Men who are secretly unhappy in a relationship but cover it up well usually display these 8 subtle behaviors

If only we could get inside someone else’s head to see what they are thinking.

Sometimes in a relationship, you may just sense that something isn’t quite right.

You may fear that your man isn’t happy, even if you can’t quite put your finger on why.

Is it paranoia or are you right to have your suspicions?

If you’re looking for some clarity, you’re in the right place.

Because men who are secretly unhappy in a relationship will give off some subtle signs, even if they’re trying hard to hide it.

Let’s take a look at the behaviors to watch out for.

1) He’ll always have an excuse, but those excuses start to mount

I think that what turns a good reason into an excuse often comes down to frequency.

For example, if he has to change plans once or twice, that’s no big deal. We all have things that crop up. But when things happen more and more, it starts to become a pattern.

He always has a “good excuse” for explaining away a problem behavior, but those excuses are starting to feel more commonplace.

“Something came up”.

“I have to work late”.

“It’s not you, I’m just tired”.

When you collect all his excuses together, it may paint a picture that you are not a priority in his life.

2) He doesn’t tell you how he feels

He’s not opening up to you.

It may leave you feeling very confused about where you stand and how he really feels about you.

It’s not always so straightforward, feelings never are. But there’s no getting away from one simple relationship rule:

If you are left questioning someone’s intentions towards you and their emotions about you, then it’s not a good sign.

Because when people are interested and committed, we just feel it. That’s because their words and actions show us.

If he isn’t telling you how he feels anymore, it could be a barrier he has put up.

Typically, you’ll find him participating less in meaningful conversations. Instead, he’ll stick to small talk.

He may be more evasive in his communication altogether, seemingly ignoring or avoiding certain topics.

This may be an attempt to steer clear of conflicts that could expose his unhappiness.

A change in your communication becomes even more concerning when he no longer shows you in other ways how important you are to him either, as we’re about to see next. 

3) He doesn’t make an effort anymore

First off, let’s get real…

The longer you’ve been together, it’s common for complacency to slip in. As it does, you can find yourself taking each other for granted.

Those romantic gestures, often fuelled by the honeymoon period, may start to disappear.

But it’s also true that the effort we make is a direct representation of how important something (or in this case, someone) is to us.

A lack of effort can show up in a lot of different behaviors:

  • A lack of patience towards you
  • Taking a long time to text or call you back
  • Forgetting important things you’ve told him
  • Letting you down and breaking promises
  • Wanting to spend less time together
  • A lack of interest in what’s going on in your life

A simple equation we should remember in relationships is that someone’s effort levels are usually a direct correlation to their interest level in us.

4) He seems colder towards you and is less intimate

That doesn’t necessarily mean physically intimate, although you may notice a change in your sex life too.

Intimacy is simply a sense of closeness we have with our partner. It’s created and maintained through a wide range of bonding activities.

That encompasses everything from meaningful conversations to shared experiences and physical contact like cuddling.

As he emotionally withdraws, you may notice that you don’t feel that same bond with him that you once did.

Even when he is spending time with you, he just seems more distant.

5) He’s more snappy and moody with you

emotionally draining habits that can sabotage your relationship Men who are secretly unhappy in a relationship but cover it up well usually display these 8 subtle behaviors

Of course, stress and pressure can affect our mental health. Although we know we shouldn’t we’re all guilty of taking bad moods out on other people.

Those most in the firing line tend to be the people we feel closest to.

Yet if your man doesn’t seem to be dealing with any stress, but is still snapping at you more often, it might be a sign he is unhappy.

Even though he tries to keep a lid on it, his frustrations and discontentment bubble to the surface.

This can also manifest in nitpicking and starting seemingly pointless arguments over nothing.

He might become more irritable, reacting negatively to situations that wouldn’t normally bother him.

He may be hyper-critical of you, and it feels like he is getting at everything you do or say.

He may well be subconsciously spoiling for a fight.

6) He’s doing more things without you

I’m a big believer in the importance of independence in any healthy relationship. I certainly don’t think it does you any good to be glued to one another’s side 24-7.

But there’s also something I’ve learned from past experience…

When someone starts to subtly pull away from you in a relationship, they often begin to fill their time with other things or other people.

I’m not sure if it’s a subconscious attempt to prepare the groundwork for if they decide to leave, or if it’s just a sign of an increasing lack of interest in being around you.

Years ago when I suspected a former boyfriend wasn’t happy in the relationship, this was one of the first things I picked up on.

He said everything was okay between us, but his behavior didn’t match up.

He was less interested in hanging out. Meanwhile, he was also spending more time at work, going out with friends, and generally doing other things that didn’t involve me.

7) He’s being vague or even secretive

Sometimes you just get a sense that someone is hiding something from you.

You may worry you are reading too much into things, but don’t be so hasty to dismiss it.

I learned this firsthand when a former partner cheated on me.

I had zero concrete proof, and he seemed to be the least likely guy in the world to do that sort of thing.

But I also couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right, and I knew I had never been the jealous or insecure type.

As much as I tried to talk myself out of this intuitive knowing, it lingered. It turned out I was right.

Of course, you need to make sure it’s not paranoia. But if you, like me, have never been prone to this, then your gut is probably picking up on very subtle cues.

That may be vagueness in the details he is sharing with you. It could be a slightly secretive approach he suddenly has towards sharing things in his life.

That’s not to say he is up to no good, it’s just to say that our subconscious minds are highly skilled at reading between the lines.

It picks up on 1001 small little signals that our conscious mind may miss. It then communicates this to you in gut feelings.

8) He won’t compromise

Far from being eager to please, he’s becoming increasingly stubborn.

Recently, it’s his way or the highway.

This shows he has little concern for your preferences, and instead takes a selfish approach to getting his needs met.

This can also go hand in hand with another red flag:

Reusing to take responsibility for himself and any poor behavior.

Some men who lack emotional maturity may struggle to even admit to themselves that they’re not really happy.

Instead, a tactic they may turn to is to become increasingly awkward and difficult in the relationship in order to prompt you to take action.

That way, they get to sidestep a difficult conversation and absolve themselves of the responsibility or blame for a breakup. 

Talk it over

Reading the signs can help you to decide if a man is secretly unhappy, but it still won’t tell you why.

The best way to resolve anything in a relationship is through honest communication.

That’s why if you have doubts it’s better to bring them up. The reality is that it’s the only way to get to the truth.

Often a distance can grow between a couple, but that doesn’t spell the end of the relationship. It’s natural to go through ups and downs.

But both of you do have to pull together to iron out any challenges you may have been experiencing.

That means being upfront about how you are feeling and encouraging him to do the same.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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