If you’re wondering how to deal with no emotional care and support from your husband, you’re in the right place.
In my role as a life coach, this is a problem I’m often helping husbands and wives through.
In this guide, I present a list of 19 tips to help get your marriage back on track.
Let’s dive right into it.
- Emotional neglect is a type of maltreatment or abuse that occurs when a person’s emotional needs are not adequately met.
- The most common signs of emotional neglect in a marriage are lack of communication, withholding affection, lack of empathy, and neglecting intimacy.
- The best way to cope with a lack of emotional connection in a marriage is to improve your communication and seek professional help.
What is Emotional Unavailability?
There are many potential reasons why your husband is not able to give you the emotional care and support you need. One of the most common ones is emotional unavailability.
So, what is emotional unavailability, and how can you recognize it in a spouse?
An emotionally unavailable person is not able to form or sustain emotional bonds. They can’t respond to or fulfill your emotional needs because they have a hard time connecting to people.
It’s almost impossible for emotionally unavailable men to maintain a healthy and stable relationship. Of course, if the person with these emotional struggles decides to do something about it, then it’s much more possible.
10 Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Partner
Identifying the signs of an emotionally unavailable and unsupportive partner is not easy. If you feel disconnected or that there’s an emotional detachment in your relationship, your partner may be dealing with emotional unavailability.
Here are some common signs there’s an emotional detachment in your marriage.
- He Doesn’t Show Emotions
One of the most obvious signs of emotional detachment is that they don’t open up to you.
He never wants to talk about his bad day at work, or he just shuts down when you ask him. He prefers to keep everything bottled up.
- Your Husband Doesn’t Contribute to Your Relationship
One-sided relationships never work because one person always feels lonely while the other one keeps feelings bottled up. If your husband is not all in, he might have some emotional availability issues.
- You Find It Hard to Grow Closer
Relationships with emotionally unavailable partners often feel one-sided and like you can’t scratch past the surface. You find it difficult to have serious conversations because your husband always avoids them, or he just gets sarcastic about it.
- Your Partner Wants to Do Everything on His Own
It’s one thing for people in a relationship to have separate lives and want to spend time alone from time to time. But it’s a whole other story when your husband wants to always be on his own and is always spending time by himself. That’s a sign of emotional unavailability.
- Your Relationship Is Inconsistent
One day everything seems perfect, but then there are those days when he just closes up. Your partner might be dealing with emotional issues, so he struggles to be there for you on those days.
- He Is Overly Critical
If he always turns the conversation back to you, it means he can’t deal with his own issues. So he chooses to criticize you all the time instead of working on his emotional problems.
- He Avoids Responsibility
Another sign you’re dealing with a nonsupportive husband is that he never wants to do the relationship work. Instead, he just wants to do his own thing and not be bothered.
- He Is a Compulsive Liar
Emotionally detached people tend to often lie to their partners to hide their true selves. So if your husband keeps secrets from you, it might mean there’s part of him he doesn’t want to show you.
- He’s Always Behind His Walls and Hiding His Emotional Side
Emotionally unsupportive people can’t give you what you need because they’re always hiding behind their walls. It’s their safe space, and they don’t want to let anyone in. They hide their emotional side.
- Your Husband Never Reciprocates
If you feel like you’re the only one putting in the work and taking the initiative in your marriage, it’s probably because your husband is emotionally unavailable and can’t commit.
What To Do When Your Husband Is Not Emotionally Supportive?
So how to deal with no emotional support from husband? I tried to list this advice in somewhat of a chronological order, although you should feel free to pick and choose what tips to act on according to what you feel could be most useful.
1. Understand Emotional Neglect
The key premise of a marriage is the two of you are a team. You support each other through life transitions and the ups and downs of life physically, financially, and emotionally.
Indeed, in traditional wedding vows, both the husband and wife will agree to ‘love and cherish’ their spouse. This form of support is a big part of that.
Emotional neglect is withdrawing the support of your spouse. This could be consciously or unconsciously. It is arguably subjective. However, if one partner feels emotionally neglected, it is on the other to do what they can to try and fix that. So if you feel neglected, make sure you communicate it.
2. You Are Not Overreacting
It can be painful to feel like you aren’t emotionally supported by your husband. It may feel as if they don’t love you. Indeed, support is a common method of expressing love for your partner.
Often, if you bring up these concerns, whether it’s directly to your husband or to your family member and friends, you may be accused of overreacting.
Don’t let anyone invalidate your feelings.
