19 Worst Signs Your Wife Wants to Leave You (& How to Stop It)


signs your wife wants a divorce couple on a park bench guy has his head in his hands and the woman is looking away Middle Class Dad

Sometimes it’s not always obvious if your wife is unhappy in your marriage, so I decided to look into the most telling signs your wife wants to leave you.

Here’s what I learned:

The signs your wife wants to leave you can include being on her phone constantly, the term divorce shows up in your search history, being vague about future plans, not saying I love you, spending more time away from home, and showing little to no emotion towards you.

As guys, we work hard to build a family, forge a career and provide for everyone. Sometimes in focusing on those big pictures, we can lose sight of what’s important.

You don’t have to accept defeat and the breakup of your marriage and possibly the loss of your family. So in this article, we’re diving deep into troubled relationships on the verge of breakup.

I’ll explain the signs your wife wants to leave you and file for divorce. But more importantly, I’ll show you how to stop it so you can begin fixing your marriage.

These signs your wife wants to leave you CAN be fixed.

You CAN save your marriage — even if you think your wife wants a divorce.

I feel your pain and I know firsthand what it’s like being in a troubled marriage, as my wife and I almost divorced in 2013.

It can be devastating to both of you also. And that’s on top of the financial burden, the stigma, the emotional drain, and the feeling of all those wasted years.

And yet, my wife and I are happily married, years later, with a 3rd child born in 2017.

How did we do it?

The turning point in a marriage is when a couple hits rock bottom, as my wife and I did.

It’s not until they’ve been through the worst that things start to get better. So if you think you might be there, you should take a moment and learn about the website Regain.

Regain offers licensed therapists who specialize in couples counseling and will work directly with you and your spouse online; anytime and from anywhere.

This quote from Anne M. perfectly sums it up: 

“Regain has been the unbiased saint for my family. (Our therapist) was able to create a safe and unbiased environment so that my husband could share his feelings. We were on the verge of divorce and are now happier than we’ve ever been!”

Serious about saving or improving your relationship?

CLICK HERE to answer a short quiz and see if Regain is right for you.

How do you tell if your wife no longer loves you?

Love doesn’t just vanish instantly or go away overnight.

Most of us didn’t fall in love at first sight, so like building love, losing love happens gradually over time. Because it happens gradually, it’s not always easy to spot until it’s too late.

That being said, if you are starting to wonder if she still loves you, there are some signs you can look out for, such as:

  • She always seems argumentative with you (but just fine with everyone else)
  • An almost total lack of affection
  • She has new hobbies, interests or friends
  • You notice a big improvement in her appearance
  • She responds to your communication but rarely initiates it
  • You feel alone even in her presence

The good news is that if you’re just starting to see these signs, it’s not too late to do something about it. You just have to take action. Situations like this won’t just fix themselves on their own.

How do you cope when your wife leaves you?

If your wife has already left, I’m sorry to hear that.

As I get into more below, I experienced that myself when my wife left me in March of 2013. At the time I was devastated and felt like my world was crumbling around me. After all, we had 2 kids (now 3) and she took them and moved to another state.

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get angry, feel violated, and want to lash out at her. You might even want to go out, get drunk, and have a random hook up with someone.

While understandable, that is NOT what you want to do to win her back.

Even if you feel like you did nothing wrong, she is obviously unhappy and you have to acknowledge her feelings. Chances are she’s felt this way for a while. She’s also probably tried to talk about it and either felt like you didn’t hear her or didn’t care.

Or maybe she was too afraid to bring it up.

But no matter what, she feels these feelings and while you don’t have to agree, you have to understand and empathize that these are very real to her.

The best ways to cope are also the best ways to try and win her back; focus on being the best version of you that you can be. If you are overweight, start an exercise regime. If you have bad habits, work on those. Go to therapy, take up yoga.

In short, improve yourself, make yourself happier, and you might just save your relationship. Worst case scenario, you’ll be a much better person for the next relationship.

