My Husband Avoids Me

My Husband Avoids Me

How I Attracted Him Back–and Became My Best Self

Amy Beth

I met my husband 27 years ago, the day I moved to a new apartment. We ran into each other by chance in the lobby as he was leaving a friend’s place. He then turned around to come back upstairs with his friend and me to hang out longer.

A month later, he drove over to my apartment to ask me out on a date, and we have been together ever since.

I married him for many reasons: He was smart, gentle, stable, reliable, generous, compassionate, hard-working, and he has amazing green eyes! I thought the world of him.

He was attentive to me, planned dates for us–everything from lunch to vacation–and we were fortunate to have the family of our dreams. It was a fairytale.

Until it wasn’t.

We decided that I would put my career on the back burner to be a stay-at-home mom. It made sense financially and emotionally. Motherhood was wonderfully exhausting, but I was lonely for my husband.

While I waited at home for his attention, he was becoming a superstar at work. He received promotion after promotion, which I was proud of and yet, I began to feel less important and less worthy than I was.

I unfairly expected him to fulfill all my needs for attention, affirmation and affection.

I had no idea I had the power to banish my loneliness and attract my man back, without being needy. Click To Tweet

I see it now. It plays back in slow motion in my head.

As he pulled away with great enjoyment for his job, I felt rejected. I am sure I encouraged his response with my begging, demands and criticism. I didn’t know what else to do.

I was hurt that he would manage to get home early to play basketball but not to spend time with me. I was longing for him to want to spend time with me for validation of my self-worth. But I couldn’t coerce him to spend time with me, say he loved me or introduce me to his coworkers.

Over the years of trudging through, our marriage slowly declined, even as we held hands and snuggled all the while. On the outside, we appeared the happy couple. We wore the masks well.

We did love each other, but there was an unspoken dissatisfaction between us. I had no idea how to fix it.

The needier I became, the more he escaped to watch TV or work. He continued to pull away from me and began to spend more time at the office. The attention he sought was not mine but what I used to be: young, sweet, happy and ego boosting.

I forced him to go to therapy with me. I thought the therapist would convince him to change since I wasn’t having any luck. It didn’t work.

He was not inspired to engage more with me. In fact, therapy had the opposite effect: He resented being dragged there and, consequently, had even less to say to me.

Eventually, I found Laura Doyle’s Six Intimacy Skills™ online. I watched an introductory course and related to every word she said. I signed up because, as Laura asks, “You’ve tried everything else you can think of. Are you willing to try one more thing?”

I was ashamed to learn I was controlling.

He’d told me I was bossy; I thought I was helpful.

He’d told me I was needy; I thought telling him what I want, how and when would make it easier for him.

Suddenly flooded by memories, I heard my voice: critical, demeaning, demanding, begging. I heard his voice: “Why don’t you appreciate what I do do,” “Nothing I do is ever right,” “I can never please you,” “I do things differently than you and that doesn’t make it wrong.”

My old words had repelled. My new words had to inspire.

I started with duct tape. I asked myself whether what I was considering saying would bring me closer to my goal of connection. The answer was usually no, so I stayed quiet. It was an enormous change from being the one who had done all the talking.

I started to listen when he spoke, respect his opinion by saying “I hear you” or “whatever you think” and by trying what he suggested if I’d picked his brain about how to do something.

I stopped managing everything.

I increased my self-care. I hadn’t realized the toll that neglecting myself took on my outlook!

I started to ask myself “How do I feel? What do I want?” I began believing in myself. The 6 Intimacy Skills™ taught me to give myself grace for not having known better all the years before.

Moving one step forward and half a step back, I slowly attracted his attention back.

It is amazing what is possible! I am so happy I had the courage to try one more thing. The connection between us now surprises and delights me as it continues to grow.

My husband asks me to watch TV with him every night, thanks me for making dinner, tells me I look beautiful, and smiles at me. He calls me each work day thinking about me, and he tells me about his day. One of my favorite things is how often he tells me he loves me.

I feel loved and desired once again. I am peaceful, secure and ridiculously happy.

I am full of gratitude for Laura Doyle and the Intimacy Skills. They’ve given me the chance to become the best version of myself and revitalize my wonderful marriage.


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12 thoughts on “My Husband Avoids Me”

  1. I would love to try Laura’s 6 intimacy skills, but I don’t think it would work on our marriage. My husband is naturally very inward and says very little unless I upset him then he has a lot of negative words to say to me. This is how our whole marriage has been. He is very serious Dr. who works a lot of hours and keeps himself busy when he isn’t working.
    We can have a discussion but if he doesn’t agree he’s upset and doesn’t see outside the box.
    Just wish he would appreciate me more. Feel he is controlling me with his quietness and harsh words.
    Is there anything you can do for me? Is there a money back guarantee if Laura’s techniques don’t work with our marriage?

