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Is There Trouble in Paradise? Signs He Wants a Divorce

Andrea has a background in astrology, Myers Briggs, and pop culture, with expertise in relationships and dating.

Sometimes it's hard to tell if you're headed for divorce or just going through a rough patch. The following article hopes to clear that up for you.

Sometimes it's hard to tell if you're headed for divorce or just going through a rough patch. The following article hopes to clear that up for you.

Signs He Wants a Divorce

In the best of circumstances, you married each other because you love each other. You can remember why you decided to tie the knot. But that’s not always the case. . .

Some people have arranged marriages. Some people only marry for the money. Some people get married because it’s convenient.

You might be seeking information on divorce because you’re headed in that direction, or you’re just curious and want to prevent having one. Either way, you’ve come to the right place!

Most people don’t divorce overnight. Usually, marriages erode over time. All the little negative comments and habits add up. . . until one day one of you (at least one of you) doesn’t want to be in it anymore.

You likely wanted to read up on divorce because:

A. Your marriage is on the rocks

B. You’re curious about how marriages decay and how to prevent it

C. Maybe you secretly want a divorce

Here’s the thing. Sometimes your husband might be doing a lot of disrespectful and awful things in the marriage, but he doesn’t have any interest in actually breaking up.

Shocker, I know. Sometimes he wants the marriage because he doesn’t want to split up all the things and money. He might not see that taking advantage of you really hurts you. He might be a jerk and think with enough gifts and money he can patch things up. He thinks his money allows him to do whatever he wants.

My Advice: Don’t Stay in an Abusive Marriage

You may want to consider if divorce is the best option for you. Divorce might be better than a marriage where he is cheating on you, abusive to you, abusive to your children, or if the situation is a living hell. Divorce can be ugly, but sometimes it is liberating and gives you a second chance in life.

It’s important in any relationship to have some hard deal breakers. There are things that your partner can do that go too far. Your safety should be your number one priority.

If you don’t know what are your deal breakers, then I invite you to sit down somewhere that’s private and write those down. Maybe save your dealbreakers on your phone somewhere. Just keep your thoughts somewhere no one else will see.

Finances, Cheating, Clear Indications of Separation

Before divorce come some telltale signs of separation. You’ll in some way separate from each other if:

  • Financial decisions are made in new ways and without your consent. If you had merged accounts, but now he wants to have separate accounts, that might mean he is starting to build a new path without you. The two exceptions to this rule: (1) You’re really bad with money. He wants separate accounts to make life easier and to stop all the fights about money. (2) He is starting a separate account, so you can’t figure out what gifts he is going to buy you. For the most part, that isn’t that common. It’s kind of more hassle than it’s worth.
  • You’re living in different properties. Maybe it was an excuse to get closer to the lake and put more of his bikes there. Maybe it was to give more options for places you can hang out together. Maybe he doesn’t think the two of you can live together anymore, but he still wants to keep the marriage. Bottom line: if you’re not living together, your marriage is likely on the rocks.
  • He is spending way too much time with someone else. Not only is he cheating, he is making the other person a priority and appears to be moving in a direction with that person. Cheating isn’t acceptable! You shouldn’t put up with this.
  • You don’t really share things anymore: not meals, not the bed, not the closet, your cars, your schedules, your bills, your chores, or even sharing about your day. Marriages are about sharing. Divorce is about separation.

There are a few ways that divorces typically get started:

  1. Financial strain
  2. Affairs
  3. Lack of spark, intimacy issues
  4. Petty differences that have grown out of control. When you start arguing and feeling negative more than positive that’s a sure sign that things are out-of-whack.
  5. Different interpretations of the future. You’re not headed in the same direction anymore. Your kids left the nest, and you want to spend your years in different ways.
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Sketchy Activities (Possible Signs of Divorce or an Affair)

Consider whether your husband does these things:

