My quiet husband says I nag him but I’m just concerned

Monday, November 1st, 2021 00:00 | By
Quiet husband. Photo/Courtesy

Hi Achokis. I have been married for four years now. My husband is a nice guy and we love each other.

The only problem is that he can sometimes go quiet on me for a long period of time.

Whenever I ask him what the problem is, he says nothing, and whenever I prod, he reacts by telling me that I’m nagging.

He doesn’t feel free to share with me what’s bothering him and this is driving a wedge between us. What do I do to get him to talk and open up to me? 

Hi Sue, and thank you for reaching out for help. Guys sometimes don’t know how to open up, more so, to the women in their lives.

This can be frustrating to a woman. In your desire to connect with him, you try to budge into his life and the more you do it, the more he pushes you away.

As a result, you cannot connect with him as you would want. He feels you are nagging him while for you, it’s just a concern and desire to help and to connect with him. 

Years ago, my wife Grace would bulge into my space and would insist on wanting to know what was wrong.

She thought it was her right and duty to make me talk or help me with my situations. But the more she insisted hoping that I would talk, the more I ran to my cave or reacted in ways that hurt her. 

One thing for you to note is that guys take time to process things and they do so inwardly.

They need time and space to do so, therefore, allow him his space. After a while when he’s relaxed, you can bring up the issue with him.

Bring it up in a concerned manner — in a way that makes him feel you are there for him not against him.

Ask him questions that are non-threatening, but are open-ended allowing him the liberty to talk about it if he wants to or is ready to do so.

Make an observation of what you have noticed without jumping to any conclusion saying, “I know you are stressed that’s why…” as opposed to, “Of late I’ve noticed … what’s up?”

If he feels that you are not bothering him too much and he has processed whatever he’s going through enough, he will definitely come back to you. 

He may even be the one who will initiate that conversation. Listen to what he complains about, what to him is nagging, and ask him what he would want you to do in such moments.

Let him know your concerns without making it look like an attack on him. Let him also know how this affects you and your relationship.

Change strategy and if even after doing your best based on what we’ve said doesn’t work, see if you can wisely, without him knowing, find a close friend of his to talk to. - The writers are marriage and relationship coaches [email protected]

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