10 No Bullsh*t Reasons Why Women Leave Men They Love

Why would anyone leave someone they love?

This is something that a lot of people struggle to understand. Some even refuse to believe it’s possible.

But whether it’s leaving behind a relationship or letting go of a whole family, home, and shared life, some women do choose to leave the men they love.

Let’s run through 10 of the most common reasons why women might do this.

1. There’s a lack of interest.

One of the biggest issues that any relationship, including marriage, can face is a decline in interest over time.

This is something that can happen for a lot of reasons, but it’s rarely a loss of love.

We all have very busy lives, whether it’s our jobs, kids, or hobbies. Being busy means that we often have to prioritize what we’re doing and where we spend the majority of our energy and time.

Many of us take our relationships for granted in some ways.

It’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that we feel like our partner will always be there and we have some freedom to do other things, secure in the knowledge that our relationship is a constant in our lives.

Assuming our relationships are in a good place can lead to us investing more time and effort in other areas of life, causing us to neglect the one we love.

Women may leave because their partner is investing this time and effort elsewhere and they feel lonely and neglected.

Or, they may be the ones who have realized that, although they love their partner, they also really enjoy doing other things.

Some relationships reach a breaking point where each person has to decide what is more important to them – their partner or themselves, almost.

When we become interested in spending time with others, having our own hobbies, and living more of an independent life, our partners may feel like we’re leaving them behind.

This is what often leads women to leave the men they love – whichever side of that battle they are on, either the neglected or the newly-adventurous. 

2. Their husband has strayed.

Cheating is a huge factor in relationship breakdowns.

It may be that there’s still a huge amount of mutual love between you and your partner, but that doesn’t make it any easier when your partner has been unfaithful.

Staying with someone who’s cheated on you can be impossible for some people, and incredibly hard for others.

It’s hard to know how to feel sometimes, even though you know that you love them deep down. The feelings of betrayal and embarrassment can almost be harder to get over than the deed itself.

Then there are all the questions you inevitably have: was it just the once, does he love her, was it better – and why?!

You’re also likely to be questioning the stability of your relationship given that someone you care about has just gone against the core principle of an exclusive, healthy coupling.

This is totally normal, but may lead to you leaving the man you love, as nobody wants to be in an unstable relationship.

3. The love is there, but the attraction has gone.

This is a really tricky one to try to explain to someone who’s never experienced it, but it can be one of the main reasons why a woman decides to leave a man she claims to love.

It’s absolutely possible to love someone without necessarily still being attracted to them!

This can happen over time and is often a slow process.

It may be that they’re simply not the person you fell in love with initially. Life changes all of us, and some of us change at different rates or in completely different ways to our partners.

It may be that your boyfriend was incredibly kind and polite when you first met and fell in love, but is now a bit ruder and has worse manners.

It can be tricky to know how to handle this type of situation because you still love them at their core, but the bits you found really attractive have just faded.

Equally, you may have gotten together when you were both incredibly sporty and healthy and have settled into a classic couple routine of lazing around eating takeout!

Of course, how you look and how much you weigh doesn’t determine your worth, but the principle behind this change can cause a shift in how attractive you and your partner may find each other.

You might have loved each other because of how much you both enjoyed going to the gym and heading out on long runs together.

The fact that that’s gone and your partner is a bit lazier or even just less active can make them less attractive based on their personality more than their weight!

Either way, women finding their partners less attractive can play a big role in them walking away from the men they love.

4. The relationship becomes co-dependent.

Relationships can very quickly turn into co-dependent partnerships, which are unhealthy and potentially toxic to be in.

Some women find that this is reason enough to leave.

Some realize that they are the ones being dependent on their partner, while others realize that it’s their partner who is putting the pressure on them.

If you’ve realized that, as the woman in the relationship, you’re putting extra pressure on your partner to be involved in everything you do, it might make you want to head for the exit.

It’s horrible to suddenly realize that you’re ‘needy’ or ‘clingy’ and that you may even have control issues relating to your partner.

You may come to see that you’re overly jealous of their friendships or expect them to spend time with you – all the time.

This is a pretty rubbish realization and may lead you to end the relationship in order to save both of you.

You don’t want to continue being that person or playing that role, and you want to have some time to yourself, being single, in order to get back to validating yourself so that you don’t need that constant support from your partner.

You may also realize that you love your boyfriend or husband too much to put them through the stress of being in the co-dependent relationship that’s evolved.

It’s cliché but it’s so true – if you love someone, let them go. Sometimes it’s better for everyone to walk away, even if you love them, and stop yourself from potentially hurting them even more.

Equally, you may have realized that your partner is the one who has become more dependent on you over time.

This is such a difficult situation to handle as you want to be supportive, but you must find a balance between care and self-care!

Many a woman has left the man she loves because they simply cannot cope with having someone be so dependent on them.

Most people’s ideal relationship involve a balance of some kind – you both enjoy spending time together, but you also appreciate, and respect, that you each have your own lives to live.

When this balance tips over, in whichever direction, things can very rapidly go downhill.

5. Trust issues.

Now, this is a really tricky one, but it’s also incredibly common.

Trust is one of the most important aspects of a relationship and probably the most crucial to making it work.

We all want to be able to trust our partners, but what happens when we can’t or don’t?

A lack of trust can really get in the way of a lot of the other great parts of being with someone – compatibility, attraction, understanding, and fun.

You may be in the dream relationship if you can check all these things off a list, but without trust, there’s no real basis for your coupling.

It may be that you don’t trust them with money and worry about their finances, whether they’re gambling or simply spending money they don’t have.

