Have you wondered why your husband pulls away from you?
Is there something wrong with your husband such that he prefers to be alone and not with you?
Why are some husbands such solitary creatures? What is so important about him needing his space?
Well, if you are married to a guy who at times wants to go it alone and be by himself, don’t think it too strange. Most men, including your husband, may need to go off to be alone for any number of reasons that have nothing or little to do with you or any negative feelings about the marriage.
Why Are Men Driven to Go It Alone?
Men in general are not like women in which they desire to be closely held. They don’t often conjure up or fantasize about things to do with their wives.
When a guy doesn’t want to go off and do something with his wife, it is usually not a sign that he loves her less, but rather something else is stirring up inside.
While you may feel like he is deserting you, just know that something else is probably going on and it likely has more to do with your husband’s yearning to get out and about.
Speaking of feeling deserted, I recently wrote an article on that topic. Feel free to dig in!
As the woman in the marriage, you may feel more inclined to gravitate to social gatherings and experiences while your husband may be looking for a way to escape. Often he would rather be alone than be dragged to yet another social function. Give your husband a recliner chair and a good sports program and he becomes a happy camper, all too happy to skip out on some social event you may be dying to go to.
Women tend to be the social butterfly. Men are more like the lone wolf. Your husband will growl and bark at you if he thinks he is going to get dragged someplace he doesn’t want to be.
Sure, your husband will enjoy his share of get togethers with friends and family and will find some enjoyment at parties and other festive events. Indeed he may thoroughly enjoy himself.
Recognize that I am speaking in generalities and every man and woman march to their own unique drum beat of likes and dislikes.
But your husband, as do all men in my opinion, have something that is deeply embedded inside him that causes them to seek out solitary moments more often than women.
His lack of enthusiasm about hanging out with you doesn’t mean your husband is falling out of love with you or is thinking of breaking it off with you. On the contrary, your man may feel a very strong connection with you, but deep inside his genetic makeup is steering him to his man cave.
This is the place he loves to go when the world seems to be closing in around him. It is his place where he can be alone with his own thoughts. And while you may feel he is closing you out of his life, in his mind he is seeking out refuge.
Your Husband Needs To Get Away To Be Alone
Somewhere inside your husband is this voice that tells him he needs to get away from things.
Unfortunately, as his wife, you may mistake his behavior as wanting to leave you for good, but seldom is that the case.
Now, on the other hand, if you are certain your husband doesn’t want to stay with you and is just looking for a way out of the marriage, that requires a different approach. I wrote this post about how you can deal with such an occurrence.
But the theme of this post is that your man is simply trying to get away for personal driven reasons.
Sometimes he does not want to feel too crowded. Men can be that way. That just don’t always know what is best for them. They will push you away, then later accept you back with open arms.
Your husband will go through times where he does not want to be bothered by you are anyone else. When you reach out to pull him close, he may not want to be held or share in emotional intimacy.
Your husband wants to be loved, but he wants his freedom too and the sense of feeling trapped or caged linger over him at times, causing him to pull away, avoiding closeness.
Like an animal in the wild, he is summoned by his inner self to go off to be by himself and strip away all those things that he feels is robbing him of his autonomy.
He wants to rough it. He wants to fight off the forces that try to take away his individuality. And to do this, your husband’s mind subconsciously tells him he cannot have his woman hanging on to him.
How can he do battle with the elements of the world if his wife is clinging to him, holding on too tightly? This is how your husband may feel inside, though he probably cannot put it in words or understand fully where this desire comes from. Yet is there and he must contend with it. Indeed your husband welcomes this feeling because quenching it makes him feel whole again.
Your husband operates on two levels.
On one level he wants to be the good husband and provide for you and make you safe and enjoy happy and fulfilling moments with you.
On another level, your husband wants to strike out on his own, by himself, on a grand adventure. Or he needs to retire to a place where he can enjoy just the feeling of solitary. Or he may be driven to be in the company of close friends.
You may feel shut out and express your discontent and this will anger him because what is stirring up inside him is powerful.
