Does your husband act cold and distant?
Is he short of temper or irritable?
Does he act like he is pulling away, paying less attention to you?
What is causing your husband to be this way?
How do you stop him from being distant and acting like he is mad at you?
We are going to talk about all of these questions and more as we try to get to the bottom of what might be going on with your husband.
First of all, is it true men often become distant later after they fall in love?
You would think that love would bring out the best in your guy. What is it that causes a man to sometimes withdraw his affections?
Or is it just a big myth?
In other words, perhaps men come in all types and sometimes you may just latch on to one that retreats into himself more often than not.
Perhaps your husband possesses an insecure attachment style. Some men are not mature enough yet or equipped psychologically to be close to a woman for the long haul.
Could it be that your husband has some emotional hangups.
Yes, that could be the problem which is driving his behavior.
Or then again, it may not be that at all.
You see, your husband, just like most other guys, is a pretty complex creature. So knowing for sure what might be going on in his head is not always such an easy thing to figure out.
I have spoken with quite a few women who told me their husbands or boyfriends seemed perfectly happy in the beginning of the relationship, but then something happens along the way.
Where does it go wrong?
How does it happen?
Did you have anything to do with it?
All fair questions and guess what….we are going to delve into some of the mysteries.
The Effects of Your Husband Shutting You Out of His Life?
When a guy starts acting differently your first reaction is usually to try to get him to open up.
Of course this can sometimes backfire as your husband or boyfriend starts to pull into himself even more. On one hand you are thinking, “OK, he is acting distant, how do I bring him back”.
You are thinking what should you do when your man starts shutting you out. One one hand, you know he loves you. But when your husband puts emotional distance between you and he it can be confusing.
Your husband or boyfriend’s reclusive behavior can come on quickly and that can also make it frustrating.
You know he is putting space between the two of you. And it can come out of nowhere. But he may not want to talk about it. Or he may say nothing is wrong and make it out like it is all in your mind. Which in turns can drive you mad because you know in your heart he is acting different.
So a distant spouse who is in denial can ratchet up you own anger. Which in turn can make the whole situation worse as you can lose it and demand to know what is wrong.
His behavior can also be confusing and can cause you to turn inward. You might start to wonder if you have done something wrong. If he won’t talk about it, you end up feeling worse as your mind labors over what brought all of this on.
Before long, you can start to spiral. You might start to pull away from your husband as you mirror his behavior.
What a mess it is when a guy just decides he is going to shut down his feelings.
So why do men sometimes withdraw from you when all that you are doing is being yourself?
What is in a man’s DNA to just curl up into themselves and push you away when you are only trying to be a good wife.
And when they start acting this way, what does it usually look like?
What signs should you look for?
Signs That Your Husband or Boyfriend Is Withdrawing From You
When your husband or boyfriend decides he wants to shut you out it can be for any number of reasons and the way he does it can take on many different forms.
Let’s talk about the signs he gives off that reveals something is not quite right.
One of the first signs is when your husband acts like something is on his mind, that something is bothering him, but denies it.
It is clear by the way he is behaving that he is wrestling with some problem. He is preoccupied with some issue. But he may still insist nothing is wrong and may even get more upset when you start probing.
So denial and defensiveness are two signs that usually point to something that is off kilter.
Now, one should not jump to quickly to conclusions just because your husband is cranky and doesn’t want to be bothered.
He could be just having a bad day. He may not be feeling well. He could be simply annoyed at someone or something and is trying to hold it in.
All sorts of things can happen to cause anyone of us to feel the need to withdraw into ourselves for a little while.
The concern is when your husband or boyfriend seems distracted or reserved for long periods of time. If a few days go by and he doesn’t seem to snap out of it, then it is likely there is something that needs to get out in the open.
So in that respect, the amount of time that elapses in which your husband pushes you away is usually a tell-tale sign.
You might notice that he starts spending more time alone. When you approach him to encourage him to go do something with you, he may mumble something to the contrary or worse, snap at you and tell you to leave him alone.
Or on the flip side of the coin, your husband may start planning and scheduling events or activities without your involvement and participation. He may start spending more time with his friends or colleagues to put distance between he and you.
The bottom line is that you feel cut off from him and he doesn’t seem to care or pretends that nothing is wrong and denies any assertions by you that he is absent from your life.
Your husband’s pullback on affection is another sign that something is off.
He may have often given you little spontaneous hugs. Now it seems like your husband hardly ever wants to initiate any simple gestures of affection.
Or there may have been a time when your husband would look into your eyes and whisper something sweet or give you a quick peck on the cheek as he leaves the house. But perhaps those types of loving gestures have gone by the wayside.
Your husband may give off this cold demeanor. He may seem unapproachable. It may feel like he is steering clear of you as if he doesn’t want to be near you. It may be very subtle, but you might pick up the vibe that your husband is avoiding you.
Often, problems with a distant spouse shows up in the bedroom. Maybe in the past the two of you would crawl into bed together and talk for a spell and lovingly hold each other. But a distant husband will usually have none of that. He will more often come to bed later, long after you are asleep.
