Why the Spark Fades in a Relationship

Fantasy Bond, Intimacy problems, relationship advice
Countless couples complain of losing the “spark” in their relationship. Some chalk it up to evolved differences, a slow growing apart, or sheer familiarity. The wave of “deadness” that can submerge a relationship after the first thrilling months or years have caused many couples to lose hope, and even look elsewhere for the excitement of newfound intimacy. With researchers estimating that 30-60 percent of married individuals in the United States will have an affair at some point in their relationship, it may be time to really examine what causes our affections to wane. What prompts the shift from helpless love to deep disinterest? What turns our heart-racing enthusiasm for another person to boredom and dissatisfaction?

In order to identify the wedge that’s driving couples apart, it’s helpful to understand the concept of the “fantasy bond.” As the major principle of a comprehensive psychological theory developed by my father, psychologist and author Robert Firestone, the “fantasy bond” describes a way of relating that serves as a substitute for a truly loving relationship As my father has written of the fantasy bond, “This illusion of connection and closeness allows [a couple] to maintain an imagination of love and loving, while preserving emotional distance.”

As one woman who was going through a divorce after six years of marriage said, “Growing up I was terrified of being alone, but I also knew that I was afraid of being close to another person. In a sense, my marriage solved my problem: My husband was physically ‘there,’ so I didn’t have to be afraid of being alone anymore, and I acted in ways that kept him at a distance that I could tolerate emotionally.”

The state of physical closeness and emotional distance is what characterizes a fantasy bond. This bond is formed when sincere feelings of love, respect, and attraction are replaced with imaginings of security, connectedness and protection. Though these may all seem like positive attributes of an intimate relationship, placing a priority on form over substance is a key destroyer of any close relationship.

People who engage in a fantasy bond value routine over spontaneity and safety over passion. They go through the motions of being together or involved but without bringing the energy, independence, and affection that once colored their relationship. The risk in fusing our identity with another person is that we often lose the respect and attraction we once held for that person. We also stand to lose ourselves in the relationship, rather than maintaining the unique qualities that gave us confidence and drew our partners to us in the first place. When couples lose these real feelings for each other, rather than challenging destructive patterns in their relating, they tend to either throw away the relationship or sink deeper into fantasy for fear of losing each other or being alone. The good news is these feelings of excitement can be restored.

the-fantasy-bondFantasy bonds exist on a continuum. Some couples are deeper into fantasy than others. Most people fluctuate between moments of being truly close and moments of substituting fantasy for real love. By recognizing the degree to which you engage in a fantasy connection as opposed to a sincere form of relating, you can challenge negative habits and patterns, and experience new and exciting stages of your relationship. On March 20, I will be hosting a CE Webinar on The Fantasy Bond, which will present a model for an ideal relationship that combines emotional closeness and sexual intimacy, while each partner maintains a differentiated and individuated sense of self. In the meantime, here are a few key ways to identify if you are in a fantasy bond and how you and your partner can go about changing it.

Loss of Physical Attraction – When we form a fantasy of fusion with another person, we tend to eventually lose some of our physical attraction to that person. Relying on someone to take care of us or looking to them to complete us puts a heavy burden on our relationship. We start to see the person as an extension of ourselves, and within that framework, we lose some of that “chemistry” that drew us to them. When we view our partners as the independent and attractive individuals they are, we can keep a fresh level of excitement and affection for them.

Merged Identity – When you look at your relationship, can you recognize ways you and your partner step on each other’s boundaries? Do you speak as “we” instead of “him or her” and “I?” Maintaining our separateness and pursuing what particularly lights us up is the best way to be ourselves in our relationships. Rather than driving us apart, this separateness actually allows us to feel our attractions and choose to be together. Think about the state people are in when they first fall in love. They are drawn to each other based on their unique attributes. Their individuality is viewed with interest and respect, qualities we should aim to maintain even decades after being with someone romantically.

