Why Your Husband Wants to Leave You
Usually, I write for people becoming distressed over their marriage. Recently, though, I have had an unusual number of comments from folks blindsided by a spouse who wants out. In this post and the one before it, I tackle the question of how to avoid being blindsided.
About twice as many divorces are initiated by wives as by husbands, but even men sometimes say, "I love you, but I am no longer 'in love' with you." If it happens to you, your marriage is not over yet, but it could be soon.
Here's a checklist of causes:
He's afraid of you. You've become a bully. You might hurt him or make him feel like dirt at any moment, usually while you're drinking, doing drugs, or crazy angry. [Solution: rehab, therapy, anger management classes, or Dr. Stosny's Boot Camp]
He has unmet needs he expects you to meet and you're giving them and him the cold shoulder. [Solution: invite discussion of those needs, show you care about them, and help him find Third Alternative ways to get them met that don't conflict with your needs or call for abilities you don't possess]
He's full of resentment over something you did or didn't do in the past. [Solution: tell him your relationship matters a lot to you and ask him what you can do now to get that relationship back on track]
Yes, these first three probably sound very familiar if your read the post about wives who leave. Some issues transcend gender.
He's full of resentment over getting belittled for some small overlooked chore. [Solution: treat your man with respect, even when you feel he's left you in the role of the responsible one; he's no child]
He longs to feel respected but feels taken for granted. [Solution: even though he's probably cut off all romantic gestures, try treating him with the respect and trust you showed initially to win his heart and watch them return]
Physical touch is his Love Language, not yours, and you avoid any physical contact because you want no sex when you're upset with him. [Read Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages and get to know this language and what harm you're doing]
You broke your wedding vows and cheated on him, even a little, risking his self-esteem, physical health, obligations as a nominal parent if you get pregnant, and ability to trust your words or integrity. [Prepare for a long road back if he'll have you, and go read DearPeggy.com for starters]
You're putting up with disrespect or excessive dependency from your kids, whether he's their parent or step-parent. [Solution: look for Third Alternative solutions to your differences about how to raise them or how they should behave around you]
You're so busy being a good provider, mom, housekeeper, volunteer, or lost soul that you two no longer experience the emotion of love several times a day, that delicious bonus emotion felt in your chest when the two of you resonate with a shared experience of joy, amusement, awe, comfort, elevation, or better. [Solution: make time for it, be present for it, look into his eyes, smile, keep him at the top of your list and resentment-free, and do something enjoyable for a few minutes several times a day]
Anger and resentment, often over a loss of trust and respect, are the culprits in most of these. If they lead to withdrawal, don't mistake this for an improvement. Deal with them head-on and you can find your way back to "in-love" with almost any husband who loves you.