Why Does My Husband Run Away From His Problems?


You tried to understand with compassion the first, second, and third times you argued about the same problem over and over again. Each time ends the same way, a complete shutdown from him and a refusal to communicate further, leaving many wives to wonder “Why does my husband run away from his problems?”.

Here’s what I know from 15 years of marriage:

Husbands run away from problems when the emotions overwhelm them, poor communication skills, low emotional intelligence, or a pattern of behavior rooted in childhood.

But all of these can be overcome!

I’m entering my 15th year of marriage, and this is time number 2 for me. So I’ve learned a lot being married, and made a ton of mistakes, and seen a lot of mistakes made. Luckily, that’s also given me a lot of wisdom and insight.

In this article, we’ll look at why this might be happening, and some strategies to compassionately end his silence once and for all.

I’ve been on the brink of divorce and saved my marriage, and I KNOW you can too, even if you can’t get your husband to communicate

I’ve been in your shoes. You want to move beyond the pain. And you desperately want your marriage to have trust, mutual acceptance, and respect. You just want those nagging feelings of insecurity to go away!

Luckily, all hope is NOT lost, and there is something you can do, even if your spouse isn’t willing to be a fully active participant in the process of saving your marriage.

The website Regain offers licensed therapists who specialize in couples counseling and will work directly with you and your spouse online; anytime and from anywhere.

Serious about saving or improving your relationship?

CLICK HERE to answer a short quiz and see if Regain is right for you.

Why does my husband run away when we argue?

Conflict avoidance is a way to protect a sense of self, prevent a fight from escalating or a means of controlling the situation or the other person. But husbands running away during an argument could also be a misguided attempt to solve the problem.

At first glance, it makes a lot of sense. The line of logic that leads to conflict-avoidance probably goes something like this:

Every time we fight about this problem, our argument spirals out of control, and nothing gets solved. When I avoid this problem, it still doesn’t get solved, but things eventually go back to “normal” for a while.

No one wants a fight, and no loving husband enjoys upsetting his wife.

So, in your husband’s mind, running away might seem like the best choice. To him, it might be the best way to not hurt you and protect himself.

This kind of avoidant personality usually stems from early connections made in childhood. If one or both parents tended to walk away from difficult moments with their child, that child is conditioned to believe that being fussy or expressing their own needs was the reason for it.

This kind of bias causes intense anxiety in interactions with others. It remains a powerful motivator to run from the conflict in adult relationships too.

If your marriage is failing, then check out this quick video on the 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage that will help get yours back on track.

As understandable as this communication style may be given someone’s background, it can slowly erode a marriage to the point of destruction.

Read on to learn why this kind of conflict-avoidance is doomed to fail.

Why is running away from your problems bad?

Running from problems ultimately solves nothing and simply delays finding a solution. In a relationship, it can lead to resentment, emotional disconnection, inner turmoil, and ultimately, the destruction of a relationship.

While it seems like a good choice at the moment to run from a fight that might turn bad, it’s simply not. Let’s look at three of the problems conflict avoidance creates a bit more closely.

Resentment

If your husband keeps avoiding arguments with silence or distance, it’s sure to be frustrating.

Why should you keep putting forth your effort for this relationship if he won’t? This lack of balance leads to resentment and can start a never-ending cycle of conflict.

Emotional disconnection

Whether your husband knows it or not, this is a form of emotional disconnection and distancing.

You may wonder if your husband still loves you, begin to feel unimportant, or think he doesn’t care about your needs in the relationship. This kind of emotional distancing could have lasting effects on his feelings about the relationship too.

In a recent article, I detail all of the surefire ways to know if your husband is ready to move on. While just one of these signs might not mean anything, if you’re seeing 3 or more of these signs, it could be a bad sign.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Inner turmoil

Like we talked about above, sometimes your husband may be avoiding conflict as a way to protect you from something he thinks would hurt you.

Or he may be defending himself since he’s too difficult to be loved – the pattern he learned as a child.

But, this behavior doesn’t heal any of those wounds. In fact, relationship problems he’s locked away from you can fester without airing them. In this case, you should encourage your husband that a discussion is always better than the silent treatment.

We’ll learn more about how to approach this behavior below.

How to deal with a husband giving you the silent treatment

When your husband gives you the silent treatment, avoid lashing out or hoping that escalating the conflict will spur him into conversation. Instead, let him know how his actions make you feel. Ask questions rather than making statements, and avoid criticizing statements.

How you deal with this behavior depends on which type of silent treatment you’re getting: resentful or avoidant.

There are two main reasons a husband may be giving you the silent treatment. The first is resentment, and the second is avoidance.

In either form, the silent treatment hurts. The first takes a firm approach and the second a gentle one. Let’s check out each in detail.

