Why Won’t He/She Talk To Me?

Talk - AdobeStock_247261264There was no hope in his eyes as he faced me. “She walked out on me,” he said. “She just called me at work one day and said, ‘I’ve had it. I’m leaving.'” He tried to control the tremor around his mouth. “I realize now that much of it was my fault. I guess she tried to talk to me before this. …”

As I listened, I realized the truth of what he’d said. She had tried to tell him. When their son was born, she hadn’t wanted to go back to work immediately. But he pressured her, telling her that they needed her income. She nagged some and later grew severely depressed. But he didn’t think her depression had anything to do with him or with being away from their son.

She Tried to Talk

Actually, that wife had pushed every button she had available to make him listen to her pain and anger. But he was oblivious to her inner cries. He worked two jobs so he wasn’t home much. But more importantly, even when he was home, he failed her emotionally.

Somewhere in time, she decided that the pain of divorce was more bearable than the hurt of being in the same house when they were emotionally at opposite ends of the earth. So she walked out. What she did wasn’t right, but I can understand it. It was probably a last desperate attempt to get her husband’s attention. She got it, all right, but it came too late.

I wonder how many broken relationships are due to a similar scenario. I wonder how many men are in the process this very moment of distancing their wives by failing to understand their needs. We’re talking about the need to be listened to, to have feelings and emotions validated by their husband’s concentrated attention and understanding.

Men Do Have Emotional Needs

It’s not that men don’t need emotional support and intimacy —they do, of course. I know some men who have as great a need for relating on an emotional, feeling, subjective level as any woman. They are often the counselors, those others turn to when in trouble, the pastor-shepherds. But as my wife Carole and I have listened to couples, we find that in the average marriage, it’s generally a matter of degree. And the women’s need usually seems greater. It is she who most often longs for soul-to-soul communication. She feels like she never quite has that desire met by her spouse. She needs to talk to him and have him talk to her in connective ways.

The following incident appeared in a recent article [in Readers Digest Magazine, “Why Husbands Won’t Talk”].

They wrote:

Judy, an artist, was worried about preparations for an exhibition. She started to talk to Cliff, her husband that she wanted his support and sympathy.

Instead, Cliff fired off instructions: “One, get all the artists together. Two, call your accountant—the expenses may be deductible. Three, check with the bank to see how much money you have. Four, contact the P.R. people.”

Judy felt rejected, and thought to herself: “Cliff doesn’t care how I feel. He just wants to get me off his back.”

Cliff believed he was being supportive. He had given her his best advice. But Judy was seeking emotional rapport, not problem solving.

Can You Relate?

Carole and I can relate to that! I have had to work on intimacy in communication all of our married life. It probably has to do with me being that logical, factual, objective kind of guy. I have to admit that by nature, I am a concealer of my feelings. In fact, if one side of a scale represented the ability to express feelings and the other side represented the need to conceal those feelings, Carole and I would probably balance the scales pretty well.

According to most marriage counselors, concealment is more often a trait in men, and it stems from various factors such as background, cultural expectations, perceptions of manliness, and personality. This tendency to conceal has drastic implications. James Collier says that most men think it unmanly even to admit that they have a problem —much less request aid.

He wrote:

Men in America feel that they ought to be able to deal with anything that comes along. They feel it’s an admission of failure if they’re having trouble. Some men would rather fail at their marriage or with their children than admit that something is wrong and seek a solution.

… Says marriage specialist Goldstein: “Men aren’t supposed to have sensitive, warm feelings or feelings of tenderness for the people around them—much less express them.” It is like the story of the old Vermont farmer 40 years married, who said, “I love Sarah Jane so much that sometimes it’s all I can do to keep from telling her.”

Communication patters: Spell them d-i-f-f-e-r-e-n-t.

• They’re different in the number of and reasons to talk and ask questions.

A revealer is often full of questions and sees them as a way to maintain a conversation. They think, “If I don’t ask the other person won’t know that I care.” Questions represent intimacy and caring. But not to a concealer! Now questions can represent meddling. The concealer may be thinking, “Oh, no, you don’t! You can’t pry that information out of me. If I want to tell you something, I’ll tell you —without all your questions.”

• They’re different, too, in the nature of responses to communication.

