Every guy has a pesky habit or three that bugs his wife--for me, it's his inability to locate either a hamper or the garbage room--but these all-too-common traits aren't signs that they don't care. By Brie Schwartz, REDBOOK.
1. He falls asleep during When Harry Met Sally, arguably one of the best rom-coms. What gives? You made it through all of The Rock for him. Twice.
"Most men don't feel particularly alive during romantic comedies--they're just not relatable enough to be interesting," says relationship coach and Your Great Life TV founder Bernardo Mendez. "Although he probably won't admit it, the little boy inside of him secretly feels like the hero in every action movie. In a romantic comedy, not so much."
2. He's been in the bathroom for an hour, and maybe you're being paranoid, but you're fairly certain that he's hanging out in there to avoid you.
Everyone needs the occasional breather after a noisy day--and that downtime may involve sitting on the toilet reading Game of Thrones before he tackles the dishes. That doesn't mean he's avoiding you, just that he wants a little escape from thinking in general. Consider this separation a way for you to also get in some me time, whether it be by relaxing with an episode of The Mindy Project or calling your sister. But if your husband's, er, vacations become a nightly happening, remind him that if he needs some quiet, he can get it on a more comfortable chair out in the open, and you promise not to interrupt with questions or chitchat. Wherever he chooses to decompress, he'll be able to better engage with you once he's more relaxed.
3. All of a sudden he's gotten super into CrossFit and the Paleo diet. Counting carbs is now his life, which is making you feel like he's more interested in calories than you.
Sitting with someone who's abstaining from grains while you nosh on stale Easter candy, feeling judged, can be a complete drag. Not to mention that his newfound, slightly obsessive healthy behavior has taken all the fun out of going out to dinner--even if you do, for better or for worse, get to attack the breadbasket alone. If his hours spent at the gym are cutting into your together time, have an honest conversation during which you explain how much you support his wanting to be in great shape, but also how his new extreme regimen is making you feel. Then talk through solutions together. Could you join him at the gym sometimes? Is it a matter of getting on board part-time, then allowing yourselves to splurge a bit on the weekend so you can continue going to your favorite date spot that serves the best baked ziti on the planet? Even if you don't go CrossFit crazy, there's a definite upside to his passion. "The more solid his exercise regimen, the higher his testosterone levels will be, which means an increased libido and a more active sex life," says Mendez. Perhaps you could convince him to skip his Sunday workout in favor of burning calories in other ways.
4. Much like your little bro, the first thing he wants to do when he gets home is play Grand Theft Auto--and he's 35.
You may not find killing virtual hookers and crashing cars relaxing, but your husband is likely using the game as a way to transition from work mode to family mode. And taking that time to unwind makes it likely that he'll be more present for you later, says Mendez. The problem arises if his gaming routine starts cutting into your quality time. "Nagging won't get him to change his habit," says Mendez. "Instead, inspire him to join you in another fun or relaxing activity." Try putting on an episode of Bar Rescue or heading to the speedway for some go-carting, considering his love of racing.
5. He checks the score of the baseball game on his phone while you're on a date.
"On some level, he feels like he's betraying his team if he's not supporting it, at least in spirit," says Mendez. If you're also a big sports fan, you're likely able to relate. Still, you understand that alone time with your husband can be a rarity, so you may prioritize differently. You can suggest he DVR the game and watch the highlights when you get home instead, but the only real fix may not be scheduling date night during game seven of a playoff series. If it's any old Wednesday night baseball game, compromising will come more easily.
Related: 7 Ways You KNOW You Belong Together
6. Your typically thoughtful husband has never forgotten your coffee order in a decade, until all of a sudden one day, he comes home with a single Starbucks--nothing for you. Now you secretly suspect that this is the beginning of the end.
Your mind may be running wild, but try not to take what was likely an innocent oversight too seriously. "He was probably under a deep problem-solving trance when he ordered and just totally forgot," says Mendez. And let's be honest: You've likely been distracted and done the same thing before. If his absent-mindedness starts to become a pattern, though, it's worth addressing. Find out what else is on his mind: Is he majorly stressed about work? Has he been contemplating a big life decision, like whether or not you should have another child? Talk through what's bothering him so he has a chance to clear his head. However, if coming home without your skinny latte only happened once, let him make the simple mistake up to you before you drive over there to make sure that he's not having an affair with the barista. (He isn't.)
7. After you spent hours--okay, at least an hour--cooking a nice meal, he proceeds to finish his steak in a hot second and leaves half of your perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts untouched. So much for a romantic dinner filled with deep conversation.
I tend to overanalyze, but the surest sign of liking something is engaging with it--so take his wolfing down dinner as the compliment it is. Additionally, studies show that multitasking takes a greater toll on male performance, so your husband may not see the benefit juggling multiple things at a time, says Mendez. If you'd rather slow things down, make like you're at a restaurant and serve dishes one by one. Yes, it means washing the serving plates as opposed to just the ones you eat off of, but it'll give him a chance to breathe, ask about your day, and finally, thank you.
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