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Should You Stay In A Loveless Relationship Because He's A "Good" Guy?

Updated on May 9, 2016
Miss-Adventures profile image

My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.

What do you do when the love you once felt isn't there anymore, but the guy you are in a relationship with is a good person? Do you sacrifice your own happiness so you don't hurt him?

A close friend of mine has fallen out of love with her husband. For years she has tried to resurface the love for him she once felt but all she feels for him now is friendship. She has been struggling about what she should do since he is not only a great father but also a good provider and ultimately treats her well. Should she ignore how she truly feels inside and continue to be with him for the sake of her family?

Being in a relationship where the love shifts to just friendship can be hard enough when it's just the two of you. Add pets to the mix it can be even harder. Add kids to the mix, it can be excruciatingly hard.

I strongly believe it's selfish to be with someone that you are no longer in love with—it's not fair to that person to hold them back from finding someone who will and wants to love them—regardless if you have children or not. I also believe that if you made a commitment to someone you should do everything in your power to try and work on things before throwing the relationship away.

There are so many qualities that my friend loves about her husband, however, like all relationships, issues have occurred over the many, many, many years they have been together that still have never been resolved. They have talked to several therapists, they have talked to each other, but have unfortunately stopped at a cross road—well, at least she has—he thinks that they need to move past their issues in order to move forward. Sounds great in theory. In order for that to happen the issues need to be worked on, not ignored.

So often when problems arise we think that moving past it or walking away is easier than dealing with issues. But, it isn't...at least not for long term success. Whatever problems have arisen in a current relationship will resurface again in another relationship (and so on) until you deal with the issues. Communication is the key as well as actually working on those issues so they don't resurface again.

It's so important to keep the lines of communication open. To truly hear one another and know that when someone is upset, angry or hurt, their feelings need to be validated—not thrown under the rug with a passive aggressive attitude. Both people need to be open to criticism. Not an attacking criticism, but constructive criticism that truly comes from a loving place. We all have issues we need to work on and if you are with someone who truly loves you then their concerns should be taken with an open mind and heart, not a grain of salt where you shut down and feel attacked. When the line of communication breaks down so does the love. Communication can be pointless if what you talk about is never put in motion. When that occurs communication is bound to stop—appeasing someone is insulting!

When you agree just to appease but never change the situation or actually putting the words you are hearing into doing—this can become extremely frustrating for the person who is sharing their concerns. This can make you feel as if the person you are talking to doesn't care enough about you.

Over the last few years my friend has talked and talked and talked to her husband about her concerns—why the relationship has lost its spark for her and why she's not sexually attracted to him anymore—and every time he tells her he hears her (just to shut her up), nothing changes. Love is about compromising not ignoring each other's needs and concerns. It's about working for a mutual goal—each other's happiness.

Women are very emotionally driven. When our emotional needs are put aside we shut down. We stop trying and sex or being sexual is not an option. Many times when a woman emotionally shuts down, it can be extremely hard for her to even feel that same type of connection she once felt.

Men and women are definitely different when it comes to looking at relationships. Most men can still have sex even when the relationship they are in is having a lot of issues. They can also have sex when they are unhappy or pissed off. Most women are completely the opposite. If we are not emotionally happy in our heads and hearts we are not sexually turned on, regardless of how good looking or nice a guy might be. And here's the thing guys, sex is emotionally bonding, when that bond is broken—which is basically the feeling of security and trust—a woman will make up excuses to not have sex. This is her way of telling you AGAIN (unless she has health issues or personal trauma) that your relationship is having issues. Are you listening?

Relationships are always going to have their ups and down. However, when one person is trying to keep the relationship from falling apart by being open and willing to discuss things and the other person thinks that pushing problems under the rug until they go away is the better solution—that's when the relationship will fail and people justify cheating. Yikes! I get that not everyone deals with or likes confrontation, but if you play the good guy card and don't fight for your relationship then you can't be surprised when it ends.

As women, we need to have chemistry in a relationship and it doesn't need to be mind-blowing. We need to have romance, trust, open loving communication, and feel secure and safe with you, but not bored. Relationships aren't just about having someone to procreate with or so that you don't have to be alone. They exist so that you feel more alive, supported and in turn want to be a better version of yourself—not stifled.

Ladies, never sacrifice your own happiness for any man—no matter how nice he is. If you aren't happy, treat him the way you would want to be treated and talk to him fully about your concerns before throwing the towel in. If he loves you—truly loves you—he will hear you and work hard to keep you and the relationship in tact prior to it falling apart. Changing things that aren't working in a relationship or in your life is called compromise, without it you can't have a successful relationship. Regardless if he's a good guy always remember to be good to yourself first.

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 12 months ago

      Great topic!

      "I strongly believe it's selfish to be with someone that you are no longer in love with—it's not fair to that person to hold them back from finding someone who will and wants to love them—regardless if you have children or not..."

      - Very true!

      However I believe (women) in particular are socialized into believing finding a "good man" should be their primary goal in relationships.

      Not long ago there was a best selling book by Lori Gottlieb

      "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough"

      Essentially she espouses women should let go of the fairytale of finding their "Prince Charming" or "Knight in Shining Armor" who makes their heart skip a beat and instead find a "good man" who adores them and is good to them. Mr. Good Enough may not "rock your world" but he'll stabilize it.

      In fact I imagine there are lots of women who'd gladly trade places with your friend to be with a man who is good to them, a great father to his kids, and excellent provider. They'll go on to say "chemistry" and passion are overrated and in fact should be (expected) to disappear!

