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Are you in a long-term relationship or married and wondering where the attraction between you and your other half has gone? If you’ve been with your husband or significant other for several years, it’s natural for periods of attraction to wax and wane. Life happens and things get in the way of intimacy, but sometimes attraction does fade with time and there are real reasons behind this. Find out why you are no longer attracted to your spouse like you once were.
Attraction Fades with Time
There are numerous reasons why the attraction level in a long-term relationship can fade over time. Some people simply marry based on mental or emotional chemistry, not physical, and vice versa. Some marry for financial reasons or for qualities - like the ability to be a good husband (kind, respectful, holds down a steady job) - but not because of physical prowess, so to say. In other cases, couples may feel pressured to marry due to societal expectations or even pressure from parents and friends.
Maybe You Weren’t Attracted to Begin with
Other times, people reach a certain age and are lonely, want to settle down because of society’s expectations, or have kids by a certain age. If you aren’t marrying for all the right reasons, issues with attraction are sure to crop up.
Some People Simply Grow Apart
It’s also not uncommon for people to grow apart with time. Couples that get married early in life - early 20s - may not have developed completely into adulthood; they may still be figuring themselves out. You may have once fallen in love with your spouse because they were adventurous, fun to go out with, and social, but maybe our values have changed over time and you want to start settling down and have kids.
Did They Change?
Your spouse may also have changed their habits - perhaps they lost their motivation to hold down a steady job, started neglecting their looks and not taking care of their body, etc.
Did Your Spouse Put on Weight?
Unfortunately, we are a visual species, so if you met your significant other when they looked a certain way, their body may have changed over time and this may be affecting your attraction to them. This can happen due to stress at work (lack of self-care), having or taking care of a baby or kids, or even injury or depression. Although in an ideal world we’d all look like rockstars, body types are different and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. All bodies change with age, and no one should be made to feel bad for naturally aging or changing physique...but if your spouse’s body has changed because they are no longer taking care of themselves in a healthy way, find a way to encourage them to make an effort towards self-care.
Did Your Husband Stop Looking Good?
For some women, they may find that their husband simply isn’t trying to impress them anymore. Perhaps your husband has started to bald, is heavier, and tends to look sloppy on most days, or maybe he has hurt you in the past during arguments. A loss of attraction can definitely be due to psychological causes as well. When someone says hurtful things over and over again to their significant other, these statements stick. Over time, the emotional toll can cause attraction to decrease and resentment to build, therefore, preventing intimacy. It’s also possible that your husband is no longer attracted to you or does not express his love for you in the way he used to. Perhaps you picked up on this and it is affecting your ability to feel attractive or comfortable around them or even loving towards them.
The Consequences of Losing Attraction
There are several consequences that come with losing attraction in a marriage. Although these consequences won’t occur in all relationships, they can occur if the attraction issue is not addressed or attended to:
- Poor love life: You may find that your physical life has totally diminished or that you are avoiding it entirely. Intimacy is an important part of a healthy relationship.
- Affairs: When couples are no longer attracted to each other, they are more inclined to cheat and be attracted to strangers, acquaintances, or close friends. This may include checking out other people in the gym or at work. When the intimate life diminishes, the temptation to cheat becomes even more real.
- Lack of affection: Since you are no longer attracted to your partner, you will be reluctant to give them any kind of affection. That may mean not wanting to hold hands, not wanting to hug in public, not wanting to cuddle, and limiting pleasure and intimacy.
- Distance: You may find that there is more physical and emotional distance between you and your partner. You may notice that you are sitting or sleeping farther apart, or perhaps you no longer share interesting conversations. You may not talk about your day-to-day life anymore or you may be disinterested in each others’ hobbies and social lives.
How to Increase Attraction Between You and Your Partner
If you are still committed to your honey and want to save your marriage, there are several things that you can do to try to rekindle the flame:
Do something thrilling together.
