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chinchin31's avatar

My husband doesn't like talking much after work. It makes me feel so lonely. What should I do?

Asked by chinchin31 (482 points ) March 19th, 2014

What is the point in being married if you don’t have time to talk to each other during the week. I don’t want to be a nag. But I find it really weird. The thing is we don’t even have children. So it makes me wonder what would our life be like if we do have children. I just find it so lonely.

He has a very demanding job and well he goes to the gym after work. He also is an introvert but so am I but I still like to talk at home at the end of the day.

I just find it a strange way to be. I think alot of people live like this. But I don’t like it. What should I do? I just don’t understand what is the point in being married if you are supposed to have a life that is completely seperate from your husband except for a couple hours on the weekend.

I do have a couple friends that I meet every now and again but still I just find it weird. I think it would be better to just not get married and date forever. Is this really the way life is supposed to be. What is the point then?

He tells me that he just needs alone time after work and he can’t help that he is an introvert but I still think it is weird. What should I do?

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24 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

We’re friendly, and you can’t shut us up. When he sees you typing and smiling, he might get more interested. And we won’t cheat with you, either. Probably.

chyna's avatar

How much alone time is he telling you he needs? And where is he spending this time? At home? Or away from you?
I know when I get home, I need some time to unwind and I really don’t want to talk to anyone for at least a good hour.
Welcome to Fluther.

zenvelo's avatar

So he needs some space, we all do, but not forever. Does he talk to you on the weekends? When you are doing something together? Do you do things together?

At some point when he is willing to talk even a little bit, let him know that if he is reticent, that’s his prerogative. Yet to be in a marriage requires communication, and so he needs to let you know when you can expect him to participate in a conversation. And he needs to know a conversation is not you talking with him in the room, but active dialogue between two people talking and then actively listening.

And you have to decide, if he doesn’t change, what to do with yourself going forward: Stay. Divorce and move on. In the meantime, consider counseling for yourself, or, if he is willing, couples counseling.

And, I don;t want to be nosy, but a question to go over to with yourself: how is your sex life? Do you feel physically loved? Is he happy with your sex life? Do either of you want more or want different? That’s an important huge part of communication in a marriage. Otherwise, you don’t have a husband, you have a roommate.

Welcome to Fluther, and good luck to you. Keep us posted!

chinchin31's avatar

He is a bit of a geek you know . Bill gates/ mark zuckerberg type so he spends most of his time at home working working or at work doing the same. I guess it is just something you have to live with when you are married to someone with a demanding job.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

I’m a female, so I understand your feeling. We women love talking, far more than most men do. So it’s not surprising that you feel weird when your husband doesn’t talk to you so much.

But really, your husband is a man, and an introvert man. So it’s not surprising too that he doesn’t like talking the way you do. Women love talking while men love doing things. Moreover, you said that your husband has a very demanding job, so I can guess that he’s very tired after a day of hard work and he just wants to relax, alone, like most introvert men do.

Does your husband help you with your housework? Does he comfort you, in some ways other than talking? I hope he does.

Marriage doesn’t always need to mean talking a lot. I’m sure your man know more than one way to express his love. It doesn’t really matter how often you two talk, it only matters how much love your man express. It’s not true that there’s no point in marrying and not talking, because marriage is based totally on love, not just on talking. If you want to talk that much, then you only need a friend, not a husband, and therefore not a marriage altogether. If so, then why did you marry in the first place?

You know he’s an introvert man, so cut him some slack. When he really need to relax silently, just let him do that. That’s how he relaxes. He will most likely be annoyed if you insist on talking at the time like that. Cut him some slack, and appreciate whenever he tries to help you, comfort you.

And while he is helping you, why don’t you talk to him a little. Talking can reduce the tiredness of the work. He may be more willing to participate in the conversation. And you can arrange a nice weekend going out somewhere that both of you like, perhaps in the park or in a good cafe. Those may be ideal places for talking.

Best wishes for your marriage!

chinchin31's avatar

Yeah he likes sex alot but sometimes I feel like most guys it is his way of getting me to shut up or something. You know their is a saying that men want more sex but women want to always talk more. I think men are just like that. Not good at communicating.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@chinchin31 Many men are, sadly. That’s what distinguishes us women and them men. You already know that don’t you?

chinchin31's avatar

Maybe i am needy. I guess I am this strong person all the time and sometimes I just want to be comforted at home I guess.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@chinchin31 Then read my previous long post…

I think you’re a bit too needy.

