You love your husband more than anything in the world. He’s you’re partner, your soulmate, and your best friend, which is why it’s so concerning to you that lately something just seems … off. Your husband is overly stressed, on edge, even angry at times. You find yourself asking the question: “is my husband unhappy?”
There are several different ways to tell that your husband is unhappy. Here are some of the most obvious:
- Your husband spends an increasing amount of time alone
- There is a lack of meaningful communication between the two of you
- Your husband turns small problems into large ones
- Your husband doesn’t show any love or affection when he once did
- The body language your husband displays drastically changes
- Your husband develops an overly defensive attitude
If any of this seems like something you’re dealing with now, keep reading. I’ll tell you what to be on the lookout for, what these signs might mean, and give you some constructive tips to help you turn your marriage around.
Reasons Your Husband Might Be Unhappy
Your husband might be unhappy, but his moodiness has bled over to you, too. The longer this goes on, the more you can’t help but wonder, is it something you did? Does he just not love you anymore?
Take a deep breath. There are plenty of reasons your husband might not be happy, and they all don’t have to do with you. Here are some issues in your hubby’s life that might be grinding his gears.
They say money is the root of all evil. It may also be the easiest starting point in trying to figure out why your husband is unhappy. He may not be in a very strong financial position, and his monthly bills could be plummeting the family into debt.
Worse, the debt could already be out of control, with constant phone calls and pressure from collection agencies throughout any given day. He may be constantly trying to figure out which bills to pay and which ones to let fall even more delinquent.
If crippling debt isn’t the case, your husband could be living paycheck to paycheck, which can also be incredibly stressful. You may not see it, but hubby might pull out the calculator on his phone after every seemingly meaningless purchase to see just how much money will be left over until his next paycheck comes in.
Either way, your husband could be extremely embarrassed by the situation and be wrestling with feelings of shame and failure.
In trying to figure out the source of your husband’s unhappiness, you may have to look to his career situation for answers. He may be working a job that requires him to put in long hours and causes him some degree of mental burnout.
Maybe he has a job that calls for mandatory overtime, keeping him away from home even longer and at times without advance notice. If the job entails a lot of traveling, that could be playing a role as well.
Your husband’s job may also in some respects tie back to what we covered in the earlier section about finances. Perhaps he had been going for a promotion or raise that didn’t end up coming through. He may be looking for a new job and not getting the results he hopes for in job interviews – if he’s getting calls for interviews at all.
The feelings of being stuck in a dead-end job combined with serious financial stress may be contributing to his unhappiness in a big way.
Stressful situations with family or in-laws could also be a major factor of your husband’s growing unhappiness.
For example, he could be caught in the middle of two bickering relatives and feel like he’s being forced to take sides when he doesn’t want to be involved. A close family member could be gravely ill yet live far away.
Hubby could also be feeling pressure from his parents about home-buying, having children, or any number of other issues.
At the same time, your own family could somehow be playing a role in your husband’s situation. It’s not uncommon for people to have a little friction with their in-laws to some degree, but your husband may be feeling that friction more than you realize.
Whether warranted or not, he could have the perception in his mind that your family looks down on him and doesn’t see him as someone who can be a good provider for you or your children.
You just recently discovered that you’ll soon be welcoming a bouncing baby into the world. Congratulations! This is an extremely exciting time as well as a potentially overwhelming one, and it can also be lending itself to your husband’s unhappiness.
Before I go any further, understand that this shouldn’t be taken personally – pregnancy can be stressful on him as much as it is on you. Your husband is helping you set up doctor’s appointments, going with you to said appointments, and doing everything he can to take care of you at home – all while possibly grappling with his own anxieties about fatherhood.
If you’re in a situation where your baby has already arrived, then you know all too well that a baby brings wholesale changes to your lifestyle and routine. On top of that, you and your husband now have a whole new set of responsibilities.
Both you and hubby may not be sleeping well at night due to getting up to take care of the baby. He may be learning to navigate his way through the stresses of being a new father and worrying himself about being a good provider to his family.
In addition, he’ll be right beside you dealing with both the wanted and unwanted parenting advice that will come from parents, in-laws, friends and coworkers.
A dip in the intensity or frequency of your sexual interaction may be also be causing your husband’s unhappiness. It could stem from your pregnancy and your husband thinking that intimacy is something that is just off the table for the time being.
If you have a new baby, you may both be overly exhausted from being up at all hours. If your husband is dealing with a great deal of stress from work, family, or any other factors, it could be causing him to lose focus on your time between the sheets.
This may be a subject both you and your husband have both danced around for a long time, but neither of you have tackled head-on in the hopes that the other would do it first. That lack of communication around what you both want has the potential to make this an even bigger issue if left unchecked. Your husband may be left feeling unwanted, which may cause him to stop trying to initiate with you as a result.
If your marriage has reached a point where you can’t seem to get through a day without having an argument over something, that is probably the most glaring red flag that your husband would be unhappy.
Maybe there is some stress on your end that causes you to blow up at every small thing that ordinarily wouldn’t bother you, like him forgetting to put the milk away. It’s also entirely possible that there may be some unresolved trust issues going on that need to be addressed.
