- Gender and Relationships
Should You Stay In A Loveless Relationship Because He's A "Good" Guy?
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.