I remember when my wife and I were dating in college that sometimes she would say to me, “You seem distant.”  I’ve read many articles and observed many situations where the husband has pulled away from his wife.  Why does this happen?  What was happening when my now wife, noticed that I was pulling away when we were dating, which still happens sometimes now?  I hope to shed some light on this situation for wives so that they would better understand the mind and ways of a man, and so that they can better deal with it and do something about it.

I tell people all the time that men are human.  Humans tend to pull away from things that hurt them, cause discomfort, etc.  Humans also tend to pull away from things when they are focused on one thing.  Now you know why men pull away.  We pull away from things that hurt us or to focus intently on something else.  What are some specifics in a marriage that would cause a man to pull away from his wife?  Let me shine some light on this for you.

For the record.  This article is addressing an issue in marriage from a husband’s perspective.  We could just as well flip the switch and talk about why wives pull away from their husbands.  Since I am a man, I can only truly discuss this issue from the husband’s perspective.  However, the principles apply to both husband and wife.

He Is Being Pushed Away

If a wife consistently rejects the advances of her husband, then eventually he will stay away.  His advances may be in the areas of intimacy (sex), partnership (being involved with what he’s doing), philosophically (having great conversation), etc.  If a man approaches his wife to talk about deep things, but she consistently brushes him off to spend time with the kids, watch TV, or do something else, then eventually he will not approach her, i.e., pull away.  To the husband, his wife is pushing him away and to avoid further frustration about being pushed away consistently, he stops trying, so that he would avoid the pain or displeasure.

Wives need to be very careful that she doesn’t find herself constantly pushing her husband away.  If she consistently rejects his sexual advances, neglects to be with him and discuss things that are on his mind, or even to be involved in some things that he invites you to be a part of, then he will eventually pull away from you.  The danger here is that he may find someone else who invites him in instead of pushing him away.  Husbands and wives should be consciously aware of the importance of building and maintaining intimacy within their marriage.

He Is Stressed About a Problem

Sometimes men pull away from their wives because he is preoccupied with a stressful situation.  He isn’t necessarily pulling away from his wife, but rather, he is focusing most of his energies to deal with a particular issue.  This could be a project on his job, family finances, or even his marriage.  In these times he is in problem-solving mode or simply stressed out and could very much use compatible comfort and encouragement from his wife.

Wives should not take it personally when her husband pulls away from her sometimes.  She should carefully determine what is going on with him and support him as best she can.  He needs someone to help him (remember that God created a compatible helper for the man – Genesis 2) by getting involved in solving the problem or by encouraging or comforting him.

He Doesn’t Want to Fight Demons Later

I remember a minister many years ago saying that a man having sex with his wife is like fighting demons (I suppose this applies to the wife as well).  If a wife consistently refuses to have sex with her husband, then he will eventually pull away to keep from fighting demons, i.e., withstanding an onslaught of temptation later when he is away from his wife.  Fighting demons is also done by having sex with his wife because that quenches the sexual energy that arises within him.  However, since he is not having sex with his wife, then fighting demons, i.e., temptation, is what he is attempting to avoid.

The solution here is very simple.  Wives should have sex with their husbands regularly.  The Apostle Paul admonishes us about withholding sex from our spouse (1 Corinthians 7:2-5).  A wife is setting up her husband to sin if she consistently withholds sex from him (and vice versa).  She is providing an entryway for Satan to attack her husband.  Even if he doesn’t succumb to the temptation, the added stress of regularly fighting demons because of lack of sex with his wife will have an adverse effect on him and the marriage relationship.  A married couple should have sex regularly (as mutually determined in the relationship).

He Becomes Disinterested In Her

A husband will pull away from his wife if he is no longer interested in her companionship because he feels as though it is very little they have in common with each other.  She doesn’t show interest in the things that he is interested in and that makes him happy, so, there is no reason for him to approach her.  Basically, the husband concludes that his wife is not his partner and he gradually becomes disinterested in her and starts to pull away.

Wives should be careful to show interest in her husband and the things he is interested in.  This doesn’t mean that she needs to get involved in everything that her husband does because, believe me, we do understand that our wives are not interested in everything we are interested in.  However, it does a husband’s heart good when his wife shows interest in him or at least acknowledges the things he is interested in.  Some ways for a wife to do this is to have conversations with her husband about the things he enjoys, sit with him while he exercises, or acknowledge some of the things he does. Just be careful not to crowd him or probe him, because we don’t like that.

To Avoid Conflict

A husband may pull away from his wife to avoid conflict.  This is a very dangerous state of affairs for the marriage.  This means that the husband’s perspective of his wife is that she is a source of conflict and that approaching her would probably lead to an argument or further frustration.  Therefore, he avoids this conflict by avoiding his wife.

Wives should be careful not to be a source of conflict to her husband.  She should be a source of love, encouragement, intimacy, and companionship.  Her husband should have a positive perspective of her so that he is more inclined to approach her instead of pulling away from his pain.

There is Another Woman

Last, but definitely not least is that a husband may pull away from his wife because he is moving towards another woman.  There are a number of reasons that a man may gravitate to another woman. However, I only want to deal with the issue where his wife pushes him away into the arms of another woman.  I am assuming that the husband wants an intimate relationship with his wife, but the state of his marriage has left him alienated from his wife and vulnerable to infidelity.

It is also possible that the other woman may be imaginary.  He may turn to porn, or strippers, or the like.  He may start to frequent a gentlemen’s club where he has a favorite dancer or the like.  He may come to find solace in his imagination since the reality of his wife doesn’t satisfy him or give him pleasure.

To help prevent infidelity, a wife only needs to be there for her husband.  Be there sexually, intellectually, and socially (friendship).  Don’t push your husband away because you may be pushing him into the arms of another woman on his job, at his church, at a club he frequents, at the gym, etc.  Be there for your husband and protect him from the multiple forms of temptation designed to destroy him and his marriage.


A husband may pull away from his wife for several reasons.  Most are because he is being pushed away by his wife in one way or another. Therefore, wives should be diligent to actively pursue their husband and not take them for granted (and vice versa).  Men are human and we avoid things that displease us, hurts us, or is not relevant to what we are doing or where we are going. We would love for our wives to be with us, but if not, pulling away is the result.

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