JLeslie's avatar

Do you work?

plethora's avatar

I’m male and an introvert as well. I do need some time just to be alone when I get home, but an hour at the max does it, and then I want to have some interaction with my S/O. I fully agree that your needs are not being met by a man who comes home and spends no time interacting with you. I would suggest that that is a significant problem and if you cannot work it out together, get some counseling on it…including him, of course.

rojo's avatar

I am on the opposite side of this.

Many times when I come home I do not particularly like to talk,. I am certainly not of a mind to blurt out the details of my day. Mainly because it is really just not that interesting and has no relevance to my none-work-related life.

My wife has learned that I will discuss things, but that they will have to leak out slowly. I cannot just sit down and talk about my day. It is not my nature, and, I believe not the nature of the majority of the males on the planet. Over the course of an evening I will disclose my day, or at least parts of it, but it will be on a piece by piece basis and spurred on by specific questions or details that occur.

I am not trying to be mean or hide anything, I just do not want to bring my work home. Once I am free of work I want to just let it go. Sometimes things that happen will bring things to the surface and I will talk about this or that but I cannot just pull things up for discussion without some trigger or reminder.

Have you not asked your man at some time “What are you thinking about”? When you did, chances are he said “nothing”. Honestly, he was not thinking about nothing, he was just not thinking or at least not thinking in a way that he can express. He was merely ruminating and probably in a different world; a world that he uses to escape the everyday, the mundane.

Do you work outside the home? My wife does and after work she will go on about her day and I will listen. But I have learned, through experience, that it is best not to offer solutions, I just make the correct sympathetic noises until she has worked it out for herself or at least talked it out to her necessary level of clarity.

Your husband is not being mean. He is not hiding things, he is not trying to exclude you from his life, he is just a little self centered and not aware that marriage is a partnership and sometimes you have to give a little to make your partner happy whether or not you actually benefit from it.

Do you have other female friends you can talk with?

plethora's avatar

@rojo Really good answer. Same for me many times.

muppetish's avatar

These may be intrusive questions, but: did you live with your husband prior to getting married? Is this a new trend, or has he always been this way? Has it always bothered you, or has it only recently started to bother you?

I am introverted person. So is my significant other. When we’re exhausted, we’ll do something together that doesn’t involve talking. Or I’ll go read a book while they tinker on the laptop. We’re both comfortable with being alone, and with being alone together. It was extremely helpful, and important, for us to communicate our needs when we first started dating.

janbb's avatar

Please don’t have children with him until you are sure you do want to stay in this marriage. It sounds like you are very unhappy with him and it may not change. Honor your feelings; you may not be a good match for each other. Some therapy might help you sort out your feelings.

Welcome to Fluther!

hominid's avatar

Some great answers above, especially @rojo‘s and @janbb (“Please don’t have children”).

@chinchin31: “I just find it a strange way to be. I think alot of people live like this. But I don’t like it. What should I do?”

Do you not like it because you’ve explored what it is you do like and want, or is it just different from your experience up to this point?

Men and women (in general) communicate differently. Introverts and extroverts communicate differently and have different needs (for space, time, individuality, etc). It may be that you are seeing irreconcilable differences, or it could be that the two of you have not yet had the important conversations necessary to make a relationship work. For example, how often have you and your husband expressed your needs to each other? It could be that they are incompatible, or it could be that you can both work out a compromise where each person is able to be fulfilled as an individual and as part of the couple.

CWOTUS's avatar

@rojo‘s response is great. I’ve lived alone for a number of years now, so I didn’t particularly think about “how to be in a marriage” again, but… yeah, that’s good advice.

And do keep us updated… especially on any sexual details you feel like sharing. We’re not all perverts here, but I guess enough of us are. Quite enough, I suppose.

rojo's avatar

@chinchin31

I want to point out that I am not discounting your feelings of loneliness. I am certain they are very real, can cause great emotional turmoil and certainly need to be addressed.

I am just trying to give you my perspective on things and trying to show you that sometimes we do things without thinking or realizing that others are not always like us, have different wants and needs or may be unthinkingly hurt by our actions. Your hubby is not doing this to punish you, it is just his way of dealing with the pressures.

Sometimes just snuggling up close next to each other for a while without speaking leads to conversations. You can hold onto each other without smothering.

Blackberry's avatar

This thread hit way too close to home for me. I’m essentially the husband (not literally).

For me, I’m wondering if growing up an introverted only child had something to do with it. I had already developed a habit of being alone in my room and not talking, and I think that paved the way for it.

