How To Get My Husband To Leave Me – He Won’t Go!

Most days, I get questions from women whose husband has left them.  They are usually searching for a way to get him back.  But every once in a while I get the other side of the equation.

Usually an upset wife will reach out to me and will want to know what she can do or say to get her husband to leave her.  She will explain to me that the marriage has been finished for years and that she has been trying to get him to realize this, but he just won’t accept it.

Or I will be told of a situation in which the couple have decided to part, but the guy just can’t bring himself to bring things to an end.  He will employ all kinds of delaying tactics. He will not make the effort to pack and leave.  Or he won’t take the first steps to finding an apartment or some other place to live.

It is always an interesting situation when I come across a woman who is looking for advice on how to bring her marriage to an end.

When you really feel your marriage is broken, should you start over or just call it quits?  For most wives, this is not an easy decision to navigate.  I touched on the complexity of such  problem and what you might want to do in the following article…

My Marriage is Broken – How Do I Start Over

And it is not an easy thing to advise a person on because cracking a marriage wide open is seldom as simple as it may sound.

Is The Marriage Really Done?

marriage is over and out

Sometimes the relationship is not done.

Sometimes the wife is looking for a way to get her husband’s attention.

So she will push him away in an effort to draw him closer.

I know, it sounds a bit crazy.  But reverse psychology, particularly as it relates to psychological reactance, can be a powerful force.

So you are probably wondering what is psychological reactance and how does it relate to getting a husband to leave or in effect quit the relationship?

Here is how it works.

People, including the guy you think you want out of your life, all have a certain set of freedoms.  Take a freedom away, the person begins to desire it even more.

I have known some married women who understood this principle, not by name, but by instinct.  They secretly wanted their husband to appreciate them more.

But they were also fed up with their man.  So to remedy this situation, they acted against their husband’s perceived freedom and started to push him away.

There are dozens of ways this can be accomplished.  Withholding sex.  Refusing to talk. Ignoring your spouse at all opportunities (i.e. The Silent Treatment).

The idea is that if you push someway away who loves you, they will in turn be more attracted to you and make more efforts to please you and be with you.

So sometimes I am contacted by women who at first say that want their husband out of their lives, but in reality they really don’t want that at all.

What they want is attention and solutions to some problem areas in the marriage.

They want the marriage to get better.  But they are fed up with how their man treats them. They are mad at their husband to such an extent they are willing to throw him out, so to speak.

So as a way to strike back, they tell their man to leave and never come back. They may even utter the often overused declaration, “I don’t love you anymore”.

In talking with women who are moved to act in this way,  it is important I confirm what it is they are really trying to achieve. What do they really want, I ask myself.   It is important to get to the underlying motivation that is causing them to behave this way.

Sometimes a woman will understand fully want she wants and employing the principle of psychological reactance is something that comes natural to her.

She knows her actions and words will send her husband a clear-cut message. And she is willing to take that risk, knowing full well that her husband is unlikely to really pack his bags and leave.

Once I get to the truth of what she is trying to accomplish, I am better able to coach her on the strengths and weaknesses of her strategy.

Of course, it is seldom that simple.

Sometimes the woman I am advising doesn’t really know what she wants.  All she knows in that moment is that she wants him out.  Out of her life.  Out of her house.  She wants all contact and communication with her husband over.

Now, in these situations, I try to help the individual understand that her feelings are important and are real in that moment that she is experiencing them.

But then I explain that emotions have a way of warping our perceptions and the reality of what we really want for the long haul.

Emotions, when they are riding high, can also cause you to lose perspective of what is in your best interest personally and financially.

So sometimes, when a situation of this type crops up, I underscore the importance of allowing one’s  feelings time to settle in place.

One way of accomplishing this is to get her to climb out of her own skin and look at things from a 3rd party perspective.  I challenge her to play devil’s advocate regarding her marital situation and ask all the tough questions

I encourage her to consider whether she is acting on impulse.

I inquire of her if she thinks she might be over playing her hand.

I ask her, “What if a part of you still loves your husband very much and you are succumbing to your anger and emotions.  Will your insistence on making him leave result  in you driving him out of your life forever?  Is that what you really want?”

Do You Really Want To Kick Your Husband Out?

kicking your husband out of the house

I will ask my client if there are better alternatives or options she can employ to accomplish what she wants.  Then we talk about what she really wants. That is truly a very important topic we will spend a lot of time on.

As far as other tactics she could turn to, I usually will inquire if she and her husband have taken time to really try to talk about the problems they are experiencing.

Many times there really hasn’t been much truth-telling going on in the marriage.

Sometimes it is better to tell your husband the truth.  If you are really  unsure if you want to live under the same roof, then you owe it to the relationship to open up wide the communication channels.

As crazy as it may sound, sometimes people would rather avoid talking about deeply difficult and private relationship issues.

They would prefer to bottle things up until all the emotions burst out, resulting in an ultimatum type of scenario (such as, “get out of my life” or “just leave me because I don’t want you anymore”)

If you still harbor the desire to make the marriage work, don’t ask or insist that your husband leave you.

If communications fail and you really feel you need some space. Then take a temporary timeout.

You can tell your husband you need some personal time alone.  Leave for a while.

How long should you leave?

It depends on many factors.  It could be for hours or even days.

The point is you want to take control of those things you can impact.  It is unlikely you will be able to force your husband to pack up and leave.  These kind of rash ultimatum are more likely to set up a situation where there will be more argument and conflict.

And if you truly don’t want him out of your life, then insisting that your spouse should pack and leave you is not usually a fruitful strategy.  He might just call your bluff and where does that get you?

But Chris, I Really Want Him To Leave Me!

do you want him to leave you

But what if you are in a situation where you really want this guy out of your life?

What if you not only want him to leave you, but you want him out like yesterday?

If you find yourself in a broken relationship in which both parties are miserable and you have invested all of your energies in making it work, yet things have not improved, should you insist your husband move out?

I don’t think that is an unreasonable action.

But you want to be sure.

Asking your husband to get all his belongings and get out is a big step.  If you are going to take this measure then be assured that you and your husband have tried everything you can think of to explore other alternatives.

We all know relationships are not always easy.  And if we quit after the first, second, or third time we encounter tough times, we really wouldn’t be trying that hard.

Just be sure that it is not your emotions that is holding sway on your judgement. If you have been married for a reasonable period of time, it stands to reason you both have a lot invested in each other.

So if you are certain that it is not your emotions that are doing all of the talking, then, yes, sometimes it is in your best interest to ask your husband to leave.

His leaving can take on different forms.

It can represent an extended timeout period (e.g. several days) or it can be something more semi permanent.

If you have asked your husband to vacate the house with the understanding that it is on a trial basis, then that leaves open the possibility that the two of your can be reunited again in the future.

Both  you and your husband should leverage the time apart to heal your emotional wounds and work on your selves as neither of you will be in the right frame of mind to possibly reconcile in the future unless you are in a better place personally.

Read this post that discusses how to utilize the No Contact Principle.

Can You Save Your Marriage With The No Contact Rule?

How Should You Go About Getting Him Out?

time to go hubby

So you have asked him to leave, but he won’t go or is dragging his heels.

What do you do?

