13 Tell-Tale Signs A Man Is Unhappy In His Marriage

Signs a man is unhappy in his marriage

Has he been joking about the strength of your marriage a little more than usual? Perhaps his phone is now more important than you, and the only conversations you have are regarding specific household chores. You can’t remember the last time you shared a genuine moment with your partner. Try to spot the signs a man is unhappy in his marriage and might just tell the reason. 

When a man is unhappy in his marriage, he may have emotionally checked out long before he even lets his feelings be known. What’s worse, others around you may be able to spot his disconnect a lot quicker than you do.

To make sure you don’t let things get to the point of no return, catching the signs a man is unhappy in his marriage early on is critical. With the help of psychologist Nandita Rambhia (MSc, Psychology), who specializes in CBT, REBT and couples counseling, let’s list all you need to know. 

How Do You Tell If A Man Is Unhappy In His Marriage? 13 Tell-Tale Signs 

What makes a man unhappy in a marriage can sometimes be subjective, but the signs tend to manifest themselves in somewhat similar ways. According to studies, the most common causes of divorce are lack of commitment, infidelity, and/or constant arguments. We’re pretty sure the signs of discontent in all three of those scenarios appear similar; it depends on whether you pay attention to it or not. 

When your husband doesn’t love you anymore, it’s possible those signs might manifest themselves even unbeknownst to him. He may distance himself from you without even realizing it, and that’s exactly why it’s so important for you to notice them. 

Dr. John Gottman said, “Some people leave a marriage literally, by divorcing. Others do so by leading parallel lives together.” Being able to spot the signs someone is unhappy in a relationship might just save yours from reaching such a stage. 

1. Signs a man is unhappy in his marriage: Your sex life has suffered

Let’s not jump the gun on this one – a decreased libido may be due to a myriad of reasons for men. Even so, there’s no denying the fact that one of those reasons may very well be because his head is not into this marriage anymore. 

“One of the most important signs a man is unhappy in his marriage, irrespective of which stage it is in, is if there is a decline in a couple’s sex life. Each marriage has a different frequency of sex that they consider normal. If there’s a major deviation from that frequency, it may be a cause for concern,” says Nandita

Related Reading: First Year Marriage Problems: 5 Things Newly-Wed Couples Fight About

2. If he’s spending all his time away from you 

Business trips always end up being extended, late nights at work have gone from once in a blue moon to three times a week, and his weekend plans never involve you. Is he unhappy in his marriage? 

Nandita tells us that when your husband doesn’t love you anymore, the first casualty may be the quality time you two spend together. “One of the signs a guy is unhappy in his relationship manifests itself when the man will try to avoid being with his partner for a longer period than usual. He may suddenly be extremely busy with work, or his hobby would eat up all his time. 

“He’ll spend more time talking to other people like colleagues or friends. You might just see him make plans over the weekends, which basically means he’ll enjoy that kind of time more than spending time with his wife.” 

3. He’s having an ‘object affair’ 

If it sounds like he’s cheating on you with an object, it’s kind of like that. An ‘object affair’ refers to when a partner starts spending all their time in a new hobby, an object, or a new interest. Perhaps he went from never having cycled in his life to ordering all sorts of equipment in the span of a week, or he’s spending all his time on social media. This situation would ultimately leave you sidelined. 

Different from other types of cheating, this one may slip under the radar more often than not. How can a hobby ever harm a relationship, right? The next time he disappears for the entire day to tinker away at his motorcycle, don’t just shrug it off like it’s nothing. 

4. The future appears too distant 

Signs someone is unhappy in a relationship: There's no future
If you’re never talking about the future, it may be a sign he’s unhappy

When two people are married, discussing your “happily ever after” often includes retirement plans and the expectations you have of each other and your life at that stage. But if it seems like your husband avoids planning vacations with you for next year, your “happily ever after” may not seem so secure. 

If that’s the case, where a man literally can’t see a future with his spouse, it begs the question – “Why do guys stay in unhappy relationships?”. The answer can range from laziness to oblivion, but what’s more important is the fact that there’s trouble afoot. 

5. He may start withdrawing communication 

“When a man is unhappy in his marriage, he tends to stop sharing small day-to-day activities that he may have had a habit of communicating earlier. This could simply be because he doesn’t think it’s too important to share them. Things like sharing how the day went, the little intricacies of what he has been up to will all see a notable decrease,” says Nandita.

If your marriage has lasted around a decade, you’re probably not talking to each other like you used to anyway. But if the conversations you have with each other all revolve around household chores, the lack of connection speaks volumes about the strength of your marriage. 

Try to ask him about how his day went, and what he has been up to recently. If the answers all contain just a couple of syllables at best, tell him you’d like to have a conversation with him where he doesn’t look at his phone. If there’s a consistent lack of communication, it’s one of the clear signs a man is unhappy in his marriage.