A revealer may use encouraging sounds such as “uh-huh” and “hmmm” to encourage the other person. Then they feel ignored because the concealer utters so few of these acknowledging sounds. When I listen silently, Carole sometimes asks, “Honey, are you there?”

• They’re different in the use of what some call “oneness” words such as you and we.

A revealer may use many more of such words, as well as conversational bridges such as “Please go on —would you give me another example? …”

Can you identify yourself? As I’ve said, I tend to be the concealer, and —being logical as well —I have to say that often, logical men have logical reasons for concealment! I read of a group of men who were asked their reasons for not talking. Several of them gave fairly logical reason, such as simply not being in a talkative mood, or being tired and not wanting to expend energy talking, even wanting to protect the wife when she was tired and agitated and her emotional tank was near “empty.”

But others in the group answered in ways that indicated their concealment should not be accepted at face value. Listen to these reasons some men gave:

(1) Silence helps me avoid differences of opinion when we talk.

I grew up in a family that rarely expressed strong feelings. So talking is tough, especially when I know what I have to say isn’t what my wife wants to hear.

(2) Silence protects me when I don’t want to talk.

Sometimes I don’t want to talk to my wife about certain things because I’m afraid she will use them against me.

(3) Silence maintains a balance of attachment and freedom that feels comfortable in our relationship.

Sometimes I need closeness, but other times I need distance. I’m most content with our marriage when there’s a natural ebb and flow in our interaction.

(4) Silence precludes heated explosions.

If I don’t shoot off words, I’m less likely to catch crossfire or have to pick up debris when the battle ceases.

(5) When something is bothering me, I don’t talk because my wife tends to overreact and make matters worse.

The last thing I want is someone bouncing off the walls in anger or else sniveling about it.

Did you notice a similarity in these five reasons for silence? It would appear that most of these reasons are based on self protection or comfort, not on the intimacy of the marriage or the needs of the wife.

Now of course there are times when silence is good. But to constantly conceal our feelings is bound to stifle the intimacy and closeness that our marriages demand (and most wives need) in order for us to become truly one.

One counselor puts it this way: Wives think, “The marriage is working as long as we can talk about it.” Husbands think, “The relationship is not working if we have to keep talking about it.”

So we’re different. So one of us doesn’t talk much about feelings, and the other shares freely. Can anything be done?

Different Need to Talk About Feelings

Family counselor Norm Wright says:

A woman does not have to resign herself to living with an un-expressive male. Becoming fatalistic is not the answer, and I’m not talking about divorcing him either. Don’t listen if someone tells you “Don’t be so concerned about men not expressing their feelings. That’s just the way they are!” Men may tend to be that way, but they can change. Challenges or reproaches do not work. Carefully worded invitations can work.

Men do respond initially to questions which elicit factual responses. It’s easier for a man to tell his wife what he does at work than how he feels about it. He can tell her how he did at events or school when he was growing up easier than how he feels about what he did. But starting with the facts is an introduction to the feelings.

But the revealer must be cautioned:

Mr. Wright also says that a man may finally open up to a woman only to find that what he reveals is discounted. It is shared with others, disbelieved, ridiculed, rejected, and even laughed at. Remember: safety, acceptance, and support are essential if a man is going to let down the bridge from his castle. He wants what he shares to be used for his welfare, not against him. Trust is a major issue.

This article comes from the book, Opposites Attack, by Jack and Carole Mayhall. It was originally published by NavPress (no longer being published). This book is aimed at turning your differences into opportunities and helping polar opposites turn into the best of friends. As they often say, “different doesn’t mean wrong —it just means different in the way you approach life. This is such a practical book and really gives a lot of helpful insights into how to get along better with each other.

The Silent Treatment Can Go Both Ways

Before closing this article we want to acknowledge that silent treatments can go both ways. Sometimes it is the husband who is silent, and other times it is the wife. The reasons are many, as to why they choose to be verbally non-communicative. (Sometimes it is because of abusive situations, immaturity, taking a time out, or just not knowing a better way to handle a situation. There are other reasons, as well.) But one thing for sure, prolonged silence, or misused silence can block healthy communication from happening.

