11 Signs The Marriage Is Over For Men

signs your marriage is over for men
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What are the signs your marriage is over for men? Do the stereotypical manifestations of him pulling away hold any weight? Or do all the subtleties in his behavior that you fail to see add up to make one big pile of trouble for your relationship?

Have you both stopped the cute morning rituals that felt sacred to you? Perhaps he just doesn’t talk to you the same way, or he’s getting a little too close to that new friend. Worrying about the health of your marriage is normal, but when a fleeting doubt turns into lingering suspicion, you’re probably looking for more concrete signs.

Now that you’ve found yourself reading this article, you’ve already taken a step in the right direction. With the help of psychotherapist Dr. Aman Bhonsle (Ph.D., PGDTA), who specializes in relationship counseling and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, let’s take a look at signs he is unhappy in the marriage. 

What Are The Signs A Marriage Is Over For Men?

First things first, rid yourself of any stereotypes you may have established in your head. “Men are like this, women are like that, this way of thinking isn’t going to help you. I’ve seen women who are extremely career-oriented, aggressive, and physically abusive. I’ve seen men who are extremely quiet, shy, demure. 

“Before you try to catch any signs he has checked out of the marriage already, make sure you’re not going into it with preconceived notions of what it’s supposed to look like,” says Dr. Bhonsle.

The signs your marriage is over for men will differ from marriage to marriage. What Jenna said about your husband looking more shifty might not be a cause for concern. What’s “shifty” to her may be normal to you, and what’s normal to you may be grounds for divorce for her. 

Nonetheless, when something’s up, you can probably feel it in your bones. If that nagging suspicion of something being amiss just won’t go away, the following signs should answer that one question keeping you up at night: “Is my marriage really over?”

Related Reading: Marriage Counseling – 15 Goals That Should Be Addressed Says Therapist

1. Emotional cheating 

When you’re looking for signs your marriage is over for men, there’s no bigger sign than emotional cheating. Dr. Bhonsle explains how it may look in your relationship. “He may become unusually close to a friend of the opposite gender who he refuses to introduce to his partner. A new friend who comes into the picture may suddenly appear to be more important than the partner. 

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“During emotional cheating, you’ll see your spouse doing stuff for this person that he typically did for you in the past. He will often hide under the caveat of “I haven’t had any sexual relations with this person, I’m not doing anything wrong”.

“I’ve seen way too many such incidents where men in their 60s have fallen for someone younger, and have gone as far as buying this new friend houses, cars, and helping in any way they can. When confronted, they usually lash out at the partner.” 

Since this form of infidelity may be harder to catch than sexual infidelity, partners can often hide behind a facade of “friendship”. In some cases, they may truly have gaslit themselves into believing they’re not as emotionally attached as the world clearly sees them to be. 

2. If he’s spending more time away than normal, it could be worrisome 

If your husband is the kind of person who’s all for solo trips and the wanderlust lifestyle, his going on a week-long expedition isn’t really a cause for concern. But if his idea of spending time away meant going to the grocery store alone and now he’s pitching his month-long solo trip to you, you’re probably not too thrilled.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that intense. Dr. Bhonsle explains, “An inordinate amount of time spent outside the house without informing the partner is not usually the only sign that indicates a failing marriage, but it can be one of the signs.

“Late nights at work, staying at friends’ places, business trips that crop up out of nowhere; he’s trying his best to evade. In essence, it’s an attempt to get away, an attempt to create some sort of alibi to avoid spending time together.” 

3. Reduced sexual activity can be a sign he is unhappy in the marriage

So, is the old cliche true? If he doesn’t want anything to do with you sexually, is it a sign your marriage is over for men? The answer is, it’s highly subjective. “Unfortunately, these things cannot be defined in absolute terms. An alarmingly low amount of sexual intimacy changes from marriage to marriage.

“It depends on the shared frequency they might have established when things were better. When it feels like he is continuously refusing the partner’s advances to touch him, it can be seen as one of the signs he is unhappy in the marriage,” says Dr. Bhonsle.

4. “Nothing, nevermind” is his staple reply

signs a marriage cannot be saved: he doesn't talk
Getting him to talk may be extremely difficult

“Is my marriage really over?” Pondered Jane, talking to her friend about how her husband never seems to be able to talk to her. “He’s visibly distant, visibly zoned out. Every time I try to ask him what’s going through his mind, it’s like he snaps back to reality, dismisses me, and walks off,” she adds.

In any relationship, effective communication is often the glue that holds everything in place. Take that away from the equation, and you’ve got yourself an unbalanced and potentially dangerous concoction. 

“There may be no issues with sex, but the husband may seem distant when it comes to conversation. He may be physically there for all the family functions and formalities but he may not have opened up about his feelings in the longest time,” says Dr. Bhonsle. 

Sometimes, the signs a marriage cannot be saved can be as inconspicuous as that. When someone bottles up their feelings from the person they’re supposed to spend the rest of their lives with, you know something isn’t right. 

Related Reading: 5 Signs of Jealously In Marriage & How To Overcome It

5. Is “alone time” a thing of the past?

“He may always bring your child into the room, or he may find reasons to invite the family over, often without telling the partner. Essentially, these are subtle ways to avoid spending time alone with his spouse,” says Dr. Bhonsle.