This is just about my relationship at the time, but I also lived with a girl who was the same, and I just got tired of hearing the same arguments. I knew I wasn’t going to change and it ended up as me only seeing her as something annoying and in the way. Obviously it’s different if you have stronger feelings for the person.

GloPro's avatar

This question makes me sad. When I was in college I interned as a drug abuse counselor for a year. I remember one man in particular. He was a good man, or tried to be anyway. He worked long days and came home to his (literally) barefoot and pregnant stay-at-home wife every day. He confided in me that he loves his wife, but she is bored and lonely and eagerly waited for him to come home every evening and “entertain” her. He fled to the garage and did drugs to escape the immediate pressure to chat her up and fill that lonely void she had. He felt guilty for not wanting to spend time with her after a long hard day at work. She felt guilty that she drove him away. How do you fix that?

I suggest the two of you discuss a way for you to both get what you want. Maybe there is a book club or another hobby group you could join that meets one evening a week? You get the socializing you need and he gets the comfort of knowing he will have the house to himself that evening to be an introvert to his heart’s content.

The other week nights maybe you could agree to give him at least an hour to wind down when he gets home. After that decompression time would the two of you enjoy a stroll around the neighborhood? Holding hands, listening to birds, people watching, sun setting… You don’t have to talk to enjoy each other’s company. A 10–15 minute walk reconnects you as a couple without forcing him out of his shell. After that, dinner time! I suggest letting him vege out in front of the TV at least one of those nights during dinner.

Others have mentioned that we get a lot from each other on here, too. Welcome to Fluther. We’ll help you find other outlets as we get to know you.

rojo's avatar

Good suggestions @GloPro. I have been married a long time and adjustments have been made. Part of the challenge was for my wife to get used to some of my idiosyncrasies and I to get used to hers but that is what it is all about isn’t it?

She is a morning person, I most certainly am not. She knows that anything requested of me before I have had my coffee cannot be held against me if it is not accomplished. She gets up about 45 minutes before I do and that is “her time”. Time to reflect and prepare for the upcoming day and just relax. I get up at the last minute, gulp down my breakfast and jump right into it without any planning. Every morning I escort her out to the car and my instructions for the day are given to me at that time. Then I wave as she backs out of the drive and heads off to work.

After work, we do things that need to be done, grocery shopping, picking up grandkids, preparing supper, that kind of things. Most times we do it together and the conversation is in fits and spurts and is mainly in line with what we are doing, not what happened at work. Yes, there are the occasional gripe sessions about someone or something particularly heinous that happened during the day but most days we know the answer is “the same old thing”. She will talk of things she has heard, is concerned about or just think is interesting. I will nod, make the appropriate noises at the appropriate times and occasionally put in my two cents worth or bring up something that caught my attention. She knows I love her but am not that verbally communicative and accepts that. I know it is important to her to express herself and her thoughts and will listen attentively. And this is how it goes for four or five hours until bedtime.

I am a night owl. My wife goes off to bed about 10 pm and I am up ‘till all hours puttering, winding down, relaxing and doing my thing. For two, three or more hours I speak to no one except maybe my old dog, Ayre, when he gets under foot and you guys on Fluther.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think of marriage as two whole people with lives of their own, who want to spend time together when they can.

I’m the introvert in our house and sometimes my hubs gets lonely because after work, I’ll walk the dogs, then read a book, just hang out doing my thing. My husband is a more social creature and needs more interaction, so I make sure I focus on him a couple nights a week or invite him on my walks, or to do a bbq.

Try not to take it personally and make a life of your own, like going out with a girlfriend to a class, or joining the board of a charity, don’t depend on him for your entertainment, that’s a lot of pressure on an introvert. When you have a demanding job like your husbands and my own, you need to decompress sometimes before you’re fit company.

You can also suggest a date night once or twice a week and tell him you expect all his attention to be focused on you on those nights, then you get what you need. :)

stanleybmanly's avatar

There must be interests that the 2 of you have in common, even if those interests boil down to merely one another. In any event, from my experience, yours is a complaint all too common among married women, particularly when there are no children around. Try to find a dramatic movie or television show that interests both of you, and watch it together. An episode of “House of Cards” should certainly generate conversation afterwards! From a male perspective, your husband will either improve conversationally or his life at home is destined to deteriorate to penitentiary levels. Perhaps you could busy yourself, while you encourage and wait for him to “grow”. Meantime, when he comes home to exercise his vow of silence, play THIS for him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCVoLJFBR8U&feature=kp

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