Wifey Wednesday: My Husband Never Wants to Spend Time with Me

wifey wednesday

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up!

I recently received an email that said this:

My husband likes to hang out with “the guys” after work, and he’s rarely home. I’m lonely. Is that normal?

That’s tough, isn’t it? So let me give a few quick thoughts.

My Husband Never Wants to Spend Time with Me: Thoughts on how to build your friendshipFirst, it is absolutely fine for men to hang out with friends.

They do need male bonding. That being said, everything should be in balance, and if he’s consistently with his friends, and he’s never with you, that’s not healthy for your relationship.

However, nagging rarely helps anything. If you complain about it, then he will feel like he’s being attacked, or that you’re pressuring him, and that could cause him to withdraw further.

Instead, ask yourself: Do WE have a good friendship?

So instead, let’s just think about the dynamics of your relationship. Often when people marry, they marry because they love each other and they want to be together. But they don’t necessarily have a really good friendship. They don’t necessarily have things that they enjoy doing together (other than sex). So, once you’re married, it’s easy to start to drift apart because you didn’t have regular things that you did together.

Guys, when they don’t have something specific planned, will then often say, “I’ll hang out with the guys, because nothing else is on at home tonight.”

So what I would recommend is that you sit down with your husband and ask what sorts of things he enjoys doing that you can do with him. Does he like to fish? Then start fishing with him (even if you don’t like to fish!). Does he like taking bike rides? Then start riding bikes together. Does he like watching sporting events? Then try going to some. Or take up a new hobby, like tennis together.

Find something that you can do, rather than just hang out at home.

If you have something specific planned, he’s more likely to come home. And if it’s something that he enjoys, all the better! Find ways to laugh together, instead of nagging him to just be home. Many men don’t want to “just be home”. They need a reason, like something that they are going to do together. Of course, that’s tricky if you have little kids, but see if you can find things to do as a family, or swap baby-sitting with another couple, so you can have some one-on-one time.

But instead of saying, “let’s do something tonight”, try saying, “let’s take a walk”, or “let’s paint the deck”, or “let’s play a game of tennis.” Be specific.

Also remember that men tend to communicate side by side, rather than face to face.

They like talking while they’re doing something. They don’t tend to like just sitting around and talking face to face, the way we women do. So the more you can find things to do, the more you’ll likely communicate. And if you start laughing and finding things to do together, he’ll probably want to be with you more.

So rather than tell him that you want him home more, or that you want him to do something that you want to do, try to find things that he enjoys doing that you can do with him, even if you have to stretch yourself or go outside of your comfort zone. The best thing that you can do for your relationship is just to learn to be friends again, so try that out!

What do you all think? Anyone have any better advice or other thoughts?

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Comments

  1. My husband and I were saddened when a friends marriage disintegrated over abject boredom. They were kind of our younger, life of the party friends, always good for a laugh and we’d joke that they were our only couple-friends worth hiring a baby-sitter for. Everyone else was always too tired or too broke to do anything fun and they were like a reminder that parents can (and should) have – and be – fun, too. But once they married, in fact almost immediately after “I do”, the wife went into sit around at home mode, never to be interesting again. This darling girl, the wife of his youth (who was way prettier, smarter, more adventurous than he, and he appreciated these things in her immensely) – she left the building, or rather, she stayed in the building, flopped on the couch (after madly compulsively cleaning and updating their gift registry). This was not his idea of a good time, so nights out with the guys became more frequent, as did working overtime, as did visits to his own parents and more time on hobbies, etc, all of which she took offense to, read as “he doesn’t want to be with me”. So, ultimately, one night when he was out with the guys, she packed up her things and left. The End.

    Sadly he has since died, but for the few years between their parting and his death, he never understood what happened with her.

    I feel this is so important for mothers to convey to their daughters – marriage is a change to be sure, but it should not be a sentence to a pre-conceived notion of what that relationship should look like, for either party. For our friend, her idea of marriage was framed entirely by what generations of her family (literally, we found out later) had done, rather than what her own husband desired, or even what she might have preferred. She bored both of them into apathy, and eventually despair. How sad! I love how often our mutual friend Terri/ Breathing Grace reiterates “own husband” – it’s crucial to be his match not only in labor, but in FUN! He married you, didn’t he? He wants to be with YOU! Are you the girl he married, or has she left the building?

  2. Excellent! This post goes right along with the one I wrote today, so I added a link to this in my post. I love your practical advice to really go out of your way to find what HE likes and not expect him to just be there to listen to you whine about the fact that he’s never there. Why *would* he want to be there? As important as outside friendships are, the friendship and intimacy in the marriage relationship are *essential* and deserve to be nourished.
    Thanks!

