Many women complain that their husband walks away when they argue. “It has become hard to engage my husband in a conversation because whenever I say something, he suspects it as an argument and walks away.” Are you dealing with the same problem?
A husband walks away from an argument when the constructive dialogue is replaced with yelling and disdain. He feels his wife would not listen to him, and he should wait until she calms down and get ready to talk.
In Marriage Rules, Dr. Harriet Learner points out that one of the leading factors of marriage failure is waiting for the other person to change. She advises couples to learn repair skills after disagreements and build positive emotional connections.
Reasons why your husband walks away when you argue
1. You don’t listen to him
When you do not listen to your husband, it becomes challenging to stay in the argument.
It is essential to make the other person feel heard to make the argument fruitful. People get carried away with emotions during a fight, and things get blurry.
You might notice that your husband was trying to say something during the argument. Still, he couldn’t complete his talk due to your interruption. It makes him feel that talking is useless because his spouse won’t pay attention to anything he says, and thus he would better walk away.
2. Absence of constructive criticism
Spouses often confuse criticism with insults, and most end up doing the latter.
Constructive criticism is objective feedback that includes specific suggestions for improving one’s behavior. It stimulates thought processes resulting in the exchange of ideas and self-assessment.
On the other hand, an insult is abusing a person, exaggerating their weaknesses, and disrespecting them. I will refer to this insult as simple criticism. As Dr. John Gottman describes, criticizing in the form of insult is like attacking your partner at the core. You may end up dismantling his personality. For example, you can say, “I felt ignored when you were busy watching the TV show” instead of “You are a selfish man!”
When you insult your husband, he would never engage in an argument with you, not even bother listening to you. Not only may it weaken your position but also hurt your relationship.
3. To avoid further escalation
Sometimes your husband would avoid argumentation due to the fear of further escalation. Stretching a fight beyond a specific limit can cause irreparable damage to your relationship.
Arguments like these include yelling, shouting, blaming, and cursing each other. When your fight rises to that point, it is best to walk away gracefully.
4. He wants you to calm down before talk
When I ask people why they avoid argumentation with their wives, the general response is that they all want to avoid an argument with an angry spouse. Taking a break until emotions get settled is wiser than indulging in a fight when the other person is entirely in control of her sentiments.
Your husband was doing the same thing; when he saw that you could not think, he walked away to give you time. Time is the best remedy for exasperation.
5. When it is an inappropriate place or time to argue
When you decide to argue with your husband, look if there is any unwanted person to witness both of you arguing. Also, suppose your husband has some critical business, and you jump in for argumentation. In that case, there is a likelihood that he will not respond.
How to engage your husband to talk
“I have been watchful of the above-stated reasons, and still, I am struggling to engage my husband to talk and respond to my arguments.” If you have the same problem, learning how to engage your husband to talk to you would be beneficial.
I have provided some excellent tips to help you carry the argumentation most appropriately.
1. Avoid insulting him
Criticism in the form of insult is devastating for marriage; it will create misunderstandings and a culture of disrespect among partners. Consider what you want out of this conversation. Is that useful what you are saying?
What purpose would that criticism serve? Is it going to hurt him or make him do self-assessment? When you think about these things, you will come up with some fantastic points that would appeal to your husband.
2. Approach him with a problem-solving attitude
You may have some solid fair points against your husband, which would make your case stronger and leave your husband speechless. But wait, would that make him feel embarrassed? Are you sure that would not stimulate a sense of defensiveness in him?
When you approach him with a problem-solving attitude, you would prefer only to say things that would solve a problem, and winning the argument won’t matter.
I would urge you that when your husband realizes that you had tons of things to say to make him feel guilty, but you avoided them, he would be filled with respect and love for you. And that is exactly what you want.
3. Focus on how you feel; use the “I” statement instead of “You”
It is vital to approach the argument with the “I” statement because it eliminates the chances that your husband may feel you are blaming him for nothing.
The “You” statements provoke defensiveness; it creates a sense of being attacked.
Using “I” statements makes the conservation focus on how you feel. When you say, “I felt lonely when you shut down the phone while I was still talking,” it would immediately reduce hostility and defensiveness in your husband. And you will be able to communicate your concerns with him better.
4. Give him the benefit of the doubt
Instead of speculating whether what he’s saying is true or not, learn to give him the benefit of the doubt even if you are not 100% sure. Focus on what can help you make deeper connections to him instead of saying things that may give you a momentary pleasure but, in the long run, shall leave deeper impacts on your husband’s feelings.
5. Avoid putting unconfirmed accusations on him
Putting unconfirmed accusations in an argument is devastating, and it is commonly observed among couples who end up in separation. “You don’t give a damn about your family because you have some affair out there,” things like these freak out a person and affect a relationship.
6. Never shout during the argument
Shouting and yelling can never go hand in hand with a healthy conversation that is meant to bring some fruitful results.
When you are exhausted of legitimate points, you start shouting at the other person. No matter how hard you shout, it would only strengthen the other person’s belief that he was right. And in most cases, the other person shall walk away because no rational response is discovered to shouting and cursing.
7. Don’t miss the recovery conversation after the argument
It is normal to have arguments in marriage; people love and fight, which makes them human beings. Remember to have a recovery conversation with your partner when the situation cools down. Couples who have recovery conversations after a fight have higher chances of staying together.
Is walking away from an argument childish?
There is no straight answer to this question because walking away from an argument can be graceful and, in some cases, childish. It might be childish when a person makes fair points and politely states their concerns, and the other person walks away.
But when a person walks away from shouting, yelling, and cursing, leaving the conversation becomes a graceful act.
It is normal to have arguments among couples, and it is vital to make sure that the argument doesn’t turn into a fight, which includes yelling and cursing. Most men avoid responding to fights comprised of shouting and blaming and therefore walk away. Avoiding accusation, approaching with a problem-solving attitude, and having a recovery talk can help you make the best out of an argument.