the field of psychotherapy has demonstrated the effectiveness of online therapy for individuals, couples, and families. A comprehensive meta-analysis of studies showed no significant differences among outcomes experienced by individuals undergoing web-based therapy compared to those in traditional therapy.
Never let it be said that breakups are easy. Even if you initiated the breakup with your husband or boyfriend, losing interest in someone you previously considered a partner is difficult to process and can be the source of tremendous pain and change. Even in the face of these difficulties, though, there is hope for moving on and enjoying your life. Get the help you need from a mental health professional to fully heal and process the grief.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you know when you're not in love anymore?
Sometimes you may find yourselves in a relationship and wonder if you don’t love your partner anymore. It is normal for love to fade sometimes, and sometimes these feelings can be confusing to navigate. Relationships can get comfortable, and the person may become your best friend, but you actually don’t them anymore. If you’re wondering how to know if you’re not in love anymore, then that’s a sign in itself, and you probably don’t love them anymore. If you find yourself getting irritated by little things or want to spend more time away from them, there’s a good chance you may not love your partner anymore. Relationships can go through highs and lows, and it’s definitely possible it could be a phase. If you have been unsure of your feelings and wondering if you’re no longer in love for a while, and that feeling doesn’t change, it may be time to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about where you stand.
Is it okay not to love someone anymore?
You may find you don’t love the person you once did anymore. Normally, we fall out of love with someone sometimes. If the relationship doesn’t make you happy like it once did, it is okay to want to move on. If you’re religious, you can’t always expect to feel God’s love in a relationship. People change and grow. The relationship with the person you once loved may no longer serve you, and you feel you don’t love him anymore. What’s not okay is keeping this to yourself and staying in a relationship that you’re not happy in. If you feel like you don’t love your partner anymore, have an honest conversation about how you feel. If you’re falling out of love with your partner because of issues within your relationship, a relationship therapist may be able to help.
Do you ever stop loving someone you once loved?
Unfortunately, sometimes, we do stop loving someone we once loved. Falling out of love with someone can bring on a whole range of emotions. You may feel sad, helpless, frustrated, or confused. You once loved this person, and now you don’t. In the honeymoon phase, when we fall in love with someone, we often idealize them. After a while, the rose-colored glasses come off, and we see them as real people. Reality sinks in. You may become disappointed when your needs are not being met. Possibly something has happened in your relationship that has caused resentment, making you not attracted to them anymore. You may find yourself wanting to spend less time with them, or everything they do bothers you. The relationship doesn’t make you happy anymore. Yet, you still care for this person and don’t want to hurt them but know you’re no longer in love with your partner anymore. Sometimes the feelings may be mutual, and you both amicably have fallen out of love. When you feel you don’t love him anymore, there may be a deeper issue within your relationship, causing a lack of attraction. Possibly your needs are not being met as they once were. It’s up to you to decide if your relationship is worth fighting for. It’s important to communicate with your partner and discuss your needs to see if you can work through your relationship issues.
Can love fade away and come back?
When couples have been together for a long time, reality can often get in the way. Real-life responsibilities consume a once romantic and loving relationship, and it feels as though love has faded away. The attraction fades, and you may feel you don’t love him anymore, but often the love is still there. This will typically cause intimacy issues between partners and a lack of sex. This, in turn, causes more issues within the relationship and looks like more fighting and not spending time together. This romantic attraction can come back, but it takes a bit of work. If it is true love, you will be able to reignite the romance in your relationship again—pencil in time for you to be alone together as a couple. Be affectionate with each other again if that was lacking. We often get caught up in the mundane every day. Starting a hobby or doing something spontaneous is a great way to rekindle the romance. Often in long-term relationships, things can get “vanilla” in the bedroom. Try to spice things up by trying a new position or role-playing. If this doesn’t change the dynamic in your relationship, trying to communicate more with your partner. A relationship therapist can help you get to the root of your issues and get your relationship back on track.
Do I really love them, or am I just lonely?
You may find yourself in a relationship wondering if it is true love or are you just lonely. In today’s generation, people are feeling more alone than ever. It is never good to stay in a relationship out of loneliness, but there are ways to tell if it is, in fact, loneliness or if it is love. If you accept them for who they are and don’t try to change them, you may actually love them for who they are. It’s probably loving to an emotional connection and a sexual connection while feeling very empathetic towards them. Those that stay with people because their lonely often have conditional terms. You may find that you were once in love, but it has faded, and you don’t love him anymore or don’t love them anymore, but you continue to stay in the relationship. This sometimes happens if you’re afraid of being alone. People will stay in relationships when they don’t love each other because it is comfortable. If you don’t love him anymore and you’re having a hard time letting go, talk to a trusted professional. They can help.
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