Where you might want to surround yourself with people and loved ones working together to address life issues, your husband more often (than you) wants to simply be left alone. He often would rather tackle his own problems without the distraction of others.
Remember, these feelings of aloofness which may overcome him are not reflecting any particular problem with how he feels about you.
The fact he doesn’t want you in his circle of experience at any given moment does not mean he is falling out of love with you. The fact that your husband wants to carve you out of his life for a time being doesn’t mean he wants to carve your out of his life for good.
It is just something he feels compelled to do in order to feel right about himself and satisfy that internal hunger to go it alone for a spell.
And often, when your husband returns from his self-imposed exile, you will find him renewed with a new sense of purpose. He will pull you in even closer and appreciate you even more, particularly if you generously granted him the freedom to be by himself and go off to do something without you.
The way in which men sometimes behave can be confounding to women.
Wives don’t understand why their man sometimes push them away and insist on having their space. It can be upsetting and confusing to a wife when her husband accuses her of crowding him or clinging too much.
Avoid Crowding Your Husband Are He Will Run Away
Women struggle with understanding what compels their husband to act this way.
She may have this fantasy image in her mind of she and her husband doing everything together, enjoying every moment, hand in hand. And when it doesn’t happen in the way she envisions, she thinks she must be doing something wrong.
She questions why her husband doesn’t want to do things with her and why he avoids committing. She becomes confused when he tacks in the opposite direction.
Hurt feelings will arise or there will be conflict as she presses her husband to explain why he acts so cold or sometimes avoids her. This outcome in turn makes things worse, causing her husband to feel like she is crowding him. Now he will want to go off and be by himself even more. The sense of escaping will dominate his mood.
I hear from my women clients all the time about their husband insistence to have their space:
“What do you do when your husband gets angry with you because he says I am crowding him all the time?”
“It took me years to figure out that I need to give my husband space while we were living together. It never dawned on me that men are wired differently and value just going off to do things by themselves or with their male friends. I see now it is simply part of their make up and while it hurts sometimes, I get it”
“Is there a time limit on how long I should give my husband his space? How much time does he need to get it together. It seems so selfish he wants to be alone and do things alone. I thought being married was having fun and doing things together. He doesn’t want that all the time. He says he gets jittery and says I hover over him too much”
“How should I respond when he insists he needs space. I feel shut out and it hurts and I tell him so, but it makes things worse. He feels guilty and I feel confused and we get nowhere. Is it wrong that he sometimes pushes me away or should I accept it as just a man thing?”
How To Deal With A Husband That Needs His Alone Time
So what if your husband acts this way at times?
As a woman and his wife it can be difficult to understand this man thing. That is largely because you view the world through the eyes and experiences of a female.
But your husband doesn’t process things in the same way. He is almost like a different species. If you try to overlay your template of feelings and reactions to situations and seek to understand what your husband is thinking, you will come up short.
Let’s say you are sometimes confused about why your husband withdraws from you or why he says he needs some room to process things. Or he tells you he needs to go off and do something and it is clear he doesn’t really want you around.
So let’s say you are not sure what to make of his behavior and you feel shortchanged and cut out of his life.
The fact that your husband is hinting or insisting he wants to do his own thing and go off do stuff without you is going to probably cut at you in the wrong way.
You may feel abandoned.
It may cause you as his wife to feel a bit betrayed.
You may feel saddened by the realization that your husband doesn’t want or need you at that time and none of what is happening dovetails with your own needs as a woman.
You almost always feel like sharing everything with your husband. You seldom want to be separated from your man. You want to pull him close when you are troubled or hurt. Yet your husband sometimes behaves in the opposite ways and you are confounded by his behavior and it is hard to understand why you are being stripped away from him. And to make matters worse, he seems incapable of adequately explaining his reasoning for shutting you out.
You feel abandoned. He won’t let you inside his heart and never mind trying to understand what is going on in his head. You can tell something may be bothering him deep inside, but all he wants to do is retreat away from you and the more your try to hold him close or even simply talk about things, the more he squirms and acts like he must get away.