Your relationship may feel like it has turned into a frosty marriage. He may initiate sex less often or when you suggest making love, he may find ways and reasons to avoid having sex with you, offering a litany of excuses.
If your husband is giving off signs that he is distant and is acting cold, it may also be revealed in other types of avoidance behaviors.
He might not want to talk to you as much and when you bring up important issues to discuss, he puts them off.
Your husband may also spend more time at work to create physical distance between you and he.
Or he may declare that he needs to go on a trip (without you) to take care of some matter (personal or business).
This sort of escapism may happen more regularly as time goes by.
Did You Do Something Wrong To Make Him Pull Away From You
Before we get too much deeper into this discussion, let’s put some things into perspective.
Usually when a husband starts to pull away, it suggest something is wrong. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you have done something wrong.
Just because he is acting like he doesn’t want to be bothered by you and it feels like he is constantly finding ways to push you away, one should not jump to the worst of conclusions.
Don’t assume he no longer finds you attractive and is having an affair. That may not be the case at all.
You shouldn’t assume that he is angry with you or that you have done something wrong.
It could be that what is bothering your husband is something that he is internalizing and has little or nothing to do with you.
There could be a work problem that he is struggling with and he has withdrawn into himself trying to solve the problem, turning it over and over in his mind.
It could be a personal related problem, something that your husband is worried about. Perhaps he is obsessing over it to the extent that he is distracted.
So while it may feel like your husband is acting distant and shutting you out, the reality could be that he is not harboring any negative thoughts toward you; rather he is just wrestling with some problem he has yet to resolve.
Your Husband May Be Retreating To His Safe Place
Your husband is vulnerable to anxieties and worries, even depression, just like everyone else. And if any of those things occupy a large enough space in his mind, it can give off the appearance that his is pushing you away and out of his life. When in reality, he is struggling with his emotional issues.
Men have a way of retreating and retiring into themselves when they are plagued with acute worries and concerns. Instead of reaching out to you, his wife, for love and support, your husband may temporarily find more comfort in his man cave.
Many men don’t want to admit to a weakness. They don’t want to be seen through your eyes as vulnerable. So they sometimes avoid asking for help.
Your husband’s man cave is a familiar place for him to retreat in order to work things out. Maybe his mood has shifted and he just wants to be alone and needs time to think about things or decompress. Maybe he is working on a project and needs time and space.
When your husband goes into his man cave, wherever that might be for him, you can misread it as him shutting you out of his life. In a way, that is what he is doing, but men sometimes respond better in the long run when they answer the primal call of the wild.
If they are going to wage battle against some problem, some guys would rather go it alone. So any effort by you to interfere with their instinct to conquer this problem by themselves is usually met with resistance.
It is possible that everything inside him is screaming to be left alone and not to be bothered. So in order to escape, he will seek out a place he can go, either physically or emotionally, or both, and hunker down for a awhile.
Again, the catalyst that triggers these behaviors may have nothing to do with you. But the outcome of his behavior can make you think you have done something wrong. Hence, you begin to conclude that he is acting distant and cold because of something you have done to upset him.
But that could be far from the truth.
It could be simply that the beast in your husband has arisen and he needs time to tame it and come back to being himself.
So give your husband some time before you arrive at any lasting conclusions.
Sometimes it is best to just let your husband go through this period and work it out and unwind.
If it turns out to be something so serious that requires your attention or assistance from others, that will become more clear later.
What If My Husband Always Seems Mad At Me?
I often get clients reaching out to me asking, “what should I do if my husband is mad at me?”. Or they will exclaim, “my boyfriend is mad at me, how do I fix it?”.
When it seems your husband has slowly become more distant in his responses to you or behaves in a cold or even angry manner, the natural reaction is to understand why.
Why is he acting this way and treating you different?
You want to know what you can do about it because nothing is more upsetting than not knowing why your husband is acting like he would rather not be around you.
When you pick up those kinds of cues from your husband, it is hard not to feel rejected and hurt inside.
So what is driving your husband to withdraw into himself?
Let’s hear from some of my clients that went through some struggles with their own husband or boyfriend and how it shaped their lives in that moment.
Hey Chris. What should I do when my boyfriend is mad at me and won’t talk to me. I am not even sure what I have done. I asked him about it and he says its nothing, but I can’t get past the unmistakable feeling that he purposely putting up a wall between us. He won’t let me get close to what is going on with him. When a guy seems mad and testy and ignores you should you confront him?
I think my husband is mad at me. I am at work now. What should I text him to change his attitude? I don’t want to go him with him like this. He denied anything was wrong but I know him and he has been giving me the cold shoulder. What should I text him to break through his attitude? Is there something I should say when I see him mad like this? I just want my husband to stop being angry. How can I make happy.
We have been together six years and he is not usually this way. Something is definitely off. He is drifting. He acts like he wants to get away. He usually is very attentive and caring, but lately he has been strident. Why is my boyfriend so mean, saying ugly things. I can’t get past the fact that he says we are getting too old as a couple. What does that mean? When my boyfriend says mean things to me for no reason, I can’t help but think he wants it over. It like happened overnight. I think he is acting out so maybe he is going through a phase. He is shutting me out of everything. I am really desperate for some advice. Can you help?