To give further insights into how to deal with the “silent treatment” and how to resist giving it when it’s not a healthy thing to do, here are a few additional articles you can read:


Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article. If you have a tip that can help others, please join the discussion below. We would be most grateful.

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Filed under: Communication and Conflict

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120 responses to “Why Won’t He/She Talk To Me?

  1. (US)  Hi. I messed up, I messed up bad guys. I’ve lost my girl and I can’t get her back. I came into our marriage angry I just didn’t know it. I had years of abuse and feelings that I hadn’t dealt with. I was angry and defensive for fear of being attacked most of the time. I’ve been self employed for a long time but work got slow. When my wife got pregnant and put on bed rest she was expecting me to be her “Janitor at midnight” and I wasn’t. I stayed hopeful work would pick up and she was completely crushed.

    She’s distanced herself from me. It became a fight just for her to spend time with me.

    I got help with my issues and BETTER now! But it might be too late. She’s so hurt, so tired, so disappointed. I’m trying to make up for lost time but it doesn’t seem to be changing anything (unless she’s not telling for fear of regression and hurting her again). She LOVES the changes (being nice, trying to romance her, cleaning up, being better with the kids, giving her time etc).

    She says she’s almost mad that I’m this new guy now because she feels like it could’ve been this good all the time. I explained that I wasn’t HIM then and didn’t have the tools. Right now her heart is non responsive. She said she’s not making a conscious decision to be that way, but that’s what it is. I’m giving her space since she waited for me through my period where I had issues. I love her soooooooo much and my kids. I don’t wanna lose them but what do you do when someone says “I’m done, I don’t love you anymore, you lost me,” you know? Part of me feels like she’s watching me to see if I’m gonna continue being who I am and find some money for us to live comfortably.

    I’m determined to win her back but at the same time I don’t wanna be in denial. Right now my mindset is to keep doing the acts of love even when I don’t get a response. I keep telling her and showing her and maybe her heart will warm to me again, maybe. I KNOW she loves me but right now her FEELINGS are running the game. She’s walled me off but I’m fighting for this. I have to take down one brick at a time with love. I’ll take any tips guys… Thanks.

    1. (US)  I’m a proud guy. I’ve been praying and fasting and I’m being given clear instruction for my current actions. This isn’t how I normally act. I’m impatient. lol!

      Pray for me guys, I’m trying to push for this. Some days I get tired. I believe God has shown me “myself” for a reason and I’m hopeful that on the other side of this is the best marriage EVER!!!!

    2. (MALAWI)  Steve, I am happy with you and to this point God has taken a step. He is going to change your situation with your wife. She is on the way with love. Believe it. God is going to do it. And don’t forget to pray for the other men to change their behavior. This is my prayer also.

  2. (MALAWI)  I have read Gloria’s story and I am shocked because the story is like my story. I have tried but I know I must surrender everything to God. Divorce is not a good solution.

    Please, our dear Lord, help our men. We love them. We are crying. God, I am ready to sin no more.

  3. (CANADA)  I have been reading this web site for over an hour! I thank God for it and all the people who participate on it. You are all my favorite. Thank you all.

  4. (USA)  I am so glad to stumble on this site. I thought I was the only woman that felt emotionally abandonded after 6 years of marriage and third child on the way.

  5. (US)  I am emotionally and physically abandonded by my husband. We only lived together four months. He sent me back home, and stopped talking to me. He never answers my phone calls or e-mails. HE totally ignored me for the past six months. What shall I do? I love him and I want him back. Please pray!

  6. (SOUTH-AFRICA)  I have been married for almost three years and my husband is failing me emotionally. I do not want to leave him. I love him with my whole heart, but I can’t be married to a robot. Please help.

  7. (USA) We have been married 45 years and all I ever got was nothing. He won’t talk to me, never had sex with me, never had kids with me. He won’t go out, kiss, hold hands, snuggle, watch TV, sleep, have dinner together just plain nothing. I think the only way I’ve gotten through all this is totally ignore him like he’s done to me. I had to get by my depression, pain almost alone. My doctor helped so much. I’ve created my own life, friends and I try to stay away from home. He would never miss me, and I would bet if I died all he would say is OK.

