What Are the Signs My Husband Is Secretly Divorcing Me?

by Beverly Bird

To hear some experts tell it, divorce shouldn't take anyone by surprise. Your marriage is either doing OK or it's not – but that's textbook -- not real life. When your perception is clouded by emotion, it may be tough to know if your husband really is pulling away from the marriage. Before you start looking for signs, however, remember that even if he does show one or two of these signs -- they probably don’t mean anything. If he hasn't actually flung himself into the divorce process yet, you may have time to set things right.

The Thrill Turns Chill

Sex is a pretty strong barometer for how your marriage is faring, because sex provides physical, psychological and emotional connections with your partner. So, if sex isn't happening for you these days, then maybe your sex life needs a tune up. Don’t jump to conclusions, however, but think about whether you might be contributing to the problem. Maybe you just had a baby and you're not comfortable with your new body. You might be up to your ears with work. You may be subconsciously sending off signals that you're not interested. Make an overture and see what happens. Even if your husband rebuffs your advance, it may mean that he, too, is overworked or preoccupied.

Downtime Isn't Your Time

If your husband isn't spending his free time at home or doing things with you anymore, this could be a warning. Working late, repeatedly, may mean that he's avoiding you because he’s planning a divorce and can't look you in the eye, or because he'd rather be anywhere other than home. In either case, he's unhappy. If he has always been a workaholic, however, then this pattern of behavior might not indicate a problem.

Your Fights Lack Punch

You might not think that arguing is a good thing, but if it suddenly stops, then maybe your husband has closed the door on your marriage. People argue because they want to change something. They think that if they're vocal enough or forceful enough, they can bring the other person around to their way of thinking. Or, sometimes, they may just be defending themselves against a perceived attack. If your husband isn’t doing this anymore, maybe he's given up. He might think that it's just not worth it trying to engage you, because it won't change anything. He’s made up his mind and he's moving on.

Money Mysteriously Matters

Divorces don't happen without tactical planning – a lot of tactical planning. If your husband has seen an attorney, that attorney probably asked a lot of questions about your finances, and your husband may have realized that he doesn't know the answers. He might develop a sudden interest in the household bank account or he might assemble loan statements or tax returns. He might ask you how much the children's tennis lessons cost, or what you spend on groceries each week. If he was never interested in these things before, this might be a clue.

He Enters Makeover Mode

He seems to be preparing himself for single life. For years, he wolfed down bacon and eggs before he dashed out the door at 7 a.m., but now, he’s into whole-grain bagels and green smoothies. Walking the dog used to be his only workout, but now, he lives at the gym. More suspicious are those expensive new colognes that line the bathroom shelf where his old razors used to sit. So if he cares about what he looks like for the first time in years, maybe it’s time to worry. But if he hasn't said the "D word" yet, then throw a few compliments his way, because maybe your marriage hasn’t breathed its last.

About the Author

Beverly Bird has been writing professionally since 1983. She is the author of several novels including the bestselling "Comes the Rain" and "With Every Breath." Bird also has extensive experience as a paralegal, primarily in the areas of divorce and family law, bankruptcy and estate law. She covers many legal topics in her articles.

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