What To Do When Your Husband Stays Out Late (9 Ways To Handle The Situation)

by April Maccario

Has your husband turned your home into a bed and breakfast for himself? Do you only get to see him when he rolls into bed late at night, before he’s gone again after getting some warm food in his belly in the morning? 

He wasn’t like this before marriage, hell he wasn’t even like this three months ago.

Or maybe yours has been going on for a lot longer, and your attempts at making him do better have only made things worse. Your husband coming home late can be a tough pill to swallow, especially if you work from home or are a stay-at-home mom.

He gets to leave every single day and get time away from home, but you know you can’t afford to do the same. At least not as often as he does. I mean, work really does get quite busy for him sometimes, demanding some extra hours, but he’s been using that card a lot lately.

Between your frustration from missing and worrying about him all the time, you can’t help but think that maybe there’s another woman. That, of course, doesn’t help, but the following tips just might.

9 Ways To Handle The Situation

1. Stop spiraling

I know it’s easy for me to just sit behind a computer somewhere and tell you to stop spiraling. I’m not the one who has to deal with wailing toddlers all day while trying to meet a work deadline. I’m not the one who hasn’t gotten to have a decent adult conversation with her spouse in days. 

I’m not the one who keeps looking at the clock, wondering if he actually tried to make it home on time but something terrible happened to him. 

I may or may not have experienced those things firsthand, but don’t think for a second that I don’t understand. It’s bad enough having to get through a tedious schedule daily, but when you can’t even look forward to the balance your husband brings just by working in the front door on time, it can make it twice as hard. Again, I get it.

However, if spiraling helped, I bet you wouldn’t be here reading this article right now. If anything, it just adds anxiety to the pool, making an annoying thing even worse by painting worst-case scenarios. To top it all off, it doesn’t make him come home any faster, so why not stop doing that to yourself?

2. Ask him

ask him

“Oh, is that all I had to do, just ask him? Story of my life!” Lol, hear me out. Obviously, when someone comes home late, you ask them why, because that’s what you do, but the question is, how have you been asking? And what kind of response does he give?

Do you just throw the question at your husband in a passive-aggressive way, sometimes not even waiting to hear the answer because you already have one in your head? Or perhaps you’ve heard his reason one too many times, and you’re just too tired by the time he finally does come home to listen to it again. 

On his part, does he just shrug and say ‘work again,’ blame traffic, or actually explain what went wrong and that he’ll try to come home earlier? See, if his response is not the latter, and you know it’s because of how you ask.

Stop concluding the reason is the same as before or that he’s cheating on you. Instead, save your energy for a calm conversation, one which ends in both of you coming to an agreement or a compromise. Maybe not immediately he gets in, though, make sure you find a good time, probably in the morning before he leaves again.

3. Figure out the cause

I still think one of our limitations as humans is that we have no way of knowing whether someone is telling us the truth. Yes, we have our gut feeling, but we don’t always trust that because it’s not 100% foolproof. You can only take what your husband tells you, he might not even be lying, but he also may not be telling you the whole truth.

Perhaps, he truly couldn’t get out of what he was doing in time to beat traffic and come home for dinner, but what about the underlying reason? Is he happier outside than he is at home with you? Would he rather hang out with his friends till late at night than come home early and be with his wife? Is your marriage becoming boring to him

If any of this were true, would he tell you? Probably not. All men are not the same, but most try to avoid difficult conversations, so they keep it down for as long as they can.

If you’re not satisfied with what you get from your conversation, you can try to do some findings on your own. Look out for other signs that may suggest what is truly driving him to stay out late. While you’re at it, do some introspection too to see if and how you may be contributing to the problem.

4. Don’t pester him

Remember when I asked how you ask questions when your husband finally gets back? One method that will seem very tempting but won’t help you is to nag. Regardless of where he’s coming from or what he’s been up to all day, chances are he’d be spent by the time he gets in after staying out late.

Stress can make anyone cranky, if your husband has to hear about all his faults in that state every night he comes home late, it’s likely he takes it the wrong way. He gets irritated from hearing the same thing and feeling judged by you over and over again. You get annoyed because everything you say seems to be falling on deaf ears.

Before you know it, the situation has escalated into a big mess, and you can no longer trace what led to what. It can be hard not to jump right into telling him how you balance work and marriage and still come home in time to kiss the kids goodnight.

If he’s not a terrible husband/father, then he probably already feels bad for not being there for his family enough. Rubbing it in his face will only make him feel worse, and that doesn’t help either of you. This is my honest advice, let him take a few and keep your negative emotions at bay before you address the issue.

5. Help him feel welcome at home

help him feel welcome at home

I know some guys who would rather sit at work, or stay out late with friends rather than come home to their families. It’s sad, but that’s life; we tend to gravitate towards what makes us happy and vice versa. If your home is your husband’s happy place, you won’t have to ask him not to stay out late. 

If your husband felt happy at home, he would make sure he pushed things around just to get as much time as he can with you. Now, this is not to say your spouse is sad or that your marriage is sour, sometimes, it can really be out of his hands. However, if being out late goes from an occasional ‘my boss is crazy’ thing to a regular ‘life happened’ shrug, you may need to look into what being home is like for him.

