Reader Question: My Husband Doesn’t Spend Any Time with Me

Reader Question of the WeekEvery Monday I like to answer a Reader Question. I give some quick thoughts, and then you all can chime in, too, in the comments section. Today we’re tackling a thorny one: “My husband doesn’t spend any time with me!”

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? A lot of couples get into these situations where, once they’re married, they rarely spend any time together anymore.

So let me give a few quick thoughts.

First, 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.

You still need a friendship

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. Saying to him, “Let’s go bowling tonight!” is much better than saying “you never want to spend any time with me.” Be specific with your ideas. 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.

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

"My Husband Doesn't Spend Any Time with Me!" Feel alone in your marriage? Maybe you just need to learn this principle of how we communicate: Men like to talk side-by-side. So what can you DO together?

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 attacking him with accusations that he doesn’t want to spend time with you, 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!

Want some specific things to do together? Here’s a post of 2-player games you can play with your spouse. But I’d love to hear what you do together with your husband. What are you all doing to revive your friendship this summer? Let’s leave some ideas in the comments of things that you can do to spend time together!

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  1. Butterflywings says:

    I find the problem is the only thing my husband wants to do is play computer games. If he wanted to hang out with friends, that we could at least do together. I’ve tried to get him to join me in things that he does find fun when he wants to do them but he rarely wants to do anything. I don’t know what to do anymore.

    • I feel you, Butterflywings. My husband’s only hobby is computer games, and when he starts playing, the rest of the world is gone to him. While my situation is not perfect, talking about it honestly (and non-accusatively) has helped tremendously. I have always felt like when he chooses video games for the night, he’s telling me that he likes them more than me and I know that I can never be as fun or interesting to him as they are. From his point of view, though, if I’m busy when he gets home (making dinner or working on grad school assignments) he genuinely thinks he’s helping me by leaving me alone. While talking about the situation does not “fix” it, per se, it is really helpful for me to revisit the issue simply so that we can remind each other that we love each other and we’re on the same team. Honestly, I don’t think the computer game issue will change like a light switch, but over time, small improvements have happened every time we talk about it and where we are today is leaps and bounds better than where we started. I would highly encourage you to talk to your husband gently and respectfully about what his hobby does to you and how it makes you feel. We’re still working on finding a “thing” that we can do and enjoy together. We haven’t found it yet, but we both know that it’s important and we are working towards it. Prayers go out to you!

      • Thanks, Lauren, for chiming in to help! I appreciate that! Your thoughts are very wise. I love that he thought he was doing you a favour–getting out of your hair. So often that’s the root of a lot of marriage problems. We misunderstand the other person’s motivation and desires. And sometimes it does take a lot of time to change things!

      • Butterflywings says:

        We’ve discussed and the situation has got much worse not better. We’ve talked about it with a counsellor. He knows he’s not keeping out of my hair. I can be standing beside him for 15 minute (and the only reason that isn’t longer is my back gives way from pain by then) and he’ll just totally ignore me until he’s finished the level/mission/whatever.

        He’s in an episode of clinical depression, won’t get help and has a feral gaming addiction as his way of coping with it. He is playing all night – literally all night. Only sleeping every second day, I beg him to come to bed and he won’t. He’s barely been to work in two months and used all the leave he needed to be saving up for when our baby arrives, and also had a week off where he was supposed to come visit his family with me for a week and the day before decided he was going to stay at home and “relax” (ie spend the time gaming day and night) for his week off and sent me and our daughter to go without him.

        When he’s not depressed, it’s ok – mostly anyway. He will play for maybe 3-6 hours at night, but he’s literally playing 12 or more hours every single day for weeks now and some days he will literally play 24 hours straight, only stopping to eat and use the bathroom.

        We had quite a number of things we enjoy doing together (some I did before we were married, some he did before we were married, and we were doing them together but he’s stopped all those too).

        He needs professional help but won’t get it because his GP just says “things aren’t that bad, just come back if they get worse” because hubby doesn’t see how bad he is, and what he does see, he doesn’t mention to the GP when he goes.

        • happywife says:

          I’m so sorry for your difficult situation. I’m sure you know this, but others also need to be aware that when a person has an addiction, there is really not much that you can do other than wait for them to hit bottom and make the choice to get help. Planning fun activities, joining in their activity, confronting, reasoning, begging….. none of it helps, in fact could make it worse. If they feel that their “drug supply” is going to be limited, they work even harder to protect it. Their brains truly do believe that their drug is essential for survival. Unless you’ve had experience with an addict in your life, you really can’t understand the insanity of it all.
          A good book that has given me great insight into addiction is “Willpower’s Not Enough” by Arnold Washton. It isn’t the most entertaining read, but it has really helped me to understand what is going on in the brain of my alcoholic husband (who is, Praise the Lord, newly sober)
          It is a heart-wrenching experience to watch a loved one suffer with depression and addiction. Nobody can understand unless they’ve been there. I have been greatly helped by Alanon’s saying… “You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it”: That really does sum it up for the loved one of the addict. You truly are powerless over it and any attempts to do anything about it are futile. You do your best to enjoy life and not let the addiction have power over your frame of mind… which of course is WAAAAAAYYYYY easier said than done.
          I apologize if this got a bit off topic, but in the case of a wife who’s husband is not spending time with her, there may well be an addiction involved, and in that case conventional wisdom that works in a healthy relationship is pretty much Greek in an addiction affected relationship.
          Hugs to you, BW. and you might consider checking out an open alanon group (meaning open to those other than those dealing with alcoholism). I can’t say I love it 100%, but other’s swear by it. You might find it helpful.

