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Husband feels distant...

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Recently my husband I got an apartment after having a pretty big conversation in which he expressed how he was unhappy with just how long we were living in same house as my Mom. He kind of held it in for about 4 years then it came out pretty aggressively. I quickly hopped-to correct the situation. Within 2 months of that conversation, we were in a place of our own. It's going on 4 months of living on our own, and I have noticed that I find myself alone a lot. He goes to work before me, gets home after me and has quite the affinity for the gym and goes with his newly separated friend. He has also taken to going out more, with friends and family. I know I am invited but don't exactly feel comfortable going out with his family so I either stay home alone or get together with my Mom. I like the outings with our friends, but don't need to do them so frequently. He tends to travel for work about once a month or more for a few days at a time. I was upset to come home to an empty home yet again on Tuesday after going away for an extended weekend to celebrate a birthday. It led to a conversation last night in which he seemed to understand my feelings and concerns, but then still deferred a weekend together until the weekend after next because of something he planned with his family on Sunday that I didn't know about. I was very upset by this. I felt like he hadn't heard me at all. I shut down, went to shower and when he tried to continue the conversation, I said something snippy like "don't worry about it, I will patiently wait for my time in 10 days and any other time you have to pencil me in". I showered, took some CBD and went to bed. I know comments like this do not help anything, but I was so hurt over the deferral of time with me that I didn't help myself (I am sure I could have but didn't want to, to be honest). What do you think? Should I be concerned? What is the best way to approach or handle going forward? I love my husband so much and miss him. Between his work, gym, outings, I am feeling his distantness. Thank you in advance. 

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@spinstermanquee Thank you for that. I do like to spend a moderate amount of time with my Mom and sister. But I don't have to always be with them. I have become a home body recently especially since we are still saving for a house. Can't say I have too many hobbies. When I am home alone, I tend to clean a lot (seems like it passes time until he comes home faster) plus it's a productive use of time. Also, I just like things to be clean and tidy. 

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You are right up my alley!  I do so love a tidy home.  Taking the little bit of extra time putting things away keeps it uncluttered and makes for easier cleaning ❤️

Before you two married/lived together, what sorts of activities did you do together?  What are your ages?  Do you work outside the home?  Is your mother active/self sufficient to the point where you don't worry about her living (just a guess) alone?

Sorry to pepper you with questions, just exploring the particulars of your situation... 🙂

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@spinstermanquee We like concerts, going to Vegas, movies, trying different restaurants, watching something interesting on TV, things like that. Now that we are saving, we don't do those things quite as much. He is 30, I am 39. I work 2 days from home and rest in office.  My Mom is very active and self sufficient. I do worry about her but not an abnormal amount. 

You're just trying to understand, which I appriciate. I'd rather get asked questions than someone assume and spew something negative and wrong.

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May I ask why you're uncomfortable going out with his family when he was willing to live with yours?  You're married, so his family IS your family.  This doesn't make sense to me. 

IMO, This seems a bit unfair and somewhat passive aggressive on your part.   If he's putting in effort to be with your family (live with them) and you are resistant to even spending time with his. 

I personally think two things need to happen, if you are reach a happy compromise wherein neither of you becomes resentful of the other.   

1. Start doing more hobbies, activities and meeting friends of your own (that aren't your sister or mom).  Even if you're saving money, you can do some free or pretty inexpensive things.  Perhaps a meetup group that walks around parks- many free parks have basketball or tennis courts, etc.  Walk around a mall and look at things ( you don't have to buy)- maybe volunteer at a pet shelter.   I understand saving money, but I think by your ONLY social outlets being your FAMILY is a little unhealthy and co-dependent.  I think you would be happier in doing some thing that are just for you.  And forging new friendships. 

2. You need to talk to your husband about prioritizing your relationship.  One of the biggest things that can deteriorate a marriage is not being on the same page about how much time you spend together and how.  It can be a problem if one person always wants to be alone and the other always wants to fill the house with guests.   I see nothing wrong with people wanting to be social, but I believe couples also need some consistent alone time as well.   You need to be frank with him about what you need and expectations that you want to set together.  

If you notice nothing changing in your dynamic after these things, then I would advise couples counseling.   Building resentment isn't going to help anything.   You have to reach a middle ground together or this will continue until one of you is ready to jump ship.  I don't think you're quite in divorce territory yet, but I can easily see it going that way if attempts aren't made to work on this core incompatibility between you.  

