My husband ignores me when I'm sad

posted 6 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
124 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2020 - City, State

I’m sorry to hear that! No one deserves to be made to feel as if their feelings are not valid. If he used to be more caring and supportive but only stopped after getting married, it seems like he doesn’t feel the need to “try” anymore now that you’re already married. There may also be something else going on in his head that you’re unaware of. Either way, I think you’re correct to suggest counselling. Try and bring it up at a time when you’re both calm, and frame it as something that you feel would be useful and you would appreciate if he joins you. Hope things get better!

Post # 3
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

I’m sorry to hear about the stressful situation with your kitty. =(  I have two cats as well and I totally get how scary that stuff is.

That said – I think your husband might have a point in suggesting that you go to individual counseling for yourself.  If you’re really having trouble managing your sadness, that is technically a personal issue.  It’s not your husband’s job to make you happy again.  It IS his job to be comforting, yes.  That’s absolutely correct.  But if you’re super sad all the time and it doesn’t seem like anything he says is helpful, he might get burnt out by his responses having no effect.  It sounds like he might be trying to be supportive by saying “let’s wait and see if it was a false diagnosis,” but if you’re not accepting that as a possibility and are still very depressed, then there’s not much he can do.  I would recommend seeing an counselor for yourself and seeing if that helps to alleviate the weight of some of these heavy emotions? 

Post # 4
492 posts
Helper bee

Many men are not natural nurturers (come to think of it, that goes for many women too). Nonetheless, there are many men who feel bewildered and helpless in the face of a crying woman, especially if the reason for her sadness is not something they can easily relate to.

This is not to excuse his response to your sadness – he certainly could have (and should have) handled this better and more sensitively in my opinion. One’s partner should be responsive to one’s emotional cues – that is part of the comfort of being married. Again, he might just not be very comfortable or good at handling these situations, but I think some effort has got to be made on his part. Here are my suggestions:

a) First, be honest with yourself about how often you have these sad outbursts. If it is quite regularly (say more than a couple of times a month) or if it is done with the motive to get more attention from your husband, these are deeper issues which a counselor/therapist could help you sort out. However, if you are simply talking about a normal, upset reaction to sad news or something distressing, you have every right to express these feelings.

b) Men tend to be more practical/logical, so try asking your husband for support in specific ways. Men often appreciate this guidance very, very much. Such as “I would really appreciate a cup of tea right now,” “A hug would really feel good,” “I’d really love to be able to talk my feelings out with you,” or “Please would you take care of dinner tonight, I don’t feel up to it.” Instead of blaming him, try enlisting him as an ally or teammate. Show appreciation when he is supportive.

Try this. You catch more flies with honey. However, if he is being nasty and callous, then you might have more serious problems in your marriage.

Post # 5
4873 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

How often are you having crying outbursts and does he never comfort you or is it just sometimes?

You say you were upset all week over your cat, so maybe by this point your husband just felt like there wasn’t anything more he can do or say to make you feel better?  

 I was sitting on the floor bawling and he walked right past me and started watching tv in the bedroom.

Is it possible he just didn’t know what to do? 

It sounds like this is a recurring problem and that in itself could be why it is actually a problem.  Take a step back and think, do you rely on your husband to constantly re balance your emotions?  It it possible that you coming home crying or bawling on the floor is just overwhelming for him.  It can be difficult having to constantly pick someone up emotionally.

Of course i’m not saying you can’t be upset or you can’t go to your husband when you are! But sometimes we need to remember that the other person has their own feelings too!

It sounds like you are a bit combative when he doesn’t comfort you in the way you want.  He called you emotionally abusive, and I think it is important to look at your behavior when you have been upset and think about why he could be feeling this way.

Have you had a discussion about this at a time when you aren’t upset? That might make it easier for you both to communicate. 

Post # 6
976 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I’m so sorry about your kitty. 🙁

I read a pretty interesting article yesterday on effective and ineffective support-seeking behavior in relationships, it helped shed some light on why people may not react to their partner’s emotional needs/wants as expected:

I’m totally not trying to judge you or imply that you have low self-esteem, but it may help you understand things from your husband’s perspective. I do think that individual counseling would be beneficial to you, and possibly couples therapy to help work on your communication.