Your husband may become extra defensive in any given situation thinking it may escalate into a fight. He may not even want to have a discussion with you for that very reason.
Overall, he may feel like the two of you can’t communicate effectively, so he may just not bother to try. Even worse, he may be hiding something potentially damaging to your marriage that would need to be addressed ASAP.
Signs of Unhappiness Your Husband Might Display
By now, you have a pretty good idea something is wrong in your hubby’s life. These signs will give you concrete indicators to look for.
Your Husband Spends More Time Alone
There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of time to yourself to decompress from work and everyday stress now and then. However, lately you’ve noticed your husband seems to spend more and more time alone rather than with you (or anyone else, for that matter). This could be a sign he’s unhappy with something.
Lack of Meaningful Communication
The long conversations you both used to have about your respective days have been replaced with very short, one-word answers to your questions. To make matters worse, he doesn’t really ask about what may be going on with you. He seems distracted, indifferent, or preoccupied with his own thoughts that he either can’t or won’t articulate to you.
Turning Small Problems Into Big Ones
Being around your husband may begin to feel like trying to walk a minefield. He may always seem to be angry or on edge, sometimes seemingly for no reason at all. The slightest miscommunication or smallest issue has the potential to become a huge fight.
Not Showing Love or Affection
In the past, your husband had no qualms about being affectionate towards you in public or in private. He would be the first one to compliment you on how pretty you look or congratulate you on an accomplishment at work. Now it seems as though you barely even can get a hug out of him. Sometimes it’s like you’re not even there.
Changes in Body Language
Body language can be a very obvious signs your husband is unhappy. No one knows your husband better than you do. If his smiles have been replaced by frowns or scowls and the way he carries himself has changed, it could be a clear sign that something is wrong.
Overly Defensive Attitude
Your husband may start to approach every conversation as if he’s getting ready to go into battle. If you’ve hit a patch where you argue frequently, this will be easy to spot, but it may be hard to avoid. It will be a definite sign of unhappiness with everything short of alarm bells.
How to Deal with an Unhappy Husband:A Step-by-Step Process
Do any of the above descriptors sound like your husband? This doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your marriage. You just have to find ways to communicate about your hubby’s unhappiness while fostering a happier future.
Here are some ways to get started.
Give Him Space to Be Alone
I can understand how this might seem like strange advice given what was covered earlier, but allowing your husband at least some time to be alone is most likely a good thing. He may need a little time to work through and process whatever stress it is he might be dealing with.
Approaching him too quickly could prove to be more harmful than it is helpful. Let the man breathe.
Sit Down and Talk Things Over
When the moment presents itself, sit down with your husband and ask him very honestly what’s wrong. Allow him the opportunity to be vulnerable and reassure him you’re always there to support him in whatever it is he’s going through.
Compliment his hard work (his dedication to his job search, his desire to improve his finances, his dealings with family) and remind him that as a married couple, you’re in this together.
Let Him Help Out
Your husband may feel like he can’t contribute to your marriage in a way that’s meaningful due to whatever stress he may be going through. If he offers to help out more around the house, with the kids, or anywhere else he can, welcome it. This will make him feel more productive, allow him to get his mind off things, and boost his spirits in a big way.
Plan Something Fun
The stress and unhappiness that your husband is feeling may be preventing him from taking charge and coming up with things for you to do together.
Oftentimes, these feelings of unhappiness act as an anchor that will pull him down and try to keep him there. Plan a date night, even if it’s just something simple. The thought will go a long way.
Initiate in the Bedroom
As I mentioned earlier, all these negative emotions your husband is dealing with daily can cause him to lose focus on the more private aspects of your marriage. Try taking the lead in the bedroom, whether you go the spontaneous route or plan a very romantic evening.
This is one of the fastest ways to make to your husband feel wanted. You two can then open up a healthy dialogue to get your sex life back to where both of you are happy with it.
Seek out Marriage Counseling
If nothing you do seems to make any sort of progress towards cheering your husband up or resolving his issues, then suggest he gets some professional help. Seeing a marriage counselor in no way means that you don’t belong together or can’t be happy.
In some situations, having a neutral viewpoint can help both of you be better for each other. Your problems can be addressed and mediated, and you can learn how to better communicate with one another.
Your husband may also need one-on-one counseling with a trained therapist or psychologist. This may be in addition to the couple’s therapy or just something he does on his own to improve his life.
Getting married means making a commitment to help each other through tough times. This is one of those times. Your husband is unhappy, be it due to work, money, family, or any other factor.
I’ve given you a step-by-step breakdown of how to approach your husband to try to get things addressed. You may not be able to go it alone in some situations, so seek out professional advice if you absolutely need to.
If you handle your marriage this way, I’m sure you’ll be able to start to get back to having the happy life together you once enjoyed.
Nicole Malczan is a content marketing writer and freelancer. She’s applied her knowledge of marketing and SEO to many clients over the years, ranging from food service to facilities management and currency exchange. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, and music.