What To Do When Your Husband Doesn’t Care About Your Feelings

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If you often feel like your husband doesn’t care about how you feel, you’re not alone. A lot of people experience this with their partners at some point or another, and many are able to resolve this and get to a happier, healthier place in their relationship.

That being said, it’s important to be aware and honest with yourself about the reality of your relationship, which can be very challenging at first. We’ll be running through how to deal with this and when it’s time to walk away.

But first…

Why is he ignoring your feelings?

There’s no one reason that your husband might be dismissing your feelings—and there’s no one easy fix to get past it either. There are a whole heap of things that might be going on below the surface that are impacting his behavior.

It can be really disheartening when your husband disregards your feelings, and you’ve probably already spent a lot of time and energy trying to work out what’s causing this. To make things easier for you, we’ll run through the main reasons he could be ignoring your emotional needs, as well as what you can do to address each possible cause and move forward, either together or apart…

It’s just his personality.

It might seem like a lame excuse, and we’re not justifying his behavior, but some people are just naturally not that bothered by how other people feel. It’s likely that this behavior stretches to other people in his life, not just you, as this tends to be a personality trait for some people.

He might see himself as more important than those around him, or maybe he’s just naturally self-involved and can’t bring himself to consider those around him.

This is something that is unlikely to change, and you may have noticed some warning signs in the past. He might have some narcissistic tendencies, or he consistently acts as though he’s superior to those around him (including you).

Either way, the reason your husband doesn’t seem to care about your feelings could be because he’s just that kind of person.

He’s genuinely very busy.

Sometimes, no matter how much they love us, the people around us don’t have the emotional capacity or time to invest in us that we want them to. Unfortunately, this is all part of being human and in a relationship!

There are definitely some boundaries to this, and it’s important to have healthy expectations and standards.

It might be that your husband is going through a very busy time and doesn’t have the headspace or energy to commit to you right now (or for a while, if this is an ongoing issue). He might be really busy and distracted and unable to give you what you need at the moment. That might feel like he’s dismissing your feelings or avoiding you.

He’s not actually dismissing your feelings.

Without wishing to gaslight anybody reading this, a lot of people can overthink things or read into situations.

For example, when we’ve been mistreated by partners in the past, we’re more likely to then look for red flags or bad behavior—sometimes when it isn’t necessarily present.

It might feel like your husband is ignoring your feelings, but is this definitely what’s happening? Could you be bringing things up at a bad time? Is he dismissing you because he was in the middle of a stressful situation or he was running out the door? Perhaps you think you’ve communicated something in a way that warrants a certain response, but it’s been lost in translation?

Your husband may not be intentionally ignoring your feelings; it’s possible that he isn’t aware of them in the way that you think he should be. Nobody is a mind reader, so it could be a case of unrealistic expectations on your part. Equally, it could be very genuine and needs addressing! 

He’s never had to before.

Something that can happen in new marriages, or relationships where things have changed (for example, a big move, new jobs, and so forth), is that expectations shift.

Maybe you didn’t really rely on your husband emotionally in the past, but now you want more support and acknowledgement of your feelings. This might be a big shift in expectations and can cause feelings of unfulfillment, resentment, or dismissal.

If your husband isn’t used to supporting you because you’ve not really asked or needed it before, it might feel like, when you actually want to rely on him emotionally, he’s not able to meet your needs.

He’s not aware of it.

Of course, there’s a chance that your husband has no idea that he’s not showing you enough affection or consideration. This could be for a number of reasons: he could be quite absent or oblivious in general, or he could just not really understand the nuances of what you’re asking for in terms of support.

He might be very used to the existing dynamic and hasn’t really considered changing his behavior because there’s never been a need to in the past. That might be because it’s just not come up before or because you’ve been waiting for him to take the initiative and realize he could be better at addressing your feelings.

Either way, it might have become a habit and he’s not realized there’s any need to change it because it’s gone unaddressed for so long.

He doesn’t respect you.

This is a harsh truth to face, but it could be the reason behind your husband ignoring your feelings.

Most relationships are built on a level of respect that sets the tone for all interactions. There usually has to be mutual respect in order for both people to feel valued and loved in the relationship.

If he’s being insensitive to your feelings, this might be because he’s actively not interested in hearing about them or supporting you. Him refusing to acknowledge your feelings is, in a sense, emotional neglect—he’s not actively participating in a mutually beneficial, healthy relationship.

