By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from wives who tell me that they don’t think that their husband cares about them anymore. They will often report a husband who just doesn’t seem involved or invested in them or the marriage. Sometimes, when they confront their husband with these suspicions, he will deny that there is anything wrong and the wife will wonder if she’s just imagining things or being paranoid.
I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “I just don’t think my husband cares about me anymore. He doesn’t bother to come home on time. He drifts in and out after our family has already had dinner. He never listens to me anymore. He’s never there for me or the kids. He seems more interested and involved with his friends than he is with his own family. He never shows me physical affection anymore. When he is around or does spend time with our family, he acts as if he wishes he were somewhere else. But when I confront him about this, he says I expect too much and just love to complain. I don’t want to make things worse between us by arguing with him, but I’m pretty sure he just doesn’t care about me, my happiness, my kids, or this marriage anymore. How do I know if I’m right?”
These are challenging questions. Without talking the husband and having him be completely honest (which didn’t seem likely) most of the conclusions that you draw have to be based on comparing past behaviors with present behaviors and then looking at the big picture. With that said though, there are signs to look for that might indicate that your husband no longer cares as much about you and the marriage. I will discuss those below.
When You Compare His Past Behavior With His Current Behavior, There Is An Obvious And Troubling Difference: Sometimes when wives tell me their husband’s don’t care about them anymore, they admit that he has always shown very little emotion or affection from the beginning. Some men just are not big on being demonstrative about how they feel. But other times, the husband’s behavior has changed very dramatically. And this is when it’s easier to suspect that something is truly wrong.
If you’re dealing with a man who used to show you affection and be very involved in your day to day life and he’s suddenly very distant, cold, and just not interested in what is happening with you, then that’s a substantial red flag. While it doesn’t always have to mean that he doesn’t care about you or the marriage anymore, it can mean that you need to investigate this much more.
Your Challenges And Concerns Are No Longer His Challenges And Concerns: When you love someone and are invested in your marriage, you can’t help feeling empathy with your spouse. Even if you yourself are busy or are dealing with your own issues, your normal inclination is going to be to notice when your spouse is struggling or when something is “off” with them and then try to help or offer support. And, it’s likely that you know them so well that knowing when something is wrong is second nature to you.
So if you’re husband isn’t noticing what is going on with you or doesn’t seem to care, it’s natural to ask yourself why. Because a spouse who is emotionally connected and invested in his marriage is likely to become MORE involved when his spouse faces challenges rather than LESS involved. So if he’s distancing himself from you or if your problems are suddenly “your problems” rather than “our problems” then this can be a tell tale sign that something is drastically wrong.
He’s Already Explored (Or Is Trying On) His Exit Plan: Usually the first thing that wives notice when their marriage is in trouble is their husband’s lack of presence and I mean this both literally and figuratively. Not only will he not be around anymore, but when he is, he isn’t really there. Now, there are times when a husband can’t help having to work late or to work extra hours. Sometimes, he might have an issue or obligation with his extended family or others who might be close to him. All of this is understandable.
But usually what you’ll see when your husband no longer cares about his marriage is that he really has no legitimate reason to be gone as much as he is and he also has no legitimate excuse for his emotional distance (although he may try to give you one.) You may notice him trying on a new lifestyle or he may be making his friends his new extended family.
If My Husband No Longer Cares About Me, Does This Mean My Marriage Is Automatically Over?: Many times, when I discuss this topic with wives, they begin to panic as soon as they see that some of these signs apply to them. They worry that as soon as their husband stops caring, then there is nothing that they can do to save the marriage.
This isn’t always the case. Sometimes, a husband distances himself or checks out emotionally as the result of an unresolved issue in your marriage or an unresolved issue within him. It’s sort of a defense mechanism or sometimes it is a reaction to frustration. But, there are times that you can address and fix these issues and find that your husband will begin to act like he actually cares and is invested once again. This is not at all uncommon. Just one example is disgruntled spouses checking out of their marriage, cheating or doing something else that they regret, and then later realizing that they stupidly risked what was truly important to them because they saw things in the wrong way at the time.
The point is, people’s perceptions and feelings change as their situation changes. So if your husband’s feelings (or lack of feelings) stem from a problem or situation, fixing the issues that exist will often address the feelings as well.
Unfortunately, I really didn’t understand this when my husband seemed to stop caring about me and my marriage and these mistakes almost meant the end of us as a couple. I almost waited too long to change my actions when my husband had checked out of our marriage. So, I had a whole lot of catching up to do. But I eventually changed the circumstances, which in turn changed his feelings. If it helps, you can read about this transformation on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/.
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