Does my husband really want a divorce? Has he thought this through? Is there a way back for us? These decisions are often led by short-term emotion and not always logical. The truth of it is even he might not know if he really wants a divorce or not.
Whether your husband is just starting to seem distant, has brought up divorce or has actively filed for divorce it might just be that he doesn’t see an alternative. There’s clearly something wrong which brought the topic of divorce up but this is still something you can come back from.
I’m going to take you through some signs to look for and (more importantly) what you can do to reverse his thinking and bring you both back to where you were before.
Has He Already Filed?
I’ve gone into more detail on this before looking at what to do when your husband filed for a divorce but you don’t want one. If he has filed the paperwork it still doesn’t mean that he actually wants a divorce. It’s become much easier to file for a divorce online which means it can still be done as a spur-of-the-moment decision led by short-term emotions.
Even if he has filed – it still doesn’t mean he actually wants to. But it’s important to find out.
Marriages can still come back after a divorce has been finalized but it is statistically less likely at that point.
Spotting Signs Your Husband Wants a Divorce
Keep in mind these are general signs you can look out for. Every marriage is unique so these need to be taken within the context of your marriage. What may be a sign of him wanting a divorce in one couple is a cry for attention and hail mary at finding an answer for someone else. If you’d like to get more into the specifics of your marriage (and get things back on track quickly) make sure you take the marriage assessment quiz.
Let’s start with the big and obvious one first.
A disconnect with your spouse is the most obvious sign that there’s something wrong in the marriage. A deteriorating interest in each other is a deteriorating marriage. This disinterest is usually multifaceted. It is not just sex that takes a backseat. A disinterested husband would display and express it in many ways. He might spend more time in the office, he might spend more time watching TV and you’ll notice a lack of small things rather than big romantic gestures.
A lack of eye contact, a lack of interest in your day and a lack of enthusiasm about spending time together.
A physical and emotional disconnect between the two of you is a clear sign something is getting in the way and needs to be dealt with and is perhaps one of the clearest signs he’s considering a divorce.
Being More Protective Over Money
This one needs to be taken very carefully in the context of your marriage. Some couples manage money differently and this might just be that he’s worried about money or something at his work has changed.
But if he’s starting to safeguard, hide or complain about money spending and he wouldn’t normally it can be a sign he’s considering divorce and doesn’t want you spending money. Divorce is expensive and he won’t want any big expenses into the house or something he doesn’t expect to be around for.
Again, take this into context because there can be other factors that cause money problems.
I’ll Say This Once: Cheating
Before we go any further, I need to at least mention this as a possibility because some of these signs are going to overlap. A lot of the signs are the same.
He might be having an affair.
When a partner becomes disinterested and emotionally disconnected it might just be that there’s something in your marriage that you need to work on – or it might be that he’s distancing himself from you as a coping mechanism for cheating.
I’ve covered things cheaters say to hide affairs and more specific things like spotting signs he’s cheating with a coworker. Unless you’re absolutely sure this isn’t the case then it’s something to look out for. Infidelity is not a complete end to a marriage (roughly 40% of marriages survive some form of cheating and that’s including cases where neither side wants to try saving the marriage) but it is something you need to know about. The only way to save your marriage is to truly understand what the cause is.
Not every case of physical or emotional disconnect means he’s cheating. The problem could just as likely be between just the two of you, but I have to at least mention the possibility.
It’s perfectly normal for couples to argue. Out of every single married couple, I’ve ever met, I’ve never once believed them when they tell me they’ve never argued. If you’re not arguing once in a while then you’re not openly sharing your opinions and you’re not in a real marriage.
The problem is when it becomes more of an argument than anything else. When the things that you used to love about each other become an annoyance. This in itself is more often a symptom of a deeper problem but it’s certainly a sign that your husband wants a divorce (or is at least entertaining the idea). If you’re constantly arguing then it’s not the arguing you’re going to need to deal with – but the root of the arguing.
You weren’t constantly fighting the day you got married, so we need to figure out what has changed.
Or (Perhaps Worse) Constant Silence
He doesn’t talk, I think my husband wants to leave me!
In some ways, I’d prefer to see constant bickering over constant silence.
If you feel like your husband has completely checked out and that you’re alone in the marriage it can feel like he doesn’t even want to try anymore. You can still bring it back from here, but you’re going to need to be the one to do the heavy lifting in the relationship for a while.
Again, much like the constant arguing, this is a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself. Still something you can deal with, but it’s harder to address the root of the problem when your husband won’t engage at all.
How to Change His Mind Away from Divorce?
Whether he’s filed, told you he wants one, or is just displaying the signs above the answer is the same. He might not actually want to get married but it’s common to feel stuck in a rut and not know what else to do. This kind of situation in marriage is rarely an overnight event and usually the result of sustained small things over time which makes the answer less obvious.
To change his mind away from divorce, you need to be the one to show him there’s a way back. If he doesn’t seem interested then you’re going to need to pick up the slack and show him that you’re willing to work on things. Remember, the signs your husband wants a divorce are not the problems you need to deal with.
You need to find the root of the problems and address them. The longer you leave it, the more likely a divorce is going to be. I have a more in-depth write-up of how to save your marriage (and I’m telling you now this is going to take work but it’s something you need to do sooner rather than later).