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When He Doesn’t Love You Back

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When He Doesn’t Love You Back

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Finding out your guy doesn’t love you back feels so rejecting.

It hurts like crazy and crushes your self-esteem. It feels like you’ve been let down in the worst way when you least expected it.

Your head races with terrible thoughts about how this could have happened, whether it’s hopeless, and what it means for your future, which can seem so dark.

Does it mean you’re not lovable?

First of all, no! It doesn’t mean that at all.

In a moment I’ll give you proof, but more importantly, if what you want is for him to respond to you like an irresistible magnet so you feel attractive and desired, let’s bust some myths that could be hurting your relationship.

Myth #1: We can talk this out

Talking about love in marriage

When he says or acts like he doesn’t love you back, it’s as tempting as a Cinnabon to talk things out with him, but I don’t recommend it.

Those State of the Union addresses are likely to do more harm than good, as you probably already know from having them. They always seem like they will help, but they don’t.

Nobody ever felt more confident, connected, and desired after talking about why he doesn’t love her back.

When I was pursuing those kinds of talks, the driving force behind my desire was fear.

I wanted to talk until he saw things my way, otherwise known as steamrolling him into changing his mind, so I didn’t have to be scared.

The more scared I was, the more steamrollery I got. The more I steamrolled, the more he just wanted to get away from me, which made me even more scared.

What a mess!

So here’s what I learned to do instead: Take that fear to someone else. You need to feel seen, heard, and understood, more than ever, and to get reassurance that you’re still lovable.

He can’t give you that right now, which hurts, but it’s temporary.

But you can get it from your friends, family, or a relationship coach.

You might think that’s not the same as hearing from him, but we’re not done yet. So stick with me here.

Myth #2: If I do more for him he’ll feel my love and love me back

Being pleasable in marriage

Another mistake you might fall into as a mere mortal woman is trying to earn his love by doing things for him so he’ll love you back again. But that’s not what makes men feel loved.

They feel loved when they get to do things for you and see you happy as a result.

Did you catch that? I’m going to repeat it because it’s so opposite of what makes women feel loved, but it’s very complementary to what makes us feel loved.

Men feel love when they carry heavy things for you, assemble furniture for you, or bring you your favorite dessert and you’re happy as a result. They feel in love when they do things for you and you receive them with delight and gratitude.

Isn’t that kind of great?

So a much less exhausting and more effective approach to restoring the love in your relationship than doing things for him is to be receptive to him doing things for you.

You could show that you’re pleasable by smiling and making yourself happy, even though you’re also feeling hurt and sad. I know that sounds contradictory.

Next, let him squash the creepy bug in the bathroom, or take care of your car, or make you a cup of coffee. Then smile and say how happy that makes you.

Myth #3: If he doesn’t love you he never will again

Does my husband love me

It may seem permanent that he doesn’t love you back, and you likely feel hopeless about that. That’s understandable because it’s very hurtful!

But since he previously did love you and now he doesn’t, that means he changed his mind. Since he changed his mind, that means he can change it back, right?

What he is likely trying to say when he claims or acts like he doesn’t love you back is that he’s feeling deprived of oxygen, which is how men feel about respect in a relationship—it’s their oxygen.

That means it’s not really about you as a person. It’s not that you’re unlovable or unattractive to him. But it could be that no one ever taught you what respect looks like and you’ve been unintentionally suffocating your marriage.

That was my experience too.

If you learn what respect looks like to him and show up more respectfully, that will breathe new life into your marriage. We see that happen a lot on this campus.

A student was just telling me yesterday that when she read the book The Empowered Wife, it completely changed her understanding of what it means to be respectful and she realized she wanted to make some big apologies as a result of her new awareness.

She was amazed that her husband put his arms around her when she managed to tell him that she understood that she had been disrespectful and she regretted that.

As scary and painful as it is, when your man isn’t loving you back, that doesn’t mean your love story with him is over, in my experience of helping over 15,000 women fix their marriages.

It probably just means there are gaps in your education, just like there were in mine, about how to love and be loved in return.

In other words, this could be—and often is—the breakdown before the breakthrough to feeling more loved than ever before.

I can’t think of anything more important and exciting to learn.

Which of these three things—nixing “we need to talk,” receiving instead of doing more for him, and restoring the oxygen of respect—would you like to experiment with first so you can have your breakthrough?

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I’m Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

I was the perfect wife–until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.

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