13 Signs Your Wife Has Checked Out Of The Marriage

Loveless Marriage | | , Senior Editor
Updated On: May 4, 2024
signs your wife has checked out of the marriage

You’ve been together for so long that you hardly remember how you both began. You’ve been noticing worrying signs your wife has checked out of the marriage. You have become a default part of her life. Essential but not appreciated. Always there but also invisible. Serving the function but with no joy. It is bound to happen in long-term relationships, especially within the structure of marriages, where the need to revitalize the relationship starts to ebb away.

With rapidly changing needs, demands, political values, desires, and self-awareness, we begin to re-assess everything that we once thought was a core part of us. That, unfortunately, includes love. You might start to notice signs your wife has checked out of the marriage, and conclude that it’s either her or your fault. But the truth is it could just be the result of erosion of time and circumstance.

It’s heartbreaking to think that the person you’re so in love with could ever start to fall out of love with you. But people change so much with time that their feelings are bound to evolve too. Why does this happen, though? What to do when your spouse gives up? Was it your fault? Can you both recover from it? Are there noticeable signs your wife wants to leave you? As you keep reading, we’ll cover all of this and more.

How Can You Tell If Your Wife Is Checking Out Of The Marriage?

Trust your instinct. You were once certain of her love for you, and now you can sense a nagging awareness of her having checked out mentally. If you can sense a growing distance between you two and it doesn’t seem to bother her much; if she’s no longer interested in spending quality and joyful time with you; if instead of coming closer, she seems to slowly be creating a world of her own, then these are the signs your wife has checked out of the marriage.

Many people don’t realize when they start slowly drifting apart in a relationship, creating a gap that seems to only widen with time. There are steps you can mutually take back toward each other, but it’ll require honest, painful conversations that you must be willing to respectfully navigate. If you’re asking yourself “Has my wife checked out of marriage?”, consider if it’s a matter of taking each other for granted. Are you no longer prioritizing mutual efforts that your marriage used to be a foundation for?

If you don’t keep practicing love for each other, it can’t get stronger. Look at it this way: You’re just out of practice, that’s all. It doesn’t mean that your marriage is over, it just means it’s time to wake up and work on what truly matters to you.

13 Signs Your Wife Has Checked Out Of The Marriage

Marriages are hard work. Every marriage brings with it a huge scope of constant friction — of values, routines, likes, dislikes, needs, and communication styles. What keeps a marriage going is the continued feeling of love, safety, and respect for each other. If this starts to crumble, it’s bound to leave you feeling destabilized and scared.

It’s not the end of the world, though. If you’re looking for professional help in healing your marriage, Bonobology’s panel of experienced counselors is only a click away. So let’s dive right into it. In order to work on your marriage, you first have to be able to watch out for signs your wife has checked out of the marriage. Here they are:

1. No sense of gratitude or appreciation

Sim says, “She used to leave notes for me sometimes. Just little things like: “Thank you for taking care of the dog visit today” or “Thank you for coming with me, I really needed the support.” I used to keep them all. One of these old notes fell out the other day, and I realized the last time she expressed gratitude in any form was almost 8 months ago. It was a simple moment of realization, and it broke me. I knew if I don’t do something, we’d be headed for trouble.”

If you relate to this to any degree, that’s one of the signs your wife has checked out of the marriage. In long-term relationships, we often forget to be consistently grateful to each other. Humdrum of a marriage, if not softened with effort and initiative, eats away at gratitude.

Related Reading: 16 Ways To Show Affection To Your Partner

2. Love is dormant

It’s not that she doesn’t love you, but that love has not been dipped into as a real, living puddle of emotion for a long, long time. Love, like a skill or a muscle, needs to be exercised to keep it alive and kicking. If she hasn’t been telling you that she loves you, then slowly and surely, the emotion will fade away too. The absence of expression of love severely impacts the health of a relationship, and it could even reach a point where your marriage is over.

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3. Signs your wife has checked out of the marriage – A missing or mechanical sex life

Intimacy in a relationship doesn’t have to be just about sex. It’s also about gestures in love like cuddles, hugs, foreplay, kisses (and not just on the lips), gentle touch and caresses, and honoring each others’ bodies in whichever way two people deem fit. When was the last time she initiated any of these acts of intimacy? If you can’t remember, then you have reached the stage of slowly drifting apart.

4. Lack of quality time

If you’ve gone from ‘can’t get enough of each other’ stage to ‘have to make an appointment with her to talk to her properly,’ it’s a bad sign. “Whenever I’d plan an outing, she’d delay it or ultimately cancel the plan. When I shared this with a friend, he told me that these are the signs your wife has checked out of the marriage. It was scary to even consider calling it quits, so I spoke to her about it. We’ve been working on our marriage ever since,” shares Diana, a pottery instructor from Dallas.

