- Gender and Relationships
Her Husband is Busy 24-7 and Never Has Time to Talk
Question for Veronica
my husband is busy 24 hours never has time to talk. . he is always doing something around the house
It’s possible he’s avoiding having a real talk with you by busying himself. It’s also possible he’s just one of those busy-busy all-the-time people. The key here is whether or not this behavior is a change.
The best example that comes to mind on this is the classic jokester - that guy that always has a joke. He’s always the class clown or the comedian of the bunch. Everyone knows this is the way he is.
He’s funny, and that initially attracts a woman to him. But once they are in a relationship she begins to feel frustrated. She says, “Can’t you ever be serious? Don’t you ever stop with the jokes?”
He’s exactly who he was when she met him, when she felt attracted to him.
Mroses, try to think about this with an open mind. Was your husband always busy? Is it possible you’re just frustrated with it now? Was he always the kind of person that tinkers around the house, always avoiding heavy talks? Are you just more aware of it now because you have something serious to talk about?
If the answer is yes, it’s still a problem. We’re just establishing what exactly the problem here is.
If he used to be someone that made time to talk, that engaged in serious conversations and worked on house projects only sometimes, then the behavior you see now is a change for him.
It’s important to consider your instincts on this one. Why do you think he’s avoiding conversing with you? Do you think he’s got something he’s keeping from you? Or do you think he’s afraid to hear what you have to say?
It’s not easy but try not to be paranoid as you think about this. What’s going on in his life? Not the little things, but the life-event-things. Think about things like a recent death in the family, the failure of a business, or having a teenager that is rebelling or lashing out.
This is a big generalization but let me through this into the mix like I always do.
Men go through 2 major changes:
The development of frontal lobes, figure around the age of 21 – 22.
The rites of passage age figure around 28 – 29.
Additionally, they go through mid life crisis anywhere from age 40 – 50 often times in a much more critical and panic-stricken way then women do.
Is it possible he’s in one of these age frames? If so it may be harder to pinpoint the major life event that has him shrinking away from conversation and down time, where he has to keep himself busy to avoid thinking. It could be several things adding up. It could be several things that a year ago weren’t issues, and now suddenly they are, and even he doesn’t understand why, which adds to his avoidance of talking to you because he honestly doesn’t know what to say.
At any one of those points he may be re-evaluating his life, accomplishments, dreams and goals. He may perceive reality differently. He may be thinking, or he may be avoiding thought.
Obviously it is possible he’s hiding something from you. Financial problems, fear of a serious health issue, an affair, regret for having kids, regret for not having kids… It’s easy to jump to conclusions that are big and bad. You may find yourself considering the worst of all outcomes here. But unless you have a feeling about something really bad, do yourself a favor and don’t jump to conclusions.
The other side of the avoidance possibility is you. Is it possible it’s not that he doesn’t want to talk, it’s that he doesn’t want to listen?
Do you think he’s avoiding having real interaction with you because he is afraid you’re about to drop a bombshell? Is he afraid you’re having an affair? Is he afraid you’re unhappy and will ask for a divorce? Is he afraid you want kids now and he’s not ready?
Communication is the key to a successful relationship. You need to discuss this issue with him. Whether it’s that you’ve grown and changed and need a more communicative relationship, or whether it’s that you think he’s avoiding conversing with you for whatever reason, you have to let him know how you feel.
I suggest writing him a letter. This way you can be calm cool and clear about your words, and he doesn’t have to feel challenged, defensive or put on the spot. Leave it on the front seat of his car, or in his gym bag, brief case, or toolbox. Leave it someplace where he can find it when he’s alone. This will show him respect for the privacy he seems to be creating for himself.
Avoid accusations, threats, and ultimatums. Start by saying “I love you.” You said he’s always working on something around the house. Thank him for how the house looks. Acknowledge his work, compliment a project. Tell him you’re lucky to have such a talented craftsman to care for your lovely home.
Then let him know you want to talk. Say that you realize he’s very busy keeping your home beautiful but that you really would like to have a talk with him.
If you think you’ve figured out why he’s avoiding conversation, mention it to break the ice but don’t say it in an accusing way. Say it gently. “I know you must be worried about money, I am too.” or “I know your mother’s illness is affecting you profoundly, and it’s ok if you don’t want to discuss that.” Try to be the bigger person. By not condemning him, you’ll be surprised at how he’ll feel open to more communication with you.
If you don’t think you’ve figured out why he’s avoiding conversation, don’t guess. Really. Don’t guess. Don’t list all the things he may be thinking or might want to say. Write the note open mindedly, that you want to have a heart to heart, that you want to listen.
This is important: end the note with a specific time and place to talk. Don’t leave it up to him. Don’t leave it open ended. You have to take control of this part right here. Again, make sure it’s not with an ultimatum. Pick a day and time he’s usually home, and say something like – “Let’s talk Friday over a late dinner, say 7:30. I’ll make your favorite and I’ll have my mother babysit the kids.”
It’s important that you keep this appointment. Make it happen. Don’t get mad. Be luring, and accommodating. If he comes to you with an excuse, negotiate. Make the time later or earlier. Agree that the subject of “children” or “money” will not come up if he expresses reluctance about one or the other. You can talk about those shelved subjects another time in the future. But to get him to want to talk with you again, you may need to take this in stages. Whatever you need to do to keep this appointment, do it.If he says it sounds too serious for him right now, smile and say, “Then let’s make it a fun game of Truth or Dare.” Or Strip Scrabble. Or a morning hike. Or golfing, or even bowling. Something fun but that still involves one on one time, where you can talk. Reinforce that talking with you is a positive experience, not the difficult one he’s been avoiding.
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