Support Your Husband’s Need To Respond to the Call of the Wild
I have a secret for you. You are married to a wolf like man! Sometimes you have to turn him loose so he can go out into the world and howl.
Well, perhaps it is not quite that bad.
But if you ever feel your man is sometimes summoned by the wild, you are not too far from the truth.
Inside him is a beast. He wrestles with it. He needs to fight with it. It is a life long struggle to tame it. And if you get in his way, he is unable to gain control of it, so he strike out at you and accuses you of crowding him or clinging too much.
Your husband may say things like you are suffocating him and that he just wants to be alone for a while.
Perhaps you should step aside and let the wild dog in him go off and hunt down his prey.
That is why I tell wives that they need to shift their paradigm.
I explain that sometimes to understand their husband they have to stop thinking in terms of how women typically process the world around them.
I explain that when the call of the wild summons their husband, they must turn him loose.
Indeed, letting your husband go can be a wonderful opportunity for you in two ways. We will get into all that.
At times, you should insist your man go off and do his thing….all by himself…without you.
Tell him you understand that he will be summoned by the “wild” and you want him to go out and conquer it.
Tell him you love it when he goes off and slays his emotional dragons or when he goes out does the “man thing” with his buddies or just seeks to be by himself.
Clear the path for your husband to be alone during those times when he seems to be pulling away. Tell him you love it when he has to retreat into himself because when he comes back to you he is always better in every way.
Tell him he comes back a better version of himself. Tell him the sex is better….that he is more relaxed and more fun to be around.
Tell your husband you understand his needs to be alone at times and when the feeling comes on, he should satisfy his desire.
In effect you are giving him permission to do the very thing he wants to do but might be afraid to do as he does not wish to disappoint you. One part of him knows he should satisfy your needs that you have expressed in the past. But another part of him wants to run away to fight, play, struggle, and overcome….all in one outing.
What Are The Two Ways You Benefit When You Let Your Husband Have His Space?
When you turn your husband loose to slay the beast, you empower him.
It fills him with joy that he is unshackled and is free to slay his enemy.
The enemy can take the form of many things. It can be that instinct in him to unleash all his fear or anger about whatever.
It can be the anxieties that have piled up inside of him. It can be the compulsion to go off an conquer something that is physically hard to do.
The key thing is to allow your husband to go off, without feeling guilty or being nagged. Let him be a solitary man.
When you grant him this thing that he needs to do, he will love you and appreciate that you, unlike most women, understand him. He doesn’t have to deal with his feelings of guild. He loves you for having the wisdom to turn him loose. He will value you as a wife that understands that he needs to battle the beast and that you are not standing in his way, but rather are enabling him and cheering for him.
Many women and wives won’t understand this and do this for him.
But you will and in his mind’s eye, you have become his beloved Princess that he can later return to. He knows you will accept him with open arms because you sent him off to wage battle. Your support in making your husband feel whole is not lost on him.
Meanwhile, while your Prince Charming of a husband is out there finding himself and doing those manly things that makes him feel re-charged, you should use the opportunity to treat yourself like a Princess.
While your husband is doing his solitary things like climbing a mountain or going hunting or retreating to his secret hiding place or whatever it is he must do without you, in turn you should be pampering yourself and doing those things that make you feel good.
You see, that is how it works. Your husband has his needs that should be fulfilled. And you too have your needs that come from deep inside that should be met.
It is important in every successful marriage for you both to be your own person. You can never be together all of the time. You should not seek to do so.
Your husband will need his time alone and to become the best version of yourself, you too need time to realize this.
This is how you both will be happier together.
You have to learn to be happier by yourselves, first. You have to find fulfilling moments in life away from each other.
By having your own lives and meeting your own individual unique needs, you can make each happier.
14 responses to “Why Does Your Husband Need Space To Be Alone”
This is the complete opposite of everything I’ve ever experienced. Women cling to men and have no friends nor do they desire social interactions. The only women like this are alone seeking hookups on tinder or soon to be divorced. Dumbest article I’ve ever read.