It’s possible that he’s purposely trying to show you that he doesn’t respect you, or it might be an unconscious symptom of him not respecting you. Either way, you deserve more!

He’s no longer interested.

This isn’t a nice one to have to consider, but your husband might be ignoring or dismissing your feelings because he’s just not that bothered anymore. It’s horrible, but it can happen in longer-term relationships.

Over time, attraction and interest can fluctuate, which can sometimes mean that we stop putting as much effort into things, particularly those that can take up a lot of our energy, like taking people’s feelings into account or engaging in deeper conversations about big topics.

He might be shying away from this commitment because he no longer feels like he’s getting anything in return, or because he’s no longer interested in investing in the relationship.

He’s fallen out of love and feels guilty for pretending.

If your husband has begun to fall out of love with you, he may feel as though it’s disingenuous for him to act like he’s there to support your emotional needs when he’s already “checked out” of the relationship.

This could be leading to feelings of guilt and cause him to pull away from you. He might worry you’ll notice the change in his facial expressions when you talk to him, or he may be anxious that you’ll want to be intimate or tender with him after being emotionally vulnerable and discussing your feelings.

If his feelings for you are changing, this will likely make him very uncomfortable—he may not want to take advantage of you by continuing to sleep with you, for example. He might feel overwhelmed with guilt and be shutting you out as a result.

He’s selfish and doesn’t want to compromise.

Maybe your husband feels as though his time or energy is better spent elsewhere, such as on his own development or wellbeing. He might not be willing to give his time to something (or someone) that doesn’t directly benefit him.

This is often a narcissistic trait and may have presented itself in varying ways in the relationship so far. You might have noticed a stubbornness or resistance to change or compromise in the past. He might not always be open to ideas or to changing his behaviors.

He’s overwhelmed by his own feelings.

One of the reasons that people are unable to fulfil our emotional needs is that they’re too bogged down by their own feelings or lives.

When we’re married to someone, we want to feel equal—we want to be important to them and to be prioritized. So it can be really difficult to process when our partner is unable to support us in the ways we need.

This can often come down to them struggling to manage their own emotions. Your husband may be distracted by his own stresses or unwelcome feelings, and his energy and time could be going into addressing and alleviating those.

As such, he doesn’t have as much to give you as you might want, resulting in your needs feeling unaddressed or dismissed.

He takes you for granted.

If your husband is used to you getting on with things and him being the one whose needs are always expressed and addressed, there’s a strong chance he’s taking you for granted.

He might enjoy the fact that he gets what he wants without really having to put much effort in. Your husband is accustomed to the fact that he can “get away” with not really addressing your feelings, and he doesn’t feel the need for this to change because it would require more effort than he’s willing to give.

If he’s taking you for granted, he’s probably not bothering to ask many questions or have much input in conversations about important topics. He’s got a great set-up and hasn’t mentioned it for fear of things changing or him needing to contribute more to the relationship. 

We really do recommend that you seek professional help from one of the experts at Relationship Hero as counseling can be highly effective in helping couples and individuals to improve their relationship or reach the relationship outcome that is best for them.

What to do when he’s “just not a sensitive guy.”

Some people are naturally sarcastic and critical—it’s not necessarily the nicest trait, but a lot of people are just wired to be a bit standoffish. They might make jokes at other people’s expense or be insensitive when it comes to emotions and difficult conversations. This is often their way of distancing themselves or deflecting their own feelings and can be the result of deep-rooted self-confidence issues. 

Your husband might be quite critical or negative, and this could be his personality type. You may also notice it in how he talks about friends or colleagues.

Equally, it may be something he only seems to do with you. Often, we’re our truest, rawest (and often worst) selves with those we’re closest to. He might feel like he can be nasty because he thinks there’s unconditional love between you; he feels safe being rude or critical because you “have” to still love him. This isn’t true and is very unfair, of course, but he may feel justified in his actions because of this mindset.

If this is due to his personality type, it’s likely something that you’ve been aware of for a while. It may have gotten worse over time, or it might have only recently become something that hurts your feelings rather than when it was just something annoying you had to put up with from time to time.

This probably means it’s not something you’ve really confronted him about before. When behaviors are long-standing, it can be really difficult to address them. We get used to a certain dynamic, and it’s hard to tell someone that something they’ve done for years has always really upset or angered you.

