How many times have you wondered if your husband even notices that you are around?
Do you ever feel like your husband treats you like a stranger?
Have you ever felt like your husband takes you for granted and just doesn’t pay attention to your emotional needs like he use to?
Sure, most husbands will be happy to be there for you when you want to have sex. But what I am talking about here is real emotional availability.
It seems to be missing in far too many marriages.
That connection and bond that is strengthened through little touches and smiles and loving glances and much more.
There is a term I use when consulting to my clients. I tell married women they should strive to be the Ungettable Wife. You can read about this here..
An emotional unavailable husband is not unique. Men have a way of wandering off into their own world….their own set of priorities.
But it can become a problem if your man behaves this way too frequently.
Now of course, I am not just saying that this issue occurs only with men. Plenty of women pull away from their husbands and withhold their affections or become distant.
But in my experience, this happens far more often with men.
Is it True That Your Husband Doesn’t Have A Clue?
As a guy, I have a unique perspective of where a lot of men are coming from. If you feel your husband is drifting away, then it is probably because he is.
Husbands have a way of retreating within themselves. They have their own little private world. Expressing intimacy and affection outside of the bedroom can be difficult for a lot of reasons.
This causes a lot of wives to wonder if their husband is tired of being married to them. I wrote a post on this topic if you care to learn more….
And its true, your husband may not even have a clue that he is falling short of pleasing you. Though, I will argue later in this article that most men are not clueless.
Whether it be due to social, cultural, personality type, or a preferred attachment style, your husband may ace the exam on showing affection or he may struggle mightily.
I think women’s sense of a guy’s propensity to emotional detach is far keener than even a man’s own awareness that he may not be good at connecting. It as if many men are designed to close the curtains to their emotional availability, while women reach out and open up themselves to their husbands.
So why does this happen and how can you stop your husband from acting like you barely exist when you live under the same roof and sleep in the same bed?
Is it possible you are imagining your man is pulling away?
Is it possible your husband is simply retiring to his man cave to satisfy his own needs and you are overreacting?
Lots of questions.
So how about some answers.
Let’s start first with what might be some of the reasons your husband is paying so little attention to you.
Some of these things could be happening in your marriage right now. Or you may be overreacting. Its true that some women are too emotionally needy and that can be a turn off for some men, causing them to withdraw even more.
But in my experience, that is not the main dynamic of what might be happening in most marriages plagued with this issue.
We are going to talk about some of these things, but remember, each marriage is unique and sometimes the factors associated with a husband not taking time to notice their wife and show her appreciation can be very complex.
But we need to start somewhere, so let’s give you some ideas to explore as to what is causing your husband to possibly behave this way.
Then we will talk about what you might want to do to help your husband snap out of his self absorbed stupor.
After all, man and wife did agree to “love, hold, and cherish”. Let’s see if we can get you closer to that vow.
Why Is My Husband Acting Like I Don’t Even Exist!
Let’s start off with talking about those things your husband may not have a lot of control over.
In this example, it is not like your husband is completely unable to change the pattern of behavior that results in you, his lovely wife, getting ignored much of the time.
So don’t think I am letting the guy completely off the hook.
We are all capable of modifying our behavior, particularly when it comes to strengthening our marriage.
But sometimes your husband’s patterns of behavior may be occurring without his full awareness. He may be wired in way that causes you to feel like he doesn’t care enough for you.
You may have married a Quiet Guy.
Some husband are cut from the mold of being the strong, silent type.
Have you heard of the line that “opposites attract”?
Well it is true that in a lot of marriages one spouse is often the more touchy, feely type. One spouse is often more extroverted. They are usually the talker of the pair. They instigate a lot of the action and decisions.
Let’s say in this example the extrovert is the wife. Her personality will naturally compliment that of her husband who happens to be more low-key. A man of few words.
Let me illustrate this point by way of a story I heard from a client:
I don’t think my husband will ever learn to crawl out of his shell. We got married 15 years ago and he always told me I was his “catch”. Now I know what he means because while I am very spontaneous and love to socialize, I never thought that my husband would want to spend so much of his time hiding out from all the activities I brought into our lives. I thought I was doing him good. Doing “us” good. But it turned out my husband is constantly retreating from anything I suggest we do. He says I am a social butterfly. Well, I think my husband is a hermit. He doesn’t want to leave the house and be bothered with other people and progressively it seems he is running away from me. It’s like he looks away from me and avoids me, his own wife, because I guess he is afraid I will drag him into something he doesn’t want to do. He acts like a social recluse with me and everyone else. If I start a conversation, he is quick to try to end it. Anyone watching us would think I married a stranger given the way he treats me.”