It can make one feel helpless if your husband or boyfriend starts showing signs of wanting to back out of the marriage or relationship.
Over time, you get accustomed to a certain amount of closeness. You come to value those moments where you feel close and connected to your husband. Then either suddenly or over a brief period of time, that closeness and connectedness subsides.
Something stands in the way. Whatever it is, you want it to stop. But to stop it, to get things back to what they were like before, you need to know the trigger.
Is your husband or boyfriend behaving this way because of something you have done?
Is you man harboring some deep, dark secret?
Is his pulling away from you because of a personal issue that he wishes to tell you, but can’t?
Is he essentially just going through a bad mood period and simply needs some time to snap out of it?
Whatever it is, there is a way to get to the bottom of it, sooner or later.
What Do I Do If My Husband Acts Distant and Mad At Me
To get to a place in which your husband will open up about what is triggering his distant behavior, it may be wise to follow a three prong strategy.
1. Begin First With Giving Your Husband Some Room: Give your man some space. You may notice something is off and that he seems to be withholding his affection. There may be a certain chill in the air. Maybe it is your imagination. Maybe it a mood state he has fallen into and really does not amount to anything important. Or maybe it is something you need to know about. Perhaps you can help him.
Whatever it is though, it may be wise to first pull back. Probing too fast and too much can cause him to act more distant and pull away even more. Give him a chance to work through whatever it is that is causing him to act distant. He may resolve it on his own. He may actually come to you to talk about it. But the less pressure you put on him, the better. At least, initially, this is probably your best strategy in the beginning.
2. Offer Soft Support, Then Pull Back: So let’s say that you tried step one. Let’s assume that a couple of days have gone by and your husband has not shown a willingness to open up and tell you why he is acting different. Deep inside, you sense something is wrong. He is not normally not testy like this. Nor does he normally shut you out of his life. Since the problem has not resolved itself, it is time to take things to the next level. I would recommend a small intervention might be useful. Sometimes “less is more”.
So in this situation, you could simply state the obvious in a non threatening or defensive manner. You could say something like, “Honey, clearly something is on your mind. You seem short with me and distant. Is there something I can do to help?” Then after breaking your silence on this subject of his mood, you should pull back again. Wait for his response. Maybe he opens up and tells you what is going on in his ticker. Or maybe he doesn’t. He might just act like nothing is really wrong. He might get annoyed and upset. Whatever his reaction, don’t get drawn into a debate of what is going on. You have spoken the truth as you observe it. By underscoring or defending your words, you open up avenues for your husband to be combative or play the denial game.
Of course, it is possible that he might just tell you what is bothering him, which would be an important step going forward. He might just take you up on your offer of support. After all, that is what husband wives are supposed to do for each other. But if he doesn’t give you an explanation on why he is acting distant or uptight, that’s fine too. This is not a race to the truth. If you push too hard, it may have the opposite effect. Just remember to remain calm and proceed with the understanding that you have handled the situation in a supportive and in an adult way.
You may think that you have accomplished nothing if your husband does not make an effort to explain his behavior, but that would not be true. Your words will echo in his conscience and subconscious mind, causing him to re-evaluate how and when he needs to talk to you about the matter. This pause in taking any further action also allows you to re-evaluate your husband’s mood and behavior.
3. Be More Direct In Your Inquiry and State You Are Very Concerned: If Steps 1 and 2 fail, you may need to make a more direct intervention. If your husband has been acting fussy and distant for quite some time, then whatever is going on needs to come out in the open because the relationship will suffer if this kind of behavior goes unchecked. Using as few words as possible, it is time to make a proclamation of sorts. It shouldn’t come off as an accusation or emotional. Your tone should suggest empathy and concern.
What you will be doing now is telling your husband your are very concerned with his recent behavior. You can express that is time to talk about what is going on as he has been acting differently. Then stop talking. Allow silence to be the crowbar that opens him up to telling you what might be going on. Sometimes this approach works.
But sometimes, your husband will keep acting like nothing is wrong, that everything is hunky dory. Or he might get angry and snarl at you. If your husband is truly hiding something and is refusing to talk about it, a common reaction is to snap off something ugly. He may try to turn the whole issue around on you, making it out like you are the problem. That you are imagining the whole thing. If this is the outcome, your best response is to say nothing. Don’t take his bait and get into a fight. Let him unwind. That might be the best thing for him. Sometimes this approach has the effect of diffusing his anger and reluctance to talk. Later he might just let it all out.
Of course, whatever you do….whatever approaches you employ to try to get underneath why your husband is acting more distant ….there is no guarantee these strategies will work to open him up.
You can try to talk about it. You can seek couples counseling. You can just do nothing and hope for the best. None of these approaches will necessarily get the result you want. But try you must.
I suppose, as a very last resort, if you have tried everything and are quite sure you are not imagining any of this and his behavior and mood seems to have worsened, you can impose a brief separation period.
Stepping away for a few days or longer can sometimes jolt a husband back to the reality that there is a serious problem within the marriage and it needs to be discussed in a constructive and supportive manner.
In the final analysis, in almost all these cases, time is on your side. Eventually, the truth will come out.