    1. (UNITED STATES) Amy, that’s so sad. I think your husband would really miss you if you died. I know you must feel awful, and that’s why you said that, but have you tried a marriage counselor? My husband and I used a counselor to get help. I was hiding the fact that my boss had tried to rape me from him, and that was part of my distance. Trust me, you guys should go to a therapist. Maybe, he’ll learn that he needs to pay more attention to you, and the two of you can be happier.

      1. This answer has been a long time in coming! The reason I said he probably wouldn’t care if I died and that he wouldn’t miss me. When His mom and dad died he did nothing in helping in there burial and he didn’t let any one know he was a relative. They had a lot of inheritance money but he never claimed. I was confronted by a lawyer and some state people that he had to do something with their house and money. He just refused to talk to them. I don’t know what happened to everything. When my folks passed on he didn’t help me, I don’t even know if he knew they past on.

        He is very cold hearted and selfish. He was a sniper in Viet Nam for years and has very little interest in life. The only thing he would probably do is call 911 if I died and that would be it.

  8. (US) My wife of 18 years left me 3 months ago.We are both in our 40’s. We have 2 children in their teens. This is the first marriage for both of us, we dated for 2 years. She took my heart on our first date. I felt so grateful for her and her wonderful family, no divorces and great parents.
    Mine is plagued with divorce.

    My wife is passive and loving. She has many long term girlfriends, has never been flirty or someone who gravitates to bad behavior. I’m outgoing, love people and am faithful. She claims I’m controlling. I have been to a degree, but have always encouraged her to enjoy time with her friends and have only said no to her spending time away from home 2-3 times in our marriage. I try very hard to be generous as money and stuff really is not as important to me as any relationship in my life.

    She has said I have not acknowledged her feelings…It took me a while to even understand what that meant. But with practice, I think I’m getting it now. We used to text and talk several times during the day. I enjoyed making her laugh. She’s been loyal, but withdrawing over grudges with me and my family for the last few years. I have avoided conflict with her during the same, but tried to be encouraging. Now I understand encouragement and trying to help her solve a problem isn’t really listening and acknowledging how she feels. No cheating, abuse, hot angry arguments, addictions for both of us. Just a gradual lessening of time really spent building and keeping intimacy.

    She left. No discussion. Got a place of her own. Said ” I love you, but I’m not in love with you” Sees our kids 2 days a week. I call with only important matters relating to finances or kids- She’ll return my calls or answer the phone, but will not give me any future plan (and I haven’t asked). She won’t discuss us and wants off the phone if I hint around it. Texting nice things by me occasionally (like once or twice a week) yields no response. I’ve been to a marriage counselor many times during this time. She refuses to go. After several weeks of really limited contact as in a week of nothing, then a few days, I started asking for just lunch together, she turns me down. I ask once a week and has only seen me a few times since leaving. She wants nothing from our nice home and has only a suitcase worth of clothes. Her studio is furnished.

    I pray every day and read all I can about how to improve this situation. I know God will help us. I just wish I could figure out what she wants to do. I worry I’m not doing enough and will miss the opportunity to do the right thing to win her back by giving her so much space. Any suggestions? The patience and worry is excruciating at times.

  9. (UNITED STATES) I was having trouble in my marriage until after I read this helpful article. I was acting distant from my husband, and I could tell he didn’t like it one bit. I prayed that God would fix things, but nothing he tried worked on me. I thought maybe it was the devil taking control of me, but now I know it was really God teaching me patience. I’m not the most patient woman, and my husband’s not the most patient man.

    He’d beg me to look at him, to make eye contact. He needed me to talk. I felt like there was some sort of emotional disconnect for some reason. I’d never really shared my true feelings with anyone, and when my mother died, it was hard for me to say anything. That’s when I started being distant. My husband once asked me the day after we buried her, “Baby, how are you feeling?” I told him how I felt, and well, he laughed at me. I didn’t talk to him for weeks, first because I was mad, then because I was actually scared to talk to him, fearing he’d laugh again.

    Today, though, we’re fine. But, when I read this article, I realized all the things I’d been doing wrong. Now, we talk all the time. I can tell how I really feel about anything, and he doesn’t laugh or insult me. He loves me, and I love him. For the first time, I truly know he loves me. I’m not scared to talk anymore. I’m not clammed up!

