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9 Warning Signs Your Husband Wants a Divorce

If you’re looking for the signs your husband wants a divorce, then you’re in the right place.

Most of us don’t walk down the aisle or make vows with the intention of one day divorcing. We go into marriage hopeful and think it will last. But that’s not always how it works out.

There are times when divorce is the healthiest choice — and the only true option left to us.

While not every man is the same, there are some key clues that a husband wants a divorce. You likely have already noticed a few of them.

They are the clues that your marriage isn’t recovering from whatever ails it. When he wants out, you’ll see the writing on the wall. 

9 Warning Signs Your Husband Wants a Divorce, According to a Former Therapist

You cannot save a marriage that your husband doesn’t want to save. Let’s get that out of the way first. These aren’t signs meant to signal that you should change his mind.

However, they are warning signs that divorce could be imminent. Seeing the signs can help you prepare for it, and it’s also the time to make any last-ditch attempts to save it.

Just know that it always takes two, and no matter how strong or determined you are, you cannot save it alone. 

Why listen to me? I’m Crystal Jackson and I was a master’s level licensed therapist. I worked with couples and individuals and specialized in trauma recovery and empowerment. I now write content about relationships, self-improvement and psychology. My work has been featured on large publications such as Elite Daily, Your Tango, Positively Positive, Mamamia, and The Good Men Project.

1. He Sleeps in a Separate Room

This was my first sign before my divorce. I can’t say for sure when I noticed that he stopped coming to bed, but it was a long time before the divorce process happened.

At first, he claimed he fell asleep on the couch, but then he’d never come to bed. This became a more regular occurrence. By this point, I knew there were many things wrong, but for a little while, I believed the excuse.

Sleeping in a separate room is only acceptable if both people are comfortable with this arrangement. There are healthy, happy couples who have separate rooms because of sleep apnea, snoring, or other issues.

But if one person wants the closeness of sleeping in the same room and the other doesn’t, it’s not a good sign of long-term compatibility. 

2. He Doesn’t Want to Fix What’s Wrong

Another sign that your husband wants a divorce is when he doesn’t want to fix what’s wrong in the relationship. He’s not looking for solutions. He’s not putting effort into apologies or relationship repairs. He just wants to be done with it all.

It’s possible that he doesn’t want the relationship to end, but he also doesn’t want to put any work into saving it.

That’s a pretty good guarantee that he’ll see divorce as the easier option if you insist on addressing conflict in the relationship. In this case, he’s just looking for an easy way out, and divorce might be the answer for him. 

3. He Refuses Counseling or Doesn’t Participate If He Goes

Another sign your husband wants a divorce occurs when he either refuses the professional assistance of a couples counselor or doesn’t actively participate even if he shows up.

This is a step beyond a lack of interest in fixing what’s wrong. He doesn’t even care to try, and he’s not bothered if you know it. 

At this point, it may not be a matter of effort. He doesn’t see this as a relationship that can be saved, or he sees the differences as irreconcilable.

He doesn’t think the effort is worth the reward because he can see the signs that it’s no longer a good fit for him. It’s possible his feelings have changed or he just feels he’s outgrown the relationship.

It’s even possible he feels that you’ve outgrown him. 

4. His Financial Habits Have Changed

Another clue that your husband wants a divorce will occur with his finances. A change in his financial habits represents a clear warning sign.

Has money disappeared from a shared account? Is he spending more money on things he won’t explain. It’s possible he’s preparing for an expensive divorce.

Large financial purchases could represent legal fees, a downpayment on new lodging, or other divorce preparations. 

5. He’s Assessing Shared Property

If he begins assessing your shared property, it’s another sign that he’s preparing for a divorce. He might begin dividing up assets or putting particular assets in his name or yours.

He might try to explain away why he’s doing this, but if you notice that your shared possessions are now under scrutiny, it’s possible that he’s making advanced preparations for a separation. 

6. He Seems to Have Quit the Relationship Already

You know your husband wants a divorce when he’s already quietly quit the relationship. He just stopped trying. He doesn’t treat you like a partner anymore, and you can’t remember the last time he did.

Date nights are long gone. Affection is out the door. You feel like you have a roommate you don’t even know anymore.

If he checks out of the relationship before it’s even over, that’s not a good sign. In fact, it’s a clear indicator that he’s already moving on. He might not have moved out yet, but in his mind, he’s already leaving the relationship. 

