Are you in a marriage where it feels like your husband has moved on?
Do you get the feeling that your husband has checked out of the relationship?
Perhaps you and your former husband are separated and everything points to him no longer caring for you. It may have been a difficult parting and the emotions are still lingering.
Or it could be a situation in which the two of you broke up. Maybe you have not officially separated or divorced, but perhaps the two of you are really going through a rough patch.
Or it may not even be that you and your spouse are at each other’s throats, cursing the day that you both got married.
Rather, your husband may be slowly withdrawing the level of attention and affection he shows you each day.
This sense of your husband down shifting into another gear such that you are no longer his first priority could be something that just slowly takes shape.
You look over at your husband as he holds court each evening, watching his favorite shows or participating in his favorite activities, and you can see him slipping further away from you.
Try as you might to connect with him, you fall short as he seems less and less interested in you or whatever you want to talk about.
In fact, you sometimes get the feeling that you are no longer husband or wife, but rather just two souls living in the same house, passing each other by.
Do you ever feel this way?
Is your husband giving you the sense that he is pulling away or living in another moment?
Do you feel like all the things he noticed about you before and complimented you about now seems to be missing in every day conversation.
What is it with husbands that cause them to ignore you or cease complimenting you?
Why don’t men do a better job of showing you the loving care and kindness you so richly deserve?
Today, we are going to tap into some of the reasons why a husband may choose to pay less attention to you. We are going to peel back the layers as to why your man seems to not enjoy your company as before.
What Makes A Guy Pull Away From his Wife
This sense that your husband (or ex hubby) has just moved on can apply to many different situations irrespective of whether the two of your are still together.
Today, we are going to focus on ongoing marriages in which the husband seems to have put the wife on the back burner.
When you and your guy got married, you expected to receive about the same level of attention as you got before getting hitched. After all, you and your husband are supposed to be living together happily ever after.
Let’s look at a typical marital situation that I hear about.
It could be a few years into your marriage or many years into your relationship. But for reasons that you cannot fully grasp, your husband seems to be in retreat.
It is like he has given up on even trying to make the marriage work.
All you want it to be loved and to love.
You want a marriage that is vibrant, fun, and richly rewarding. But all you know is that what you were promised at the altar and what actually exists between the two of you, is far from ideal.
On any typical day, you find yourself glancing over at your husband and he just does not seem engaged with you.
He acts like you are a bother or a nuisance to him. All couples go through periods in which they will get angry and annoyed at each other. In good marriages, that should happen infrequently.
But let’s say that things have deteriorated to a point where your husband seems to have locked himself away from you. It’s like he does not care a lick about what happens or how you feel about the crumbling relationship.
This type of behavior is often described as “checking out”.
So how do you deal with this kind of behavior when things with your husband get to this point? If you feel like your guy is treating you like you don’t matter s much, you need to get to the underlying reason.
But how? Do you confront your husband about his treatment of you? Do you ignore his behavior and hope it goes away?
That is the main marital scenario we are going to explore.
The fact of the matter is you do matter and even in the case of an ex husband, there are some practical reasons for seeking to rebuild the relationship.
So we have two types of cases to discuss. One in which you are still married and your husband barely notices you. The other case is if you have an ex husband who has shut you out of his life.
How do you turn it around? Should you put on a full court press and demand you get the attention you should be receiving?
And why do some men behave this way and what can you do to turn it around such that the man in your life shows you attention, respect and consideration?
Why Did Your Husband Give Up On You?
First of all, just know that it is highly unlikely that your husband has given up on you and wants to discard all that the two of you have built.
But with that said, it is clear when something is off.
A woman can sense when their husband show signs of withdrawing. When your guy starts clamming up or going into his “quiet” demeanor, you usually know something is wrong.
I can’t say I know with certainty why your husband is acting in a way to make you feel small and unnoticed.
Quite frankly, there could be many reasons.
Often, your husband’s behavior is not predicated on one reason or a few events.
It is usually far more complicated and as you probably already know, once your husband gets to the point where he seems to have “moved on”, much has already happened to “grease” the emotional skids.
Here are some of the leading reasons why husbands can shut it down in the “caring department”.
- The Selfish Man Surfaces. Your husband is taking you for granted because he has gotten lazy about showing you how important you are to him. He loves you and really cares for you, but other priorities have entered his life and instead of putting you first, as he should, his selfish needs have taken the forefront.
