“What can you do when your husband says he’s done with you?” This was what my 80-year-old grandma was telling me when I went to spend Christmas with them last year. My grandmother was looking serious but I was stifling a giggle. In their 50-year-old marriage, whenever I have met my grandparents and they had tiffs, it would always end with my grandpa saying, “I am so done with you.”
My grandparents can’t do without each other for a moment. I know this is the worst thing a husband can say to a wife, but in their case, no one ever took seriously what grandpa said because he wasn’t going anywhere and their marriage was rock solid.
But I have seen in many marriages it does become a serious issue when the husband says he is done with you. It’s a prelude to the fact that he is planning to leave and convey to you the relationship is over. We consulted with clinical psychologist Sampreeti Das to understand what it means when your husband tells you he is done with you and how to handle this situation effectively.
Why Does A Husband Say, “I Am Done With You”?
This is actually the worst thing a husband can say to his wife. If that’s what you’re struggling with, know that you are not alone. My husband says he wishes he never married me – a lot of women deal with this crushing statement at some point in their marriage.
However, before you let it get to you, it’s important to understand the context. Were these words spoken during a fight? Or is he seriously thinking of ending the marriage?
“Insight is the best help that can aid you to handle such a self-worth wrecking statement. Well, in any circumstance the urge may be to immediately get on the desk to set things right. But taking a break, a moment alone to think about what could have led to that point may give you another chance to process the entire story from multiple perspectives,” says Sampreeti.
Why does a husband say he is done with you? Here are the reasons:
- Toxic fights: When he is finding the fights toxic and can’t deal with them anymore
- Nagging: You could be nagging him without sparing a thought to his state of mind
- Feeling suffocated: You are suffocating him in a clingy relationship and he just wants to run away from you
- Lack of boundaries: There are no healthy relationship boundaries or emotional boundaries in your marriage. Your husband is constantly struggling to keep the boundaries and you are overstepping them
- An affair: He is having an affair or you are having an affair
- Midlife crisis: He is going through a midlife crisis and wants to start life afresh
- Out of love: He is not in love with you anymore and does not want to carry on in the marriage
Related Reading: Should You Get A Divorce? – Take This Divorce Checklist
How Do You Know When Your Husband Is Done With You? – 7 Signs
“My husband can’t decide if he wants to be with me,” said this lady who contacted our counselor. “He is 55, still wears the wedding ring, stays in the same house but says he wants to end the marriage and travel on his own. I feel I have been suddenly hit by a tornado.”
A husband doesn’t really say he is done with you, one fine day. The signs that your marriage is on the rocks are there all through but you just fail to notice or acknowledge them in time. As a result, you may hit a dead end and he might not want to continue in it.
When your husband says he’s done, your relationship is bound to show these signs already.
1. Your husband is distant
You might feel he has emotionally checked out of the marriage and is distant both physically and emotionally. He isn’t interested to discuss his work life with you, nor does he want to find out about your day. There is usually silence at the dinner table and on most nights he could be insisting on sleeping in a separate bedroom.
Your husband is distant and you can feel you have grown apart in the relationship. This is a sign that your husband has lost interest in the relationship.
Related Reading: 12 Reasons Why Men Have Extramarital Affairs
2. He does not make any effort in the relationship
When was the last time he took you out on a surprise date or gave you an amazing gift on your birthday?
When your husband says he’s done with you, you shouldn’t be surprised. Hasn’t he stopped making any efforts in the relationship? It has been running on auto mode for some time. You’ve noticed that, haven’t you?
3. He talks about a future where you don’t fit in
Whenever he talks about a future he is talking about traveling the country with his biker gang or living in a small cottage all on his own.
He could be talking about building a community with his childhood pals but has he ever talked about sitting with you in his old age and seeing the sun go down in the mountains? No way. This is an absolute sign your husband is done with you.
Don’t stay in denial by telling yourself ‘my husband can’t decide if he wants to be with me’. He has decided, and the ball is in your court.
4. You have grown apart in the marriage
Couples grow apart in a marriage without even realizing it that they are drifting apart.
It’s true the frenetic need to be with each other wanes as you settle down in a marriage. It’s in fact, healthy to have your own set of friends and interests but there is a fine line between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one.
You know you have grown apart in the marriage when there is too much of a gap that you can’t bridge.
Related Reading: 7 Warning Signs You Are Growing Apart In Your Marriage
5. He picks up fights
How your fights are panning out will be a sign your husband is planning to leave you. If he not only seems to look for excuses to pick a fight but also uses hurtful words or is being abusive, then it is a sure-shot sign he is done with the relationship.
Your relationship has turned toxic and despite your efforts to communicate with him he gives you the silent treatment after a fight and doesn’t open any kind of dialogue.
6. Your husband is done with you because he hates you
‘I feel hurt when my husband says he wishes he never married me,’ said Joan. Well, as much as we feel for her, we wish we had better news for her. If you’re in the same boat as her, then for you too. Let’s be direct. This happens. From being a loving, caring guy he could have started hating you.
Nothing you do can change his feelings toward you. This is an absolute sign your husband is done with you. From love, his feelings have transformed into hate and he is just waiting for an opportune moment to leave you.
7. He never shows your togetherness on social media
He’s stopped posting couple pictures on social media. Chances are he has even unfriended you on the pretext that you stay in the same house.
But don’t get carried away by that. This is his way of preparing the world for the announcement that you are not together anymore. He doesn’t want to be seen with you. And of course, if he is having an affair, then he has all the more reason to keep you away from SM.
Related Reading: Instead Of Making These Social Media Mistakes As A Couple, Do This…
What Can You Do When Your Husband Says He Is Done With You?
