It’s every wife’s nightmare: her husband doesn’t come home after work—and it happened to me. He worked long hours and I went to bed early most nights, so we texted our I love yous and I went to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and he still wasn’t there. When he finally rolled in around 2 a.m., I lay still and tried to muffle my tears.
When we finally talked about it, he apologized but spoke honestly about some of the reasons he stayed out. I’m not taking the blame for what he did, but at the same time, I don’t want to contribute to an environment my husband doesn’t want to be in. If you feel the same way, you should know these 3 reasons your husband doesn’t come home after work.
1. He feels like his presence doesn’t matter.
Is it possible that your husband doesn’t come home after work because he doesn’t think you notice when he is there? I’ve been guilty of allowing my kids to interrupt my husband while he’s talking or running out of the house to get to school on time and not giving him a kiss goodbye. I know a mom who falls asleep in her child’s bed every night and wanders, zombie-like, to her own bed hours later, never connecting with her husband at the end of the day.
These years are demanding on moms. Our kids need us for just about everything, but our husbands need to know we care about their presence too. We need to set boundaries with our children and make our marriages a priority because a healthy, happy marriage is one of the best gifts you can give your children.
2. He feels appreciated and respected at work and not at home.
If your husband feels competent, capable, and appreciated at work but comes home to nagging and being spoken to like a child, he’s not going to want to be there. Feeling respected is as much of a need for men as feeling loved is for women.
But what if your husband doesn’t help around the house and you feel like he’s just another child you have to manage? Start showing respect anyway. Listen when he speaks. Ask for his opinion. Refuse to allow your kids to speak to him disrespectfully. Speak kindly to him like an adult.
3. He’s frustrated with work.
This is the opposite of number two. If for 40 hours every week he is frustrated and feels like he’s failing or not being listened to, he might just want to escape. Why not escape to his home where his loving wife and children await? Well, it could be that he doesn’t want you to worry, or maybe he wants to exercise some independence and control after feeling so little control. It doesn’t make it right. But it makes him human.
Some guys don’t want to talk about work stress, but let him know you care and want to listen. When he does talk about it, don’t feel like you need to fix things. Just reassure him that you support him and have confidence in him.
Wait. How am I the bad guy?
Did you feel your blood pressure rising as you read along? How is it that he’s the one who doesn’t want to come home to you and the kids, yet you’re the one who’s expected to change and cater to him? Talk about unfair! The fact of the matter is you can’t force him to do anything, but you can control your own actions. So start there with humility and love.
Is this happening in your marriage? What have you done to make your husband want to be home more?