16 Ways An Unhappy Man Subtly Sabotages His Relationship

16 Ways An Unhappy Man Subtly Sabotages His Relationship

You might be in a relationship with a man who doesn’t seem physically present or invested in the relationship anymore, and that’s a tough pill to swallow. Maybe he’s always too busy to see you or gets defensive whenever you try to talk to him about what’s on your mind. While he might be going through something difficult that has nothing to do with you, he might also be unhappy in the relationship and trying to sabotage it so it ends. Here are 16 signs to look out for that not all is well with him.

1. He’s working every weekend.

guy painting wood

A sudden change in one’s schedule can be a sign that something’s not right. If your partner’s always busy these days because his work’s “so hectic,” it can make you feel like he’s trying to find reasons not to spend time with you. Running into the office on a Sunday? Um, sure.

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2. He’s calling his friends more often.

Even though he still spends the most time with you, there could be some red flags. Maybe he’s reaching out to his friends a lot more than before, even texting them constantly when you’re hanging out. It’s possible he’s feeling stuck in the relationship and looking for someone else to talk to about it.

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3. He puts off talking about serious issues.

When you want to chat about something that’s upsetting you, your partner keeps avoiding it. He might say, “Let’s talk about this later” but then “later” never comes. It’s a red flag if he doesn’t seem to care about solving your relationship problems. How can you build a stronger bond if your issues are left to grow and multiply?

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4. He doesn’t trust you as much as he once did.

When you want to hang out with your best friends or enjoy a solo adventure on the weekend, your boyfriend seems to be a bit suspicious of your motives. What gives? He might be projecting his own untrustworthiness onto you or trying to find any issue in your relationship that he can. It helps if you’re the problem because it takes the pressure and guilt off him.

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5. He’s subtly critical.

He might not be outright mean, but watch out for little digs disguised as jokes. Things like “you’re always obsessed with work” or making comments about how you should dress differently might not be so harmless after all. It could be that his own unhappiness in the relationship is spilling out in subtle ways, like he’s trying to bring you down with him.

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6. He’s not hitting those relationship milestones.

Instead of moving the relationship forward, he seems to have his wheels stuck in the mud. He doesn’t want to make plans weeks ahead of time and seems to get bored or irritated when you talk about where things are going for you as a couple. He’s not thinking about the future of your relationship at all.

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7. He looks bored on date night.

bored man yawning as girlfriend speaks

Watch out if your dates feel flat or even boring. Does he seem genuinely happy to be there with you, or does he look distracted? If you’re trying to talk and he just seems “meh” about it, that’s a big red flag. You deserve someone who’s excited to spend time with you. Otherwise, what’s the point of even being together?

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8. He gives you the silent treatment.

This is a classic example of passive-aggressive behavior. When he doesn’t like something, instead of talking about it, he shuts you down by becoming quiet or not replying to your texts. It’s unfair, immature, and it can feel like he’s punishing you when you’ve done nothing wrong.

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9.  He’s looking for a fight.

Maybe he’s been more irritable lately and he’s quick to lay into you about small things. For instance, he criticizes the way you load the dishwasher or the fact that you get up super-early and it wakes him up. If he’s always nitpicking, that’s a red flag that he’s trying to find a way out of the relationship.

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10. He forgets your birthday.

He’s so zoned out of the relationship that he conveniently “forgets” your birthday, your anniversary, or other commitments you had on your plate. When you remind him of them, he might get angry or say that he’s been so busy, they totally slipped his mind. Right now, the guy’s coasting.

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11. He’s got new hobbies.

While it can be a sign that your partner’s got someone else on the side, having a new hobby or two can also be a way for him to focus on his life outside of the relationship. It’s especially concerning if he’s always choosing those hobbies over quality time with you. While doing your own thing is important, if that’s his priority now instead of you, there’s a clear disconnect.

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12. He’s a bit more flirtatious with other women.

When you spend time together in public, your partner becomes Mr. Charm. He flirts with other women in a light way that doesn’t feel offensive, but you can’t deny that it makes your alarm bells ring. It’s almost like he’s opening himself up to other people outside of your relationship in small ways to test the waters.

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13.  He doesn’t thank you.

He used to be grateful for the value you bring to his life, but lately, it’s like he couldn’t care less. He never thanks you when you give him a ride to the airport or surprise him with a gift just because he was on your mind. His lack of gratitude is pushing you away.

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14. He places high expectations on you.

Someone who’s sabotaging their relationship might set very high expectations for their partner. He might be doing this so that when you fail to reach his lofty standards, he can say, “You disappoint me.” It’s almost like it confirms for him that he shouldn’t be in the relationship, but it messes with your head and confidence.

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15. He seems indifferent about your life.

It’s not just relationship issues that sail over his head, but also things you’re going through in your life. When you try to talk to him about a problem you’re having at work or a dream you want to chase, he doesn’t seem to care at all. You might as well be talking about the weather.

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16. He thinks he can read your mind.

An interesting way in which your partner might sabotage your relationship is by thinking he can read your thoughts. Basically, he’ll assume he knows what you’re thinking before even giving you a chance to express what’s on your mind. This can lead to misunderstandings and fights, which is what he might actually want.

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Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.