Why Won’t My Husband Fight for Our Marriage? (And What to Do)

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If you’re wondering why on earth your husband won’t fight for your marriage, you’re in the right place.

In this post, we’re going to explain why a husband may seem uninterested in saving his marriage, and also what you can do to turn the tide.

Here’s a summary of reasons why your husband is being so passive:

  • He feels the relationship is on a downward trend anyway
  • He truly believes you’re better off without him
  • He’s been having an affair, or he’s thinking about having one
  • He feels held back in your relationship
  • His personal problems are de-motivating him
  • He doesn’t believe there’s a problem in the first place
  • He simply doesn’t know how to fix things

If you’re not sure where to start, the best resource we’ve found to rescue your marriage—all by yourself—is Dr. Lee Baucom’s program called Save The Marriage.

Click the link above now, or read on for the true reasons your husband won’t fight for your marriage—and what to do about it.

Why Your Husband Refuses to Fight for Your Marriage

1. The relationship has become stagnant

couple sitting with their backs to each other and a quote about losing the spark in your marriage

When the excitement goes in your relationship, so can your bond with your husband.

A recent study shows that boredom in marriage creates distance between couples, leading to significant decreases in marital satisfaction over time.

If your spouse is refusing to fight for your marriage, consider whether you’ve lost the spark and spontaneity between you.

Are you slaves to monotonous routine in your married life?

Is there anything for your husband to look forward to when he wakes up in the morning?

Sometimes we change over the course of our marriages.

You can’t expect to be the fun-loving, free-spirited woman your husband married each and every day once you have little kids to take care of.

And your spouse should be understanding of this.

However, if every bit of fun and intrigue has been sucked out of your relationship, that could be why your husband isn’t jumping to salvage it.

Read Next: How to Fight for Your Marriage When Separated

2. He’s interested in someone else

Painful as it is, extramarital affairs do happen.

Some women can be totally blindsided by an affair.

At times, no physical affair has taken place, but a man may still be emotionally cheating.

It should be stated, there is no reason to jump immediately to this conclusion.

But if you’ve been seeing signs, it’s something to consider.

Research finds that about 21% of men step outside their marriages, and other studies find that number to be even higher.

Suffice it to say, if your husband is no longer interested in you and wants someone else, he’s more likely to let your marriage slip through his fingers.

3. He thinks you’ll be happier without him

It can be incredibly frustrating for you when your partner refuses to fight because “he wants you to be happy.”

But many men have this twisted “white knight” ideology, thinking they need to sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of saving yours.

Perhaps he’s getting mixed messages from you about your own desire to continue your relationship.

Even so, if a man figures he’s holding his wife back, he may believe that the right thing to do is let her go.

4. He feels your marriage is holding him back

man playing with his phone sitting next to a bored woman with a quote about your husband thinking the grass is greener on the other side

On the other hand, maybe it’s your husband who feels like he’s being held back.

Did he have to put his career on hold so that you could pursue yours?

Maybe he suffers from a “grass is always greener” mentality.

This can be the result of getting stuck in self-pity mode.

But if he genuinely feels that he could have done more with his life if he weren’t married, he may harbor some resentment toward you, even if it’s misplaced.

Read Next: How to Save Your Marriage

5. He doesn’t know what to do to fix things

Quite simply, your spouse may not be fighting for your marriage because he doesn’t know what to do.

Marriage is hard. And if yours is in trouble, it’s overwhelming trying to figure out what to do, what not to do and how to react.

Should he give you space, or smother you?

Should you go to a marriage counselor, or does that signal the beginning of the end of your relationship?

Men often feel like it’s their duty to fix things.

And when they don’t know how, they freeze.

If this is a problem in your marriage, you both may find relief in being able to take action now with the Save The Marriage program.

6. He’s hurting

If your husband isn’t fighting for your marriage, it may not having anything to do with you.

Depression, anxiety and personal issues can wreak havoc on his motivation.

There could be things going on with him or emotional pain that you’re not aware of.

As we often find out, men have a tendency to keep it all inside, not wanting to burden their spouse.

But the problem is, their emotional issues build and build, eventually affecting the marriage.

7. He’s concluded there’s nothing left to fight for

Is your spouse the overly analytical sort?

If so, he may be weighing the pros and cons of staying married.

And unfortunately, sometimes the cons overshadow the pros in his mind.

It’s possible that he’s figuring your best days are behind you.

Sometimes, our “reasons” to be married, such as to have a family or to be happy, fade.

What happens when the kids grow up? Or your spouse finds that he’s not very happy anymore?

The answer, as we’ll explain in the next section of this post in just a few minutes, lies in adjusting the purpose of your marriage.

But right now, your husband may not see the marriage fulfilling his expectations anymore.

Which is leading him to conclude that the marriage is over.

8. He’s emotionally checked out

frustrated couple talking with a quote about animosity hurting the emotional connection in marriage

Has fighting and arguing dominated your marriage?

Animosity can eat away at your emotional connection.

When spouses stop treating each other with kindness and respect, they may begin to detach in order to protect themselves.

On the other hand, maybe you haven’t fought a day in your married lives—but you haven’t worked on your relationship, either.

Or, perhaps intimacy has gone out the window because one or both of you have lost your libido, or you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin anymore.

No matter what the situation is, if your husband has blocked himself off emotionally, it’s going to be more difficult to get him to want to fight for your marriage.

9. He thinks you’re crying wolf

Maybe you’ve dangled the threat of separation a few times in the heat of the moment.

If that’s the case, then it’s possible that your husband thinks you’re crying wolf.

Or quite possibly, you’ve never seemed to him like you weren’t satisfied in your marriage before.

So now he struggles to believe that there’s anything really wrong.

Bottom line, your spouse needs to understand the gravity of the situation in order to take action.