    • So, first of off, this won’t fix things. Sorry :( However, it might be an idea to make things better, with the caveat that I have no idea if it will work for you and your husband. My thought: does he like talking about his games at all? Can you ask him to tell you about them, how he’s doing in them, what they are about, what he likes about them? I find this helpful in a) having communication with my husband about something that interests him and b) making me less annoyed about games, because I know something about them. Again, I don’t know if this would work in your marriage, but if it would, it might help on the communication front. Good luck!

      • Thank you, Bethany, for offering a great suggestion to ButterflyWings! I love the community we’ve built here to support marriages.

      • Butterflywings says:

        Thanks but no he doesn’t enjoy talking about his games at all. I’ve spent our entire relationship trying to use his games as a way to get him to talk but it doesn’t interest him. He’s like me with sport – for him games are for playing not for watching or talking about, and for me sport is for playing, not watching or talking about. He just gets annoyed if I try to talk to him about his games- not on purpose, but accidently, the same emotion I feel (but am better at hiding) when my daughter talks to me for the millionth time about her favourite sports team. Unlike me and her (where I put on a happy face and talk to my daughter even though I hate the sport she likes), when I try to get him to talk, he’s just like “if you want to know about the game, go play it yourself”.

        • I’m curious, ButterflyWings: what did you do together before you were married? What was it about him that attracted you to him? Do you think this is due to depression, or something else?

          • Butterflywings says:

            What attracted me to him is we had deep conversations. Some theological, some about science, some about science fiction, politics (from a christian perspective), we used to talk lots. He is extremely intelligent and thoughtful and cares about the state of the world. For the first 3 months of our relationship, we mainly went on group dates because both of us are quite shy in person, and for the next 3 months, we mainly went to church together (followed by supper afterwards for the young people) and went out for dinner together where we talked. Then he moved away for work so we had nearly three years of long distance relationship, mostly I’d visit him on my daughter’s school holidays/my uni holidays, and he’d fly up occasionally in between and would come up for around 3-4 weeks at christmas. Actually I think most of our visits, the main activities we did together were just going to church. When I visited him, he had work, and when he visited me I had work/uni and all my daughter’s activities. We’d go to each other’s martial arts classes, play roleplaying games with his friends (when he was visiting me), and would watch a tv show we both liked.

            But basically we didn’t do a lot of activities together because we’d go anywhere between 2 and 5 months without seeing each other. Church was the only regular activity we did together. But we did heaps of talking online. We’d talk for hours most nights.

            After we got married, we didn’t talk as much. But around two months ago, he just stopped talking about anything.

            I’m 100% sure it’s clinical depression with his history of it. And even though he loves kids and wants them, he’s freaking out about the financial cost of one. We were already living on a very tight budget, because we live in one of the most (posssibly the most) expensive city in the country here but it’s where his work is. To move back where we came from would mean abandoning the career he worked so hard to get into and is really good at and has lots of future prospects, and quite simply he’d be lucky to get a job in his extended industry and the pay would be half what he gets now.

            The problem is we have three of us living in a very small two bedroom house with no room for a baby and we need to get a bigger house. In this city, in the cheaper suburbs, it’s actually cheaper to buy than to rent. So neither downsizing or selling and moving into a rental property that is bigger is an option.

            I’m trying to find work (I even technically have a job now, but it’s on call casual with no shifts yet) but being a new graduate, my options are limited (actually part of the reason I was happy to move half way across the country is that newly graduated nurses in our old city are basically unemployable due to government cutbacks and hospitals refusing to hire graduates with less than 2 years experience unless they have done a graduate program working in a hospital and those are cut throat to get into because places are rare – the estimate is between 70 and 90% of my graduating class of several thousand students was unable to get work as nurses). Where I moved to isn’t quite as difficult. I’ve been through for some job interviews lately for a graduate job, and I pray one of them works out, but until that happens, when I have a permanent position (albeit part time), hubby is going to continue to panic about money.

            He has a strong faith – one of the things that attracted me to him. But trying to reassure him that God will get us through this one way or another, and pointing out to him, God got me through the previous 30 years before we met, growing up in a household where my dad was unfairly fired when I was 12, causing my mum to have a nervous breakdown and my dad having to become her carer and never returning to work more than the occasional casual day or two here and there, then my first husband losing his job less than 6 months after we got married, and then my divorce and no child support, and not being able to work at all for years and then only part time, and times were tough. I couldn’t always feed both my daughter and I so I went without at times, but we always had a roof over our heads, my daughter was always fed, we never had the electricity cut off (although my phone was a number of times), I became an expert at juggling bills and knew when I had to swallow my pride and turn to charity for help with things like food parcels etc. But we made it through.

