When a husband comes home late day after day, whether it is because of working long hours or socializing with friends, it can become a cause of contention between couples. Breakdown of the joint-family system has made it tougher for the wives waiting at home to manage such long hours as well as the accompanying responsibility of the household all by themselves. While many do have a routine through the day, they too crave adult company as evening approaches.
Sadly, the problem of husbands coming home late routinely is quite rampant. We have a slew of women reaching out to us with this same problem.
‘We live in the same house and can go days without saying a word to each other, most days he is gone before I’m up and home long after I’m asleep,’ one woman wrote to us. Another said, ‘He is always exhausted by the time he gets home, we don’t have date nights, occasionally go out as a family (once a month) to a restaurant but not much else!’
A third one said, ‘I do wonder sometimes why we are together, my husband though self-employed works constantly, even when is at home after a long day at work, sometimes even on weekends.’
Returning home late may start as an occasional thing but gets more frequent. A 7 pm time becomes 7.30 and then gets further pushed to 8.30, even 9 pm. When this happens, it is a matter of time before the situation explodes, leading to a huge argument. When work interferes with love havoc is inevitable. So, what can you do to prevent that? Can you establish an appropriate time for your spouse to come home? Read on to know.
Why Do Husbands Come Home Late Often?
Many husbands come home late from work and they could be over ambitious and or they could be loathing getting back home because of a nagging wife. There could be many reasons why your husband uses his home as a motel and clocks in only for bed and breakfast.
Here are some probable reasons why your husband is coming home late:
1. Their career could be one big reason
Maybe your husband is almost due for promotion, he is over ambitious and he is working late because he wants it to come through. OR he is taking up extra work to up his skills for a better position. Perhaps his boss heaps some of his work on him and he has to pick up the slack.
It is a crazy rat race out there and most men feel that they are doing the equivalent of two jobs in one. If they don’t, someone else will, and they risk losing their job. Speak to him and understand his side of the story. Then have a discussion about what is a mutually acceptable appropriate time for your spouse to come home.
Even if you understand his predicament, explain to him the imbalance it is causing in your relationship and that you are struggling with it. You must support him in this but also drive home the point that you both and your family are missing out on precious time together.
Related Reading: 10 Things Nobody Tells you About Marriage After The Wedding
2. Friends can be the reason why your husband comes home late
If your husband is coming home late, could his buddies be the reason behind it? Most men love their boy time. It could be about watching that cricket match or having that pint of beer after work or simply a workout session. One beer can quickly turn into three. A simple quick coffee can get extended into dinner. A workout session becomes about catching up with other friends later.
If his friends are the reason behind your husband coming home late more often than not, you must speak to him about it. Instead of attacking him, tell him that while you respect his need to have his own social life, commitment toward his marriage and family is important too.
Suggest scheduling regular date nights so that you can blow some steam off together as a couple. This way you can cut back on his outings with his friends without making him feel like he is being caged in responsibilities. Make sure whatever you plan for these date nights is fun for both of you when.
3. Figure out if he is struggling with addiction
If your husband stays out late binge drinking or smoking because at home you will try to control his indulgences, then this is a cause for concern. There could be other addictions such as porn, drugs or gambling at play here. Perhaps he has not been able to garner the courage to discuss these issues with you? Or maybe he is in denial about it altogether.
As a spouse, you can play a vital role in helping your husband out of addiction. However, he has to be the one willing to walk the long road of recovery. Learn to watch out for such worrying and offer to help him without being demeaning or judgmental. Set boundaries, and insist on honesty. Talk to him about getting help either through online professional counselling or at local support groups in your locality.
Related reading: 10 ways to get your husband to quit smoking
4. He wants to escape talking to you
There might be some unresolved issues between you both and coming home late could be his way of avoiding a confrontation. Maybe you have asked for something and he is not comfortable giving it but cannot tell you that honestly. Or he has done something wrong and is scared to face the consequences of his actions. It is also possible that he wants to avoid intimacy and had decided to avoid you to avoid it.
Brainstorm and figure out what is it about your interpersonal relationship that is keeping him away and work on it. Have you done something to annoy him? Are there issues you have been sweeping under the carpet? The good news is if you can resolve what problem is driving a wedge between you both, he will be back to his normal self in no time.
5. He does not want to share household chores
Perhaps he does not want to help you around the house. Maybe he is expected to put the baby to sleep at night or do the dishes. If he doesn’t feel like doing it, coming home late is the perfect way to get out of household responsibilities without turning it into an issue.
