Romantic love is considered a necessary ingredient in marriage. In this study, the experience of falling out of romantic love with one’s spouse was examined. Eight individuals who had fallen out of romantic love with their spouse were interviewed. By using Moustakas’ Transcendental Phenomenological method, several themes emerged which provided a description of the experience of the phenomena. These themes included loss of trust, of intimacy, and of feeling loved; emotional pain; and negative sense of self. Gradual decline was identified as a slow, progressive deterioration of the relationship in which over time the romantic love decreased and eventually ended. Pivotal moment of knowing was seen as a specific moment in which there was awareness of no longer being in romantic love. The specific circumstances associated with pivotal moment were different for each participant, but the clarity of the moment was universal. Although not exhaustive in their scope, the identified themes were reported to be a part of the romantic love dissolution experience.


Moustakas, Phenomenology, Love Dissolution, Romantic

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