            And our current situation is nowhere near that bad. We can fit the four of us in our current house if we have to and we are so blessed that our baby will be born just in time for the government baby bonus so when the baby is born, we’ll receive at least $3000 before they cut off that payment a month later. And since I’ve had all my daughter’s stuff stored at my mum’s house for the last year and have been slowing picking up bargains off places like ebay, gumtree and discount racks at shops, I’ve got 99% of what we need for baby and I figure the rest we’ll get as gifts from friends and family when bub is born. Literally a car seat is the only thing we’ll have to buy new and I’ve already got one of those on layby for less than half price.

            I wish I could make him see that baby really won’t cost us anything more. And if I don’t get a permanent job, we will survive in our little house until I do.

      • Butterflywings says:

        Thanks. I guess that’s an option if nothing changes soon. I just honestly believe though it’s purely linked to coping with his deep depressive episode. My first husband was a drug addict, and his addiction was entirely on it’s own – happy, sad, depressed, manic, in the throws of psychoses – for him it didn’t matter, drugs were his constant. My second husband only gets like this when deeply depressed. I’ve been spending a lot of time with his family this week while on holidays back where we both used to live, and his mum has seen this pattern before. Unfortunately neither of us can reach him at this stage – he’s a stubborn man, which can be a good thing, but in this case, isn’t so great. He believes he can pull out of his depressive episode on his own, and he’s made up his mind. I love him and it breaks my heart to see him retreat like this. I’ve seen him go through down periods, where he might spend 2 or 3 days like this, but not nearly 2 months straight.

        • happywife says:

          It is my understanding that the “drug” of an addiction doesn’t need to be used on a consistent daily basis to be considered an addiction. From what you say, he is using gaming to medicate himself, he cannot control his usage, and it is causing problems in his life (not working, not interacting with people, etc). But the bottom line is, classic addiction or not, it appears that you have no influence over his choice to not seek medical care and not seek help with his gaming addiction/use. As I see it, that leaves your only 2 options as either 1) leave or 2) accept it until he is ready to seek help.

    • Hi ButterflyWings,

      I think the suggestions so far are great!

      I’d also add this, which I said at length in To Love, Honor and Vacuum (the book): if he just won’t do things with you, sometimes you have to find things that you can do by yourself that bring you joy, so that you don’t sit around resenting him. He may very well have made the choice to spend the majority of his time away from you, and nothing that you can say can change that. But the dynamic will be really bad if you start being angry at him all the time for it. So take up your own hobbies (preferably active ones away from a screen!) Start a new craft with your daughter. Make a life for yourself that is fun and full, but always, always leave room when he wants to join you. Always offer him the opportunity after dinner to choose something to do together.

      And even if he won’t DO anything with you, try at least to eat dinner as a family around a table. I have a post on that here. It can give a whole new feel to your family life!

      • Butterflywings says:

        Thanks Sheila. Part of the problem is I’ve had to give up most of the things I do. We were doing taekwondo together. Which was ok despite the pregnancy because I was just doing non contact stuff, but had to give that up as well as going to the gym mostly because I’ve just been so unwell. Exercising and studying have been my things to occupy myself (especially being in a long distance relationship). But exercising is out for now and I finished university. I’m hoping once I get further in the pregnancy, I won’t be so sick all the time. At the moment though I pretty much alternate between bedrest and screen time. The lack of being active is driving me insane.

        I don’t think I’ll resent him. I’m just worried sick about him.

        It’s also not healthy for my daughter either. She wants to play computer games all the time and every time I try to get her to do anything else, she just says “But [my hubby] plays computer games all day and all night so it must be ok”. At least though she still goes to youth group and girls brigade (and school obviously) and still does her homework and she’ll go back to playing sport in Spring when her favourite sport starts for the year.

        Fun is out for me for now, but I kind of expected with my health issues this pregnancy would be rough, but yeah, just worried about hubby cutting everyone out of his life and shutting down.

    • Butterflywings, I don’t know if you’ll like my suggestion, but it’s something I choose to do within the first few years of my marriage. Start playing with your Hubby! A lot of games can be played as teams. So I learned to play. I wasn’t very good at first & I didn’t really like it that much. BUT I was doing something with Hubby. I actually kind of like playing Starcraft now. It thrilled me the first time I overheard Hubby bragging to one of his coworkers about his wife who plays computer games with him. The coworker was impressed & said “I wish my wife played, all she does is nag me.”

      I truly think these video games help our Hubby’s to express that God-given need to be conquerors & explorers & protectors. They don’t have many real life opportunities to do that in this day & age. Plus it’s a thrill for the guys to have a wife that plays.

