How can I get my husband to listen to my needs and talk to me?

I tried telling my husband I was depressed, and he ignored me. He said "you're always sad or depressed." And he picked up his phone and ignored me. I said, "Please don't exaggerate, that isn't true." And he said, "Whatever babe. You just want to be sad."

How can I get through to him so he will take me seriously?

Shelly Kessinger
Shelly Kessinger
www.friendswoodmarriagecounseling.com

Ouch. It's really hard to deal with a spouse that isn't taking you seriously. In this case, I would plan for and schedule a time to talk with him about this. I would tell him that you need about 30 minutes to talk to him with minimal interruptions about something that is important to you. Schedule a time, write notes if you need reminders about what you need to express, and tell him how you feel.

 Ideally, you would focus more on I-statements instead of telling him what he is doing wrong. For example,  I feel ignored vs You always ignore me. By focusing on how you feel, he is less likely to feel attacked and get defensive. 

Some people go to couples or marriage counseling for help with communication. Chances are there are things that BOTH of you do that hurts your communication. Overall, try to talk to him directly and try not to get defensive. If he continues to say, you're always sad - then stay calm, say "okay, can you help me understand that more?" or "That's interesting. Tell me what you see."  

Reach out to a couples counselor for more help with communication strategies. Sometimes a 3rd party can help you both see things in a different perspective. Hope this helps!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Jennifer Gerlach
Jennifer Gerlach
Your Story Matters

This is so hard. It is hard for someone to understand what depression is without having experienced it themselves. Unfortunately people without depression sometimes mistake it as feeling sorry for ourselves or just moping around, which is not what depression is at all. Sometimes I think that it is easier for family members to see it as a choice than to admit that someone they love is hurting and they dont know what to do. If  he is willing, I wonder if there may be a depression support group in your area such as NAMI or DBSA where he could hear from from others living with depression and their families. If not, I wonder if you all might watch a documentary together such as No Kidding Me Too or Call me Crazy. If not that, ive sometimes encouraged folk to just leave some information on depression and how family can help like a pamphlet or handout on a table or around the house. We tend to get curious and read things we find on the table. Wishing you the best!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Gwendolyn Nelson-Terry
Gwendolyn Nelson-Terry
www.GwendolynNelsonTerry.com

It can be hard for husbands to hear that their wife is unhappy.  By nature men tend to be more of the fix it type.  So if they are sad, they fix it.  If their wife is sad, they fix it.  He may feel helpless to help you and that may be why he is saying those things to you.  It's not that he doesn't care or that he doesn't take them seriously, he might just have no idea how to help.  I would start by making an appointment to talk with a therapist about your sadness.  Meeting with a therapist may help you to learn some tools and strategies that can help you to manage some of the sadness you are feeling.  A therapist can also help you to gain some understanding and insight into why you might be experiencing sadness.  Depression is not something you have to sit with, therapy can help.  Once your husband sees that you are being proactive in addressing your sadness/depression he will probably be more open to listening to you and supporting you.  He might start to have ideas and input on how you two can work together to change some of the situations or things that might be holding you bakc.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Oh dear.

From what you write, your husband doesn't have any interest to know about you and your sad feelings.

Stay clear in understanding that you already did your part by asking him to listen and care about the way you feel.

In this example, he told you he doesn't care.

Its up to him to open his mind and heart to you.

Depending on how motivated to continue asking him to hear you, try until you feel satisfied that you've given him enough chances to know who you are.   At a certain number of tries at this, you'll either have success or not.

Just don't try forever because doing so will increase your depressed feelings.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Submit your own question

More Answers