9 Signs You Are Married to a Commitmentphobe

committmentphobiaOne of the most common misconceptions about men with commitment issues is that they don't commit and would never get married. Au contraire. In fact, even the most commitmentphobic guys DO, in fact, walk down the aisle. And for the women who marry them, this is a nightmare of near epic proportion.

Imagine being married to someone who refuses to make decisions or can't fully engage with you as his wife. Sound awful? For many women, it's reality.


More from The Stir: 12 Signs Your Man Is a Commitmentphobe

"One would assume that when someone gets married, the person gives all of himself or herself both physically and emotionally," says Dr. Ruth Ouzts Moore, a licensed professional counselor and faculty member at Walden University. "However, the giving of oneself fully in a marital commitment means making oneself vulnerable. The person has to love completely and trust completely, or the act of marriage is frightening and uncomfortable."

If it sounds terrible, it's because it is. We talked to experts and gathered 9 signs your husband might be a commitmentphobe.

1.) He rarely initiates sex. Sex, at its best, is an expression of the love between two people. When you are in love, it is also an expression of commitment and can bring up intense feelings. A person with commitment issues will avoid having that connection.

2.) He doesn't communicate appropriately. If it's been years since your spouse last expressed his feelings toward you, he may have some commitment issues. My husband was with a girl for four years before me without saying "I love you." Guess what? He never wanted to commit to her. Don't be that girl. A commitmentphobic husband may also hold in his feelings until he explodes.

"They may conceal their emotions until they can’t hold them in any longer," says Dr. Moore. "Once they express hurt, anger, excitement, or any emotion, they have trouble holding back. Thus, their emotional reactions may seem extreme to their spouses."

3.) The future is vague. Does he have a five-year plan? Does it include you?

"Because individuals with commitment phobias live in a place of doubt and mistrust, it is hard to discuss the future," says Dr. Moore. "Talking about the future means making an informal commitment."

4.) He is STILL confused about his career. Not everyone knows what they want to be at 18. That's what college is for. Heck, some people don't even know then. You WANT a man who explores his world and is looking for his passion. But if he's still highly dissatisfied into his 30s and 40s, you might be looking at something else.

"He may be a hard worker and great at what he does, but he typically doubts that the position is the best fit," explains Dr. Moore. "Thus, he may never truly be happy with his career. It isn’t uncommon for him to be passed over for promotions, because others appear more enthusiastic about the position."

5.) Quality time is lacking. If your husband retreats into himself every night and you rarely spend time together -- even if it's just watching TV and cuddling -- he might have some issues.

"Even if the couple spends time together (e.g goes out to dinner, watches a movie, etc.), there is a lack of interaction or connection when they are together," says Dr. Moore. "It’s as if they go through the motions, but they don’t really connect.

6.) He had commitment fears early in the relationship. If you had to strong arm him into marrying you, then rest assured, he probably has some of that STILL there. Watch out, says Dr. Moore.

7.) He doesn't like to make plans. Honey, do you want to go to Mike and Dave's house Saturday night? It's a simple question, right? For a commitmentphobic man, it's something else entirely.

"If your guy never wants to make a definite date and he doesn't seem to think about the future, he's probably just using you as "reserve" and not really interested (either in you or in commitment)," says "Dr. Romance" Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and the author of Money, Sex, and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage.

8.) They give ALL their love to the kids (or pets). There is nothing on this Earth that makes me happier than seeing my husband dote on our children. I love our family more than anything, and seeing him be such a great dad is absolutely beautiful. But I also know how much he loves me. He tells me all the time with both words and actions. If he were a commitmentphobe? Not so much.

"Children and animals are safe attachments. Children and pets are not likely to abandon, betray, or inflict emotional harm on a parent," says Dr. Moore. "But the person can’t give the same type of attention or develop a similar connection with the spouse."

9.) They have addictions. Whether they are a workaholic, alcoholic, or sexaholic, people with commitment issues do things to an extreme, according to Dr. Moore.

"Such extreme behaviors occupy a good bit of their time and energy," she says. That way, "they don’t have to connect with their spouse."

The fact is, just because a person donned a tux and said "I do" does not mean they actually got over their fear of commitment. For the wife, this can be one of the most painful things to realize and come to terms with, because it creeps into every corner of the marriage and makes her feel incredibly lonely.

"Marriage counseling can be helpful," says Dr. Moore. "But the person with the commitmentphobia usually needs additional individual therapy to address the unresolved grief issues that exist due to their painful relationship history."

Do you think your spouse has commitment issues?

Image © iStock.com/Anton_Sokolov

Read More >