What does lack of love do to a woman?

Lack of love can have profound effects on a woman’s physical and mental health. Women have an innate need to give and receive love in relationships. When this need goes unmet over long periods of time, it can lead to feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Lack of affection and intimacy in a relationship or marriage can make a woman question her self-worth and attractiveness. She may start to believe something is wrong with her that makes her undeserving of love. These kinds of thoughts can chip away at a woman’s confidence and sense of identity. Physically, ongoing stress and anxiety from lack of love can weaken the immune system and cause a variety of health problems. Let’s explore in more detail how lack of love impacts women mentally, emotionally, physically, and relationally.

Mental and Emotional Effects

Lack of love and affection in a woman’s intimate relationships can trigger a cascade of negative mental and emotional consequences:

– Low self-esteem – When a woman feels her emotional needs are not being met within her marriage or romantic relationship, she may start to develop feelings of unworthiness and low self-esteem. She may question what is wrong with her that makes her undeserving of love and affection.

– Loneliness – Even women in long-term relationships can experience profound loneliness if emotional intimacy is missing. The loneliness stems from lack of a true connection with her partner.

– Anxiety – Women who are not shown love and affection often live with high levels of anxiety and chronic worry about their relationship. Anxiety can spill over into other areas of life as well.

– Depression – Depression often develops when a woman feels trapped in a loveless relationship long-term. The constant rejection and lack of affection can lead to deep feelings of despair.

– Anger – Underneath the loneliness and despair, anger often simmers when a woman’s needs for love go unmet for too long. This anger is usually directed at the partner or spouse.

– Insecurity – Lack of affection makes a woman question what is wrong with her. She may become obsessed with physical flaws and imperfections. Or she may think she is unworthy of love for some personality flaw. This undermines her emotional security.

– Resentment – When a partner continually rejects expressions of love and intimacy, resentment builds up within the woman. She may begin to despise her partner for making her feel bad about herself.

– Loss of identity – Women in long-term unloving relationships describe losing a sense of self. The constant rejection eats away at their identity and self-concept.

– Emotional detachment – As a self-protection mechanism, women may begin to emotionally detach from their partner to avoid further pain from rejection. But this comes at the cost of true intimacy.

Physical Effects

Living with lack of affection and intimacy in a relationship can impact a woman’s physical health:

– Weakened immune system – Chronic stress from emotional deprivation can compromise the immune system. This makes the woman more prone to frequent colds, flu, and other infectious diseases.

– Weight gain or loss – The emotional turmoil from unmet intimacy needs often causes changes in appetite and eating habits. Some women lose weight due to anxiety, while others gain weight by emotional eating.

– Sleep problems – Many women lacking love struggle with insomnia or restless sleep due to the relationship stress. Tossing and turning all night leads to physical exhaustion.

– Low energy – Feeling constantly rejected and unloved saps a woman’s energy levels. She may lack motivation to engage in physical activity or social functions.

– Lowered sex drive – Since the partner is not meeting her emotional needs, a woman usually loses interest in sex. Her libido declines to where she has little or no desire.

– Headaches/migraines – The recurring relationship stress commonly triggers frequent headaches and migraines in women. The muscular tension involved often leads to neck and back pain as well.

– High blood pressure – Research shows marital conflict, lack of support, and unmet intimacy needs can elevate blood pressure. This puts women at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

– Stomach issues – Anxiety and anger resulting from an unloving partnership often manifests as digestive problems like acid reflux, ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome.

– Depression – Changes in brain chemistry from constant rejection can lead to clinical depression with physical symptoms like changes in appetite and sleep patterns.

Relational Effects

When love and affection are absent in a relationship, communication and closeness between partners erode:

– Poor communication – Partners stuck in unloving relationships gradually lose their ability to communicate effectively. They avoid vulnerable topics and no longer share feelings, dreams, frustrations.

– Lack of conflict resolution – Without the foundation of mutual love and intimacy, conflict resolution skills disappear. Partners become trapped in cycles of destructive fighting and blame.

– Avoidance – Men and women lacking emotional connection typically begin spending less time together. They avoid direct communication and intimacy. Social events and outings stop.

– Infidelity – Seeking affection outside the relationship is more common when women are emotionally or physically deprived by partners. Even women who condemn affairs may cross lines if desperate enough.

– Emotional abuse – When resentment builds, partnersoften revert to emotional cruelty through verbal attacks, angry outbursts, manipulative behaviors. Love disguises these sins.