Part of the problem is that he may not think you are serious.  He may be under the delusion that while the marriage is not working, he still would like to keep things the way they are.

He may rationalize that it is to much of a bother to actually make the break. Inertia may take hold of the way he is thinking about the your relationship.  He may reason that it is more practical and financially convenient for him not to have to bother with packing and finding another place to stay.

It unfortunately seldom works out when an estranged couple continues to live together. The resentment levels rise and conflicts continue.  And neither you or your husband can properly deal with the reality that the marriage has failed if you are living together like brother and sister.

It becomes almost impossible to move on when your husband won’t move out.

How Do You Push Your Husband Out The Door?

showing him the door

So how to you go about telling him that it is truly necessary for him to pack and leave?

If he angrily balks at what you are suggesting, then don’t be drawn into an argument as that will just further exasperate the situation.  Asking someone to leave can cause them to do the opposite, just out of spite.

To give him time to process things, it is sometimes better to give your husband a deadline (24 to 48 hours).

Don’t be surprised if he struggles with accepting the reality of what it is you are asking.

You don’t want to take this approach unless you are absolutely sure you don’t want him returning to the home.

You are taking a huge step.  In effect, you are conveying to him that the marriage is probably over and you no longer believe the two of you can coexist.

So this is not a time to be timid or uncertain about what you are going to say.  If you are, then you are probably not ready.

But if you are certain this is what you want, then he needs to know you are dead serious.

Tell him that you have made up you mind and there is no turning back.

If communications become heated, don’t fall for that trap.  Remove yourself from the environment.  You can text and or call him later again underscoring you want him to move out for now.

You can break up what you are going to say to him into small parts so your husband can digest it better.  You can say something like:

“I think it would be best for now if we didn’t live together.  I would ask you to honor my wishes“.

In his mind, he may think, “OK, she wants me out.  She has been hinting at this for a while.  But she left the door open for me to come back. Yea, OK, maybe this might not be so bad.

But the truth is you never left a door  wide open for him to return.  Like most people, he is hearing and processing the information in a way that helps him cope.

When people deal with difficult information, they sometimes go into denial. Anger usually follows denial.  But eventually, your husband will likely come to terms with what you are asking him to do and accept the underlying reality.  He may not agree with it, but most men will honor and respect you wishes.

What If He Keeps Dragging His Heels?

when will he get out of my life

So what do you do if many days have gone by since you have asked him to leave?

What other things can you do or say that will convey to your husband that he needs to leave and that there is no other recourse?

If you are in this situation, it is likely you have already had numerous conversations with him about packing and going.  Sometimes a guy will stall. He may have told you numerous times that he was going to.  But he may cling to various delaying tactics hoping you will change your mind.  Hence he will put off looking for a place to settle or avoid even thinking about the topic.

You may have strongly suggested that he needs to stay with a friend.  But he may put you off by saying he tried that, but it won’t work out.

You may have suggested various apartments for him to move to.  Don’t be surprised if he takes the opportunity to complain about how  he apartments did not measure up to his standards.  Or, he may say something vague about how he was working on it.

The bottom line is the he is still hanging around and won’t go.  And with every day and week that goes by, you are getting further away from putting your own life back in order.

So what other alternatives are there?

Some of them are not so attractive.  But they are viable options if the circumstances warrant it.

For example, if your husband has been physically abusive or threatening in his language, you can seek to get a restraining order such that he must vacate immediately.

Another option, while not desirable but is sometimes necessary, is to seek a type of intervention.

So let’s say there is an understanding that your husband is supposed to leave, but it is not happening.  He keeps putting it on the back burner and every time you have a conversation about this topic it results in conflict.

Another way to grease the skids and nudge him out the door is to speak to a mutual friend that can talk to your husband.

Now, this can back fire if you don’t choose the right person to intervene in the situation and they don’t handle it right.  But sometimes, if the right person says the right words (on your behalf),  your husband will get the message that he needs to get off the snide and get out.

Of course the risk is that he may get upset that others are drawn into the situation.

But while it may be upsetting to him in the short-term, the message is delivered and sometimes that is sufficient incentive to get him to take your seriously.

 

 

Does Your Husband Have a Secret Girlfriend on the Side?

Sometimes you think you really know someone.  You meet and fall in love with the man of your dreams.  You enjoy months of wonderful experiences, bonding together in ways that you could only imagine in your wildest of aspirations.

In time, the man of your dreams becomes your husband.  Then later, you shockingly discover that your husband may have a secret girlfriend on the side.

Maybe it is a woman he met before your romance.  Perhaps this secret girlfriend is somebody he has known for a long time.  Your speculation about who your husband could possibly be seeing starts to run rampant.

husband has a secret life

But to make matters worse, you are not even sure if your husband is truly hanging out with this other woman.  One minute you are certain there he has met someone else and fallen in love.  Then in the next moment, you try to laugh it off as just your over active imagination.

Try as you might to get answers without directly confronting him, you fall short.  You are not even sure how to approach it.

What do you do if your husband is acting different around.  What might it mean?  I explore this question in the post below….

Why Is My Husband Acting Different and Strange Around Me?

You are hesitant to just bring it up because the mere mention of it might cause your husband to think you have lost it.   You certainly don’t want your man thinking of you in this way.

So you do nothing, yet the thoughts of your husband possibly having a secret love nest creep back in at the slightest stirring of a suspicious word, glance, or some other flimsy evidence.

If this represents your mindset as you struggle to understand what may be going on with your husband, welcome to the wild and unpredictable world of trying to figure out what signs might reliably point to a definite case of infidelity.

Is Your Husband Really Hanging Out With Some Other Woman?

can I trust him with other girls

I understand well the agonizing feeling of uncertainty when it involves matters of whether your husband is hooking up with another woman.

Your mind will invariably race into all different directions when matters of unfaithfulness is on the line.

Such is the vagaries of our imaginations.

For some women, if they notice certain things that seem out of character, it can cause them to dwell on whether their husband has found a girlfriend.

Or if you stumble across some piece of evidence, even remotely pointing to a the possibility that your husband has a secret life with a secret wife, it can turn all rationale thoughts, inside out.  And before you know, you are feeling a little crazy and obsessed with getting to the bottom of things.

After all, if your are happily married and are fully invested into the relationship, the very thought of your man being unfaithful can be too much to bear.

On one end of the spectrum, this can lead to certain denial about what might actually be going on.

It is not that unusual for women to  look past some of the telltale signs of whatever hanky panky their husbands may be up to.  It is just not something you would expect, so you don’t look for it.

And arguably, if you spend all of your time looking for signs of your hubby sneaking around, it would suggest you are over thinking or are far too obsessed about such a thing.

Now don’t get me wrong about this sensitive topic.  I am not suggesting that husbands are untrustworthy rascals that leave a trail of evidence pointing to their unfaithful, lying, and cheating ways!

By and far, most men and women, who are presumably happily married, don’t harbor deep and dark secrets about having other lovers.

Can You Really Trust Your Husband With Another Woman?

can you believe your husband

I have seen both sides of the loving and cheating equation.

It boils down to whether you can really trust your man being around another attractive woman.

I Can’t Believe My Husband Cheated and Left Me

In most cases, the answer is a resounding Yes.  Letting your mind run away with wild thoughts of your man being unfaithful is often self-destructive.  Until you have some indisputable evidence of your husband and another woman, it is not productive to dwell on the topic.

