He Never Loved Me. Brutal to Hear and Why It’s Not True.

he never loved me

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

When I hear from women, “He never loved me,” or “He said, ‘I never loved you,’” I completely understand how brutal that can be. I have been there. I was in a relationship with someone for years, who I now realize never loved me.


Coming to that realization of “He never loved me” or having someone say “I never loved you” can really mess with your head. It can:


1. Crush your self-confidence and self-esteem.
2. Make you doubt your judgement—how could I not have seen it?
3. Make you feel like you wasted time-even years of your life.
4. Cause you to feel foolish.
5. Cause you to be angry at yourself and at the person who didn’t love you.
6. Make you afraid to trust in future relationships.


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I want to help you deal with these things by offering my advice for “He never loved me.” First off, let’s start with the situation where a spouse tells his/her partner, “I never loved you.” My opinion is that there are several possible reasons the person could be saying this and not even mean it. Here are a few:


1. The person is angry.
2. People who are newly separated or in an unhappy marriage are screwed up and they don’t even know what they are saying.
3. The person is so infatuated with the person he/she is cheating with, that they can’t see clearly. The sex and newness of the relationship is blinding them.
4. The person just wants to hurt you.
5. The person doesn’t love him or herself and is transferring those feelings onto you.
6. The person just desperately wants out of the marriage and will say anything to get there.
7. The person convinces themselves of that so it’s easier to walk away.


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Think about it. Why would a person go through with a marriage if he/she didn’t love you? Even if let’s say you were pregnant and that is why you got married so quickly, I still do not believe there was no love there.


In my case, I remember very clearly feeling loved on my wedding day and in the months/years leading up to the wedding. I remember feeling loved when we had our first child and that first year of his life. I even remember feeling loved when we were talking about separating.


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My theory is:  If your ex loved you for many years, and said those words,  and then later said to himself (or to you or others) “I never loved her” that doesn’t even make sense. It’s impossible. Why? Because love is a state of mind and if you are in love at one time, you can’t just then say “Oh, I didn’t mean it.” It makes no sense.


It might be more convenient to say “I never loved you” because it justifies the end of the relationship, and maybe the person really thinks it. But, you can’t just take it away because you aren’t in love anymore. That just doesn’t even make sense.


Even if the person says something like, “I didn’t even know what love was back then,” that might be valid, but the love he did know was real at the time.


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If you are reading this and you were told by your spouse, “I never loved you,” first off, ask yourself if you really believe that, or if something else is going on and you know in your gut he doesn’t mean it.


If after that, you still believe it, ask yourself how it serves you to make it about you. It doesn’t, because it isn’t about you!

Is it your fault? Did you do something terrible to become unlovable? Are you unlovable because he doesn’t love you? NO WAY.


This is a great time to write yourself a love letter. Write down all the things that are good about you. Write down the wonderful and beautiful things you did as a wife and what you do as a mother. Write down why you are worthy of love. I bet you will realize that “he never loved me” won’t sting as much. My hope is that you realize that the most important person who needs to love you is you.


Look, I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy to live with your ex saying, “I never loved you” or thinking “he never loved me.” It can really hurt your self-esteem. But try not to let his love be the measuring cup of your self-worth. There are dozens of measuring cups out there who do love you, and whose cups really really mean something—your family, your kids, your friends, and of course, you.

With love,

Jackie P.

Like this article? Check out “3 Kinds of Love in a Lasting Romantic Relationship”

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    3 Responses to “He Never Loved Me. Brutal to Hear and Why It’s Not True.”

    1. Bea

      I struggle to believe my ex husband ever loved me because he was narcissistic and abusive.

      I didn’t know about narcissism at the time and didn’t see the covert, coercive control and all the abuse for what it was at the time either because of the good periods between. The abuse did get much worse over the nearly 20 years, but he constantly told me (and others) that something was wrong with me, and it all increased so slowly and he told me so often that I believed it was true and that I just needed to work harder to be good enough. The abuse got bad enough that he let on that he wanted me dead and I was locking the bedroom door every night, afraid he would drink so much that he would decide to kill me in my sleep. He did cheat several time during the marriage, I later learned.

      I have come to realize that to him, relationships are transactional, about what he can GET. And that if he isn’t happy, he is entitled to abuse me (he told so…told me I should allow him to rage at me and implied I’m a bad wife if I don’t let him since he can’t rage at anyone else).

      That’s not love. Using someone as an emotional dumpster or punching bag is not love. Abuse is the opposite of love. He has hatred and contempt for me. The moment I failed to psychically meet his every unspoken need was when the unraveling, and devaluation, began.

      Therefore, I can’t see that he ever loved me.

      After he left for his latest mistress, and after the divorce he asked for, he continued to smear me and abuse me from afar for over 5 additional years (so far) by ruining my relationships with others in my community, isolating me from almost everyone we knew, sabotaging my professional opportunities, and via other covert acts.

      That’s further proof to me.

      I can’t rationalize that he ever loved me, in the face of this relentless, unrepentant behavior. He also believes he is the victim here and that his abuse was justified.

      I’d be curious to hear your perspective on this kind of situation and how that fits in to your post above. It seems to me like this kind of situation is a whole different ball of wax.

      • Lisa Drake

        the covery narc only enters into TRANSACTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS. YOU are a toaster to them. a thing to be used and cast aside when a newer, shinier toaster appears. you can’t fix these people!! They will NEVER BE ACCOUNTABLE (EVERYTHING is YOUR fault- even their cheating)- which means they can’t change or grow. their EGO rules them.

    2. Hallie

      I think you can actually enter a marriage without loving someone. I think you can enter a marriage because you don’t think you’re good enough for anyone better. You already have kids together and you want to make a family life for them. I think you can enter a marriage because it’s convenient. And I think you can stay in that marriage for centuries because you don’t feel comfortable putting yourself back out there.


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