What are the signs that you should get a divorce?

Sometimes, a marriage just isn’t worth saving.

Maybe there’s been too much damage done, and there’s too much water under the bridge. It’s hard to say when that point is as each marriage is different. Each person also has their own place where they draw the line.

For my wife, for example, since I cheated once in 2013, I know if I ever did that again (I haven’t and won’t) that would be a dealbreaker.

I also think any sort of physical abuse is a dealbreaker.

But beyond those things, here are some other common signs that it’s time to get a divorce:

  • The love has turned to hate
  • You or your spouse has cheated multiple times with multiple people
  • You’ve already tried marriage counseling (and gone at least 6 times)
  • There is a lot of resentment towards each other
  • You each just retaliate against the other for any perceived wrongdoing

What to do when your wife wants to leave you?

Separation is a serious thing.

It’s also really bad in terms of later trying to reconcile because upwards of 85% of couples who separate end up divorced, according to DivorceStatistics.

My wife left me in early 2013.

In our case, it was more obvious as I had a brief affair in the first 2 months of that year. But on our long road to recovery, there was a time when she told me that while she still loved and cared for me, she wasn’t sure she was still IN love with me.

Here are the steps I took to work through that and win her back:

  1. I didn’t try and guilt her back or pressure her
  2. Let her vent whenever and wherever she please. Holding onto anger or frustration would only be toxic for her and build resentment
  3. I did, however, focus almost completely on being the best version of me I could be. If I became the man she thought I was and who I truly wanted to be, that would be enough
  4. I took 100% accountability for my actions and never tried to justify my behavior

If you have issues with temper or anger management, show her you are serious about fixing those behavior issues by finding and attending classes designed to help with that. After all, at this point, she needs to see action, not just hear words.

Do focus on being the best version of yourself you can be.

Don’t try and pressure her as that could just push her away. Do let her know you want to make it work, but then give her space to work through her feelings without breathing down her neck.

Is my wife serious about divorce?

Sometimes spouses threaten divorce when they aren’t serious about it.

It could just be a warning that things need to change. Make no mistake, you should never give ultimatums if you don’t intend to follow through; that’s a form of manipulation and not a nice way to treat someone you love.

But all of us are imperfect and sometimes do things to ones we love that hurt them.

Here are some of the most tell-tale signs your wife is serious about moving towards divorce:

  • She makes no effort to resolve conflicts and arguments
  • No affection or sex
  • Spending more time outside the home on career, hobbies or friends
  • Drastic changes in physical appearance (losing weight, plastic surgery, etc)
  • Unwilling to share feelings or intimate feelings

Those are courtesy of San Diego family law attorneys.

Signs your wife is cheating

Cheating is one of the worst signs your wife might want a divorce.

In some cases, the affair may be why the cheating spouse is considering divorce, but in other cases, it could be the marriage had gotten so bad she was just drawn to someone else out of loneliness or frustration.

If your wife is in her 30’s and you have been married 7+ years, those are the conditions where most wives cheat if the marriage has gone south.

It’s also more common for working wives to cheat than stay at home moms.

After all, when either spouse works outside the home, there are attractive co-workers, flirty customers and after-work get-togethers that can all pave the way for an affair.

Beyond that, some of the other possible signs your wife is cheating include:

  • A salary of $75k/year or more (according to data from the National Opinion Research Center)
  • One of her parents cheated (as with drugs, alcohol, and smoking, children of cheaters are more likely to follow their parent’s bad choices)
  • You have a young child (the stress of a newborn and feeling unattractive trying to lose baby weight can sometimes push wives to cheat)
  • She has low self-esteem (and a fling superficially makes her feel better about her appearance)
  • You are her 2nd (or above) marriage (2nd marriages have much higher divorce and infidelity rates)

Want to know more statistics?

Check out all the Infidelity Recovery Statistics (click to read my article) I compiled and see what they might mean for your marriage.

