10 reasons why an emotionally unavailable husband may lead to divorce

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Your husband has difficulty expressing emotions, empathizing with you, and gets easily distracted — in other words, he’s emotionally unavailable. 

It’s difficult to be married to someone who isn’t able or willing to connect with you emotionally.

I have a close friend who struggled with this same issue — and unfortunately, for her it resulted in divorce.

She opened up to me about this recently and shared the insights she gained from giving the issue a lot of thought — both the reasons that lead up to the divorce, and the one thing she said she should have done to save it.

I know there must be others like her who are struggling with the same issue, and may be hoping to fix things while you still have the chance. 

So my friend agreed to let me share her experience and the lessons she learned. I hope that by reading this article, you find the advice you need so that you don’t have to go through the same thing she did. 

Let’s get right to it. 

1) Lack of emotional support

The first, and most obvious reason why an emotionally available husband might lead to divorce, is the lack of emotional support.

This is one of the foundational things we expect from marriage — for our partner to be there for us through thick and thin, listen to our problems, and support us as we navigate life’s ups and downs.

However, when one spouse is emotionally available, the other one can feel isolated and alone even while being with someone.

They are left to deal with life’s curveballs on their own, without an emotional rock to hold them up. 

If you can figure out how to make your spouse conscious of the seriousness of this problem, then you can do something about it. 

However, if not, this can lead to you building up a lot of resentment and frustration, which is when things really start to go downhill

My friend shared with me that this is exactly what happened to her and her husband. She felt like he was never there for her even if they were sitting right next to each other, or engaged in a conversation.

She felt like he wasn’t holding up his end of the marriage while she continued to give him as much emotional support as she could.

Eventually, she drained all of her patience and energy and stopped giving him emotional support too — so now neither one of them were there for each other. 

Naturally, challenges and conflicts became 10x worse and their communication broke down completely. 

She shared that if she had to go back in time and try to save the marriage, this is the first place where she would start, and she now knows exactly what she should have done — but we’ll get to her advice in a little bit. 

2) Emotional affairs

When we think of the word “affair”, most of the time our mind thinks of two lovers tangled up in bedsheets, or sneaking away into a hotel room together.

But affairs don’t have to just be physical. In fact, the most dangerous affairs are the emotional kind.

The reason for this is that they may leave no objective proof in the real world.

While in physical affairs you can be “caught” and there’s no doubt about the breach of loyalty, emotional affairs take place only in the person’s mind. 

There’s nothing wrong with having a conversation or being friends with someone outside the marriage. But when the emotional connection with this person becomes stronger and more significant than the connection with his wife, that’s a pretty darn big problem. 

This is something that often happens to couples with an emotionally unavailable spouse. He might be emotionally unavailable for this very reason.

He’s investing his emotions elsewhere, and his consciousness knows he’s doing something wrong, so it suppresses his emotions towards you. 

His behavior may also push you to having an emotional affair yourself, and seeking emotional support elsewhere.

My friend herself shared with me the moment of horror when she had a terrible day and realized that she had automatically dialed a guy friend’s number instead of her husband’s in order to vent. 

She wasn’t consciously trying to avoid her husband, but her subconscious had learned that there was no use trying to connect with him anymore.

She felt horrible about this, but nobody could judge her for it. She was in a very difficult situation, and she was trying to hard to fix it but there was only so much that she could take. 

So if you find yourself in a similar situation as well, now that you are not alone, and there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel. 

3) Communication issues

An emotionally unavailable husband isn’t automatically bad at communication, but it’s usually a natural consequence that comes about sooner or later.

This is because when someone fails to connect with you emotionally, they stop being able to understand you — and worse, they lose interest in trying to understand you.

As a result, communication with your emotionally unavailable husband will suffer in one of a number of ways:

  • He doesn’t really listen when you speak
  • He makes assumptions about what you’re saying
  • He approaches conversations with detachment
  • He tends to criticize you and get defensive
  • He’s not patient enough to help you understand what he’s thinking

This is a particularly dangerous aspect to have in your marriage, because normally every problem can be solved with good communication. So when the problem itself is communication, you’re left with no resources to solve it!

But my friend did discover one thing she said would have been a marriage-saver for her, though she didn’t discover it back then.

When she got back into the dating scene, she started going out with a very spiritually-minded man who was very invested in growth, both as a person and as a couple.

As he got to know her, he understood how deeply her divorce, and the problems leading up to it had affected her — and that she was terrified of history repeating itself. 

So he suggested they do a couples therapy session together, using the popular relationship coaches site Relationship Hero

She later told me that if she had gone to this coach with her ex husband, they could still be happily married. 

You see, you can only solve problems through good communication — but when the people involved in the problem fail at communicating well, they need an expert to step in from the outside with a fresh perspective who can guide them through to the solution.

