“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 falling apart. Months before this, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her marriage would hit rock bottom sooner than later. “All around, there are signs your husband is planning to leave you. Unfortunately, you are too blind to notice them,” I had told her bluntly.
Needless to say, my candidness wasn’t appreciated and she even stopped talking to me for a while. Unfortunately, I was proven right. A few months after this conversation, she was handed the divorce papers. “My husband is leaving me,” my friend then told me. “I will be broken without him.”
As a feminist, I wondered why any woman would 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 I want to do everything to prevent this from happening.”
However, this is where my friend and countless people like her go wrong. It is next to impossible to prevent a marriage from breaking, especially if one partner has had enough of it. You might feel inclined to dwell on the question “Why does my husband want to leave me?” In fact, you may not agree with his rationale behind calling it quits, 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 the will to make things work. But if one partner has given up on the marriage, and when your spouse is done with you emotionally, then any patch-up would merely be a temporary solution,” says UAE-based NLP practitioner and counselor Sushma Perla.
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 like 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 unaware of what’s happening in his mind or his life that you tend to ignore them.
This is not only true of relationships that seemingly check all the boxes on the happy marriages checklist (like the aforementioned friend’s) but even unhappy ones where, despite the niggling problems, you may feel that the foundation of your relationship is strong enough to weather any storms. Sure, it 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.
On the other hand, many women already have a niggling doubt that something is amiss in their marriage. However, coming to terms with the “I think my husband is going to leave me” realization is daunting. So they continue to look the other way, hoping that not addressing the elephant in the room will make it go away. However, that’s rarely how things pan out.
So, if questions like “Does my husband want to leave me?” or “Will my husband leave me even though I’m ready to work on the marriage?” are keeping you up at night, don’t silence that gut instinct. 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 thinking about ending his union with you:
Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You: Don’t Waste Your Time
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 and get in the way of quality time spent as a couple. However, a man who loves you will find some time to spend with you, one way or the other. When your husband is in love with you, making time for the relationship will come naturally to him because being with you brings him happiness, comfort, and solace.
On the other hand, when your husband wants to leave you, there is nothing that is making him put in the extra effort. If your husband forever seeks an excuse to stay away (even on weekends or holidays) from you on the pretext of work or if he stalls any conversations, especially of a personal nature, because he is too busy to have a detailed chat, then know that something is amiss.
His aloofness may leave you wondering, “Does my husband want to leave me?” While his being unavailable alone isn’t enough proof that he has checked out of the marriage emotionally, it is definitely a cause for concern. It’d be a good idea to take stock of the health of your relationship and assess where you stand.
2. He is emotionally closed off
Let’s discount point 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, thereby eventually ruining the relationship.
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.
In fact, despite him checking all the boxes on the to-do list of a good husband, you may find it harder to connect with him emotionally. You may even wonder, “Why won’t my husband just leave since he is definitely not present in this marriage?” If that’s where you’re at, don’t ignore the warning signs of a failing marriage – it’s a cry for help.
3. He suddenly becomes conscious of his looks
When your husband is having a secret affair, this is one of the most obvious signs he wants out of the marriage – 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.
When Skylar started noticing her husband of 15 years suddenly getting conscious about his looks and fitness at 40, she couldn’t shake off the feeling that she had lost him to someone else and it was only a matter of time before the marriage fell apart. “I think my husband is going to leave me and he may have fallen in love with someone else,” she said. Her worst fears came true less than 6 months later when he moved out of the house and in with his new partner.
4. He hides his phone
“Most affairs begin on smartphones,” says Sushma. “WhatsApp chats and conversations on social media affect relationships deeply. They 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. Even if he is not cheating on you, secrecy is a huge sign that your husband is planning to leave you.
If he does not want to continue with the marriage, he’d obviously plan the separation well in advance and prepare himself accordingly to break the news to you. Perhaps, he has become so guarded about his phone and laptop because it contains details about his plans to exit the marriage. Is your husband secretly planning a divorce? Maybe! He might already be consulting with lawyers or meticulously working to safeguard his interests in the inevitable event of divorce. Ensuring that you don’t get a whiff of it is his way to gain control over the situation.
Related Reading: How To Find Out If Someone Is On A Dating Site
5. He gives you the silent treatment during fights
Were arguments a regular part of your marriage? Has he now suddenly stopped 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. “Will my husband leave me?” This scary question may begin to stare you in the face more and more as your husband becomes increasingly withdrawn. He now refuses to engage with you for putting an end to the unpleasantness following a fight. Your concerns are not unfounded because his reactions indicate a lack of concern toward you and the marriage.
6. He constantly fights you
The opposite to point 5 is also true. “We fight all the time. There’s never a moment of peace. Is my husband going to leave me?” Brianna, a reader from Washington, asks. 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 also happens when they don’t want the news that they are leaving to come as a surprise to you or to the family. When your husband wants to leave you, he does the initial groundwork by deliberately picking fights.
This is usually an occurrence when he is looking for a way out of the marriage but would rather put the blame on you. Provoking you to a fight, evoking a passionate or angry response from you, and then turning it around and making you the villain are sure fire signs your husband hates you. You have on your hand a gaslighting spouse.
Perhaps, he tries to instigate fights so that after an initial heated exchange, he can go back to giving you the silent treatment. The fact that this toxic silence is more comfortable for your husband than shared moments of peace and happiness is enough for you to ask, “Does my husband want to leave me?”