Remember though, it’s not over ’till it’s over, so until the ink is dry, keep striving to save your marriage!

So, let’s dive into the…

19 Worst Signs Your Wife Wants to Leave You

Sign #1 – Constant Arguing

Yes, it’s no secret that constant arguing with your wife is a bad sign.

It’s a definite indication that your marriage needs help. In fact, it can definitely be one of the Top Reasons for Divorce (click to read the article on my site). While not all of the top reasons will surprise, you, some of them definitely will!

Now, don’t panic here just because you and your wife are fighting a few times a week. That’s not necessarily one of the signs your wife wants to leave you.

Every married couple has disagreements from time to time. In fact, it’s actually a healthy thing to argue now and then as long as they get resolved and don’t build resentment.

When those arguments happen daily, that’s when it’s important to pay attention.

For example, if coming home 5 minutes late turns into a huge yelling match, that’s a problem.

These kinds of arguments, if they happen often,  can definitely be signs your wife wants a divorce. And it’s an indicator that your marriage is headed in the wrong direction.

signs your wife wants a divorce scissors cutting a marriage certificate and a rose in half Middle Class Dad

Most of the time, couples who argue too often but have otherwise healthy marriages can fix this problem fairly easily.

In basic terms, if you and your wife fight too much or argue often over little issues, then its crucial to learn how to argue less frequently and more constructively.

Another more serious indicator of an unhealthy marriage is when one or both of you stops trying to resolve conflict at all.

That leads me to another of the signs your wife wants to leave you….

Sign #2 – Giving up instead of resolving conflicts

If your wife doesn’t even care enough to argue anymore or is apathetic about everything, then that can be a clear indication of a potentially big problem.

When this kind of negativity sets in, your wife may disconnect emotionally. You will begin to wonder if there will ever be a way for the two of you to fix things.

Obviously, that’s not a good thing. So if you’re seeing this as one of the signs your wife wants a divorce the time to act is now.

Marriage counseling can be a great thing. But it’s not for everyone.

Wondering if Marriage Counseling Can Help (click to read on my site)? I highly recommend taking a moment to check out one of my most shared posts on that topic.

Sign #3 – You have neglected her for a long time

We all make mistakes.

But the trick with mistakes is to recognize them, take responsibility for them, learn from them AND not repeat them.

However, if you have repeatedly neglected your wife, cheated on her, or otherwise made her feel like she doesn’t matter to you (over a long period of time), that could easily lead to some of the other signs your wife wants a divorce.

So if you have been a bad husband, take ownership of it!

Acknowledge it, but more importantly, change your behavior so she sees (not just hears) that you’re getting better.

Your wife doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but she shouldn’t feel like she’s last on your list of priorities either.

Sign #4 – Showing little or no affection or emotion

signs your wife wants a divorce unhappy woman by the ocean Middle Class Dad

Along with giving up on fighting back, one of the other signs your wife wants a divorce is a general lack of affection or emotion towards you.

There’s no hand-holding, no kisses and no “I love you’s” throughout the day or before bed.

In my experience, this is one of the most obvious of the 15 signs your marriage will end in divorce.

Usually, though, it’s more of a symptom than the problem itself.

But resolving the core problems in your marriage can definitely help re-build an emotional connection. When that happens, that’s when the affection returns.

If you’re seeing this symptom as well as some of the other signs your wife wants a divorce, start taking action now.

Sign #5 – She constantly criticizes you

If everything that comes out of your mouth immediately results in backhanded comments, jabs and other critical comments, that could be one of the signs your wife wants to leave you.

In fact, criticism is one of Gottman’s Four Horsemen (click to read my article); things renowned marriage expert Dr. John Gottman says are the top predictors of divorce. Trust me, if you are doing ANY of those 4, your marriage may be headed for disaster, so take a quick look at my solutions.

