LETTER OF THE WEEK
My husband and I are both 65: we’ve been married for 45 years. He’s never been a great talker, but now he hardly speaks to me at all! If I ask him something, he usually replies in as few words as possible – he talks to our dog more than to me! If we’re with family or friends he’s quite chatty with them, but as soon as we leave it’s like he’s been switched off.
I’ve spoken to him about this but he doesn’t address it, he just mumbles a few words.
We’ve got great children and grandchildren who we see quite a lot, so should I be content with that and resign myself to loneliness when it’s just us?
All right, you’ve not exactly been married to Mr Talkative for all these years, but you’ve been OK with that – until now. Because this, obviously, is different. This is rude. (Actually, it’s worse than rude. We’ll come to that.)
The trouble is, you can’t force your husband to talk to you. You can’t whip out the thumbscrews every time you want a two-way with old Taciturn Face. Even the police accept that everyone has the right to silence (“You are not obliged to say anything”, etc). Those monosyllabic mumblings are your man’s version of “no comment”.
Yet you say he’s talkative with others (even the dog!) and reserves the silent treatment for you alone. Hmm. That makes me wonder if he’s punishing you for something. His