But there’s a lot more specifically to the silent treatment than just that.

Luckily, in a recent article, I get into all the specifics of the silent treatment and how and when it really becomes emotional abuse. Just click that link to read it on my site.

Now let’s review the 2 different kinds of silent treatment and how to deal with them:

Resentment

This is the silence that fully intends to hurt you.

Also known as stonewalling, this behavior is one of the main predictors of a marriage failing. If, in their silence, you see disrespectful body language like a scowl, eye-rolling, or nonchalantly doing another activity, it’s stonewalling.

When your husband does speak, it could be full of criticism, dismissing the problem as nothing worth his time, or ignoring your feelings.

In this case, it’s important to make a stand.

I won’t tolerate this kind of disrespect. Even if this doesn’t matter to you, it does to me. I’ll be waiting until you’re ready to talk about this.

And then, disengage. Do not accept anything less than revisiting the issue in a productive way.

Avoidance

While just as painful, this type of silent treatment is nobler in its intent. If you don’t sense any hostility in the argument that preceded it or aggressive body language, your husband is probably being avoidant.

An avoidant husband doesn’t want to hurt anyone just as much as he doesn’t want to feel pain.

In this type of silent treatment, be encouraging and gentle. Assure him you care about him just as much as the problem and want to work through it together. Show him you won’t reject his feelings or belittle them.

This works to directly relieve the fear that this behavior is based on.

Is walking away from an argument disrespectful?

Cutting off communication during an argument and walking away impulsively is disrespectful. Walking away temporarily to cool down, making your intentions clear that you plan to finish the argument in a better frame of mind is not disrespectful. 

So as with almost everything in marriage, it comes down to HOW it gets communicated.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a breath and walking away from an argument temporarily. Sometimes emotions start to flare, and it’s better for everyone involved to place it aside until both people are in a more calm state of mind. It’s sometimes difficult to see you’re both on the same side in a fit of anger or hurt feelings.

But a couple of things should happen before stepping away.

First, there should be an explanation about why it’s time to stop. Something like, I’m sorry, but this is getting upsetting. I don’t know how much use I can be in this state. Can we finish this later?

Anything honest that shows you care about the issue at hand and your partner’s wellbeing works.

Second, there must be a promise to get back to it and a follow-through on that promise. Without these, walking away comes off as selfish and immature.

If you can set a specific time, that’s even better.

Will a husband who avoids conflict eventually run away?

A husband who avoids conflict may eventually run away from the relationship too. This is because while they may lack the communication skills or emotional maturity to face the issues, they will eventually tire of the turmoil.

But ultimately, it’s impossible to predict with certainty, but conflict avoidance is one of the most common predictors of a failing marriage. 

Plus, avoidance can also mean indecision and that can simply leave him in the marriage afraid to turn towards you or away from you.

A husband who continually avoids conflict is indicative of a bigger problem.

It may be a failure to communicate well, a lack of emotional intelligence, or a pattern of avoidant behavior that’s been around for a long time. All of these issues can be worked through, but it takes a willingness on both sides to do. Talk to your husband from a place of compassion and not blame.

Show him you want to understand and love him, flaws included. The rest is up to him.

And if directly confronting the issue and talking it out just isn’t working, it might be time to try a new approach. Don’t worry; it’s not too late!

There are so many ways to rekindle your marriage that you can read more about in my recent article. Check it out for a ton of ideas to reignite the spark that made you fall in love in the first place.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Takeaway

That covers just about everything you need to need to know about dealing with a conflict-avoidant husband.

Remember to first identify which type of avoidance you’re dealing with (resentful or conflict-avoidant) and change your approach in kind. In the case of toxic behavior or resentment, make sure to respect yourself, stand your ground, and demand better.

Avoidance can be digital too!

In the case of a husband ignoring or not responding to text messages, read my recent article for some tips to tackle this problem.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

It’s never too late to save your marriage! Follow the advice here and, your husband’s efforts willing, you’ll be well on your way to a communication style based on mutual understanding and compassion in no time.

I’ve been on the brink of divorce and saved my marriage, and I KNOW you can too, even if you can’t get your husband to communicate

I’ve been in your shoes. You want to move beyond the pain. And you desperately want your marriage to have trust, mutual acceptance, and respect. You just want those nagging feelings of insecurity to go away!

Luckily, all hope is NOT lost, and there is something you can do, even if your spouse isn’t willing to be a fully active participant in the process of saving your marriage.

The website Regain offers licensed therapists who specialize in couples counseling and will work directly with you and your spouse online; anytime and from anywhere.

Serious about saving or improving your relationship?

CLICK HERE to answer a short quiz and see if Regain is right for you.

 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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