What Can You Do If Your Husband Comes Home Late Every Day?

Tensed man at office

When a husband comes home late day after day, whether it is because of long working hours or socializing with friends, it can become a cause of contention between the couple. Another reason for this contention is that one partner can’t manage the responsibility of the entire household all by themselves, and needs their husband to step up.

Also, one feels thoroughly rejected when they are home for long hours, waiting for their husband to come back. Once you’re back from your job, or if you’re a homemaker and you’re done with the household chores, it’s natural to crave your partner’s company as the evening approaches.

Sadly, the problem of husbands coming home late or of a husband who goes out all the time is quite rampant. We have a slew of people reaching out to us about this. “My husband goes out and leaves me with the baby. It’s so unfair. We live in the same house and we can go days without saying a word to each other. Most days he is gone before I’m up, and returns home long after I’m asleep,” one woman wrote to us.

One man said, “He is always exhausted by the time he gets home. We don’t have date nights. We go out as a family once a month to a restaurant but not much else!” A third person said, “Sometimes, I do wonder why we are together. My husband, though self-employed, works constantly – even when he is home after a long day at work, sometimes even on weekends.”

The common theme seems to be this question: “Why is my husband always late from work?” It may start as an occasional thing but gets more frequent. His “I’ll be back by 7 pm” turns into 7.30 pm, then gets pushed to 8.30, or even 9 pm. When this happens frequently, it’s just 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 how to tackle the situation in which your husband works late every night.

Why Do Husbands Come Home Late Often?

There was a time your husband couldn’t wait to leave his work worries behind and come home to meet you. “Back home” were words spoken with joy and relief. You spent quality time talking about your day, your respective jobs, venting, ranting, and laughing over a cup of coffee or tea, or even a drink.

All that changed when home became a space, not of positive self-expression, safety, and shared love, but of loaded silences, frictions, and unfought fights. So, when you notice that your husband is pulling away from the space you both once considered safe and yours, it starts to rankle. You now find yourself asking this a lot: “Why is my husband always late from work?”

Shanaya says, “I get mad when my husband goes out right after coming back from work. Is he just using the house to freshen up and have his meals?” We all know how hard it is for many men to open up, be vulnerable and resolve issues. Sometimes, they resort to avoidance and silence, which either backfires immediately or later as the issues pile up. This defense mechanism could also be why your husband works late every night.

Related Reading: 10 Things Nobody Tells you About Marriage After The Wedding

Kyle says, “Almost every day, my husband goes out and leaves me with the baby. It’s very clear there’s a fight going on between us, but neither of us wants to acknowledge it first. Some friends recommended couples therapy exercises to me but I’ve no idea how to broach this topic with him.”

It’s true that many husbands come home late from work and there’s nothing unusual about that. It could be their jobs that demand them to stay longer, or the traffic is ridiculous every evening. But if it’s not that and you can sense that something is off, there could be many reasons your husband is using his home as a motel and clocks in only for bed and breakfast.

When your husband is always busy, there are a few things you can try to diffuse the situation. Talk to him and tell him how you have been feeling, and not how HE has been making you feel. Adopt a tone of vulnerability and resolution, not attack and criticism.  And now, as hard as this is, we must try to find out the probable reasons that your husband is coming home late.

Related Reading: 8 Conflict Resolution Strategies In Relationships That Almost Always Work

1. He comes home late because of his career

Is your husband due for a promotion? He is over-ambitious and he is working late because he wants it to come through. Or is he taking up extra work to upgrade his skills for a better position? Perhaps his boss heaps some of his own work on your husband, 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 theirs. Here’s what to do when husband is always busy: Speak to him and understand his side of the story. Then have a discussion about what is a mutually acceptable and 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 but also drive home the point that you both are missing out on precious time together.

Husband comes home late from work
Boss piles up his own work on your husband

2. Friends can be the reason that your husband comes home late

If your husband is coming home late frequently, could his buddies be the reason for it? Most men love their time with their buddies. It could be about watching a cricket match or having a pint of beer after work, or simply a workout session. One beer can quickly turn into three. A quick coffee can extend into dinner. A workout session becomes about catching up with other friends later.

If his friends are the reason for your husband coming home late, you must speak to him about it. Your anger is valid if you’re thinking, “I get mad when my husband goes out with his friends all the time.” But, instead of attacking him, tell him that while you respect his need to have his own social life distinct from his spouse, commitment toward his marriage and family is important too.

If you’re thinking of telling him to cut back on his time with friends, do this instead – suggest scheduling regular date nights with you. This way, you can blow off some steam together as a couple. Make sure whatever you plan for these date nights is fun for you both.

3. Figure out if he is struggling with addiction

If your husband stays out late binge-drinking or smoking, 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 gather 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 dealing with your husband’s drug addiction with love. However, he has to be the one willing to walk the long road of recovery. Learn to watch out for such worrying signs 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 counseling or at a local support group in your locality.

Related Reading: 10 Ways To Get Your Husband To Quit Smoking

4. He wants to avoid talking to you

There might be some unresolved issues between you two, and coming home late could be his way of avoiding a confrontation. Maybe your needs are incompatible and he is unable to tell you 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 has decided to avoid you to avoid it.

