He Leaves Without Saying 'Goodbye'

Updated on May 17, 2012
T.L. asks from Phoenix, AZ
35 answers

Hi Moms, just curious if I have a reasonable request of my guy, or if I just need to get over this apparent complex I have...

When I leave the house, I kiss my guy goodbye, and tell him I love him... I expect the same. For some reason I find it unsetteling to wake, and I realize I'm all alone... I mean, its a truley un-nerving feeling that comes over me. I've asked him to kiss me/say goodbye before he leaves, (so what if he wakes me to do so...)

I thought I expressed my request quite plainly and clearly, but I woke this morning again to an empty house. It makes me feel like he doesn't take my request seriously, or worse- that he's upset with me (although I can't think of any reason why he would be... He's pretty easy going- it has to be something big for him to be upset)

I'm not sure where this insistance of mine stems from, but I can't figure out why this is either so hard for him to do, or even more importantly, why its so important to me. Anyway, isn't just common courtsey to kiss your wife goodbye?

What can I do next?

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answers from Redding on

Mine knows not to wake me up when I'm asleep.
He leaves a post it note on my keyboard if he leaves without a "goodbye".
Maybe this is his way of letting you know he'd rather you didnt wake HIM up with a kiss goodbye when he's asleep?

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5 moms found this helpful


answers from Decatur on

I understand where you're coming from. My husband likes to hunt so the mornings he goes out hunting he gets up early to leave. He gets all ready and the last thing he does before he leaves is wake me up to tell me he's leaving, gives me a hug and a kiss. I would be really disappointed if he left without waking me. I usually have no problems going back to sleep so that's not an issue for me.

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answers from Sacramento on

My husband rarely says goodbye either. I think men aren't good at multitasking and this falls under that category. He's thinking about leaving for work and anything beyond that is too much. I wouldn't read too much into it.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Um...my husband often starts work at 4 AM.
For me, the more quietly he leaves, the better!

11 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

No it is not a common courtesy to wake someone up to say goodbye, actually quite the opposite. You let people you love sleep so they can have the energy to deal with their day.

If you are really so concerned with your kiss goodbye wake up and say goodbye. Don't make him wake you up, clearly something he sees as rude to do.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays my husband goes to work before I get up because I have to get the kids to school. When I hear him going through his dish on his dresser looking for his keys I sit up and say goodbye, I always get my kiss. I know no one who will wake a sleeping person up so I don't put him in that position.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

He comes back though, right? :)

I routinely ignore my wife's request that I wake her to tell her I'm leaving. My thinking is that if I'm asleep, I certainly don't want to be woken. And she's pregnant - so I want to make sure she gets as much rest as possible.

However, if my wife said to me that she is unnerved by waking to an empty house - said that plainly - then of course I would wake her.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

If I was asleep my DH would not wake me to say goodbye and vice versa. This may be your own insecurities. If you were in the other room and he left without saying goodbye - that would be concerning.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My husband wakes me every morning before he goes to work to say goodbye. He comes in and gently rubs my arm to wake me then gives me a kiss and tells me to have a good day. I love it, and expect it. It's not only sweet in my opinion, but its common courtesy too yes. Its nice because when he leaves I am aware of what time it is and what time our son will wake up and I can have a few minutes to lay in bed and prepare for the day.

It's just something we do. One of us never leaves the other without kissing and saying goodbye. You just never know what could happen.

If you want him to do this than you need to sit him down, and tell him that its a serious thing that you want/need and you want to be woken up and that if he loves you then he needs to do it. Maybe then he will understand if it's important to you he will start doing it.

Best wishes!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'd slap my husband if he thought of waking me to say goodbye. I prefer my sleep over a rountine goodbye. but that's just me. More to the point of your post is that you made a request that is not absurd (doesn't matter what the request is) and your husband isn't trying to be accomodating. If my husband made that request of me, I'd still roll my eyes and think he was crazy every time I went to wake him up, but I'd still do it because he asked.

Perhaps you need to ask him again and tell him it's something that really matters to you?

Just read responses - I need to be best friends with Kristina M. She echoed my thoughts/feelings exactly ;-)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My husband and I always kiss each other & say 'I love you' before we part. The only exception is when I'm sleeping. I wake him up to say bye, but he won't wake me up. He knows I have a hard time going back to sleep when I'm woken. Maybe your guy just doesn't want to wake you? Does he do it other times and just not when you're sleeping?