      Hubby & I have been playing computer games together for our 22 1/2 years of marriage. & most of the almost 2 1/2 years we dated before that. He loves it & I actually love it too. Sometimes it gives us something to talk about when we have nothing else to talk about. And I find Hubby asks me more & more what I would like to do. Then he will join me in something I really like to do.
      Lea recently posted…My week at campMy Profile

      • Butterflywings says:

        Thanks, but unfortunately been there, done that, makes no difference. I actually do play computer games, and the ones I play are multiplayer. Unfortunately multiplayer games don’t interest him. Even games like Starcraft which he does play and does enjoy, he refuses to play two player. He plays computer games to get away from human contact. He struggles with tolerating having me in the same room as him when he’s on his computer and I’m on my computer, even with his headphones on to block out all sound, he still struggles with having another human being in the same room. Using my computer in another room isn’t an option because we don’t have another room. Our tiny dining/lounge room is currently full of packing boxes as is our bedroom. The study is the only place where we can set up a desktop and I can’t use a laptop. But even if I were in another room, he still wouldn’t play with me. I’ve tried to get him to include me in his gaming with games he likes with multiplayer options but he’s not interested.

        I know he’s got aspergers and depression, but it’s blown out into a full on total human contact shut down, and not just me but with everyone. Not going to church or work, blocking me out, and even his mum who he’s close to and always talks to for a few hours once a week, he just sits there in silence on their calls and doesn’t speak and doesn’t respond when she asks him things. Just totally completely shutting the world out.

        • So sorry Hon! Depression is so hard to deal with & sometimes it’s even harder on the spouse! The only advice I have is to keep praying for him! I can tell you really love him. Have you talked to his mom? Does she have any advice? Has he done this in the past? Sometimes a mom can give insight into her son. I will be praying for you & him! Hang in there! Sometimes life is so hard! I’m so glad this life is only temporary until Christ comes back!!
          Lea recently posted…My week at campMy Profile

  2. Hello I have never posted here before. I have been reading you’re blog for a few months. I wanted to share some of my personal experience with butterflywings. My husband and I have been married for twelve years and he has suffered depression off and on. I saw in her post she said she was expecting. My husband always went a little crazy when a baby was on the way. He grew up very different from myself his parents were not good parents. He had no reference for what good parenting looked like. Add to that the financial burden of supporting the children(especially so with the last one). He was scared to death.We now have four. He is christian. but was a new one when we met. He did instinctly know to have faith in God. Something I think we learn from years of practice. He just had fear and know where to take it and he would retreat and would eventually work through it on his own, often he would come to conclusions I had already tried to share. He had to get there his self. During my first pregnancy. I was deeply hurt by this. I was angry and resentful. I had my own fears but he was not available to me. I had to find other people to talk too. When I would try to talk to him it made his fears worse. The first one wad very hard I became more demanding and he became more withdrawn. We fought a lot. I wanted to treated special I was pregnant!!!!! On Tv men would get up in the middle of the night and go get whatever. their wives craved. This never happened for me. If I wanted my back or feet rubbed I went to my mother. My point is I found ways to get my needs met in healthy ways. By th time the third and fourth came I was able to do it without resentment. I was able to treat him kindly and lovingly . I heard a women talk about depression felt like and I had such empathy and then I realized I wasn’t able to have that at home for someone I claimed to love. We have made it through I have prayed much loved much and been very patient. He has always come out sometimes with meds sometimes with out. The more compassionate I am through it the better our relationship on the other side. I must find healthy not sinful ways to get my needs met when he is not able. Pray for Godly women in your life. God has met my needs in surprising ways over the years not from the sources I. thought they should come from(husband).pray pray pray love love love and take care of you.

    • Thanks for encouraging ButterflyWings! I appreciate your comment!

    • Butterflywings says:

      Thanks Monica for sharing :)

      Our bible study leaders’ wives are lovely supportive women. Actually all the women in our bible study group are great. I’m only starting to get to know them, but they are really supportive and helpful.

      I don’t know why my hubby is so against meds. He’s been on them before and they worked well. The last time he was this depressed, he had to go on them. He knows there is no shame in it. I take an antidepressant because without it, my PTSD comes back and I sink into deep depression and anxiety like he is now. He knows it’s no weakness and he won’t get any judgment for it.

      I dearly hope he can find a way to work through it. My real fear is for after the baby is born, I worry I will have PND like I did when my daughter was born. Things are different now – I developed PND because my first husband has post natal psychoses and had a total psychotic break and would fly into violent rages because he couldn’t cope with a crying baby in the house and the responsibility of a child (not that he ever took any responsibility) but my PND was more reactive than biological – from the strain of caring for a newborn and a seriously mentally ill husband and serious very painful complications from the birth that have never full healed even nearly 12 years later. But it doesn’t stop me worrying about developing PND again or if my other health problems (fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis being the main concerns) flare up from giving birth, I need hubby physically and mentally. I’m trying to set up other support systems but I still know so few people where we live as I’ve only been here a few months.

      I’m probably worrying about nothing, but after what I went through after my daughter’s birth, I never want to be in that physically and emotionally ill again.

  3. Butterflywings says:

    PS. Sorry for talking way too much. I’m not sleeping real well from the stress of being so worried about hubby.

  4. Wow, lots of great advice here. I can’t add anything, except to say that God knows where and your husband are right now. I don’t know how God works in our darkest hours, but I know he does. Praying that you will find shelter in God’s presence until this storm has passed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is all very well and good and all things I do in my own marriage, but wouldn’t it be nice if just sometimes HE did something that I wanted to do? It’s not like I sit there and sulk while we do something together that he likes. I get into it big time and enjoy it, but if once every blue moon I mention going out to a B&B for just one night, or I see a musical playing at the local theatre, he gets bent out of shape, rolls his eyes, it’s pathetic what we women like and it’s a complete no-go. Oh, I can go on my own….provided I find someone to babysit because he’s not going to watch the kids, but he’s not going to give up anything and at least TRY to enjoy himself with me.