But I would be lying if I told you that every husband out there was not tempted to explore what having an affair is all about.

Now temptation is all together a different thing than making an actual decision to cheat.

But sometimes there is another woman involved.

Sometimes a guy wants to have his cake and eat it too.   He hopes he is not found out.  The girl on the side, in most cases, is fulfilling a sexual desire.

Some men do not exhibit a great deal of self-control when it comes to complying with their marital vows.  The woman  with whom they may have a physical or emotional affair in many cases is not an individual they want to spend the rest of their lives with.  In these situations, the husband is allowing his hormones to rule his mind.

With these kind of guys, there are usually warning signs you can pick up on that will clue you in that your man is with another woman.  I have written about this topic before.  Check out the post below.

I Think My Husband Is Having An Emotional Affair

Now the other side of the equation is that your imagination about your husband being with some other girl could be leading you down the wrong path.

Listen to what Olivia told me:

I was so convinced that he was sneaking around with this other woman at work that I would drive to his building’s parking lot and watch.  I did this for two weeks.  I just couldn’t get it out of my mind.  This other girl was pretty and he had mentioned her a few times, talking about how the other guys in the office were often hitting on her.  When I told him not to get any ideas and he had “better be a good boy” he started squirming around and getting defensive.  Maybe I read too much into how he was acting but I couldn’t get this image of him in bed with this pretty blond out of my head.  I was just obsessed about it.  I would have these elaborate fantasies about what he was doing with her. I know it was not healthy for me to think this way and I really didn’t have any clear evidence against my husband.  I even colored my hair blond thinking that if he was attracted to that look, then I was going to draw his attention back to me.  I initiated sex more and did everything  I could think of to keep him happy.  And he seemed really happy, but then I started thinking maybe it was this other girl at the office that made him happy. One of the days I was spying on him I saw him take her to lunch.  Granted there was another couple that went along but I just go so jealous that I barged into the restaurant pretending that I just happened to be in the area.  I know I embarrassed my husband as he could see through my antics and we ended up fighting over it later that night.  What can you do when everything in you thinks your husband is maybe with this other woman, but you have nothing to back it up?

Olivia was very upset about the prospect of her husband not being faithful.

She had invested so much of herself into the marriage that the very thought of her husband being attracted to some blond at the office and it growing into a real affair was terrifying for her.

How Can You Know For Sure You Husband Has Not Fallen In Love With Somebody Else?

distrust of your man is puzzling

I told her that, while she may not see it right now, that her actions were more likely to push her husband into an affair.

Now, I probably should have picked my words of advice more carefully because she became very angry and upset that anything she was doing would contribute to the problem.

After I calmed her down, I explained to her that there were two issues she should address.  One dealt with getting a definitive answer, for her own sanity as to whether her husband was secretly having a love affair with the blond woman.

I told her I had some thoughts on how she can get a greater certainty as to whether her spouse was cheating on her.

That was issue one I wanted to help her with.  Then I told her issue two was her inability to manage her emotions and speculative thoughts around this issue.  I explained we needed to delve into why she was allowing herself, without reasonable cause, to become so obsessed about her husband’s lack of faithfulness.

So it was with those two things in mind we set off on a path to try to bring some closure to the matter.

I asked her if she had ever simply revealed all of her fears to her husband.  I explained that her mind had opened the door to fear and allowed it to rule her nature.  The best way to close that door is to confront your fear.

Meet your fear up close and personal, I explained to her.  She had avoided really discussing her fears about the existence of this “other woman” with her husband because she didn’t want him to think she was a “little crazy” (using her words).

On the rationale side of her mind, she knew that she did not have a single piece of evidence that suggested her husband was shacking up with another woman.

I explained that the “fear” in her had grown to such gigantic proportions it would take an intervention of some kind to put this excessive fear back in its cage.

Are You Imagining That Your Man is With Another Girl?

is there another woman in his life

We all deal with fear and anxiety.

It is natural to have these feelings.  But there is a point where these emotion can get out of hand and begin to rule our thoughts, feelings, moods, and behavior.

This is what was happening to my client.  By openly talking to her husband about her unnatural fears on this topic, she was giving herself (and her husband) a chance to loosen the grip these thoughts had on her.

So  I told her to simply open up and tell her husband her worst fears about what she thinks is going on.  I told her to tell him that you realize that the thoughts of his infidelity sounded irrational.  But I encouraged her to go on to explain to her spouse that she believed that by opening up and confronting the fears, it can help erase them or at least control them.  Then I advised her to ask her husband to help her.

It told her to ask her husband what he might be able to do to alleviate her concern.  I suggested she should tell him that once that fear is wiped clean from her mind, she would be confident that it would not interfere with her thinking again.

In this situation, once the husband realized his wife was suffering from heightened anxiety about this topic, he would be more amenable to opening up every aspect of his life for her scrutiny.

With a little prepping, that is exactly what happened in this case.

He whipped out his cell phone and together they went through the history of phone messages.  They also went online to check his account so she could see he only had one cell phone.  One of her fantasies was her husband had multiple phones and was carrying on his secret love affair in this manner.  I turned out that none of their records showed this.

Her husband then signed on to his email and gave her full access to show her that he was not communicating with a secret lover.  For a few more minutes, they brainstormed some other things  they could look into that would help arrest her fears.  They went through his clothing.  He gave her his wallet for her to look through.  They also went online to check on his credit card and debit card account history so she could see there was not any unusual charges.

All of her fantasy thoughts of him having secret dinners, buying gifts, and staying at hotels was squashed after they went through the information.

At the end of this process, not only were her fears of losing her husband to another lover alleviated, but she felt a little sad and guilty that she allowed her mind to run away to such an extent that she had lost trust for her spouse.

I told her that she now needed to work on not allowing uncontrolled thoughts about her husband’s trustworthiness to flood her mind.

It is no fun when obsessive emotions decides to hijack our thoughts.  I encouraged her to consider activities such a meditation, yoga, and/or physical exercise as a way to find better balance and peace of mind.

 

Why Does My Husband Yell and Shout at Me All the Time

You might be wondering why your husband yells at you.

I am sure you would agree that seldom is it a good situation when you and your husband resort to loud shouting matches.

But what if you are married to a guy who finds it far too comfortable to scream or yell at you to make his point. Such a situation suggests the marriage or relationship is flawed.

Are you married to a man who raises his voice at you far too often?

You certainly do not deserve that kind of treatment.  No one does.

Do you find yourself spending far too much of your time trying to calm or tame your angry and loud husband?

Can you really trust that what your husband is saying is really what he means or is there something else going on?  I actually wrote a post about this particular topic recently…

What Your Husband is Saying – What He Really Means

Why does he behave this way and what are your options?

how to tame your husband's fury

What Can You Do To Tame Your Husband?

Do you ever feel that there is a beast that seems to rise out of your husband?

Is your hubby’s behavior something you can tame or are you trapped living with a guy who periodically unravels?

You need not resigned yourself to a marriage in which you are always on the receiving end of your husband’s wrath.

These are all tough questions for any wife to have to deal with.  Let’s try to get some perspective.

It is important that you understand a few simple principles on how things should really work within a healthy, functional marriage.