6. He may stop looking after himself 

The man who once used to don his Sunday best on every date night with you, now couldn’t care less about it. Perhaps he has stopped working out as much as he used to, and the healthy eating habits all have gone out the window. 

Men often find encouragement to be better for their partners, but when a man is unhappy in his marriage, that motivation is slowly chipping away. And if you’re wondering why guys stay in unhappy relationships while they’re also miserable in it, it may be because they’re not motivated enough to change the situation. 

Related Reading: Relationship Burnout: Causes, Signs And Tips To Overcome

7. His social media may hold all the answers 

“If the man is pretty active on social media and used to post family photos and couple photos, he might have stopped doing so. In some cases, I’ve seen that even the husbands don’t realize what is happening. However, the posts have drastically reduced, “says Nandita. 

Though we may not treat it that way, our social media is an extension of our personality. And one of the biggest signs a man is unhappy in his marriage is if his partner never makes it to his stories or posts. 

8. Signs a man is unhappy in his marriage: It’s all he thinks about 

“When a man is extremely unhappy, he might just end up ruminating about leaving his wife or ruminating whether taking a divorce might be better for him. He may not necessarily follow up on it, but it’s apparent he’ll spend a lot of time thinking about such subjects. It may even manifest itself when it looks like you’re walking on eggshells in your marriage.

“It turns into a ‘grass is greener on the other side’ situation, where he may truly convince himself that he’ll be happier without his wife,” says Nandita. 

What makes a man unhappy in marriage is still up for debate, but when he does feel this way, he’s bound to overthink every possible scenario that may cause a lot of stress. 

9. You’re walking on eggshells when it comes to his temper 

When his overthinking induces all that stress, it’s going to lead to a lot of irritability. “Another common sign someone is unhappy in a relationship is if he becomes very irritable, very quickly with his wife. 

“There may be a lot of sarcastic comments coming from him, he will triviliaze his wife’s concerns or not listen to her small complaints in an active manner. He may ignore her and act cold with her, as though she doesn’t matter to him anymore,” says Nandita. 

If he snaps at you for the smallest of things, perhaps you already know the answer to questions like, “Is he unhappy in his marriage?”  

10. His body language has probably changed 

Even if there’s an attempt to hide the signs a man is unhappy in his marriage, his body language will reveal them, whether he realizes it or not.  

Say goodbye to those surprise back hugs in the kitchen; he’s now as cold to you as humanly possible. Even if he doesn’t want it to be, his lack of affection toward you might be painfully obvious. 

When was the last time you two indulged in a bit of PDA? You’re probably not hugging each other like you used to, and “making out” seems like something you only did a million years ago. Look for other signs as well, like him never looking at you when you’re talking, or if he never appears to be warm and inviting. 

11. He feels like he’s not enough 

Sometimes, the signs a man is unhappy in his marriage don’t all stem from how he may be unhappy in his marriage. They can often stem through a negative outlook of oneself as well. If you’re in love with a man who has low self-esteem, his doubts about himself might make him believe that he’s incapable of making you happy. 

When men have a negative outlook toward themselves, it also answers the question, “Why do guys stay in unhappy relationships?”. They do so because they think they don’t deserve anything more. 

He might not feel accomplished in his career or may have trouble accepting his shortcomings. When he’s always cursing himself for “not being enough,” the hostility eventually manifests itself in your marriage. 

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

12. Signs a man is unhappy in his marriage: He’s joking about it a little too much 

“In some cases, you may see men making too many references or just joking about leaving his wife. It’s important to note that this may just vary depending on the nature of the person. Normally, men joke about couples and how marriages can sometimes be humorous. But if he complains about his wife regularly to his friends and family, it’s time to take notice of what is going wrong. It could just be a sign the marriage is over for him,” says Nandita.

Is he telling all the single guys around him to never get married? Perhaps his favorite topic of conversation is how “marriage is such a hassle” while all your girlfriends can’t stop talking about the lovely vacation they just took. 

The jokes may appear harmless when they’re few and far in between, but regularly bringing it up might be one of the signs someone is unhappy in a relationship. 

13. If he’s a shadow of the man he used to be 

When a man is unhappy in his marriage, he’s not going to be too lively and happy in general. Think about it – he basically feels “trapped” in a marriage that isn’t making him feel fulfilled. His general demeanor is going to be like someone who’s always spaced out. 

Granted, men seem to space out in a matter of seconds, but if you can spot all the other signs a man is unhappy in his marriage, you’re probably also going to see him being extremely melancholic. 

Instead of trying to figure out the answer to the question, “Why do guys stay in unhappy relationships?,” try to catch the signs so you can stop it from ever getting to that place. If in your case, it looks like irreparable damage has been done, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists can help guide you through your marriage troubles, so you can get back to the days of bliss that you so yearn for.

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