A study by the American Psychological Association confirmed that doing something adventurous with your partner increases arousal and physical attraction. Such adrenaline-boosting activities may include skydiving, surfing, mountain biking, zip-lining, bungee jumping, riding roller coasters, hiking to a beautiful location, or even taking an adventurous trip together.
Stare deeply into each others’ eyes.
More scientific evidence proves that taking time to stare deeply and intimately into one another’s’ eyes is sure to increase attraction. Most human communication is non-verbal, so taking the time to connect without words can greatly deepen intimacy between two people.
Make an effort as a couple to work on appearance, style, and hygiene.
As a couple, you can both encourage each other to look your very best. Consider a workout regimen together and a few lifestyle changes:
- Adopt a new exercise activity you can enjoy together
- Start eating healthier to get to a healthy body weight
- Practice good hygiene by brushing your hair, brushing your teeth, and showering
Reward your partner for affectionate and loving gestures.
If intimacy has been an issue, consider rewarding your partner when they demonstrate signs of affection or make an effort to be intimate, like engaging in their favorite activity together. Or, perhaps when they grab your hand to hold it, do something kind for them like watching their favorite Netflix or taking them out to their favorite restaurant.
What to Do If You no Longer Find Them Attractive
If you have tried the above tips and still can’t regain attraction, it’s time to consider whether it’s worth staying in the relationship. It is not fair to you or your partner if you two are unhappy, so ask yourself if it is worth leaving the relationship and moving on for good. Oftentimes, this type of situation can be extra confusing because you may share a business or finances, kids, friends, be close to each others’ families, or are afraid to be alone.
Maybe you still enjoy your partner but you just don’t feel attracted to them physically anymore. If this is the case, the companionship still may be worth preserving. Otherwise, consider if you rushed into marriage or if you truly found them attractive at all when you first got married. Did you rush into the relationship for other reasons like insecurity, loneliness, etc.?
How to Save Your Relationship
In order to understand why your attraction to your partner has dissolved and what you can do to change it, you will want to ask yourself the following:
- Is it emotional? Do you need your partner to make more of an effort? Have they been mean to you in the past and damaged your feelings towards them?
- Is it physical? Did your husband once look good and then let himself go? Try to encourage him to take care of himself and drop the extra weight.
See a Couple's Therapist or Love Therapist
If you truly want to save your relationship, then consider finding a licensed couple’s counselor or an intimacy therapist to help you work through your issues. Be open about where your attraction issues arise and ask for guidance on how to resolve them.
If you’ve simply tried everything and have come to the conclusion that there is nothing you can do to save the marriage, it’s time for divorce. Try to keep it as amiable as possible by being mature, compassionate, and working with one another to wish each other well (easier said than done).
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Brynn B Lewis
dashingscorpio from Chicago on October 02, 2020:
It's human nature to treat "the new" better than the "tried and true". Imagine someone getting a brand new car. The first thing they tell their friends and family:
"No eating, drinking, or smoking in my car."
They get it washed/waxed every weekend and have it detailed every 6 months. Three years later they're driving around with an inch of dirt on the body and the inside of the car looks like a grenade went off.
Another person who has been out of work for almost a year finally gets hired. During the 90 day probation period they never miss a day and are always on time. A year later they come into work one day 20 minutes late and when a co-worker teases him he says:
"They're LUCKY I showed up!"
People do the same thing with long-term relationships and marriages. They start to "relax" and take each other for granted.
Gradually they stop doing all the things that caused their partner to fall in love with them. It's almost a cliché to hear someone say:
"He/she is the not the same person I fell in love with."
We put more effort into (winning someone over) than keeping them. If a couple isn't careful they can find themselves slowly growing apart as they shift their focus on other things outside of their relationships.
It's as if the relationship/marriage has been scratched off their "goal list". Love is like a garden: Nurture it, it thrives. Neglect it, it dies. There is no neutral in relationships.
We're either 'growing together" or "growing apart".
Monogamy becomes boring when couples become lazy.
It's easier to maintain a fire than it is to reignite a spark!