Letting yourself go physically or mentally – When we reach a level of comfort in a relationship, we may tend to care a little less about how we look and how we take care of ourselves. We may be more likely to act out without regard or consideration for the ways we not only hurt our partners but ourselves. We may gain weight or engage in unhealthy habits, drinking more or exercising less. These habits aren’t just acts of comfort. They are often ways of protecting ourselves from sustained closeness. They often serve to shatter our self-esteem and push our partners away. They also tend to have a deadening effect on our relationship, weakening our confidence and vitality.

Failing to share activities – Early on in our relationships, we are often our most open, excited to try new things and share new adventures. As we fall into routine, we often resist novel experiences. We become more cynical, skeptical, and less willing to do things with our partners. It is important to take our partner’s passions and interests into account and to engage in activities that we really share. Love doesn’t exist in a vacuum. As psychologist Pat Love has said, “You have to show up.” Slowing down and taking time to relate is essential to sustaining intimacy. Consistently doing things that your partner perceives as loving will also help keep the spark alive.

Less personal relating – When you do take the time to relate to your partner, do you still talk about anything meaningful? Have conversations become more practical or less friendly? It’s important to be open and share our lives with those we love. In doing so, we really get to know them. We feel for them as people, independently from ourselves. This helps us to stay close to each other on a real level as opposed to out of obligation. It helps us to form and strengthen a friendship that allows us to be less critical when giving feedback and less defensive when receiving it. All of these efforts nourish our loving feelings, overthrowing cynicism and upholding our attractions.

Harboring anger – When we are with someone for a long time, we tend to catalog their negative traits and build a case against them that leads us to feel cynical. Try to notice if you’re harboring anger or resentment. Are you acting this out in subtle ways? Dealing with problems directly from a mature and open stance will save you from stifling your feelings of compassion and love. Honest communication can be tough, but it helps you to truly know your partner, rather than seeing him or her through a negative or critical lens. When we get into the habit of swallowing our feelings and turning against our partner rather than stating how we feel, we are skating on thin ice. Even when we start to feel close, we will often be quick to become critical the minute our partner does something that rubs us the wrong way. When we feel free to directly say the things that annoy or anger us, we are better able to let them go. The more we develop our ability to do this, the more emotionally close we feel to our partners. The advantage of voicing your thoughts is that you stop viewing your partner through a fog of cynicism. When we face the degree to which each of us acts out the above patterns, we can start to challenge them.

When we fail to do this, our emotional connection to a person can fade, and all we are left with is the form that makes up a fantasy bond. Reigniting our relationships can be as simple as carrying out those small, caring acts that make our partners feel acknowledged and loved for who they are. Taking steps each day to counter these habitual patterns leads us down a path that is much more fulfilling, much braver, and much more real.

The Fantasy Bond
Length: 90 Minutes
Price: $15
On-Demand Webinars

    In this Webinar:  Many struggles we face in our current interpersonal relationships arise from a core defense formed in childhood known as the “fantasy…

Learn More

About the Author

Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. Dr. Lisa Firestone is the Director of Research and Education at The Glendon Association. An accomplished and much requested lecturer, Dr. Firestone speaks at national and international conferences in the areas of couple relations, parenting, and suicide and violence prevention. Dr. Firestone has published numerous professional articles, and most recently was the co-author of Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships (APA Books, 2006), Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice (New Harbinger, 2002), Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion: The Wisdom of Psychotherapy (APA Books, 2003) and The Self Under Siege (Routledge, 2012). Follow Dr. Firestone on Twitter or Google.

Related Articles

Tags: , , , , , ,



Sometimes love is just one sided and its all one person becoming so involved and cariing about pleasing his girlfriend, wife, or partner that you lose sight of yourself. What Im saying is maybe in instances such as this there never was a true mutually loving relationship, I know mant people that suffer from this and sadly I believe my relationship is one of them. When you fonally do realize it was a one sided relationship the emotional and physical shutdown starts, you begin to thi


I have been in a relationship for an year now and I’m having this feeling… My love for him is fading nothing excites me anymore… Sad sad sad


I have also been in a year long relationship and am feeling lonely, unappreciated, and inadequate. And I don’t know how to change how I feel.


