Heartbreak

10 Signs Your Wife Isn't Into You Anymore (According To A Couple's Therapist Of 14 Years)

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couple sleeps apart

Many men take their wives’ post-honeymoon stage lowered libido personally when they shouldn’t, as this is a natural phenomenon that occurs even if you still find your husband very attractive.

But there are also men on the other end of the spectrum, who are denying and ignoring all signs that their wife is in fact completely checked out of the marriage and is only hanging around for the kids or not to rock the boat. She might be feeling like this dynamic.

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Here are 10 signs that your wife isn't into you anymore:

1. She never wants to spend time together

She does not want date nights, or to hang out and talk on the couch. If she isn’t a big talker, she still doesn’t want you to join her in her activities, anything from the gym to grocery shopping. She needs lots of “me time.” She could easily go months or even years without spending alone time together, but you are too scared to find out, so you keep scheduling things for the two of you to do despite her tepid responses.

2. She doesn’t want to touch at all

This is only relevant if she is not “touched out” or depressed. If your wife is active and energetic, and hugs and kisses the kids (and friends and family) but just seems disgusted by touching you, this is a bad sign. If the relationship is sexless and she doesn't seem to mind, and she is not ill, depressed, or menopausal, this is also a sign that she does not feel any romantic feelings for you at all. 

3. She doesn’t want any gifts

If your wife is not terrified of spending money, and in fact spends a lot of money on things she wants for herself, but tells you to never buy her any gifts for birthdays or anniversaries, this is a bad sign as well. It may well be because the intimacy and romance of exchanging gifts make her feel uncomfortable, due to not having romantic or intimate feelings for you anymore. Also, if she doesn’t derive any positive feelings from the gifts, she truly finds them to be a waste of money.

4. She doesn’t want to talk

She doesn’t confide in you much or tell you anything funny or cute that happened that day. Mostly she talks to her friends and the kids. When you do say something, she seems irritated and wants to go back to whatever she was doing. She doesn’t find you funny anymore and doesn’t seem to think you have anything very interesting to say.

5. She doesn’t try to look attractive to you

She still dresses up, but only for work or to go out with friends. The idea of her dressing up for you seems ridiculous to her even though she used to do it. (Disregard if she never did this.) If you mention a preference in what she wears, she will act burdened by it or even make it into a political issue (“Why should women have to care what men like?”)

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6. She doesn’t want to go to couples counseling when you suggest it

She also doesn’t want to work on the marriage in any other way than you suggest. She acts as though these requests are a waste of time and effort.

7. She doesn’t complain much about you or get very angry with you

The lone possibility is getting angry about you not doing something for the home (including finances) or kids. Think about it: she is emotionally detached from you, and primarily staying to maintain stability for the kids and not shake things up. If she views you solely as a business partner in the business of home management and child-rearing, and you mess something up in one of these areas, then she feels stupid and like she is staying married for nothing.

8. She doesn’t ask about what you are thinking or feeling

She is not interested and these conversations make her feel false because they imply intimacy which she doesn’t feel. She is looking at the relationship as somewhat of a friendly parenting arrangement, so the exception will be about work if she thinks you might lose your job and imperil the family, or about the kids, because that is your joint project.

9. She is very encouraging about you traveling for work or really any other reason

The exception will be women who have very small kids and need you to physically help. When women with kids who are school-aged or older are checked out of their marriages, they will almost push you out the door to travel whenever you have even a minor opportunity to do so.

10. She makes no future plans with you

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She doesn’t want to talk much or at all about what her plans are when the kids leave the house, and if she mentions this stage, she talks about her own plans, such as a career change.

Note that a lot of guys will google these signs and think that the woman is cheating. Rates of infidelity in women are very low, so according to Occam’s Razor, this explanation is likely inaccurate.

Many more women dislike their husbands than cheat on them, so going down a rabbit hole and assuming she is cheating is not only likely wrong, but also immature, in that you are looking to blame another man for her lack of investment and desire.

What should you do if your wife checks off most of these boxes? First, think about your own goals for the relationship. How old are your kids? Do you want to get divorced?

Are you okay with the status quo, or might you be if you could just accept it for what it is? If you are with a woman who is fully checked out of the relationship, it will not take much to get her to leave if that is what you want. If you bring up divorce, she may well say okay and even look relieved.

Couples counseling can bring back some couples from the brink, but if one partner has been completely detached for years, it is not very likely to work. Unlikely doesn’t mean impossible though. Check out this post to see if you would be a good candidate for couples therapy.

Where there is life, there is hope, but sometimes a man is hoping to get his wife to completely change her feelings and personality when in reality his hope might be more productively directed toward finding someone who loves him and wants to share a life with him. Often, though, the men who stay in marriages with women like the ones I describe in this post have very low self-esteem and tell themselves that their partner is somehow the best they could get.

This is usually due to a very negative view of self and the world, learned in a depressed/dysfunctional family or origin.

Individual therapy can help you figure out what your steps need to be moving forward, assuming that you yourself want more from a relationship. 

Can you resolve any empathic ruptures that led to your wife’s initial detachment? Are you yourself depressed, feeling stagnant, and not giving her what she, or any woman, would want? Have you taken a good look at yourself and tried to work on whatever your wife used to get upset with you about?

Nobody deserves to live with someone who dislikes them or to keep beating their head against the wall to get the love that is never going to be forthcoming. But many guys in this situation haven’t had the courage to directly confront their wives about the state of the relationship, for fear that they will become frustrated or angry and leave entirely.

But is it better to live in a comatose marriage than to pull the plug? This is an individual decision and requires a lot of self-exploration. No matter what you decide, hopefully, this post helped you gain more clarity on what is going on. Ideally, you could use it as a motivator to figure out your next direction.

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Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.

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This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.