  3. I loved this post. My husband and I got married 16 months after we met, so we had the romantic connection but not so much the ‘friend’ connection. My older gave me the best advice a few years ago: “You have to make it more fun at home than wherever he’s out to. You have to stop nagging, and start making it worth it when he does come home.” I’ve followed this ever since, and I have a new best friend!

    • So true, Marian! And that doesn’t mean turning into doormat, either. There are lots of ways we can get our husbands on board to help at home. But nagging doesn’t work. Starting with a good foundation of friendship and goodwill goes a lot further!

  4. I agree with the approach, but wanted to add a caution about the specific hobbies you choose to pursue with your husband. It came to mind since the first example given was fishing.

    *Some* of those hobbies are going to be his space where he needs to be alone to process life or there are certain aspects of the whole thing (thinking the fishing trip) that are routine and comforting. Shy away from those kinds of hobbies unless invited, but by all means let him know you’re available.

    On the other hand, the idea of “taking up a new hobby, like tennis” is a very good one. Create new memories and benefit from the rush that comes with new experiences. A nice thing about services like Groupon, LivingSocial, etc, is that they go out of their way to feature new experiences – cooking classes, rock climbing, massage classes, etc. Subscribe to those services, pick something and go! Or, start a group. Find something to do. He might resist at first, so you might have to push past a little resistance, but you’re almost certainly going to find something to do together.

    • So true, Rob! Many men do need their “man cave” time, so you do need to discuss this with your guys. But I also know a lot of men who have actually enjoyed having their wives along for some of their things. The important thing is that you find a way to spend time together, and (this is the point I was trying to make), if that involves doing stuff that you wouldn’t normally do or even think that you wouldn’t like, do it anyway! He is more important.

      • what about if your husband don’t have any hobbies that he enjoys and you have tried all you know
        but it seems you are back to square one. now i’m thinking ok its his turn to do something, and nothing on his part is being done,i’m thinking my married is a one street.

        • Sometimes marriage does feel like a one-way street. Sometimes it just isn’t fair. But the thing is that if you wait for them to change, and if you say, “I’m not doing anything else nice until you step up to the plate”, you’re basically checking out of your marriage, and you’re resigning yourself to it being horrible. If you want your marriage to work, you need to keep doing the work–even if it’s not reciprocated. Talk to your husband about what he wants. Talk about what makes him happy. Talk about what he enjoys. And if he has checked out, certainly you need to make sure that you have friends and interests to keep you sane. But checking out of your marriage will not make it better. It may feel like you’re getting back at him, but so what? You’ve won the battle but lost the war. You’ve won this one, but you lose your marriage. If you want your marriage to improve, you have to work, regardless of what the other person does. That may not seem fair, but it’s just the way relationships work!

          • I’m sorry, but I totally disagree with you. When I first got together with my husband 3 years ago, I did everything for him. Doing the dishes, cleaning, picking him up and taking him to work, laundry, getting groceries, you name it I did it. I was in school and he was working so I felt that it was the least I could do since he worked all day and was supporting me, but he paid me back in full with so much love, appreciation, and attention so I did not mind. I even learned and got very accomplished in poker (his favorite past time) just to make him happy. But now, three years later, things have changed. I still do everything for him like I said above and even more despite the fact I now work a full time job just to try to get back what he used to give me, but he continues to reject my need for love and attention. He says I am clingy and he feels like a caged animal and he is going to do what he wants to do with or without me. I never was into the bar scene only went and played poker for him, but if I don’t give into him he throws a huge fit, and says very mean, hateful things, gets in my face, not to mention throw things, and in the end packing up and threatening to leave. I want to work this out, but every suggestion I make that we need to fix us, not go to the bar or see friends is met with the same argument that I shut him away from his friends and family. We had a very bad, painful fight yesterday that we both swore we wouldn’t bring up again, but I am finding it hard to brush it under the rug like I agreed to. I don’t know if I love him anymore, but feel very stuck, and find myself still fully giving and giving and giving until I am blue but not getting much by way of what I need (love and attention). So, back to what I was saying, I have tried to give and give hoping that eventually he will give me what I so long for, but so far nothing much to note. I have also tried to not give so much and that is met with the same attitude. I have no where else to turn, but again, I DO NOT agree that the wife should give and give and give while the husband sits back and decides its okay to take and take and take. I think marriage should be 50/50 not 90/10 and if you allow this behavior as I have, it will only continue, and in the end you will be resentful as I find that I am.

  5. i’ve tried all i know nothing seems to be working. we will go out do fun things at least i think we are having a good time but we back to being bored again.