– Physical separation – Especially after the children have grown, women start considering divorce or separation if love does not return to the relationship. They realize life is too short to live in an unfulfilling marriage.

– Divorce – Lack of intimacy, affection, communication, and understanding eventually destroys the foundation of a marriage or long-term partnership. For women especially, lack of love leads to divorce.

Coping Strategies

There are some techniques women trapped in unfulfilling relationships can use to help cope with the loneliness and emotional turmoil:

– Talk to your partner – Communicate your need for more affection and intimacy. Be honest yet gentle. Make it about working together rather than blaming.

– Attend couples counseling – An objective third party can help you and your partner learn to communicate your needs in constructive ways that bring you closer.

– Practice self-care – Focus on your own needs through sufficient sleep, healthy eating, exercise, social support. Boost your mood through yoga, meditation, massage.

– Develop your passions – Dive into hobbies, interests, courses for career advancement. Pursue activities that make you feel alive and bolster your sense of self-worth.

– Spend time with friends – Lean on close friendships to ease loneliness. Sharing feelings with trusted friends provides emotional release.

– Consider trial separation – If your partner is unwilling to work on intimacy issues together, a trial separation may demonstrate you are serious. Or give clarity.

– Seek individual counseling – A therapist can help you process destructive thoughts, reconnect with your identity beyond the relationship. Group therapy also helps build self-esteem.

– Practice gratitude and self-compassion – Shift focus from what your partner won’t give you to blessings in other areas of life. Be kind to yourself.

– Explore divorce/breakup – If your partner resolutely refuses to address intimacy issues, ending the relationship may be your healthiest option in the long run.

The Toll On Mental And Physical Health

Below is a table summarizing some of the major negative mental, emotional, physical, and relational effects lack of affection and intimacy produces in women:

Mental/Emotional Physical Relational
Low self-esteem Weakened immune system Poor communication
Loneliness Changes in weight Lack of conflict resolution
Anxiety Sleep disturbances Avoidance
Depression Low energy Infidelity
Anger Lowered libido Emotional abuse
Insecurity Frequent headaches/migraines Physical separation
Resentment High blood pressure Divorce
Loss of identity Stomach issues
Emotional detachment

When Lack Of Love Leads To Affair

Marital affairs are destructive. However, for some women, lack of emotional and physical intimacy pushes them to seek love outside the relationship. This table illustrates how deficiencies within a marriage can progress to affair:

Deficiency in Marriage Emotional Impact How Affair Meets Need
Lack of affection Loneliness Affair partner provides missing affection/intimacy
Poor communication Emotional detachment Affair partner engages in intimate conversation
Unresolved conflict Resentment Affair partner does not yet raise conflict
Lack of understanding Hopelessness Affair partner shows interest and understanding
Unmet sexual needs Rejection Affair sex life feels validating and fulfilling

This is not to excuse having an affair. But for women lacking love in marriage, an affair can seem to provide a temporary illusion of intimacy, understanding, excitement. Of course it inevitably leads to even more pain and dysfunction. The only path forward is for both partners to commit to rebuilding affection, communication and true intimacy.

Healing From Love Deprivation

If you are a woman trapped in an unfulfilling relationship, know that you deserve to be loved and cherished. Healing is possible through the following methods:

– Communicate your needs calmly and directly to your partner. You may need the help of a counselor to convey your feelings in a constructive manner.

– Focus on your own self-care through healthy eating, exercise, social support, and activities that engage your passions and talents.

– Seek professional counseling to process any feelings of low self-worth and despair. Individual and group therapy can empower you.

– Consider a trial separation from your partner to gain perspective on the relationship. Use the time to reconnect with your authentic self.

– Exploring divorce may eventually become the healthiest option if your partner remains unwilling to work together to rebuild intimacy.

– Forgive yourself if you made mistakes in the relationship. You cannot control your partner’s choices.

– Trust you have inherent value as a human being. You are worthy of love, even if it must come from within before external relationships can reflect that love back.


Love is a fundamental human need, especially for women. When lacking in key relationships, lack of affection and intimacy create profound suffering mentally, emotionally, physically, relationally. But by prioritizing self-care and honest communication of her needs, a woman can mitigate the impacts. If the partner cannot or will not meet her intimacy needs, creating physical and emotional distance through separation or divorce may become necessary. With resilience and support, women can heal from love deprivation. In time, they will regain their sense of self-worth and capacity to build intimate bonds in healthy relationships.

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