First of all, it is never acceptable for a husband or any spouse to resort to loud, belittling or intimidating behavior in the marriage.  If that is what is going on in your relationship, then the man you are married to has many lessons to learn.

And if such behavior continues to happen with frequency, even after multiple efforts to resolve the problem, then you should give serious consideration to ending the relationship.

There is nothing more toxic to a marriage than being around a husband (or spouse) that frequently resorts to loud and abusive behavior.

So if you find yourself in a marital environment in which yelling or shouting has become the norm, then something needs to change to upset that routine.

It seldom does anyone any good if conflicts always ends in the spouses becoming upset, raising their voices and using obnoxious, threatening tones to get their points across.

Are You Married To a Loud and Abusive Husband?

hitched up to a guy who yells

There  are all different types of abuse which are sometimes practiced in marriages.

None of them are good.

Even in a solid marriage, a reasonable and decent husband can completely lose his head and just take it all out on his wife, only later to come back with apologies as he realizes the shameful way he behaved.

When a husband succumbs to that little pocket of cruelty that may lie within him, he in effect has broken his vow to love and cherish and protect his wife.

Why might your husband behave in a selfish way?  I got into this topic in the article below….

Why is My Husband Selfish and So Mean To Me

If your man is not making you feel safe and secure, something is wrong.

Let’s say you hubby has had a really bad day, but so to have you.  He is smoldering as he tries to contain his angry feelings about his day.  When you try to talk to him about your problems at work, let’s say he simply loses it and starts loudly ripping at you about how you are always dumping your problems on him.

Is this acceptable?  Should he get a pass?

No

While your guy may be a wonderful man, his outburst and yelling neither serves to calm your troubled mind or improve the environment around the house.

The fact of the matter is that your husband’s outburst is form of marital abuse that is unacceptable.

Married men and women are all guilty of the occasional fly off the handle moment.  It happens.  The key is that it should happen rarely and when a loud angry outburst does occur, the people involved should immediately work to suppress the lesser angels of their soul.

But this type of incident pales in comparison to those cases in which the husband consistently behaves in a crude, cruel, loud, and over the top type fashion.

If you have a husband who feels he must dominate and control every conversation and topic without argument and feels it is acceptable to shout you into submission if you dare disagree, that is a form of an abuse that is intolerable.

Verbal and emotional abuse can take on all kinds of forms and are often employed as a control mechanism or to instill fear, which leads us back to a spouse who is overly concerned about domination and control.

Such marriages are unhealthy to the bone.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of such cruel spousal treatment, then something needs to change.

It is not normal for a couple to be reduced to shouting matches.  It does not serve the marriage for a husband and wife to become accustomed to screaming and shouting, just to make their point.

And when vulgarity, profanity, and put downs colors the language of the relationship, rarely does anything good come of that type of behavior.

The other day, I heard from Trisha who was really feeling low.  She had just come out of an ugly fuss fest with her husband of two years and things had gotten out of hand.

Here is how she tells it:

My man hates me.  I am sure of it. When my husband gets right up into my face and starts screaming, I am petrified. What do you do when you are married to a man who thinks shouting is the way you get your point across.  I am thinking of leaving him. Most of the time I feel stricken with fear that he will shout me down at the least little thing I do.  He doesn’t care what he says or how he says it. He likes to throw in all kinds of vulgarities for effect.   Marriage isn’t suppose to be about who can scream the loudest at each other. It shouldn’t be a race to the finish line of who can hurl the worst insults and intimidate the other. It is like I am married to a guy with a hair-trigger temper and when things don’t turn out well, I get blamed.  I should have known it would turn out this way because his ex warned me that he was the loudest and most obnoxious man she ever met. I didn’t believe her.  But now I do. I don’t want this anymore and need your help to find the nearest exit.

It is really sad when your relationship is defined by the amount of profanity and the volume the spouses spew at each other.

It truly is a toxic situation if you’re married to a guy who feels he can shout and scream with repercussion.

And that is truly a problem and unfortunately it is often repeated.  Many women who I consult with tell me they hate being victimized and screamed at when their husband is feeling the pressure. But they also will tell me they feel they have a lot invested in the marriage.

Something has to give as this is not a sustainable way to live a life.

They will tell me things like,

“I know he is this way and I resent him for it.  But then when it is over he will come begging back with apologies in hand. I don’t want to throw out the good with the bad.”

Or…

” Why my husband finds it necessary to resort to shouting me down when we are fighting I can never understand.  I have told him it damages us and his behavior needs to stop.  My husband promises he will stop hollering when things go awry, but then he breaks the promise again and again.  Some days I feel like our marriage needs to end. Then I remember all the loving things he has done for me.  I feel like I am conditioned to put up with his bad boy outbursts. What do you when your husband freaks out and acts like a madman, then turns around later and lays down the charm?  I feel stuck and split down the middle on what to do or how I should think about this marriage.”

The Top 3 Ways To Handle A Fussy Husband

living with a man who screams at you

For women who have had similar experiences as I laid out above, you have my sympathy.  I understand your pain.

But you need to know that there are avenues you can take to better your situation.

Being married to a fussy husband is not unusual. There are measures you can take to manage these situations.

But when they evolve into an abusive kind of guy who thinks he has a license to whip up the volume of his voice whenever it suits him…..that is unacceptable

Let’s start with those married men who resort to shouting or raising their voice to dominate the conversation or argument.  Let’s assume for these kind of guys, their propensity to give end to their bad boy side is not a frequent occurrence.

Nevertheless, such behavior can chaff the nerves of the good wife at the very least and at worse…. threaten the health of the marriage when things get out of hand.

So how do you deal with this type of behavior?

Here are a few ideas you can put to action if you find yourself on the receiving end of a husband who thinks screaming and howling at you is his way to resolve things.

Name the Behavior and its Impact On YOU

telling it like it is to a yeller

Sometimes your husband may not be aware that he is screaming at you.

While this is not the case for all men because some guys know exactly what they are doing, there are some dudes who just get overwhelmed with some much passion they can barely contains themselves.

As a result they can lash out and resort to yelling to make their point.

If your husband falls into this category, one way to slow him down is simply name the behavior.

In other words, simply describe and reflect back what he is doing and how it affects you on an emotional level.

For example: “You are raising your voice and losing control. When you act this way it makes me feel belittled and unsafe”.

Sometimes guys just lose it and the volume of their voice can rise out of control without them even realizing it.

So give your hubby a wake up call. It is like a little verbal smack.  Let them know, in no uncertain terms, how they are behaving and how it hurts to be treated that way.

Leave When Your Husband Screams at You.

leave and give him space

Now, I don’t mean this to sound so dramatic.  I am not advocating you end the marriage and walk out of his life. But there are ways in which you can defuse the situation with your husband if you remove yourself from the equation.

Remember,  You don’t need to be your husband’s verbal abuse punching bag.  If he is going to scream at you, that’s it, you do not need to tolerate that kind of behavior.

Now, there are different ways a wife can handle a screaming and shouting husband.

If your man becomes loud, irate and unglued, then leave the house.  Get out.

There is no need to put yourself at risk or subject yourself to your husband’s ugly outburst.   Your actions send a clear message that you have zero tolerance for such behavior and if your husband can’t contain himself, he risks losing you.