And sadly, some husbands don’t start believing that there’s something broken in their marriages until it’s too late.

10. He believes you want a divorce

Have you mentioned before that you want a divorce?

Even if you didn’t truly mean it, your husband may take your words at face value.

Are you waiting to see if your husband will do something to save your relationship, and divorce is just your last resort?

If your husband doesn’t get all of this, he may be thinking it’s pointless to try to change your mind.

Read Also: How to Survive a Loveless Marriage

How to Save Your Marriage By Yourself

Yes, it’s possible to bring your marriage back from the brink, even when you’re the only one trying.

Fair warning—it’s not easy. But you probably assumed that, anyway.

Below is a list of steps you’ll need to take to start making the difference for your marriage now.

Be wary of others’ advice

Here’s the thing.

You may think it’s smart to get outside of your own head and get some other opinions on what you should do.

But not all of that advice is going to be good for you and your situation. (And frankly, some of it is just plain bad and misinformed.)

People who love and care about you will advise you in any way that they think will make you happiest, which may or may not save the marriage.

Others will base their opinions on their own personal experiences, which can cloud their judgment.

In short, be mindful of the opinions you gather, and don’t feel the need to give every one credence.

If it doesn’t seem right to you, you have the right to disregard.

And if it’s not coming from a credible or unbiased source, you may want to take it with a grain of salt.

Swallow your pride

close up of a couple holding hands with a quote about putting the marriage first

As difficult as it is, you will need to set aside your own wounds and personal desires.

Yes, including the desire for your husband to suddenly make a stand for your marriage.

If it hasn’t been working so far, there’s no reason to expect that to change.

And the truth is, if you want to save the marriage, you have to put the relationship first—not necessarily yourself.

So often, we’re taught to prioritize our personal fulfillment. That this is the measure of a good marriage.

But in reality, it’s the other way around—we need to work to make our marriage the best it can be in order to be satisfying and fulfilling to both spouses.

Which brings us to our next step…

Be the agent of change

If your spouse is unwilling to do the work, you can be the agent of change.

That is, you must begin to shift the dynamics in your relationship.

Start doing things that support the marriage to the best of your ability.

Maybe that’s going to marriage counseling (alone if you need to), or perhaps it’s working on yourself to resolve personal issues that are making you unhappy and weighing on your marriage.

But one of you will need to get the ball rolling.

Listen to him

Listening is (at least) 50% of communication.

Your spouse needs to feel safe to talk to you about what’s going on with him.

And because men have trouble bringing up their feelings, it can be massively helpful if you actively create that space for them.

This may take a little while and several times of trying.

But making a humble and sincere request for him to share with you can turn the tide.

Reassure him that you’re not there to judge him. Just listen to what he says.

Remind him that his wife is his rock and that you have his best interest at heart.

Bring back some lightheartedness into your relationship

playful couple on a bench with a quote about being fun with your husband

If your marriage is on the rocks, chances are, you’re not having the best time together.

So what you can do now is work on that.

Do your best to bring back some fun and lightheartedness.

When you first got together, you probably weren’t drowning in responsibilities and doubt.

Try to go back in your memory to when you felt like a different person with him. Hold onto that inspiration and let it guide you now.

Even small moments of playfulness can be significant.

The point is to start changing the way you and partner relate to one another.

Surprise him and do something unexpected—see how he responds.

Reset the purpose of your marriage

This is something best done together, but you can begin the mindset on your own.

If the sentiment is that you’re not sure why you’re together anymore, realize that there is no one purpose set in stone.

Perhaps it can be helpful to consider that the point of your marriage is loyalty.

Simply put, you and your husband chose each other.

When you said “til death do us part,” you probably didn’t imagine struggling so much.

But nevertheless, you made the commitment to each other and that in itself is reason to try.

Dr. Lee Baucom calls it finding your True North Star and explains it more in-depth in Save The Marriage.

Final Thoughts

If your husband won’t fight for your marriage, there is hope.

But you will need to lead the way.

When he sees the dynamics of your relationship changing, he too will be pushed to change.

To get what you want, you have to be the catalyst.

Show your husband it’s possible to have a happy and loving marriage, and he will be more motivated to step up to the plate.

What have you got to lose?


Can I save my marriage if my husband doesn’t want to?

Yes, you can seed the changes that can save your marriage all by yourself.

It is by no means an absolute guarantee. But the best (and only way) to turn things around is to roll your sleeves up and start somewhere.

Ultimately, your husband will have to do some work, too—after all, there are two in a marriage, not one.

But you do not have to wait for him to get on board from the beginning.

You only need to be the first one to take action.

How do you know when to stop fighting for your marriage?

You may decide it’s not worth it to fight for the marriage anymore if:

  • You have lost all desire to fight and you’ve felt that way for some time
  • You’ve given it your all and your spouse is still not interested in salvaging your marriage
  • Couples therapy has not helped
  • You don’t respect each other
  • You’ve envisioned being single and seeing your spouse move on, and it didn’t upset you

How do you know if your husband wants to save your marriage?

  • He’s attentive to you
  • He tries to show you he loves you through his own love language
  • He’s taking the time to work on himself
  • He initiates physical intimacy
  • He expresses verbally that he wants to save the marriage

How to fight for your marriage when separated

Some of the most important steps you can take to fight for your marriage when separated are:

  • Set ground rules for your separation—and don’t stray!
  • Keep the communication channel open
  • Keep your emotions in check
  • Get to the heart of your marriage problems and work on them
  • Improve yourself and show a new side of yourself to your partner
  • Begin the hard work of rebuilding the marriage

Read Also: How to Fight for Your Marriage When Separated

Marlene Davis is an experienced blogger with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Her dream is to help improve people's lives and relationships through sharing of practical knowledge and evidence-based practices.