11 Signs Your Wife Wants a Divorce

by Stephen Waldo

“I think my wife wants out of our marriage; should I be worried?”

“What are the most common signs my wife wants a divorce?”

Does Your Wife Want a Divorce?

More and more men today find themselves facing divorce…

Depending who you ask, divorce rates are between 35% and 50% in America today, and they’ve been rising constantly for the past 30 years.

This means that there are more men than ever wondering whether their wives are planning on leaving, or if their marriage is standing on its last leg.

Without further ado, here are 10 of the most common signs your wife wants a divorce. I don’t want to waste any of your time here, so let’s go ahead and get right into it.

Where Did These Signs Come From?

Short answer: these are the most common signs of divorce that I’ve heard from the 6,000+ men who’ve come Inside the Haven.

Honestly, there are probably hundreds of signs your wife might be considering divorce, but I’ve narrowed it down to the 11 most common signs that I’ve heard over and over again from other men Inside the Haven so that you can quickly see how to tell if your wife wants a divorce.

The purpose of this article is to give you a heads up for your wife’s intentions, and to provide insight as to what could be making her want a divorce in the first place.

From “She wants out” to “We’re working on it” in 7 steps


A simple 15-minute read could transform how you think about saving your marriage... This free guide shows you the exact steps your wife must go through before she starts working on the relationship with you.

She’s Emotionally Cold & Distant

Cold Wife Wants Divorce

The #1 most common thing that happens before a wife asks for divorce is she starts closing herself off from the marriage.

Is it a huge struggle to engage your wife in conversation?

Does it seem like she’s become nothing more than an empty shell?

If your wife has become very emotionally distant over the past few weeks or months, there’s a strong chance she’s preparing herself to ask for a separation or divorce.

  • Has your wife closed herself off from you or your family? Especially lately?
  • Does it seem like your wife feels NOTHING, either good or bad?
  • Has it become very difficult to connect with your wife?
  • Maybe she’s no longer interested in intimacy? (more on this in Sign #4)

If your wife seems emotionally empty and refuses to make any effort towards you or your marriage, that’s a good sign she wants divorce. Or if she doesn’t want it yet, she will soon.

The reason it’s so common for a drifting wife to take on a cold attitude right before asking for divorce is because it makes it EASIER for her to ask for a divorce if she’s made herself care LESS about the marriage.

Unsurprisingly, it’s very hard to save your marriage when the only thing you have to talk to is a brick wall… But it’s not impossible.

You Have a Long Track Record of Neglecting Your Wife

Have you been a bad husband for the bulk of your marriage?

Do you have a history of repeating the same problems over and over in your marriage?

In ~75% of the separations I see from men Inside the Haven, the husband has realized that it’s been HIM all these years that’s made the marriage so difficult and painful for both people.

The good news is that if this is the ONLY sign in this article that you can see in your marriage, then have hope…

It may not be too late to turn things around and avoid a separation.

In other words, if your wife has NOT asked for a separation or divorce yet, but you DO realize that you’ve been a bad husband for a long time, then the time to change is right now. Start stepping up as a husband NOW, before it’s too late.

If this is you, I highly recommend you go pick up a copy of 10 Steps to Gain Husbandly Leadership and put it into action ASAP. It’s the best crash course I’ve got for making changes today.

She’s Always Resentful or Critical of You

  • Does it seem like your wife always has something bad to say about you?
  • Does it seem like no matter what you do, it’s not enough to keep your wife from saying mean and hurtful things?
  • Is it clear that she views you as inferior to herself? Or that her time and happiness is more important than yours?

If your wife has divorce in her mind, she’ll begin justifying it to herself by constantly degrading you. Generally, the more she’s thought about divorce, the more and more bitter she’ll become.

One way this is often carried out is that she’ll brush anything good you do for her under the rug, and instead focus on some way you’ve made her life worse.

Here’s why your wife is being so critical:

Her frustration with the marriage has built up to a boiling point. She knows that it will be easier to confront you about the divorce if she distances herself from you by being mean to you first.

In other words, attacking you is her way of taking control and coping with her decision to leave the marriage.

