Does your husband tend to distance himself from you? Do you feel disconnected, lonely and don’t know how it got this way? Do you know his withdrawal triggers?
Your Husbands Withdrawal Triggers
Your husband like everyone else has, triggers. When certain triggers are activated his response is to withdraw from you. Some of the triggers you may set off are criticism, complaining, lack of praise where there was an expectation, causing him to feel suffocated and smothered, hurting his feeling hurt, or causing him to feel rejected. These are just a handful of triggers and it is different for each person how much each trigger will affect them. There are also outside influences that you don’t have much control over that can cause him to withdraw.
I have several posts written about the emotionally unavailable husband, which is a long term emotional withdrawal in a relationship. I invite you to read and check out these posts to learn more.
What Is Withdrawal In A Relationship?
Withdrawal in a relationship is a coping mechanism as a means to protect oneself. It is when one person steps back and disconnects the relationship. It can last for a couple of minutes or hours or may even last for years. Marriages have ended because of long term withdrawals from one or both spouses.
What To Do When He Is Pulling Away
Do Not Nag, Complain or Criticize
You nag, complain or criticize him because he is pulling away, not spending any time with you, or seems to be ignoring you. You want him to realize what he is doing and how you feel so that he can understand and change what he is doing. You want to be in a good relationship where you feel connected and loved.
When you nag, complain or criticize do you think that it makes him feel loved? Do you think it makes him feel happy? Do you think it makes him want to spend more time with you? Do you think it makes him wish he was connected with you? The answers to these questions are … no, it doesn’t. Actually, it is the complete opposite. He will want to push you away even more because all those things are negative and you are causing him to feel worse.
Give Him Space.
You’ve heard men are different than women. That’s because they are. Not all but most men like there alone time and don’t enjoy being smothered. They also don’t like to feel as if you are controlling everything they do.
If your husband feels like you are trying to control the amount of time he is doing something he enjoys, or wants to do, say a hobby. He is not going to like that. If you are upset all the time that he is not spending his free time with you, and he feels like he never gets enough alone time.
He is going to see you as a nuisance and a burden and he is not going to be happy with you. He will want space away from even more and probably withdraw further.
How To Give Him Space
If you are feeling lonely and you feel like you and your husband already don’t spend enough time together, this can be pretty hard.
Especially when you get into your head too much about how he must not care that much for you and how your marriage is becoming disconnected. You are afraid you are becoming like roommates more than spouses.
I know it’s hard but give him space. If you willingly give him space and you don’t make a fuss about it or even let him know that is what you are doing, he will start to feel better. He will feel less burdened by you, freer and accepted.
Eventually, he will want to spend time with you. Time apart makes the heart grow fonder I think it is. But within reason. There’s also a problem if you two never spend any time together at all.
If you struggle with the time apart you need to fill your time with activities to keep yourself occupied.
- Video Games
- Good Movies & TV Shows
- Become Involved At A Church, Homeless Shelter, Animal Shelter
- Home DIY
How Do You Make Him Want To Be With You Again?
Stop Speaking Negatively
The first step is to stop being negative around your husband. Even if you are not attacking him verbally, don’t list off all the bad things that happened during your day, don’t complain about people that were annoying you. Do you like it when all people have to say to you is how bad everything is and how mean or annoying everyone is? Do you like when other people moan and complain? Probably not.
Here are some Bible verses about our words to ponder and think about, using the NIV version.
Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what helps build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”
Proverbs 15:1-4 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 17:9 “ Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Sometimes its best to just hold our tongue.
A very helpful habit to get into is seeing the positive side. Take a bad situation and find the positive in it. It may be hard to find but search until you find it. Speak these positive things around your husband. You don’t need to be Miss Perfect Sunshine because that is not reality but you can start to change your mindset.
People like to be around positive people who have hope for good things and are real, it’s attractive. Fake happy overly positive can be annoying when it is not genuine and forced. You can focus on positive things while also being real. It takes practice, so start now and give yourself grace.
Your husband will start to notice a change in you, and you may even rub your positivity off on him.
Be Encouraging and Affirmative
Everyone needs someone who believes in them and thinks they can be more than they believe in themselves. A spouse should be that person. Don’t treat your husband as he is, but treat him as what he can become.
If you are encouraging and you consistently give words of affirmation, your husband will start to feel more confident and less insecure. He will start to see you in a different light. It may take some time. People don’t change overnight unless Jesus does something amazing.
The hard part is you need to humble yourself and not let your pride get in the way. It’s not easy being encouraging and affirmative when your husband may not be doing the same for you or he is grumpy or he ignores you. It’s hard.
Just know you are making a difference even if you can see it yet.
Ask God For Help
Yes, he does hear us. Yes, he does want you to have a good marriage. His ways are not our ways. So the way he answers prayers is not always the way we aspect it to be. But open your heart up to Jesus. Let him know your thoughts, frustrations and your sorrow. Ask him for his strength and his love to help you love your husband how Jesus loves us. He loves us so much he sacrificed himself in our place. If he loves us that much and God is the one that created marriage to be an example of Christ and the church.
You can bet that he wants your marriage to succeed. Unfortunately too there is a spiritual battle going on and the enemy tries to regularly destroy marriages. But Jesus has the power to overcome anything that tries to take your marriage down. You need to ask for his help and put your troubles and worries into his hands.
Take Care Of Yourself
When you were boyfriend and girlfriend you probably put makeup on and dressed nice. You wanted to look cute for your then-boyfriend. As much as we don’t have time as we used to it is still important to take care of yourself and look decent.
You don’t have to be in amazing shape. But brush your hair, your teeth, take showers, shave your legs and armpits, wear clothes that compliment your body type, put some lipstick on and maybe some mascara.
I think both men and women are visual. Even if doing this doesn’t make your husband drool over you or even notice. It will make you feel better about yourself more confident. And our body is God’s Temple, he wants us to take care of ourselves.
I find this so hard. I want my husband to be the one that comes over and kisses and hugs me. I want him to initiate sex and cuddles. I am sure you want the same. Sometimes your husband might even in a way push you away from cuddling or sex or may kiss you but it never lingers more than a second or two.
It hurts that he may not be seeking physical closeness with you. It also hurts when he does seek physical closeness but he is only physically close because he wants a release with sex.
So what am I saying here? How will physical touch help to make him want to be with you again?
Give him a hug and a kiss when he comes home. Randomly go over and hug him. Grab him and kiss him here and there, even if it is just on the cheek. Run your hands through his hair. Rub his back, or massage his shoulders. Place your hand on his shoulder reassuringly.
He will start to see that you care. He may resist at first and you may have to start with baby steps. Just don’t have expectations for getting anything in return and don’t give up. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Conclusion and Wrap Up
You now know triggers that can cause your husband to withdraw such as criticizing, smothering and complaining. You know what you should avoid doing to keep your husband from withdrawing further. You know what you can do to reverse the process and start to bring him out of his withdrawal. Put these things into practice and realize essentially you are working on changing yourself not your husband. But in the process, your husband will feel less threatened, less annoyed and start feeling more open with you and willing to get closer again.
I’d Love To Hear From You
I have learned all of this based on marriage counseling, marriage books, and research online, which I have applied to my marriage.
Let me know down in the comments if I can be clearer about any section or if there is anything I can add.
I am all about continuing to learn and improve my posts with the best information possible. I want your marriage to be a success and I want to help you to be the best mama you can be. Part of that is having a good marriage.