“Does my husband love me or is he using me?” This has to be the most heart-wrenching question one could ask themselves. There are many ways he takes you for granted. He could be using you for your wealth, for sex, emotional labor, or to just take care of the household chores and look after the kids.
Yes, these things do happen and many couples fall out of love with one another in the process. According to research, this falling out of love in an initially healthy relationship happens mostly because of loss of trust, of intimacy, and of feeling loved. It could also be due to a negative sense of self.
Gradually, because of all the unresolved conflicts, loss of respect for one another, and terrible communication skills, the romantic love between two partners decreases and eventually depletes. This is inevitable if you don’t find ways to tackle your marital issues which are caused by the fact that your husband is using you.
Does My Husband Love Me Or Is He Using Me: 15 Ways To Tell
Every couple goes through rough patches during different stages of their marriage. This may worry you and make you question his true feelings for you. We have come up with a list of ways to tell if your partner truly loves you or if he is using you.
1. He spends time with you only when he wants a favor from you
Remember the time when all your husband wanted was to spend some quality time with you? When he shows no interest in doing that anymore, it is one of the obvious signs of not being loved by your husband. He barely acknowledges your presence and is reluctant to be with you. He would rather watch TV or sit in his study than go on real dates with you or even have a simple dinner with you. However, when he wants something from you, he will suddenly act all sweet and affectionate. Right after you do his work, he will go back to his old ways of ignoring you.
When a Reddit user shared that their husband didn’t like spending time with them, a user replied, “You can still love someone and not want to hang out because of plenty of reasons. Do you get mad at him a lot? Fight a lot? How is your energy when approaching him? Has he had any conversation about why it is that way or how he doesn’t like to be treated a certain way? I was there too and it was a result of bad communication and an overly critical mindset on both our parts.”
But if none of this checks out, then he’s just using you.
Related Reading: 13 Sure-Shot Signs He Pretends To Love You
2. He compliments you only when required
Compliments are very powerful because:
- Compliments from your significant other make you feel better about yourself
- It makes you feel acknowledged, appreciated and loved
- It shows that your partner notices every little thing about you and that they are paying attention to how you look and act. You feel seen
“Does my husband love me or is he using me?” – If your husband has completely stopped praising you and only does so obligingly when he has to return your compliment or when he needs sex, then yes. There are chances he has fallen out of love and is in this marriage because he sees no way out.
Jessica, a 46-year-old homemaker from San Francisco, writes to Bonobology for advice. She says, “I do everything for my husband and he does nothing for me. During the early days of our marriage, he used to compliment me, buy flowers for me, and we would go out on real dates. He does none of those things for me now. Even when I put on a nice dress and some makeup to impress him, he barely acknowledges my attempts.”
3. He is financially dependent on you
Does my husband love me or is he just using me? The answer to this lies in the effort he puts into running the family.
- Has he stopped earning and solely relies on you to take care of both the children and him?
- Was this not even discussed with you properly?
- Or does he earn less (which is completely normal) or equally but spends your money without asking you?
If it’s a ‘yes’ to any of these, then it’s one of the signs he is in this marriage for your money. It’s a warning signal and one of the heartbreaking signs your marriage could be over if you don’t do anything to get it back on track.
Here are some more signs your husband doesn’t value you:
- He doesn’t make any effort to relieve your anxiety and stress after a hectic day at work
- He will be in his world and won’t care to find out what’s happening in yours
- He has stopped doing all the little things that he once did to just see you smile. You will feel like you have married the wrong person
4. He doesn’t care about your love language and is only interested in your income or body
Love languages are important in a marriage for the following reasons:
- It establishes a strong emotional connection between partners
- It helps the couples revive their honeymoon phase
- It provides you and your partner scope for healthy communication
- It makes both partners feel seen, loved, and honored
If he doesn’t care about tapping into your love language on a regular basis but suddenly cooks your favorite dish or writes you a love note just before he needs you to do something for him financially or sexually, then he surely doesn’t care about you anymore.