I feel the exact same way after 1 year. It’s like all the enjoyment we once shared has vanished, and we’re strangers that live together. Constantly arguing, no intimacy, i feel more lonely within the relationship than when i was single. He plays computer games so i doesn’t have to talk to me. Very sad.


One year, lonely when he is right next to me. I know he wouldnt mind if i got up n walked out. He isnt like me, he is smug he is always fine. Im always looking tor hi, calling texting even at home he will go out to the field and mow for hours, while all i want is him to notice me again. He is comfortable, he feels safe, secure, maybe even happy. Im dying from lonliness and lack of affection, attn, and any type of common convo or activities involving both of us. He works 50-70 hrs a week and runs a semi truck business feom home. He will be on the phone sometimes just talking to people and laughing with them making jokes and it makes me hate him. I want him to ever talk to me that way, just light and carefree, joking and laughing on the phone. He never rushes them but me im always too much, asking too much being too much trying to do too much want too much help or talking too much. I think our relationship is over. I faught very hard to get where i am with him today and i dont know why i wanted this so bad but i am feeling very stupid for lettimg go of the ppl i used to network with amd be friends with for this guy cause now when i want to take a break i realize i have no one to call or lean on. I messed up. I thought this was gonna be my future and now i have nothing left to fall back on. I wish i never met this man, he has been nothing but trouble for my vibe sense of self my self esteem and my self image is ruined now, how could i let this happen? I trusted him, to love me and the facts are that he just doesntm and i cant make him. Ill die alone here with him if i stay n i have no where to go forngiving it all up for what i thought was possibly my forever man, my last, my future. So wrong. So sad..


Why do you bother yourself ? Sorry to tell you this but you are thinking ‘too much’. You have an emotional bond but not a legal one right ? You were just trying then if you are not married. You tried but ıt did not work out. Thats all. You just have to tell this to yourself. It happens all the time to everyone it does not matter how you look or who you are, even to Superstars. You are not dead and never will be even after he would walk away. Do you really love yourself half the way you love this guy ? What did you do for yourself ? What did you do for this guy ? Compare… is he worthy of your precious love ?
Let him go please. You will heal again no matter what.


KP , we are both in the same shoes only that mine is a marriage .. a year and 8months. The romance is gone, I don’t even feel loved anymore , most times I try to be romantic in chats and all but he just ignores . I am dying inside and too young to divorce.
I am not happy one bit. I cry for everyday and the worst part is; he claims he loves me and says it when he wants.
I fear I don’t go crazy I am almost the saddest Married person on earth.

You know how they say the little things matter? I don’t even get any of that.
No compliments until I ask, no mushiness , no reassurance of how much he might love me, no romantic care .
I am an only child and I am used to giving my all to a relationship which I did in this marriage.
I am leaving this here just so I have a record somewhere that I complained incase I just am no more .
I deserve better trust me .. I deserve to be loved deeply.
I deserve to be treated like the most important thing in anyone’s life .
I deserve to be treated like the best gift any man can get. Cos I will stand by my man no matter what .
But what do I get for it?. “NONCHALLANCY.


I am in a similar situation and it’s really hard because I don’t know what to do or how to change it. It’s not like how it was in the beginning

Mike Berry

Love is a drug, in that there is a chemical called dopamine in the body which activates the reward circuits in the brain: called the “Ventral Tegmental. When we are falling in love, chemicals associated with this reward circuit flood our brains, producing a variety of physical and emotional responses—racing hearts, sweaty palms, flushed cheeks, feelings of passion and anxiety. After a short time this wave of chemicals is depeleted and usually a form of attachment replaces the emotion or the couple part. Often they try again and again with a new rush of chemicals each time.