Playful comments that tease are one thing, but if every comment is meant to criticize or belittle you, she’s clearly holding on to a lot of anger and resentment. If you want to save your marriage:

  • Resist the urge to just “give it back to her”
  • Recognize that she’s in pain, and however inappropriate her means of delivery, she needs to feel heard
  • Look her in the eyes and say, “it sounds like you have some anger or resentment towards me. I’d love to sit down and hear it directly so I can work on fixing it.”

Sign #6 – You know in your gut

When we tune into our intuition, we can often hear what is really going on.

You can feel the tension in a room when you’re both there. Maybe she avoids eye contact. Or perhaps she communicates the minimum required info and then leaves the room.

If your gut is telling you something is off, while it may not be one of the signs your wife wants to leave you, it IS an indicator something is wrong. But like all issues, don’t dwell on the problem or symptoms and don’t play the blame game.

Focus your energy on fixing it!

Sign #7 – A non-existent sex life

A lack of sex can be a symptom of other problems in your marriage, but it also shows up as one of the signs your wife wants to leave you.

If you’re always arguing and there’s no emotional connection, your sex life is likely going to grind to a halt.

But a low sex drive can sometimes have it’s roots in many different issues too.

  • After a baby
  • Men’s testosterone getting lower due to age or health
  • depression

Either way, a sexless marriage is not likely to make it.

So if your wife is uninterested in sex or makes excuses, that’s certainly one of the 15 signs your marriage will end in divorce.

signs your wife wants a divorce shirtless couple on the floor kissing Middle Class Dad

Sign #8 – Your wife spends more time away from home or is focused on other things

If your wife is always out with her family or friends and spending significantly less time with you, that is an indication of a problem.

It may be that they are unhappy with your current situation and just need a break from the tension. But it may also be that they’re starting to prepare mentally for life apart from you.

Hopefully, that’s not the case, but it can definitely be one of the signs your wife wants a divorce.

Simply put, if she’s spending less time with you than she has in the past, that can be one of the signs your wife wants to leave you.

If you’re seeing this symptom or any of the other signs your wife wants a divorce, start taking action now.

Sign #9 – She’s always on her phone

Constantly being on her phone could mean one of 2 things:

  • She’s just using it as a distraction (from you and your problems)
  • She’s engaging in an emotional affair (or maybe even physical affair)

In either situation, it’s not great. After all, your problems don’t fix themselves by ignoring them.

But technology has made affairs all the easier to have.

It’s easier than ever to use various apps to find someone to cheat with and to communicate with them. Even if it’s just confiding in a male work associate, when we let ourselves become emotionally vulnerable to someone and complain about our spouse to them, the door to infidelity can be easily opened.

If she routinely leaves her phone lying around then it’s probably not an affair.

However, if she guards it and her various email and social media accounts like a hawk, that could be a sign of an affair and certainly one of the signs your wife wants a divorce.

If you suspect an affair or if it’s already been exposed, that doesn’t have to lead to divorce. My post on how to Save a Marriage After Infidelity (click to read on my site) walks you through the very same steps I took after I cheated on my wife in 2013.

Our marriage is better than ever now and yours can be too.

Sign #10 – You have seen “divorce” topics in the search history on your computer

While not all searches are done on the home computer, in-depth research is often easier and faster off of a mobile device.

Therefore if you have a home computer that is shared, while I do not recommend snooping into her personal accounts or getting paranoid, it’s easy to look at browser search history.

If you see any topics relating to divorce or lawyers, that’s clearly one biggies of the signs your wife wants a divorce.

Don’t use it as an opportunity to confront her about it.

If you want to save your marriage, use it as an opportunity to calmly address the issues and let her know you’re willing to do whatever it takes to fix them.

Sign #11 – There’s no communication

This is easy to spot, especially if your wife is always on her phone.

She’s constantly texting people and you are never one of them. No messages throughout the day. No checking in.

People, but especially women, need a connection. They need to feel that spark from another.

If it’s not you meeting that need, then who IS meeting it?