Further Reading:The REAL Reason Your Wife is Bossy

She’s Spending More Time Away from Home

Wife spending time out of the house

One of the most obvious signs that your wife wants a divorce is her spending substantially more time outside of the house.

Whether she says she wants to clear her head, get some alone time, or just be away from you, she’ll start finding excuses to get out of the house.

Here are some of the ones I’ve heard from men inside HHH:

  • She’ been working a lot. Extra overtime? Extra shifts? Big projects with impending deadlines (that never seem to finish)?
  • She’ been going out with her girlfriends several times a week. An especially big sign if this is new behavior for her.
  • She takes FOREVER running basic errands. Does a “quick stop” at the store turn into 2 – 3 hours?
  • She suddenly wants to go on a trip or excursion by herself, just to “have fun” or to “get some space”

Do any of these ring a bell?

Many women sick of being married will deliberately do everything they can just to be out of the house.

If not one of the above, are you seeing any similar signs your wife wants out of the marriage?

There’s No Intimacy In Your Marriage

To be clear, intimacy and sex are not the same thing. Look to Wikipedia for a clear definition of what makes intimacy so special:

“Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity.”


In other words, intimacy is a measure of that deep emotional connection that a husband is supposed to have with his wife in a healthy married relationship.

  • Do you look at your wife and feel completely happy with who she is?
  • Do you feel like your wife is proud of you?
  • Is your wife satisfied with your love and your love alone?
  • Does your wife ever share herself with you? Do you share yourself with her?

Think about each of these questions… Would you describe your marriage as intimate? Does your marriage contain dialogue, transparency, vulnerability and reciprocity?

Or, do you think that your intimacy with your wife has started to break away?

Sign #6B.Problems In Your Sex Life?

Especially if you’ve noticed a steep decline in your sex life over the past 3 to 6 months, your wife is probably feeling an equally steep decline in her feelings for you and the marriage.

To be clear, problems in your sex life will not CAUSE your wife to want a separation or divorce.

Bedroom problems alone will not cripple a marriage. But, they’re a good indicator that other problems are having an effect on your marriage.

Bedroom problems can be a symptom of other existing problems. I wouldn’t say it’s common, but it’s also not at all uncommon for me to a wife want divorce from a sexless marriage.

That being said, it’s very rare for a wife to want out because the marriage is sexless; it’s the other way around… She wants out which makes the marriage sexless.

She’s Always On Her Computer, iPad or Phone

… And 4 Reasons That Might Explain Why

Wife Spending Lots of Time on Computer Phone or Tablet

The Digital Revolution has made infidelity easier than ever.

FaceBook, Twitter, and even Craigslist have all helped make having an affair simple and discrete.

But… Just because your wife is spending a lot of time engaged with her gadgets doesn’t necessarily mean she’s having an affair. If your wife has been spending a ton of time on the computer lately, it could be because of any of these reasons:

Reason #1: She’s Having an Emotional Affair

What is an emotional affair? Basically, it’s what happens when your wife gives her heart to another man.

Maybe your wife has reconnected with an old flame on Facebook…

Maybe she’s constantly texting one of her coworkers…

Maybe she’s developed an inappropriately close relationship with one of her “guy friends”…?

Either way, one of the most common sign of an emotional affair, by far, is when your wife starts spending an inappropriate amount of time attached to her phone, iPad or computer. Perhaps she is constantly texting or messaging someone, or maybe she’s constantly talking on the phone.

A perfect example is the reader question I published a couple weeks ago from a guy whose wife was spending 20 hours per month talking to another man on the phone. And that’s in addition to the 1,500 texts she sent him every month. Read what I told him.

An emotional affair is one of the most common and dangerous problems that men who come to Husband Help Haven are struggling with.

Telling you exactly what to do if you’re wife is having an emotional affair is beyond the scope of this article, but a good place to start is with the Emotional Affairs 101 series.

Reason #2: She’s Started Online Dating

Have you heard of Ashley Madison? You probably heard about the huge Ashley Madison hack that took place in mid-2015.

Basically, it’s a website specifically designed to help married men and women find casual partners to hook up with. There are, unfortunately, several other sites like it that make it very, VERY easy for people to organize an affair.

