My Husband Is Pretending I Don’t Exist During Our Trial Separation – Should I Ignore Him Too?

My Husband Is Pretending I Don’t Exist During Our Trial Separation – Should I Ignore Him Too?

I often hear from wives who are very hurt because their husband seems to be distancing himself or ignoring them during their trial separation. At first, the wives might try various strategies in order to get his attention. But once this fails, they can begin to wonder if they should just accept that two can play at this game and return his distance with a little of their own.

I heard from a wife who said: “when my husband left me, he stressed that the separation might only be temporary. He said that we could try a trial separation and see if that might help us. Needless to say, these words got my hopes up that my marriage might stand a chance. But I am starting to see that my expectations might have been too high because my husband is pretty much ignoring me. At first, he was just a little distant and unavailable. But for the past several weeks, he has been very blatantly ignoring me. I have tried texting and calling him but he just will not make himself available. I am starting to get the hint at this point and I am on the verge of deciding that I will just ignore him in the same way that he has been ignoring me. I hate to play these childish games. But what choice do I have?”

I understood this wife’s frustration. It hurts to wonder if you are so unimportant to your husband that he can go for long periods of time without communicating with you. And you can begin to wonder if this distance is going to become permanent. Worse, it is so very easy to just give in to your negative feelings and close yourself off to him or to your marriage.

I know how this feels because I have been there. My husband all but demanded that I leave him alone when we were separated. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the hint very well and this made me only want to reach out to him more. I texted. I called. I came by. And this made him want to see me even less. Things got so bad that I think he was literally hiding from me. This process hurt me so badly that I went home to stay with family just to force myself to back away. Interesting, things improved after this because he then started to reach out to me.

Understand The Difference Between Taking A Break And Closing Yourself Off: The point that I am trying to make is that taking a break can sometimes improve your situation. It can sometimes encourage your husband to take the initiative for once. But, I think that there is a real danger in taking it too far. I don’t want to think about what might have happened if when my husband reached out to me, I decided to teach him a lesson and ignore him. It’s my opinion that there is fine line between taking a break and closing yourself off to your marriage or your husband.

Yes, emotions are running high right now. You are being influenced my negative emotions like fear and anger. It might actually be easier for you to just throw up your hands and back away for good. And while this is understandable, I think that it can be a little far reaching. Here’s an example of a compromise that might work better.

A Decent Compromise: Here is one suggestion. The next time you call or text your husband and get the machine or a non answer, you might want to say or text something like: “I can tell that you aren’t available right now, so I am going to follow your lead and back off a little bit. The last thing that I want is to force you to do something that you don’t want to do. So, when you are ready to reach out, I will be here. But until then, I’ll give you a little more space.”

Believe it or not, if you deliver this correctly and then wait, you will sometimes find that this inspires him to actually reach out to you or to take some initiative. This doesn’t always happen immediately but it will often happen if you have a little patience.

If you give it a little time and nothing happens, then you have the choice as to whether you just want to very quickly let him know that you are thinking about him or if you want to wait some more. I feel that it is always best to let him take the initiative, but sometimes you don’t have this option, especially in the beginning. There’s nothing wrong with sending a text saying that you are thinking about him, but you don’t want to be the only one communicating just like you don’t want to completely close the door when your marriage is still very important to you.

So to answer the question posed, I completely understand the urge to just show him how it feels to be ignored. But I also think that this might be a mistake if your marriage is still a priority to you. If you take it too far, you could find yourself in a situation where days turn into weeks and then months where no one has made any move toward the other. Instead, you want to acknowledge that he seems to need space and then leave things open ended to pick up again later in the hopes that things will improve.