Are you seeing this symptom of the other signs your wife wants a divorce? Start taking action now!

Sign #12 – You don’t eat at least 1 meal together each day

If you and your wife are always on the go to separate places that’s not a good sign.

If you routinely make plans after work with your buddies and/or your wife does the same and there’s no consideration for what the other is doing, you’re going down a bad path.

It IS important that couples have interests outside one another and spend SOME time apart.

But when your wife spends all or most of her time apart, that’s clearly one of the signs your wife wants a divorce.

Sign #13 – There’s no “I Love You”

Telling each other “I love you” throughout the day and week is normal, healthy behavior.

If you and your wife never or rarely do that, that’s not a good sign.

Even worse is when you say it to her and she doesn’t say it back. If that’s what you’re seeing, that’s definitely one of the signs your wife wants to leave you. Now is the time to fix things before it’s too late.

Sign #14 – Being vague or non-committal about future plans

If you’re discussing vacation plans or possibly moving for a career opportunity, that should be an exciting conversation!

But if your wife is vague, non-committal or disinterested that’s a really bad sign.

Once, I had the chance to work in NYC. There was an upcoming interview scheduled with my former boss who loved my work. I knew it was likely I would get the offer, but I didn’t want to apply without my (then) fiancee’s approval.

When we discussed, I heard a lot of vagueness, hesitation, and excuses for why she thought I wouldn’t get the job. But in the end, she did loosely commit.

After I got the job offer, she changed her tune and refused to move with me. I turned the job down (twice because they upped the original offer) only to find out a month later she was cheating on me.

She eventually left me for that guy.

Sign #15 – A recent and dramatic change in her appearance

If your wife has recently started working out, wearing more makeup, buying sexier clothes or otherwise made a noticeable change in how she looks, that could be one of the signs your wife wants to leave you.

After all, if your marriage isn’t good, then these changes obviously aren’t for you.

While the changes could just be to help her feel better about herself (not a bad thing), they could also be for someone else or to attract someone else.

The last thing you want to do, however, is to criticize her for the change.

But you also don’t want to make her think she wasn’t attractive before, so don’t go overboard with compliments.

Make a point of complimenting her. But not always just about how she looks physically. Women like compliments, but they also like being recognized for things other than physical attributes.

Focus on telling her what you love about her as a person and then sprinkle in the occasional compliment about her appearance.

Sign #16 – You’ve tried marriage counseling and she gave up

Marriage counseling can be a great resource for couples who are struggling.

But both people have to be willing to put forth effort and try. Sometimes one spouse will go as a formality. They check it off their list just so they can say “they tried”. But they aren’t really serious about it.

You’ll know your wife is serious if she sticks with it and keeps going. If she stops going after just a few times, that’s a sure sign she’s not really willing to try and fix things.

Sign #17  – She refused to go to marriage counseling

But even worse than only going to marriage counseling a few times is refusing to go at all.

Now it could be simply that she doesn’t think she did anything wrong. When we feel like that, we often don’t feel like we should have to put forth effort to fix it. In reality, it takes 2 to make a marriage, and it takes 2 to break one; even if one person did more damage than the other.

But if she refuses to go to a therapist, that’s one of the signs your wife wants a divorce.

Sign #18 – She never initiates conversation with you

When someone has given up on a relationship, they just go through the motions.

Like continuing to go to a job you hate; you just do the bare minimum; just enough to avoid getting fired.

If your wife never initiates conversation and only responds when you do, that’s a bad sign.

Sign #19 – Her friends avoid you or treat you differently

Chances are you have some close friends and so does she. 

Often in long-term relationships, her friends and your friends often become “our” friends. By that I mean we tend to hang out together a lot of the time.

If, however, you have noticed her friends avoiding you, treating you differently, or not looking at you in the eyes, that’s a bad sign.

That means your wife has likely done a lot of venting to them. In and of itself, that’s understandable. But if they are clearly colder to you now than before, she may be planning to leave you and they know it.