I've emotionally checked out of my marriage
Your wife may be in the same room with you, but is usually somewhere else mentally

5. Communication centers on routine tasks

If you’re thinking to yourself “Has my wife checked out of marriage?”, then try and gauge what your conversations have been like in the past month. If she only speaks about routine activities, financial planning, household activities, children, and work that needs to be shared among you two, then these are the signs your wife has checked out of the marriage. Yes, life can seem to revolve around these logistics, but love and a marriage are about so much more.

6. No physical contact is one of the signs your wife has checked out of the marriage

There’s no spark or whisper of touch between you two anymore. This isn’t about sex. Remember when you couldn’t go five minutes without holding each others’ hands, or sitting close together, or when you would keep poking your elbow into her shoulders to annoy her?

You’ve noticed that she doesn’t like to acknowledge you with her touch the way she used to. A peck on the cheek, ruffling of your hair, the comforting touch of a hand upon one’s hand. It’s not just you, she’s probably thinking it too, that “I’ve emotionally checked out of my marriage.”

Related Reading: 13 Non-Sexual Touches To Feel Intimate And Close

7. You don’t laugh together anymore

Couples who laugh together, stay together. Laughter connects you instantly. The toughest of the rooms can be sliced through with a bright, well-meaning smile, and an infectious laugh can dispel a dense moment of sadness.

It does wonders for a relationship when a couple makes sure they can laugh about the little and the big things. They can get through almost anything if they know they can laugh about it later. If you’ve been trying to make your girl laugh by referring to some of her favorite jokes or funny incidents from your life, but all she can manage is a weak smile, then it’s a bad sign.

8. You’ve started noticing roommate marriage signs

She spends time separately from you to the extent that you have separate lives under the same roof. The home is run well, the plants are watered, the chores are shared, the food is delicious, the kids are picked up from the school on time, the bills are paid, but she doesn’t feel the need to be lovers with you anymore. It’s almost like you’re roommates. These are all roommate marriage signs. You know the ins and outs of living together with a person, but have forgotten how to be romantically and intimately involved with them.

Related Reading: Roommate Marriage – Signs And How To Fix It

9. No terms of endearment

Brian, a 34-year-old venue manager, was recently in this situation where he was thinking of what to do when your spouse gives up. “She had some of the most embarrassing terms of endearment for me. I had to beg her to stop using them in public. I miss that. She hasn’t used them for me in a long time now. It felt like she’d given up on us,” he shares.

We speak to our loved ones in a special love language that nothing and no one can replace. If she no longer uses the same language to speak to you, then it’s one of the signs your wife has checked out of the marriage.

10. You don’t talk anymore

She may talk for hours with her friends and have a wonderful time with them, but goes silent in front of you. Clearly, conversations have run their course. If your bond went from talking with abandon to each other to you now feeling abandoned by her, it’s time to have the talk. Tell her what’s on your mind. It is only through gentle conversations that you will get through this painful stage.

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11. Lack of care and curiosity are signs your wife has checked out of the marriage

There’s no curiosity about you, your day, your work, and your interests anymore. Care has become a routine activity, and not something she offers with love and thought. It almost seems like she’s done knowing you, and doesn’t feel the need to invest further. You try to care for her needs and express your concern, but she mostly pulls away. This could be one of the signs your wife wants to leave you.

12. No compliments, gestures, and gifts

She doesn’t compliment or really notice you anymore. You’ve noticed a gradual decline of the special gestures and gifts that she used to love surprising you with. These little things aren’t about transactions and materialistic needs. They show how much the other person loves you and knows you, and finds joy in your joy.

“I don’t know how and when it happened but we’d become different people. It wasn’t just her. I told her that she takes me for granted and doesn’t care for me anymore. It’s only then during our conversations that I realized I’ve emotionally checked out of my marriage too. We found it best to accept our losses and part as friends,” shares Nathan, a 28-year-old crochet enthusiast and salesperson.

13. Your family is not important for her anymore

She used to spend time with them and stay in touch regularly, especially on important days like birthdays and anniversaries. If she no longer prioritizes you, it goes without saying she no longer feels the need to maintain a bond with them either. This is one of the signs your wife has checked out of the marriage.

Related Reading: Why I Became Happier When I Stopped Trying To Please My In-laws

At one point, you used to marvel at your love for each other and were grateful for it every day, and now you’ve reached a point where you’re left wondering how the love slipped out unnoticed. As you grieve the loss of this love, remember that this could be temporary and that she could fall in love with you again. Your relationship will evolve and may not go back to what it was, but it can move forward to something you both can decide on respectfully.


1. How do you tell if your wife doesn’t want to be with you?

She pulls away when you try to hold her affectionately, she declines any initiative on your part to make plans with her, and she hardly talks to you about the things she loved talking about earlier. You don’t remember the last time you both exchanged sincere words of love or even laughter, and it seems you’ve just become excellent roommates to each other instead of the spouses that you are.

2. What are the signs of a marriage ending?

There’s no zeal to stay connected to each other. There’s no curiosity about your partner, and conversations seem a drag. There’s a complete avoidance of conflicts or too many conflicts every day. Being with your partner doesn’t make you happy anymore, and you’ve both fallen out of love with each other.

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