  • He suddenly goes private about his finances. He refuses to discuss these details and even gets angry.
  • He has multiple cell phones, and he claims it’s because of business. If it’s not an affair, it could be drug or crime-related. Sketchy behavior is never a good thing.
  • He doesn’t talk about where he goes for long stretches of time.
  • He gets mad if you try to check the mailbox before him.
  • His schedule is all over the place. He misses important events. He is up at odd hours. He wants to do things solo on the weekends. He takes way longer trips than usual to the grocery store. It doesn’t take 5 hours to go buy milk.
  • Your husband has certain boxes or things in the closet with locks, and he won’t explain the locked boxes. He has lots of little private things like this that are just question marks to you. This isn’t a good sign.
  • He won’t tell you who he is texting or calling. It’s pretty normal when you talk or text someone to tell your spouse who it is if your spouse is right beside you.
  • He often goes into a room and locks the door.
  • He blatantly omits information.
  • He gaslights you. He tells you your memories are foggy. He refuses to talk about himself. The conversation somehow always comes back to you being at fault.
  • He hides bills.
  • You find a receipt for a piece of jewelry. . . and you never receive the jewelry.
  • He suddenly switches what he is doing on his computer or his other electronic devices. (This is more suspect with other activities. It wouldn’t be the first thing that would make me concerned.)
Marriages will encounter stress. Some people handle that stress poorly and make things worse. You and your spouse need to get on the same page or a similar page. Improving how you both handle stress can do wonders for your marriage.

Marriages will encounter stress. Some people handle that stress poorly and make things worse. You and your spouse need to get on the same page or a similar page. Improving how you both handle stress can do wonders for your marriage.

Shift in Energy

Before a divorce, there should be a noticeable change in energy. The two of you may have started fighting or he just seems really cold and distant. Does your husband seem aloof?

Generally, divorces don’t come out of the blue. Most men harbor feelings against you for a long time and don’t know how to communicate it.

He may start learning toward a divoce if:

  • He doesn’t feel like the two of you have things in common. He wants to do other things with his time. He doesn’t look forward to spending time with you.
  • The two of you have polar opposite political views. The difference in political opinion has created a noticeable wedge.
  • He doesn’t like things now that kids are in the picture. He might not like raising them. He openly complains about the kids and you. He doesn’t like the way you’re raising them.
  • He constantly talks about his friends who are divorced. He acts like their lives are better than his.
  • He acts like because of you he can’t chase after his dreams. He blames you for his lack of accomplishments. He thinks he could go further in his career without you.
  • He throws temper tantrums. He rolls his eyes, storms out of the room, slams doors, screams, yells, curses, and throws stuff. He displays outbursts of potent anger. And he does these kinds of things over minuscule issues.
  • All the compliments have stopped. He no longer touches you. He forgets all important anniversaries. He no longer buys you gifts. He doesn’t spend time with you.
  • He complains that he doesn’t feel the spark anymore. The two of you haven’t had sex in a really long time. He says there is no chemistry. Ouch.
  • He feels the age gap has created a lot of strain. He might go on about how you’re too young.
  • He openly goes into a diatribe and complains about the shortcomings of his life. In these diatribes, he complains about you and your shortcomings. He is decisively pessimistic.
  • He openly talks to your kids about how you got married too young. He thinks he is teaching them a lesson and giving them advice about marriage when he is actually making them feel insecure about their family.
  • He candidly says he is thinking about divorce. He has even looked up the phone numbers of lawyers. (Yikes.)
When you're struggling to talk to each other in a marriage one of the smartest things you can do is go to a marriage counselor. You need a professional, unbiased mediator.

When you're struggling to talk to each other in a marriage one of the smartest things you can do is go to a marriage counselor. You need a professional, unbiased mediator.

Stay Sharp and Be Resourceful

Divorce can be ugly. However, sometimes it is better for you in the long run. Your husband might be an awful person who has done some pretty mean things to you.

Don’t put up with a bad husband who doesn’t love you. Stick up for yourself. You want to be happy with your life. If you’re unsure what to do, there are professionals who can help you, whether therapists or lawyers.

If he is slowly plotting out a divorce, it might be so he can win as much as possible out of the marriage. He might be doing strange things that you know are not right because he wants to win custody of the kids, he wants certain belongings in the divorce, or he is trying to get away with as much money as possible.

He might be recording conversations, taking pictures of documents, and making copies of written statements. My advice: be polite, cordial, and watch your back. Acting out during a divorce can make things worse for you. Sober up and stay sharp. Stop any bad habits you have.

