Husband is Emotionally Unavailable: Reasons & Tips to Deal

How to Manage Relationship with An Emotionally Unavailable Husband

Emotional unavailability is a real thing and being married to a man who is distant can be unfulfilling and frustrating. Such a relationship can feel like a roller coaster with you in a constant state of fear of being left alone with all your efforts to get close to your husband being shut down. There are a number of reasons why men are/can become emotionally unavailable and this article explores why.

But fear not, as we also discuss some practical tips and techniques on how to manage a relationship with an emotionally unavailable husband. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into this topic!

How to Identify an Emotionally Unavailable Husband?

If you feel your partner is distant, here are some emotionally distant husband signs that can confirm your insecurity:

1. Shows little to no emotion

While men are generally inexpressive emotionally, however they still express the best of what they have to their spouse. So if your husband never displays emotions or showers you with love and affection even occasionally, that shows a disconnect.

2. Likes to enjoy things alone

He may spend most of his free time playing video games or watching TV by himself without much interaction with you throughout the day. He may also plan vacations or outings without you or avoid any plans that involve you.

3. Avoids deep conversations

Your spouse might talk about the weather, the game or shopping or anything mundane but refuse to talk about anything that relates to how you feel about things. Any conversation that goes close to touching the boundaries of insecurities in the relationship is avoided.

4. His words don’t match actions

You would often experience your spouse doesn’t keep up his words especially when it comes to things that matter to you the most. Also, your husband is not emotionally supportive during times of need although he promises to be there for you.

5. His actions are inconsistent

Maybe your marriage started out great when he showered you with attention and love along with great sex. A few months later, it all fizzles out and only the physical aspects remain while he talks about great love and shows nothing.

6. Unfulfilling sex life

Sex life with an emotionally distant person can go both ways. One, it doesn’t exist cause your husband avoids sex to avoid emotional intimacy. Second, sex is no more than a physical act and there’s no emotional bonding over it.

7. Lack of empathy and compassion

Your emotionally unavailable spouse doesn’t seem to empathise with what you like or dislike and doesn’t care much about what you might be going through. He is also not very supportive when you are sick or feeling down.

8. Doesn’t contribute to the relationship

Most days, it seems it’s all about him and you don’t exist in the relationship. He might talk mostly about himself and ignore your side of things. He never initiates conversations or shows interest in your life.

9. The blame game

No matter what the issue is, he finds a way to turn it around and point at you as being the source. His excuses are always valid and yours are unacceptable. When he is cornered, he becomes defensive.

10. Always hides in his shell

Men who have low confidence can become distant and emotionally unavailable if they are terrified of you figuring out their vulnerability or whatever drives their inferiority complex. This can make them retreat into a shell that cuts them off from you.

11. Priorities work or hobbies over your relationship

If your husband seems more invested in his work or hobbies than your relationship, it could be a sign of emotional distance.

12. Difficulty expressing his feelings

If your husband struggles to express his emotions or seems uncomfortable with vulnerability, he may be emotionally unavailable.

13. History of avoiding commitment

If your husband has a history of avoiding commitment or has trouble maintaining long-term relationships, it could be a sign of emotional unavailability.

14. Defensive and hostility 

If your husband reacts negatively or defensively when emotions are brought up, it may be a sign of emotional unavailability.

15. Pattern of emotional unavailability 

If your husband seems emotionally unavailable in other relationships, such as with friends or family members, it may be a sign of a deeper issue. He seems emotionally unavailable in other relationships is a big sign. 

16. Avoids spending quality time with you

If your husband consistently makes excuses to avoid spending quality time with you, it could be a sign of emotional distance.

What Could Be The Probable Reasons for Being Emotionally Distant to Your Wife?

Here are a few things that explain an emotionally absent husband:

  • By nature, the husband may not be open to sharing his feelings. It’s not uncommon for men to grow up being quiet about their feelings which goes with them being stoic. They do, however, open up to people whom they trust such as a close friend or spouse and it may take some time.
  • A bad experience in the past such as a painful break up from a long term relationship can affect their emotional availability until trust is built again. It’s especially true if the man was cheated by his previous girlfriend or spouse.
  • Childhood trauma from a difficult household can cause people to grow up being emotionally closed and distant as a defence mechanism.
  • Painful events or circumstances where they feel like a failure.
  • An extramarital affair can also cause men to become distant.

Ways to Deal With An Emotionally Unavailable Husband

Ways to Deal With An Emotionally Unavailable Husband

If you are wondering how to live with an emotionally distant husband then these tips can help you out:

1. Begin with understanding the underlying issue

You won’t win him over by demanding that he be responsive to you emotionally. Give him ample time to open up about his past or why he is the way he is. Always be affectionate but don’t let him take you for granted.