On the other hand, if your guy is just having a minor freak out…let’s say he has raised his voice and getting loud, then try leaving the immediate area.

Give him and yourself some space.  Walk away to another room.  And be sure you tell him not to follow you.  Tell him you need to be alone and to respect your privacy.

In my experience, men can react in one of two ways when you put distance between them and you.  A husband whose reasoning is still intact and has some semblance of decency will realize that they allowed things to get out of control and will respect your decision to walk away.

This cooling off period usually allows both parties of the marriage to get their emotions back under control.

But there is a certain segment of men that will become even more upset that you chose to walk away from them, right in the middle of their tongue lashing.

These kind of husbands are the control freaks of life.  He may be a narcissist or simply just a bad guy.  He may insist that you don’t walk away.

Some men may escalate their verbal attack and shout even louder at you to try to intimidate you.

The truth is that such a husband who resorts to this behavior is being abusive.

You need not tolerate this kind of outburst.  If your husband escalates his verbal assault on you, then leave the house.

Listen to Your Husband Without Engaging or Commenting.

be a good and quiet listener

Sometimes a guy has to vent.

And your silence throughout the episode can be powerful force.

He may be upset about something on his mind and can get himself so worked up that the least little thing can set him off.

If you are married to a guy who allows himself to get worked up and as a result starts getting loud or unruly when things  are not working out, there is a simple technique you can employ to diffuse his behavior.

Consider simply using your quiet voice to communicate with your man.

If he goes off half cocked about something and it is evident something is really bothering him and he starts unwinding, let him.  The truth is that he may not really be mad at you.  Your husband may not, in his mind, be directing his wrath at you.  You are just the unfortunate soul who is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Of course it is much more than that.  Your man loves you.  It may not feel like it at the time, but he is using you (arguably in a selfish way) to help him exorcise his demons.  At least that is the case in this example.

So let him unwind as much as you can tolerate. It will help him get it all out and later he will feel better.  When he is letting loose his “angry at the world” speech, just try to listen.

Don’t argue or agree or disagree with him.  What he may really be looking for is someone who he loves and trusts that will serve as a sounding board as he works it all out.

Now if your husband’s yell fest turns in to a habit such that your husband is frequently raising his voice and yelling about everything and then drags you into his world of everything is dark and dreary….that is not a healthy routine.

If your husband starts to get comfortable with yelling at you or around you about anything, then we are getting into abusive territory.  And that is an area that is very unhealthy for marriage.

I think we will end this discussion right here today.  But I still have plenty of thoughts and advice on how you can navigate through a troubled marriage beset by a husband who too often falls prey to being a bad husband.

I do have some parting advice for you.

While those solutions I described above will work in many cases, there are some marriages in which the husband will not respond to any of those efforts.

Things like trust, respect, and honor may have deteriorated to such a degree the relationship between the husband and wife have become frayed and broken.

In such cases, more aggressive measures may need to be taken such as marital counseling, trial separation or bringing the relationship to an end.

I cover those matters and plenty more throughout this website.

So feel free to explore my website for any related topics of marriage that you feel you need to get up to speed on.  And as always, I encourage you to weigh in with your thoughts and feelings in the Comment Section below this post.

 

What Makes a Great Marriage Work – You Will Be Surprised!

All of us want our marriages to be the best.

When we fell in love with our partner, all we could think about was how wonderful they are and how happy we would be for the remainder of our lives.

How can we make sure that our dreams come true?

So let’s explore what makes for a great marriage?

I think you might be a bit surprised with some of the findings of the wise and great minds that study this subject.

a great marriage is within your grasp

Ok, now just in case you think I am getting cocky, I am not including myself in that group.

Sure, I have a lot of knowledge and practical experience from working with many thousands of individuals and couples.

I enjoy helping motivated people through the good and bad relationship times.

It is always a privilege and pleasure to offer advice and help people see other options.

But today, we are going to focus on what one of the premier thought leaders has said about this topic.

How Does a Couple End Up With A Great Marriage Filled With Passion

happy couples

What if I told you that having a super marriage is not as complicated as you may have thought.

We know there have been many smart people who have weighed on this topic.

Many thousands of articles are written every day about how to achieve a happy relationship.

Do you ever wonder if you may have married the wrong man?  Are you struggling with finding the sweet spot in your marriage?  Be sure to check out this post I wrote on the topic…

Did I Marry The Wrong Man For Me?

A lot of people have a lot to say on this topic.  After all, love brings out the best and worst in us all.  And getting answers that can specifically help with one’s marriage is a worthwhile endeavor.

Relationships influence how we human beings interact in society.  And if you are married, you can bet you will be spending a lot of time with your spouse.

And if the marriage is a poor one, it can be a downer for not just you, but for all your friends and family.

I have come to believe that some people have a better take on this topic than others.

The folks I am referring to are some of the great minds in the field of human behavior.  One researcher, whose biological anthropological findings are second to none, goes by the name of Helen Fisher.

When it comes to love, attraction, bonding, and all matters related to human behavior and relationships……Helen is one my favorites.

I am going to bring her back into the picture a little later.  But if you wish to read more about her accomplishments and some of her views, check out this link.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Fisher_(anthropologist)

Were Your Early Days of Marriage Blissful?

the wonderful early days

It can be hard to top those early moments, days, and weeks in which our love for our partner was practically all that mattered to us.

Those were the days!

The sweet, romantic and unblemished love between two highly engaged souls.

Lovers during the romantic stage of their relationship have the most wonderful thoughts dancing through their minds.

Of course, a great deal of our enthusiasm was probably getting a big assist from the flow of dopamine (and other feel good hormones) released in our brain.

You can’t  blame us for soaking up all those beautiful feelings.  It is what essentially every  couple, married or not, really strives for.

And when we get these sweet, loving experiences with the one we love, we want more and more.

When these feel good hormones are released and tap into the reward center of our brains, we kinda become prisoners to the chemistry of how we react to our lover.

Now I don’t want to make love sound like it is completely born within a sort of chemical test tube inside our brains.

Because it is not.

Love is not something that comes about simply because our brain chemistry and hormones take over.

The myriad of experiences you have with a person and the quality of those moments you spend with him or her accounts for a lot what you end up feeling for that person.

Eventually though, marriage comes a calling and why not take the plunge if you have all the right reasons.

At least, that is the thinking for a lot of people.

Which leads us to how couples end up with each other.

Of course, selecting your mate is an article unto itself, isn’t it.  There are so many things we can do to select the right person.  And there are many ways we can go about selecting our husband or wife with all the wrong things in mind.

It truly is a hugely important topic.  You know what I mean!  Doing your due diligence, unfiltered by the influences of all those “feel good emotions”, is so important.

Getting the right husband or wife who connects with you in all the right ways and finding someone who has some of the key personality characteristics that makes for a successful marriage….well….all I can say is that it behooves you to do your due diligence.

I will make a deal with you.  What I just got through talking about is important.

So I will make it a separate post and will write about it in greater detail in the future.

So don’t get mad at me or feel desperate that you “must” know the secret recipe, RIGHT NOW!

Take solace that in the words to follow, I will indeed be touching on some of those important ingredients you need to look for in your future wife or husband before you get hitched.