I remember this case clearly.
She was so frustrated with her husband that things got pretty crazy in their marriage for a while as both of them became entrenched in their particular styles of social behavior.
She was insistent on getting her husband “to register a pulse” and embraced every opportunity to get him to attend social events in all different settings, hoping her husband would eventually turner the corner.
Nevertheless, her husband was quite comfortable retiring to his familiar man cave and all of its creature comforts.
Quiet was his buzz word.
These were two people headed a different direction.
Well, lots of reasons.
But the main reason for their loss connection had to do with personality types.
We can’t expect to be perfectly compatible with the one we marry. But in this case, the couple was miles apart.
I explained to my client that her husband was not likely to change a lot because he is not a social animal. I suggested she needed to turn to other measures.
After multiple sessions she came to agree that she was not going to turn her husband’s introversion into her brand of being an outgoing kind of person.
I also explained to her that the more she tried to change him, the more he would naturally resist the change and resent her for trying to upset his personality comfort zone.
As a result, these two were drifting apart, not communicating. Bickering was becoming their pastime.
Indeed, I explained to her that her husband was probably avoiding her at both a conscious and subconscious level because he “just knew” that she would push and prod him to become a different version of himself. And deep down inside, that is not who he was or what he wanted to become.
But with all things, there is usually a middle ground.
So I suggested she take the opposite tack. If she wanted to change the dynamic such that her husband embraced opportunities to go with her to places and would be comfortable opening up with her, she should join him in his world.
Spend more quiet time in the same room with your husband, I told her. Don’t talk. Just do something you enjoy feel is rewarding. But the main thing is share the same space with each other, recognizing that quiet time can be powerful in creating intimacy and shared moments.
There is beauty in the quiet moments.
You do this enough times, I told her, then you can break the habit of your husband always equating your presence with something that will lead to an interruption of his peace and quiet.
Eventually, when he begins to equate her presence with him as comfortable and non threatening to his social way of “being”, then the trust will return.
Once that happens, she can slowly draw him into her world.
That is the give and take of relationships.
But remember the power in taking on things in small steps.
If you try to make your man change his behavior patterns by large leaps, chances are that he will resist, or worse, pull away from you even more.
What Else Causes a Husband To Treat You Like A Stranger
Marriage is a series of moments and events and within those situations is a certain degree of give and take between husband and wife.
Sometimes those situations reveal something about your partner.
There are some patterns of behavior your husband will exhibit that are reflective of his underlying personality. Like the example we discussed above.
If your guy is the strong, silent type and is not given to a lot of displays of affection and attention, don’t think he does not love you or care for you deeply.
But then there are behavior patterns your husband can modify for which he has a lot more control of. So let’s talk about what it is that may cause your husband to get completely lost in his own world and as a result, lose sight of you and your world.
Some men can be obsessive and this trait can dominate their behavior to an extent that their focus is on other things and not you.
Perhaps he is a workaholic and just can’t bring himself to giving you the attention your deserve.
Perhaps your husband is overly focused on some emotional issue in his life and it is interfering with your communications.
Possibly your guy is on the wrong end of the “selfish spectrum” and instead of devoting a reasonable amount of time with you to ensure you and your emotional needs are satisfied, he spends his time pursuing his own interests.
I believe these are areas of a relationship that can improve if both parties discuss it and implement actionable solutions.
The first step to effectively addressing this problem is to gain your husband’s recognition and acceptance that there is a problem to begin with.
That is half the battle.
Sometimes when you tell your husband that he does not seem to “care” about you and what is going on in your life, he might act like he has no idea what you are referring to.
Husband will tend to react in various ways when this topic is brought up.
But when your spouse responds in an exasperated manner and insists that he has no clue as to what you are talking about, just know that he is probably play acting.
That is a nice way of saying it.
The truth is he is probably lying.
