Seeking Moms Who Think They Understand Men

Updated on November 20, 2014
D.H. asks from Newark, DE
27 answers

Wow. I think that's a tall order. How about moms who can ask their husband and trust him to give an (honest) answer! Sound easier? I'm looking for a general consensus.

When a wife tells her husband that how he acted about something or said hurt her so bad it made her cry later on, in public, what does he think of it. And why he doesn't act like it bothers him that he put her through that?

Let me explain something: my husband had told me he wouldn't be out all the rest of the day on errands he had to run. He has had a history of being gone on weekends for various things. He knows I haven't liked it. He didn't get home till after dark. I was mad and gave him the silent treatment, especially since he didn't explain ANYTHING. Later he said he knew I was "in a mood" and realized I was mad at him for getting in late. He offered no explanation and stayed away from me the rest of the night. The next morning came an explanation as to what made him late. I asked him why he didn't approach me, knowing I was upset with him. To me that was the most crucial question. No answer. I have since talked with him about it and told him what it did to me along with ENLIGHTENMENT on what NOT to do when he knows a woman is mad at him. But still not much response for as upset as it made me. And no, no PMS in there. He told me of how he was trying to get back home, but not until I had been so upset with him for so long. Lack of communication on his part caused all that terrible upset for me, but still not all that apologetic. What's up with guys and that?
Bottom line, he's conscientious and sensitive toward me for the most part, and knows I think he's gone too much on the weekends. He said he wouldn't be gone all day; he WAS, but never called to explain anything, didn't say anything when he got in so late; saw me giving him the silent treatment and knew why. Never approached to apologize or explain. Only the next morning did he start to explain, after I carefully brought it up to him. Then didn't answer me when I asked him why he didn't explain when he knew I was upset with him. Not much response when I later told him he should have told me things were taking longer and not to ignore me when he knows I'm mad at him. That's what I don't understand about men. You can feel like you're dying inside because of something that's their fault, and you don't get much response when you tell them.

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So What Happened?

Ok, I've gotten a lot of chewing out about my response, marriage counseling, etc. Remember, I did have a talk with him about it later. I think in his own way he realized a flaw or two in how he handled the whole thing. He knew I wanted him home soon, but failed to tell me he was running late or why right when I was expecting to know. What I don't think too many of you understand is my desire to have him home more often vs. all the things he finds to do on weekends. Some months he's been gone all day long, the entire weekend, including long hours during the week. So I get to missing him! I don't regard him as a child that needs my permission to go somewhere. And some of the places he goes I can't go. That time over the weekend was about as disappointing to me as a date who shows up several hours late and never called or explained anything. Or how about someone who you invite for dinner and they do that to you? Wouldn't you be a little annoyed if they acted like they did nothing wrong? I would think the reason they were late should be the first thing out of their mouth.
I don't think one communication lapse requires marriage counseling. I think this is about how guys handle things when their wives are upset. I think some are just plain clueless. There are books written about this very thing--how men and women think differently. Some of you had some interesting points, but others were just plain judgmental at me.

Update: From even more comments I'm seeing that nobody, except 1 person, really "gets it". Some are dropping ideas that he's cheating on me; some are convinced I'm a nasty witch:, etc. There are some things about my husband that I didn't think to mention. One is that he's a very busy guy. He's involved in a few things outside the house, and many of his errands have to do with those things. And again, because of all that he's gone quite a bit. One of our kids even made a comment to a counselor about it. One of you replied about what his "other family" thinks of this. Not sure what "other family" you were referring to, but you were the only one to really have some wise insight here. You could ask anyone who is related to us, and they'll likely tell you that he is a busy guy. So naturally, as his wife, with kids, I and we do miss him. It's pretty rare that we get time alone. Most of the time he's thoughtful enough to let me know when something comes up. So when I'd been mentioning more than once that I want him home more often I don't think I'm being selfish. I want to spend time with my husband. Anything wrong with that? Naturally I'm going to be disappointed if he's out late again, and mad when he doesn't explain, right away, why he's late AGAIN.
It's like he knew how I felt at the time, but just didn't explain, leaving me to remember how he assured me he would be home sooner--and then wasn't. It's not always practical for me to go with him (if your husband traveled a lot would you be able to go long distances with him, especially with kids?). I've taken a LOT of flack about this "silent treatment". No, it's not verbal communication, but it was my expressing disappointment and disgust that AGAIN, he was out a long time, after he said he wouldn't be and without explanation right away. Had he explained right away or before he even got home I would have better understood that it was circumstances out of his control. Hopefully this will explain more.

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

A much better idea than the silent treatment would have been a simple question; "Where have you been?". Follow that up with it got late and I was worried.

