What Does It Mean When Your Husband Needs Time To Think?

By: Leslie Cane: I often hear from wives whose husbands have been asking for “time to think.” Sometimes, the husband is content to continue to live in the same home while the wife backs off a little bit and gives him some time on his own. But other times, the husband feels that he either needs to leave for a couple of days or separate and live apart while he is taking his thinking time.

I heard from a wife who said: “about three weeks ago, my husband came home and told me that he was moving out for a little while because he “needs time to think.” I asked him why he couldn’t think at our home. I told him that I would leave him alone and give him his space. Apparently, my offer wasn’t good enough because he still says that he needs to move out. I don’t even know what he is trying to accomplish. I wonder if this separation is just a precursor to him filing for divorce. My mom says he might just need some time to clear his head so he can come back home focused and ready to move on toward saving our marriage, but I don’t buy it. What does it mean when a husband asks for time to think? Does it mean he wants a divorce or he is never coming back? Because if that’s the case, I’m not letting him out the door.”

Sometimes a husbands wanting time to think is a request for just that. He only wants time on his own to evaluate some things and he doesn’t find this possible when you are together. Other times, a request for time may encompass something else entirely. I will discuss this more in the following article.

Sometimes A Request For Time To Think Doesn’t Have Any Hidden Meaning: Occasionally, a man is being completely honest with you when he asks for a short amount of time away to think. Some men take off on their own and others meet up with good friends to blow off some steam. This often happens at a time in their life where they are at a cross roads and are evaluating how they want to live their life from today forward. Sometimes, things other than your marriage brought this on. Maybe things have become challenging at work. Maybe they are dealing with a personal crisis.

Or, perhaps, your marriage has been struggling. No matter what has happened though, he’s often asking you for some time to evaluate his life. This doesn’t have to be a negative thing for you. Sometimes, once he’s alone and has some perspective, he realizes that you are not the problem. In fact, sometimes he realizes that you are what is right with his life and that you are the one who makes his other problems bearable. Of course, not every husband comes to this conclusion. Some report back that they either need more time or they want to separate or divorce, which leads me to my next point.

When A Husband’s Asking For Time Away Means That He Might Want A Permanent Change In Plans: As you might suspect, some men will tell you that they only want time to think, when they know full well that they have no intentions of coming back any time soon. They are wondering if they want to remain married and sometimes, they are trying to get a taste of freedom to determine if perhaps that want the separation to be a more permanent solution.

Wives often wonder why these husbands aren’t honest and won’t just admit that they what they are asking for isn’t really a little time, they are asking to live separate lives for a while because they are seriously thinking about taking a break, splitting up, or asking for a separation or divorce. The reasons that they aren’t honest vary, but most often, they know that you are going to try to talk them out of it and they want the time to think without your trying to influence or change their decision.

How To Handle It When Your Husband Asks For Time To Think: The wife in this situation was considering challenging her husband’s request. She suspected that he wasn’t being completely honest and she was scared to let him leave because she feared that he would never come back.

These are valid and real concerns. That’s why I always advocate trying to convince him to take his time away without leaving your home. Now, when you approach him about this, you must remain positive and make this sound like an attractive compromise. He mustn’t think that you are trying to deny him what he wants or that you are trying to control his wishes.

If you think he might resist, offer to stay with friends so that he can see that you sincere in giving him his time. Be upbeat and positive. Don’t overreact and act as if you know that your marriage might be in real trouble or over because this just validates his suspicions. Set it up so that he will think of you favorably (and then miss you) while he is taking his thinking time. Because if you can successfully do this, you drastically increase your chances that once you return home, he will be ready to work with you on saving your marriage since his time to think has inspired him to realize that you are not the real problem in his life and that he wants to save and improve what his right – which is his marriage with you.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know how to handle my husband’s request for time to think and eventually this lead to our separation.  I was able to save our marriage, but not without a lot of wasted time and torment.  If it helps, you can read about how I finally got it together on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

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