    • Sometimes life settles into a pattern that can be boring. But why is it boring? Why not make sure that one night a week you head out together–go bowling, go swimming, play tennis, something. And then go for a walk every night after dinner just to get out of the house. Just make sure you’re doing things together. If you still find it boring, then perhaps the problem is that you’re expecting more out of life than is possible right now. Get to the root of your dissatisfaction, I guess is what I’d recommend.

      • I don’t think i know how to get him to open up to me maybe i am expecting to much from him being married for 12 years we should be a little closer by now. we have done the walks, making myself pretty we go out and its justs another night,communication is a problem.

  6. That’s great and all, but why does the wife have to do activities he likes…at what point does he say “I should spend sometime with my wife” either doing something we both like. It always seems to cater to the husband. When will marriage become closer to equal.

  7. I understand all of the comments made and I’ve tried them all, but when is the time when he starts trying? A marriage doesn’t work if one person is bending over backwards an the other is soaking it up. Even doing all the things you all have mentioned doesn’t do anything. Suggestions?

  8. we have only married for 3 months, but we been live together for over years. i know he loves me a lot, but i think he doesnt in love with me anymore… i dont know how should i handle this marrige.. and what does this marrige mean to me now..
    we dont have wedding, nor even parents get together to have a simple dinner after our families know each other, even though they all live in the same city. I told myself: this is fine, as long as i love him and he loves me, all those things don’t matter.
    for the last whole year(even before we get married), we only have sex maybe once a month. i am 30 years old, and he is 33.I am an attrative woman, but no matter i seduce him or he has morning boner, he just didnt want to have sex with me. even when we have sex, it was always a quick 5 mins thing. i told myself, it’s fine, sex is not the only thing in the relationship, two people can be together and love each other is the most important thing.
    we both are hard worker and spend lots of time for work, and i am totally financial indepandence as well. all i need to make myself to feel that i have a family and my husband loves me is for him to spend some time with me.
    i am a really reasonable woman, i really agree and ok with him to hang out with his friends, i offer him to invite his friends to our house for dinner or hang out ALL the time. I totally don’t mind spend my own money to buy food, cood and clean after they eat. and that is what i did for the pass few years. because i know my husband likes to hang out with his friends, and this is another way for me to able hang out with him.

    everyone has a bottom line, and i have told him many time what my bottom line is and what i want. i do need him to speed a little bit time with me when we both off. i don’t ask much, just be reasonable…. now it’s 10:35pm in a thursday night, and he needs to wake up in 4:30am tomorrow morning, but he still outside hanging out with friends.
    but if jsut he and i go out to eat/or whatever he called “a date”, we won’t spent more than
    45 mins for the whole thing, then leave. if he is home, he will go to bed at no longer than 9pm, “because he needs to wake up early next day”. today is the 4 days that he came home that late since Monday.
    for his job reason, i haven’t able really see him for over 10 days, and he finally off on Monday, so he said he needs to go out with friends and drink beer before i even get off from work, and he didnt come home till 11:30pm, i was totally fine with it. because i know he need to relax.
    Tuesday night, very lucky that we have a chance to get out for dinner, even though just a 30 mins dinner again, but i was very happy for the whole night. then at 9:30pm, he said he wanted to go out and drink beer with the same group of ppl that he just hang out yesterday. i asked him for a walk after we got home from dinner, he said he is tired. but 9:30pm, he said he want to go out with his friend!! i asked him very nice to stay with me,if he is not tired, i am willing to stay late with him watch movie or whatever. but he had to go. i felt very bad and cannot control myself start crying and explain to him how much i need him to just stay and we can spend some time togeteher after i barely see him for the last 10 days, but he just walked out the door and left myself crying in the house… … the min that he walked out the door, my heart was completed broken.
    he didn’t talk to him since monday night, he did text me tell me that he loves me and ask if i am doing ok couple times a day.
    i was telling myself everyday before i got off work, maybe today he will apologize and fix me a dinner at home when i got home. but all i got is stay home by myself again, till now 11pm, it’s myself with the whole house of dark again..
    what does this marriage still mean to me??

