I often get emails from wives who suspect that their husband no longer wants to be in the relationship. Often, people ask me for "signs that a husband doesn't want to be married or in the marriage anymore." And, I often will respond with a list of danger signs to watch for, but I also typically tell women that if their intuition is telling them that something is wrong or is off, then they should always listen. Because it's better to be proactive and to take action than to be sorry later. All marriages can benefit from some attention and improvements so it's better to just act "as if" rather than being blindsided later. Getting him committed to the marriage again is harder the longer you let your problems fester. And, the more that intimacy and affection erode, the harder it is to get them back in the end. So, in the following article, I'll share the list that I often give readers who suspect that their husband wants out, hoping that you'll take immediate action if you've seen any of these or if your intuition is telling you that something just isn't right.
Your Husband May Be Telling You (Or Is At Least Hinting) That He Doesn't Want To Be Married Anymore. Are You Listening?: I often get emails from wives whose husbands have just told them that they want out or who have just filed divorce papers and they are blindsided. They didn't see this coming at all. Often, when I ask if they noticed any warning signs or any distance from the husband, they'll respond with things like "well, he only said that he wasn't happy, but I didn't expect this," or "he has told me that sometimes he wonders if we're better off apart, but I didn't expect him to act on it."
The truth is, it's very painful to think that your husband is not happy with your or the marriage. It feels so much better to hope that if we ignore it, it will go away. I know this first hand because I made this same mistake. It's always better to act on these phrases though. It can't hurt to give your marriage and your husband more of your attention. In fact, it can only help you. But, it has to be the right kind of attention given out in the right way.
And, sometimes you have to read between the lines. Because often a man will throw out general phrases ( "I guess the excitement can't help but wane after you've been together for a while,") meant to spare your feelings in the hopes that you will get enough of the hidden message ("I no longer feel close to you and am no longer enjoying being married.") to act on it. Often, the messages have been either said or implied, but either he doesn't say it forcefully or clearly enough, or we're not exactly listening as a means of self preservation.
He's Distant Either Emotionally Or Physically: Often, one of the first signs that a husband is thinking about no longer remaining married is that he either consciously or unconsciously decides to "try out" being on his own. So, he'll spend more time away from your and with his friends or he'll no longer ask you to come along with him. He's wondering if it's going to feel better to be alone than with you. And, he's slowly trying this out. Sometimes, this happens literally. He'll make excuses not to be home as much and you'll just physically see less of him.
Or, sometimes, he'll begin this process emotionally. You'll notice that he isn't listening when you speak or he doesn't really jump up to help you or offer his attention or support the way that he once did. You'll get the vibe that it's now "every man (or woman) for himself" or maybe you'll start to feel like he's thinking in terms of "I" rather than in terms of "we." It's often a shift that you feel rather than see. Maybe you can't exactly put your finger on it but it troubles you. And it can start to feel like you're living more as room mates than as a bonded, intimate married couple.
You'll likely also begin to notice that the spontaneous, intimate gestures are no longer there (the grab for your hand, the rub of your shoulders, the bringing his hands across your cheek.) Admittedly, no one expects couples married for a long time to no longer be able to keep their hands off one another, but people who are still committed and on board do these things as least some of the time.
Sometimes, you'll also see a drop off in intimacy and sex. Often, the frequency lessens as does the intensity. You feel that he's just going through the motions and isn't really into it. Sometimes, the opposite happens. You'll notice he wants to try new things or he's trying very hard to see if you can get the spark to relight.
He May Start Living His Life (And Managing His Affairs) Separately From You: Another thing that you may start to see if your husband is doubting whether he wants to remain married is he begins to get his own email, snail mail, his own credit card, and / or his own bank account and he may encourage you to do the same. (Sometimes he will try to hide this at first.) Sometimes he'll try to make logical excuses for this and sometimes he won't. Often, a man will try to ease into living his life separately before he actually tells you that he's going to cut the cord.
Or, he may stop consulting with you on important decisions. He's trying to feel out living and being on his own so he's going to run decisions that are important to him by you much less because he isn't sure if you're going to be part of his future and he questions if he needs to do this any longer. He may encourage you to become more independent so that he doesn't have to feel guilty or wonder if you can make it on your own when he decides to separate from you.