  10. (USA) I am at my witts end with my husband. We’ve been married 5 yrs, been together 12 and we have two beautiful kids. I am not sure whether to stay or go. Recently I found out he was texting and sending messages on facebook to other females and meeting up with them. Some texts were made and recieved while I was home. I confronted him by calling him at work. When he came home he told me maybe we needed to get divorced. He later talked to a mutual friend who advised him to go to counselling if he loves his wife. So I went with him. I wish he would have gone when I suggested it. But that’s the way he is. He will listen to everyone else but me. It’s like I am beneath him. School, work, home, finances he will take advice from everyone else. In the counseling case I wonder if he was shamed into making that move. Is that a red flag that I should just go?

    I have been physically ill, losing weight and an emotional basketcase. I hate being this desperate for a man. I have never been like this and he doesn’t care, it seems. He has been lying and keeping secrets for years but I just didn’t have the courage to leave. Now I feel stuck especially with the kids. If I try to talk about what’s wrong with us he counters with my failure to stay on top of bills and how much he has to work to bring in money. I don’t make as much as him and questioning him about anything is not allowed especially his finances.

    We have been in Marriage Counselling for over a month now and I am hoping we get better but with every day it keeps getting worse. I think he hates me but doesn’t want to be the one to walk away from me and the kids so people can say he is a deadbeat. I love him with all my heart but I am not sure he feels the same. He shuts down when I try to talk and wants to talk only at counselling. I am sick with wondering why else he would need other females as friends as he claims, and keeps them secret as if it was nothing? For years at that. He has never really apologized either. Come to think of it I can’t remember the last time I got a genuine apology. I just feel if I meant much to him and he was fighting for me and this marriage that would be the first step. Acknowledgement and an apology.

    Do I just walk away now or do I stay for more emotional abuse and bad stuff? Does it get better? When will I start trusting him again? How will I know when he is telling the truth? Just stay because the Bible says to pray and stay together? I don’t want anyone else but my husband. Will that change? How do I know when it is just time to go? If I stay how do I do it without losing myself and ruining my kids, espescially my daughter? Please help me.

  11. (USA) My husband and I have been married for over 5 years and we have two children; under 3 years old, and I believe we’re having communication problems. My husband has an at home business so he’s mostly working all the time outside. As of March 2012, I’ve been an at home mom. I understand that his work is tiring & tedious but I try to assist him in anyway I can & I expect him to do the same.

    We’ve had conversations over & over about him helping me around the house, helping me with the children, being able to watch the children whenever I’m cooking or cleaning, setting a work schedule and talking to me. He’ll make attempts to try to fix it and then he falls back & it’s back to me repeating myself. Also, I’m seeing that he puts his wants & needs before mine. For instance, I spoke to him about me joining Weightwatchers and at that time he told me that he couldn’t afford it but then some days later he’s talking to me about ordering something that cost almost $400.

    He has told me that he’s lazy but I think that he’s only lazy when it comes to something I would like for him to do for me. He has said to me that he tends to be selfish sometimes. I’m familiar with his childhood history and he was taught that men don’t cry, provide for the family, & have your own. We have our ups & downs and love each other very much. Now, I don’t know what else I can say or do? Any advice?

  12. (CANADA) I read many of these comments, we all are in same boat, including myself. I been asking this question to myself and to people. I know that if it’s fair to live with person if you two have no intimacy in communication or emotionally disconnected?

  13. These insights into what he could possibly be feeling and thinking are very true for my significant other and father of my child. This site reconfirmed my initial thoughts about it all and didn’t place the responsibilty of communication on the woman. Sometimes there’s no other option to make it work. There’s one part on here where it tells you that you can ask certain questions to allow him to open up. I’ve been with him for over a year. This no longer works now that we have a daughter. Having children changes the way they think, in my opinion, especially after reading many other women’s posts about communication problems.

    When we first started dating I knew the there would be some communication problems, but after prying and getting him to open up about it, I thought there was hope for him. He was more open to counseling then too. Getting married and having a baby are similar in the way that they feel they don’t have to hunt anymore or work making sure you stay. They also believe that being a provider is all that’s needed of them. Culture and man logic brings this about. Communication is the key to relationships and you can’t raise kids without communication.