Deep down, he likely knows that he has been less engaged with you. He should know.
If he “really” doesn’t realize that is what is happening, then that is actually very good news. There is a solid chance you can help him understand how you perceive things and how it makes you feel.
Getting to a place where you and your husband have an honest dialogue is a huge step in improving this part of your relationship. When you both agree that there is a problem, it is a lot easier for you both to brainstorm and come up with a plan to remedy the situation.
Most husbands in this category don’t want their wives feeling ignored and neglected. That want you to be happy because when you are satisfied, he is satisfied.
Does Your Husband Pretend Not To Know He is Ignoring You.
The challenge is with those husband who pretend there is no problem. They want to argue and debate about what makes you think he doesn’t pay enough attention to you.
Sometimes when a husband takes on this argumentative posture with you, he is protecting either his “ego” or his “time”.
It is the selfish and hardheaded husbands that are the most difficult to reach.
No matter which category your husband falls into, if you feel like your man isn’t noticing you or offering sufficient kindness and appreciation, I have some tactics you can turn to.
Just maybe you can flip the relationship script.
It is not unreasonable to expect a little attention and loving from your husband every single day.
After all, being attentive, showing appreciation, and extending acts of kindness….these things are the currency of love.
Making Your Husband Notice You
- Go away for a while. I know. It sounds counter productive. You would think that to get your husband to notice you more, you would need to be around. But you will learn that sometimes going against the grain, against his expectations, will get solid results. This tactic does not work for everyone. You will have to judge for yourself. If your husband is a very reactive type, then perhaps this is not the right approach. But when employed correctly it can work amazingly well. If the love of your life is just not in to you enough, then grab his attention by pulling a bit of a disappearing act. He probably is use to you being home at a certain time. We are creatures of routines. Break the routine. Make sure you are not there. Stay away for hours. Go incommunicado. Don’t answer his phone call if he reaches out. Don’t respond to his text if he is trying to find you. Make him work to get a response. And after a sufficient time has gone by and after your husband has invested a good amount of effort in trying to find out where you are, then reply. Keep your response brief. Do it by text. Tell him your will be home soon. When you finally arrive, he will be full of questions. He might even be annoyed. Just go to your bedroom and tell him that “we need to talk”. What you are doing is elevating this issue to place where it can’t get ignored anymore. Explain to him that you needed private time because you are wrestling with feelings of being ignored and taken for granted. Explain to him it is really bothering you. Now you have his attention. You have transformed the moment. Take advantage of it and try to talk it out. Hopefully, your husband will be more amenable to listening to you and taking your concern more seriously.
- Men are often more approachable about doing things when they are in a good mood. So picking the right time to discuss your concern is important. Your husband is also more likely to open up and be responsive to your suggestions after you have made love. It might be a little bit sneaky psychology, but the oxytocin is still flowing in the afterglow of sex. If you offer your husband some compliments about how much you enjoy it when he pays attention to you and how it makes you feel connected and attracted to him (even turned on), his subconscious will equate the moment you are in and the things you just said and naturally connect the two, such that he will be motivated in the future to please you more often by doing some of those little attentive things you mentioned.
- Become the evolving woman. Your husband, like almost all men, is a visual creature. His attraction for you is partly connected to what he sees when he looks at you. Yet, you can be the most beautiful woman in the world, but beauty can begin looking commonplace if it is never presented in a different way. It sounds crazy. He married you for lots of reasons and obviously one of them is he finds you physically attractive. But attraction can melt away if the embers of beauty are not stirred around once in awhile. If everything is the same, then how he sees you will be the same and the degree of attention you might receive could suffer. You don’t want your relationship to become stale and unimaginative at any level. So occasionally give your husband something else to appreciate in the form of a different version of you. Occasionally change your hairstyle, your lipstick, your perfume, what you are wearing, how you walk, how you smile, how sultry you might choose to be. Embrace a different and potentially more exciting way of making love with your husband. It is through all the little things we choose to do that allows us to change the moment we are in. So alter your husband’s conscious (and unconscious) perception of who you are. Keep things fresh. Surprise him with acts of kindness. Men are like clay. They can be molded. Remember, your husband truly wants to satisfy you because it is good for him when you are happy. He just doesn’t always know how.