At the end of a long day, you expect that you and your husband will have a quiet and lovely evening. But something seems off. Your husband seems to be acting differently. And when you think about it, it is downright strange. In fact you may have noticed that he has been acting distant, pulling away from you and withholding his affection.
What is one to think when one’s husband is acting distant and withdrawn? What is going on that causes you to feel that something is off?
Your woman’s intuition is seldom wrong, so you know something is off. While you are not sure just how serious the problem is, you know deep inside it shouldn’t be ignored.
You know your husband’s every mood and now all of a sudden he is not only acting moody, but you are picking up on some telltale signs that he doesn’t want to be around you and is reluctant to open up.
Could it be that your husband wants to leave you?
God forbid if that is what is going on.
Maybe he just needs space. You know. Guys are that way. Sometimes that act like something is off and what they need is some room to work through things.
I wrote this post about that. Take a look!
We all can have off days and things can get on our minds such that we are not quite ourselves. I bet you and your spouse have had plenty of times in which you were not clicking like you normally do.
A pressing work or even a personal issue can cause one’s mood to sour. And depending on your husband’s personality, he might one of those guys that naturally withdraw into themselves when something is on his mind.
But what if this moody behavior in which he doesn’t seem interested in being around you or even talking with you (like he normally would do in the past) seems to dominate your interactions.
If it is true that you husband seems distant or even cold and you are sure that you are not reading too much into the situation, the question becomes what is really going on and what should you do?
What drives a guy to clam up and start withdrawing into himself.
Is your husband hiding something, like some kind of terrible secret?
I know. I know. You are probably thinking he must be cheating on you. Perhaps you are convinced that he has a secret girlfriend on the side. But just because your man is being secretive doesn’t translate into some kind of hanky panky.
Though if you want to delve into this more, you can read my post on the topic…
But let’s say you are convinced something is off with your hubby. He keeps exhibiting suspicious behaviors?
Does your husband seem to be hiding something on his phone or on Facebook?
What do you do when you feel like he is sneaking around you in plain sight?
What are all the signs you should be looking for to get to the bottom of what is really going on.
That is a lot of things to consider, isn’t it?
Let’s turn to one of my clients I worked with in the past to get some insight on what she experienced when confronted by a husband acting strange and odd.
Why Is My Husband Shutting Down?
“I just felt in my heart that something was off with my husband. He is usually a very talkative guy. But now he shuts down and I am noticing a lot of little things that makes me feel something is wrong. I know every mood of my husband. We have been married for 11 years and when he is hiding something, it is usually obvious to me. This time though, I am picking up on something else and I need your help to track down what might be going on in his head. I have had this feeling for about a week now. I haven’t spoken to him about it yet. But clearly, he is shutting down. I am just giving him room right now, not pointing out to him that he is acting a little weird. I guess I hope he will stumble and I can pounce on what is really going on. Maybe part of me doesn’t want to know. But this is got to come to a head as I am secretly afraid that I might be losing him.”
When I spoke with my client I told her that she was right to feel that it was not going to serve her well to pretend that nothing was wrong. I told her she should trust her instincts that her husband was acting out of the ordinary. After all, when you been married for several years, you can usually sense when things are off kilter.
I explained that it was time for her to have an honest conversation with her husband. We can go on fearing the worst of things, but that won’t change the underlying reality. My experience is that what often happens is that failing to confront the matter results in a the build up of a lot of anxiety which can in turn lead to some unrealistic, even fantastical notions of what might be under the surface.
Now, I am not saying that when you first notice your lover is acting strangely that it is not something very meaningful. But you would be surprised at the number of times that the problem was not anywhere as serious as the spouse initially feared.
So in the case of this client, how should she confront her husband?
I told her it was important to avoid any histrionics and drama.
That type of reaction is liable to cause her husband to retreat even more.
It is easy to get pulled into one’s own emotional orbit. Emotions can have a way of blinding us to what might be the true facts. Since she has been avoiding any discussion about this and internalizing how her husband has been acting strangely, I wanted her to be aware how easy it is for anyone to fall prey to their emotional need to pounce and get an answer.
I explained that it is often best to talk to her husband about his unusual behaviors in stages.
What I suggested is that she pick a opportune time in which her husband seemed relaxed or at least not overly stressed, then put out a little feeler.
Sometimes posing a question in an open-ended fashion can do the trick.
“Honey, I noticed you are feeling a little distracted these days. You must have a lot on your mind?
In this case you are not focusing or complaining about anything in particular, rather you are referencing just a general view and pausing to see if your husband wants to expand on what is causing him to be distracted.
I consider this a real effective approach because if done properly, it is less threatening and opens up an avenue for you to further evaluate what might be going on in his mind.
For example, there are several things that can happen, with each of them giving you further insight into your husband’s mood and possibly what is driving him to keep you at a distance.
So with your open-ended question, you are trying to close that communication gap and hopefully gain a little more information that will allow you to decide how to proceed.
How might your husband reply?
Is he evasive? Does clam up and just gives you a non answer like, “oh, I am fine”?