I wouldn't think much of it, just text him when you wake up and tell him you love him.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm the same way, I always give a hug and kiss and say I love you, even if I'm just running out to the grocery store. My husband does come in to kiss me goodbye in the morning, I don't know if it's because I want him to or if it's just something he does, but it's become a habit for us. If I woke up to find him gone without saying goodbye, it would hurt my feelings but I'm sure it would be because his morning was rushed for some reason, and then I would call him and tell him he forgot to say goodbye :)

Even if I'm mad about something, I don't ever leave or let him leave without saying goodbye and I love you. I try to have a positive outlook and I don't like to be morbid, but I would never want something to happen and regret not saying it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hmm...it definitely feels a little rotten to wake up and see hubby has left without saying goodbye. BUT, I am also slightly towards the idea that maybe he really doesn't want to wake you up.

Why don't you do this - try setting your alarm around the time he usually leaves, wake up, and be up and about one day during the time he leaves. See if he still doesn't tell you goodbye. If he does, well, problem solved!

If he doesn't say anything even then, bring out the cast-iron skillet, I say...(kidding)..:)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I feel the same way! My husband always says goodbye and kisses me in the morning before going to work. My kids and I are usually still in bed. On rare occasions, he has left without saying goodbye and it IS unnerving. I always call to make sure everything is alright or if I just didn't remember him coming in to say goodbye. Often times when that happens he says it is because we were all dead asleep and he didn't want to disturb.
Nothing has driven the point home better- that he should always wake us up - than my kids. My daughter is 3 and son is 4. They have gotten VERY UPSET when he leaves without waking them to say goodbye. I end up calling him on the phone so the kids can talk to him to get them to settle their tears. His reason is valid-he does it out of courtesy not wanting to disrupt our sleep, but I tell him now, just go ahead and always say good-bye. Especially since we don't sleep for much longer after he leaves anyway.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

He loves you. He is not going to comply with this insecurity you are having.

This seems to me to be something we learned as children.

Did dad always kiss mom goodbye when he left for work in the mornings? I can remember so many shows on TV from my childhood where that happened. We probably expect it because we were trained to think that was what loving hubby's did.

I think I would have a visit with hubby and tell him what you are going through, short sentences, less than 2 minutes from start to finish. Practice facing a mirror so you can see your facial expressions. Buys needs simple and non confusing conversation. If your face is expressive they may be spending all their mental time trying to figure out what your body and face are saying instead of hearing the words and processing them.

I think once you think about other ways he shows his affections for you that you can start telling yourself these things when you wake up to an empty house.

For example:

Dang, he's gone and he didn't kiss me good bye and say "I love you".

Then the negative thought loops start.

Instead, think, oh how nice, he let me sleep so that this evening I will be wide awake when we watch TV together and snuggle.

He shows me he loves by taking out the trash, mowing the lawn to make our house look nice, by cleaning out my car floorboards, by picking up his laundry, giving me a hug when he walks through the door, looking at me when I talk, etc....

You need to make a long list and even write it down so if you get trapped in a thought loop you can pick up the list and start reading it out loud. That is the only way you can change these insecurities that are plaguing you.

He loves you. You need to find out how he shows you that and remind yourself of them when you are feeling like this.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm like you, i like the goodbye even if i'm too sleepy to remember it<G>. once he got past his considerate 'i don't want to wake you' (because i made it clear how very much i want that goodbye) he has always done it.
and 9 times out of 10 i don't even wake up for it. but i know he does it, and love him for it.
so no, it's probably not necessarily 'common courtesy', but if it's important to you, i hope your dh comes around.
:) khairete

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

This very same thing happened to me this morning. My husband kisses me everyday before he leaves for work. This morning I was doing a newspaper puzzle in the den, while he ate breakfast and read the paper. We were only a few feet away from one another. I was engrossed in the puzzle, but was deeply hurt when my husband din't say "Goodbye" before he left. I immediately called him and asked him why he didn't say "Goodbye". He said that I was too involved in the puzzle, and that he didn't want to bother me. I don't buy it. I think it was a passive-aggressive way of saying that I wasn't paying enough attention to HIM at the time, even though he was reading the paper. I'm not too happy about this, but am trying not to blow it out of proportion.