Why didn't you call him? I call my hubby all the time to say where the hell are you? Then I follow up with dinner is ready, come home!!! Or whatever.

The best thing to do is communicate and then TELL him why you are upset or mad. Follow up with a solution - you were late, you should have called. That upsets me and makes me worry. Next time, please call.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

The silent treatment? Really? If you want him to do something with you over the weekend, make actual plans. If there is a reason you need to know when he will be home, then discuss it before hand and see what suggestions he has. Maybe a simple text when he will be late would be easy for both of you. Maybe he didn't approach you because he simply wasn't interested in a fight when he got home.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Actually YOU are the one that started the whole thing by "giving him the silent treatment" when he came home. So you are playing games with him and you are asking for trouble. Actually, it looks like you've already got it. If I were you, I'd head from some counseling, for you alone and both of you together. Good luck.

8 moms found this helpful

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answers from Columbia on

I can tell you exactly what's happening here: You're an emotional terrorist.

You think you can control your husband by giving him the silent treatment, not communicating, and then punishing him for not reading your mind or taking your hints. I'm going to let you in on a little secret about men: They aren't mind readers, and it isn't "their fault" that they aren't.

A healthy marriage isn't all about your husband fawning over you and placating your every emotional upset. It's partnership and communication and respect. You're doing NONE of these with your silly, sad-child behavior....and confused that he is not kissing your feet. Just stop it. Stop it right now.

If you want to communicate your needs to your husband, you must learn how to communicate clearly, respectfully and effectively. "Love, I really would like to spend some time with you this weekend. When can you have your errands done so we can have some time together?" Act like a grown adult woman instead of an emotional terrorist. Stop using your "hurt feelings" to control him.

I do agree with the below posters: Counseling would be very helpful for you. I suggest that you go on your own for a while and learn how to differentiate who is responsible for your feelings.

ETA: Regarding your SWH: No, this isn't "how guys handle things when their wives are upset." You're assuming that your level of upset and the way you handled it is normal and healthy. It's not. In a healthy relationship there is communication from the start. No "cold shoulders" or silly emotional blackmail. You're "dying inside?" What is this, a Miley Cyrus song? For crying out loud, get ahold of yourself and act like a grown up woman. COMMUNICATE.

My husband and I discuss what our plans are for the weekend before the weekend begins. We work out the logistics and are where we say we will be when we say we'll be there. And if one of us is going to be late, we call and say how long and why. If the other is worried, we call and ask. We don't sit around with the attitude of "I'm not going to talk to him because HE should know what I want and how I want it and act on my needs." That's ridiculously immature and childish behavior.

Darn right I think you need counseling. Your idea of communication within marriage is severely dysfunctional. I can see by your attitude that the "consensus" you were looking for was actually you wanting to be right. Sorry, not sorry. You're not right. And it's sad that you can't see where YOU are wrong in this scenario, only where your husband is wrong. It's clear that you're "just plain clueless." It's sad, but not shocking. I feel awful for your family having to live under your "rule."

ETA2: Regarding your update: Why are you asking about this situation if you're so sure you're right?

Also, all but one of the answers says you're wrong. WOW. How's THAT for consensus? You know, when ONE person tells you your shoelaces are untied, you might be able to refuse to look at your feet and insist that they aren't. But when EVERYONE tells you your shoelaces are untied, maybe you ought to look at your dang feet and quit insisting that they're all wrong.

19 moms found this helpful


answers from Abilene on

I wouldn't come home either. Emotional blackmail is toxic. If you value your marriage change direction. When two year olds do this it's not attractive and most parents do their best to stop the behavior. When it's an adult doing this it's destructive. One of the main reasons I divorced my ex. By the time he was interested in counseling I was done. Be very careful.


13 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

ETA: "dying inside"? From errands that took too long? That's a little dramatic. I'll never understand women (or men) that have to be plastered to their spouse 24/7. Live your life!

Someone who is "conscientious and sensitive " doesn't take off without explanation for hours on the weekend. (Ever, really.)
And men aren't mind readers.
"Silent treatment"? Are you 12?
Speak up when something is bothering you.
He's not a mind reader.
Try to work together, as a team, on weekends.
Try not to be so controlling.
No O. likes to be controlled.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Well, giving someone the silent treatment when you're mad at them isn't a very effective way to communicate either, is it?
Sounds like you both have a lot to work on.
I assume you're very young. As you get older you will realize the importance of being honest and direct, and you will stop expecting your husband to know how you feel. Men aren't mind readers, you need to tell him very specifically and calmly how you feel.
Now, if he doesn't CARE how you feel, well then that's a real problem...

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Your SWH speaks volumes, D.. In no way do you take any responsibility to be proactive, nor do you acknowledge any flaws in how YOU communicate. You use hyperbolic language to explain the situation, see yourself as a victim yet eschew counseling.