    If it’s important to him, it’s important to me. If it’s important to me, fine, but don’t get him involved.

    Why do we wives have to bend so much for our husbands and the only bending we get back from them is a bent nose?!

    • I’ve pondered this one, too. I don’t have an answer, but it seems to go better all around if I’m a good sport, which apparently you are. I’d like to think eventually it comes back. Maybe women are just more adaptable and giving. Sometimes it’s tempting to become bitter and resentful at the seeming unfairness, but perhaps I’m confusing fairness with equality.
      Bridget recently posted…Paula Deen and the N WordMy Profile

    • Anonymous, I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing such frustration in your marriage! I know how that much hurt.

      I guess what I would say is that I’m not trying to say that he doesn’t have to do anything; I’m not trying to say that the marriage should be totally up to you. Not at all. We are BOTH called by God to give our all to the marriage.

      But here’s the thing: you can’t make him change, and the only person whose behaviour you can control is your own. So it really does no good to write a post on how much your husbands should step up to the plate. It may help you feel all righteous, and it may help you vent a bit, but it isn’t going to fix your marriage. In fact, it’s likely to make it worse because now you’ll be even more angry at your husband.

      The truth is that when you’re upset in your marriage, the only thing you can change is what you do. I wrote a post recently about that very thing right here, and I’ve got a ton about this concept in my book, To Love, Honor and Vacuum.

      So rest assured that I am not trying to say that wives are the ones who should make the marriage better. God holds us both responsible. But as a practical and spiritual matter, the only way you can effect change is to change what you do.

      I hope that makes sense!

  6. I don’t know if I connected to the right thread, but my last comment was a reply to Butterflywings.

    I also wanted to respond directly to this post:
    Sheila, This was so timely.

    My husband and I are very different, which adds a bit of fun (and challenge) to our marriage. My husband likes wild and dangerous. I like safe and quiet. Because we have such different interests, we have to be really intentional about finding things to do together.

    I found myself suggesting that we try motorcycling together, to his delight (it’s something he’s always wanted to do) and my surprise. It has been a stretch for me, but I have to admit, I’m having fun. He drives and I ride on the back, so I have my time of quiet reflection enjoying the scenery, while he gets his adrenaline rush. It works out really well.
    Bridget recently posted…Paula Deen and the N WordMy Profile

    • That’s awesome! Glad you found something to do together!

    • That is SUCH a good idea!!! My husband and I should try it! He likes sporty things and I try, but I have no coordination, so it’s a little rough for us. He’s always wanted a motorcycle and that would be a great way for us to spend time together!

  7. Butterflywings, you have a tremendous amount upon you. With each message you post, there is one more clue to what you have on your plate. I am so glad you have a supportive Ladies’ Bible Study group. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your husband’s family, too. I’m gathering that you are in the first trimester of your pregnancy. Maybe once you settle into the second trimester, you’ll feel better and be able to work through the situation without feeling so overwhelmed. My son, when he was about 17 went through a depressive episode like you are describing, gaming all night, no sleep, running on candy and carbs. He was very irritable. Although, it wasn’t my husband, I was desperately worried about him. The only thing I could do was delve into God’s Word and pray continually that the Lord would be within our situation. It wasn’t a miraculous recovery, but my son did turn around. I will be praying that you can see a tiny glimmer of the Lord each day from now until the baby is born. Give your worries to the Lord. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. That may sound simplistic, but my heart did come to a place of peace. The Lord sent resources and people into our lives at just the right times. He will do the same for you and your family. As Monica said, love, pray and take care of yourself. Hugs from North Carolina.
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  8. my husband does the gaming too. we have two children….8 and 6. he will spend the majority of the weekend down in the basement playing his game. This past Sunday, he spent four solid hours downstairs, away from me and the kids. this is a pretty regular occurrence. I have spoken to him about this back when we were newlyweds, with small kids and now that the kids are older. nothing makes a difference. I know it is his choice to be so distant with the kids, I just don’t want this to be a lesson that my kids are watching for them to become as they get older!

  9. Great advice. I feel like such a guy in our relationship sometimes :) I prefer with him to work side-by-side and talking. With a girlfriend, I’d rather we were sitting face-to-face talking. My outdoorsy man doesn’t really have but a couple of male friends and when he gets a chance to go do something, he’d rather go alone. I need to get back in shape and find a way to love hiking because that is what he loves to do. If we could escape on some hikes together, I think it would thrill him! :)
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  10. coconutmommy says:

    So my problems with my husband are a little different. He does not work and hasn’t for over 2 years now. I work full time retail so my hours are always different. We have two kids and one on the way. He doesn’t do very much around the house, dishes and cook… But that’s pretty much it. So i work all day and come home to a messy house and most of the time my husband playing video games. He doesn’t play that much when I’m home, but when i get home he normally leaves me and the kids and will go outside with his friends for hours. So I’m frustrated and fed up. He didn’t even go to Thanksgiving dinner with us because he wanted to play games with the boys. And we live in am apartment complex, a one bedroom right now, because we can’t afford anything else… So when i work on my feet all day while pregnant, i expect something from him…. But no! What the heck do I do?