Recognize any of these signs your wife wants to leave you?

Here’s what to do next.

First, let’s make one thing clear: just because you’re seeing a couple of the signs your wife wants a divorce doesn’t mean that she’s definitely planning to file for divorce.

It may just be that these are indicators of trouble ahead in your marriage.

Marriage counseling is a great place to start.

A good marriage counselor can help the two of you mend your communication, release the anger and resentment you’ve been holding on to and put you back on the right path.

But anything that gets the two of you acknowledging and talking about the problem in a non-threatening or accusatory way is a good thing.

Can’t afford marriage counseling?

I can tell you one thing; it’s cheaper and easier than divorce! (been there, done that).

But I also get being on a tight budget. Minimally, I would get the book that helped save my wife and I’s marriage (given to us by our marriage counselor). It’s called the Seven Principals for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman (click to read my review) I referenced above.

In my link, I have an in-depth review of the book and how it helped save my marriage. I know it can help with yours too!

 

Have you seen any of these signs your wife wants to leave you?

Are you feeling that things aren’t on track with your marriage?

If so, I encourage you to act to turn things around now before matters get any worse.

In this post, we looked at the signs your wife wants to leave you. We talked about each of them, how to recognize them, what the symptoms are, and what they can mean.

More importantly, though, we talked about simple steps you can take to work through the challenges.

I know. My wife and I were actively discussing divorce in 2013. But by late 2017, we had our 3rd child and our marriage was (and still is) better than ever!

You CAN save your marriage — even if you think your wife wants a divorce.

The turning point in a marriage is when a couple hits rock bottom, as my wife and I did.

It’s not until they’ve been through the worst that things start to get better.

The website Regain offers licensed therapists who specialize in couples counseling and will work directly with you and your spouse online; anytime and from anywhere. And they can also work just with you if your wife is unsure or unwilling.

Serious about saving or improving your relationship?

CLICK HERE to answer a short quiz and see if Regain is right for you.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

2 thoughts on “19 Worst Signs Your Wife Wants to Leave You (& How to Stop It)

  1. My wife goes out at least every other Saturday night. Never comes home even remotely near when she says she will (usually 3 to 5 hours later). If I even suggest that I would like to be afforded the same opportunity to go out, she shoots it down immediately. Last night she refused to FaceTime me while out, insisting she was at her coworkers house. She instead opted to send me the same picture of them she sent last time. Drove home drunk and then acted like I had no reason to be upset.

    1. Hi Matt

      Sorry to hear you’re going through this. Unfortunately, you have at least 2 different problems here, a marriage problem, and potentially her having an alcohol addiction. I’m guessing she’s not willing to admit to having a problem with either so without her being willing to open up and be honest and vulnerable with you, there isn’t much you can do.

      Ir shoes, I would probably say something along the lines of: “Hey honey. When you go out all night, send me pictures that obviously aren’t recent, and then drive home drunk, it makes me scared and sad, because not only are you risking your life but if you aren’t being honest with me it makes it hard to trust you. I want you as my wife, and I do want you to be able to go out with friends and have fun with or without me. And I don’t need to control you. But I do deserve to be able to trust you, and I have to count on you to not drive intoxicated. If you don’t think you can make that commitment to me then I think we should see a marriage counselor together to help us work through this”.

      If she responds to that poorly, with anger, or continues to behave this way, then you have to decide if you want to be in a marriage with her knowing that she’s likely to continue behaving this way. I did support my wife through an alcohol addiction about a decade ago, and while there were a lot of fights and arguments at that time, there was never really the issue with driving drunk or possibly cheating on me. And we had 2 small children at the time which gave me greater incentive to try and fix things. I was also lucky in that she was willing to go to marriage counseling.

      But if we didn’t have kids, I’m not sure I would have had the patience to go through what you’re experiencing.

      Again, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Keep me posted.

      Jeff

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