    • Have a look at Dr James Dobson’s book “Love Must be Tough” I hope it may help you!
      I really feel sad to hear your situation. God bless you and help you

  9. I feel this has happened to my marriage… about 3 months after we said I do. I’ve trudged through 16 years of boring… for 2 years I drove home every weekend from college to be with him… we got married and then he didn’t want to be with me any more… He wanted me to be that wife that stayed home and had a spotless house… I did ok with that until I had I had kids (which I raise alone because he is never here)… he feels strongly that they are my responsibility alone. I have vivid memories of our 10 year anniversary… I was 6 months pregnant with our oldest child… I had been wanting to get away and reconnect for a couple of days… made reservations and scouted things for us to do… when it comes time to go he says I can’t go, maybe next weekend… next weekend has never come… So I get on the phone and cancel all the reservations and go cook him his favorite meal. I turn on some music, hoping we could at least cuddle or dance or something to celebrate the moment… 10 years is a milestone, right? But, nope… he eats, gets up (at least he said it was good) goes to the recliner and turns on football. He doesn’t even help clean (which really was no surprise) He has told me that his responsibility to me is working and providing for us, which he does sufficiently. When I ask him to plan something with me he said he would rather not because something more interesting might come along… so now I just feel stuck. He tells me everyday that he loves me… but he never shows it other than in his provision for the family. He has told me that I should be thankful for my life, that it could be worse, he could be a husband who hits me I feel very neglected emotionally and since the children have come along even physically. I’m really not even sure I love him anymore… but leaving is difficult…He is a good man and is compassionate to others, just not me… it appears his only sin is neglecting his family. He works sun up to sundown 6 days a week and Sunday is spent @ church most of the day (although he says this is his day to be with his family) I really have no where to go, nor the money to go… I’ve never really “believed” divorce was an option, but I’m afraid my health has greatly suffered from my loneliness and all the things I have tried to do for us have not worked (yes, I supported him and went to watch him team rope even though I was very uncomfortable and it wasn’t something I could participate in… but then he quit that and now just works…) I’m tired and drained, and I really don’t know the next step… I know no one can make these decisions for me, but I guess it just helped a little to vent to someone that has no vested interest… maybe you can send up some prayers for wisdom and courage to act on that wisdom…

    • Hi Christy, I want to recommend a good book to you (I think it is also available as audio if you find it easier to listen to) it is called Love Must be Tough, by Dr James Dobson. Please read it and see if the ideas in it may help you. I hope the best for you. You sound like you are trying to be so understanding. I hope it truly may help you and your marriage. With love and prayers for you to know wisdom and act well. God bless you

  10. My husband and I have been married for 6 years together for 12. He’s a construction worker and works from spring till fall. So he’s home all winter. We have a 2 year old son. We’ve been fighting the past month about how much time he spends with his friends. This has been an on going battle since I became pregnant. Since he has been laid off Ive decided to return back to work full time. Once I return home from work he always feels like he has been locked up at home and needs to leave the house. When all I want is to spend time with him and our son or if I have a day off he needs to go hang out with his friends. It feels like when Im home he’s off duty. I thought parenting was a two way deal. Im really sick of fighting because he cant see why I want him home more often. I understand he wants to be with his buddies and I would love to spend time with my friends to but we have a family now and family comes first!!! My husband is very stubborn and does not like to talk about feelings. Please help!

  11. Hello, ladies. I have been following this blog for the last few weeks and it has been a great encouragement to me. Recently, I have been putting in a lot of effort to spend one on one time with my husband and it is such a battle. But before I go into that, I should give you a little back story:

    He is the financial provider for our family and works very hard. He is currently struggling with his past and things that he is not proud of in our marriage. He gets angry very easily and takes it out on me, even though we’ve both come to the conclusion it’s because he hasn’t forgiven himself for his sins and his infidelity. Nor has he confessed them to anyone other than me. My parents know about it, but only through me. My grandparents, uncle and my sister’s husband are all in the ministry, which makes coming clean very complicated. It feels like his infidelity and previous mistakes in our marriage are eating us both alive. It has been a little over a year since the incident and I found out almost immediately. We do not currently have a home church as we are finally settling after a few years of moving around and he works every Sunday. He knows how important Church is for us, especially with a 3 year old son, but can’t seem to stick to anything he says or promises for us. I know it must be very difficult for him to deal with these things and I know he wants to be better, but I don’t see the effort to actually change anything. He agrees that he could be better and apologizes when he’s hurt me, but nothing changes.

    So, these past couple weeks I’ve really been trying to do special things together — mini golf, board games, movies, etc. He never says, “no” but when I bring these things up he says “maybe later” or “tomorrow”. Then in the bedroom (we’ve been struggling for the last 3 years) it’s like pulling teeth to get things going. He is perfectly capable of performing, but never has the need or desire to do so. I have been rejected 9 times out of 10 the last 3 years and he hasn’t initiated since last year when the infidelity came to light. Last night, I suggested that we shower together and he complained the entire time. I couldn’t touch him and he was annoyed that it was too cramped. He doesn’t understand that all I’m desperately trying to do at this point is be “close” to him. I need him in more ways than one. He loves watching TV with me, but is annoyed when I try to talk to him during (even if we pause the show or movie). I’ve left out a lot, but is there anything I’m missing? I have been praying about our marriage and my attitude has changed immensely. I’m not so bitter or resentful anymore, but his rejection continues to break my heart and it reminds me of his betrayal over and over…

    What can I do for him? I pour my heart out at least a couple times a week. I just feel like we’re going around and around and we can’t grow from this. He comes home and apologizes and tells me he loves me and then not even 3 hours later he’s broken my heart again. :-(

    Sorry for the messy comment. My mind is all over the place. I appreciate your help!

