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Confessions: I think my husband is tired of me

 He never comes home before midnight, I am feeling so neglected (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

The other day my husband said something that really shook me. He told me that I am not meeting his emotional needs.

OK, maybe he was just venting, but to be honest, I think that he might have a point. But mostly because he is never around!

He never comes home before midnight, and so I am feeling neglected and increasingly finding it difficult to get close to him emotionally. What do you think is going wrong?

Not Meeting His Needs

Chris says,

Hi Not Meeting His Needs!

Most likely you and your husband have forgotten that you both need one another, for love, comfort, support and emotional security. And without those, couples start feeling afraid and anxious. Some couples respond to these emotions by becoming withdrawn. Others criticise and pour contempt on each other, or start staying out.

So you should think about how to rebuild that feeling of needing one another. It is easy to dismiss the idea of inter-dependence as old-fashioned, but there is no doubt that it works. It helps you see each other’s point of view, to communicate better and solve problems.

Because most couples actually have good communication skills. After all, you get along well with other people, don’t you? You just cannot communicate with each other! But if you both feel loved again, you will start re-using the skills you already have.

A good way to start the process of rebuilding intimacy is by bringing more affection into your everyday lives, not just in the bedroom, and laying the real issues on the table. Most couples think they are only fighting about concrete stuff like paying bills.

But it is the emotional needs underlying these rows that are the real problem. She says he is never home, which is code for ‘I am not getting enough attention. He says he can never do anything right. Code for ‘I do not feel she needs me...’

So couples need to admit their real fears, like rejection or failure. And to explain the emotions behind their behaviour. Often, anger is really a desperate appeal for affection. Withdrawal does not mean your partner does not want to be with you, but that they do not want to be criticised or are worried about something or other.

After years of believing a partner’s behaviour means one thing, it can be difficult to accept that it actually means something else. But talking about the real issues draws you together. You will still fight of course, but your new closeness makes all the difference.

This approach can work magic, as couples discover that independence is not all it is cracked up to be. Because one of the greatest joys of marriage is realising how much you need each other.

All the best,


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