Does he become angry and shows some resentment that you are prying (in his mind) into things that he just doesn’t want to get into. That kind of reaction, though hurtful, can give you additional insight into the degree of seriousness.
Does he become belligerent and accuse you of rattling his cage or bothering him or evading his privacy.
Or does he put on the charm and tries to pitch you on the fact that he has no idea what you are referring to…..that everything is rosy.
Just possibly, your husband may fess up about what has gotten him out of sorts.
He may just bear his soul and tell you what is really plaguing him. This is how it should work in an effective marriage. The husband and wife should support each other and when one partner is down, the other partner picks them up, giving them whatever emotional support is needed. For this to occur, there needs to be a bond of open communication and trust present in the relationship that facilitates open dialogue.
But unfortunately, spouses don’t always open up with each other. Your husband may not be looking for emotional support. There may be something else that is going on.
So how do you drag the truth out of your husband if he seems to still be hiding something?
What is your husband withholding and why?
As I alluded to, once you put out the little “feeler” question, you should get a better idea of whether your husband is being fully transparent.
But let’s say he is not cooperating. Let’ say you feel that his strange behavior was not adequately explained or it has continued or even gotten worse.
What strategy do you turn to next?
What Is Causing Your Husband to Act So Weird?
Well, before we jump into all of that, let’s talk a bit about the different things that might trigger your husband to act in an odd manner.
Quite frankly, there could be a lot of reasons and depending on your husband’s personality make up, it may not be something you should feel alarmed with.
Here is a list of possibilities you should take into account that could explain your man’s peculiar or troubling behavior.
- Work has gotten the best of him. Something at his workplace has gotten your husband unsettled and he is bringing home some anxiety or worries. This can explain why your husband might seem distracted or moody or quiet. He may very well be internalizing matters in his mind as he wrestles with solutions.
- If your man is acting unusually quiet or reserved it may not always be work related. He might have some type of personal issue that is troubling him. Whatever it is, his quiet or distracted demeanor could be a reflection of him trying to work it out in his mind.
- Your husband could be hiding his feelings from you. It could be something that on its surface isn’t terrible, but your guy could be over obsessing about something and as a result has gotten himself caught up in a whirlwind of worry. You may think it has something to do with you, but that might not be the case. It could be anything. Ask yourself, has your husband in the past be prone to compulsively focusing on certain topics that should not be that big a deal?
- Your spouse might be hiding something from you that is highly personal. He might have some kind of injury or illness that has him distracted or concerned. Again, you might read his signals as perhaps you have done something wrong, but to the contrary, the problem may not be directly related to you, but to some other matter.
- Your worse fear is that your husband is up to no good. For example, you might thing your husband is having an affair with another woman. While this possibility should not be discounted, it is not something you should dwell on unless there is some meaningful evidence that points to an extramarital affair.
- It is possible your husband is hiding something from you but it is a good thing. He may have planned something that involves you and want to surprise you. Time will tell whether you are about to have a nice little surprise.
- Your husband could be troubled about his personal married life. It could be something he has been contemplating for a while. He might be having second thoughts about the relationship. He might be considering whether he wishes to end the marriage or pursue separation. If this is the problem, you will unusually be clued in about this possibility well in advance of his behavior taking a turn. Marriages and relationships rarely come to a screeching halt unless there has been a lot of problems that precede the underlying suspicious behavior.
How To Get Your Husband To Open Up and Spill the Beans?
So let’s say you have tried to put up some trail balloons to figure out why your husband is acting so strangely, yet he is still clamming up.
What can you do next?
When a guy is hiding something, he will be guarded and avoid opening up.
He will expect that you will make efforts to get to the bottom of what is wrong. If something is truly wrong, he will have noticed your initial efforts to get him to fess up. His guilt of hiding something from you will be foremost in his mind. So your husband will likely be vigilant, expecting you will try again to get to the bottom of what is bugging you.
With this kind of thought process, your husband will likely dig in even deeper and avoid sharing whatever is on his mind. He may be even more anxious, trying to put distance between himself and you.
So instead of zigging (seeking to find out more), you should zag.
Do the opposite of what he expects. For the short-term, give him every indication that you don’t think anything is wrong or that you are not bothered by it.
You are taking this approach to get him to relax his guard. It is hard to get a guy to open up if he is tense or anxious. It is better to facilitate an environment that allows him freedom of expression.
That is what most men want. They want to be free of being nagged or bugged. If there is something on their mind and they don’t want to talk about it, no amount of nagging or fussing will encourage them to talk about it.
On the contrary, it will just cause them to resent you and result in them clamming up even more.
So give them rope. Encourage them to go do something for fun. Encourage them to go out and exert themselves. Physical exercise can usually cause your husband to relax more and eventually make your spouse more amenable to be forthcoming.
Your husband might surprise you and open up.
But let’s say this method does not result in your guy taking the initiative to get things off his chest?
What should you do?
At this stage, the “direct praise and query method” is worth a try.
You can also call it the “kiss and tell” method.