Related Reading: 6 Reasons A Guy Ignores You After A Fight And 5 Things You Can Do
5. He avoids conflicts with you but still uses you as a therapist
Sandra, a 38-year-old hair stylist from New York, says, “My husband says he loves me but I don’t feel it. He never addresses the glaring problems we have in our marriage. He avoids everything I bring up and keeps watching TV whenever I try to talk to him. But when he needs to talk to me or vent about his day, I’m the one who has to put in emotional labor to comfort him or reassure him of his worth.”
Joseph Grenny, the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations, writes that couples who argue together, stay together. The problem begins when you start avoiding those arguments because arguments in a relationship are important to understand your partner. If your husband has been swiftly sweeping your problems under the carpet, it’s because he is not emotionally mature enough to handle them. Furthermore, it’s also a sign that he has given up on his marriage.
6. If he’s the only earning member of the family, he doesn’t provide for your needs
One of the obvious signs your husband doesn’t value you is when he disregards your opinions regarding his financial income. If he’s the sole breadwinner, and refuses to spend money on you or only gives you enough to spend on domestic chores and bare essentials for the kids, it’s one of the shocking signs he is using you to look after the kids and take care of the household activities.
If he’s unable to provide for you properly and you feel like you have to beg for every dollar, if he’s only concerned that the kids are fed and the house is running, then it’s clear he doesn’t love you anymore and that he’s using you.
7. He is mean to you all the time but acts nicely in front of family and friends
Does my husband love me or is he using me? When your husband is mean to you and disrespects you in every matter including how to raise children to what you are having for lunch, it’s one of the signs your husband doesn’t value you and he takes you for granted. On the other hand, when you are around friends and family, he suddenly becomes the sweetest husband on earth. Here are some of the mean things a husband will do when he doesn’t respect his partner and is using them:
- He will pass mean comments when the two of you are alone but he will praise you in front of your family to look like a goody two shoes. It’s a fictional character he plays to show them that their child is lucky to have a man like him
- When he can’t insult you in front of others, he will use sarcasm to do so
- When you insult him back or ignore him in front of family and friends, he will make sure to punish you when you are back home. He will verbally abuse you, be passive-aggressive, be demanding, bring up something painful, or give you the silent treatment
These are some of the warning signs of a disrespectful husband that you shouldn’t ignore. The sooner you spot these signs, the better it will be for your mental wellness.
8. When you don’t appease him, he punishes you by using the silent treatment
When you realize he’s using you and stand up to him, he uses the silent treatment – a cunning tool to control someone. It’s a way of inflicting pain without physical abuse. When your partner ignores you after a fight, he is withdrawing all his love because he wants to punish you. According to research, the act of being ignored by someone who loves you activates the same area of the brain that is activated by physical pain. It brings up extreme feelings of abandonment.
When asked on Reddit how the silent treatment makes one feel, a user replied, “Shutting out a partner also communicates they do not care enough to try to communicate or collaborate to resolve the issue. They let you sit there feeling hurt, confused, frustrated, unimportant, unloved, and alone. Issues don’t go away because the other person refused to discuss them.”
9. He acts lovey-dovey only before sex
If your husband ignores you throughout the day but acts all caring and sweet before sex, it’s one of the signs he has sex with you but doesn’t love you anymore. He will indulge in a few romantic gestures just before having sex with you because he takes you for granted. Here are some things you can do if your husband is with you just for sex:
- Tell him you want more than just sex. You want intimacy
- Let your feelings be known. Tell him you feel used when he goes back to ignoring you after having sex
- If he forces himself on you, it’s time to walk away from the marriage
10. He stays with you because of the financial security you provide
Hugh, a 28-year-old reader from Nebraska, says, “My husband and I aren’t able to handle the post-honeymoon period. We are having too many fights and we aren’t able to connect with each other emotionally. I feel like he does not love me but wants to stay together because he just lost his job and the burden of running the show has fallen on me.”