Now for those of you that need to latch on to some ideas right now because you can’t wait, then take a look at this lengthy post I wrote that deals with a lot of important marital success factors!

How To Save Your Troubled Marriage

As we proceed, I will be operating under the assumption that you found this post because either you are married or close to being married and want to know what it is you can do make your marriage not just good, but outstanding.

Well it turns out, probably not to your surprise, that there are many things that can influence a marriage in a positive manner.

Such is the complexity of relationships.  You really can’t just hang your hat on just one thing that the couple needs to do to make the relationship jell.

But if you are like me, you are probably wondering if anyone has ever tried to boil it down to just a few key and critical things you and your spouse can do, over and over again, that results in success.

It is not hard to find things that we can all do better to make our marriages great.

Take yourself for example.  You are probably really good at a number of things that makes it easy for your husband to really enjoy being around you.

But if you had to boil it all down such that you and your husband (or wife) could talk about it and say, “yes, let’s do that……we can do that“, what would it be.

What is the secret marriage sauce that can make you and your husband love birds for life?

What can you do every day that can make your marriage a mind bending experience?

How can you bring a smile to your spouse’s face everyday because of these things you as a couple repeat over and over again?

And when the marriage get’s in trouble and you are both needing some guidance to get things back in track, what is your go to strategy?

What helps you and your husband (or wife) unwind whatever problem or conflict you are having.

Well, that is a lot of questions.

So how about some answers?

I bet you are dying to know what you can do to move the marriage up to the next level.

I am warning you, you will be surprised.

But not in a “Oh my god, I didn’t realize that“, but rather you will be pleasantly surprised that the levers that you can turn to make your marriage work so much better is remarkably within your control.

That is right.

You and your husband (or wife) have the competencies to pull this off.  I have no doubt about that.  You need not be some kind of marriage wizard to excel.

You need only do about 3 things well.

The rest will fall in place if your nourish it and keep seeking opportunities to continuously improve.

So what are these three things that can make your marriage unquestionably far better than what it is now?

Let’s start with the first one.

Celebrating the Good of Your Marriage

a greater marriage getting better

When we look at most marriages, you can point to strengths and weaknesses.

One of the spouses will have their list of skills, competencies, or characteristics that makes them shine.

For example, let’s say your husband is really good at keeping calm.  He is even-tempered and when others around him get a little crazy, he maintains his cool.

Lets also say that you husband is affectionate.  He holds you freely and touches you softly and when you and he embrace, he tells you the very things you need to hear.

Let’s say your man is reliable. His word is good.  You can count on him to do the things he says. He is trustworthy.

And while we are at it, let’s also say that your guy is in great shape.  He exercises and eats healthy and you love that about him because it encourages you to do the same things.  And as  a result, you feel good about yourself.

So, let those examples stand on he positive side of your husband’s relationship skill set.

But of course your husband isn’t perfect.

While he may possess some really good attributes that help make the marriage much smoother sailing, he also will undoubtedly have some behaviors that are not ideal.

For example, perhaps your husband just does not have the best choice in clothes. Maybe he is just a bit sloppy.  I am not saying he is a slob.  Rather, let’s say he is no fashion genius.

And maybe he is not the most social of guys.  Let’s say when you want to have a party or gathering of friends, he is not the most enthusiastic about the idea and sorta hangs in the background, not quite sure how to blend in.

Maybe you love dancing and use to go out a lot with your friends before you were married. But let’s say your husband has two left feet.  He would rather stand in the rain than go out and dance it up.

So positives and negatives.  We all have them, right?

But here is the rub.  It is the couples that emphasis and elevate each other strengths and positive attributes that make for great marriages.  They focus much more on all the good things their spouse does and avoids dwelling on the negative or the lesser capable aspects of their spouse’s personality or skill set.

When you interact with your husband (or wife) in this manner, you keep the spotlight on the positive attributes.

It is not like you are living a lie with your spouse.  Rather, you choose to define your mood and attitude that the “glass is more than half full by embracing all of the positive things your husband (or wife) does.

What you want to do is more than embrace, you want to celebrate your spouse’s strengths and make sure they know how much your enjoy that special part that make your husband (or wife) who they are.

Helen Fischer has a clever phrase to describe this mentality.  She refers to it as a form of “positive allusion” where you hyper focus on the things you love and adore about your partner to enhance that sense of being madly and passionately in love.

And on the flip side, you avoid dwelling on those things that are not so admirable or attractive about your marriage partner.

Make Empathy Your Language of Love

empathy makes marriages strong

The second finding that points to successful marriages is the couple’s ability to show empathy.

When Helen Fischer conducted her brain scan research of those couples that doing amazingly well with each other, she noticed that the part of their brain that often lit up when they interacted has to do with empathy.

Your ability to step into your marriage partner “shoes” so to speak and really feel and experience what they are going through emotionally is a real asset.  It helps the couple tremendously in their ability to form connections and pathways to each other.

It takes a refined level of active listening to be truly empathetic.  You have to care and you have to seek to understand whatever it is they are feeling.  To do that, you and your relationship partner have to act in a selfless way to try to embrace what the other person is feeling.

If empathy is not front and center in your relationship, talk to your partner about the importance of behaving in this fashion and try it out every evening.

Make time to listen to and really hear what is going on with your partner.  Do it often enough, it will become a routine.

I know of one wife who convinced her husband that when he listens to her and tries hard to understand what she may be going through and how she truly feels about it, it makes her feel incredibly connected to her husband.  Revealing her emotional vulnerability made her feel closer to her husband to the extent that it enhanced the intimacy between them.

So in effect, her husband’s act of empathy made her feel loved and in return she felt more intimate and welcomed greater intimacy.

In her case, Her husband’s empathy led to a higher degree of  closeness which led to greater emotional intimacy.

A Strong Marriage is About Controlling Your Own Emotions

Let’ s say your are married and your husband is the kind of guy that holds it together really well.

He is good at controlling his emotions, finding that emotional balance such that he seldom gets really upset, angry, or exceptionally moody about things.

If you too are cut from that same cloth and don’t allow yourself to  overreact or become easily upset with your husband, then the two of you are more than likely a very strong pair.

Passion within a relationship is a  good thing if is it used for positive outcomes.

When emotions of either extreme (good or bad) dominate the marriage scene, you may find yourselves spending far too much time extracting yourself from problems you each had a hand in making.

Successful couples focus on maintaining an even keel and not reacting adversely to the various challenges and complications that life and marriage.

Is My Husband Over Me or Just Tired of Being Married To Me?

Do you ever get the feeling that your husband is simply sick of you?

Do you ever feel that it could be over?

Or is it possible you are misreading the signs and what is really happening is your husband is simply mad at you?

Or is it possible your husband is really just tired of being married to you?

Whatever you do, don’t resort to begging your husband for attention.  I get into the problems with begging in marriages in the post below….

Should I Beg For My Husband To Stay and Not Leave Me?

Everyday I hear from clients who tell me their stories about love and hate and everything in between.

Let’s peel back some of the layers of what can really go wrong within a marriage and discover what you can do about it.

my husband is sick of me

Stories of Love, Hate, and Ungrateful Husbands

Let me give you a sample of what it is like for three of my clients who struggled with trying to read what their husband’s was really thinking. As you can see, this is not an uncommon occurrence for many woman who come to me looking for help.   Then later, we are going to dissect the life of yet another client whose husband has taken a change for the worst and she wants to know why and what can be done.