Ive been married to my wife for 4 years now and ive been and still am happy being with her. Shortly after getting married we had a son and of course things slowed down for us and we began to lose that spark and every now and then i did things to try to keep it alive and thought that it was working. But now my wife is telling me she only sees me as a friend and has lost that spark and has been feeling this way for about a year. Im devestated from this because i am so attached to her and our son and want to be together for the rest of my life but shes starting to not feel the same way. I feel like i try to keep things interesting but she doesnt try at all and then talks about how the spark is gone. Its really feeling one sided and i wouldnt want anything more than to be with her and my son for the rest of my life. I would be destroyed if we ended up seperating because im so attached but should i keep trying when she only sees me as a friend and not a lover? I just dont know what to do…


Not an expert and not trying to tell you what to do but perhaps she needs space and time from what is right in front of her to truly know what she has (you) Sometimes giving your all to someone who is blinded by love pushes you even further away because you’re “accessible” show perhaps some independence and true compassion about her needs and give her time to realize what she has had all this time ….perhaps it’ll give you time to focus on you and be a better version of yourself …you deserve your own attention as well …good luck and God Bless

Christopher Foes


Your post struck a cord with me. I have nothing but respect for the amount of humility it must take to continue on in a relationship that is so one sided. From experience, if you were to show your independence and seperate from your wife for awhile, she will realize what she had. It will hit her like a freight train going full speed. In the meanwhile you can begin to gain self confidence knowing you are taking control of the situation. Always kill her with kindness, while at the same time holding to your standards. She will realize…


I saw this post and I’m feeling the same way as you. Very one sided After being told the spark is gone. How and did you distance yourself?



I’m feeling the same way in my relationship. It’s very one sided, he hasn’t told me he doesn’t feel the sparks but I feel it because when I try to keep things interesting, he’s not interested. He would rather mow, or play his phone or video games. It’s very one sided and we have a child. I don’t even know how to go about this.

Lateefah Wielenga

I am an expert in this field, and I suggest you seek a couples therapist or a couples coach. It’s never too late unless one of you refused to try.


A year and 7 months later and I am also in the same boat as the four people above. This time, I was convenienced I had found my true soulmate. But everyday I am proved wrong. He just wants more and more “space.” And I just want more and more love. It’s extremly sad to think about what’s happening to “us.” Ive said this before, but I don’t ever want to be in another relationship again. I’m better alone anyways.


It hurts. So much, i wish i could just turn my humanity off just like how they do it on vampire diaries shiz. so i dont have to feel any emotion, any pain, so i cud just walk away and feel nothing..


I believe we all have an experience at one point or another someone “taking advantage” of our love and simply going through the motions of a “fun time” sparks always fly in the beginning of relationship and it’s so hard to trust anyone especially yourself …when we fall we fall hard and sometimes we bring forth everything we’ve got to show this one person whom we believe to be it …and give them nothing to appreciate….take time for you and love yourself first and make someone work hard for your whole heart you deserve just as much effort in a relationship and it’s a beautiful thing when you both jump on the same wave and ride the motion together ….it’s hard not to listen to ourself when we are in the moment but trust and believe you are worth it and sometimes these first experiences of love need to happen so that we can grow from this and realize our worth …be strong! Good luck and God bless


A year and a couple of months and my relationship is becoming a fantasy bond. He no longer acts or does the things he did when we first met. I started getting upset when i started noticing and it lead us into arguments. He is always tired to do things which i understand but when we first met he had the same job and i feel like tired or not he didn’t mind doing things or going anywhere. Now its different. We have broken up numerous times (well close) and talked so much about our problems that now the relationship just doesn’t feel the same. Ive asked him if feelings are lost or if he just doesn’t love me the same but no he says feelings are still there and he loves me a lot. So idk i love him too but the whole relationship just doesn’t feel thw same


Have you broken up with him? Does this kind of feeling pass overtime? Because I have exactly the same situation. I feel like I am the only one always wanting to be with him, talk to him. Maybe he thinks I’m too needy so he’s starting to back off a little. We’re okay but I feel like we’re not. I just miss the old us. Do I have to endure it or maybe it’s time to leave?