This is exactly what the coaches at Relationship Hero can do — and she was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful they were.

If you’d like to give your best shot at saving your marriage, this site could be the very thing that turns things around for you completely. 

To give it a go, click here to get started.

4) One-sided efforts

Marriage is a partnership, and that means both partners need to be willing to put in effort to make the relationship work. Unfortunately, when your husband is emotionally unavailable, you may find yourself doing all the work, which can create a lot of problems.

One of the biggest issues with one-sided efforts is that it can create a sense of resentment and frustration. You may start to feel unappreciated or taken for granted, as you’re doing all the heavy lifting. 

At the same time, your husband may start to feel complacent and disengaged from the relationship. The more you do, the less he does — and the more he gets used to not having to contribute. 

Over time, he may start to feel disconnected in the marriage completely, as he no longer invests much in it. 

This is one of the first signs that my friend experienced, but she only realized it much later.

Back in the early stages of her marriage troubles, she wanted to find a way to get things back on the right track and help them reconnect.

She suggested to her husband that they plan date nights and spend more quality time together. He agreed – but that’s pretty much all he did.

She was left to research, plan, and organize all the date nights on her own. He didn’t so much as ask her what she had in mind, or care to give his own input — she even had to remind him of the date several times to make sure he would remember it.

The same kind of attitude could be seen even in small daily interactions — she prepared coffee for him every morning and planned her cooking to have the meal ready right when he got home from work. On the other hand, he didn’t even think to let her know when he was going to arrive late. 

It wasn’t long before my friend started feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. At some point, she started feeling like she was better off alone — and that’s when she knew that divorce was imminent. 

5) Stagnation

If you’ve had several long-term relationships, you know it’s natural for things to ebb and flow. There may be periods of intense passion and connection, and there may be times when things feel a bit stagnant or routine. 

However, if a relationship stays stuck in a state of stagnation for too long, it can become a major issue — something which is unfortunately all too common when you’re married to an emotionally unavailable man.

When you can’t communicate and connect on an emotional level, you find yourself stuck in the same patterns and unable to move forward in the relationship

You’ll find yourselves both simply going through the motions. You may be going about your day-to-day lives, but you’re no longer growing or evolving as a couple. 

Pretty soon, a sense of boredom, dissatisfaction, and even resentment clings to the relationship. 

This problem acts like an evil cycle. Being stuck in a rut makes it difficult to muster up the energy or motivation to try to make positive changes.

Instead, you may feel resigned to the status quo, or worse, start to look outside the relationship for excitement or fulfillment — a clear warning sign that it’s heading towards divorce

6) Difficulty in building intimacy

This is one of the most difficult consequences of an emotional unavailable husband.

The very point of marriage is to build intimacy with one person like you do with nobody else. Your spouse is the one who will stand by you through everything, and the person who you mutually support each other to build a happy and successful life. 

So what do you do when your husband cannot open up and share his thoughts and feeling with you?

This intimacy is not built, and the marriage is essentially unfulfilled

I remember noticing how sad and isolated my friend felt in her marriage, even before either one of us began to grasp the exact dynamics that were at play there. 

She could not have meaningful conversations with him. She could not be openly vulnerable with him, so she felt like she had no safe place to be herself at home.

Even their physical relationship suffered, as she felt she needed to connect with someone emotionally in order to truly connect with them physically.

She was concerned for her husband as well, but neither of them were able to find a way out of this issue — or rather, a way into intimacy. 

7) Strained trust

When couples are able to rely on each other and feel secure in their relationship, it creates a sense of safety and stability that can help the relationship thrive.

But this rarely happens with an emotionally unavailable husband. As he doesn’t share his feelings and emotions with you, and isn’t able to empathize well with yours, it can be difficult for you to feel like you can rely on him or trust him.

When you try to connect with him and he shuts you down or is unresponsive, it can also lead to feelings of rejection and hurt.

When this continues over time, it builds a sense of uncertainty and doubt. My friend recalls how she sometimes debated sharing her feelings with her husband, as she was afraid his reaction would just hurt her.

And because her emotional needs weren’t being met, she began to doubt her husband’s commitment to their marriage.

Trust is one of the most difficult things to repair in a relationship, and many couples fail at it because they don’t know how to go about it.

My friend too admits that she had no chance of succeeding at it, even if she had understood all the problems affecting their marriage at the time. When you’re deep in the knot of a problem, you don’t have enough perspective to see how to untangle it.

That’s why she says that if she had to do it over again, she would without a doubt go straight her relationship coach at Relationship Hero.

I mentioned her experience with them a little already above. They’re a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, including rebuilding trust.

In fact, they were even able to foresee problems on the horizon in her next relationship and give her the advice and tools she needed to prevent trust issues from developing in the first place. 

