You may have noticed (!) that men not only do not multi-task, they also don’t move immediately from one task to the next. They stop for “cave time” (or transition time) between activities – and the more intense the activity, the more transition time they need. It may look like he’s watching the news, playing a video game or doing nothing at all, but what he’s NOT doing is listening to you.
When he comes home from work, he may need 30 mins or so of transition time before he’s able to focus on you or the kids. Between shorter activities he may only need a few minutes. This time is when he processes what’s happened and prepares himself for the next situation – and frustrating as it may be when you’re waiting for him, or hurtful as if may feel to be snubbed when you want to tell him something, it’s not something he’s doing consciously to hurt you. If he didn’t do it he’d be in limbo, stuck between two roles and vague and distant all evening.
In fact you can take advantage of his need to adapt from one situation to another and create your own ritual to guarantee a happier, more connected evening together. Greet him with a smile when he gets home but don’t try to start a conversation. If you don’t have children, take the time while he’s caving to relax, do some self-care and let go of your own work or business related problems. If it’s not possible to do that at the same time as he is, wait until he’s back with you (he’ll come and find you) and then ask him to take care of the children etc while you disappear for some alone time yourself. That way you’ll both be refreshed and relaxed and able to enjoy the rest of the evening together.
Do you feel ignored and hurt while he’s transitioning? Share with us in the comments.