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It isnt your husband job to "entertain" you. From what you wrote you spend time together but the problem is, now after you are away from your mother and sister, you feel lonely. Why dont you have some kind of hobby on your own? How about volunteering? Or even more simple, just maybe gardening? Because I am sorry but you need to be your own person. Not be dependant on your husband or mother and sister to be there all the time for you.

I do realize that you are maybe more introvert. My friend has a girlfriend that is like that. They also live together. But she doesnt like to hang out and is more at home doing stuff. While he goes out and actually likes to be around people. Anyway my point is, you cant blame your husband for you being boring at home. If you have a lot of free time, try to fill it with some activities on your own. 

Also, I need to ask, what is the situation about the kids? Do you plan to work on that?

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@redswim30 His family are leechey. If we pay, they are down, if not, then the agenda goes no where. Also, they have never been warm towards me and that's putting it mildly. I am just not one of those woman who will keep him away, I know God wouldn't want me to do that. I know there is a lot to the situation and I am grateful that he good to my Mom, but she has been really receptive to him since day one. She sent me something on instragram that says "Of all my kids, my son-in-law is my favorite". So the family dynamic very a lot. 

I agree with what you say a lot and am thankful you took the time to outline it like that. 

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@Kwothe28 I know it's not his job to entertain me, I just feel like it might be a part of being in love and married to spend time with one another and not be so quick to abadoned me so quickly. It hurts a lot to try and understand what is going on when he insist there is anything going on and that time is scarce, yet uses his time to be gone with others.

Kids, yup. We been trying for 2 years and nothing yet. So you hit on another reason this is painful because not only do I not have a baby or two we so deeply want, I can't say I truly have him latley either. 

Yes, I need a hobby or two, but those hobbies will never satisfy the need I have to be with my husband. 

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Maybe it's not the quantity of the time, but rather the quality of the time you spend together.  I'm sure the 4 years living with your mother shifted some of the newlywed behaviors into more routine or modest interactions. 

From your description of your husband's recent behaviors, it seems like moving out from your mom's freed up some time for him.  Did he mow the lawn, do household repairs, stuff like that while you guys lived there?  And if so, did that play any part in him wanting to live independently/apart?

The tone of your writing conveys (to me, at least) some loneliness and longing.  How can you reconnect with your husband without your need pushing him away?  How, besides tidying and cleaning, can you turn that former "waiting for the hubs" time into "enjoying my life" time?  (Charlie we can only wipe down the counters so many times before the OCD monikers start cropping up, haha.)  Besides the husband, what does Charlie enjoy?  Let's get some more of that, please... he may be your biggest source of pleasure and affection, but he should not be the only one.  Those are big shoes to fill for even the most loving of spouses...

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@spinstermanquee You're laying down all the facts. Reading that I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.  I am very lonley and I do long for my husband. We used to be romantic and buddies. Now I feel like he's more a roomate that is closer than usual.

When living with my Mom, and even now, he doesn't part take in chores. I do all the cleaning, laundry, bills paying. We tend to go together to supply shop cause we like browsing. He is supposed to do the cooking (me the clean up) but he falls behind on that so I end up doing it or eating out. Either living situation has had landscape included. So nope, not like he has any more time than he did before.

Don't I know that feeling of wiping down the counter over and over, almost imagining spots I missed or reorganizing the fridge. Tricking myself into thinking I should revamp something like a closet or cabinet when it's already organized it to a T. I find myself feeling very OCD. Talk about a desperate housewife (well I work full time) but you get it.

The first month felt very honeymoon, but quickly vanished. It was so weird. I even asked him last night if he felt like he might be mad at me for failing to get pregnant, he said he wasn't. So I just don't understand.

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@MissCanuck Embarassingly, I don't have one. I have friends that moved out of state that I still talk to but not see very often. I have never been super social. I keep to myself much of the time. I instantly felt comfortable with him since the day we met. Kind of like that is my person I knew it. 

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1 minute ago, Charlie1984 said:

I keep to myself much of the time. I instantly felt comfortable with him since the day we met. Kind of like that is my person I knew it.

And that's fine, but it doesn't mean your life isn't somewhat out of balance right now. 