Client 1:  The Case of the Husband Who Isn’t Trying

I come home everyday dreading to talk with my husband because it just seems he doesn’t care for me.  He seems to go out of his way to ignore my needs.  I am just looking for a little empathy and caring, but if you spend much of your life living with a husband who is like a stone wall and doesn’t seem engaged, why even try? I think he quit on our relationship long ago and is just going through the motions.  I know I shouldn’t talk or think this way.  And I know my husband gets mad at me easily.  I confess, I can get really critical of him and we fight.  But much of the time it not my fault.  When he gets angry, he retreats.  Now I am afraid that our marriage is nearly coming to an end.  Any day when I get home I expect he is just going to say he is over me and wants out of the marriage.  How do I turn this loveless relationship around?

Client 2:  The case of a guy who can’t seem to handle the responsibility of child rearing

My husband and I had a huge argument last week.  He said he feels differently now after 4 years of marriage and just doesn’t think we click.  He claims I manipulated him.  He said he feels trapped and really isn’t ready to be a father. He was angry when he said all these things like it’s my fault and I got angry back because I feel betrayed and attacked.  It seems terribly unfair for my husband to drop this on me in the middle of my pregnancy.  It is our first and I think he is scared.  But could it be possible that he is just not into me like before.  So much changes when you are pregnant and I really want this baby and I thought he did to. I don’t feel like being intimate with him much of the time and I just feel weary and sick. It’s unfair for my husband to turn away from me.  What do you do when you feel things are over?  I know he knows better and will probably come back begging for my forgiveness.  He is really the needy one.  I am just mad that he would behave so irresponsibly.  I hate this feeling. 

Client 3: The Case of the husband who wants to quit on his marriage

think our marriage is on its last legs.  My husband cares little for me and is just mailing it in.  He has been repeating the same thing over and over again about he is just not feeling it anymore and that our love is not of the romantic kind. I quit sleeping with him.  I know that has turned him away, but I got angry and just don’t want to be in the same room as my husband.  He says that we are going to have to talk about things, but never really follows through.  I married this man thinking he would always be there for me.  But I just don’t think he wants this to work bad enough.  What do you do when your man is not even trying.  I am thinking I shouldn’t even try anymore, but much of the time I hold on to hope that something will change.  My husband and I are just going through the motions. We might as well be brother and sister.   Is there anything I can do to turn around this awful marriage?

What Can You Do When Your Husband Doesn’t Seem To Care?

my husband doesn't care about me

How should you deal with a situation involving your husband in which you are convinced that all of the good will that has been built over the years and all of the wonderful moments you both enjoyed together has gone down the tubes?

Should you throw in the towel if you have been getting the vibe that your man just simply doesn’t think of you in the same way?

Maybe it wasn’t much of anything that you did, but when things turned sour why is it that your husband acts like you are always at fault?

That is what I call the broken marriage syndrome.  You can read more about this problem and how to turn it around here…

My Marriage is Broken – How Do I Start Over

So often I see couples whose relationship borders on dysfunction. In many relationships as things start going south, emotional abuse can creep in.  In the worst cases, emotional abuse defines the everyday interaction between husband and wife.

Some guys will paint their own picture of what is going on and accuse you of being the source of all of their problems.

Your man may act like he hates and despises you at times.

Maybe he even said as much.

Guys can be cruel and insensitive like that.

They can say things which are hurtful and lack tact, leaving you feeling like you should curl up in a ball.

Take Sally for example.

She had reached out to me and told me her husband was pulling away from her and seemed to always be mad at her.

I asked her to give me some examples of things that  could  set off his actions.

She explained, now a days, her husband could get hot and bothered about anything.  She said she felt like she was walking through a mine field when she was around him.

She paused and said that his inconsiderate and ugly behavior had come about recently and as a result the relationship between the two of them had become frayed.

She explained that he was a sweet and caring man for the first few years of the marriage but things now have disintegrated into bouts of put downs and criticisms.

It is as if something has transformed him she said.

I can tell when he looks at me, he doesn’t want to be with me.”

I don’t know what caused him to throw me out of his life-like I am a piece of litter” she exclaimed.  “I never thought my husband would be this way with me. He seems fussy and moody a lot and blames me for things that I would never have thought were a bother.”

Wives Too Often Blame Themselves For Their Husband’s Aberrant Behavior

its my fault my husband can't stand me

It was after a month of her husband’s apparent lack of interest in her that she began to really doubt if she was the one at fault.

She wanted to be the best wife she possible could be and decided to read up on how to satisfy her husband.  She tried new things on the sexual front hoping that might create a spark.

At first it seemed to work, but after a few days he would return to his aloof ways, acting like he did not want to be bothered by her.

It felt horrible, she explained. “I felt like I was becoming a piece of meat for him to enjoy when he wanted to, but there was little he offered up in return.”

It seemed the marriage was evolving into a loveless relationship.

It was like his wife was a nuisance and while the husband would take occasional sexual pleasure in being with his wife, he show little willingness to offer up kind gestures or what she described as the little “loving hugs” she use to get in the past.

I probed to try to better understand what might have triggered her husband lack of enthusiasm for the marriage.

After a lot of crying it became clear to me that she didn’t have any clue.

Obviously, she had racked her brain trying to figure out how her husband, who previously seemed so much in love with her, had transformed after only a few years of marriage into a guy who seemed annoyed with her presence.

She kept coming back to it must be something she was doing wrong and the thought that she was the trigger to the dysfunction in their marriage was taking a toll.

In between sobs, she told me that as best as she can piece it together it didn’t just start-up gradually, but rather it happened somewhat abruptly.  She tried to explain the timing of the disenchantment within her marriage but became somewhat confused as uncertain just how it all played out in time.

She placed the beginning of her husband’s “fall from love” (as she called it) when they were out to the movies.   It was a small thing she said, but wondered if it meant something.  They usually would hold hands, at least for a little bit, she explained.  But on this particular night, her husband seemed edgy and nervous about doing even that.

She confessed that everything was so muddled in her mind about his behavior and her behavior that she wasn’t even sure how things all came about.

But she kept coming back to the scene at the movie theater.

She said it was such as simple thing, but it registered as odd and made her feel suspicious.

Later when she brought it up to him it ended up triggering an argument.  Her husband accused her of being needy and overly sensitive and instead of offering a real explanation as to why he avoided a simple intimate gesture, he just kept repeating to her that “he was tired of being cornered about everything“.

“It didn’t help”, she said, “that my husband is a sort of control freak. He has to win all the arguments and is never wrong about anything.

Neither of them got much sleep that night and from then on the relationship became colder as best as she could recall.  When she would reach out to show affection or start-up a simple innocuous conversation, he would withdraw or try to retreat.  That became his behavior mode and had remained so for the two weeks following the movie incident.

That is when she came to me.

After some more discussion with Sally I asked her if she would be willing to try something else for me.

I could tell she was pretty desperate at this point, even though she joked about her husband being snatched away by the body snatchers.

I laughed and told her it was good to use humor as it would help her cope with the emotional pain and feelings of rejection she was dealing with.