Together, you will need to figure out what is it about your relationship that is keeping him away, and work on it. Have you done something to annoy your man? Are there issues that either of you has been sweeping under the carpet? The good news is if you can resolve the problem that’s driving a wedge between you two, 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 do household chores. 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 it turning into an issue.

Try to reason 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, 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.

6. It could be an affair

Extramarital affairs are more common than you think. Just because your husband comes home late, it 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.

This could sadly lead to a long-drawn struggle toward resolution and forgiveness, or it could lead to a separation. This is one of the worst reasons that your husband works late every night. You must prioritize your own needs, no matter what his reasons for staying away from home are. Decide if the relationship can be mended or if you have to let go of it.

Related Reading: 12 Excuses To Cheat Men Usually Come Up With

What Can You Do If Your Husband Comes Home Late?

Paula says, “I realized why I was so mad at him. It’s because he had a life beyond work, and I had slowly let mine slip away. I had started isolating myself from my friends and hobbies. Of course, it affected me badly. My frustration wasn’t at him, it was at his ability, and thus at my lack of ability, to strike a work-life balance. When I understood this, our conversations became warmer, he took up more responsibility, and helped me get back to my circle of friends who I had missed so much.”

Solutions like these require kind conversations and loads of introspection. But sometimes, it’s not that easy. Especially if the issue isn’t a lack of social life on your part, but him being distant and largely absent from your life. It is natural for you to feel resentful if you are stuck at home and he comes home late every day. It feels like a horrible rejection from your partner, and you don’t feel needed or wanted in your marriage.

Please remember that one person’s behavior toward you is NOT a reflection of your worth. If being left alone every day has started to take a toll on your mental health, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists can help you figure out a way forward. Meanwhile, here is what you can do to put yourself out of this 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 conclude. Try and understand the reason for the delay in his return. Remember that complaining will make an already tired spouse even crankier, and he may shut down completely. Second, you must tell him that not having him around is making you extremely sad because you miss his company. Reminisce about some sweet memories that could relax and cheer him up. Then, very gently ask him what’s happening at work, or why he is spending so much time away from home.

Have you said something hurtful to your partner? Or is it something else? Have this conversation only when the two of you have quality time with each other. Make sure the kids are in bed, the kitchen chores are wrapped up, 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.

Your husband works late every night
A man trying to strike a work-life balance

2. Make his time pleasant at home

If you are a stay-at-home partner, you might resent your husband simply because he can step out without thinking of a hundred things to manage at home. That can build irritation in the marriage. Remember not to let resentment take you over. Remind yourself that what he does outside the home is also for his family.

After all, you are both on the same team and are not adversaries. Do you start cribbing about your disrespectful in-laws the minute he is home? Or remind him the 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 to.

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 it, she internalized the same traits. She told her husband that 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.

A couple argues as the husband comes home late every day
Do not start complaining as soon he gets back home

Do not nag. Period. He has told you that he’d be home by 7 and it is 8. You know he’s normally on time. Yes, you are fuming on the inside but do not scream. Wait till he eats and then have a conversation about it. Do not pounce at him the moment he walks through the door, give him time to relax. He will be more receptive to your take on the situation once he has had the chance to relax and unwind.

Before you react, ask yourself: are you right or are you angry? This one question will help you check this habit. If he does this often though, you’ll need to tell him firmly to inform you beforehand, because keeping you waiting every day is disrespectful of him.

4. Give him a few surprises

If your husband is coming home late, then changing the vibe of the relationship might help in correcting the course. What better way to do that than showering him with surprises and making him feel special. Little acts of affection and seduction go a long way. Surprise your man by wearing that body-hugging dress or that great black suit you bought a year ago, instead of the usual PJs and a tee.

Make his favorite meal once in a while and watch him go all lovey-dovey for you. Pick a movie that you know he will like, make some popcorn, and turn a regular evening into a movie date night right at home. You could even invite his friends home to watch a game, and prepare snacks for them. Keep him guessing about the next surprise you’ll spring on him. Before you know it, he’ll be hooked again and will be coming home to you as soon as he can every day.

5. Send him love notes

Love notes can work wonders in reviving a relationship. There’s just something extremely special about a thoughtfully written love note. An “I miss you” text, a “Come home soon” note in the lunch, or a simple email telling him you’re back home and are eagerly waiting for him, will bring a smile to his lips. Sending him a sizzling hot photo of you will definitely work as motivation for him to get home early too. Romancing your busy partner is hard work but it will ultimately remind him why he needs to strike a work-life balance.

You might be wondering, “How late is too late for my husband to come home?” There is no fixed time frame for this. It can vary depending on his work commitments, lifestyle, and other factors. Remember, sometimes imbalance is balance. Life doesn’t always move like clockwork. The best thing you can do is become the reason he wishes to rush home.

On the other hand, no matter what you do, you can’t keep a person happy who is bent on rendering cracks into the relationship. There’s a time to fight for a relationship, and then there’s time to let go. We hope you both figure out what’s important to you individually, and as a couple.

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