      They'll say it's "unrealistic" to expect romance to last a lifetime. Many believe "real love" is about friendship/partnership and building a life together.

      They scuff at the notion of walking away from a marriage just because you're "not in love", "unhappy", or it's a sexless marriage.

      Some will paint those people as being "selfish" or not looking out for the best interest of their children.

      Don't you find it rather odd many of these things no one in their right mind would suggest you marry someone if (you weren't "in love", didn't have chemistry, or were sexually incompatible) and yet these same people would advise you to STAY married under those very same circumstances!

      In the eyes of many unless your mate is verbally/physically abusing you, cheating on you, an alcoholic/drug addict or is horribly financially irresponsible then you should stay with them.

      Forget about (you) being "happy"!

      Their goal is to prevent one more divorce!

      Generally speaking I believe in most instances when the spark is gone and someone is bored and unhappy in a marriage...their mate is actually either happy or content with the way things are!

      They'd be shocked if their spouse filed for a divorce.

      Maybe they were never really compatible and it was the "infatuation phase" of a new relationship that made it appear that they were.

      Only over time do we learn about each other's "authentic selves", relationship priorities, and their true sexual libido.

      It's not easy to break the heart and crush the soul of a "good person" just because (we're unhappy) in relationship or marriage. And yet marriage was never meant to be a prison. People who are unhappily married either get divorced or eventually cheat. In fact it might be argued that many people cheat in order to (stay and tolerate unhappy marriages).

    • profile image

      mary rb 12 months ago

      This is a challenging subject. A lot of factors must be considered before one decides to leave a relationship. A lot of factors must be considered if one decides to remain in a stable, but emotionally unfulfilling relationship. I agreed, many extramarital affairs have their roots in the latter scenario.

    • profile image

      Jxb7076 12 months ago

      I personally feel that when you're no longer in love with your spouse and the marriage is at the relationship stage it's where it should have began.

      Marrying someone because you love them is a mistake because relationships are 'needs' base. Love is the introduction but it's not whats going to keep couples together. If you develop a strong friendship during the relationship development phase where certain 'needs' are identified there is a better chance of surviving when the love is lost because love comes and goes and in my opinion one can fall in love several times with complete strangers during a marriage so it is a mistake to think love alone can sustain a marriage during the inevitable troubled times. However, a strong friendship allows freedom to grow as couples need to have the freedoms of a single person but the responsibility of a couple. In other words, I need to know that I can be myself individually of my spouse while remaining faithful and committed.

      We don't need to be tied at the hip or feel a need to be in each others presense at all times. We should have the freedom to grow in ways that does not threaten the other or the marriage. A strong friendship in a marriage allows me to go to a movie without my wife and she should have the freedom to take a personal trip without me. Lover alone will not allow that. But friendship, within love not only allows it but is supportive of it. The key ingredients are; friendship, commitment, faithfulness, mutual respect, and then love.

      With this a couple can grow while remaining together, and at some point they realize it's not working out they can part peacefully.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 12 months ago

      Jxb7076

      "I personally feel that when you're no longer in love with your spouse and the marriage is at the relationship stage it's where it should have began." - It sounds like you're one of those people who subscribes to the belief that "real love" doesn't begin until the passion dies!

      However if an "unrealistic romantic" married another "unrealistic romantic" and made maintaining love and passion a priority in their marriage I believe they would be happy.

      A lot of folks don't marry for the purpose of having a "platonic relationship."

      The unfortunate thing is people like yourself who (expect) to "fall out of love" in long-term relationships/marriages behave just as passionately as the "unrealistic romantic" does in {the beginning} of new relationships!

      It would be great if such people came right out and told their mates:

      "Don't expect me to try and (keep the magic alive). I believe {real love} is more about the stability & companionship."

      That would allow the "unrealistic romantics" to make an informed decision. Problems arise when couples aren't "like minded".

      "We don't need to be tied at the hip or feel a need to be in each others presence at all times"

      I don't believe most people believe being "in love" means being tied at the hip. It's having the actual (desire) to be romantically and emotionally invested in one's mate. You don't have to be married to just be (friends).

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 12 months ago from Texas

      Would you want your husband to stay with you if he no longer loved you?

      There is a song "Where will the words come from" by Rosanne Cash, please listen to the song.

      As far as staying with him because of the kids. It is better for the kids to be from a broken home than in one.

      I don't know what I would do.

      Blessings to you and good luck to your friend.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 12 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      There are so many ways to look at this. If I were seriously counseling you in a professional setting, I could not give a fair & accurate response without first having several sessions of aggressive probing into your private lives and the personalities of both parties, not to mention several other aspects of the relationship.

      You realize I hope that "marriage" goes well beyond being "in love." The love and passion, if you will, is in full force in most cases for the first 10 to 15 years (in a really solid marriage). After this period of bells & butterflies, the type pf LOVE becomes affection, mutual respect, dependency, companionship and a form of bonding fondness.

      The above scenario sounds like what is really missing might be some excitement and perhaps the feeling of "newness" that was once there.

      Since you say that the husband is a really nice person, good provider and good Dad. This may be all the signals needed for a woman to stay put. It's important to realize that individuals are quite capable of "falling in love again."

      What a shame and waste it would be to toss in the towel on a basically sound relationship in which the love can be rekindled.

      Just my off the cuff opinion. Like I said, this woman (or couple) should give therapy an honest try.

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