    Remember, he can still provide without the relationship. It can’t work no matter how much you want it to without communication. I’ve come to the realization that teamwork can’t be one sided on this issue especially when he thinks yelling and trying to start arguments are the way to sort things out. He’s gotten to the point where if I talk he gets angry. If I ask a guestion he won’t answer or he will try to come up with an excuse that demeans me in some way, and finally says he will talk but ignores me outright and won’t look me in the eye. Then he gives excuses when I ask him specifically if he wants to work on this relationship, yes or no. The answers are you watch too many princess movies, you live in fantasy land, this is who I was when you met me, or whatever you want, which are lies and excuses for not talking.

    I tell him he should have figured out communication is the key to all good relationships in his 20’s. He uses our daughter all the time against me. He tells me he’ll take her away, which no longer works anymore cause I just laugh at him. Now he acts like I’m going to take her away. In a sense I would if I left but I’m not mean. He’d spend as much time with her as he does now cause he refuses to watch her for over a few hours only if it’s something I have to do. He wants to act like he would be there but he doesn’t even hold her unless I say anything.

    This 37 yr man would rather play video games than hold her or spend time with me. He’s unhappy but he acts like and tells me it’s my fault. He won’t tell me why he’s unhappy and wants to move, warns this and that. Maybe he doesn’t know either. But we could still talk about it. I’d probably be more willing to stick through this rut longer if he didn’t absolutely try to ruin any happy day I have without him or nag about spending time with my family or communicating outside of us, since he won’t.

    He acts like lately he doesn’t care that I’m taking steps to move out. Since he refuses to talk about anything, even simple stuff, because even if I try he somehow will twist it into an argument. It’s not the kind where I exactly participate either. It’s more like he’s yelling and I’m asking him what’s really bothering him and he doesn’t really need to treat me like this. Ignoring doesn’t work. He’s the kind where he’ll follow you, and become passive aggressive, etc. I’ve tried everything but leave, which I feel is my daughter’s and my only choice to feel truly happy. I know it will be hard at first, but so is being with him, especially the egg shells. I mainly wrote this to vent and share information.

    1. Dani, This man is not acting like he is “significant” to you in the way he is not participating in your relationship. Leaving him since you are not married may make your life less stressful in the long-run. Please, the next time you find a man you want to spend your life with (hopefully, marrying him), pay attention to the red flags that are waving, if they are. There were obviously lots of red flags waving, but you ignored them thinking he would change. Perhaps he could have, but it needs to be his choice to do so or it won’t work, as you see. Make sure communication and participating together in your partnership are important to him too.

      Also, if you leave, please guard your heart in the future and your daughter’s, as well. You will need to be even wiser in the choices you make in who you get involved with because you have a daughter who needs her mom to protect her from someone else who might not cherish her as she needs. Please be more careful and prayerful in the future.

      1. Maybe there were flags but starting out you never know what’s real, if this is them or if it’s them only showing you what you want. There was one flag I know I did ignore, but at the time his actions toward me and others were very good, so I took that as a good sign. He made me want to be a better person, less selfish, and lets say most mothers get even less chance to be selfish. As far as men go I think I would be better off without one if he doesn’t work out. I’m not sure that I pick very well.

  14. Hi I am a 40 year old man who is also going through turmoil. My wife of ten years has completely shut down to me emotionally! When our first child was born she suffered with depression but at the time I didn’t realise it. It was only after our second was born that we knew something was wrong. She was prescribed medication but only took them when she remembered. If I mentioned it I was immediately shot down so I trod in egg shells for a long time.

    Finally in 2009 she told me she didn’t love me and asked me to leave. She went to live at a friends house and I took a job working away. At this time her mum was still talking to me and asking me to be patient which of course I was! In June 2010 I received a phone call from her mother telling me she had gotten pregnant from this so called family friend who was now turning nasty. As far as I am aware it was a one night stand. Now of course I was devastated but I said over the phone with my best firm voice that I would be there for her if she needed me.

    My children and wife came to visit me in the July. We finally talked. She said she wanted us to get back together and would have an abortion, to which my reply was no way, I will bring the baby up as my own and we will get through this together. I then had a beautiful daughter born in January 2011. I worked hard and we then decided late 2012 to move up to Scotland to be closer to family.