I meant my kids father 9 years ago
At first it was his looks then it was just everything about him we have 2 kids together I started losing all of the above
When I was 7 months pregnant and found
Him at a restaurant with his ex after
This I noticed him always lying I was thinking maybe I was over thinking and finely I realized I was it wast me over thinking I’ve lost everything I felt for him and had for him and I hate myself I stay here just for my kids and try to make them believe we are a happy family I know every relationship is different and I know a good from a bad one my first love passed away from a very bad car accident I’ve been devastated and heartbroken me and him were together for 5 years I’m a stay at home I want to get out an work but fear daycare and another person will not take care of them like i do my kids father puts that on me that he makes the money and always brings up my past relationship and I think he knows that is my week spot and I hate him for that I know it’s a strong word to say but that’s how I feel I do stuff to just not be around him or I space myself awhile in the house with my kids I don’t say our kids I say my kids because he dose not have the best of father skills I find that important I thought ok our first baby he’s knew at this but our second baby it’s like a joke it’s like I have 3 kids the 3rd being him I’m already in my 30’s
And know something has to change
Wanting to leave badly


The spark kinda faded a bit from my relationship too, we are still together though but we are taking a month off of seeing each other and then having an awesome date at the end of the month to see if we can bring it back because we both don’t want to end it, we would rather do our best to bring back what we once had than throw all that has been good away


This all sounds great, but I still don’t know what I should do. I feel I’m the one drifting. I’m kind of caught not knowing whether I actually don’t love him anymore, or I do still love him and something is just majorly lacking in our relationship. I’ll talk to friends and family about it, but that never helps. They ask questions to try and gauge whether I love him or not, but nothing ever matches up. It’s always the same answer, which doesn’t help me because my feelings on this haven’t changed. My boyfriend and I have completely different love languages, so that doesn’t help any. Maybe he just isn’t expressing love the way I respond to? Maybe a break would help us sort out some of our issues? Totally at a loss as to what to do. We had such a wonderful relationship, I don’t want to let it go just yet.


I feel as if im the only one who tries so hard to make our relationship work, but its worthless how can i respect a man that calls me horrible names, disrespects me in public and speaks to me like he wants? How can i love a man that shows no affection


You’re not alone. The past few months, i noticed the change in him.. The way he talks to me, no respect at all! And he doesnt say sorry, coz for him he was only kidding.. But i hurts you know :’/
There are times he wud make a comment or say something in public and people wud stare at us because they cudnt believe a man wud tell his woman those kind of stuffs.. And he’ll just laugh. deep inside me, it’s not funny.. not at all.. im just waiting for that day when i’d just walk away, no explanations, i’ll just leave..


Sarah, I am in the same boat. Am I dating your BF?? Everything you just said sounds like my relationship right now. I have been dating my BF for about 8 months now and I am so ready to walk away. We live together so it makes it harder. The things he says to me are mean. I tell him how mean he is and even write my feelings in letters to him. He still keeps disrespecting me. The way he talks, how he treats me, and in public I hate going anywhere with him. I just dont go no where anymore. I baught a house and he keeps telling me for him to leave I have to call the cops. I told him I would move out next time we argue to brakeup point. I want to be done but I dont want to go through the drama. He tells me he will be out to get me in every way if I brake up with him. I dont want to lose my job, or go to jail or lose everything I have cause of a looser who dont have nothing at all who wants what I have! He quit his job and no longer working so now I feel like I have to support him. I really really really want out of this. I dont know what to do. I feel like i am forced to stay in this relationship.


