Are you wondering why your husband won’t divorce you, even though you are miserable?
I know it seems counterintuitive, because why would your husband want to stay in a relationship where you are both very unhappy, and yet he just won’t leave. Enough to drive you crazy, yes?
There are many reasons why your husband won’t divorce you, even if things are really bad. Knowing what they are will help you process them and, maybe, give you a new perspective about how to talk to him about a potential divorce.
Here are five reasons why your husband won’t divorce you.
#1 – Finances.
For many men, the most important part of their marriage is taking care of their family and a big part of taking care of their family is the finances. Men work very hard to give their families the best life they can and getting divorced might very well make that more difficult.
If you and your partner get divorced, your finances might be severely damaged. Getting a divorce is expensive. Having two households is expensive. Paying alimony and child support is expensive.
I have a client who worked hard to get his family to a good place. They had a nice house, two new cars and they could travel. When his wife asked for a divorce, he froze up. All of the hard work that he had done would be undone. He wasn’t sure if he could bear it.
The prospect of damaging his finances, and his family ‘s finances, might be a big reason why your husband won’t divorce you, no matter how unhappy you are.
#2 – The kids.
For many men, they know the divorce means less time with their children. And that is scary for them.
They are used to coming home every night and seeing their children. If there is a custody agreement, that could mean that they won’t see their children every day. Or perhaps not on holidays or birthdays. I am sure that you think about that too but men know that women usually get primary custody.
They also may be concerned that a divorce would create acrimony between the two of you which might turn their children against them. That could mean issues with the kids that didn’t exist before.
They might also be concerned that their kids will struggle without them there. Or that you might get into a new relationship that might jeopardize their relationship with them.
Wouldn’t thinking about all of those things make you pause before moving forward with a divorce?
#3 – The shame.
For many people, divorce is still not ok.
People make vows to each other on their wedding day to love and cherish each other forever. Divorce is breaking that vow. That might bring a lot of shame on your husband.
For many men, making a commitment is very important. Making a commitment in front of all their friends and family is very important. For them the idea of giving up on their marriage and getting divorced is incredibly shameful especially after making such a promise.
Furthermore, giving up on his marriage might mean dividing your social group, a social group that he enjoys. That social group might even judge him or talk about him.
The idea of those things can be very daunting and make men not want to take action.
The very idea of divorce can be very embarrassing for a lot of men. They see it as failure. And they don’t want to be a failure in the eyes of the world.
So, if your husband won’t divorce you, even though you were miserable, it very well could be because of the shame associated with it.
#4 – Denial.
For many men, facing emotions can be very difficult. While it’s very easy for us women to process our emotions, it can be far more difficult for a man to do so. As a result, they might not see just how bad the marriage is.
Are you and your husband able to talk about your relationship? Does he seem to understand that there are issues? When you bring up the prospect of a separation or divorce, does he just shake his head and say ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, we are fine’?
If this is your husband, you should try to understand that he is, most likely, in denial about the state of your relationship and that this could be why you he won’t divorce you.
Additionally, many men say that they don’t believe in divorce and therefore they won’t get one. I always tell them that if they don’t believe in divorce, they need to start believing in marriage. And believing in marriage means working on it.
Working on a marriage can be scary but they might consider it better than getting a divorce.
#5 – Extended family.
For many men, their extended family is very important.
Their extended family is the one who they spent their childhood with, who taught them everything they know. And who created their issues and their habits.
As a result, many men are very concerned about what their family would think of them if they got a divorce.
Perhaps their parents were never divorced and they want to be like them. Perhaps they are worried about the judgment of their siblings. Perhaps, his parents never liked you and he doesn’t want to prove them right.
Also, know that your family could be a part of why he won’t divorce you. I know when my ex-husband asked for a divorce my mother made it all about her.
He had asked her for permission to marry me and he had promised he would love me forever. When he left me, my mother was furious. She spent the next few months complaining about how much he had let her down. That wasn’t helpful for me!
So, don’t underestimate the effect that your extended families might be having on his decision whether or not to get a divorce. Because it could be a significant part of this.
I hope you now have an understanding of why your husband won’t divorce you, no matter how miserable you are!
I do believe that, for many women, marriage is about love. Relationships are about love. But for many men relationships are about responsibility. They’re about finances, the kids, their place in society, and their family. The prospect of losing love might not be as daunting to them as it is to you.
That being said, there are many men who do believe in love and who want love. Those men might be holding on to the marriage because they don’t want to let go of the love, or at least the hope of the love.
So, know that, while many of the things I’ve talked about are relevant, in reality he might not want to divorce you because he holds out hope for the future.
I would encourage you to think about these things and talk to him about them so that you can make a decision together about moving forward.