    Well, it’s now September 2013 and she has again shut herself down emotionally and refuses to talk to me or anyone. She says she doesn’t love me anymore and I should go. I am at the moment fighting with everything I have to save my marriage once again. The emotional turmoil I am going through I would not wish on anyone.

    I work to provide for my three wonderful children and believe I am a good father to them. I sent her a text asking her to give me four months to change her mind asking her to write the two lists, one good one about our marriage and one bad one to give me a chance to put everything right. I told her there was no pressure for a quick answer and that was a week ago.

    Things have improved slightly but I still have no answer from her and I don’t want to ask her for fear of the answer I don’t want. As I write this I’m just about to go to work with constant churning in my gut about what’s going to happen. I love my wife and children with all my heart and soul and will try and continue my efforts but it’s very hard being the only one trying. Although I have received support from both her mum and step father, her mum says keep hanging in there but I do find it very difficult. I do pray regulary that I can find the strength to come through this once again and I hope to be a better person if I can manage to get through the other side.

    To all the people that are going through these hard times I will pray for you as well, and wish you the best of luck with your endeavours, after all I can totally empathize with your situation. All the best, Julian

  15. My husband has undiagnosed ADHD. I never thought about it until a teacher friend asked me if I knew he had it. It sort of explains why I have had 30 very difficult years with him. But I am now at the end of my rope and am close to leaving, which I really don’t want to do.

    There is currently no talking, no touching, watching TV in separate rooms every night, etc. If I try and talk to him it just makes matters worse, so I have shut down. During an argument a week ago I just packed my bags and left, and have just returned home due to some appointments this week (I went out of town to my daughter’s house).

    We are not speaking at all. I just don’t know what to do any more. He can be a very mean-spirited person. We do go to church every week. Does anyone have any thoughts/ideas on how I should proceed?

    1. I am still wondering why men who write here are told that they have sympathy, but you can’t see the women getting the same reply.

      Everybody knows that men are the ones who predominantly shut down in silence. Why are we ignoring this and why are we all of a sudden trying to make this to make it seems like it is women who do this? We all know that wives like to talk and communicate with their husbands.

      1. From a man’s perspective, it’s not a matter of men not wanting to communicate, it’s a matter of “how” to communicate. I have read and researched so much about this that I have some real opinions from a man’s perspective about this disconnect between men and women. I think that there is not a lot of sympathy for women, specifically from men, because we are just plainly exhausted by how, women in general, communicate. It is overwhelmingly comprised of complaints about how, we as men, are not meeting your needs. The deeper the conversation, the greater the criticism.

        And watch out if, we men, try to communicate to you that we have needs and emotions too. if we do that, then we are insensitive and aren’t listening. When we shut down, it’s due to exhaustion from all the apologizing we have to do that falls on deaf ears. I say deaf because, obviously, the apologies are not heard due to the fact that we have to apologize for the same thing again and again and again. We also shut down out of fear that the next thing we say will set you off again into another emotional meltdown. I am amazed at the hypocrisy that I’ve encountered in my life from women.

        There is a great deal of expectation with very little reciprocation. The things you want from us are not often given back in return. We feel like we are always walking on egg shells and riding on an emotional roller coaster. We rarely feel like we are heard or that you even care about our emotions because that would take the attention off of you. The difference is, we are not constantly complaining about it. We understand and accept that we are different in many ways and our nature is to make the best of what we cannot control rather than turn it into a never ending issue. We recognize our shortcomings for the most part but we don’t condemn ourselves for them. I wish there were as many sites dedicated with advice to help women understand how a man works as there are for advice for men to understand women.

        I honestly believe that men work much harder to understand women to meet their needs than women ever do to understand and meet men’s needs. And trust me, sex is great and we really love it, but it doesn’t balance the scales like you want to imagine it does. If you would just reciprocate a little more, you would see miracles with the men in your lives. It is the nature of women to be narcissistic in most facets of their emotional needs with the exception of motherhood. If you dig deep inside yourselves and are truly honest with yourselves, you will believe that everything I have said here is the absolute, undeniable truth and it will change your lives.