All relationships have their problems, both big and small. Luckily, most problems can be worked on. However, that requires effort from both people. You’ve heard it time and time again: “Communication is key.” But it takes two to tango right? If you’re trying to repair your relationship, the first step is to address the issue. So what If your husband, or any partner for that matter, refuses to talk about problems? It might seem like the conversation is over before it even began. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your husband talk it out with you. And if you’re the one who’s having a hard time communicating when there’s conflict, there are ways to feel more comfortable.  

One person shutting down when it comes to confrontation is far from uncommon. The question is how can you move forward?

It might seem like the more you press them to discuss the issue, the more they withdraw. Or they may become increasingly more defensive. This could have you trying harder, inventing more creative ways to get them to open up. Or you might get frustrated meeting their “shut down” with strong emotions, like anger. This will only reinforce their refusal to open up. Alternatively, you may start feeling hopeless, which could lead you to stop trying altogether. That’s highly problematic and will create an unhealthy dynamic where both of you are either avoiding or living with the issues in the relationship. When this happens, your relationship is unable to progress and more often than not, gets worse.

When you try to discuss the problem does it feel like you’re talking to a wall? Some husbands shut down, are unresponsive, or resort to one or two-word responses. They might meet your request to talk with a different excuse each time you bring it up. Others might repeatedly say, “I don’t want to fight”.