My boyfriend won’t talk to me! “My husband won’t tell me what’s on his mind!” You’re frustrated. You want to make things better. You want to know what he’s thinking. Don’t worry: help is here.
So, Why Won’t My Boyfriend Talk to Me?
When we love someone and we get our feelings hurt, all of us do something about it. We cope with it differently. Some of us yell at our person to make things better. Some of us leave the situation when we feel hurt. And others freeze up and remain silent waiting for everything to pass.
I often talk about the first two, yelling at our partners or leaving after an argument, but I seldom give any thought to what silence from a mate can do to a relationship. But after working with a couple recently it’s clear that silence, however well-meaning, can have a detrimental effect on how people feel.
Consider How a Boyfriend’s Silence Affected This Couple
This couple I met has been dealing with distress. The girlfriend was tired and exhausted of trying to get her boyfriend to talk about things. I imagine this might be a common condition for other couples too. In this case, the boyfriend talked about not wanting to cause problems so he kept himself silent.
Only he didn’t call it that, he said he was just being passive. I really don’t think it matters what it is called what I want to talk about is how the silence from a partner impacts the other.
“My boyfriend won’t talk to me. I know he’s upset, but not why or how to fix it.”
The girlfriend in this relationship was so sad that she couldn’t know what her boyfriend was feeling or thinking because he was always “passive.” She was starting to think that the relationship wouldn’t improve because of this system they seemed to be locked in. She was often upset with her mate and angry, because she just couldn’t learn what he was thinking or feeling.
And even though he was quiet and didn’t talk about his thoughts or feelings, it was clear he was having a bunch of them. It was obvious to his girlfriend that he was upset, even though she would often fail to understand why.
And the boyfriend is left inside his own mind and body feeling terrible and probably thinking the worst of his girlfriend every time he gets hurt emotionally. So, when I was working with this couple it became clear to me that they were both suffering.
Your Boyfriend or Husband May Be Trying to Spare Your Feelings, While Accidentally Making Things Worse
I understand how the boyfriend wanted to spare the girlfriend from a fight and that is what motivated him to stay silent. I also understand how his silence deepened his girlfriend’s pain, because she couldn’t find out what was wrong.
No one likes a mystery when they are having a difficult time emotionally. Most of us who ask questions are just likely to say to our mate, “Hey, what’s the matter?” Unfortunately for many of us who get swallowed up in our pain and our issues, it’s just too hard to put our feelings and thoughts into words, so we just stay quiet.
With Time, Effort, and Understanding You Can Break the Pattern of Silence
So, you may still be wondering, “What do I do when my boyfriend (or husband) won’t talk to me?” Help him understand how his silence makes you feel, and show him this:
We might figure that if we don’t say anything, eventually everything will just go back to normal. Only it usually doesn’t work out this way. The silent one may be okay after a while, but the asker of the questions won’t be. That person is left with the mystery over what happened and fearful that something like that might happen in the future. And if you don’t know what set off the mate, they you might become worried that anything you do might set them off.
This is what we have to figure out with our mates. One person is usually the asker. The other person is usually the one who doesn’t know how to talk about what is inside them. Don’t let this system drive the two of you apart. There are ways to change our patterns and it starts in a second. Like the second you might have read something here and realized, “Hey, that’s me.”
Get a Little Help with Your Husband or Boyfriend Opening Up
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to communicate more openly by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you and your boyfriend better articulate how you feel and help you feel less anxious or worried about sharing your feelings. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.