Make a list of things that have happened recently that have hurt your feelings—it might be a snide comment, a lack of respect, or a time when he’s failed to comfort you or support you. It’s good to have a few references to mention when you speak to your husband so that he realizes it’s a real issue rather than something he can easily dismiss.

Speak to your husband about how he sometimes makes you feel. Rather than pointing the finger too much, mention a couple of times that things have upset you and how you’d like him to support you going forward.

Try to avoid putting too much pressure on him and explain that you understand it’s a work in progress, and that you both need to find a way to make sure you’re happy and fulfilled in the marriage. There may be some compromising needed, but it’s important to have this time to be vulnerable and share how you’re really feeling.

What to do when he’s always too busy for you.

As with every relationship, you both need to make some compromises in order to be happy and fulfilled in your marriage. If your husband is hurting your feelings by spending lots of time without you, you will need to work together to ensure you have enough quality time with each other.

It’s difficult to see when you’re the one feeling rejected or upset, but he may be distancing himself because he feels rejected by you in some way. This is not to say you need to accept the blame for him being nasty or insensitive, but we’d suggest an honest conversation with him to explore what else might be going on.

He may have pulled away over something that you forgot even happened, and it may be that a conversation about it leads to some closure or resolution on this, such as you apologizing and acknowledging what happened in the past to lead to his mindset.

Again, this doesn’t mean you should accept the blame when he is behaving badly, but it means you can work together to move through things that are affecting you both in one way or another.

Rather than simply asking him to change his behavior, explain to him why it’s so important to you—”I want to spend more time with you because I care about you and this marriage” or “I love your company and it would be great to have more quality time together.”

This shows him that it’s a two-way street, and that you’re also committed to spending more time with him. He may feel a bit embarrassed or attacked at first because it’s coming across as a criticism of his behavior, but he should quickly realize that you will be putting in the effort together, so there are expectations for both of you, not just him!

You can try initiating this by suggesting an activity or event that you can enjoy together—he’ll soon realize how easy it is to fit in more time with you, and you’ll find that he puts in more effort the faster he sees how straightforward it is.

You can even start with something like being more present during dinner—suggest you put your phones away and have a real conversation, or plan a movie night at home so you can cuddle up together. Creating small routines or habits like this can really help you connect on a deeper level and feel appreciated.

If you feel like he’s intentionally avoiding you and isn’t interested in changing his behavior, we’d suggest skipping to the last section on knowing when to walk away. At some point, certain behaviors turn into abuse, and it’s important to know when to stop making compromises and accept that you deserve better.

What to do when he makes jokes at your expense.

This might be something that’s been happening for a long time—there might even be a running “joke” that he makes about you that you find really upsetting. This could be something that happens when it’s just the two of you, but he may also be doing it in front of your/his friends in order to make you embarrassed or uncomfortable.

It’s possible that your husband doesn’t fully realize the impact of what he’s doing and how much it’s affecting your self-esteem, but he may also be doing it intentionally.

If this has been going on for a while, it can feel very difficult to bring up. It might almost be a habit or tradition at this point. Equally, it could be something that he’s doing on purpose to put you down. Only you will be able to truly tell the difference, as he may be very good at hiding the fact he’s actually being nasty.

Often, people outside the relationship only see the good side of our partners, and it can be hard for them to believe that they’d ever be nasty to us, or anyone else. Again, this can make it very hard to challenge certain behaviors without being gaslit.

Some examples of this would be: “Everyone else thinks it’s funny, you’re just too sensitive,” or “Fine, ask my friends if they think my joke was that bad.” This kind of behavior is hard to address, so don’t beat yourself up for letting it go on so long!

The best way to approach this is through honest communication. The next time it happens, bring it up (not in front of other people as he may then feel like you’re trying to embarrass him). You can gently mention that the joke he made hurt your feelings and explain why. Perhaps it’s about something personal you trusted him to keep a secret, in which case you can explain that it’s because it’s too private and you feel uncomfortable.

This is a tricky situation to navigate as you want him to take responsibility and change his behavior without him lashing out because he feels guilty and ashamed. Take the conversation slowly and let him know that you’re saying these things because you care about the relationship and want to be honest with him.

Once he sees that you’re upset, and once he has that level of accountability, he should start to change his behavior. There may be a period where it takes a while to adjust, but, as long as he’s putting in the effort, you’ll get there together.

If he refuses to change his behavior or doesn’t acknowledge why it’s upsetting you, it might be worth speaking to a professional therapist together in order to overcome this and highlight anything else that’s going on beneath the surface.

