I don’t think anyone should ever stay in a loveless marriage if they have a choice. I know for some people their situation is not cut and dry, meaning it’s not such a simple choice for them to say there’s no love in this marriage so I’m leaving. Love is not a one-dimensional emotion if that makes any sense to say. Two people can still be very deeply connected and committed to each other even while there might not be romantic nights out drinking wine and dancing the night away. So the answer of whether or not a person should stay in a loveless marriage really depends on what defines loveless for them and what’s important to them specifically.
There can be situations where it isn’t so much that the spouse who considers the marriage a loveless marriage is indeed not loved by their spouse, but that they are not loved in the way they want to be loved. Their spouse does love them but he or she is not giving them everything they want or feel they need and they are only focused on what they are not getting and this makes them want to leave the marriage because they feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled; but the thing about that is that no one will ever completely fill you and completely satisfy you. Maybe in the beginning when all you need is their touch and their kiss to be filled and satisfied, but as you get to the point of inevitably needing more, you’ll be faced with the same reality of having wants and needs that they cannot or will not satisfy.
It’s important to be able to identify where you might possibly be asking your spouse to satisfy you in ways they can’t even if they wanted to. Knowing what is our responsibility to our self can help to put and keep things in better perspective and prevent situations where we blame our spouse for not making us feel good when it is our own self neglect, our failure to take responsibility for our own happiness that fills us with this feeling of dissatisfaction.
So often we compare ourselves and our marriages with other couples and their marriages and we feel like they have something we don’t and we blame our spouse and hate our spouse for not being like the other people’s spouse; and we focus on what we don’t have that we think other people have and that we want because we think other people have it, and we become disillusioned with our partner and with our marriage based entirely on doing this–looking out and comparing then coming home and judging, accusing, blaming.
Where there is a truly loveless marriage, there is no reason to stay married, unless you are in a situation where leaving places you at risk of being homeless or otherwise puts you in some kind of jeopardy. If your marriage is truly loveless then, while it’s still a marriage by definition of being a union between two people sanctioned and certified by one or the other or both the church and the state, it isn’t a marriage by definition of being a decision between two people who love each other to dedicate their lives to each other, to live together committed to loving each other for the rest of their lives.
Most people get married for love so if the love is no longer there why stay married? But if your love has grown a family, you have more to think about than your self. That isn’t to say stay married because you have children, but you certainly need to have more than just “I don’t feel all tingly inside anymore” as a reason for leaving your marriage. There’s more to life and there’s more to love than tingly feelings. Make life changing decisions with a clear head.