No one can help you unless you first are willing to help yourself. Geez Louise-- if I was the person who was constantly to blame for not reading someone's mind, I wouldn't want to be around them either. This isn't just 'guys' thinking-- many of us have husbands who wouldn't behave this way and we as wives wouldn't behave in such a juvenile, non-progressive, passive aggressive way-- we'd communicate and move on. If you don't want to go to counseling, don't expect it to change. If you don't want to accept your own part of it, good luck making anything better.

ETA: wow... and I just read your responses to your last question. Expecting others to 'want to change' when they are so hurt and beaten down only makes me think that you have extremely unrealistic expectations of others. SMH.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'd be pissed off too, if he's frequently gone all weekend with no explanation. but why do you think the silent treatment is an appropriate response? he doesn't explain anything and you don't explain anything and then you're baffled because nobody's 'apologizing or explaining'?
you demand that he not ignore you when he knows you're mad, but ignoring him is your go-to technique?
how does that logically ensue?

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

A man that is happy at home will be at home. I don't mean to sound harsh, but maybe the question you should be asking yourself is WHY he prefers to stay gone rather than be at home. I'm not saying it's you, but something is amiss here.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

He's your equal not your child. How you talk to him and treat him isn't like an equal. I was taught by wise women to be my husband's SOFT PLACE TO LAND. My husband always wants to be home because I'm his soft place to land. I give him the time he needs alone. I speak to him with respect so therefore he always wants to spend time with me and talk with me.

Men generally speaking don't like conflict or emotional drama. They tend to avoid it especially when they know they are going to get an emotional tiraid and drama from the woman in their life. So please adjust how you respond and react to the things he does that upset you.

Stop being upset over who he is. If you change perhaps he will respond to the change in you. Try being his soft place to land. It doesn't mean you don't talk to him about things that bother you but it does mean you find a better way to let him know these things.

He has a mother and you aren't it. If things don't change, some other woman will be his soft place to land. Most men need a soft place to land.

I agree with others counseling is needed.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

I'm sorry, but I don't understand - thinseeking? I had to read others' responses to understand what you're talking about here.

I also don't understand the "silent treatment." You are complaining that he doesn't communicate, but you give him the silent treatment? How does that help? You're reacting to him with emotion and drama instead of telling him what you want. I'd have a hard time communicating too if I knew that's what I was facing if I screwed up.

Based on your SWH: well, it seems like you have all the answers, so what do you need us for?

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

No one can 'make you feel' anything without your permission.

"You can feel like you're dying inside because of something that's their fault".

I suppose that's possible.
If you found him having sex with someone else - that would certainly rock your world and belief in your relationship.
That's really probably what you are afraid of - and it's making you feel insecure.
If he's really just running errands and running late - it would be nice/conscientious of him to let you know so you don't end up worrying he's dead in a ditch somewhere - but not doing it is not a deliberate slap in your face.

Is there ever a time when YOU are running late and he's the one waiting for you? No?
Maybe there should be.

Think about why you are feeling insecure.
I approach it like this.
I think I am the best thing that ever happened to my husband (he happens to agree with me).
He should be begging on bended knees for the privilege to be with me.
If he doesn't realize this - I'm not the one who's going to be explaining it to him.
I WILL NOT be begging any man who does not WANT to be with me to stay with me - I am worth more than that.
I have value - I value myself - and my husband does too.
If he should ever want to leave - he knows where the door is.
I am not his jailor - he's with me willingly.
He is also not MY jailor - I'm with him willingly too.

You and he are not communicating well.
Please get some marriage counseling.

Beyond that - make some of your own plans on weekends.
Don't be waiting on him to show up.
When your world does not completely revolve around him - I think you'll both feel better.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

"Lack of communication on his part?" What do you think the "silent treatment" is?

The silent treatment is hostile, passive-aggressive and immature, and is very poor communication. Start communicating with him honestly, and maybe he will do the same in return.

And if this was your only communication lapse, as you stated in your update, then you really don't have a problem.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Men are just women without all the dramatic emotional embellishments.

Most women are consistently emotional in the same way. Same thing sets them off the same way, you are all over the place. Just reading this I was mentally backing away because I can't imagine what your husband is going through.

It isn't his fault you are flipping your nut all the time, that is something in you. What was he supposed to do to placate you? He knows from experience that if he tries this, it either works or makes things worse. Any human, man or woman would shut down in the environment you produce.

In a nutshell he is afraid to interact with you because regardless of how hard he tries it is always wrong and in your mind always his fault.

Per your what happened, I think others are right, you are refusing to see this as it is. I was actually expecting a dramatic, we were all going out to dinner!! or the kids had games!! I needed the car!! Nope, nothing, you want him to be home just to be home.