Tell your husband how you feel again, and state that a goodbye kiss is really important to you! Hopefully, your husband will comply with your wishes. Best of luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Okay, so I understand him not wanting to wake you up. The problem is you asked him to and he still won't do it? If he was being "considerate" of you by trying to let you sleep, he is now being "inconsiderate" now by not following your simple request. Give him the benefit of the doubt, sit him down and be really really clear on how you feel when you wake and he's not there and ask him (very clearly) to wake you when he leaves. Whatever your issues are that cause you to feel unnerved are not important, you are making a simple request and it's important to you so it should be important to him!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think this is your issue and not his. I would HATE to be woken up, I'm a very light sleeper and once awake, I'm basically up. There was one time that I was sick, went to bed, took FOREVER to fall asleep, finally did...hubs comes in and WAKES ME UP to ask me how I'm feeling!!! REALLY? He's only done that ONCE and never again! So just get over this. He loves you and cares enough about you to let you sleep. And in the big picture of what matters most is my favorite saying: "Actions speak louder than words." Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

My husband leaves without "goodbyes" too. I told him that I prefer a "goodbye" when he leaves the house. It is not just in the morning when I am sleeping but anytime he leaves - he just goes. He does the same with he rest of the family too.

When my husband was younger he had a life threatening experience and he says now he just doesn't like saying goodbye. He says "goodbyes" are to be said when you really never mean to see a person again.

After I understood it from his perspective I stopped pushing the point, but if I catch him going out the door I always tell him I love him and he will do the same.

Have you asked your husband why he doesn't like saying goodbye? If it isn't as big of an issue for him as it is for you NOT to hear it - be sure to make it clear that you NEED a goodbye and tell him the feeling you get when you wake alone.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I've been married to my husband for 13 1/2 years, we've been together for 15. During certain parts of the year he works rotating shifts & will leave for work or get home from work at wacky times. He ALWAYS kisses me before he leave as well as when he gets home & if I'm alseep, he gives me a couple of kisses. If I wake up, great, if not, no big deal.

If it's a big deal to you, tell him specifically, "Hey, goofball, this is a big deal to me. I genuinely WANT you to wake me up & say good-bye before you leave in the morning, pretty please." That should do the trick! ;)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

How do you know he hasn't kissed you and you haven't woken up from it? Or that he isn't trying to be respectful by not waking you?

Set your alarm so that you're awake before he leaves. Put the onus of the tradition on yourself rather than him since it's so important to you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I think you should J. bring it up tonight and tell him that that kiss goodbye makes your morning awesome and makes you think about him in a positive way through out the day.

ORRRR you could make it fun...take some fun photos and text him with the photos...i bet you wish you kissed M. goodbye=) or something cute like kiss M. goodbye from now and you'll enjoy this later
last resort
Maybe you could J. say...I know I'm odd but it makes M. happy can you do it?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

In my mind, it is common courtesy to at least say goodbye.

My hubby and I always kiss each other goodbye. The other day he went out to the garage in the morning. I was in the other room and heard a door shut - thought it was the front door and he was gone. In the minute between hearing the door close and him coming back in, all I could think about was that he left without kissing me or at least just saying goodbye. It really bothered me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Champaign on

My husband was the same way. I told him that in a family, you NEVER leave without saying goodbye. He would actually just leave the house to run and errand and not say anything! That shocked me. He said he just never thought about it, but almost never does that any more.

It took awhile for my husband to get into the habit of kissing me goodbye if I was asleep. He said he didn't want to wake me. I'm almost always able to go right back to sleep, so I told him it's more important to me to say goodbye.

One of the things that has been harder for my husband to understand is that he needs to stop projecting his own desires on me. Maybe he wouldn't want me to wake him to say goodbye, but I do. This has been a difficult concept for him in general. If I'm upset, I need hugs and reassurance. He might want to be alone, but if I'm the one that's upset, the smart thing to do is what would help me feel better, not what would help him feel better.

Ask him why he doesn't do this. Is it because he forgets? You could put a post-it on the bathroom mirror. Is it because he would not want to be woken up? (My husband has trouble getting back to sleep if woken up after about 5 am, so I don't wake him when I leave.) If so you could remind him that this is something you want and not something that will disturb you.