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. A marriage has to be a union of equals. But when relationships are teetering on the edge, one partner gains the upper hand where he makes everything about himself. 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 significant role in his life.
Whether he is doing it intentionally or not, it is a unfortunate sign for you in either case. You are either not on his mind, or he wants to put this point across every step of the way that you might have to ready yourself to let him go. It is also an indication that you might have to fend for yourself while he is preparing to lead a life without you and is taking care of his own interests in the eventuality of a divorce. If these characteristics of a narcissistic spouse have developed recently in your partner, you can treat these as signs your husband is planning to leave you.
Related Reading: Power Dynamics In Relationships: How To Keep It Healthy
8. Your sex life loses its mojo
When love vanishes from 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. A couple understands the importance of intimacy in a relationship. Sex is one way of approaching the nurturing of intimacy in a relationship. Hence, a lack of sex life and a complete disinterest in physical intimacy are definite signs that your husband is planning to leave you.
A sexless relationship adversely affects the relationship in several ways. But if it is a result of overwork or stress or any other reason, there are ways to fix it. A couple invested in the relationship will try everything possible to make sure that the intimacy between them doesn’t wither away and die. But if the reason for disinterest is an affair or an unchangeable impassivity, then you can’t do anything to bring it back on track. It’s unfortunate but that’s how it happens.
“I think my husband is going to leave me and my marriage is all but over,” Joyce found herself sharing with a friend after a long dry spell in the bedroom. Her husband, who had a voracious appetite for sex, had suddenly lost interest in getting intimate with her. Not only did he not initiate sex anymore but also turned down Joyce’s advances all the time – something she hadn’t ever experienced in 7 years of being married. A fortnight later, he had the dreaded conversation with her and had moved out by the following weekend.
9. His social media reveals suspicious details
Like it or not, social media behavior reveals a lot about a person. Subconsciously, a person puts 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, people like to do the groundwork before the big reveal.
Similarly, if you find them repetitively engaging in content about moving on, or finding love again, or advantages of being single, you won’t be wrong in asking yourself, “Why does my husband want to leave me?” Also, be open to them searching for an old flame, a college crush, a long-forgotten affair on social media. It does not necessarily mean that they are cheating on you. But it may give you a hint at their state of mind.
“My husband wants to leave me but I still love him. What do I do?” Bill wondered as he began to notice cryptic posts on his husband’s social media account. “He has been sharing these quotes about moving on and living life to the fullest. At first, I didn’t make much of it. But when these posts became a regular feature on his social media and his behavior at home began to change too, I knew we were headed for a crisis,” he said.
10. “Does my husband really want a divorce?” Yes, if he gradually withdraws from your life
If you can’t come to terms with the question “Does my husband really want a divorce?”, know that complete withdrawal is one of the most apparent signs he wants out of the marriage. People 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 toward it. But when your husband starts doing activities increasingly without you by his side, it is time to get worried.
For example, has he regularly started checking out of parent-teacher meetings at your kids’ school? Or why does he want to take a vacation without you? Or spend Saturday evenings at a bar alone, than with you? However, see these signs only in conjunction with your gut feeling and other signs of emotional withdrawal. There is nothing wrong with a person in a committed relationship wanting to do things without their partner, and celebrating their time alone. Need for space is not always an ominous sign in a relationship.
11. He seems indecisive and evasive
Initiating a split is no easy task. There would be periods of confusion and he would have second thoughts about his decision to pull the plug on his marriage. You probably know that he is going through some turmoil. 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.
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 that is your marriage crisis.
Perhaps, his being indecisive is a good sign. A silver lining in the dark clouds looming over your marriage. Maybe, not all hope is lost yet and you can make your marriage work with the right help. Consider talking to your husband about going into couple’s therapy if “My husband wants to leave me but I still love him” is where you’re at, and he too can’t seem to make up his mind about leaving or staying. If it is meant to be, and there is some hope left, he will want to give your relationship a last try.
12. He just doesn’t want to talk about the marriage
Most common relationship problems can be resolved through effective communication. But 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 when 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 pretense than have a confrontation. Well, these are all tell-tale signs that your husband is planning to leave you.
If he shows no interest in trying to salvage the marriage, perhaps it’s time you quit asking “Will my husband leave me?”. Stop holding on to false hope that it’s a rough patch or that it will pass. Now is the time to look at the situation pragmatically and prepare yourself – emotionally, financially, and logistically – for the end of your marriage.
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. He might even be committing financial infidelity. Here you are wondering, “Why does my husband want to leave me?” And there, he is already drawing up pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements, or having conversations around shared assets and liabilities.
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, the moment you get a “my husband is secretly planning a divorce” inkling, get a grip on your finances. In fact, it is always prudent to be aware of your financial status so that you are not caught by surprise.
Related Reading: How To Tell Your Husband You Want A Divorce
14. He constantly talks of leaving you – The most obvious sign he wants out
This behavior is the exact opposite of 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 separate for a while.
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. If he has become comfortable putting you in that position of insecurity, it is obvious how you feel does not matter to him anymore. This is also indicative of the emotional withdrawal he has been feeling. Your husband has clearly checked out of the relationship.
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 make the right decision in case of a crumbling marriage. At the 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 that is more important to him than his family, you can be certain that the marriage is really over. These are all signs that your husband is planning to leave you.
“Is my husband going to leave me?” you ask yourself. 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 there are no signs that he intends to save his marriage, you can be 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, see these as clear signs he wants out of the marriage. When your spouse is done with you, know that it is best to seek a divorce.