I am from a place which is more traditional than Middle East. Society sucks! I was dating several women four years ago and I was a kind of playboy – a sweet-talker with fair income, okay personality and travelling from place to place. I was feeling tired of this and I wanted to settle. One girl from my native place proposed me online. I know her from childhood and I also kind of liked her. And in two months time I completely fell for her. I lost my appetite, turned soft, used to cry and same things happened to her. Initially, it was like river flowing through our hearts. God, I can never write it in words. But gradually she couldn’t express her feelings, being traditional. I was quite romantic on other hand. It started to fade away. This year after four years I had to call it off in January. It was not going well. I don’t regret it. I have again turned into playboy. I date everyone these days – college students, women of my age, elder women, married women with no ethnicity, religious, class, age or any other bar. I am lost! And perhaps I want to settle. I feel like I have gone wild. I can’t control myself anymore. I want love and contentment. That is what is missing.


My husband and I have been together for 12 years and have 2 kids. I feel like we are just roommates that occasionally have sex every month or two. We don’t kiss, hold hands, sit on the couch together and watch a movie, etc. When we go out to eat without the kids we just sit there. Many times he is on his phone playing games, texting, etc. while I eat in silence. We just make occasional small talk. He’ll go in the living room and eat while the kids and I eat at the table. I’ve been questioning whether or not we are still in love. I love him, but it feels like a friend love. We argue/bicker a lot and I don’t feel like we ever resolve conflicts because we both think the other is in the wrong. We just stop fighting, he acts like nothing happened, and I get quiet and don’t talk much for a few days until I get over it. He is very confrontational and I am not. I’ve had to tell him a couple of times that I wasn’t a child and not to treat me like one when we are arguing, not to cuss because I’m not, not to yell because I wasn’t, etc. I just feel like we have two totally different personalities. I don’t know if he’s gotten worse or if I’m just less tolerant now after years of dealing with it/sick of it. We’ve been in the “friend zone” (that’s the only way I know to describe it) for about a year or two and now I don’t know how to get out of it. He’s attractive, but I don’t feel like kissing him, snuggling with him, etc. because it feels awkward now. I’ve told him how I feel and he says he loves me and wants to fix our marriage. He says he just got comfortable. He’s sitting at the table now, being more helpful around the house/with kids, we haven’t fought in 3 weeks (a record for us), but how long can that last? I’m sure he’s just biting his tongue and that can only last so long. Can personalities really change forever if that’s all you’ve ever known/done? How can we bring the spark back if I don’t really feel like doing any of those sexy, intimate, passionate things? Making out and having sex just doesn’t appeal to me. Is there any hope?


Atleast he’s willing to make an effort to fix everything. my man doesnt.. he told me, he’s not gonna change or budge anything coz he reckons that’s been how he is eversince..
he fooled me, he let me fall in love into this person who is the opposite of him.. i shudve known earlier.. i feel so stupid. they call us women ’emotional freaks’ when it’s an ear that listens, and a heart that cares is the only thing that we need from them.. the reassurance that no matter what happens, they wud still be there for us. *sigh FML


It’s a beautiful thing to have a partner in life and to have a connection. It is very possibly to get comfortable in a relationship and sometimes it’s ok. Nothing wrong with that, however when it comes to connecting with one another it is important to truly do so. Give time for yourselves together, as a family, and as individuals. There’s nothing wrong with also wanting more from one another but also for each other. Happiness comes from with in and you have it dig deep by loving yourself first and building confidence in your worth. Find that thrive for your esteem and show independence and how much of an importance your are to yourself and he will find more interest in you. The more it’s vocalized that there is an issue it starts to become an actual issue …it’s healthy to recognize it but don’t feed into it. Do the opposite and spark interest in your own zest for life and your happiness will be contagious! Sign up for dances classes go on hikes join a golf club something out of your comfort zone and have fun …your partner will want to join in on the parade and before you know it ….you’ll both have more stuff to connect about good luck and God Bless