  12. My husband play online games and drink. I ask him not to drink around our daughter, or at least limit it. He just gets mad. He doesn’t spend time with us. It’s not like he’s busy with work. I work full time and takes care of our 8 months old daughter. He works part time and when he takes care of our daughter because I have work he just gets mad and when I get home, he just give our daughter right away to me then goes straight to his computer and play games then get his face drunk.
    I would suggest something like hey let’s watch a movie. Then he goes and say that’s expensive. So you spend money on beer, on cigarettes, on computer games and you think watching a movie is expensive?
    He spend the whole night playing his games then after he watches shows in the living room and falls asleep there. So he basically never sleeps with me. He then will be sleeping till 3 pm or sometimes till 5 pm if I don’t work. Then when he’s awake he goes straight to his computer.
    That’s our life together. I would tell him, you don’t spend Time with us. Then he goes and says if you’re not happy then you know what to do “divorce”.

  13. My husband works 60 hours a week. Golfs 7 hours a week a more. Not enough. I’m always alone. His golf is guys golf leagues. He always has something…. I am very sad and every time I try to talk to him… He goes ballistic. He spends 4 hours a week with me… I’m going nuts.

  14. My husband does the same

  15. My husband has been locked up for six years for a stupid mistake that he made a few years back, but every since he has been home I only see him when its time to go to sleep, i admit at first I was really controlling and nagged 23 hours a day, but he ended up moving out for a month, now he’s back home, but leaves out at 11am and comes back in at 12am, i dont kno how to tell him he needs to spend more time with his family without it seem like im nagging, i kno its healthy to have his guy time but what about me!!!!

  16. How do I get my husband to spend time with me? I know he isn’t cheating and he says im a good wife and I make him happy. So why is it when I say hey can we have some us time next weekend he says yes,then he makes plans to do other things for other people. I feel like im always last. I don’t feel like I should have to beg for him to make time for me. I also hate feeling like the nagging wife lol. It’s just so frustrating I make him breakfast when he is hungry I make his lunches I cook his dinner and wash his clothes … I don’t count us time as grocery shopping or working on cars. I even recently started playing his ps3 games with him tho I’m really bad at it and die a lot lol. I can understand he works 40+ hours a week and I do thank him for working so hard to provide for me and take care of me. He is always worried about having enough money and I always tell him I would rather have time with him not money. I try to talk to him not at him about how I feel and he never wants to talk or says he has to think about what to say and then he never gets back to me. I get so jealous of everyone else he makes time for I guess cause I don’t get his time and I do a lot for him. It makes me feel like why should I do everything for him when he won’t tell everyone no once in a while and actually spend time with me. He also never sticks up for me when I feel like he should be. I just want to know if there is a different approach I can take other than getting upset cause im really tired of saying the same thing.

  17. sarah thomas says:

    Hi me and my husband have bn together for 7 years married 3 years he just commuincate with me on his phone 24/7 or rather be with his mates its gettin me down and messages girls sayin lookin good in the pic when he got a wife what do i do how do u know if he loves me or not

  18. Interesting how the “hurrah” comments stopped by the red headed lady when people pointed out that it’s not only a wife’s job to “make herself interesting” to the husband. What a bunch of crap! The man is equally in charge of this.

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] if, in the middle of that, you also go for walks, or do a puzzle, or play tennis, or go for a swim, or toss a football [...]

  2. [...] of Stuff Gives you More Hours in the Day 8. Wifey Wednesday: What is Appropriate Sexual Release? 9. Wifey Wednesday: My Husband Never Wants to Spend Time with Me 10. Wifey Wednesday: 4 Reasons Why Your Husband Doesn’t Want to Make [...]

  3. [...] be able to figure things out better so that he can talk to you later. I wrote a while ago on how we should find things to do with our husbands, even if that means participating in some of our husbands’ hobbies, and I thoroughly agree [...]

  4. [...] work on your friendship. Make sure there is goodwill between you, that you can laugh together, that you can do things together. The more you laugh, the more you’re able to talk, and you can share with him how you feel. [...]

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