If you’re feeling frustrated with your marriage, it’s a problem that both of you must commit to fixing. Of course, it’s the same if your husband expresses similar concerns.
3. Recognize the Signs Of An Emotionally Distant Partner
There are lots of reasons why a person could become emotionally distant, which we’ll cover later on in the article.
First off, though, it’s important to recognize the signs of an emotionally distant partner so that you’re left with no doubt that there’s a problem that needs to be solved.
- He prefers to spend hours alone.
- He seems unable to express his feelings.
- He tends to lack empathy.
- He constantly criticizes.
- He does not contribute to the relationship.
- He lies.
- He doesn’t follow through on his promises.
- He rarely shows physical affection.
- He does not reciprocate your love.
There are more signs, but these signs are key to seeing something is definitely wrong.
You should absolutely point out any sign of being emotionally distant in conversations with your partner, so they can identify the problem and understand what they need to change.
4. Tell Your Husband You’re Upset
It’s not always easy to admit you’re unhappy in your marriage. It can be tempting to ignore your feelings and hope that things will get better.
Honestly, though, there is little benefit to delaying an uncomfortable conversation.
If you communicate your concerns in a non-aggressive manner, there is no reason that the conversation should turn into conflict. Focus on the problem rather than him as a person.
In the best-case scenario, your husband will acknowledge the problem and change his behavior moving forward.
Sadly, it’s also common that they’ll respond by agreeing with everything you say without changing their behavior. It’s your job to get through to your partner and to help him understand that you really feel hurt by his behavior.
Sometimes, your husband may respond defensively, perhaps by denying all changes and shifting the blame to you. He might play the blame game. In this scenario, it’s important to keep your emotions at bay. Do your best to remain focused on the problem without falling into unhelpful personal jabs.
5. Explain Precisely What You Need
Sometimes, most women expect their partners to magically understand their emotional needs. That’s understandable. But the truth is: sometimes, men don’t get it.
Vague accusations such – as “you’re so distant” or “you don’t care about me” – will only serve to frustrate a man.
Men will usually appreciate it when you can explain exactly what the problem is.
Written above, you have a list of the common behaviors of distant husbands. So, don’t hesitate to spell out the problem for your husband – and what you need for it to be fixed.
6. Listening To The Problem Vs. Fixing It
This is such a common mistake for men to make – and it often leaves their partners feeling emotionally unsupported.
- The wife comes to her husband to speak about a problem. It could be a problem with the marriage or something completely unrelated.
- The main reason she comes to him is that she wants to share her feelings. She wants to feel that support from her loving partner. Initially, this is more important than solving the problem.
- The husband doesn’t understand that the wife just wants to feel some emotional care. He thinks the most important thing is to solve the problem, so he skips the emotionally supportive stage and goes straight into offering solutions.
- Even if the solutions offered are completely on point, the wife feels unheard and unsupported. She leaves the conversation feeling even more upset than before.
Perhaps this will happen when you explain that you’re feeling emotionally unsupported. This scenario occurs so often due to the differences between male and female psychology. Men primarily run off logic, while women are mostly powered by emotions.
If this is a scenario that constantly hurts your feelings, the best thing you can do is explain it to your husband. Tell him you need to feel heard before he goes into problem-solving mode.
7. Understand The Cause of Your Husband’s Emotionally Unavailability
It’s not easy to find the underlying causes of an emotionally unavailable husband. Has he always been this way, or has there been a recent change in his behavior?
If it’s a recent change, this could be due to a recent change in his circumstances. Could something be stressing him out at work? Has your relationship changed in any way? Is there a possibility he’s been unfaithful?
Often, these emotional changes are unconscious, so while you should ask him about it, it’s common that he’ll be unaware.
If he’s always been emotionally distant since you’ve known him, the chances are that the problem goes way back to his childhood or a traumatic event that happened before you met.
Relationship counselors are trained to ask questions that can help explore your partner’s subconscious and discover the cause of his distant behavior.
8. Understand If Your Husband Lacks Emotional Intelligence
A lack of emotional intelligence can stem from a mental problem or poor parenting. More serious mental health problems will need to be diagnosed by psychologists or psychiatrists.
A family therapist or relationship coach will refer a client to one of these professionals if they deem it necessary.
9. Lack Of Emotional Support In Childhood
A lack of emotional support in childhood is likely to affect men and women in adult relationships.
