Why do men ignore you when they are hurt?

i am married with 4 kids. We have been together for 25 yrs., and my husband says he loves me but he always wants to change me. Things will be ok, then he will get upset and sleep downstairs. He ignores me for weeks, then will say nothing to me, come upstairs and act like nothing has happened. He says he is miserable, but does not want a divorce. He says he loves me, and promises to stay with me. I am miserable, but I stay because it will kill him if I left. I don't know what to do, I need Help! Why does he act this way?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Its not that men ignore others when their hurt (some guys get way more aggressive too, which could be worse), it that he does not want to continue arguing with anybody. I don't know the full details of what you both argue about (and its not my business), but many times it is what we guys call "nagging". He might be tired of you telling him what to do, why he this and that, throwing around some insults here and there about him etc. It could be also that he is depressed and wants somebody to at least comfort him and LISTEN to him instead of hearing criticism every time he opens his mouth. When I mean LISTEN... it means that he comes to you, sits down and talks to you. You cannot force him, as he has to initiate the conversation. When (if) he does tell you some stuff, do NOT get angry, and comfort him. When he is finished, do NOT force him to make decisions, let him take his time, and when he does figure out what to do, you should try to help him achieve his goals.

    Speaking from watching my mom and dad, I see them arguing a lot too and that is my basis for my response, but there is sure as hell no "divorce talk". Divorce will just cause problems mostly for the kids (no mater how old they are) and that is horrible.

    I hope that helps somewhat.

    • Thank you Jtmatt you have some great insight. we are not talking divorce, he wants to stay married as I do. I don't nag him, I guess I do not listen as he would like. he is depressed, and feels like I do not listen to him, or I guess comfort him as he would like. I don't know what, or how to accomplish this. I love him with all my heart, and I want to see him happy. he is the love of my life, but he shuts down and until ready will not talk to me. he secludes himself, I just wait patiently.

What Guys Said 7

  • I say you need a divorce lawyer. Your husband is an idiot. After 25 yrs, he runs downstairs and pouts like a 5 year old? And doesn't even speak to you? What the hell? Sounds like you two are already separated, just sharing the same house. You said it yourself..."You're miserable, he's miserable" and I'm sure if you two have kids living at home, they've got to be miserable. Tell him to stop whining and acting like a littel bitch, grow some balls and deal with the problems you two are having or else you're leaving so you'll both move on to happier lives.

    • You are soooooooooooo right. We have been sleeping apart since 12/19/ 09. Not my choice, his. I do not care how hurt you are acting like a jackass is unacceptable! I will be seeking advice from a divorce lawyer I am tired of his bullsh*t. I am by all accounts a beautiful woman who is vibrant and young enough to be happy. He told our kids he will never divorce me, because of " a commitment, and religious reasons". Pile of bullsh*t he , he told me he can not live without me. Are all men stupid??

  • How does he want you to change?

    • Hi nou , I wish I knew. maybe listen to him more, comfort him. I'm not sure, he shuts down and talks to me, when he is "over it". I just wait patiently. he won't even look at me, he stays in our family room, and sleeps there too. I don't know what I did. I keep trying, and just have to be patient.

  • I do this, I feel weird talking though problems with people and I know I can take anything but it'll just take some time. you need to tell I'm that he shouldn't feel uncomfortable about taking to you and him it hurts you to see him upset. good luck

    • Thank You ShakeandBake, I've tried and it's really frustrating. I am glad to see that someone understands this behavior, because I feel at my wits end. Thanks again :)

  • I do this. Initially it's just anger that he probably doesn't want to take out on you. But it sounds like your relationship definitely needs help. Marriage counseling?

    • Thanks erockc31, we tried marriage counseling, and he did not want to go. he feels he can fix our relationship himself. however why stay when clearly he is unhappy? after all the fighting, he will open up and talk, but it just seems like the same old thing. I want to help him, but he just shuts down. thank you for your answer :)

    • Show All
    • Based only on your comments it sounds like he's depressed about something. Have you tried talking to his friends? Maybe they can shed some light on his behavior.

