The feeling of being in love comes and goes.
This fact is true in all relationships, but is most evident when you’re married.
That’s why it can be difficult to know if your marriage is simply in a slow phase or if your man is genuinely unhappy and ready—eager, even—to leave.
Here are some signs to help you better understand if your man is unhappy in his marriage, and why.
1) He’s been complaining about your relationship for a while.
The most obvious giveaway that he’s unhappy about your relationship is that he’ll tell you about it. No man walks out the door without the feeling of being unheard for so long.
If your man’s outspoken, then he’ll try talking with you about his woes with your marriage as soon as he can.
He might be direct and calm when he does it and say “I feel suffocated in our relationship because of your jealousy.”
Or his complaints might sound emotionally-loaded and whiny like “You’re really a mad woman. Why are you always this jealous?!”
It can even come off as a joke.
The point is, most men actually try to solve a problem before they even consider leaving you.
If your man is a bit more withdrawn when it comes to their feelings, then he probably won’t approach you until the last minute.
But not all men will tell, of course. So while complaints certainly are useful, don’t get comfortable simply because you’re not hearing any. You might have to pay closer attention to his body language.
2) You have a dead bedroom.
Married life can get quite hectic and sex oftentimes ends up taking the back seat while you deal with life.
Nonetheless, every happy relationship generally sets aside the time to have a spot of fun here and there, when life eases up on you.
Even when the hormones have died down, a couple in a committed relationship would try to make sex more fun, to express their love for each other. Sometimes you’re the one to make the first move, and sometimes he’s the one who initiates.
Because of that, it can be very alarming if you ever find yourself in a situation where he almost never asks for sex.
It’s even worse if he acts unsure or even refuses when you ask. It makes him feel like he’s slowly growing distant, or that he’s just not interested anymore.
3) He rarely wants to spend quality time with you.
You might not be entitled to all of your husband’s free time, but that sure doesn’t make his unavailability any less pleasant.
It’s like he’s always somewhere else, or that he always has something he needs to do first.
If you ever get any quality time with him, his mind is elsewhere. It would be because you pushed him into it—that it feels like he’s just there to fulfill an obligation.
If things ever become like this, then there’s something wrong and you must try to find the time to talk it over.
Of course, like every sign in this list, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s fallen out of love with you. For example, maybe the two of you just so happen to be facing a big problem together and he just can’t think about anything else.
But if it’s been going on for a while now, maybe he’s already checked out emotionally.
4) He’s been making a lot of mean-spirited jokes about you.
Couples naturally get comfortable with one another after they’ve spent enough time together. Naturally, that means ribbing on one another and then laughing at it.
When a man is unhappy with his marriage, it will taint the jokes he makes about you.
They’ll become more biting, more offensive. And he won’t be as willing to apologize when he sees that he has visibly upset you.
He may not even be conscious that he’s doing it. Sometimes years of frustrations just pile up and poison how he sees you.
These loaded jokes are his way of attacking you and unloading his anger because he can’t deal with leaving you yet.
5) He’s not so bothered when you share your problems.
There are many reasons this might be the case, and it’s not necessarily that he had stopped loving you.
For example, it might be that you had been ranting too much and drained his emotional battery, or that you were the one in the wrong.
But generally, a healthy couple is there for each other.
Your man is supposed to listen to your problems and help you work through them, just as you would do the same for him.
And of course, because he loves you, he would feel your pain as if it was his own.
It’s thus a sign of trouble if he doesn’t seem that bothered at all when you share your pain. Even worse if he acts aloof or unsympathetic.
A man who’s still in love with you will express concern or even anger and frustration. A man who’s already ready to leave you won’t feel anything at all, even if you’re crying your heart out.
6) He no longer gets into fights with you.
One may think that happy couples never get into fights. But that’s not how it is.
Differences and disagreements always exist, even in loving couples.
Complete absence of any sort of fights or arguments is a dangerous thing. It means that he no longer cares enough to try to resolve your disagreements, so they stay and continue to poison your relationship.
Of course, I’m not saying you should go and pick fights with your husband. Instead you should try to understand why he’s acting the way he is, and try to make him care more for your relationship.
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Maybe it has now gone to the point where you feel like it’s totally hopeless and there’s nothing you can do to fix things…that he can totally exit at any given time.
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7) He’s no longer your safe place.
Whether it’s to voice your woes, to share your highlights of the day, or to talk about your personal finances, he somehow just manages to make you feel like you aren’t being heard.