It may be coming from resentment of something you’ve done in the past that he never brought up, or it could be due to his own self-esteem issues and a need to put you down.

It’s possible that your husband is trying to tear you down and ruin your self-esteem in order to stop you from looking elsewhere—this is a sign of toxic, controlling behavior. Some people get worried their partners will leave them, so they try to trap them by making them feel as though nobody else will ever want them, be attracted to them, or even consider dating them. He may be doing this in order to keep you available to him, and he is trying to slowly whittle down your self-confidence. 

Either way, a therapist can help you both delve into what’s going on and find ways to resolve it.

What to do when he makes decisions without thinking about you.

One of the worst ways to have your feelings hurt is to be unconsidered—that is, your partner makes decisions without thinking how they’ll affect you. That might be him choosing to stay out late and not text you for a long time, or it could be him deciding where you go on holiday together without consulting you first.

Either way, if he’s the one in control and calling all the shots, there’s a blatant disregard for your feelings. This is a hard one to navigate, but it’s important to bring it up and address it. You can let him know that this kind of thing upsets you and suggest ways to make decisions together. Tell him you’d like to be included in decisions, you want to help him with the planning, you’re excited to spend time together, and you want to be involved in the process overall.

You can also let him know why things upset you—he may have never considered them from your perspective, but he needs to start doing that if you’re going to have a healthy marriage.

Let him know that when he doesn’t come home until 2am and hasn’t replied to any of your messages, you feel worried that he’s been hurt or that something’s happened to make him want to avoid you. Rather than simply pointing the finger at your husband, let him know that you want him to have his own life and hobbies, but you’d just appreciate a bit more communication so that you can relax and enjoy your own life and hobbies!

It’s also a good idea to start this conversation with a few suggestions in mind. This way, rather than simply saying that things aren’t working, you can offer up a few alternatives. That might be suggesting that you take turns planning certain things, or that you have a system or agreement in place about who does what.

You can also start to take the lead a little bit more and create a level of accountability. For example, if you’re out later than planned, consider texting him something like, “Got carried away but will be home in an hour—thought I’d tell you as I know we’re both working on being better at communicating.”

This avoids you simply asking him for the same thing over and over without being able to control the outcome, and it shows him that you’re also willing to get involved and start implementing the behaviors you’re expecting from him.

When to walk away.

It can be difficult to know when things need a bit more work from one or both of you and when things are simply not going to get better.

If you’re feeling like your husband is intentionally disregarding your feelings, you need to genuinely consider walking away. It might feel impossible, but it’s likely that, in this situation, there is a level of manipulation or emotional abuse from your husband.

While that may sound extreme, and you may not feel comfortable acknowledging it, someone who is meant to love you should not be making you feel like your emotions and experiences don’t matter. Whatever is causing his behavior, it’s not justified.

It’s easy to dismiss things like this at first, and it can become harder and harder to address as time goes on. You might find yourself making excuses or becoming embarrassed at the thought of admitting to your friends or loved ones what’s really going on behind closed doors. Often, the moment we feel we have to start hiding things from other people is the moment that it’s gone too far.

This can be a good time to start seeing a therapist on your own, or to start speaking to your loved ones and getting their honest opinions. It can be difficult when you’re in the relationship to see how things really are, and those who you can trust will be key to walking away.

If you are not feeling loved, valued, and safe, you are not in a healthy relationship anymore. It might take you a while to figure this out, but there is support in place and you deserve more.

And should you ever feel threatened—now or when trying to address the issues in your marriage—don’t hesitate to seek the help of the authorities or domestic abuse organizations.

Still not sure how to get your husband to care about your feelings? It’s not an easy situation to be in, and it might be all the more difficult if you don’t have anyone to talk to about it. Talking to someone is a great way to get your thoughts and your worries out of your head so you can work through them.

We really recommend you speak to an experienced relationship expert rather than a friend or family member. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can listen to you and offer well-considered advice to help you figure out how to address this issue with your husband so that you get the outcome you want.

A good place to get help is the website Relationship Hero – here, you’ll be able to connect with a relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.

While you can try to work through this situation yourself or as a couple, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can fix. And if it is affecting your relationship and mental well-being, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Too many people – both couples and individuals – try to muddle through and do their best to solve problems that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, speaking to a relationship expert is 100% the best way forward.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.

You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to an expert. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.

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About Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.