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Confessions: How do I get my husband to converse with me when he comes home?



I have been married for about one year and our marriage has been working out well. We have one baby but I feel like something is missing in our relationship. My husband is a very quiet man. On a typical day, he will go to work and come back in the evening without having said anything to me all day. He then just sits by himself and has no stories for us including for our baby. Even when I do something that annoys him, he will not tell me and this causes a lot of friction between us. I don’t know how to handle him so we can have normal conversations like other families. Please advise me.


What the readers say:

Jane, what do you want him to tell you? Accept the fact that that is his nature. Would you equally be complaining if he was extremely talkative? Do you ever strike a conversation and he avoids you? If not then try engaging him in one and see his reaction. As for other families then you must accept that what works for one may not be applicable in the other and that’s a fact. Give him some time, find out what he likes and see if you will get him to open up to you.

{Ouma Ragumo - Sifuyo}

Silence may be by either default or design. You have always known who your husband is and I don't understand why you should complain only now. The problem would be if you never knew the man and I am sure you don't expect him to be like you just the same way he doesn't expect you to be like him. If he takes good care of you and his only mistake is he doesn't talk (because you talk a lot while he talks less) accept him as he is.

Accept and learn to live with individual differences.

{Tasma Saka}


Simon says:

Jane, your concern is valid and means well for the family. Human beings are social animals and communication is an essential for beings like us. Communication is actually essential in all aspects of our lives because everything we do in one way or other concerns other people and as such, we are always communicating – even when we think we are not communicating we are still communicating.

In relationships it is said to be an essential element. The problem is that people have different ways of communicating. The differences may be caused or informed by various things which include upbringing, character and personality type, perception of the prevailing problem among other things. This means therefore that communication cannot be looked at only from the perspective of what people say or do not say. Your husband’s silence could just be his character and style. The problem would be if you know him to be different (outgoing, engaging and talkative) when with other people then he gets into a cocoon when he is back at home.

Anybody would be bothered by such behaviour from a spouse but you should investigate further by talking to people who have been close to him and who know him well. It is however important to share your thoughts and feelings about his behaviour and make him understand what this appears to mean and does to you. If this is truly his character and personality then just learn to live with it. However, it is important to let him know that it is ok for him to be quiet when things are OK but to learn to speak out when they are not. This will help ease and smoothen things out when there is indeed a problem.

If for some reason his family and friends confirm that he is generally not like this then it may be about time you encouraged his to  go for counselling. He may be going through some difficult times and he may need to talk to someone. If this be the case, please get him help soon otherwise he could slowly but surely be sliding into depression.

Simon is a relationships counsellor


Boke says:

Dear Jane,

There are two possible scenarios to explore. One is if he has been like this all along. If this be the case, did you ever notice his reserved nature? You probably did but hoped to change him along the way. Now you know that you cannot change people. Ignoring traits we do not like in a potential spouse and hoping to change the person in marriage is an illusion.

Your husband could be an introvert, these are people who are drawn to themselves and enjoy their own company. People with this personality are normally misunderstood. Unlike what many people believe that introverts are miserable individuals, they are not. They enjoy and draw energy from being on their own.

This seemingly aloof nature does not mean that he does not love you. Interestingly, introverts can be amazingly bubbly and loud when it comes to their area of interest. Unfortunately if family is not one of those areas, then it becomes difficult to get him to talk.

The second scenario is if this behaviour is something new and that he used to be more outgoing and talkative. In such a case then something else could be amiss and this should concern you. Your husband could be going through some challenges which could range from work to finance among others. For some reason he may not be ready to share it with you. Does he have friends? Try to see if you could get some information on what could be happening to him.

Even more serious, is that his silence could be a symptom of depression. So this is not something you can just take lightly. Suggest and encourage him to see a counsellor because unless he talks no one can accurately address his problem.


Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology

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