My Husband Says He Loves Me But Says He Needs Time to Fix Things – Ideas That Can Help

I recently received a very detailed email from a wife who said that she and her husband had hit a rough patch in their marriage and she wasn’t sure if the marriage was going to survive. She wanted to be closer to her husband and have long talks and conversations in an attempt to work things out. The husband rejected him and told him that he “just needed time alone to clear his head.”

This request terrified the wife. She suspected that if he left her house and spent time away from her, he would never return. She wanted advice on how she could stop or dissuade him from wanting this time out. Her inclination had been to follow him and try to convince him to stay. So far, these efforts had been unsuccessful and only seemed to annoy her husband and make him more anxious to leave.

That was the reason why I felt very strongly that the wife should move with the traffic and not against it. I’ll explain what I mean by that in the next article.

Why giving a husband time to sort out his feelings isn’t always the worst option: Most women will assume that giving him the time he’s asked for is like admitting defeat. It really doesn’t have to be. It can be as much a part of her strategy right now as anything else. (And frankly, it often works much better than other strategies that are tempting but discouraged.)

There are several reasons for this, but one of the biggest is that often the more you push him, the further he will move away from you. The more you follow him around and try to convince him that he shouldn’t or can’t leave, the more likely he is to want to do just that. Being calm and deliberate is going to be much more effective than being argumentative and desperate. Always remember that your perceptions are greatly affected by your actions and your perceptions are what you will generally base your actions and decisions on.

How to minimize the risk of it not coming back once you give it time: It’s understandable that giving her space feels like a scary risk. It’s natural to worry that you’ll enjoy your time away, find it preferable, and won’t want to come back. If he hasn’t already, you can offer him space so you can be the one to leave (instead of him leaving). This allows you to have a little more control and more access to it. (Make sure you are calm and realistic when offering this.)

If this strategy doesn’t work, then the next should be to monitor your perceptions of yourself just before and during your absence. You want him to have positive reactions when he thinks of you. Many women will try to play hardball now. They will tell him that if he is so determined to leave, that he should leave, but that you are not sure if you will welcome him with open arms. This strategy only creates negative feelings and perceptions at a time when you really need positive feelings.

The best way to handle it is to tell him that even though you wish there was another way, you can see that he really feels he needs to do this. Tell him that you want him to be happy and if time and space will help him to do so, then that is exactly what you are going to provide him. Be supportive. Be calm. But make sure you appear confident and capable. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re going to fall apart and break the moment he walks out the door. In fact, you want him to wonder how you will spend your time. If you are so reluctant to allow this request, he will assume that you will be miserable and reeling. This is not the impression you want to give.

It’s okay to make it clear that you’re not going anywhere, but at the same time, you don’t want him to think that you have no other way to occupy your time. You have friends. Do you have family. And it’s vital that you do what supports you and makes you happy right now. You will appear much more attractive to him if you behave with respect for yourself. He should not think that you are waiting by the phone or sitting by the door. Sure, he probably knows you want him home, but he should also know that this is because you want him to be happy and make genuine decisions rather than the fact that you can’t or won’t be without him.

It’s often when you offer this time freely (and with self-respect) that you seem most self-sufficient and attractive. Once you are ready to return home, you can work to find out what issues led to your absence. But, this should be delayed until both of you are on the same page regarding where the relationship is going.

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