- Your Guy is Distracted. There can be a ton of reasons that can cause your husband to become distracted and forget to reach out to you and let you know how he really feels. Your husband may be feeling some extra stress from the workplace and it is sponging up all of his attention. He may be worried about his own health situation. Men sometimes can get into period of high anxiety over the craziest of things. Later, it may seem inconsequential and completely ridiculous that he would get panicky and upset, but certain buttons, when pushed, can drive your guy to go a little bananas. He may have been obsessing over his sports team. Maybe he and his buddies are going fishing or hunting and all he can think about is this outing and all the things he needs to do to get ready. Whatever it is that has got him turned sideways from you, it most often has nothing to do with you and his love for you and everything to do with his obsession or overly focused attention to things he really should not be spending so much time on. Now, while I don’t wish to alarm you, it is possible your husband is distracted by an emotional or physical affair he is having or thinking of having with another woman. Such a dynamic can cause your husband to avoid you due to guilt. But I mention this last because this kind of event should usually be at the bottom of your worry list.
- Your Husband May Be Unhappy. Your man could be unhappy about something and it may even have very little to do with you. Sure, it is possible he and you have been growing apart and that is the cause of him pulling back on showing you affection and attention. And we will talk about that later. But consider the possibility that your husband is unhappy for other reasons that do not directly relate to anything you are doing. Some guys can find themselves in the grip of depression, not because of anything you are doing wrong, but largely because of the chemistry of their brain. They may be prone to suffering from depression or mood swings and act out their feelings in such a way that you can misinterpret them as you are at fault and are failing to please your husband. The truth is that individuals who are suffering from mental conditions such as bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and forms of depression may, as a reaction to their illness, pull away from you and go within themselves as they seek to battle their mental demons.
- Your Husband Expectations for Marriage Are Not Being Met. While this may be hard to hear, it is a possibility that your husband is unhappy with the relationship. His emotional and/or physical needs may not be met according to his view of things. Of course, sometimes husbands can have very unrealistic views on what a marriage should be. If your man falls into that category then it won’t be surprising if he behaves in a way that suggests he is dissatisfied. If he is spending far too much time complaining about the marriage, or worse, starts hinting around about bringing the relationship to an end, you can be assured that something is really off. An important thing to keep in mind is that sometimes what a guy thinks he wants and what he ultimately really ends up realizing can be two different things. Use this time to look at yourself and honestly ask what it is you can do to become the best “you”. Maybe it is nothing. Perhaps you are already a wonderful wife and much of the problem lies with your husband. Don’t be afraid to have this conversation with your husband. But as you will see, there are strategies you should employ to maximize the success of such a conversation. Sometimes the communications between couples are so warped that they never really talk to each other. Many couples end up arguing and talking at each other, instead of taking turns to talk to each other. Often, couples never get to the crux of what is bothering them. And if that is the case, then it is usually something that is meaningful and probably difficult to discuss. Hence, this leads to couples often keeping their problems hidden from the other. The truth can be difficult and open and honest conversations can be really difficult. But when honesty pours out of each of you, the chances of successfully reconciling grows larger.
What Can You Do To Make Your Husband Notice You More?
While it may sound contrary to your first impulse, sometimes the best way to get noticed by your husband is to do less.
I have this theory that in many situations, “less is more“.
What your husband might be expecting is for you to plead, beg, bicker, or complain about him not paying enough attention to you.
For many husbands, this is a turn off and will just lead to him avoiding and ignoring you more.
Tackling the topic head on can create a confusing mix of signals and outcomes.
While you are trying to change his behavior by calling him out, he could in turn resent you further for pointing out that he is not doing enough to make you feel loved.
The truth is that he is probably guilty as charged. Your husband probably is not doing the little or big things to show how much he loves and appreciates you.
Your guy may not be doing the things he needs to rebuild trust and make you feel like you are the most important person in his life. He may not be showing you enough kindness. That is a biggie in my book.
A marriage without a frequent exchange of kindness is a relationship buildt on a weak foundation.
It is very likely your husband is taking you for granted.
On one level, he may not even realize this.
He may be in denial.
But deep down, your husband probably knows that he is short-changing you.
To add to the complexity of the situation, your husband does not really want to be reminded of his own shortcomings and failings.
Yes, truth can liberating. But for some, it can be demoralizing if they receive too big a dose of relationship truth.