I'm not suggesting that friends can replace the companionship of a romantic partner. But, if you are socially-isolated in general, the sharp longing you have for your husband will no doubt sting even more. I would strongly encourage you to build some friendships in any case, so that you're not sitting by yourself and counting how many hours you're alone in the house. 

As for what's happening with your husband, I can see why you're feeling worried and sad. I would too, if I felt my parter drifting away like this. Have you two thought about couple's counseling? It would be worth a shot, even just to have professional support in navigating delicate conversations. Would you and he be open to that idea? 

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3 hours ago, Charlie1984 said:

I shut down, went to shower and when he tried to continue the conversation, I said something snippy like "don't worry about it, I will patiently wait for my time in 10 days and any other time you have to pencil me in". I showered, took some CBD and went to bed. I know comments like this do not help anything, but I was so hurt over the deferral of time with me that I didn't help myself (I am sure I could have but didn't want to, to be honest). What do you think? Should I be concerned? What is the best way to approach or handle going forward? I love my husband so much and miss him. Between his work, gym, outings, I am feeling his distantness. Thank you in advance. 

Not to offend you, but it's this how you normally handle dissatisfaction and or disappointment?

I don't think acting like this is going to help anything and it certainly does not foster an environment where feelings of love, acceptance and closeness grows. 

It's rather controlling and disrespectful to be on the receiving end of this kind of behavior. It generally repells, as opposed to attracts people and gives them a really great excuse to not be around or demonstrate any efforts to bend to you. 

When someone is willing to listen and asks you pointed questions, that's your opportunity to get your point across. 

Storming off and punishing them only pushes them away, makes it harder to get back to open communication and prolongs the argument. Why would anyone want to be vulnerable with you? they tried to understand what happened or how you feel, but you closed down and made it worse. 

People, spouses included do make mistakes.  They don't think.   so he says it'll be 2 weeks until you're together again.  Why can't you just say you don't want it to be that way and ask is there anything to be done? 

Like where's the talking/planning together? 



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@Lambert You're right in much of what you say. It's just super hard cause I have expressed myself calmly and directly before a couple time and it ends up the same. I thought we were making progress last night and he drops the bomb of doing something with his family Sunday so I felt pushed away first. And if someone clearly doesn't have the intentions of immediate action, then it's hurtful. Why would I want to sit anymore and feel like I am begging for time? 

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3 hours ago, Charlie1984 said:

 unhappy with just how long we were living in same house as my Mom. . It's going on 4 months of living on our own, and I have noticed that I find myself alone a lot.. I showered, took some CBD and went to bed.

Sorry this is happening. Congratulations on your new place. It seems like you are both still adjusting to not having your family around all the time. 

He does seem rather busy and that's ok but you don't seem to do much as a couple. 

Is there a reason you take CBD? Such as insomnia or trying to self medicate depression?

Why not see a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Get some tests done. Ask about the side effects of CBD. Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist for ongoing support. 

It's understandable you're lonely because your husband is out on his own a lot. If you're not extroverted or don't want to hang out with his friends and family, that's fine.

However try to do more things as a couple away from your families. See what interests both of you.  Perhaps you both need to get used to things since his work schedule is the same. It's possible he got into these habits to get out of the house before.

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6 minutes ago, Charlie1984 said:

Why would I want to sit anymore and feel like I am begging for time? 

I think you should practice handling things in a way that doesn't end the conversation.

you could say - I didn't realize you made Sunday plans.  and then ask Do you think we can start planning our free time together more often?

You have to look for solutions instead doubling down as the victim and shutting the conversation off.

It takes actively listening to him and then actively thinking before you speak. 

It sounds sarcastic melodramatic and childish to say things like 'don't worry about it.  I'm done begging you'

Honestly- have you been begging? or have you been passive-aggressively making comments hoping he's going to kiss your butt and just change?  (serious question) 

How do you think he interprets your conversations? Have you looked at it from his perspective? 


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@Wiseman2 Thank you, yeah I thought it was a big step in the right direction to get out own place. Which is why now that I am in this predicament, I am so confused by it. 

The CBD is just something I take on occasion when I feel to tense and need to force some relaxation in order to sleep so I can function at work and well, in case he ever wants to do anything spur of the moment. I take it about 3 times a month. 

I have my yearly coming up so it's a good suggestion to talk to doctor about it. 

