15 Signs A Man Feels Stuck In An Unhappy Marriage

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man feeling stuck in an unhappy marriage

A friend of mine works around the corner from me, and boy does he see some things happen while talking with customers.

One of the most common things he sees is unhappily married couples, and he can actually spot an unhappy marriage from a thousand yards distance. I know because we often talk about them.

Ever wonder if your husband, or guy friend, isn’t as happy in his relationship as he says he is?

15 Signs a Man is Unhappy in His Marriage

1. He often jokes about leaving his wife.

Say what you will, but there’s often quite a bit of truth in jokes. Not about the target of the joke, but about the teller of the joke. You may have noticed unhappy employees joking about wanting to burn down their workplace, or joking about how they’re not paid enough. When we see the news of workplace violence, those jokes become red flags.

The same thing applies to people who are unhappy with their marriage. Those jokes betray a deeper problem.

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2. When trying to boast, he flaunts his money and his career — but not his wife.

Certain men will flaunt and boast about the things they think make their lives appear wonderful.

If he barely ever mentions his wife, it’s probably because he’s trying to forget she exists on one level or another. Or, because he no longer sees her as important, and in her unimportance comes a loss of being flaunted as a status symbol.

3. He actively avoids hanging out with his kids or is overly angry with them.

When stuck in an unhappy marriage, people will often regret having kids, and it's pretty easy to read when they’re around their offspring. They often will find ways to “pawn kids off” on in-law, or look for sympathy from friends and family simply for existing near their own children. If he really resents his kids, he may have a habit of being angry or even abusive with them.

And if he resents the kids, he likely resents the mom, too.

4. He seems to come up with excuses not to be at home with his spouse.

Just like women do, a man who is truly unhappy at home will take longer hours at work, or find new reasons to stay away from home. In some situations, it’s often a self-preservation act that shields them from emotional abuse or otherwise negative vibes.

However, in other situations, he is trying to distance himself emotionally by way of physical distance.

As Steve Horsman explains, "A partner with distancing behavior tends to respond to relationship stress by moving away from the other. They want physical and emotional distance. They have difficulty with vulnerability."

5. You’ve heard him tell single guys to never get married.

Here’s the thing about a man who says this: He’s admitting he feels he made a mistake when he got married. If he didn’t feel like it was a mistake, then why would he tell others it’s a mistake for them to never get married? Go ahead, take as long as you need to answer for yourself.

6. His overall vibe is one of a beaten up old car.

One small subtlety that never escapes my eye is seeing how many men look tired all the time after a couple of years of marriage. They look beaten down. While this can be a sign of general depression, I often find it to be a very common sign among unhappily married men, too.

7. He doesn’t have the same spunk, warmth, and joie de vivre he used to have.

If you’ve known this guy for a long time, you’ve seen him in his glory days. If you’ve stuck around for as long as you have, you've probably stuck around because he used to be (or still is) an awesome human being who has that spark of life.

When you’re in an unhappy marriage, that spark people tend to have when happy gets sucked out. So, if he’s no longer as happy go lucky as he used to be, there may be some trouble in paradise.

RELATED: How To Get Out Of An Unhappy Marriage Without Getting Divorced

8. You’ve caught him shouting at his wife in public.

Okay, if you see this, there are serious problems in a relationship that should probably be ended in divorce.

She’s probably being abused, or infidelity is happening there, or both. Either way, it’s just not a good look. This is not a red flag, it's a full alarm.

9. He complains to you all the time.

This could be a sign he’s trying to have an affair with you, or it could be that he’s legitimately depressed. Either way, he obviously is not happy at home.

However, if he’s whining so much that you need to avoid being the other woman and developing feelings for him, you need to tell him that needs to get a divorce or counseling.

10. He’s been looking into a divorce, has asked about divorce, or tells you he’s contemplating divorce.

If a man says this to a woman, as mentioned above, he could be looking for an affair, so watch out.

On the other hand, if a friend is discussing divorce his wife with you and your guy friend, then you probably can bet your bottom dollar he is miserable.

11. His wife seems to want an affair, advice, or to leave.

Usually, this is a sign that typically appears when women are alone together and feel comfortable revealing their personal relationship truth.

If his spouse is talking about serious relationship problems that go beyond the “lazy, complacent husband” spiel, or she's looking for advice about sacrificing the relationship, there’s a good chance that he’s miserable too and looking to leave.

12. He’s struggling with an addiction.

A lot of people who are really not handling life or stress very well will turn to booze, drugs, or gambling as a way to feel okay with what’s going on in their lives.

If you notice he’s picking up the bottle a lot more often than he used to, a feeling of having no way out of a stressful marriage may be the reason why.

13. Everything around him feels repressed.

Does his persona seem like it’s forced? Do you get the feeling he wants to say something to you but can’t?

More often than not, this is a sign that his married life is making him miserable and he doesn’t know how to break free, or even start the discussion.

14. He gets irrationally angry seeing women treating men well, or seeing men who are happy in relationships.

People usually don’t get angry seeing other people having what they have.

If he’s fuming mad about seeing others making out passionately, or gets irrationally upset when he looks at couples having fun, he’s probably suffering behind closed doors.

15. When around his wife, he’s cold, businesslike, or even downright hateful.

This is generally the biggest indicator that something’s amiss and can also be a sign of emotional or psychological abuse. When a man gets to this point, it is clear he is fed up and feels stuck. The cold, calculated hate is his outward expression of his internal conflict.

If you’re his wife, you've probably seen this coming already.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a renegade writer who focuses on dating, relationships, love, and all sorts of lifestyle stuff. She writes about things she's experienced, things she finds interesting, and things that matter.