What to do when your husband gives up? There are two paths you can take – either you try to save the marriage or you end it amicably when you sense that there is no way you can bring him back.
“Every time someone says ‘I am done’ doesn’t mean that it is the final verdict. It may have been said out of a craving for attention or could be one of the early warning signs your husband is planning to leave you. If this has happened before, feeling ‘my husband can’t decide if he wants to be with me’ is only natural. But take a moment to reflect whether his saying that he is done with you has led to a successful reconciliation.
“In that case, it can actually set a pattern, where ‘I am done… ‘ is the clock starting the change loop, the threshold from where sense kicks in. If he has said it for the first time and it is sending you through a roller coaster of emotions, it is important to calm down to figure out a strategy to make things better,” says Sampreeti.
Here are 7 ways you can figure out why your husband is mean to you and saying such hurtful thing, and decide your future course of action:
1. Do not let him take you for granted
There can be nothing worse than a husband telling his wife that he is done with her. It hurts a lot because he rejects your relationship after you have invested yourself in it both mentally and physically.
The first instinct is to coax and cajole him to stay, tell him you will fix the broken marriage and make things work and you could keep begging him to not take such a rash decision.
But please don’t do that. Don’t let him take you for granted and have power over your emotions and mental well-being. If your husband says he’s done with you, keep your dignity intact, take professional help and tell yourself that no one’s life ends when spouses separate.
2. Try to sit down and communicate
Sometimes there is so much animosity that you are unable to have a dialogue without having ugly fights or without blaming each other. But make an effort to rein in these tendencies and sit down and communicate honestly. Only then can you get to the root of what has been troubling your relationship.
Lack of communication is one of the main reasons why most couples drift apart and marriages break down. You could try some communication exercises to bring back the communication and straighten out the creases in the relationship. If your husband is willing to do that then it’s great but if he doesn’t want to do that then maybe you can take the next step.
3. Go for marriage counselling
If he refuses to communicate with you can at least take him to a marriage counselor. Tell him you need closure, you cannot live with the fact that your husband left you after just saying he’s done with you. ‘My husband says he wishes he never married me’ or ‘My husband says he is done with me’ – these can be heartbreaking realizations.
“It is in moments like these that your most trustworthy social circle may be helpful. I would also strongly recommend professional help. It is important to analyze the specifications of ‘I am done with you’. The phrase itself is very vague. In any case, focusing on the details of it can lead to remarkable insights and change begins with insight, be it change in perspective for adaptation or change in perspective to make things adaptable,” Sampreeti recommends.
A marriage counselor can help you deal with your mental agony and tell you where your marriage went wrong. If your husband is having an affair or if you have cheated at some point in the relationship, relationship counseling can help you rebuild trust and salvage the relationship.
4. Find out the exact reasons for his decision
Even if you have not been able to find out the exact reasons for which he wants to quit the marriage, you can take the help of a counselor to help you figure that out. A husband could say he’s done with you for the most trivial reasons like your snoring issues at night or your inability to give up binge eating. In that case, you could work on a solution and try on reversing his decision.
Sampreeti advises, “Assuming you were the trouble maker, accept and acknowledge that part of you. Understand that there must be reasons you behave that way. Once you find those, it will be easier for you to make a better person of you. Talk, apologize and commit to the change that is being supported by genuine people in your life, which may include your husband too.
“Assuming you aren’t at fault, it is important to judge if the one saying ‘I am done’ is actually in a fair position to make that remark. If not, then it is time to analyze the entire relationship, rethink the long-held efforts to make things right again.”
Related Reading: How To Deal With Resentment In Marriage? – Expert Tells You
5. Make a list of gains and losses when you communicate
If you finally manage to communicate with him then make a list of things that you feel have been positive in the relationship and a list of things that have been negative. In a scenario where you are actually separating, make a list of the ways you would gain being separated from each other and the things you would lose because you decided to part ways.
Most often when a husband comes and tells you he’s done with you he does without realizing the gravity of the outcome. Neither he nor you have given the relationship a real shake-up or an in-depth analysis to understand each other’s perspective.
If you do this gain and loss listing then you will exactly know where you stand – together or alone.
6. Go on a trial separation
If nothing else works, give trial separation a shot. This is not a legal separation but you stay apart as a trial to understand how you feel being away from each other. This is a great way to get a perspective about your relationship. Many couples come back together after a trial separation but some also realize they are better off separated.
If you feel your husband decided to quit without thinking it through, this would give him an opportunity to get a reality check. But there’s also a possibility that during trial separation you could realize you are better off without the fights and passive-aggressiveness you show to each other.
In that case, this trail separation may lead to a divorce, and that’s not always a bad thing.
7. Prepare for a divorce
If nothing works out, then prepare for a divorce. Some sound advice for women will help you sail through the whole thing smoothly. You may want to start by getting a divorce checklist ready and hiring a lawyer you can trust to protect your interests.
You have tried your best to save your relationship but when you realize that you are dragging a corpse, it’s best to let it go and start life afresh.
At no point in time should you let your husband’s words or attitude that he is done with you, affect your morale, mental health or confidence. What to do when your spouse gives up? Try your level best to save the marriage but if it doesn’t work out do not ever feel guilty or regret that you parted ways.
The signs are always there. Your husband will behave he like has become distant, he doesn’t put in any effort in the marriage and he talks of a future where you don’t fit in.
He could just tell you he’s done with you and wants to leave or he could do things like pick up constant fights, wants to sleep in separate bedrooms and keeps blaming you. That’s when you know he really wants to leave.
You know a relationship is over when there is no communication, there are serious trust issues, both of you are looking for ways to escape each other or you feel alone even when you are together.