If your husband has not received adequate support in childhood, it’s extremely common that they’re going to suffer from poor self-esteem. It becomes very difficult to offer support to others in this case.
Indeed, the concept of emotional care and support may be completely foreign to them.
Often, the best solution, in this case, is to seek couple therapy from a family therapist or relationship coach. Also, make sure you always read high quality sources about this topic to make sure you’re getting the right insights.
10. Learn coping mechanism to Connect With Him
It’s a great idea to set an example when it comes to showing love and being emotionally supportive.
Be the change you want to see in your marriage!
If your husband isn’t suffering from deeper underlying psychological problems, this can be just the thing.
Pay him extra attention. Encourage him to open up. Listen to him. Show empathy for his problems. Express your love for him. Show physical affection. Perhaps organize a surprise for him or some time alone together.
You may have to swallow some pride to do this when you’re not receiving an adequate amount of love in return. But it’s for the good of your marriage – and it can often inspire your partner to reciprocate your affection.
11. Be A Good Listener
Your partner may want to talk more about his feelings but feel unable to do so. As his partner, it’s your job to be a good listener whenever he can open up and encourage him to share how he’s feeling more often.
When you can show empathy, keep an open mind, and not judge him for how he’s feeling, this creates a great foundation for more open communication in the future.
If you’re struggling to get through to him, a relationship counselor may be just the person to open some more doors into his emotions. These professionals are trained to ask the questions that help your partner open up.
12. Sex In Emotionless Relationships
If you’re not feeling emotional intimacy from your husband, there’s a good chance you’re not feeling inspired to engage in physical intimacy either.
This is another problem that men often fail to understand because they don’t necessarily need an emotional connection to desire sex.
In fact, some men see sex as a means of feeling more emotionally connected to their partner and may become more distant when their partner doesn’t provide it.
So, both partners are contributing to the problem. Men want physical intimacy first. Women want emotional intimacy first.
A lack of sex is a problem that unhappy couples may choose not to address, especially if they fear it may lead to an argument.
But in the first place, if you want to solve this problem is to discuss it – and identify what both partners need to feel more loved in the relationship.
13. Give Him Space
Yes, it’s important to talk about your emotions and actively work on your marriage. But, sometimes, your husband needs space to dwell on his thoughts and what you have shared with him.
So, don’t hesitate to give this to him. It may be just what he needs to recognize the importance of your relationship.
14. Reinforce Positive Behavior
If your husband begins to show you some of the emotional care and support you need, tell him! Reward him with extra love and affection too!
Just take care not to do this in a patronizing manner. Don’t make him feel like a child. Speak to him about how you would like to be spoken to.
15. Practice Self-Love
When you are completely reliant on your partner’s affection to feel good about yourself, this journey of fixing your relationship is going to be a lot tougher for you.
It’s going to be more difficult to remain patient and loving towards your husband. It’s going to be a lot tougher for you to remain happy and emotionally healthy.
No matter how your marriage is going, it’s always a great idea to practice self-love. Create a self-image that is radiating positively, no matter how other people treat you. Build a life that you enjoy, regardless of whether you have a loving partner or not.
This will put you in a better place to address your relationship and whether it’s worth saving.
16. Don’t Try To Fix Him
It’s a sad problem that will echo true whether it’s with your friends, family members, or a romantic partner.
A person won’t change unless they want to change.
So you can tell your partner how you feel. You can ask him to change his behavior or seek professional medical advice.
But you can’t make him.
Even the best therapists or life coaches can’t help a client unless they want help.
17. Try Couples therapy
It’s been mentioned a couple of times, but it’s worth repeating because many couples may feel resistance to seeking professional support, even when there’s clearly something wrong with their relationship.
Often, they’re too proud to admit that their relationship is stuttering, even though the signs are undeniable.
That’s a shame because relationship counselors, life coaches, or therapists are professionally trained to dig deep into the psyche of couples so that both of them can understand what’s going on.
With a third party to mediate the conversation and lead it in a healthy direction, you and your husband will often find the ability to say what really needs to be said to fix your marriage.
These professionals can deliver potentially crucial advice to help you get your relationship back on track.
Relationship counseling is available online, or you can search for face-to-face support in your hometown.
18. Be Prepared To Walk Away
While it’s not for me to tell you when it’s right to walk away from your marriage, sometimes this is what it takes to spark a desire to change within your husband.
Often, people can’t find the strength to address their problems until they hit ‘rock bottom’ – a traumatic event that finally incentives them to make a change.
