My husband needs his space.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q from Canada: I am married for 7 years. They have been good 7 years with the expected ups and downs but nothing that was ever such an issue. The only problem i know my husband had with me was that of “space”. He always mentioned that he needs his space and i do not give him that. I tried understanding what he mean and doing things to make him feel that i am trying, and all seemd ok until 2-3 months ago. We started some building work and he started pushing back, isolating himself and ignoring me on all accounts. We are really like flatmates that do not get on right now. I have tried talking to him and it goes back to space….

I did mention to him, that one of the interpretations that i could give to this is that i was too clingy and caring for him like a mum, and i do realize i have to look more after myself and my needs and that should hopefully allow him that needed space. No reaction and to no matter what i do there has not been any reaction. We dont talk to each other, dont touch each other, nothing at all. When i try and talk to him the only response he has is ” i have nothing to say”. I do not know what to do…..i did mention to him just now that the way this marriage is, it cannot go on as we are both obviously not happy and his response was thats life and i have nothing to say.

I will go this coming weekend to meet a friend in another city to allow some space and thinking time but i cannot go on like that. This is taking a toll on me (and i suspect on him too) and it feels that he is not willing to do anything about the situation. Does he want me to break up so he does not take the responsibility for this? This is how it feels like….

Please advise me what i can do…i really need your help. Many thanks

A: The problem is bigger than your husband’s need for “space.” You have been married for 7 years yet your husband isn’t willing to talk with you and work out a comfortable compromise. It’s as if he left the team in the middle of the game and then claims it’s all his teammate’s problem. No. It’s not. However clingy or overly caretaking you may be, he has a part in this too. I strongly urge you to seek out a marriage counselor. If the two of you could have solved this, you would have done so long ago. Clearly, there are sweet things about your marriage or you wouldn’t have lasted this long. It’s worth a try to salvage it. If he won’t go at first, go yourself. You need someone to help you understand your part in the problem and support for making some changes. If your husband sees you making an effort, he may be more willing to do the same.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Jun 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). My husband needs his space.. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/06/24/my-husband-needs-his-space/