So he has things to do and you are upset because he didn't get home to sit in front of a TV with you. You see that as normal? That you apparently need! him home shows you have something going on. You would be hard pressed to find anyone answering here that needs! their husband home just to watch the lint collect on the end tables.

I am sure some who answered wait for their husbands to get home to watch small kids, so they can go to the store, out with friends, go for a walk.... I am sure some waiting so they can use the car. Still others they want to go somewhere. But you will not find I need you home so that you are here bored out of your mind because I have nothing planned, I have no life, I want you here suffering along with me? Nope, that kind of issue needs counseling.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Any chance of an affair?

Whatever he is doing all weekend, his behavior would not work for me.

I would be in marriage counseling, ASAP, to work through all this.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

ETA after added explanation:
You seriously think your husband has the communication problem here? Next time you're upset, instead of "feeling like your dying inside" while "giving him the silent treatment" try just talking calmly to him.

I am sorry for your husband that he is afraid to approach you when he is running late or run out of time for fear of retribution or reproach. As far as him "not knowing what to do", he is not a mind-reader, but he is a grown man. From what you described, it's not like he was carousing around at night at all, just out during the day running errands. Unless you have specific plans with him or need his help, why does he need to be home at a certain time?

My apologies for the tough love, but you need to grow up a bit.
This is kind of vague. I'm guessing you are in a fight with your husband? Or at least upset with him for some words he said?

Without knowing what the words are it's difficult to say if you are overreacting (apologies, but your question sounds a little melodramatic) or if your husband really did cross a line.

FWIW, I'm not sure if there is anything my husband could say (much less would say) that would "make" me cry. I'm an adult. It takes more than a cutting comment to make me burst into tears, and my husband is the last person who would say anything cutting anyway.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I wonder how his other family tolerates his absences.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I have two thoughts.
1) marriage counselling for both of you to learn how to communicate. You know he's not good at it, but you're not good at it either (you give the silent treatment, and he tries to avoid you).

2) from now on, ask to come with him when he needs to leave the house to run an errand on the weekend. If what's he's doing is innocent, then it should be fine for the family to come with him, and make a day of it together - run his errands, you all go out to lunch or dinner together while you are out, etc.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

He's gone all day but doesn't explain it?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

After your So What Happened: WHY is recommending that you two need marriage counseling judgmental???????? Of COURSE you want him home! You explained (the second time around) that he does this a lot. Did it never occur to you that marriage counseling could help this???

Added after your extra explanation:

You two need marriage counseling. Neither of you communicate well with each other. Plus, he doesn't respect you. That's a huge problem.

Find a marriage counselor. Go yourself first. Then bring him. Tell him that you two don't understand each other and it's about time you do before you have no marriage left.

It's kind of like you started in the middle. Can't you explain more? I don't understand your first paragraph...

Minus more of an explanation, it sounds like your (?) husband enjoys hurting you(?), embarrassing you, being really passive-aggressive in order to punish you(?) for something.

If my husband did that to me, I'd never go anywhere with him...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Where does he go, why doesnt he want to spend time with you?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

There are some real issues here. He does not want to be home. Why? Most men do not want to deal with women 'moods'. And men tend to almost always think women are in some kind of mood. Men don't want to talk about emotional stuff.

Communication is crucial but getting a man to understand the need for open understanding isn't always easy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

umm, for starters , sounds theres more going on then you might think..the guy is seeing someone, think about it..he leaves, stays gone for hours,"accidentally" leaving his phone behind and disappears for the weekend. since strangling him is out of the question, might i suggest talking to the guy, just level with him, saying," look, you leave here, you are gone for hours, typically over night, and you disappear on the weekend, who are you seeing?".you get that out of the way, you can go from there, but i guarantee you, he is seeing someone. K. h.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I can tell u for one your ruining your marriage by doing that. Communication is a MAJOR factor in a relationship... How about you start planning your day if you no he has plans why don't you go along or hang out with some girlfriends/family or go shopping.. And if he is late you do no how to use a phone? Who does the silent treatment now a days act like an adult and let him no you were worried and didn't like him to be out that long with out him calling you and keeping you posted. Or another reason could be he's unfaithful..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Need more details...
-was the wife being overly sensitive?
-is the husband typically kind or is he often mean spirited?
-did the wife saying something embarrassing or hurtful to her husband first?
-was the wife accusatory when she approached her husband about the comment?
-does the husband frequently not care about the wife's feelings?



answers from Chicago on

Is this typical behavior on his end? Was she overly emotional, aka PMS? My husband is pretty good about apologizing to me but it is pretty rare for him to "act like it bothers him".....guys are not wired this way, but I guess it would depend on what happened too.

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