    • I think he is depressed about something. he is very secretive and does not talk to his friends about us. he feels that we can fix ourselves, and need to stay together. I am willing to work at this, because I do love him.

  • I think we do it, because then we won't say things to you that hurt. When people get hurt or angry we want others to feel the pain, so he's trying to protect you from himself in some ways. You guys just need to sit it out and talk about it.

    • W00t! took the words right out of my mouth! When I'm upset with my boy I want to yell and tell him how much I hate him and crap.. lol, it makes me feel better.. but he's all quiet and doesn't wanna talk... and it bugs me cause I like to yell 2 minutes then make up :) But he needs his space so he doesn't say anything he doesn't mean and stuff, which is the smart thing to do if you think about it :) Although I noticed the time limit was a little crazy.. he usually just doesn't talk to me for like an

  • Unfortunately, for 25 years he never learned how to talk with you, although I would bet he really loves you, just have some strange way to show that. Maybe if he would know how to tell you what is bothering him, before you do that, if this is a reason why he felt like he is hurt. I guess you do not act deliberately to p*ss him off, it is just the way you are. Maybe the best way for him and for you two (because it seems that you care for your relationship as much as he is) is to try to find some professional help, it is silly that you passed down 25 years and that he still feels urge to change you. It is a hard thing but if something in your behavior or anything is hurting him, he needs to tell that openly. Maybe after that you would not always act in that manner that he needs to act like insulted kid. If he does not change something he will just keep to hurt you and himself as well. It is stupid to throw away 25 years of, I would say, generally not so bad, life together (or you would left him much, much earlier), just because you do not tried or did not know how to walk a bit one towards another...to adjust a little without changing personality, 'cause, it is too late to change personalities, you are far from teens, thanks God... It is not some big answer, but sometimes a bit professional help can move things generally in good direction, either towards better unity or towards civilized and reasonable split. Maybe it would just make him to open a bit, to talk, to articulate his problems and to try to look things from better perspective, not to act like kid...

    • Thanks willie you hit several nails on the head. he never did learn to talk to me, and I bet it is my behaviors that set him off. I do not try to p*ss him off, I love him. however I am very self sufficent, and he needs I think me to be helpless. we tried marriage counseling, and he said it was a crock. he would rather deal with our problems himself, he is a fixer. he is acting like an insulted kid. I have changed over the years, he acknowledges this, but I guess not enough. I will keep trying.

    • Huh, than you have a problem.... he did not realized that counselor CAN NOT fix things, just to guide you two to do that, only you two can do solve this. It is something that goes with years in guys, especially if you are self sufficient and what is generally known as "strong" female. It may even be that deep inside he feel like he is not needed, that you may dump him because it seems that you do not need him. I am now just wild guessing, but I do talk about things and feelings I know

    • I am a strong female, but he knew this. I would never dump him, especially sticking with this behavior so long. I just want things to be better, to show him love and to feel love. I am trying to listen better, as he complains that I don't do that ( I feel that I do), and to comfort him when down. I got some great insights from men, into why he possibly acts like this. I am very appreciative, as I want and need to fix this problem soon.

What Girls Said 4

  • I read through a lot of the responses and your comments to them. I see that you already tried marriage counseling and he didn't want it. So I now suggest to you that you get counseling on your own. It will improve your ability to cope with him when he detaches, and it will also help you to figure out how to support him and listen to him in such a way that it happens less often.

    By the way, you are a safe person to blame for his woes and for feeling misunderstood because you will still be there for him. The people and situations that may actually be causing his depression and frustration are not safe to blame.

  • Immaturatey maybe. I mean I've heard of boyfriends ignoring their girlfriends but never a husband and wife for two whole weeks especially with 4 kids and living together I'm sire it makes things really awkward for everyone. It just not healthy to totally breakdown and ignore someone. I think that maybe you should tell him that it really hurts you when he ignores you and you feel like he doesn't love you or care for you. I would try to make him feel bad, play it up and see if he reacts or what his reaction is then you will know how he truly feels about you by his reaction.

  • But both of you are so unhappy, and you both know it too.

  • If he can't talk to you like that, maybe get a marriage counselor involved so you can have a safe place to talk about your issues with a non judgmental listener