Your husband or boyfriend is uncommunicative and silent – and if you’re asking yourself “why doesn’t he talk to me?” you are definitely not alone. Here are the most common barriers to communication that affect all relationships – even the healthiest ones.
It’s important to remember that men sometimes simply don’t know what to talk about. One of my most popular articles is 10 Conversation Starters to Help You Talk to Your Girlfriend. Why? Because guys want to talk to their girlfriends or wives…but they don’t always know what to talk about. So, try not to let fear or anxiety creep into your relationship if you and he aren’t talking much. He may be one of the hundreds of men who are searching for things to talk about with you.
Before we jump into the reasons your boyfriend or husband isn’t talking to you, here’s a funny quote from Mel Gibson: “After about 20 years of marriage, I’m finally starting to scratch the surface of what women want. And I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate.”
How about both conversation AND chocolate? Women want a little conversation, a little chocolate…repeat until satisfied.
My husband and I are taking a marriage course called (surprise) the Marriage Course, created by Sila and Nicky Lee. Our last session was The Art of Communication, and we had to practice talking, active listening, and summarizing each other. It was a really good session – and great practice for all types of conversations.
The most important thing I learned was that good communication is a learned skill. Not just for you, not just for your partner….but for both of you. A great conversation is like an excellent tennis match: both partners are skilled at hitting and returning the ball in equal measure. They’re both interested in participating in the game, and they both care about the outcome. And, they’re both equally involved until the end.
You’re here because your husband or boyfriend doesn’t want to talk to you. If you can figure out the root cause of his reluctance or inability to communicate, then you’re way ahead of the game. To help you out, I created this list of the most common reasons why men don’t talk to women (including why boyfriends aren’t talking to girlfriends and husbands aren’t communicating with their wives).
7 Reasons Why Your Boyfriend or Husband Doesn’t Talk to You
If he’s not talking to you because of a recent argument and he’s shutting you down, read 5 Tips for Dealing With the Silent Treatment in Relationships. I recently updated that article to include more ways to encourage men to talk openly and honestly. I also added new research on communication between couples.
Feel free to share in the comments section below. I can’t give you personal advice on why your guy isn’t talking to you, but you may find that writing about your relationship is a great way to gain insight and understanding.
1. He doesn’t know what to talk about
Some guys are quiet, and simply have nothing to say. My husband is one of those men. He’s often said that he just doesn’t know what to talk about. He likes to talk about the news, economy and politics…but I don’t. I love to talk about writing, blogging, and the Bible…but of those three topics, he’s only really interested in the Bible. He’s happy to listen to me talk about writing and blogging, though. So, our more interesting conversations are often about Scripture, and only sometimes about all the other topics we both enjoy.
What is your boyfriend or husband interested in talking about? What do you love discussing? That’s a good place to start, especially if you’re newly dating. Remember that not everyone is a brilliant conversationalist, nor do they talk simply for the sake of talking. But if you’re asking “why he doesn’t talk to me?” because you know he talks to other people, then you need to do a little more digging.
2. He worries you might misunderstand him
I’m sure it’s happened to you: you say something to someone – not necessarily your boyfriend or husband – and she or he completely misinterpreted and misunderstood what you meant! Your words were taken out of context, or you said them wrong. Then things spiral out of control and feelings get hurt.
Is it possible that your boyfriend or husband doesn’t talk to you because he fears being misunderstood? Ask him. If you and he haven’t talked about the lack of communication in your relationship, then that’s a good starting point.
3. He doesn’t know how he feels or what he thinks
Sometimes men don’t talk simply because they don’t know how to respond. For instance, when I bring up an issue in our relationship, sometimes my husband says, “I don’t know what to say to that. Give me some time to think.” He used to just clam up and not say anything, until I asked if he could at least tell me that he doesn’t know what to think or say. This works a lot better, because I at least know that he’s heard me.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.
Maybe your boyfriend or husband simply doesn’t know what to think or feel about whatever you’re trying to talk about. A lot of people – not just men – don’t know how to talk about their feelings or how to communicate their thoughts. The solution? Learn how to communicate better. I’ll share a book suggestion or two at the end of this article.
4. He feels he has to be the “strong, silent type”
Some men think they’ll sound weak if they talk about issues that bother them. Sometimes it’s easier to keep their mouths shut and ignore the problem, instead of going through the hassle of trying to talk it through. Ignoring conflict is an easy short-term solution, and many of us use it to keep the peace.
Or, maybe your boyfriend wants to talk about relationship issues but doesn’t know what is appropriate to talk about with a girlfriend. We’re not taught how to be in relationships, and good communication skills aren’t learned by watching tv, playing video games, or going to work. They’re learned by getting information and actually practicing what you learn.
5. He doesn’t want to disturb the peace
Sometimes it’s easier for a man to just bite his tongue and not say anything, instead of speaking his mind and causing problems or hurt feelings. Some boyfriends and husbands like to keep the peace at all costs so they keep their mouths shut.
Tell me, why doesn’t he talk to you? What is your gut instinct telling you? I suspect you know exactly why your boyfriend or husband isn’t communicating, but it’s easier to search the internet for answers. Facing the truth and actually doing something about it is much more difficult.
6. The topic is too complicated
Talking about relationship or marriage issues can get painful and confusing, and it’s sometimes easier to avoid “the talk.” If your boyfriend doesn’t talk to you, it may be because he doesn’t want to get entangled in messy emotions or conversations.
Or, the topic is really painful or complicated. Couples often avoid big and important discussions because there are no easy answers or solutions. Again, it’s easier to avoid talking about those things than to face the truth and slog through until the end.
7. He thinks you’ll laugh at him or think less of him
Does your boyfriend hesitate to share his thoughts with you because you may criticize or mock him? Maybe you’re not aware of how he feels about talking to you – or maybe you’re not aware of your own patterns of responding to him.
The best way to identify why reason or reasons why your boyfriend doesn’t talk to you is to show him this list. Hopefully, he’ll be open to talking about why he doesn’t talk to you! The best source of information is the person himself – if he can open up.
If you’re worried about how you and he are communicating – or if a real problem exists – read How to See the Truth About Your Relationship. You’ll see your relationship differently and perhaps get more insight into the reasons he doesn’t talk to you.
Maybe he IS talking to you
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, Gary Chapman describes how different people – both men and women – communicate. It’s possible that your boyfriend or husband is actually talking to you in HIS love language…but you’re trying to hear him in your own love language.
Love Languages is a bestselling book because it’s both practical and insightful. It’ll help you understand different communication styles, and show you if you and your partner are talking to each other, but in different ways.
Maybe your question isn’t “why isn’t he talking to me?”, but rather “HOW is my boyfriend or husband talking to me in ways I’m not hearing?”
The 5 Love Languages taught me that I communicate through “words of affirmation.” My husband, on the other hand, is more of an “acts of service” communicator. Simply knowing this has changed how we talk – and hear – each other.
To learn more, read Examples of Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages.
I welcome your thoughts below. Why do you think your boyfriend doesn’t talk to you, and what do you think you should do about it?