Full discloser here: If you have ever met my husband, Mike, you’ll know I am not writing this blog post from personal experience. My man is a talker! He loves to tell stories, make small talk with perfect strangers, and even dive into the “deep end” of conversation when he’s in the right mood. I’m actually the non-talker in our marriage, and I’ve worked with enough couples to help you navigate your challenges with a husband who doesn’t open up easily.
Men (and some women) may be quiet for different reasons. Part of navigating a challenge of silence in your relationship is understanding why the man in your life is so quiet.
Is He an Internal Processor?
People who process internally don’t like to share their opinions and thoughts until they have had time to think about them. You might look in your man’s eyes and see the wheels churning but nothing’s coming out of his mouth. Questions like, “What did you think of church today?” or “What do you think we should do about Josh’s failing grades?” may elicit silence because he’s not ready to share his thoughts. A few days from now when he has thought the issues through, you have probably “moved on” to today’s crisis and show disinterest in what he wants to talk about.
If this describes your husband or boyfriend, respect the fact that he needs time to share on a deeper level. Instead of feeling rejected when he doesn’t engage you in an immediate conversation, you might say something like, “I know you like to think about things before we talk them through. Can we talk later today or tomorrow about . . . ? I’d love to know what you’re thinking.”1