Thanks Real Man for you thoughts. Men and women both have different needs and aspects of their personality. So it is best to guard against making in comparisons or statements, thinking they apply to all men or women.
Certainly some women can be clingy. Some men too. As to women, in general, not having friends or desiring social outings….that of course is not true.
I don’t know if needing space is just a man thing. I’m a woman & enjoy alone time. I think marriage should hold the 3 C’s. Communication, compassion, & consideration.
My husband gets home & stays in the garage until bedtime. Weekends are from the moment he wakes up until he goes to bed.
If I ask to spend time with me a fight will occur & he gets to be alone.
If a man can’t figure out how to cope & spend some time with his wife . Correct me if Im wrong. He shoudn’t be married. I raised our daughter, work, keep a huge house clean, cook, wash his clothes. Yet if I need alone time it leads to his assumptions I’m mad or blowing him off. Wanting a husband who spends all his spare time in the garage chain smoking & watching sports on his phone.
If I want some of his time does that make me clingy?
Parts of this ring true to me. As a man my wife has trouble understanding that my desire to be alone is a way for me to unwind. Whether it be watching TV or spending some time with my childhood friends playing video games.
She feels that she is in constant competition with people and things for my attention. I do everything in my power to provide love and care for her and give her as much time as I can but it still doesn’t seem to be enough for her. It is now to where I come home from work, cook dinner, do dishes, wash laundry, clean the house, and any other chores before she gets home and wants my undivided attention.
I have tried to express my need for alone time but she doesn’t seem to understand or is hurt by the comments no matter how loving I say them…
Sorry for the long post I just needed to get this out there and there isn’t really anyone I can talk to in person without feeling like they are condemning me.
Thanks for weighing in. Lots of guys feel this way. Have you considered finding a neutral time to simply take her aside and explain your feelings?
I have been married for 45 years and in the last 20 years my husband needs more space then ever. In the beginning I thought of myself as a supportive wife allowing him his space until the space became an escape for him for infidelities and resentment when he got caught . When do we go from being supportive and understanding to being idiots . His latests escapade allowed him to feel so secure in his marriage that the young woman he was seeing at the time came to my house looking for him because he did not answer her call. The older he gets the younger his entourage becomes, and his outings don’t give him any reprieve from whatever he is feeling. There is still anger and resentment towards me and everybody around him.
For all woman out there in this situation your question should be how long do I have to be supportive and a “good wife” and when is it the right time to say “enough is enough”.
Hi Silvia…that is so well said. There comes a time when the marriage is dysfunctional and one has to ask themselves why invest more time and emotional energy into such a coupling.
This is obtuse. Maybe he is an introvert and needs alone time to recharge. Maybe she is high maintenance or feels insecure without him. She needs to get over it. Just because someone doesn’t want to be joined at the hip, doesn’t mean they are straying. You’re jumping to conclusions. Sheesh.
This is 940’s BS. Sorry but, “letting him respond to the call of the wild”? Please, being in a marriage requires effort in both parts. There should be compromise, not subservient blind admiration for a partner completely ignoring their spouse. Also, “dragging ” to social functions? but at the same time she’s friendless? How about come inside from the garage! After being at work all day long and spending the whole 5 hour evening when you can actually see you wife in the garage away from her is not the same as seeking space, that’s checking out of the relationship. Period. I’m a woman and have no clue what you are talking about, I’d go insane if my Husband wanted to spend ever waking second with me, and I’m not the only female that thinks that way. How about have a beer with me on the couch catch a quarter or two of the game with me. Watch a movie, at home….Women are not always as demanding as you have depicted. Next you’ll say our favorite pass -time is shopping. I’m not sure what your credentials are, but please close the “books” about Women and hang out with a few of them, we are just as complex as Men, each of us different and unique. Also, not all Men are tackling their inner caveman and need to gallop through the night unimpeded with their “bros”
Wow….this article was ripe with stereotypes, sweeping generalizations and outdated mentality….
