“I am too shocked to react, I really had no clue he had this in mind,” a few years ago, a friend of mine cried on my shoulder, as she faced the reality of her marriage coming apart. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her marriage would hit the rocks sooner than later. “All around there are signs your husband is planning to leave you, unfortunately you are too blind to notice it,” I finally told her bluntly.
Needless to say, my candidness wasn’t appreciated and she even stopped talking to me for a while but unfortunately, I was proved right. A few months after our conversation, she was faced with divorce papers. “My husband is leaving me,” my repentant friend then told me. “And I don’t know what to do to stop him. I will be broken without him.”
As a feminist, I wondered why would any woman want to hold on to a man who clearly has no interest in her but then the heart works in mysterious ways. What was left unsaid by my friend was this: ‘My husband wants to leave me but I still love him and want to do everything to prevent this from happening.’
However, this is where my friend and countless women like her go wrong. It is next to impossible to prevent a marriage from breaking, especially if one partner has had enough of it. The rationale for his or her decision may or may not have justifications, but for a marriage to work well, both partners have to be equally invested.
“Even if there are problems, a couple can iron them out provided there is a will,” says UAE-based NLP practitioner and counsellor Sushma Perla. “But if there is no desire, then any patch up would merely be a temporary solution.”
What Are The Signs That Your Husband Wants To Leave You?
Incidentally, the demand for divorce is never a sudden one even if it appears as a bolt from the blue. More often than not, there are always plenty of signs your husband is planning to leave you but you may be so blissfully ignorant of what’s happening in his mind or his life that you tend to ignore them.
This is not only true of seemingly happy marriages (like the aforementioned friend’s) but even unhappy ones where, despite the niggling problems, you may feel that the foundations of your relationship are strong enough to weather any storms.
Sure, they may be strong but what do you do if your husband does not love you anymore? “When the very premise that makes a relationship work – love and trust- is missing, then it gets difficult to save it,” says Sushma.
Therefore, in order to save yourself the heartache later, it is always better to be on your guard and be aware of where exactly your marriage stands. Here are some signs your spouse is planning a divorce or least thinking about ending his union with you.
1. He doesn’t have time for you
It is not always possible to stay joined at the hip once you are married. Responsibilities and career concerns may genuinely lead people to be busy but a man who loves his family, will find time for his wife in some way or the other.
Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You: Don’t Waste Your Time
If your husband forever seeks an excuse to stay away (even on weekends or holidays) from you under the pretext of work, if he stalls any conversations especially of the personal nature because he is too busy to have a detailed chat, then know that something is amiss.
2. He is emotionally closed off
Let’s discount point no. 1 for a second. Perhaps he may be genuinely busy and preoccupied but if he cares, he will be emotional about you. Often husbands who may have problems with their wives, tend to close themselves off emotionally, maybe even resort to emotional infidelity.
So, he may be performing his duties, contributing to the household, doing the chores, having conversations, taking part in celebrations etc but it’s more of a robotic nature than out of genuine interest. The emotional core may be missing and that’s one of the earliest signs your husband is planning to leave you.
3. They suddenly become conscious of their looks
When your husband is having a secret affair, this is one of the most obvious signs – he becomes rather aware of his looks and invests a lot in himself. He may suddenly go to the gym, invest in plastic surgery, buy new, stylish outfits. Of course, none of this is for your benefit.
Men who have serious affairs often tend to go all out to change themselves to suit the tastes of their new loves. Needless to say, this might be hugely different from their regular personalities which is definitely a relationship red flag.
4. They hide their phones
“Most affairs begin on smartphones,” says Sushma. “WhatsApp chats and social media conversations have become integral to our intimate lives.” If your husband acts all too secretive when it comes to his phone (or emails), hiding them and changing their password way too often, be sure that something is wrong.
Related Reading: How To Find Out If Someone Is On A Dating Site
Secrecy is a huge sign that your husband is planning to leave you. If he does not want to continue with the marriage, he obviously plans the separation well in advance and prepares himself accordingly to break the news to you. Ensuring that you don’t get a whiff of it is one way to gain control over the situation.
5. He gives you the silent treatment during fights
Are arguments a regular part of your marriage? Does he suddenly stop reacting angrily to your jibes or outbursts? You may think that perhaps he is coming around and intends to make peace but the real reason might be different – it may be one of the signs that your husband hates you.
Reacting with cold rage where he puts up an emotional wall and you don’t have a clue of what’s going on in his mind can be very disconcerting. At least in an angry fight and exchange of words, you may be aware of what he’s thinking. But the silent treatment can be very upsetting as it shows he just doesn’t care.
6. He constantly fights you
The opposite to point 5 is also true. Constant fighting or initiating arguments for no reason are also signs that your husband is planning to leave you. Often, these fights may not be spontaneous but more of a planned attack.
This is usually an occurrence when he is looking for a way out of the marriage but would rather put the blame on you. Teasing you for a fight, evoking a passionate or angry response from you and then turning it around and making you the villain are gaslighting and surefire signs your husband hates you.