Try to reason it out with him and explain that he needs to shoulder domestic responsibilities. If it still doesn’t work, put the baby to sleep and hit the sack yourself too, leaving the dirty dishes in the sink. Wicked, yes. But giving him a taste of his own medicine might just be what he needs to act as a responsible partner.
Related reading: 12 Excuses To Cheat Men Usually Come Up With
6. It could be another woman
Extramarital affairs are more common than you think. Just because your husband comes home late is not a sign that he is having an affair. But if there are other tell-tale signs that your husband is having an affair, pay attention and do something about it before it’s too late.
What Can You Do If Your Husband Comes Home Late?
There will be many reasons for him to be out till late– work, office parties, social get-togethers, his guy friends. It is natural for you to feel resentful if you are stuck at home. Here is what you can do put yourself out of misery if your husband comes home late consistently:
1. If your husband comes home late, talk to him upfront
The first rule to follow is to ask and not to conclude. Try and understand the reason for the delay in his return. Remember complaining will make an already tired spouse even crankier and he may shut him down totally. First, you must tell him that not having him around is making you extremely sad just because you miss his company.
Also, speak about some sweet memories of the past and use this opportunity to take him to a time when both of you were more relaxed. And then very gently ask him what’s happening at work and otherwise. Why is he spending so much time away from home?
Have you said something that hurt him? Or is it something else? Have this conversation only when the two of you have time. Make sure the kids are in bed, the kitchen is closed, and there are no distractions around. It is important to create a calm atmosphere. A glass of wine can help both of you open up and speak more freely.
2. Make his time pleasant at home
Here is one secret, if you are a stay-at-home mom, you will resent your husband simply because he can step out without thinking of a hundred things to plug. And that can build irritation in the marriage. Remember not to let resentment overtake you.
Remind yourself what he does outside is also for his family. After all, you are both on the same team and not adversaries. Do you start cribbing about your in-laws the minute he is home? Or remind him umpteenth time how hard you work the entire day looking after the house and the kids? Stop.
Make your home a happy place for him to come home too. Try, ‘Hey I am making myself a cup of tea, shall I make you one?’ Or I am pouring myself a drink, would you like one too? Remember the show Friends where Monica drew Chandler a bath? Turn your home into a safe sanctuary he looks forward to returning to and not a fighting arena he wants to avoid.
Related Reading: 20 Easy Yet Effective Ways To Make Your Husband Happy
3. Do not nag him
Check if nagging is killing your marriage because it surely can. A woman wrote to us about growing up with a nagging mother who she always despised and without realizing internalized the same traits! She told her husband what he called nagging was essentially her care because she was worried about him. She kept sending him reminders and it was only when her husband said, ‘Just like your mother did with you?’, that she realized the error of her ways.
Do not nag, simple and straight. He has told you that he’d be home by 7 and it is 8. Yes, you are fuming inside but do not scream. Wait till he eats and then have a conversation about it. Do not jump at him the moment he walks through the door, give him time to relax and chill. He will be more receptive to your take on the situation then.
Before you react, ask yourself: are you right or are you angry? This one question will help you check this habit.
4. Give him a few surprises
If your husband is coming home late, then changing the vibe of the relationship might help in correcting course. What better way to do that than showering him with surprises to make him feel special. Little acts of affection go a long way. Surprise your man by wearing that body-hugging dress you bought a year ago instead of the usual pyjamas and tee.
Make his favourite meal once in a while and watch him go all lovey-dovey for you. Pick a movie that you know he will like on Netflix, make some popcorn and turn a regular evening into a movie date night right at home. You could even invite his friends home for watching a game and prepare snacks for them.
Keeping him guessing about the next surprise you’re going to spring on him. Before you know it, he’ll be hooked and coming home to you as soon as he can.
5. Send him love notes
Love notes can work wonders in reviving a relationship. There’s just something extremely special about a handwritten love note. A miss you text, a come home soon note in the lunch or a simple email telling him you are already waiting for him will bring a smile on his lips. Sending him a sizzling hot photo of you will definitely work as motivation to get home early.
You might be wondering, “How late is too late for my husband to come home?” There is no fixed timeframe for this. It can vary depending on his work commitments, lifestyle and other similar factors. Remember sometimes imbalance is balance. Life always just doesn’t move like clockwork. The best you can do is become the reason he wishes to rush home. Skip the drama, and have a happy life.