It’s not just husbands who pull away emotionally. What do you do when your wife won’t talk to you? These marriage tips for husbands are inspired by a reader’s question:
“My wife had an emotional relationship with another man,” says J. on Is My Marriage Over? “Long story short, I gave her an ultimatum: end it or I leave. She ended it, but claims she has nobody to talk to. She won’t look at me, talk to me, and can’t be in the same room as me. She is now bashing me to close friends, and blowing things way out of proportion. I am lost, confused, and still in love with her. But I can’t live like this. She refuses any counseling, and says to leave her alone, but doesn’t want to leave. I need help.”
How about getting counseling on your own? That may give you some insight into your own motivations, actions, and responses to your wife. You can’t drag her to counseling and make her talk to you, but you can get emotionally stronger.
Another marriage tip is to read books like The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wife’s Heart Forever. I guarantee you’ll learn something new about your wife and married life!
What to Do When Your Wife Won’t Talk to You
When I shut down emotionally (which I tend to do), I respond when my husband doesn’t give up. I’d much rather he keep knocking on the door, because it tells me he cares.
Here’s a marriage tip for men: find out what your wife’s love language is. Here’s an article that will help: Five Love Languages Examples – Different Ways to Show Love.
And, here are a few more tips for married men whose wives are emotionally distant…
Talk to someone you and your wife trust
If your wife isn’t talking to you but is talking to close friends or family members, talk to them. Get their perspective on why she’s unhappy. Ask for their feedback, suggestions, tips, and opinions. You don’t have to do everything they say – or even believe everything they say! But, the more you know about how your wife feels – especially when she won’t talk to you – the better able you’ll be to reconnect with her.
Get ready to hear what you don’t want to hear
One of the best marriage tips for husbands is to listen when their wives talk. My husband and I have a good marriage, but sometimes he just doesn’t hear what I’m saying. I don’t feel heard, and that frustrates me. But to be fair, the same goes for him: he’s told me that he doesn’t feel heard.
Maybe the reason your wife won’t talk to you is because she’s been singing the same tune for years, and you haven’t heard her.
Accept that husbands and wives have different expectations of marriage
I went to a live marriage counseling session (several married couples witnessed another couple getting marriage counseling) a couple weeks ago, and learned that husbands are often happy with the status quo. They don’t often seek out marriage tips because they’re satisfied! Wives, on the other hand, always want to improve their marriages, talk more, connect on a deeper level. If your wife won’t talk to you, there might be something she’s trying to tell you.
Something J. said reminded me of the couple who got live counseling:
“We’ve been married for 8 years now. We have a beautiful daughter, and bought a house in the city she has always wanted to live in. I have provided, supported and never asked anything of her that wasn’t unreasonable. We have never had any problems until recently.”
The husband said almost the exact same thing! He supports his wife, doesn’t put any undue stress or strain on her, and doesn’t see that they have any problems at all. Yet his wife is tired of talking to him, of trying to make him see that she’s not happy with “just” being provided for and supported.
One of the best marriage tips for husbands is this: most wives want to continually improve and strengthen the relationship. Being supported and provided for isn’t enough.
Be proactive in getting to the root of why your wife won’t talk to you
Here’s a marriage tip from Joel & Kathy Davisson, authors of The Man of Her Dreams The Woman of His:
“The five most important words describing a husband’s calling in marriage: Proactively create a happy marriage. Start with giving your wife twenty hugs, kisses and compliments each day. The five most important words describing a wife’s calling in marriage: Proactively respond to husband’s efforts. When he hugs you, receive it and hug back. When he kisses you, receive it and kiss him back. When he compliments you, thank him and compliment back.”
Granted, it’s almost impossible to be affectionate and loving when your wife won’t talk to you! But, if your marriage is in trouble, you need to dig up the roots of the problem. Be proactive, my friend.
Here are a few more marriage tips for husbands, from a male marriage counselor: How to be a Good Husband – Iron Your Own Damn Shirt.
If you can’t figure out what to do when your wife won’t talk to you, read What to Expect From Marriage Counseling.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.