If your husband refuses to talk about problems then you’re going to need to act sooner rather than later. This can be a relatively easy problem to fix but will become harder over time. The quicker we act, the better. So what do you do?
Refusing to talk about problems can become a Catch-22 as your husband feels forced to talk, stonewalls further and then the pattern repeats itself. Fixing the problem involves an equal mix of understanding, patience and making him understand that talking can make both your lives easier.
Communication is the key to any relationship. When one partner refuses to talk and is stonewalling, then it can quickly feel as though your marriage is suffocating. You are putting in the hard work and fighting for your love but you feel as though you’re getting nothing in return. The answers aren’t simple but here we want to give you support on why your husband is refusing to talk about issues, what you can do about it and how you can start having a much healthier relationship.
Grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath and let’s talk about why your husband is not talking.
Why Does My Husband Not Want to Talk About Our Problems?
Your husband is going to be different from mine. He’s going to be different from anyone I’ve spoken to. The advice I’m going to give is based on the patterns I see over a lot of relationships. If you’d like to get a little more specific to your marriage, take a moment to complete the marriage assessment quiz.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions but there is a myriad of reasons why he may not be talking. It could be something sinister such as him not respecting your feelings or perhaps it could be something much deeper such as depression.
The point is to remember here is that unless your husband talks about it, you can never be 100% sure why he’s being quiet. We appreciate that this can make the whole situation even more depressing. Here we’ll take a glance at some of the reasons he’s being silent.
- Control – One of the more sinister reasons is that silence can be an emotional power play into making it seem as though you’ve done something wrong. With this type of behavior, the man will wait until you run out of patience will wait until you try and lighten the mood.
- Avoidance – A lot of people simply don’t like talking about issues as it makes them anxious and uncomfortable. Instead of acknowledging the problem, they hide away in silence and hope the problem goes away. Couples do this all the time with minor annoyances but if they start to build up, you have to open up about them.
- Safety – Some people keep emotions locked away as they fear what would happen if they unleashed them. This could be especially true if their partner and get angry or abusive. Silence is their way of avoiding that danger.
- Depression – A key feature of low mood is withdrawing into yourself, avoiding conversation and other things you usually enjoy such as sex. This can be especially pertinent in men and there is an extra stigma to mental health issues. Many don’t even want to consider the thought that they have a problem let alone work through it.
- Pride – A lot of men don’t want to talk about their feelings. There is a reason that pride is one of the 7 deadly sins. They feel as though acknowledging a problem is making it real. Hiding it away helps to keep their pride intact.
What to Do if Husband is Not Talking
All the different reasons we mentioned above require different approaches. There are some great steps that you can take which can hopefully solve the issue.
- Dial it down – A line such as “we need to talk about your behavior” is accusatory and immediately makes someone defensive. When approaching their lack of communication, try and be as soft as you can rather than aggressive. If you start to argue then everything can be lost in the noise. Sometimes this requires patience but the results could be worth it.
- Be empathetic – Put yourself in their shoes. Try and work out what’s going through their head by looking at things from their point of view. This type of acknowledgment can allow them to open up and work through their issues.
- Take the lead – It’s not fair that you have to be the one to solve the communication issues but sometimes you need to ask and persist with your inquiries until you start to get answers. Some men simply require a bit more of a push to start talking.
- Start first – Sometimes you need to take a leap and put your feeling out on the table. Even if it’s something scary such as “I don’t think you love me anymore”, such a statement may unlock their emotions and you could find that they have seemed disinterested for completely separate reasons.
Trying Different Angles
Sometimes you may need to change it up and try something different. Here we look at some out-of-the-box ways to get your spouse to open up.
- In his comfort zone – If you want to get your husband out of his comfort zone with a conversation, it can help if he’s feeling relaxed in his environment. Perhaps head out on a date, watch sports with him or do an activity that you’ve always loved doing together. Being in such a relaxed environment can help to lower those barriers he’s been putting up.
- Let it go – This can be very hard but sometimes you need to let it go. If you know that there’s something wrong but he won’t tell you then it can be hard to ignore it. A simple, “well I’m here for you when you want to talk about it” can pay dividends when chatting with your husband at a later date.
- Knowing his personality – You know your husband better than anyone. Play to his personality and try and work out what his emotional needs are. You can even talk about something he loves to get the ball rolling for conversation.
- Through the back door – It’s not always the best idea to meet issues head-on. If you think he may be worried about financial issues then you may bring up someone else you know who had problems but worked through them.
- Ask unrelated questions – Take an interest in their day, their hobbies and anything else that happy couples talks about. Talking about problems can be a lot easier when the conversation has already been flowing about something else.
It’s Not All About Your Husband
Here we’ve talked about what you can do about the situation. It can be hard when a lack of talking is an issue as it feels as you have to be the one to make all the concessions, bow to his needs and do all the hard work. If you’re doing all you can, then it’s vital that you’re not being taken advantage of.
While you want to appreciate his feelings, it could simply be that he’s being unfair. Your opinion has to be respected and if he’s still not listening after you’ve tried the above methods, then he needs to know about your displeasure.
If he’s refusing to speak about your issues then you have to go the opposite way and talk openly about your problems. While you want to do everything you can to save your marriage, it should never come at the cost of your own happiness.
As we mentioned, some of the reasons for not taking can be sinister such as wanting to control your emotions and suppress your self-worth with manipulation. It’s fair enough to meet someone halfway but be mindful that there are two people in any relationship and they both need to put the effort in.
Dealing With Huge Issues
Sometimes problems can become too big to deal with in a conversation. When emotions are highly charged, it can be hard to get your thoughts together. At these times, it can be useful to get some extra help.
- Writing – A good place to start is for you and your partner to write down your feelings and speak to each other about them. Putting pen to paper can be a little easier than saying something face-to-face. You can then use this as a starting point to work through any issues.
- Looking for signs – I recently wrote a guide on husbands hiding their phones, for example. If your husband is really refusing to talk about problems it might be because there’s something deeper going on.
- Counseling – No-one wants to go to counseling but it has helped many relationships work through their issues and avoid divorce. You can always do your own version at home to avoid the time and expense. Dedicating time in the week to simply talk to each other directly might be very helpful.
- Therapy – Your partner may simply need to speak to a stranger about their emotional issues. This can help to break down their barriers and make them better at processing their emotions. This is especially true if they struggle with their mental health.
Keep on Top Of It
Once you’ve found a method of communication, then keep on top of it and make sure that any proverbial fires are put out right away. Talking about small issues is easy, talking about big issues is hard. Use these tips to keep those issues small and manageable. A lack of communication is almost like water behind a dam.
The less you talk, the more the water builds up in the dam gets and the more pressure is put on it. Eventually, the dam will break and it can result in the failure of a relationship. Talking is a pressure valve that gradually releases the water and takes away any strain on the relationship.
It’s important to know your worth but it’s also important to fight for your marriage. The reason you got married is that you were madly in love. Every relationship has its issues and the healthiest ones are the ones that have great communication. Hopefully what you’ve read here can help to get your husband talking and make your marriage as strong as ever.