Unfortunately, these types of affairs are difficult to catch too. If you’d like to learn more about this one, here are some common signs of a cheating wife.

Reason #3: She’s Learning About the Divorce Process

You can learn anything on the Internet, so your wife could be taking advantage of the many online resources available to help her prepare for divorce. She could be researching attorneys, or figuring out how much she can get from a divorce.

Here’s a rule of thumb:

The spouse who’s better prepared almost always walks away from the divorce with the better deal.

If you think your wife wants divorce, then you might want to start looking for divorce advice for husbands. A meeting with an attorney may be your best move, even if you’re still going to keep fighting for the marriage.


Reason #4: She’s Tuning Out of the Marriage

As we’ve already established, apathy is a common emotional reaction to impending divorce.

This means your wife could be using the Internet as a way to “get out”… Basically as a way to distract herself from daily life.

If she feels there’s no hope of things turning up, emotional emptiness could be a legitimate explanation for her excess online activity.

As you can see, some of these reasons are worse than others, but no matter how you spin it, your wife spending tons of time on the computer can definitely be a sign that your wife wants a divorce.

Fighting Just for the Sake of Fighting

This divorce sign can usually be felt with your base intuition. If we’re honest, fighting constantly can make the best of us dream of a single life, even if we know we’d never actually want it.

Okay… Maybe frequent fighting doesn’t make you want divorce, but it does make you wonder what your wife’s thinking, right?

It can be difficult to keep a clear head in the heat of an argument, so I want you to reflect on these questions:

  • Can you identify a common theme in your fighting? Anything that seems like a common cause or trigger?
  • Is your wife aggressive or passive aggressive when she fights with you?If she’s aggressive, that means she’s openly attacking you, nagging at you and degrading you. If she’s passive aggressive, that means she’s subtly pushing your buttons, making backhanded remarks, and “putting you into a corner” that make you feel like you have to confront her.
  • How do the fights usually end? Does one of you leave the house? Does it end with tears or reconciliation? Does it end in the bedroom?
  • Is there any time of day or week that your wife seems “ready to fight”?

Perhaps the greatest indicator is: Do your fights with your wife ever go anywhere?

What do you think?

Does your gut tell you that your wife is fighting for the sake of fighting? Is this one of the signs that she wants a divorce?

She’s Given Up Hope on You or the Marriage

Wife given up on the marriage

Maybe you and your wife have been on the rocks for a while now, but you’ve been working on things and your marital problems have been getting better.

At least, you think so.

Then your wife gives up.

Maybe she’s stopped going to your counseling sessions with you. Maybe she’s no longer interested in going out with you, or maybe even in talking to you period (like in Sign #1).

If your wife has given up on your marriage, it’s usually obvious once you take half a second to think about it. In fact, most women will make a point of letting you know that she actively doesn’t care about you or your relationship.

If this describes your wife, you’ll know exactly what I mean here.

Your Gut is Telling You Something’s Not Right

If you’ve known your wife for any time at all, you can probably tell when she’s lying. If not, you can at least tell how genuine her answer is.

If you ask her what’s wrong and her answer is something along the lines of, “Nothing, I just had a bad day,” listen to your spider sense… Is there something going on that she’s not telling you?

I guess my whole point here is – trust your gut.

A lot of men lose confidence when their marriage gets to this state, but don’t ever discredit your own intuition.

There Was a BIG Change In Your Marriage Recently

Sometimes people react badly to change… That’s just a fact of life.

This is especially true if that change had a significant impact on her priorities, her daily life, or the people she’s around.

If you, your wife or your marriage has gone through a significant change recently, that could be the catalyst for your wife’s new divorce-friendly perspective. For whatever reason, this change could be making your wife think about life without you.

Ask yourself, have any of these big changes happened in your marriage?

Example #1: You Or Your Wife Lost a Job

Changes in employment, and therefore money, almost always leads to new perspectives. The problem is when those new perspectives don’t coincide with your marriage.

Losing a job can lead to a loss of confidence for either spouse. A huge percentage of marriage problems are money-related.

Example #2: You Just Had a Baby

Some of the most difficult times in my married life came in the months following the birth of our daughter, Eden. 