So instead of addressing the obvious and turning off your husband even more, simply do the opposite of what he would expect.
But do it in spades.
So exactly, what is it should you do to turn the tide such that your husband pays you more mind?
What you eventually want to do is figure out what are the underlying reasons for his behavior.
Of course, that is not easy either.
For some men, it may be difficult for them to open up about this. So you need to think in terms of small steps.
When your husband participates in a discussion that mostly centers around their failings, it will invariably make them feel inadequate or like a lesser man.
Your husband may not want to admit to a weakness.
Nor does he want to be reminded of his guilt. Like I said, on some level, your man probably knows that he is not satisfying you
He may not be prepared to talk about whatever the problem is. He needs to be primed.
So How Do You Prime Your Husband To Open Up?
Figuring out what things you can do to get your husband to open up and talk about is the first communication bridge you need to cross. Figuring out why he is withdrawing his affection is a really important element of the entire problem.
You cannot advance to solving the problem, unless your husband is willing to acknowledge the problem.
So how do you approach this sensitive subject?
Well, as I alluded to earlier, it is usually a better strategy by getting your husband to come to you instead of you raising the issue and rattling his cage.
To do that, consider going into the “quiet mode”.
Chances are that he will notice something is wrong or off. If you are usually a talkative or extroverted type, the difference in your normal behavior and your quiet, withdrawn behavior will be noticeable.
And like most guys, he will be itching to find out what is going on. And that is what you want. You want your husband approaching you and asking you if “everything is OK”.
Your reply should be cryptic at first. You can say something like:
“I am working through some personal issues”. Say it with an air of confidence and positivism.
Notice that while you don’t outright accuse him of anything or complain of his lack of attentiveness to you, it will likely be difficult for your husband to leave it at that. Eventually, he will want to know what personal issues you are referring to.
Most guys don’t want to be confronted with problems and complaints.
Husbands tend to move away and avoid discussions they think will draw them into long, drawn out discussions about the relationship. Men are usually not good at that.
But when you express with confidence that you are working through the problem, your husband’s curiosity will likely be raised. Your air of confidence will resonate positively with him. He likely won’t be scared away and will be tempted to open up the dialogue which is exactly what you want.
Since he won’t feel defensive, your man might just do the very thing you want which is ask you to explain more about what is going on.
This is when you can take the conversation to a 3rd person perspective.
Remind him again that you feel you have a good angle on how to solve the problem. He will like hearing that. Your husband defenses will be relaxed.
He will likely not be looking to bolt away from the conversation.
You can tell him something like you are “married to a handsome and sexy man but you are not sure if he likes you as much as he use to because he doesn’t seem to notice you as much”.
There is a lot going on in that sentence above.
First, you are trying to put the issue on your mind front and center, without it being a threat or turnoff to your husband. You have laced this brief exchange with some subtle sexuality which almost always triggers certain the receptors in your husband’s mind that gets him thinking about something that will make him feel good.
You have also complimented him with words like “handsome” and “sexy” which builds his ego. And by talking in the 3rd person, you have not elevated the problem to a level that seems threatening.
Usually, a person is more amenable to talking about a personal problem when they are in a receptive mood. If your husband is behaving in an argumentative or resentful manner, he is not likely going to open up and tell you what is really on his mind.
So it is helpful to pick your spots when you want to discuss the very thing that has been on your mind for so long.
It is about picking the right moments.
One woman client of mine told me that she had some great success when she tried a similar tactic.
She was wearing something provocative and when her husband inquired why she was acting so quiet, she told him that she was super turned on when her husband did and said little things to make her feel loved.
Then she told her husband that she wanted him to hear more about that but first she wanted to make love with him.
After they made love and after all of the oxytocin (i.e. the snuggle hormone) was released, she and her husband had a lengthier discussion in bed about how he makes her feel when he says all the little things to her that makes her feel precious.
When she believed that he understood and was going to make a good faith effort to show her more attention, later that night, just before he fell asleep she surprised him in bed again to reinforce what she had told him.
Men are turned on when their wives are turned on. But sometimes a husband does not realize how important it is to show their wife how much they love and appreciate them.
Your guy might just need to be taught.
A husband should not expect to be rewarded with sex just because he says or does something nice.
But at a very deep level, both men and women will enjoy all of aspects of their marriage much more when they talk about their feelings and show love, kindness, tenderness, and intimacy in the same moments.