Post # 8
2336 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

indigobee :  This Bee’s advice is spot on. 

I also was going to ask if these emotional outbursts were regular or just because of your kitty? I think anyone who has pets can completely understand the emotions behind their wellness. No one would blame you for crying over a pet’s illness. Your husband should know how much you love your pet and how devastating this is for you. 

However, have you been crying over this for a while? It sounds like it’s been a week? Was your husband this rough on you at the news of the diagnosis or has he gotten more and more callous? I’m not blaming you for being upset for a week (I would be too) but is it possible he was comforting at first and now he doesn’t know what to do? 

I would flat out tell him how you feel when he ignores you and doesn’t comfort you. Like PP said, even if it’s as simple as “hey when I’m upset, I would really appreciate it if you just hug me and listen.”

Post # 9
5958 posts
Bee Keeper

I don’t believe cheating is the way to handle relationship issues but I believe that people cheat because they are missing something in their current relationship and feel they need to seek outside to find it. 

This is a very dangerous sentence. If you are thinking about cheating, you should divorce him, not seek to meet your needs outside the relationship. 

it sucks that he doesn’t seem to care about the diagnosis, but it’s not his job to console you everytime something *might* go wrong. You said it’s not even a real/for sure diagnosis, did he encourage you to wait until you know for sure before freaking out? That’s probably what my husband would do. No point in getting upset until you actually know whats going on. 


Post # 10
2055 posts
Buzzing bee

rebeccasum :  when the title of your post is “my husband ignores me when I’m sad”, I think most people assume that you’re sad quite often. This may sound harsh, but being around someone who is perpetually sad, or even sad very often, can be extremely exhausting for more emotionally stable people. You say he wasn’t like this while you were dating—maybe he’s just come to expect your constant sadness and knows there’s nothing he can do to get you out of that state, and he’s tired of trying.

Bee, what I’m trying to say here is that you are responsible for your own happiness. I think he is right in stating that you need to seek individual counseling to see why you’re sad so often. Insinuating that all of his previous exes cheated on him and wondering if you’ll eventually do the same is removing all personal accountability and blaming your sadness on him, which is highly unfair. 

Personally, I think everyone has a limit on how much sadness they can take seriously from a person without becoming indifferent/assuming they’re just constantly overreacting. I’m not trying to invalidate your feelings in any way, but bawling for weeks about a borderline diagnosis with a chance that it may not even be a problem is an extreme overreaction…can you think of any other instances where you’ve acted similarly for other issues that may not have been as big a deal as they initially seemed? 


ETA: I truly hope your kitty turns out okay.

Post # 11
4138 posts
Honey bee

So you claim you aren’t like this all the time, but clearly you are enough that it has come up and counseling (couples or individual) has been suggested – which makes me think there is more to the story or you are underreporting or leaving out details to make yourself look better.

I would be crying about my animal, too.  I cry at a lot of things (I do not expect my SO to constantly console me).  But for a week straight and to the point where a week later I’m inconsolable on the floor saying I can’t imagine my life without my 4 year old cat?  I’m assuming you are older than four years old, so yes, you do in fact know how to live without your cat and their life spans are much shorter than humans so at some point this was going to come up.  Yes it is sad, but the reaction over an uncertain diagnosis at this point seems a bit over the top to be going on about for a full week at that level.  There could be a level of burn out there on his part.  Or he just doesn’t view animals on the same level as grandparents.

You can’t force him into counseling though.  You can work on your own feelings (in general and about him and your relationship with him) and your reactions to him since that is something in your control.

Post # 12
4873 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Even with your update I think you are sad/ in need of emotional support a lot more than you want to admit. 

This will sound harsher than I mean it, but your examples of when he did support you, imo are valid times for you to be sad.  This is why he consoled you.  Your cat maybe having a bad diagnose is also a valid time to be sad, but one week later and you are still sat on the floor crying is too much.  If I put myself in your husband’s position this would be really difficult for me to deal with.  