I try and put suggestions out there about things we can go do and there is always some sort of reason why not to do it. Traffic, too far, what if it's not fun...and he had something else to do or the mood killing "yeah if you want to do that, we can" with a demeanor that says hes just really interested. 


One thing I think I ommited, is that I called him a few times while away this last weekend and each time he was out doing something and rushed the conversation, so it was a stretch to say we were one the phone more than 2 minutes. Also when I would text him, he would take forever to reply. He aknowledged this last night and apologized, but it's all connected and it's a problem. 

I don't need to be connected at the hip, but even the most basic effort is not happening, so its heartbreaking.

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1 hour ago, Charlie1984 said:

I am very lonley and I do long for my husband...  I do all the cleaning, laundry, bills paying... The first month felt very honeymoon, but quickly vanished.

Charlie, I encourage you to follow some of the excellent advice offered up here, especially getting an evaluation of your overall health (one of WM2's staples, hehe).

In my own longterm marriage (25+ years) I fell into "trying to do it all" and "people pleasing" behavior (agreeing to something I really didn't want to do in order to please someone).  This is eminently unsatisfying and actually detrimental to a love relationship.  People can lose love and respect for a doormat (not saying that is your case, just saying humans tend to do this).  Also in long term relationships folks stop courting each other and drift apart (I got them now, I don't have to work for it any more kinda thing).

What's important isn't that it happens, it's normal, it's how you respond to it and what you decide to do about it.  Some people get unhappy and go out and have affairs.  Some people self-medicate.  Some people have other kinds of bad behavior that renders the union untenable.  You don't seem there yet, thank goodness.

The thrust of my message is really to start living YOUR life, examining YOUR passions - (often while we are busy living our best lives our spouse turns around and says "Huh, love seeing her fired up about ____!")  It *is* possible to get the close connection back, but in the meantime you have to get busy taking care of YOU.  Pamper yourself - not saying go drop a grand on a spa day, but a bath bomb, hair masque, give yourself a mani-pedi (hey all that counter wiping tends to chip up the nails, lol) plenty of low cost ways to treat yourself like the queen that you are.

Just because you are saving for a house doesn't mean you have to live like a churchmouse.  If your husband's gym membership is an investment in his health, perhaps you could do a yoga class once or twice a week for yours.  No conversations or best buddies required (one of the reasons I love yoga).  Most important, no matter what you do, don't shut yourself inside 4 walls and wait for him to come home.  That energy is being transmitted and it's not helpful to either one of you.

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@Lambert I have had a few conversations about the lack of time and reminding him that he agreed to the cooking. The conversations were calm, he felt bad for slipping in these areas and would be ok for a few days then go right back into not cooking and being gone. 

This time felt much more emotional becuase he had plans Saturday night, I was aware of them. Not happy about them, but he tells me those plans were canceled becuase no one was confirming and it bothered him enought to just call it all off. Nothing to do with spending time with me. I was releived and ready to take the benefits of us doing something. So when we were trying to make a plan to remediate the situation, he tells me my weekend can be the one after next. I asked why since his plans were cancelled, then he hits me with the Sunday plans he has. So I got pushed away yet again, I was out of the loop yet again and it showed no effort to actually care to make me a priority. It was so hurtful. Rather there is something more he's not telling me or not, how do I continue to have a conversation with someone who is making no effort to show me any kind of immidiate care. It's not about kissing my butt or even really him apologizing. Its just me wanting time with someone who for 11 years now has been my best friend and even going to costco with him feels fun.  A few months ago, we were falling asleep on Facetime because he was away on business. I dont want to lower myself and beg for time, but I also am trying to find the happy medium for us to get back on track. 

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@itsallgrand We only lived with her for 4.5 years. We had an apartment lined up and realized she needed a surgery 6 weeks after our wedding so we decided to stay short term, then thought to just save for a house, but the time we got to the point of buying, the pandemic hit and pushed the plans out longer. It will be 5 years for us in July married and 11 together. 

Hell, even that is becoming an issue. I talked to him about a vow renewal even if it's just a cheesy Vegas one, he has shown no interest so I scrapped the idea. 

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@spinstermanquee I really appriciate you. I feel understood, and I am going to take your words and make a plan of action on my own. A few months of this doesn't constitute as a stage 5 marital emergency but I am trying to keep it from getting to that point. I want to get in front of it and nip it in the bud early on. Thank you sooooo much.

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