Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/Husband and sociability
The relationship with my husband is becoming very strained. The biggest issue I'm having is that my husband isn't interested in asking questions of people to either start a conversation or keep a conversation going. He is social to the extent of he brings things up about himself, about his family, about his friends, about the things he's interested in, about his opinions but he very rarely asks anyone anything. Family or friends, myself even, have to continue to ask him questions to either keep the conversation going or to change the subject. I hear him have conversations over the phone with either a family member or friend and I can hear that they're asking him questions, how he is, what's new, how work is, how the kids are, etc., but he doesn't reciprocate. Ever. He doesn't ask how they're doing, how life is going for them, etc., and this bothers me to the point where our relationship is becoming strained. He's very social when he talks about himself and his life but a lot of the time he doesn't know when to move onto another subject or topic and there is a lack of interest or caring of other people's lives. My mother, stepmother, and friends have informed me that they have noticed the same thing about him and, just like me, they are puzzled by it. My family and friends have mentioned to me that this makes them feel that he doesn't care or is not interested in getting to know them better. My question is, what are some reasons why he has a lack of interest with having back and forth conversations? Why is it that he always talks about himself and the things in his life but doesn't reciprocate by saying for example, "how about you, how are you" when someone asks how he is or why doesn't he ask a question out of the blue like "what do you think about 'x'?" I'm a very social person and I don't know if this is something I can continue to accept because it makes the times when we're around family/friends very awkward and brings up feelings of "what's he going to say this time?" And also too because if he's not asking me, his wife, anything, there will always be communication issues between us. Please help me understand!
Thank you for your question and the time you took to give me a complete outline.
My first impression was to want to ask you if he's always been this way? You mentioned that others have noticed this anti social aspect of his life but have you talked to his mother or siblings, has he had these tendencies for most of his life or are they getting worse or are they new within the last few months or years?
I also immediately thought about a level of autism or subsequent injury to brain. If autism is suspected it will generally be a life long condition that can increase and decrease with stress or with age etc...
In order for me to answer the question I need to first ascertain the essential facts.
Please answer the following and let me know:
1. have you noticed an increase in this behavior?
2. if you have when did this behavior start?
3. can you remember a time when he was openly social?
4. have there been any traumatic events recently? job loss, injury, deaths of loved ones etc.
5. try to include any other relevant information that might shed some light onto why his behavior has changed or if you find out it hasn't changed why its getting worse...
I look forward to hearing from you.