    • ButterflyWings says:

      Hi coconut mummy. Sadly that sounds much like my exhusband. Even after we had kids, I’d come home to find he’d dumped our daughter on his sister, or my parents or my friends. I had to drop out of university multiple times, with just one subject to go, because looking after our daughter for two hours once a week took too much time out of his busy gaming schedule.

      I’m not sure what I can suggest, but please be on the lookout to make sure he is only spending time with male friends and not female friends – that was my mistake.

  11. coconutmommy says:

    My husband is actually really good with my kids. He doesn’t dump them with anyone except for me. And as fire the female friends part I’m not concerned about. He hangs it with his friends in the parking lot of our apartments… I can always see them. They work on cars, play some game with quarters, and some other stuff i just don’t get. it wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t an every day thing.

  12. My husband works nonstop leaves home 6:30 am comes home when we are all asleep. He doesn’t spend any time with us, he even works most Saturdays. When he is home he is tired. He does nothing. He hangs out with our son but even my son isn’t fully interactive with him becuase he never sees his dad so what is there to talk about? I have tried waking up early to hang out with him and make it a morning thing but no he is too tired, Ive tried staying up late to see him when he is home but he is also too tired and then next day Im too tired through out the day for attempting to stay up late. I dont know what to do. He works too much to set an appointment to see a counselor. He seems to be a workaholic but I dont think he is, he just doesnt want to be around us. He is not one of the best or worst at work, so why not settle with being mediocre and come home at a descent time? Some of his coworkers leave the office at 6pm and he leaves everyday at 10 even 11pm. I have my own career and have had to suffer a lot because I have to do everything by myself, Ive had to cut my hours to part time which is not a realistic career move because I cant do much like others in my field and the only reason I did this was because I felt like a 9am-5pm job is too much to handle alone with my child obviously suffering emotionally from not seeing his dad. It is a rough situation and now I am wondering why Im even married. Maybe calling it quits to the whole marriage will better me emotionally. I am tired of being concerned why he cant care for us, care like take care of us but for him to just be concerned about how we are doing.
    How am I suppose to make this better? We cant do something together because he is always gone. We dont even talk on the phone he says he is too busy to answer my calls or texts. I later found out many of his coworkers are always on their cell phones and facebok accounts but he cant just take one minute to call me. Why? I have to communicate through his work email becuase he mandatory has to respond to all his work emails or he gets in trouble.

  13. My husband and I have been married for 7 years. Him and his dad have beef cattle and it seems like anytime I need him to do something for me at home he can’t but he will jump when his father says how high and he is always over there. I don’t see him at all on Saturdays and in the evenings he doesn’t get home till after 4 then goes over there and doesn’t come home till dark. We never see eachother plus we have two kids and it seems like I am always at home and he doesn’t want me to go anywhere even though he isn’t around to spend time with me.

  14. Stephanie says:

    Have you guys tried playing online games with your husbands ? Believe it or not some online games are really addictive and can create a bond between you and your husbands. Don’t knock it till you try it, I’m not saying it will fix your problem but it might create a better chance to talk. My husband used to make fun of me because I played online games ,one day he tried it and got hooked. It was cool playing together we had a lot of fun and we talked a lot. It opened doors for us to do things we liked together, and talk about other things we shared in common. Again I’m not saying it’ll work for everyone but when we found this thing we were both in love with we started branching off from there and little by little talking he started conversations about unrelated topics. I guess he thought I was “cooler” in a nerdy way or more approachable with other conversations that he would normally not have brought up.

  15. I’m not really sure what to do…I love my husband a lot, but I think I must be overbearing to him. In the evenings in the work week I’m usually tired so I fix dinner since I come home first, he walks in around 8pm and we talk for a little bit, watch TV and then go to bed. On the weekend though, since Sundays he likes to go see his parents I thought spending Saturdays together was alright. Only…apparently it hasn’t been for him. Since it’s summer time and it’s actually really nice outside (live in the UK..) I want to take full advantage of going outside and not staying the apartment. If I had friends here I would go out with them rather than ask my husband if he wants to do things with me, but since I’m not from the UK it’s been difficult to make friends outside of work. I also…just assumed that he didn’t mind my company. But this past Saturday as we were walking through a local festival I couldn’t help but notice how utterly miserable he was. When I asked if everything was okay he said he felt depressed, and he wanted to leave. This isn’t uncommon – I’ve noticed more and more frequently that he seems to be very irritable when he’s out with me. Instead of being upset at him about I said ‘Okay, well if you want to go home that’s okay.’ After he left I walked around the festival, went to the park but the day was still early so I thought of going to visit a little seaside town. In hindsight I should’ve just gone…but instead I called him and asked him to come with me. He didn’t want to, but then he called me back and came anyway. It was disastrous. We walked around by the beach and he told me I wanted to spend too much time with him and we don’t need to do everything together. Fair enough…but I can’t help but feel really hurt. I got really upset when he told me that and then we ended up going to a pub, where the idiot barmaid talked her head off to him while I sat there fuming and wishing she would go away. I can’t help but feel like I’m doing something really wrong in this marriage even though we haven’t even reached the 2 year mark. I don’t really have anyone to talk to about this either since I’m not close to my mom and anyway they’re in the States. I guess I just feel really isolated and angry…but more than anything embarrassed. I would never want anyone to feel like they ‘have’ to hang out with me out of pity or anything, I’d rather it be a mutual feeling of wanting to hang out with each other. I think this is what hurts me the most, and makes me feel most alone. I don’t even know what to say to him now. Last night I just cried, and weirdly it reminded me of when I was homesick and felt alone. Even though I’m over the homesickness I hate that feeling of being alone…it’s more raw since I’m not in my own country and I don’t have a car. In total we’ve been together 7 years but a lot of it was long distance because I was in university and he was also in school. I’ve come to the conclusion I should just go out now and leave him alone, but I feel like that’s a really sad point to come to.