I think it is a perfectly normal request. Why would you not want to say goodbye, I love you, have a great day!?!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Make sure you are clear that this is important. Then ask him if there is something he'd like you to do and be prepared to do it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Spartanburg on

I agree with you, there's something unsettling in waking up and your SO is gone without a word. I also would speak up and tell him I prefer for him to say goodbye. I don't understand why your hubby would be upset for you asking...that's strange. Does he feel like it's you being needy? Not so!.Find out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Seven years later my husband still thinks he's doing me a favor by not "waking me up". And sometimes I'm thankful for getting to sleep in actually :) not the biggest deal in my opinion!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I am with you on this. It is quite unnerving to wake up and my husband not be there and that he hasn't said goodbye to me. I would not be ok with that. Let him know it is a requirement for u that he do that, it's not asking alot.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

My husband never kisses or says goodbye or I love you in the morning before he goes to work. He leaves at 4am. If he woke me up to say good bye or kissed me.. that would wake me up, I wouldn't go back to sleep. Honestly I don't want to be up at that time!

He is also sweet and doesn't call me on his first break at 6:50 hoping Im still asleep. When he calls at 8:50 he always asks what time I got up, if I got up on my own or if the kids or dog woke me up and if I slept good or not. I have bouts of insomnia or I wake up every hour or two. Plus I have always worked night jobs where I dont get home until 10-12 and going to bed before midnight/1am was unusual for me. Sometimes I would gently kiss him good night because I really missed him that day.. most times I wouldn't because I didn't want to wake him. Its out of respect and consideration for us that when one of us is sleeping... let them sleep.

Now during the day when we both are awake we never leave the house with out a hug, kiss and I love you. On the phone we always say it to each other also. When asleep.. we let each other sleep.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

i wish didnt get woken up in the morning.. when we first started dating it was cute, then years down the road u get over the cuteness.. my fiance woke me up at 530 with him for no reason other than he was bored and my dad was still in the shower so he was just sitting watching tv and the dog wouldnt wake up so he needed someone to bother for a while lol (usually he just wakes me up to say im leavin love u)..
-i dont think hes upset i just think he probably doesnt wana bother u and wake u up.. he probably just doesnt realize that its that big of a deal to you



answers from Phoenix on

I feel the same way. I finally put my hands on the sides of his face and said, I FEEL LIKE YOU ARE LEAVING ME VULNERABLE to anything that could happen to me when you leave me and I don't know you're gone! My husband had told me that I looked so peaceful that he didn't want to disturb me and wanted to let me sleep longer. But after that, he started to waken me. And I would thank him profusely for it.



answers from Washington DC on

we used to do that. then he got mad one night and stopped, and it just never started back. he has a specific routine, and i usually wake at some point. so depending on where he is in the routine, i can judge when he is getting ready to leave.


answers from Austin on

I agree that if you want a kiss and a good bye, make sure you are awake.

That way he wil not feel bad kissing you and waking you up.

I know I have slept through my husbands good byes, I call when I wake up and make sure he made it to work. Many times he has said, I did say goodbye to him, but I must have said it in my sleep.


answers from Dallas on

Have you communicated how important he does this ritual with you each time he leaves the house?

If it is so important to you, why don't you set your alarm to wake before he leaves and kiss him bye.

He's probably trying to be respectful of you and let you sleep a little more and not realizing you are buidling up resentments because of a goodbye kiss.

When my hubby leaves, most of the time he says goodbye but if by chance it does not happen, I know it does not mean he loves me any less just because he left. I certainly don't set my expectations for it.

I don't get startled when I wake up and he is not there. I feel very secure in my home and with my relationship so the fact that I wake without him does not scare me or anything. I am knows for calling him when I know he's had time to get to the airport and make sure he got to the gate on time. He routinely has the 6am flight.

I hope you resolve it so you both are happy.



answers from Phoenix on

My husband used to do the same thing, Then I finally expressed to him how it made me feel and how if he got hurt that morning or vice versa, How would he feel if he hadnt said I love you and Goodbye? He quickly changed his attitude and Does it everymorning.

Sometimes I Ask him did you kiss me and he says Yes but you were so out of it wyou didnt remember. Regardless if I am asleep and dont wake up he still does it, because when he didnt I would get really mad.

I wonder if you pose it to him differently he may realize it? THats what I had to do to mine, I dont want to say one of us might get hurt but you never know in this world. I even have him to do it to our son even if it does wake him up.

Good luck with the fixing of it. I just hope he understands your point.

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