If you’re wondering how to deal with no emotional 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.
What Do You Do When Your Husband Is Not Emotionally Supportive?
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. What Is Emotional Neglect In A Marriage?
The key premise of a marriage is the two of you are a team. You support each other through 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 to withdraw the emotional support of your spouse. This could be consciously or unconsciously. It is arguably subjective. However, if one spouse feels emotionally neglected, it is on the other to do what they can to try and fix that.
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, emotional 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 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. What Are The Signs Of An Emotionally Distant Partner?
There are lots of reasons why a person could become distant emotionally, which we’ll cover later on in the article.
First off though, it’s important to recognise the signs of an emotionally distant partner, so that you’re left in no doubt that there’s a problem which needs to be solved.
- He prefers to spend time alone.
- He seems unable to express his feelings.
- He tends to lack empathy.
- He constantly criticises.
- 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’re really feeling hurt by his behavior.
Sometimes, your husband may respond defensively, perhaps by denying all changes and shifting the blame to you. 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 Exactly What You Need
Sometimes, 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 because she wants to share her feelings. She wants to feel that emotional 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 support. 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.
It’s not easy to find the underlying cause of an emotionally unavailable husband. Has he always been this way, or has there been a recent change in his behaviour?
If it’s a recent change, this could be due to a recent change in his circumstances. Could something be stressing him out 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 counsellors are trained to ask questions that can help explore your partner’s subsconsious and discover the cause of his distant behaviour.
8. Does Your Husband Lack Emotional Intelligence?
A lack of emotional intelligence can stem from a mental health problem or poor parenting. More serious mental health problems will need to be diagnosed by psychologists or psychiatrists.
A 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 emotional support in childhood, it’s extremely common that they’re going to suffer from poor self-esteem. It becomes very difficult to offer emotional support to others in this case.
Indeed, the concept of emotional support may be completely foreign to them.
Often, the best solution in this case is to seek professional support from a therapist or relationship coach.
10. How Do I Connect With An Emotionally Absent Spouse?
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 trick.
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 organise 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 husband 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 future.
If you’re struggling to get through to him, a relationship counsellor 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 the 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 the first step to solving this problem is to discuss it – and to identify what both partners need to feel more loved in the relationship.
13. Give Your Husband 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 recognise the importance of your relationship.
14. Reinforce Positive Behavior
If your husband begins to show you some of the emotional support you need, tell him! Reward him with extra love and affection too!
Just take care not to do this in a patronising manner. Don’t make him feel like a child. Speak to him 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 radiatingly positive, 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. Do Not Try To Fix Your Partner
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 behaviour or seek professional help.
But you can’t make him.
Even the best therapists or life coaches can’t help a client, unless they want help.
17. Seek Help From A Professional
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 counsellors, 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 into 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 counselling 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 tnto 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 support deepens your love for one another. It boosts your mental health. It helps you achieve your personal goals. It teaches your children what a healthy and loving relationship looks like.
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.
Any Questions About Emotional Support Within A Long-Term Relationship?
Thanks for reading my article. I hope you got some value from it. Hopefully, the ideas make sense and you can act upon them to improve your relationship.
If you’d like to make a point or ask a question related to this topic, feel free to create a comment below.
It’s great to connect with my audience via conversations in these comments sections. I await your comments with great interest.