So I have been with my bf for almost 6 months we live together and he has some issues with depression and stuff he sat me down 2 weeks ago and said that having a relationship is stressing him out adding pressure and he needs space to do what he wants basically but said he didn’t want me to move out the tension is horrible one day its great next day its not all we do is fight but he is so calm and like I’m so sorry I just need to be selfish right now and have fun and do what I want its not like I want in another relationship or date any other girl but I Dont want to have the pressure of making sure your happy with me BULLSHIT he said if I left he would miss me so much and be lonely like using me to make sure he isn’t sadder like are you serious turns everything around on me and out all day and night some times he answers and tells me where he is and stuff but today was our biggest fight yet I want to be done but its hard I had relationship issues before so I didn’t date for 3 years I saw people but if they ever got close I ran but he got my heart because he was a good person I Dont even know who this person is now jokes about exes, talks to this one girl “just a friend”, goes places without me no invite ever and I always do stuff with him he wants his space to hang with his friends like seriously OK so do that but just disrespects me says shit he should I want to leave the apartment I think that would help but can’t because money wise kind of stuck I don’t know what to do any advice???

Kerri Larson

I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years and we have a 10month old. I still love him but it seems all he wants is sex, I work full time and a full time mom. He talks with his sons’ mom from another relationship about anything and everything he has not talked me about anything for two years. I feel like I’m a failure, don’t know what to do he gets mad and threatens to leave everytime I don’t want sex, which is never lately.


? im the one who got broken up with and im really trying to figure out why. She wants me ome day then doesnt the next and it hurts. She acts like she cares and loves me so much but just says she doesnt want to be in a relationship and i am so scared of losing her for good so i keep fighting for her. She says she doesnt feel the same but doesnt want to lose me either. Its a very confusing situation and have no idea how to handle it

zullay pichardo

Im loving this article and feel like it’s relevant to other types of relationships as well. The reason I bumped into this article is because I was searching for something counter to this which is the experience of Sparks.
The Sparks i experienced for someone last time was a few at once as he was talking, which I never experienced before. Just curious to know your intake on this. Thank you for your articles!

Trouble 2019

I’ve been with my BF for about 10 years now. We meet at work and first couple of years we’re fantastic. For about the last year we haven’t been physically engaged and when ever l tries to kiss, cuddle or hold his hand he pulls away. So I’m January 2019 l pulled him on what was wrong and was told doesn’t think the spark is there anymore! I was shocked, didn’t eat for days etc etc but he didn’t sound sure. So over the last few months l have been trying but he hasn’t (it’s like he doesn’t even want to any more). Anyway so l set up the conversation a few weeks ago and said how does he feel, apparently doesn’t see us as a couple anymore but just good friends. I told him l love him and think we can still make it work but then l get silence.


After 11 years together and 4 years married with a two year old son, it seems the spark has just disappeared. I love my wife very much, and she tells me she loves me. We are best friends. But mostly, that’s what it deal like: a very good friendship. The intimacy in our relationship is gone. When I lean in to kiss her, she often turns her head so I can kiss her cheek. If I put my arms around her, she just stands there and does nothing. If we’re watching TV and I put my hand on her leg, she does nothing but sit there. She tells me sex is something I need to be more assertive about if I want it, and she’ll try to “be there for me.” That’s nice, but not how it’s supposed to work between married people. You’re supposed to both want it. She clearly couldn’t care less. I’ve tried talking to her about this, and she just acts like she bares absolutely no responsibility for trying to meet my needs. Meanwhile, I go crazy sometimes trying to “be a better husband” by satisfying hers. I have tried to drag her to counseling with me, but she just says it’s not her thing, that she doesn’t like opening up emotionally to other people, and doesn’t want to go. I have given her a book on couples therapy that I have read and learned a lot from, and it just sits untouched on her night stand because she “doesn’t have time to read books.” I am constantly worried that my marriage is crumbling, and that I will have to leave her and my little boy. I just wish a light would go off in her head that if she wants things to be okay in the long term, she needs to start paying attention to my needs as well as hers, but she is so strong willed, it’s been impossible to break through to her, and most conversations with either her stonewalling me or becoming livid and shifting blame onto me, or acting as though I don’t empathize enough with her personal stresses of being a mother and holding an unsatisfying career. Again, I love my wife dearly, but don’t know where to turn.