    Reply
  2. It’s really hard to step back and take an honest look at what my words and actions are REALLY saying. Like many of the stories I’ve read in the book and on this website, I also think I’m being helpful or that I’m justified in saying or doing whatever it is. And maybe I am helping one situation, or maybe I am justified in saying what I said. But the question remains: is being “helpful” or “right” in this situation worth losing the intimacy and connection I treasure above anything else?
    Aside from one situation where his life really may have been at stake, the answer has always been a resounding “NO”.
    It’s really helpful to be reminded with stories like these.
    Thank you for sharing your story!

    Reply
    • Amanda ! I’m in the same situation.
      I’ve read this book but my husband has a younger woman with a 10 yr old and she is about to give birth to my husbands baby. At the time he said it wasn’t planned and it happened so fast right after his father died. He left me and won’t even communicate about anything.
      How can I apply any of this knowledge when there’s no communication? What makes it worse is he said he never wanted children, he’s just turned 45.

      Reply
  3. Laura!…My husband may be related to yours! I have stopped trying to tell my husband how to be tidier and more ambitious. We do get into a bit of hurt feelings when I “insist” he be a responsible dad. The things men do! (rools eyes) I work and study and go home at 10:30p.m. – 11:30p.m. and find my 5year old son awake in bed on Youtube…no homework done…and the uniforms are yet to be ironed (we have 3 school aged children) . Hubby gets home by 7p.m. most nights, picks up baby. He cooks 3 times in every month…mostly gives them cornflakes or bread n something…Long story short I accuse him of not helping of not being a good father… He withdraws. I send him readings from Ellen White re: fatherhood. Recently he says I do not make him happy.
    But now I am working on developing the 12 godly virtues…forgiveness, persistence, optimism, gentleness, love, self-control, diplomacy, contentment, humility and faithfulness and responsibility. 2 steps forward 1 step backwards!! So I can relate. I will be tagging along with you, Laura. Congratulations!!! to those who have succeeded, and all the best to my fellow trying wives. If we are steadfast…haltingly even…We shall overcome!

    Reply
  4. I can so relate. But i am the one being controlled. I thought I might be being emotionally abuse for the last 25 years, but maybe not. I have even got to the point where I feel our 25th wedding anniversary is nothing to celebrate, rather something we have survived.

    Anyway, I am hoping some of your technical may work for us.

    Reply
    • Michelle, your situation sounds exactly like mine. And our 25th? Just another day … survived is the perfect word! Let me know when you find the solution. Guess I’m best to not say anything lest I be controlling or complaining. I usually just retreat to a room alone. Thank god for my kids to make me feel needed.

      Reply
  5. Can this work if I am currently sepetated from my husband if I use these tools only when I get to see him once in a while?

    Reply
  6. Hi Laura. Your book “The Surrendered Wife” is a wonderful book that i constantly keep referring to. U gave a lot of insights to many situations. I was skeptical at first. When i implement them into my marriage, i was extremely pleased and most importantly, at peace with myself.

    My husband and i have been for almost 2 years. We knew each other for a year before. Our marriage is a total havoc. He would criticize me in whatever he could. I tried many ways to please by helping him. Boy, was I wrong!

    A few days ago, we had a conversation abt finance. He again criticized me. This time, i said ouch. He was puzzled and again continued his criticism. I kept saying ouch, ouch, ouch. He then asked me what ouch meant. I said it hurt me. He was still in bewilderment when i excused myself.

    That same night, he called me from his work place in his happy, sweet voice to check on me. He asked me if i were sleeping. I said yes. He apologized for disturbing my sleep.

    Truly surprised that he apologized me for disturbing my sleep. My husband has a huge ego and to apologize is not his way. And then, he mentioned another apology in another conversation because he wrongly read the messages.

    Thank you, Laura. This is the turning point of my marriage. I now kniw the beauty of surrenderring.

    Reply
  7. I am also wondering the best course of action when my husband has found another woman. We were separated for a while but still saw each other all the time, did everything together,etc. I’m sorry to say that i didn’t put in the work when we separated because i was waiting for HIM to change. As it turns out, he was waiting all this time to just be appreciated and now that he has found this other woman I’m afraid he won’t care how much love and appreciation i show him because he’s getting it from her.. Please help me with how I can get him to even be around me to see the change that I’m making in myself. I love my husband with all my heart. We have two daughters and I always thought our connection was so great that he’d never find it with anyone else.

    Reply

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