I hope you can answer this for me. I’m disabled and I am home all the time, so what am I supposed to do for myself that doesn’t require me to go anywhere, I can’t drive, and I understand what you’re saying and it makes sense but is there an exception
This is a ridiculous post! My husband keeps me on the couch under lock and key while he goes out all weekend and tells me nothing is my business. He’s had space for 6 years! And I’m suppose too wait
I have the experience of a husband wanting the space, but when the time comes for him to take the space he finds a way to not go and then blames me for it. Additionally, he frequently claims I have all these things that I do that he doesn’t get to do. I would go to a knitting night once a week a few years ago, and he complained about it all the time, but said that he supported my going to my knitting nights. Now with our current schedules, he goes out almost every day to a gym for 2-3 hours. His time away each week doing this is around 14-18 hours a week. Currently, I have 3-4 hours of time away and maybe 2-3 hours to fit in meditation each week, if time in the family schedule allows. When he does take time away, he insists that it needs to be overnight. I do not get this advantage or privilege. If I speak up about the imbalance, we end up arguing. If I do not speak up, and he goes off on his own, he does not come back recharged and positive towards our marriage. Instead, he comes back irritable and distant. It seems like he is mad that he came back to to “civilization” and his “cage”. He is so negative after returning from his time away, so I have issues with dealing with his mood upon his return. He’s moody if he doesn’t go and he’s moody when he returns. Intimacy with him plummets in these moody times, so there is complete disengagement from him.
I also do not want to be his “princess” that needs to be rescued or contained at home waiting on his return. Waiting on the “wolf” to return to just “bite my head off” is not pleasant. Standing my ground and being my own advocate only causes conflicts with him. This article is stupid and fails to address a balance in a relationship, or the possibility that his “escape” is not a benefit to the relationship due to his reasoning for going off on his own. Additionally, it states we (the women) may need to insist he goes off on his own. I did that, and he argued about it with me. Later when I tried to discuss the imbalance of time away, he blamed me for insisting he take time for himself. This article felt like it missed many points and issues that are modern issues for couples.
It’s as if you are living my life. Are you me & my spouse? It’s the same issues & arguments. Currently he’s been taking “trips” to hotels when he gets angry (not for hookup) literally wasting $400 on a hotel down the street because he needs space! I nag him (if I ask him a question) or bug him (if I talk when he’s tired from his long day at work). Sorry… I didn’t realize I couldn’t discuss anything? I pay all the bills, take care of all the medical, cook the food, clean, take care of the dogs, literally everything. I make money too. Yes he works OUT of the house & is a great provider, I acknowledge this. I know it’s tiring. I ask him how his day is & always make sure to greet him cheerfully & kiss him when he arrives. How is that okay to be nice to EVERYONE else who calls but not me? Your wife?
He gets up to workout at 1am.. doesn’t start working out until 2am, then works at 6am until 2-4pm. I’m a stay at home mother, we have a special needs child & another teen, the other 2 are in their 20’s.. out of the house. He races constantly & goes away for business trips. Last vacation we had was with the kids, prior? Was right before our first child. We have NO time alone. He certainly has no problem having his alone time. What about me? So we are suppose to cater to them allow them because it’s in their DNA? I’m not saying I’m needy, in fact I’m use to being ALONE- but when he says he’s annoyed, stonewalling, just takes time away, how exactly is that balanced and fair!? It’s as if we are told to do “nothing” and let the do whatever they want & we just accept it for what it is? Maybe I want time? (and it’s not to paint my nails or hook up on Tinder). Perhaps I want to get out of my house & know that my kids are okay, my dogs are fed on schedule & I don’t need to worry. I like to be alone. I actually do.
All I read was how women don’t have valid feelings but should push their feelings aside to support him in all want of his. 1950s much? If she wanted to spend time at the spa then she would be reading this article to begin with.
I am truly amazed how even in 2021 we still refuse to listen to what all parties in a marriage need but would rather tell the woman to go paint their nails then they will be pretty. And we all know pretty equals happiness for women!