Lateefah Wielenga

I suggest you go see a therapist or a coach alone, to learn coping skills ands strategies to maintain your self-esteem and sense of self-worth. You’ve got a decision to make.


It seems like all of you should have ended these relationships. You deserve so much more, you deserve someone who will fight with you and not let you do all the work. End them all, if they are not fighting too, then it’s time to let it go.

Lateefah Wielenga

I am an expert in this field, and I suggest you seek a couples therapist or a couples coach. It’s never too late unless one of you refused to try. A professional can help you both to express yourselves and the problems you are facing individually.


Zhou and I met last 2015 he said her wife leaved him for 8 months and now almost 7 years without divorce . first I don’t expect to love him so much in fact opposite for what I want .he become my joy my priority in everything. after my husband died in 2008 I have a live in partner in 2009 up to now . Zhou and M is so opposites zhou is so caring and he need someone to talk because his wife dont go back for how many years . they have 2 children already 15 and 20 sometimes stay with him for a day. his wife dont talk to him for 7 years . Zhou and I continued our relationship . I always ask him if he love me sometimes when I decided to give up and he came and comfort me. I feel he doesn’t want to loose me no promise no commitment . but he told me before If I can marry him my answer -even you are married there are many separation happened if you really love someone even no marriage they exist . Nov 2 2021 we are together before 3x a week but till dec 25 he lied to me that he was assigned in far place .I dont know why it seems that he is lying and I ignore him by no contact rule . he call at 2 pm last Dec 30 he tell me to come with his co worker bug till 7 he keep promising very drunk and his son called his wife to drove him .I call him and he told me to drivd him but I refuse . He gave ths phone his wife and tokd her that Im just worried but his wife I think no jealous. dec 31 new year is the most saddest day of my life he dint even call me rejecf my call till night. I decided to go to his house and ask hin why . there he drove me and tell me that we cannot meet like before because her wife from now on will drive him to his work because I told his wife that Im worried bec. he has no license by driving drunk . Its so hurt not because he will bid goodbye hurt bec. he dont tell me the truth . from the very first he told me that he want his wife back both first love . I accept and understand him i know ge dont want me to be hurt maybe thats why he keep it. he tell me you can still call me if my wife is out but we cant met . Im so affected because for 6 years of his sorrow I am always there for him his listener and protector . But me? he just leaved me instantly hanging ? but I understand ge is married . today he call me and I ask him if they kive together again he said maybe then I told him If Iam your wife I will come back and not leaved you for 6-7 years? I wonder why his wife still dont go with him ? she just fetch him , drive him and eat with his kids in his wife apartment.Does his wife really love him or not?I don’t contact him fir 4 days and recover a bit and decide to move on. Now I know aboug his situation, I feel sad and missed him .Can they together again or because of the children? I want ti forget him but still I love him deep inside . I came to his life when his wife go away .i dont have no regret for loving him even he bid goodbye because I know he is tied up and understand him .but i cant understand why till nos they cant go togdther ? why?

David B Rexrode

Hi Kim,
I realize your message is over six years old, but I really felt compelled to try and contact you. Did you finally get rid of, or break free from this narcissistic, and abusive loser, without giving him everything you’ve worked so hard for? I hope for your sake that you did. I hope that you’ve finally found a good man, that is worthy of your love, and attention. There are still alot of us out here. Good men, that respect women, that want nothing more than to be in a committed, and healthy relationship, with only one woman.
You deserve all of the love and respect that you will receive(hopefully have already found), once your with the right guy.
I hope my message finds you happy, and in a much better place.

Leave a Reply