Not nagging him is an excellent place to start making him feel welcome again in your arms again. Ask him how his day went, talk like the normal couple you are or used to be. If you can help it, stay off the coming home late subject, as that might encourage him to open up more.

Draw yourself a bath, invite him in, and let the tension dissipate. Give him something to look forward to after a long day, and watch your man come home even early enough to get dinner ready.

6. Remind him he has nothing to prove

This may come as a surprise, but some men who stay out late don’t even enjoy doing it. Some of them would rather be in bed cozying up with their partner than bopping hard to some loud music at a club on a Friday night. Yet they do it, because like someone said in a tweet I saw, “peer pressure only gets worse as you grow older.”

Whether it was alcohol, sex, or piercings, we all had that phase as teenagers where we did something because cool kids our age were doing it. But what we tend to overlook is that, even now, as adults, we still get influenced by what people around us would do. 

Perhaps, your husband’s issue is that those around him – friends and colleagues stay out late all the time and he joins in so he’s not the odd one out.

Perhaps living responsibly has got him feeling his age, and he’s trying to remain forever young. It’s worse if there is a significant age difference between you. If this sounds like your man, occasional reminders from you that he has nothing to prove might go a long way in settling this problem.

7. Keep busy

How does that saying go, ‘’a watched kettle never boils?’’ Watching your phone and the clock intermittently won’t draw your partner home any faster than willing him back would. 

Unfortunately, you may not be able to stop yourself from doing all that if you remain idle. So, if you asked me what to do when your man stays out late, I’d say keep busy.

Find something to keep you busy, so you have less time to spare overthinking. If anxiety won’t let you focus on something else, you can put a call through or send him a text to confirm he’s okay. Once you’ve done that, just put your phone away or use it to pass the time.

Don’t make the kids wait up for him, but if you personally decide to, you’ll see that time will go by faster when you fill yours with something. And if it becomes a constant thing, you can tell him you will no longer be waiting up too. That way, he can either try to come home earlier or make do with whatever he meets when he does.

8. Set some boundaries

This isn’t something that you should have to do, but if your spouse doesn’t realize that a married man shouldn’t behave in some ways, it becomes necessary. He’s obviously an adult, and you can’t impose a curfew on him per se, but as his wife, you can let him know where you draw the line.

This should come after a period of giving ‘benefits of the doubt’ and being understanding, but not too long. In an ideal situation, your partner should be just as considerate of your feelings as you are of his.

You shouldn’t have to be the one who sacrifices her needs ALL the time, he is just as obligated to do the same. So, to have some structure in your marriage where you don’t fight about the same issue every time, set some boundaries. This is for both parties’ sanity, and it doesn’t make you any less of a good wife, I promise.

9. Set an ultimatum

set an ultimatum

Sadly, drawing a line isn’t a guarantee that it will serve the purpose. It’s all some men need to do better, but yours might need a little extra motivation to stick to the plan. So if after setting your boundaries, he still remains set in his ways, and you’ve tried everything else, you can now introduce an ultimatum.

Say, for instance, the agreement is that he makes it in time to tuck the kids in on school nights, and he can do whatever he wants on weekends. And he repeatedly and unapologetically crosses it for no good reason, that’s not an occurrence you should let slide as usual.

Since he has promised and failed to fix up, let him know you’ll no longer be taking his word for it. In the meantime, there should be agreed consequences the next time he doesn’t keep his word.

It doesn’t have to be as drastic unless you two are already there. If you’re still willing to put some effort into improving the relationship, you can encourage him to try couple’s counseling.

FAQs

How do I deal with a late husband?

If your husband getting in late is a new development, try and keep yourself from concluding until you have a conversation with him. If you’re satisfied with his reason, you can then both come to a compromise. However, if he has no reasonable excuse and it becomes a habit, you might want to put your foot down.

Should a husband go out without his wife?

Definitely, in fact, it is recommended that he does, sometimes. There is no need for him to lose his individuality just because he is married. Maintaining his friendships is healthy for him as long as those friends don’t influence him negatively.

Is it too late to get my husband back?

It is probably not too late yet if you can still communicate, and he’s willing to come back. Depending on the extent of your relationship’s deterioration, you can either talk and work it out on your own or you could seek out an expert for couple’s counseling.

What to do if my husband is ignoring me?

Certain circumstances must have prompted this action, you can ask him if it’s something you did or said. If he’s not willing to talk yet, give him some space and let him know you’ll be there when he’s ready. Then go about your life, and try to maintain a positive outlook.

Why is my husband coming home late?

The reasons married men get in late can be anything from their careers to cheating. However, you shouldn’t conclude there is another woman yet until you’ve ruled out other possibilities and seen other signs to that effect. He might be struggling with a personal issue or trying to avoid the heat at home for all you know.

In Conclusion

No one loves to feel like their spouse isn’t happy in their marriage, so we get anxious when they begin to act up. Sometimes it’s out of your hands, other times you can actually salvage the situation. If this article was worth your time, kindly share it and leave a message. 

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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