Does my husband love me or is he using me for money? It’s definitely the latter if you are facing a problem like Hugh’s. Looks like there is a lack of emotional intimacy in your marriage, and most marriages can barely survive without it.
Related Reading: 25 Things For Couples To Do At Home When Bored
11. He doesn’t care about your physical or emotional needs
Some people are inherently empathetic and compassionate, whereas some have to learn these traits in order to become a better person for their partner. When your husband doesn’t show or learn empathy, it will reflect in the marriage bed as well. For a relationship to last and thrive sexually, both partners have to be emotionally connected on a deeper level.
A husband who is using you won’t care about your physical needs. He won’t care to check on you before, during, or after sex whether your needs are being met or not. He will be selfish in bed and won’t make the act pleasurable for you. All he will care about are his fantasies and desires.
12. He uses you to take care of his parents
You barely recognize your husband anymore. He promised to be your rock before marriage and now you feel like you are married to a stranger. All you end up doing is taking care of his parents. When you fail to do so or make a mistake, he will rain down hell upon you. If that sounds remotely like your husband, it’s one of the signs he is using you to take care of his parents.
Taking care of elderly people is a noble deed but that doesn’t mean anyone can coerce you into doing so. Marriages are supposed to be a 50-50 contract. If you are taking care of his parents, he should take care of yours. Or both of you should split equal responsibilities and take care of each other’s parents.
13. His hobbies and friends always come first unless he needs something from you
When he prioritizes watching TV over you, or he goes off to read for hours on the days you’re free and at home, and always has plans with his friends when you want to be with him, then it’s one of the signs he is using you for sex/money/labor. He won’t prioritize your happiness, needs, and desires.
A husband who doesn’t love you and is using you for any of the above things will suddenly:
- Cancel plans with his friends
- Initiate quality time with you
- Plan a date with you
- Take you for the play you’ve been meaning to watch
So much so that you now associate these ‘sweet’ gestures with anxiety because you know what’s coming next. If you are finding it difficult to deal with all this, check out Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists. With their help, you can move one step closer toward a harmonious relationship.
14. You have to earn his approval to have a chat with him
When you are not in a healthy relationship, you will find yourself walking on eggshells around him. You will be afraid to have uncomfortable conversations with him and you will be hesitant to share your problems and feelings with him. You always have to please him somehow so that he lets you communicate. He will make sure he gets something out of you before he allows you to share your concerns with him freely.
Does my husband love me or is he using me? When you get the feeling that you have to walk on eggshells every day around him, it is probably one of the most reliable warning signs of a manipulative/toxic relationship.
15. He has been cheating on you
If you are still asking, “does my husband love me or is he using me?”, here is an answer that will clear all your doubts. If he has cheated on you or even micro-cheated on you, and the only reason you know is because you found out through someone else, it means he doesn’t love you. It doesn’t get clearer than that.
He may apologize for his mistake and call it a “one-time thing” or “it didn’t mean anything”. None of his justifications will mend your broken heart and the trust you had in him.
- If your husband never prioritizes you and always has other plans with his friends, it is because he doesn’t value you
- However, when he needs to have sex or wants a favor from you, he will become a different man. He will praise you and be affectionate with you
- If your husband just wants you to take care of the kids, his parents, and run the house, it’s one of the glaring signs he is using you to keep his life smooth
- You will know you have married the wrong person when they constantly criticize you and belittle you but adore you in front of your friends and family
Marriage is a partnership where both people have to give and take equally. You can’t be with someone who makes you feel miserable every single day. This will devastate you mentally and physically. You have given your all, yet you aren’t getting the bare minimum in return. Is this marriage worth it? Talk to your partner about this and if he ignores your pleas, it’s time to walk away from your marriage.