Hopefully, when you make a move to permanently exit your husband’s life, he will finally be sparked into action. Sometimes, you’ll need to shock some sense into him.
If nothing changes, you may have to be prepared to go through with a divorce. Sometimes, this is the ‘rock bottom’ your husband needs to finally address his problems. As such, it’s often the only way to help the person you truly love.
19. Can A Marriage Survive Without Emotional Intimacy?
Sure, a marriage can survive without emotional intimacy. But do you want to survive or thrive?
Emotional expression deepens your love for one another. It boosts your mental health. It helps you achieve your personal ultimate goal. It teaches your children what a loving relationship looks like. You show them that it’s okay to have a deep connection with another person.
Some unhappily married couples stay together for the sake of a child, but that’s one hell of a sacrifice when you consider everything you’re missing out on.
As much as it may hurt to end a marriage, there’s a strong argument that it’s healthier for mother and child to continue as a single-parent household rather than with two parents who don’t emotionally support each other.
How to End a Relationship with an Emotionally Unavailable Partner?
One of the hardest decisions you ever have to make in life is to end a relationship with someone. But if it’s for your own good, then it’s definitely worth it. Don’t stay with someone who makes you feel low and miserable just because you’re afraid to move on.
The first thing you need to understand is that it’s not going to be easy. But it’s like ripping off a bandage; the quicker, the better.
The longer you stay, the harder it’s going to be to end it.
A strong support system makes all the difference when ending a relationship. So surround yourself with someone else, like your friends, family, and a professional counselor.
Have an open and deep conversation with your partner about your experience. It will all get better with time; repeat that every day!
FAQ: Emotional Unavailability
What Is Emotional Neglect From Husband?
Emotional neglect from a husband is a repeated pattern of behavior where he consistently fails to provide emotional care, support, and attention to his wife. This often leads to feelings of loneliness, insecurity, and resentment in the neglected partner. If you feel neglected, make sure you talk to your spouse about it.
How to Deal With a Husband That Refuses to Communicate?
Communication is vital to the success of any romantic relationship. There are many peer reviewed studies that talk about it, for instance, this one explains the emotional interdependence and well-being in relationships.
So when you’re dealing with a husband who refuses to communicate, that can be challenging and frustrating for you. It can also leave you feeling unheard, isolated, and lonely in the relationship.
But you need to remember that communication is a two-way street, so it is not your responsibility to make your husband communicate. He is equally responsible for the sake of your relationship as you are. One partner may never be responsible for the relationship. It has to be both of you.
Try to express your feelings and concerns to your husband in a calm and non-confrontational manner. Don’t do this in the middle of a fight. Instead, pick a good moment to talk. Try to find out why he is hesitant to communicate. Tell him how his issues make you feel.
Encourage him to share his feelings with you and really listen to his perspective. If your husband still refuses to communicate, consider seeking professional help from a family therapist.
How to Cope With No Emotional Care and Support?
Dealing with no emotional connection in a marriage can feel lonely. It can make you feel isolated and heartbroken. Out of the many ways to deal with it, an important coping mechanism is to seek support from other friends, family, or a family therapist.
Another way to cope is to engage in hobbies or activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, as this can also be helpful in filling the emotional void.
However, you will eventually need to communicate with your partner about your emotional needs in order to establish clear boundaries and expectations in the relationship.
How to Give Emotional Care and Support to Husband?
Having emotional care and support in a relationship is important. As much as your husband needs to be there for you emotionally, the same goes for you.
Some ways to provide support to your husband include actively listening to him, showing empathy, offering validation, and simply being there for him.
You can also engage in activities together that bring you both joy and satisfaction.
Can a Marriage Survive Without an Emotional Connection?
Technically, a marriage can survive without an emotional connection. But that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you or that it can last in the long term. It’s also highly unlikely that this is going to be a healthy and happy relationship.
Emotional connection is a vital aspect of every fulfilling relationship, so when there’s no such thing, it’s hard for the two people in the relationship to ever truly be happy with each other. It can feel like you’re all alone.
I hope you got some value from it. Hopefully, the ideas make sense, and you can act upon them to improve your relationship.
As you can see, dealing with a lack of emotional care and support in a marriage can be a difficult experience. It’s important to communicate your feelings to your spouse, set boundaries, and seek support elsewhere.
The success of your marriage depends on the willingness and commitment of both partners to work together to build a supportive and healthy relationship.
If you have any questions related to this topic, feel free to send me a message.