  16. Val and others….

    What I hear from most of the stories here is women that are married but very lonely. And I am one of those women also. Like you all, I don’t understand it.

    Due to work schedules, I don’t see my husband at all during the week, and Sunday he usually spends with his family. So “in my mind” Saturday is a day we “could” spend together. Most weekends he has other plans. Either I have to work, he has to work, or he is working at his “hobby job”
    Where he goes “when he can”

    I gave given up on the idea of being first. I just want to be ON THE LIST.

    He says, “I’m with you every night”. (In my sleep!) what quality time.

    I am to the point where I know I must fulfill my own needs and am working on that.

    But it still hurts. I wish it didn’t.

  17. I have come to respect and appreciate the fact that he is “with me every night” and stable and actually physically present. And that he is at a hobby job and not a bar.

    But like many of you here, I wonder if emotionally it would be less painful on my own….

  18. My cancels my plans at the last minute but will jump at any opportunity to be with his family and friends.I sometimes am too embarrassed to go to events alone, I feel lonely and alone.

  19. Why is it that the women always have to look for the self help and change? Why can’t men do things the woman’s way once in a while?

    I’ve done it all; video games, fishing, working on motorcycles, cars, flying remote control helicopters, bowling, go to movies, try to get him to hang with friends. We used to game together, it’s how we met. Ever since Destiny came out, he doesn’t do anything else. I try to get him to play games with me once a week or go out once a week, but it lasts maybe an hour before he’s done. We’ve tried talking. He told me he doesn’t even want me in the room while he plays Destiny because it’s “man time.” I try to respect his space, but this is 7 days a week. I’ve lost my gaming partner, my best friend, and my husband… and he doesn’t care. He just says that he doesn’t do that.

  20. When they get to such a stage, Melissa, I really feel like there is depression involved. That maybe he doesn’t even realize. It seems he is socially withdrawing and self medicating with the games.

  21. PatriotMom says:

    I’ve lived with a man like this for 21 years. Faithful, hardworking, but too quiet. I have tried everything under the sun – prayer, kind words, encouragement, leaving him alone, engaging with him, blah blah blah. At this point I told him we have to get counseling. I tried to almost 20 years ago and in between, but there were always reasons – not enough money, too busy, we’re not that bad, etc.

    Girls, go get counseling. You cannot do this alone! It is not enough to just be respectful and try to accommodate him. It takes 2 to tango. The Bible says a man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church – that means self-sacrificially.

    Couples have to work together. In hindsight, if i had it to do over again, i probably would not have married someone who was so different from me – it’s too hard when their family background has taught / allowed them not to learn how to process things in a healthy way in relationships. If you can’t communicate, you can’t resolve things, you can’t iron things out, and those misgivings you have now will become full blown resentment.

    If you are going to stay married, then you must go get counseling. A good counselor will help you learn tools and insights adn objective perspective about your expectations, your goals, dreams, habits, etc. They can also bring in your spouse in a way that you might not be able to.

    I finally told my husband I am done – this cannot continue. I am going to get counseling, and I really want you to go with me, because i can’t live like this anymore. He is coming, and that at least gives me hope that there IS hope.

    Again – do not do nothing. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. I have almost every book ever written on this subject from the Christian world especially; my dad was a minister. I know all the reasons to stay married…..but don’t wait for him to suggest counseling, or to even go with you. Just go – it will probably save your marriage, your sanity, your emotional reservoir, and your health.

    Frankly, the one thing I wish I could tell every young woman in particular – spend time with him and his family so you know how they really interact. Do not marry until you have done that. I know a couple people who married after 1 week, no kidding, and have been married 50+ years, but for the most part, if you don’t really share your life dreams and goals and the kind of people that you want to be, and already have some habits established – like personal growth reading, attending church, serving/volunteering, saving/planning financially – then you might want to back up emotionally a little bit and be sure that this person is really who you want to commit yourself to the rest of your life.

    We get blinded by emotion and then we don’t make very good choices that later we look at and say “how could i have missed that?!” No one is perfect….but the key is to marry someone who is truly committed to God first, then to you and then to personal growth. That is the only way 2 people can live together in a healthy way for the rest of their lives.