Even though having a baby is a beautiful, fulfilling and wonderful experience, it is also extremely taxing. In fact, a recent study showed that the birth of a first child can cause more unhappiness than job loss, divorce or even death of a partner!

Another study found that 90% of marriages suffer enormous strain within a year of having a new baby.

My own marriage didn’t ever quite get THAT bad, but things were definitely much more difficult.

Bouncy hormones, never-ending sleep deprivation, a complete loss of personal freedom, postpartum depression, financial strains that come with a bigger family, the stresses of being a new mom, plus any other marriage problems you’re already having…

Yeah, you can probably see how a new child could lead anyone to consider divorce, especially if it’s your first baby.

But, even if you already have kids, this rule still applies. Don’t underestimate the stress of child birth.

Example #3: You Moved to a New Location

Moving to a new place is hard for anyone, especially if your wife was happy in your previous home. I’ve personally seen multiple men who have faced divorce either because their wife didn’t WANT to move, and because she was unhappy AFTER they moved.

Perhaps she feels like she left all her friends behind, or like the decision was not the right one for the family.

Or, maybe one of your new neighbors caught her eye… In a new place there are new people to meet, new things to do, new affairs to be had.

I don’t mean any offense, of course, and please don’t take this as a sign your wife is cheating. I’m just saying that moving can do weird things to anyone.

If you think your wife wants divorce, then you might want to start looking for divorce advice for husbands. A meeting with an attorney may be your best move, even if you’re still going to keep fighting for the marriage.


Example #4: New Job or Promotion

If your wife has recently achieved new levels of career success, even though it’s objectively a good change, it could still be having a negative effect on your marriage.

When people experience success, an inflated ego is natural. Suddenly, all the grass seems greener. If your wife has recently done well for herself financially or career-wise, then she may suddenly be reevaluating her priorities. Maybe she feels like she deserves an “upgrade”, or something childish like that.

Or, maybe you’re the one that got the new job…

Maybe you’re working extra hours, or you’re extra stressed. Perhaps you don’t realize it, but you’ve stopped bringing your A-game to the marriage.

If your wife feels neglected because you’ve been wrapped up in your new job, that could easily be fuel for divorce consideration.

You Have 11 Signs Your Wife Wants a Divorce…
What Now?

That concludes my top 11 most common signs your wife wants a divorce…

The next question is, what do you do now?

First, keep in mind that I did NOT write this article so that you can “beat her to the punch” and rush off to find your own divorce attorney. In fact, DO NOT take anything in here as legal advice.

My goal isn’t to tell you beyond a doubt what your wife is thinking.

Every marriage is different and these signs are NOT set in stone. Just because your wife matches two or three of them doesn’t always mean she’s about to file for divorce.

The point of learning these divorce signs is that it gets you thinking about your marriage problems, about your wife, and about how she’s handling problems in your relationship.

The point of this whole article is to get you to start working to fix your marriage before it’s too late. I recommend starting here:

From “She wants out” to “We’re working on it” in 7 steps


A simple 15-minute read could transform how you think about saving your marriage... This free guide shows you the exact steps your wife must go through before she starts working on the relationship with you.

I want you to think about why your wife would want a divorce, and I want you to honestly decide whether or not it’s deserved. And I want you to think about what it will take to get your wife back.

Yes, I know these are tough questions, and there might not be a black and white answer… But it’s better to be thinking hard thoughts than not thinking at all.

When you think, you learn.

I know you still have some questions. I have lots of other articles on Husband Help Haven that I’d definitely recommend you take a look through. See ‘Related Posts’ below for some ideas.

In closing, I hope you found these signs your your wife wants a divorce helpful. I hope it’s inspired you to learn more about your marriage, and to be a better husband so that you can change the way your wife feels about divorce and your marriage.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck, and thanks for reading!

Much manly love, 
– Stephen

Stephen Waldo

Hi! My name is Stephen. I’m the guy behind Husband Help Haven. My mission here is to help as many men as possible become the best husbands they can be, and save as many marriages as possible along the way. Even though I’m not a marriage counselor, I want to encourage men everywhere to become better husbands, fathers and leaders. Full author bio