When was the last time you asked each other how you were really doing and had a productive conversation about it? If it seems like you’re living with a roommate you occasionally have sex with, it might be one of the signs he is planning to leave you. 

6. Has his phone suddenly become off-limits?

Does he slyly lock his screen the minute you walk into his room? Does he freak out if you grab his phone, even if it’s just to Google something? Though it isn’t necessarily one of the signs he is planning to leave you, he is definitely hiding something.

“When couples constantly try to snoop on each other’s phone to find some kind of evidence that incriminates the other, it’s usually a telling sign that the relationship isn’t in a happy place. It reeks of trust issues. 

“Being very secretive about your phone could mean you have something to hide. Just the fact that you can’t trust each other isn’t the healthiest thing anyway,” says Dr. Bhonsle. 

7. You’re always at fault, no matter what happens

As discontent grows in the marriage, you’re not going to speak to each other with the most endearing terminology. If all he does is blame you and find flaws in you, it may be one of the harshest signs a marriage cannot be saved.

“From her weight, her clothes, to how often she goes out, to the kind of person she is, how much money she spends, he’s going to have a problem with all of it. It may be him trying to tell the wife to modify herself or vacate his life. 

“It could be one of the signs your marriage is over for men, at least psychologically. The theatrics of going to a courthouse and getting a divorce may put some off from the whole process, but they may already have emotionally clocked off,” says Dr. Bhonsle. 

Related Reading: 5 Ways Blame-Shifting In A Relationship Harms It

8. If the strength of your marriage is constantly joked about

Human beings cope with pain with the help of humor. Other times, they may use humor to point out things they may not be ready to have a conversation about. The next time you see something held up by a string and your husband says, “Oh look, it’s our marriage,” it’s not the best sign. 

“If there are too many jokes cracked about the marriage being over, there may be a few things you’d want to read between the lines. There’s a little bit of truth behind every joke. Instead of letting out a nervous chuckle, thinking, “well, he’s not wrong,” try and think about what it may signify,” says Dr. Bhonsle. 

9. Your view of the future couldn’t be further apart 

One of the signs your marriage is over for men is when his plans for the future drastically change, and your views don’t seem to be inclined anymore. Forget that quaint duplex in the suburbs you planned on buying when you’re retired, now he wants to be an entrepreneur.

Try to have a conversation with your husband about the future. If he vaguely responds without ever having a productive conversation about it, it may be one of the signs he has checked out of the marriage already.

10. There’s financial infidelity

Financial infidelity in marriages can creep up on you without even realizing it. Before you know it, he may be taking big financial decisions without keeping you in the loop, essentially telling you he doesn’t respect you too much. 

A sign a marriage cannot be saved is when one half of the relationship has no control over the finances. If he comes home with a car you two decided you don’t need, he’s either going through the biggest case of a mid-life crisis or never respected you in the first place. 

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11. There’s a severe lack of effort

When the sparks and the infatuation all fade away, it’s not a burning desire for love that keeps two people together. What keeps a decade-long relationship steady is effort, a lot of it. 

One of the biggest signs your marriage is over for men is when he can’t be bothered enough to bat an eye at the problems you two go through. He’ll actively avoid responsibility, and he’d much rather ignore the problems you present.

Related Reading: 21 Controversial Relationship Questions On Dating And Marriage

Be Careful While Catching The Signs Your Marriage Is Over For Men 

On the surface of it, it may seem like all you have to do is catch a couple of signs he has checked out of the marriage already, tell a few friends about it, and be convinced that your marriage is now irreparable. In most cases, it’s not as open and shut as that. 

Dr. Bhonsle explains the things you must look out for. “The way I see it, you cannot look for signs and arrive conclusively at the idea that your marriage is a shambles. Losing interest has multiple manifestations. Every time he refuses sex or every time he invites family over without telling you, it doesn’t mean he’s trying to get away from you.”

“It could also mean he’s interested but he also has a strong sense of independence and his idea of love is different. These signs your marriage is over for men do not guarantee that things are awry. It’s like saying “He plays video games, he must not be focused on his career” or “He has a collection of antique knives, he must definitely be violent”.

“None of these signs come without accompanying factors. Every situation is multi-faceted. Just because he didn’t give you a bouquet on Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Love is manifested differently, depending on the decade of your life you’re in. Love in the 20s is different from love in your 30s. When you’re younger, all you’d want is sex, nice gifts, and making Instagram reels together. When you’re older, investing in a mutual fund together is romantic. 

“Since how you express love keeps changing, and there’s more than what meets the eye, you’ve got to be cautious. Instead of jumping to conclusions while being on the lookout for signs he is planning to leave you, try to reverse-engineer them to understand where they’re coming from. Instead of pondering on since when he has been displaying these signs, figure out the “why” behind it,” he concludes. 

When trying to catch and analyze signs your marriage is over for men seems like it’s getting just a bit too confusing, it’ll be helpful to reach out to an unbiased professional counselor who can help the both of you. If it’s help you’re looking for, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists is just a click away

If you’re worried about your husband having clocked out internally, hopefully, these signs have helped you get a better idea of what’s going on. The sooner you realize there’s something wrong, the sooner you can get to fixing it. 

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