  22. What do I do if my husband just plays video games on the computer an we talk how I feel about it an he says he’ll change. Or I ask for a day with out computers. An at the end or ends up at the end of the night his on. I feel I baby Jim an i don’t get the affection an loving I want. I understand that he had no friends in the country an his mom had him an his brother just play games an not allowed too ho out but his married now an i don’t know how too get my feelings across since told him all the time my problem an i am just done talking.

  23. Marriedbutlonely says:

    I have been married for almost. Year and half. You would think this should be the happy times of marriage but I always feel so lonely. My husband works and then comes home and sits on his computer until he decides to go to bed. Sometimes he stays up all night. He watches movies and videos clips, plays games etc. If I try to talk to him I am bothering him while he’s “busy”. He never spends time with me and rarely converses with me. He wants me to be there to wait on him or listen when he feels like talking but he never wants to listen to me talk. I suggests “marriage building” outings and he either doesn’t feel like doing anything or he says we can’t afford to do anything. Sometimes I get so lonely I just talk to him anyway even tho he rarely responds. Eventually he gets ticked off and tells me I’m annoying or he gets angry over something I say. Which is another thing. He gets angry over everything. Nothing seems toake him happy and I feel like we shouldn’t have ever gotten married. He will have long conversations with his siblings or friends or even his ex wife about anything and everything but can’t be bothered with me. And when I come across something I find interesting and try to share, many times he gets angry and asks me why I’m talking about something he doesn’t care about. I feel miserable. I feel like I’m stuck with someone who is totally self entered and selfish. When he gets sick he wants me waiting on him hand and foot and babying him. But when I’m sick I better be cleaning and cooking or else he gets explosively angry and curses me out.
    To me this behavior is abnormal. I don’t demand every minute of his time. I’m fact I’m not very demanding at all. And that’s not all of it. The total lack of romance in the bedroom is appalling. He “punishes” me by lack of romance for whenever I displease him. And sometimes he provokes disaggreements.

    I totally feel sad and miserable because he is the only one who has treated me like I am unimportant, uninteresting, and not worth his time.

    He’d rather be on his computer where he is now. I’ve tried everything. When he has his moments of talking to me about our marriage and listening to how I feel, he always promises to change and never does. It may last anywhere from a day to a week and then he’s right back to his old habits. We don’t have kids and I’m so bored. And I don’t want to raise children like that anyway. Children need your attention and interaction. You don’t neglect them like and unwanted dog. And that’s what I feel like. An unwanted dog.

  24. Right now our situation has us staying with my mother-in-law (great person), and my brother-in-law. We are still fairly young, and every time time his brother goes out he constantly drags my husband with him. Now I don’t see a problem in it, but if I ask him to do something with me it’s a hassle. Or I will ask him to do something and the response I always get is “oh hang on, in a minute.” Yet if his brother asks it’s right away. Or if I call him while he’s out, or if I am downstairs and just wanted to ask a quick question he ignores my calls, yet is ALWAYS picking up the phone, or always on the phone when I am around him. Lately he hasn’t even spent more than an hour with me unless it’s sleeping, in that case he’s always passed out by the time I go to sleep. I just feel unloved and unappreciated.

  25. my name is shaneace cohen i am 22 marred for 3 yeas 8 mouths and i feel dead,alone,lost and not loved at all.I love him to much i cant leave him we want for help from 3 people now and nothing has helped i all ways talk to him not making him the bad one but both of as needing help but when ever i ask him just to have time with me he tells me wait if i call him he wont came after along time i have to tell someone to call him than he came`s and his more happy when his at work,church or with ather people.he all ways say he will try and it never happens and i get hope for nothing so i have put a alarm on my phone to remain my self he don`t love me and i am alone why i do that is because i am sick of going to bad crying every night and being mad at my kids for nothing help

  26. my husband like to hang out with his friends. Whenever he gets free he like to drink with guys. And both of us are working in the same office . But whenever we get a leave he use to watch movies in the home or he use to hang out with guys. And it makes me very angry . i don’t know how i can make him understand that i want to spend some time with him . i want to go out with him.
    please help me…………

    • Hello, I really thought that I was the only one with this problem. My husband is the most stubborn man in the universe. The more you ask him to do something, the more he resist it. Before I used to get angry but then I changed my strategy into fixing his favorite meals and telling jokes. So he doesn’t leave. It seems to me like a little bird that I try so hard to prevent him from running away, one day he was with his friends I felt so lonely that I started crying hysterically which caused me to get a heart attack, had a difficult surgery but I recovered then I was hospitalized twice more which caused my job to let me go while I am looking for a job I am at home and I see him 30 mins a day. I begged him I pleaded with him without any results. I am alone in this country my family is away. I am so sad and hopeless he is the kind who won’t change his mind by offering to charge activities with him. He refuse to go to a counselor it’s my way or the high way, please help

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  1. […] and “lows” so far. Maybe you take half an hour before bed to debrief. Maybe you even start a hobby, like playing tennis or bike riding, which allows you to have some conversations! Just make sure […]

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