7. He always puts himself first
Is it always ‘I me myself’ when it comes to crucial decisions in life for your husband? The more a man withdraws from his wife, the more self-centered he becomes. Whatever be the rationale in his mind, but when your husband puts you last in every matter, it’s a huge sign that you do not play a role in his life.
Related Reading: Power Dynamics In Relationships: How To Keep It Healthy
A marriage has to be a union of equals. But relationships that are teetering on the edge will find one partner gain the upper hand where he makes everything about himself. It is also an indication that he is preparing to lead a life without you and is taking care of his own interests in the eventuality of a divorce.
8. Your sex life loses its mojo
When the love vanishes from a marriage, so does sex. Even if the frequency or interest is less, a marriage that is healthy will find other ways to keep the spark alive. But the lack of a sex life and a complete disinterest in physical intimacy are definite signs that your husband is planning to leave you.
Lack of sex is always a bad sign but if it is a result of overwork or stress or any other reason, there are ways to fix it. But if the reason for disinterest is an affair, then you can’t do anything to bring it back on track. It’s unfortunate but that’s how it happens.
9. His social media reveals suspicious details
Like it or not, social media behavior reveals a lot about a person. Subconsciously, they put their innermost feelings and thoughts out there. If your husband has been behaving oddly, perhaps it would be a good idea to inspect his social media searches.
If you find searches related to divorce or lawyers or separations, they are huge signs that your husband is going to leave you. As we mentioned above, the thought of a split doesn’t ever occur suddenly, men like to do the groundwork before the big reveal.
10. He gradually withdraws from your life
Men who plan to walk out of their marriages will do it step by step. You may see him making plans without involving you. From being absent on occasions that matter to you, making excuses to miss out on important celebrations to doing things on his own, he will do everything to ‘regain’ his independence.
A strong marriage involves a couple undertaking relationship activities together – be they simple household chores to planning finances and holidays together. And that desire comes naturally, one doesn’t have to work towards it. But when your husband starts doing activities increasingly without you by his side, it is time to get worried.
11. He seems indecisive and evasive
Initiating a split is no easy task. There would be periods of confusion and he would be having second thoughts. You probably know that he is going through the turmoil and if your instincts say, ‘My husband can’t decide if he wants to be with me or leave me’, then maybe you need to take some action.
Related Reading: 5 Conversations To Have Before Marriage To Avoid Complications Later
The choice then lies with you – do you want to confront him or do you want him to take charge and make the first move? Our advice is: Do not shy away from the inevitable conversation. Perhaps he is in a dilemma about what he wants to do with the marriage. Your intervention might actually enable him to address the elephant in the room.
12. He just doesn’t want to talk about the marriage
A man who has mentally checked out of the marriage will not have the desire to address the evident problems. Even when he is aware that the marriage is in trouble, your husband will be reluctant to seek help even if you suggest it.
Additionally, he would not even want to accept that there are problems in the relationship. He may find it inconvenient and uncomfortable to discuss these issues. He would rather put up a pretence than have a confrontation. Well, these are all tell-tale signs that your husband is planning to leave you.
13. He makes new financial transactions
Starting to behave differently in money matters is an unmistakable sign that he is up to something. This may include anything – from shifting your joint accounts into his own name, to creating a new secret bank account or purchasing financial assets in his name only.
In most divorces, money becomes a sore point that makes the battle messier than ever before. Making new financial decisions might be just one way of securing himself before the inevitable split. Hence it is always prudent to be aware of your financial status so that you are not caught by surprise.
14. He constantly talks of leaving you
This behavior is the exact opposite of the silent treatment. Fights and arguments are common in any marriage but watch your husband’s words if he is constantly threatening to leave you during every fight. Of course, one says many things in an angry situation so you may tend to ignore it.
However, if he constantly talks about ending the marriage, it means he is serious about it – and that he plans to leave you or at least wants to walk out. Sometimes, he may say it jokingly, but even then do not take it lightly. These are warning signs that your husband is planning to leave you.
Related Reading: How To Tell Your Husband You Want A Divorce
Marriage is difficult and it’s always great to fight for its survival but you can’t be blind to the faults in it. Consider the above as warning signals that may actually help you take the right decision in case of a crumbling marriage. At least it may help you have the upper hand and be in control of your life at a time when your partner is determined to go his separate way.
When your husband withdraws from you, doesn’t acknowledge problems, makes no effort at reconciliation after a fight and has a secret affair which is more important to him than his family, you can be certain that the marriage is really over.
If your husband shows no sign of wanting to make things work and is insistent on separating, it might be because he has made up his mind to leave you. When he makes absolutely no signs that he intends to save his marriage, you can sure that he is serious about divorce.
If, despite your best efforts, there is no improvement in your marriage, if your husband is having an affair and is unapologetic about it, if he shows no interest in seeking therapy or making an effort to save the marriage, know that it is best to seek a divorce.