If you’re struggling with trying to repair broken trust in your relationship, know that you don’t have to do it alone. The path is so much easier with someone who genuinely cares about you and has the wisdom to guide you through it.

Click here to get started with your own relationship coach.

8) Depression and anxiety

Pay close attention to this, because it’s extremely important. 

The strain of being in a marriage with an emotionally unavailable husband can take a toll on a person’s mental health. For this reason, depression and anxiety are common outcomes.

You will notice yourself if you begin to feel depressed and anxious — but sometimes we downplay the seriousness of these issues.

My friend told me how she was so consumed with thinking about her marriage and trying to figure out what to do that she stopped paying attention to how she felt.

Sure, she knew she felt sad and anxious a lot, but he attributed it to the problems she was experiencing in her relationship.

Thankfully, things didn’t get too bad with her before the marriage finally ended, and she was able to start focusing more on her own wellbeing again.

But she was pretty dangerously close to falling into some serious mental health problems. And that would have almost certainly accelerated the end of her marriage, as her husband wasn’t capable of emotionally supporting her to get better. 

Nobody deserves to go through this, and I certainly don’t want somebody like you to go through it either.

Make sure you have a network of support around you who can be there for you when you need them, and check in with yourself regularly to see if the situation is becoming too heavy for you.

If you’re worried, don’t hesitate to see a mental health expert to get a professional opinion.

9) Financial instability

This is something I was pretty surprised to hear about. But an emotionally unavailable husband can also lead to financial instability, which is a big contributor to divorce as well. 


Firstly, because of the lack of communication. When your husband isn’t emotionally there for you, it can be harder to communicate about financial matters effectively.

Sure, you can talk about transactions, pretty easily in fact. It’s nothing more than a business conversation.

But it can be hard to define the limits of what you both consider to be okay expenses and not. If you agree to spend a minimal amount on little pleasures when you need them once in a while, what does this mean to both of you?

Maybe you grit your teeth and resist buying that cappuccino even when you really crave one, but he thinks it’s reasonable to grab a Starbucks sandwich on his way home whenever he gets caught in traffic, as he doesn’t have time to prepare food for himself on his own anymore.

Without emotional closeness, it’s impossible to delve deep enough into conversations to get to know what each of you have in mind. 

As a result, you may have misunderstandings, disagreements, or overspend which can push back significant goals like investing in a house, a car, or a nice vacation. 

These issues can morph into others, such as financial infidelity. When trust is broken, you or your husband may start to feel like you need to hide expenses from each other, or make significant purchases without consulting each other.

10) Parenting difficulties

This last tip is something my friend didn’t personally experience, as she doesn’t have children.

However, she did realize it’s something that can heavily affect women who are married to emotionally unavailable men, and influence the outcome of the marriage. 

When a husband is emotionally unavailable, it can be challenging for him to connect with his children on an emotional level. 

This may result in him being less involved in their lives, not being able to provide the emotional support they need, and being less attentive to their needs. 

As a result, the wife may end up feeling like she’s doing most of the parenting on her own, which can lead to resentment and frustration. 

Moreover, the emotionally unavailable husband isn’t able to model healthy emotional behavior for his children, which can make them struggle in their own emotional development. 

All of these parenting difficulties can eventually take a toll on the relationship. The two may get into arguments over their different points of view when it comes to raising their kids together, leading to ongoing conflict and potentially divorce. 

We all know some couples that didn’t make it, partially due to conflicting outlooks on child-rearing. 

Though divorce is not the end of the world, and you have to go after your own happiness if that’s the right path for you, it can be much messier to deal with when children are involved. 

That’s why you may want to give improving the relationship your absolute best effort before you consider calling it quits.

Final thoughts

These are the 10 reasons why an emotionally unavailable husband may lead to divorce, as shared with me by my friend who unfortunately had to go through this difficult situation herself.

Though this experience certainly isn’t easy on anyone, I hope this article was able to give you some insight and strength to find the best path ahead for you.

The worst thing about something like this is having to go through it alone — so as I mentioned already, remember that you certainly don’t have to.

Here on Love Connection you’ll find an incredibly supportive community of writers who work every day to give readers just like you the tools to build the most lasting and satisfying relationships.

But if you’re going through a rough time, I really suggest getting in touch with a expert who can give you tailored, one-on-one advice for your particular situation.

My friend shared some of her experience with the coaches at Relationship Hero above. And though I haven’t experienced having an emotionally unavailable husband, I can attest that they are truly lifesavers for practically any relationship issue under the sun.

They take the time to truly get to know what’s bothering you, and give you incredible insight into the dynamics of your relationship and what you can do to build more emotional connection and intimacy.

So if you have an emotionally unavailable husband, I highly suggest you try them out. The possibility of saving your marriage is well worth the shot.

Click here to get started.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

Click here to get started.

The above link will give you $50 off your first session - an exclusive offer for Love Connection readers.

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