Then I explained that I believed her husband’s behavior had disintegrated into negativity for a clear reason that he was not yet willing to share with her. I reinforced that I didn’t think it was completely due to her or anything she was doing or saying.

In fact, I explained, your actions may have little to do with his poor treatment of you.  “Something else may be triggering your husband’s discontent with the marriage” , I explained.

I suspected that whatever the wedge that had come between them, it was not from anything Sally was doing.

What Might Cause Your Husband To Act Differently Toward You?

my man acts differently toward me

So I listed out 3 things that might be going on that could cause her husband to seemingly overnight transform from a good and loving husband to a guy who seemed to lack basic empathy for his wife.

I emphasized that the core reason may not be any of these things, but it was more likely the answer could be found in my short list.

She was eager to learn what it could be.

Before we get into the possible causes of the husband demeanor, I explained to her that what will be really important and a real challenge is for her to learn how to create an environment such that her husband would reveal what is really going on.

It is not always an easy thing to get a guy to really open up about what he is thinking and feeling.

But before we get into all that”, I explained to her, “let’s speculate what it might be that is causing your husband to pull away from you.”  

I reminded her that none of these things could be the true.  I warned her that some of the possible explanations for his behavior could be upsetting for her to discuss, even if they weren’t true.

So I challenged her to remove her emotions and feelings from the equation as well as she could and approach the conversation we would be having in a clinical way.

“Think of yourself as a detective and you are trying to get to the bottom of why a certain husband is withdrawing his affection from his wife”.

So it was with that in mind we approached the brainstorming part of our discussion.  I laid out three possible scenarios that could be occurring and offered up some insights into how they might influence a husband’s behavior.

  1. The husband may be having a loveless affair that is purely physical.  In this scenario, the husband is physically intimate with another woman, but his feelings did not cross over into emotional intimacy.  These kind of situations can unfold within a marriage and cause the husband to pull away from their wife.  Cognitive dissonance can grip a man in such a way that he rationalizes his actions with upside down reasoning.  On one hand, he knows what he is doing is wrong.  He knows if found out, it could create a fire storm.  When he thinks about it rationally, he also realizes that his actions are creating friction within his marriage. He knows if his actions are discovered he could lose his wife entirely.  But despite what his rationale mind is telling him, he goes against the grain of what he knows is the right and smart thing to do.  He gives in to the emotionally driven selfish part of him.  The other woman may make him feel empowered and satisfy his sexual desires.  His ego gets a boost and the thrill of the action he is getting on the side resonates with his inner desire for risk taking.
  2.  The husband may be engaged in an affair in which he believes he has fallen in love with another woman. But often in these cases, the husband still loves their wife and does not want to break up their marriage or family situation.  Finding themselves in this limbo land of love and betrayal, the husband will often feel conflicted, even confused.  The husband may behave  in a Jekyll Hyde type of manner.  Some days he will be just fine and the weight of his affair will not cause him to behave very differently at home.  But on other days, he might be weighed down by guilt and overreact with positive or excessively negative behavior.  Some husbands, when caught in the vortex of passion for their new lover, yet also feeling the connection to their wife of many years, will struggle to reconcile what they are feeling and what they should do.  Often, the husband will do nothing to change the status quo.  It is as if he is caught up in a wave of pleasure and fear, riding it as far as he can get.  Often men facing such a dilemma will decide not to do anything to upset the apple cart, deluding themselves into believing that they can continue having the affair while married without any consequences.  The problem with this reasoning is that once you cheat, eventually it will catch up with you in some way.  Whether it shows up in the quality of the marriage or throws a guy’s entire life into chaos when the betrayal is outed, sooner or later, there will be a price to pay.

3. There is a meaningful personal issue that the husband is grappling with.  Whenever a guy goes from being sweet, loving, and considerate within the marriage to someone who is withholding their affection and pushing away their wife, there is a big disconnect.  There is something going on in his life that is impacting his behavior.  He is hiding behind something which either he himself is afraid to face or is reluctant to discuss with his wife.  While it is possible that a husband can over time change their mind about whether they really truly love their wife,  falling out of love with your spouse is a highly unlikely phenomenon unless there is some kind of major transformation or dysfunction within the marriage.

So what is going on then?

When a person starts acting in a way that goes against the grain of their normal behavior, then unless mental illness is involved, then it is very likely there is something that the husband is hiding or avoiding.

Getting Your Husband To Open Up

getting your husband to open up

So the challenge for Sally was to figure out which of these 3 possible scenarios might be occurring. Or if any of these possibilities rang true for her situation.

I warned her that I could be completely wrong about my speculation as to the potential root cause of their marriage decline.  I told her I could be way off base in trying to explain why her husband seems to get easily annoyed and angry at her.

But even if our speculations were incorrect, I showed her a technique she could use to help get to the bottom of what is really going on in her man’s mind.

I suggested she pack a few things and set up a reservation at a nearby hotel.

Then I explained she should slip out of her home without her husband knowing and check into the room.  Then contact him by text leaving him a cryptic message saying something is really wrong and she needs help.

Give him the address of the hotel and room number and tell him to come over immediately.  I told here she can expect that her husband will text back and probably also call her trying to get more information.  But I explained that this is where you need to remain diligent and strong and avoid the temptation of talking with him until he arrived at the hotel.

What you are trying to do is control the environment and timing in which you are going to lay down all your cards, simply telling your husband that you know something is really wrong with the relationship and you deserve answers or otherwise, you are not sure what you want to do.

Now some people might think that this approach is a bit too much drama.

But that is the whole idea.  If the quality and happiness of your marriage is potentially at stake, in certain situations it may become necessary to construct an intervention that puts the two of your together in a different environment.

While I am not big in ultimatums, you can still convey the urgency of the situation without if coming off as pushy or threatening.

What matters is that the real problem gets aired out so the matter can get discussed and hopefully resolved. Sometimes that doesn’t happen without a strong push.

Now the ball is in the husband’s court.  He can either pretend nothing is wrong and keep treating his wife like she has the plague or he can start laying down some of his cards and some “real” communication of what is really going on can ensue.

To make a very long story, short, Sally was able to get her husband to show up and eventually when he realized his wife was serious and was not inclined to leave the hotel room until he opened up, he did just that.

He started talking.

When her husband realized he was getting caught up in the cross fire of something bigger than he ever realized would unfold in his life, he confessed.

For a few months he was getting away with living in his little world of denial and delusion.  But he didn’t realize the impact his own actions was having on him, his wife, and the marriage.

It turned out Sally’s husband was having a loveless emotional affair on the side. He confessed he was distracted by a woman in the office he worked in.

According to the husband’s side of the story, this other woman was going out of her way to attract him.  Of course, if you simply listened to everything the husband was saying, he was just caught up in an emotional affair and was the victim, not the instigator.

I was not buying it completely and nor was Sally.  But without prolonging this post, let me just share that the husband and wife are seeking counseling and at Sally’s insistence, certain measures have been taken to eliminate this outside threat to their marriage.

Sometimes, there is some fire when you see smoke.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean the whole relationship is down the tubes.  In this case, just outing the husband’s secret little emotional affair has the effect of putting the spotlight in all the right places, allowing the couple to work on repairing the damage.