It may something more emotional – they may have made hurtful comments to you that make it difficult for you to let your guard down; they may even have cheated on you in the past.

Whatever it is, a lot of women end relationships because they simply cannot trust the man they are with.

This is such a sad reason for a partnership to end, but it’s normally the healthiest, most mature approach and will save both people a lot of upset, anger, and heartache down the line.

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6. A decline in intimacy.

A decline in intimacy can be much more serious than it may initially sound.

It’s not just that you want to hold hands all the time with someone who only wants to hold hands sometimes, it’s that the closeness between the two of you has faded.

A lack of intimacy can feel like the end of your relationship in some ways; as though you’re being rejected, almost, through a lack of actions that show affection.

It’s not needy or pathetic to want some physical intimacy, and touch (and sex) is a huge part of a healthy relationship for most couples.

If the amount of touching and time spent being close has declined, of course there will be some alarm bells going off in your mind.

Women will often start to worry if this change in habits has come from something they’re doing (for example, annoying their partner somehow), something their partner is doing (for example, cheating with someone else), or something that’s changed about themselves (for example, gaining a bit of weight).

These are all very natural responses, but they will leave the woman wondering what’s going on.

The longer it goes on, the more of an issue it becomes. You may start to feel like you can’t approach your partner for a hug or may feel awkward initiating sex.

You don’t know how they’ll respond and you’re already worried that it’s due to any huge number of reasons, including those listed above, so you stop trying.

The more you stop trying, the less likely they are to start trying and you get caught in a vicious circle.

This circle can then destroy your self-confidence and, even though you love your boyfriend or husband, you will walk away to save yourself.

7. Irreconcilable differences.

‘All you need is love,’ sang The Beatles… but how many of us actually believe it?

It’s a great thought and it’s an idea that carries a relationship for a short amount of time. You can get through meeting each other’s families and moving in together on the basis that you love each other and that’s enough.

But what happens when you start having real conversations about real things?

At some point, one of you is likely to raise the issue of kids or marriage or moving abroad for a job opportunity.

It’s at this point that love is suddenly no longer enough.

You may be incredibly compatible and in love, but if one of you is adamant that they never want to get married and the other very much wants it, you have an issue.

This applies to other differences that won’t change – a difference in religion, for example, can feel like something to ‘think about later’ until one of your expectations of your relationship changes.

It may be that you don’t like how involved your boyfriend is with his family due to his religion or culture; your partner may resent your faith and how much of your time it takes.

These are things that are unlikely to change and, sometimes, women leave the men they love because there is no real future with them.

8. Lack of appreciation.

We’ve all seen enough movies about breakups to know that many women leave their partners because they no longer feel appreciated.

Often, this is due to a combination of the above reasons, but it’s still very much an issue in its own right.

Women, both stereotypically and in reality, do an awful lot when it comes to raising kids and looking after the house.

Sure, there are very balanced relationships where the man stays at home while the woman works, there are relationships where the woman is perfectly happy to stay at home, and there are situations that work for every type of couple that are not there to be judged.

That said, one of the main reasons why women leave is down to not feeling appreciated for all that they do.

It can be pretty easy to take our partners for granted and to not acknowledge just how much they do for us and in our lives.

For example, stay at home moms may find that they spend the day at home with their new baby, somehow managing to tidy the house and do the food shopping…

…their partner comes home in time for the baby’s bedtime and then spends the evening complaining that it took up a lot of their important time and they now can’t finish their work/watch TV/hit up a sports bar with their friends.

Yes, it’s very stereotypical and gendered, but so is real life – take a close look at the online forums for moms and you’ll see plenty of posts about how unappreciated they feel for all that they do.

9. There’s too much pressure.

This is a tricky one and goes in the opposite gender-stereotyped direction we mentioned above – we like to be fair!

There’s an assumption that if any parent is going to leave, it’s often the man.

Of course, that isn’t as true today as it has been in the past, but there’s still a pretty high percentage of relationships ending due to the man leaving.

So, it may come as a surprise that some women walk out on their partners and families. What won’t surprise you is that their reasoning is very often the same as men’s…

The pressure of being a mother and a wife/partner can get too much for anyone at times.

Again, this is a natural feeling, especially for those with very young children. There’s so much to do and be aware of and pay attention to, and our image-focused, social-media-obsessed world makes us feel like we have to be perfect at all times.

We have to have beautiful children dressed in matching outfits who sit silently while we nip to the hairdresser/spa/nail salon regularly in order to stay looking groomed and glamorous at all times.

Dinner has to be on the table (with a candle and some wine) for our partner’s arrival back home.

There are also career-focused pressures on women and the desire to be on top of our games.

For some women, there’s all of these pressures on them.

It’s no wonder that life can get very overwhelming, which often leads to women leaving the men they love because they can’t cope with the stress of their (shared) lives.

10. Past heartbreak.

While we all understand the importance of the here and now, it’s hard not to think about the past sometimes.

One of the main reasons why women leave their partners is down to a history of heartbreak or unhealthy relationships.

This is often due to the fear of things repeating themselves with their new partners.

It may be that their previous partner was awful to them and treated them badly.

It may be that they recognize that they can become spiteful in relationships and want to avoid becoming that person again.

It may be due to a bad breakup or a tragic love story that ended horribly.

Either way, a lot of women carry their emotional baggage around with them slightly closer to their hearts than most men.

That means that women are more likely than men to leave out of the fear of being heartbroken.

They’re scared to stay as they don’t want to be emotionally hurt and upset; they don’t want to feel betrayed by the man they love.

About Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.