2. Give it time

Being his wife doesn’t mean he is obliged to open up to you completely. If you give him enough time to digest the fact that you are his wife and someone he can count on, he will slowly come around. It’s also important that you are upfront about it early on.

3. Drop your judgements

Being emotionally unavailable doesn’t mean he is bad; it’s just one of his flaws as a human. Although he has his reason for being so, he might want to change now that you are here. Judging him over it can cause him to become more defensive and withdraw further.

4. Giving a sense of security

Assure your husband that you will love him regardless of his emotional availability. Quite often the underlying cause of it is childhood trauma, tragedy or rejection or an event that impacted them to stop being emotional.

5. Watch for subtle cues

This requires you to be a little more perceptive than you normally are. Even the most distant unavailable men express in one or the other way and all you need to do is pay attention. Your effort can also encourage him to be more open to you.

6. Skip the sarcasm or lectures

While your temper definitely has a threshold, saying mean things to him or being sarcastic will only annoy him and drive him further away. The same also goes for lecturing him about why it’s essential to be emotional. The trick here is to let it dawn on him.

7. Change your focus

While things on his end take time to happen, you can shift your focus to establishing yourself as an individual so he knows you are not entirely dependent on him for your identity. It can be a confidence booster and earn you his respect.

8. Counselling

If you aren’t sure about the method to move forward, you can always try marriage counselling for fixing an emotionally distant husband. It is, however, a big step and he shouldn’t be forced into it. A therapist can give you a better perspective and ways to make things work.

What to Do if Your Man Does Not Change His Emotional Unavailability?

Emotionally Unavailable Wife

Despite your best efforts, if your husband refuses to respond or change, it may be time to end it. Here is how you can begin:

1. Be sure about it

Ending a relationship is the final step when all else has failed, so ask yourself if you’ve done everything possible to save it. That also means evaluating yourself on whether you asked too much from him and that you won’t relapse into him during moments of weakness. Once you have concrete answers, you can go ahead with it.

2. Distance yourself

It’s time you start moving away from your partner and reciprocate his apathy or unwillingness to do things. He needs to understand you will no longer be taken for granted and you’re letting go.

3. No more gestures of love from your end

If you have been the one putting it all to keep the house together and taking care of the chores, it’s time to stop being his maid. Tell him to share the chores and even cook now and then and ensure your request is obliged.

4. Show him that it is over

Once you have separated, get on with your life and look ahead. Although he might try to stop you or call or message you, later on, it’s more likely out of habit and familiarity than love or genuine feelings.

5. Put yourself back together

It’s very likely that you gave up on most of your dreams and interests while pursuing your husband. It’s time to reinvent yourself and do the things that define you. Live for yourself and others who love you and focus on your career and anything that builds you.

6. Let Go

If you’ve had deep romantic feelings for him, it’s tempting to keep him around. It’s a bad idea, once you’re strong enough at all levels, let go of him and don’t look back. It’ll be the hardest thing you will do but some people just aren’t meant to be together.


1. What Is Meant By Emotional Neglect In A Marriage?

Emotional neglect in a marriage refers to a lack of emotional support, attention, and responsiveness from one partner to the other. It can manifest in many different ways, such as a lack of communication, physical intimacy, or affection. When one partner feels emotionally neglected, they may begin to feel isolated, unimportant, or unloved, which can lead to feelings of resentment, frustration, and even depression. Emotional neglect is a serious issue in any relationship, and it’s important to address it head-on with open and honest communication. Remember, emotional connection is the backbone of any successful and fulfilling marriage.

2. Can A Emotionally Detached Marriage Survive?

It’s possible for an emotionally detached marriage to survive, but it will require a lot of effort, patience, and willingness to work through the issues. The first step is to identify and acknowledge the emotional detachment in the relationship, and then work on addressing the underlying issues. This may involve seeking professional help, such as therapy or counseling, or it could simply require a willingness to listen, communicate, and make changes in the relationship. It’s important to remember that emotional detachment can be a symptom of other issues, such as stress, depression, or trauma, and addressing these issues can help to rebuild emotional intimacy in the marriage. While it won’t be easy, a emotionally detached marriage can be salvaged with effort and dedication.

Emotionally detached husbands take time to come around. In most cases, the causal factors are dealt with over time. Some, however, might never change and it’s good to not reconsider the relationship.

Also Read:

Signs of Healthy and Happy Relationship
Toxic Relationship Signs and How to Deal with it
Importance and How to Build Healthy Family Relationship

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Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.