Some advice regarding silence in relationships. Another “Crabby Abby” piece!

Dear Crabby Abby,

I’ve been married to a great man for almost 5 years. We don’t have children by choice. I notice that as time goes by, we seem to talk less and less. Many times at dinner we barely speak. I try to initiate conversation but feel a little like I’m talking to myself.

I’ve asked him if anything is wrong. He gets really uncomfortable when I try to get him to open up.

Just looking for the man that I married.


Hi Elise,

Looking for the man you married? He’s gone. Like a corny sales pitch, he wooed you with words of everlasting love. He made promises that felt keepable at the time. You did too. You waxed your underarms and legs and never wore sweat pants or old underware. Belching at the dinner table came AFTER you said “I do”. That’s the way it goes, Elise. The man you married is somewhere else with the woman HE married.

Sounds like the silence is getting to you. Talking to yourself can feel lonely. (takes an expert like me to know) What KIND of things are you talking about? If it’s a “To Do List” or anything that involves spending money, visiting relatives, or missing a baseball game, you may just be talking about the wrong things. And, if you are not breathing between sentences, or talking just to have sound, he may feel like adding to that by participating would be counter productive. Silence isn’t always  bad. It can be intimate. Sounds like you have some insecurity.

Keeping marriage fresh is hard work. You both have to do it, but talking isn’t the only way. Plenty of couples that I’ve observed at restaurants are eating but not speaking ONE WORD to one another for an entire meal. That may be ok for your husband. Silence may mean that all is well in his world.

Best to tell him how not communicating makes you feel without exhausting yourself with all the one sided talk attempts to get him to converse. You can’t MAKE HIM talk. But you CAN tell him how you feel. Do that. If you shave your head before you do, it will give you his undivided attention. Also make sure that you’re doing plenty of talking to other people all day long and not expecting to get all your socialization from hubby. If you’re a yacker, it’s asking a lot to have him yack back at equal force.

Good Luck!

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