It could be that he decided to go ahead and buy a Porsche after you told him that you think it’s a waste of money, or that he said jokes about something after you told him how it makes you uncomfortable.
A clear sign that you feel this way is that you would be going more and more often to your friends instead of him. You might not even consider him as an option, and fail to realize that this is a bad thing!
After all, while couples do argue and sometimes stay away from each other for weeks on end, at the end of the day they should still be there for one another.
8) He’s been staying away from home.
You used to see him come home as soon as he’s free from work so that he could see you. And sure, there had been times when he would stay out to hang out with his friends or because he had stuff to do.
But now he stays outside all the time, and doesn’t come home even long after work has ended for him.
He doesn’t even explain in detail when you ask him why!
It almost feels like he’s trying to avoid being home for one reason or another—and that’s because he is.
But whether he knows the reason why he’s doing that is another matter entirely. Men aren’t really taught to stop and get in touch with their emotions.
So instead of trying to understand why they’re feeling the way they do, they respond by either running away or getting mad.
Most men prefer to escape if there’s a problem. If he’s been escaping for a while now, don’t be surprised if he’s ready to leave for good.
9) He checks out when you fight when he used to offer solutions.
Even the most loving couples argue every now and then. Sometimes those arguments can get particularly nasty.
Back in the day, he used to try to offer solutions to your conflicts at the end of every argument, and even try to do his best to make sure your fights are resolved as quickly as he can.
After all, nobody wants to feel angry at someone they love.
But these days he no longer even tries.
When the two of you find yourself in a fight, he no longer puts effort into stopping it or trying to find solutions. Instead, he just leaves and gives you the cold shoulder until you apologize or until you’ve comforted yourself.
He has stopped caring because he’s not invested anymore. He’s seen the patterns of your relationship and he doesn’t want to fix some things that he knows are unfixable.
This doesn’t mean he no longer loves you, of course. Maybe he’s doing it because your arguments have become consistent with no signs of improvement, or maybe because he no longer has the energy to fix it.
But even if he still loves you, this still means that he’s unhappy.
10) It’s been a long time since you laughed together.
Laughter is one of the biggest indicators of a healthy, loving relationship.
You don’t have to be laughing at every single thing, of course. Not everyone makes a habit of cracking jokes all the time.
Nonetheless, that you can laugh together means that you’re comfortable in each other’s presence.
If you haven’t laughed together in a long time, you should probably ask yourself why that is so.
If you’ve been trying to laugh with him, only to be met with stone-faced silence you should be worried.
Perhaps there had been growing tensions between the two of you, or maybe the two of you had begun diverging to the point that he may even resent you for what you find amusing.
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11) He stops supporting your goals and interests.
A big sign that things aren’t going well in your marriage is that he stops supporting your goals and interests.
They say we need to pay attention to the people who are happy when we’re happy, because they’re our real friends. Well then, if your man isn’t happy for you, there’s definitely a problem.
Married people are there for each other. He doesn’t have to work towards the same goals as you, or appreciate your interests—because he loves you, he’ll support you with what makes you happy.
He doesn’t even have to put that much effort in it either.
He can simply say “hope you have fun!” or “congratulations!” for example.
So when he stops supporting you in your goals and interests—or worse, tries to sabotage your efforts—then you need to talk. Something’s going on.
Maybe he had become jealous or felt threatened by your hobby. Or maybe he simply stopped loving you. It’s also possible that he’s just become lazy in your relationship.
If he’s not elated when he sees you happy, you definitely need to talk.
12) He picks fights with you over the smallest things.
He might criticize you for the way you wear your hair, or maybe you’d get into a fight over who gets to do the dishes.
Arguments over small and objectively pointless stuff like this is a massive red flag that says that something is wrong with your relationship. After all, it means that he put these small things over your relationship with him— that he’s willing to see you get mad at him without any real reason.
He’s unhappy, and that has worn down his patience.
If you are to sort things through, you need to figure out exactly where things went wrong, and try to do them right.
It won’t be easy, especially if he’s uncooperative. But it’s not impossible and you should try if you want to save your marriage.
13) He no longer tries to do things together with you.
He used to happily accept it whenever you invited him to hang out with you, or watch TV with you. He used to ask you if you would like to join when he’s out doing things with friends.
But he doesn’t do those things anymore.
In fact, he might even get angry and complain that he deserves to enjoy his hobbies without you around.
Him doing this means that he’s trying to put a little distance between the two of you.
Maybe he embarrassed you when you invited him into something and is struggling with the guilt, or it could be the other way around. Maybe he felt constrained that he can’t seem to have a life of his own.