If you notice shady behavior from your husband, and the two of you can’t talk about it and straighten it out⁠ — that’s a serious red flag.

Husbands who are willing to get a divorce will do just about anything to make it happen. They may try to make you feel like it was all your fault. They may manipulate you into some pretty strange things.

Watch the movie Marriage Story. It depicts a lot of the ups and downs of what really goes on in a divorce. Also, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson do some of their best acting in the movie. It’s a sad tale of the tectonic shifts that happen when marriages come undone.

Protect yourself if you’re headed toward divorce. Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep track of dates.
  • Take pictures of strange or malicious activity.
  • Have a support system in place. Know where you can turn to if you need help.
  • Know where you can go if you need to stay somewhere else for a night.
  • Carry pepper spray.
  • Save receipts.
  • Save documents.
  • Make copies of everything.
  • Always know the names and phone numbers of good therapists, counselors, and lawyers. Know your emergency contacts by heart.
  • You want at least $5,000 available in your personal spending account(s).
  • Don’t post anything about divorce on social media unless your divorce lawyer says it is okay.

Some Other Telltale Signs He Wants a Divorce

  1. He doesn’t want to make plans with you. It’s really hard to get him interested in anything. He compares making plans with you to nails being dragged on a chalkboard. He doesn’t attend anything that’s important to you. He doesn’t want to talk about plans for things that should naturally occur in a marriage, like buying a house, discussing having a child, etc.
  2. You’re always wrong. He is always right. He loves to play the blame game. He thinks everything is your fault. He acts like you’re not good enough for him. He puts himself on a pedestal. News flash: he isn’t always right. . . it probably isn’t your fault. He wants you to FEEL like you’re wrong. He wants you to question your thoughts and timeline. He could be guilty of something, hiding something he doesn’t want you to know, or is just an all-around bad person. If he makes you feel like you’re always wrong, then something is wrong⁠ — but it’s not you.
  3. Serial cheating. Someone who loves you isn’t going to take your trust for granted. They’re going to fight for the marriage instead of create conflicts that will ruin it. Someone who HAS to have sex with other people isn’t the monogamous type. You shouldn’t have additional people in the marriage (unless you’re in an open marriage with consent). You shouldn’t feel like Princess Diana married to Prince Charles and Camilla.
  4. He never attends to your emotional needs. He doesn’t care about your emotions. You could have just lost your mom and all he gives is a cold shoulder. He shrugs off your emotional needs. He only sees you as a toy, a trophy, but not an actual person. He jets when you have tears. He makes you feel bad for your emotions.
  5. He doesn’t want to talk about the marriage. He hates talking about the two of you. He hates the history, he hates the story you’ve built together, he doesn’t see a future with you. Someone who loves you wants to talk about the marriage and will find it exciting. Your marriage shouldn’t feel like a forced scenario from The Handmaid’s Tale.
  6. He is living a separate life. Not just separation but a whole separate life. He is putting up walls to protect his new separate life. He wants to see the world without you in it. The reason he is doing so many shady things and not involving you in it is because he dreams of a world with less of you in it.
  7. He is moving money around left and right. You can’t keep up with what he is doing with accounts. You’re scared to use your money because he may have done something to it. You’re not sure what is happening, and he isn’t explaining it.
  8. He constantly threatens to leave. He demands you do something, or he’ll leave. He makes ultimatums. He is constantly questioning the strength of the marriage. He wants to be in control of it. He acts like he decides whether the marriage works or doesn’t. He doesn’t care about you.
  9. He has no fight in him for love. Someone who wants a marriage and wants love is active about it. They fight for the marriage not against it.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2020 Andrea Lawrence


Andrea Lawrence (author) on December 06, 2020:

Ignoring would definitely do more harm.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 06, 2020:

great article. If these symptoms are visible, it is best to sit down and talk rather than to ignore

Andrea Lawrence (author) on December 05, 2020:


Yes, 100%.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 05, 2020:

Nice points. Wel conceived article.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on December 05, 2020:

Your article has nailed down alot of good points.

I would also advise one to take pictures...they speak a thousand words.

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