I sometimes hear from wives whose husband has left them “because he needs some time to think.” That’s pretty much the extent of what he tells them and rarely does he go a little deeper and offer up an explanation as to just what “thinking” actually means. The wives often are not satisfied with his lack of any logical explanation.
I recently heard from a wife who asked: “what in the world does my husband have to think about? He told me last week that he’s going to move out for a while because he needs ‘time to think.’ That’s pretty ridiculous to me. I told him that he could think in any room in our home without my bothering him so why on earth would he need to spend money living in a hotel just to use his brain for thinking? I asked him what deep thoughts and issues he had to ponder but was told I ‘just wouldn’t understand.’ Well, he’s right about that. I don’t understand. If there were things I needed to sort through, I wouldn’t leave my spouse in order to do it. I feel like he’s feeding me a load of garbage. What do men mean when they tell you they need time to ‘think?’ Is this just a nice way of saying that they want out of the marriage?” I’ll try to address these questions in the following article.
When A Husband Tells You That He Needs Time Away To Think, He’s Often Going To Think About Your Marriage And What He Wants Out Of His Life Moving Forward: Most of the time when husbands give you the “time to think” line, they are grappling with whether they are happy with their life and their marriage. If they needed to think about a topic that didn’t include you or your marriage, then they wouldn’t need to distance themselves from you to ponder it.
So they often suspect (or hope) that being away from you for a while will give them both the literal and emotional distance to come to a conclusion without any influence from you. I hear from a lot of men in this scenario and, if they are honest, they will often tell you that they’re on a path in their lives that they just are no longer completely sure about. They sometimes wonder how they could be happier or more fulfilled and they aren’t sure what it is going to take to move them forward.
And it’s probably not a coincidence that this often occurs in mid life or when men have an issue or occurrence that makes them wonder if they are reaching their potential for happiness in life. You’ll often hear them say things like “is this all there is?” Or “I’m not sure if I am leading the life that I was meant to lead.” To be fair, their unhappiness or questions about their life are often not your fault. Sometimes, their issues and struggles don’t even have much to do with you. Some men are pondering their personal achievements or career path. Others are grappling with family relationships (or relationships with other people who are very close to them.) So, it’s not always correct to assume that a man who wants “time” is going to suddenly file for a divorce or separation once he gets back.
Some men come back ready to improve their lives and their relationships and others come to believe that their relationships are the problem. How you end up proceeding is often at least somewhat dictated by what conclusions your husband comes to after he does his heavy thinking.
How To React When Your Husband Is Asking For “Time To Think”: How you chose to respond to your husband’s request and how you choose to conduct yourself while he is away truly does depend on what you want the outcome to be. Once the wife in above scenario calmed down, she realized that she didn’t want to alienate or be overly critical of her husband. He’d always been supportive of her and so she decided that even if she felt all of the thinking talk was a bit overly dramatic, there was no reason that she couldn’t offer him the support and time that he had asked for.
Because she wanted to not only save her marriage but to make it as strong as it could possibly be, she decided to do her own soul searching and thinking while he was away. I was so happy to hear this. One thing that many people do not understand is that anything that you can do to strengthen yourself on an individual basis is going to also strengthen and improve your marriage most of the time. You have a much greater chance of success if you have two whole and happy people coming to the table rather than one or both people who are dealing with their own personal struggles, projections, or fears.
So to answer the questions posed, men often ask for time to think when they are facing a crossroads in their life and they are struggling with their own personal happiness. They are often seeking answers as to what is causing their unhappiness and what they can do to fix it. If you love the man who wants the “time” and you want him to be happy, your best bet is to offer both your support and the time that he has requested. Because at the end of the day, you want him to come to realize that you are part of the solution rather than the problem.