7. He Moves Out

Moving out might seem like an obvious sign, and yet there might be a part of you that hopes for reconciliation. I’m not going to say it’s impossible.

Only the two of you can decide the direction your relationship will take. But know that moving out is generally a sign you’re heading for a more permanent arrangement like divorce.

If he moves into a temporary situation like staying with a friend or family member, it’s not necessarily a bad sign. He might be giving you both space.

However, if he buys a home, signs a lease on an apartment, or moves in with someone else who’s not a platonic friend, you have every reason to assume you’re heading straight for divorce. 

8. He Stops Communicating with You

If he cuts off communication with you, you can assume you’re heading for divorce. You can’t work out problems with someone who won’t speak to you. It’s not possible.

If he refuses to communicate at all, you know that things aren’t moving toward reconciliation. 

9. He Retains an Attorney

A clear sign that he’s preparing for divorce happens when he retains an attorney. From that point forward, your communication may have to go through legal channels.

He’s going to file for divorce, and you can assume that it might not be amicable if he’s retained legal counsel before even talking it over with you. 

If he was interested in an amicable separation and divorce and feels you would go along with that, he wouldn’t necessarily retain an attorney first.

He would likely have a conversation with you. If he feels like that’s not an option or that he has assets or wealth in need of protection, he may seek outside help. 

What to Do When He Wants a Divorce

Your husband wants a divorce. The signs are clear. But do you? Here’s what you can do once you realize your husband wants to divorce you.

Get Counseling

When you realize that your spouse wants a divorce, you need to get counseling. This is important even if you want the divorce, too.

Give yourself a chance to grieve the relationship, to grieve the person you were when you told him you’d marry him, and the person you are now as you face the end of that love story.

Allow yourself to talk it out, grieve, and grow with the help of a professional counselor. 

Get Your Finances in Order

You know divorce is coming. It’s time to get real about your finances. Divorce is expensive. Will you retain an attorney or represent yourself? Do you have access to affordable legal advice?

Do you have a full picture of what your finances look like and how you’ll move forward if you’re separated from your spouse? Where will you live, and how will you pay for it? These are questions you need to ask to prepare for the financial fallout of divorce. 

Make a Plan

The divorce is coming. What will you do about it? Do you need to look for somewhere to live, or do you feel confident you’ll be able to stay where you are? How will child custody be sorted?

If you have shared pets, how will that be handled?

You can’t anticipate what he’ll bring to the table, but you need to decide what you want so that you can address these issues when he finally admits he wants the divorce. 

He has a plan or is making one. You need one, too. You need to decide what you want your life to look like when he’s no longer in it.

Will you seek child support, alimony, or other support payments? Will you be responsible for paying spousal or child support?

Can you rely on your soon-to-be ex-husband to meet any financial obligations? This is why you need a plan

Make Wrongs Right

I would be remiss if I didn’t state the obvious: He might want a divorce because you violated the relationship agreement in some way.

The responsibility for the breakdown in the relationship could be yours. In that case, you need to right the wrongs before the relationship ends. 

It might still end. That’s not why you do it. When you do something wrong, you should make a mindful apology, offer to make amends, and endeavor to change.

He might not forgive you, and it might not change anything, but it’s a mark of personal integrity and growth to admit when you were in the wrong and do what you can to make it right. 

Remember It’s a New Beginning

Divorce is hard. You’re going to have a lot of feelings about it. Just keep in the back of your mind that his is the opportunity for a new beginning. You might not have wanted it. But it’s here. What will you make of it? 

You can stay bitter. I know people who’ve done that. They’ve taken that bitterness and used it to alienate the former spouse from their children. They’ve lashed out without ever counting the cost. 

But I also know people who emerged from divorce to embrace a new life. Some have found new loves in the process.

Others found they could breathe for the first time in a long time with all the freedom and possibility of a fresh start. I found a new town and resurrected an old dream.

My life got so much better than it ever was before. 

In Conclusion

Your husband wants a divorce. You might feel sadness, anger, or even shame. This was a person you once loved enough to think you’d spend the rest of your life with them. But then the story changed. 

This chapter is closing, but the story’s not over. He wants a divorce, and maybe you don’t or you do. In the end, it might be out of your hands, but that doesn’t mean you can’t seize this chance to change your life. What do you want, and who will you be when you do? 

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Photo by John Fornander on Unsplash

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