I have found it to be very effective. Men love to admired. They love praise. And deep down inside, the guilt of holding something back from you is playing on their psyche. Deep down, your husband wants to really tell you the truth. He just hasn’t figured out when and where and how to do it. You are going to help him with that.
Here is how.
Wait until you think your husband is in a relatively relaxed state. What you want to do is catch him off guard.
Then go right up to him….kiss him and look deeply into his eyes and tell him something like…
“Sweetheart, I love you so very much. I am so proud of you. I know something is not right with you. I want you to tell me what is on your mind…what has been bothering you. You have my word that I will listen completely and not react poorly“.
I cannot promise you this will cause him to finally spill the beans. But by adopting this approach, I think you improve your chances immensely in getting to the truth of what is causing your husband to act in such a strange and unusual way.
6 responses to “Why Is My Husband Acting Different and Strange Around Me?”
First of all I would like to thank you for such a wonderful website. I have learn a lot from your articles. I wrote because right now I feel empty about may marital problem. My husband did not come home when I gave birth to my second child. He is suppose to come over in our home country when I was to give birth but prior to that we had a terrible argument on chat that blew him up. That time I thought it was just for a short period of time but I was shocked when he said our marriage is over and that there is nothing could be save. To make it shorter we our seperated for over 1 and half year now. He is working in another country. He continously support me and my children financially but our communication was so rough . He blocked me always on facebook and other social media if our chat turn sour but I was amazed that after one month or couple of weeks he will unblocked me again . This kind of thing happened a lot of times. He has vacation every six months and he always come back to our home country . By that time he visited me always and the last vacation he had he stayed in my house for a week and he gave time for us. We went out for the beach for days . Everything seems ok like a happy family . Inspite of all that thing happened he keeps on insisting that it is just for thae kids well I do believe that. I was tired about the uncertainties he is acting so recently I did that no contact rule . Four weeks on not being in contact I was surprice I receive a mesage from him asking if my eldest daughther use toothbrush? That message keeps me in a cloud thinking what kind of message it is. I did not reply. Because of that he did not send us money so by that case I decided to contact him and said it is ok if he will not support and that me and my kids are ok . I also said that maybe it best for us to move on and that maybe time can give us who ever and what ever we deserve. I was shocked about his reply. He said he is coming back home sooner and we need to talk personally not in chat. I said ok . After that is chat with me in a nice way but I was confuse because sometimes I still can feel he is not much on sending me messages. He is coming in a week from now. Chris I dont know what is the real score on my marriage and that what is the best and right tract for me to do to make our marriage work. How can I rightfully face my husband? Please help me with an advise and what is going on with his actions towards me.thanks
Dialogue with the husband after a long separation is usually not a bad thing. Meet somewhere public and explore what is on his mind. Don’t commit to anything. Be friendly, but not overly friendly. Listen to what he says. Soon things will become clearer.
Thank you for this advise. I realy want to workout our marriage but am afraid about such behaviour that my husband is doing. Sometimes I feel that he is just using me to have news about our kids. I really don’t know how can I place my self towards him. Sometimes I have this thinking that maybe it is the best for me to talk to him and just stop everything and I will close my door and just start my life with my kids. Am also confuse if he is still coming back to us. The way he behaves towards me was confusing at all.
I understand. I think he confused you, because he himself is confused about what he really wants. Be assured that eventually you will come to understand what he really wants. Give it some time and seek to talk it out with him to discover what might truly lie in his heart. If much more time goes by and he cannot make a choice and you are left in this limbo of what he will possibly do, then you can inform him what it is you want. You can feel empowered to know that if you choose, you can inform him that you no longer want him in your life. There can still be room for him in terms of his communication with the kids. That is normal and children should have their Dad as part of their life. But not at the expense of your feeling miserable and lost in this in between relationship. So those communications with the children can be planned for and you can live and lead your life the way you wish.
Hi again Chris,
I think you are right. Sooner if he continue to confuse me, I will be the one to tell him my final decision. You were also right I think that he himself is confuse. He has this house that is buying and told me kids will live there but my kids are so young, 2 yrs old and 1 yearl old. I cannot undertand how could he possibly tell me that kids will not me. In our culture kids always stick to their monther even when they grew up sometimes it is funny that even when they are married they still stick with their parents specially to their mother. Sometimes my husband chat with me and told me he will let us stay in that house. But sometimes he is angry he told me he wants me to die. So sometimes am afraid that he is gone crazy. So now I am floating. I don’t know if he is still there or just playing games . I have read so many relationships books and advises but nothing can make me feel calm. When I saw this website of yours and read every article . I found myself starting to see my worth and myself. And also share my own story. Chris how can a husband have such kind of confusing behaviour? Maybe he just like the kids and he cannot totaly disregard the communication with me because he loves our kids. But to me I cannot live a life that our marriage is over then he is still dicking around and asking about kids. For me if it is moving on my principle is to close my door totaly.
Yes, I think you are such a much better person than he. Perhaps it is time for your life to take on a new journey without the shackles of your husband weighing you down.