A man who’s still in love might get annoyed with your little quirks and drama, but he would feel there’s something missing when you’re not around because you’re a team.
If he stopped treating you as a teammate, he might be unhappy for a while now and is preparing to go.
14) He doesn’t accommodate or make compromises with you.
A healthy relationship thrives because of good conflict management. Making compromises and trying to accommodate the people we love is an important part of it.
So when he stops trying to accommodate your needs and requests, or makes compromises with you, stop, and think.
Did you keep demanding too much of him? Did you refuse to accommodate him many times before? Did it happen out of nowhere? Had you done something to piss him off or make him distrust you?
If so, don’t fret. It’s not too late.
Earn back some of that trust and help mend bridges by showing him that you understand him, and that you can change.
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Relationship expert Brad Browning reveals what you can do in this situation, and the steps you can do (starting today) to save your marriage.
15) He now demands privacy when he never did.
He stops sharing his phone with you. He’s changed the password to his email and social media accounts.
Some people simply don’t see a point in giving their partners their passwords or their phones. But if he shared everything with you before and he’s become very “private” all of a sudden, then it’s a big deal.
Maybe he’s communicating with someone else or maybe he doesn’t want to be associated with you.
Either way, you should try to understand and mend the issue at hand (because there clearly is one), but don’t expect to get back to your old phone-sharing dynamic.
Steps you can do to mend your marriage:
Assess the issues in your relationship.
One of the first things you should do is to assess the issues plaguing your relationship.
You can’t cook a dish without first understanding the ingredients that go into it, after all.
So take a moment to sit down and think.
Try to write everything down in a notebook if you can, because that’ll help you connect dots that you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.
Don’t back away or stop if you find yourself coming to painful conclusions, such as the possibility you may have contributed to it, or that maybe he found someone new.
Figure out how you’ve contributed to the decay of your relationship.
Did you abuse his feelings for you, or disregarded his personal comfort?
Did you break his trust, or establish an unfair and one-sided dynamic between the two of you?
There are a lot of things you may have done—some big, others small—that may have contributed to the decay of your relationship.
Chances are, he’s expressed his concerns about your relationship already. You just have to pay closer attention.
But some aren’t going to be obvious at a glance, and need you to be brutally honest with yourself.
For example, it can even be as “small” as you simply taking his efforts to make you happy for granted.
Ask him to have a talk.
When you think you have finally figured it out, steel your nerves and try to ask him to talk.
He might be hesitant, or try to dismiss you. But don’t you give up—or push back so hard that you’re nagging.
Open the door for him and ask him to come when he’s ready. Save the ultimatums for when it’s truly needed.
They say good communication can solve almost everything, so start from there.
Ask him about how he feels before you share your side.
When he does accept your invitation to discuss your relationship, try to make sure he’s heard.
Don’t try to talk about how you feel, what you think, or what you’re doing. Not straightaway at least. Chances are that there’s a lot you don’t know or understand.
Instead, try to bring up the problem on hand as you understand it, acknowledge that you might not know everything, and ask him to share his side.
And when he does share, make sure to keep an ear open.
Listen to what he has to say and then think hard about it. If you must take a break to process it properly, tell him so.
You don’t have to resolve everything in a single day or a single discussion after all.
And only when you feel like you’ve properly resolved your issues should you offer to share your side of things.
Recommit to your relationship.
Relationships turn sour because we get too familiar with each other. We are also familiar with our fights and how some of them would never get resolved.
One of the best ways to make your man invested in the relationship again is by renewing your vows to each other.
You’ve become different people and you’ve gone through a lot as a couple, and that means you should be able to commit and recommit to each other.
How do you do this exactly?
You can start by saying the things you’re willing to change for the relationship to get better, and make sure you actually do them.
If he truly has love left for you (and believe me, he does), then he will do the same.
It can be painful to know that your man is unhappy with his marriage. Often you’ll just end up trying to find ways to make sure the marriage still works, while he does nothing to help you out.
But if you love your spouse (and especially if he still loves you, despite his unhappiness), you should try to avoid giving up on your relationship.
It might seem daunting but for what it’s worth, it becomes easier if you have a well-thought out plan of attack to mend your marriage.
When someone asks me for advice to help save failing marriages, I always recommend relationship expert and divorce coach Brad Browning.
Brad is the real deal when it comes to saving marriages. He is a best-selling author and dispenses valuable advice on his extremely popular YouTube channel.
The strategies Brad reveals in it are extremely powerful and might be the difference between a “happy marriage” and an “unhappy divorce”.