I guess the question you need to answer, mostly to yourself, is what more could he say then?  One week later and you come home crying, you don’t get enough of a response from him so later you are “on the floor bawling”.  It all just sounds a little childish. 

Post # 13
328 posts
Helper bee

Even if she is sad all the time, straight up ignoring your wife when she’s trying to talk to you is never OK. That’s not how mature, emotionally stable people treat their partner. You should always care how your partner feels, even if you can’t relate to how they’re feeling. Sounds like this guy just doesn’t care anymore and can’t be bothered listening to his wife, so he just tunes her out. If this is how he plans to treat her for the rest of his life, the OP might want to think about divorce.

Post # 14
693 posts
Busy bee

Wow, I really think most of the people commenting here are WAY off. What your husband is doing is called “stonewalling” and it is a form of abuse. It’s also a major reason couples end up divorcing. Stonewalling leaves you feeling isolated and invalidated. Your husband is doing this on purpose and he knows it is hurting you. Your husband sees you crying and WALKS AWAY. Doesn’t acknowledge you at all. When you try to communicate with him about what is wrong, HE IGNORES YOU. He is belittling your emotions and demeaning you into a reaction that is putting the attention back on himself. What he is telling you is that your feelings don’t matter to him at all. How cruel.

Your kitty JUST got a serious diagnosis. It doesn’t matter that it is borderline – there’s a chance that your cat may be ok but also a chance that it won’t be, and you are preparing for that and essentially, grieving. Crying about it is normal and right. I really don’t understand how anyone could see this situation and say you are probably crying more and sadder more on a regular basis based on your post, or that you should be done after a week. 

So, what should you do? What he is doing is manipulating you. Let me guess. He ignores your pain, ignores your words, and you start feeling anxious and follow him around, trying to get him to respond to you, trying to get him to treat you as a loving spouse should? THAT IS WHAT HE WANTS. He wants you to chase after him and beg him for a response. That’s a lot of power for him. He is trying to control and diminish you in a way that is extremely unhealthy. So do the opposite. Don’t try to get him to respond. Don’t give him your attention. Don’t beg him for his. Don’t reward this abuse with a response. Recognize that this isn’t about you, it’s about HIM and his issues. 

I 100% agree that you ought to go to counseling without him. You can get some support there which you need as you go through this grieving process, and you can get some perspective on your marriage. You say he didn’t use to be this way. Is that really true? Did he refuse to talk to you about certain issues? Did he ignore you and make you nag him for answers? If so, then this is how he actually is, all the time. You can’t change this abusive pattern he has based on the strength of your love. This is something that can get better, but only if he wants to make those changes, which will take a lot of work from him. He might be so used to stonewalling to get attention that he might not realize exactly what he is doing. Paramount for you to realize is that this is a communication issue he has that is separate from you or anything you do or say. Don’t blame yourself for his faults. 

I really hope that your kitty will be ok, and I hope that you will be too. 

Post # 15
118 posts
Blushing bee

You people calling her childish are a bit cruel. Who are you to decide how much/little a pet should mean to someone. I rescued an older dog and he became very sick after a few months. I was incredibly sad after having spent a short amount of time with him. He meant the world to me and even thinking about him dying made me cry and I do not cry easily.

Also, it can be quite traumatic to have a spouse that suddenly becomes emotionally unavailable so if she is struggling more than she should it could be in large part due to that. If she is suddenly more emotional for no apparent reason then he needs to do something other than ignoring her. I’m not saying at all that depression is the issue but it seems like that is what some of you are suggesting and the responses really set me off. If your spouse was depressed, do you really think the correct response is to get annoyed? I hope none of your loved ones ever become clinically depressed because it doesn’t sound like you’d do much in the way of supporting them. People like you are why depressed individuals do not seek help. In turn, if YOU suddenly became depressed, wouldn’t you want the support of your spouse? Depression leaves you feeling very alone. Having the one person who is supposed to stand by your side no matter what abandon you is terrible.

He could agree to go to therapy and the therapist will be a better judge if she is expecting too much and/or needs individual therapy. It sounds like he is not really trying. I’d suggest individual counseling if he is not willing and go from there.

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