My Husband Is Emotionally Constipated

By Briana Myrick

A few nights ago, I watched the TV debut of the documentary Miss Representation on the Oprah Winfrey Network. It was a really informative documentary about the media’s misrepresentation of females. Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker made a comment that really gave me an a-ha moment:

Men are taught to be emotionally constipated.

I laughed, then it turned to a chuckle, then it turned to a deep thought, then the light bulb went off. “My husband is emotionally constipated.” I thought this was the perfect description for my husband. Now, there was no true explanation as to what being emotionally constipated really meant. There as no dictionary definition for it, but I sort of gathered what it meant.

What Does It Mean to Be Emotionally Constipated?

You have a hard time showing emotions. This is hubby through and through. He’s called himself a robot several times. He doesn’t really show when he’s happy or sad. He does show when he’s angry though. He’s not into the lovey-dovey affections. Don’t get me wrong; he shows public displays of affection. He holds my hand, he hugs me and kisses me in front of family and friends. What he doesn’t do is profess his love on a daily basis, or even on a regular basis for that matter.

Now hubby has proved his love to me in a variety of ways. He sticks up for me, no matter who the opponent is. He provides for me. He proposed to me. He married me. The list can go on and on. But he’s not the type to talk about me all the time to his friends (not that I expect or want him to). The biggest issue with me is the 3 word phrase: I love you. Hubby usually doesn’t tell me he loves me unless I say it first. I don’t deny that he loves me, because at least he says it back. It would probably throw me off if he says it out the blue, and prompt me to ask “What did you do?” or “What do you want?” It doesn’t pose a huge problem, but it makes our relationship different.

I’m an emotional person. I show it when I’m happy. I can’t hide it when I’m sad. It’s clear to everyone when I’m frustrated. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I have no problem telling him or the rest of the world that I love him. Now his emotional constipation was an issue early on in the relationship, when I questioned how he truly felt. Now that I know how he is and how he operates, it’s just something I’ve learned to work with and work around. I no longer expect him to be the husband who’s involved in everything, my biggest cheerleader, or showering me with words of affirmation (even though that’s one of my love languages).

Is your spouse emotionally constipated? How do you deal with it?

I’m Briana, a 20 year old newlywed and freelance writer/blogger. I was engaged to my high school sweetheart when I started my blog,, and we married after being together for almost 4 years. We decided to ditch the expensive “dream wedding” and opted for a courthouse ceremony instead. After being laid off, I started an online business of freelance writing, sites and services called Engaged Media. You can check out more of my writings at

6 replies
  1. Lady M
    Lady M says:

    Glad to know I'm not the only person going through this. My husband won't say 'I love you' either unless I say it and it frustrates me to no end. My man is not affectionate either, so sometimes I ask myself (and him) if he loves me…..Thanks for posting this.

  2. Troy Coke
    Troy Coke says:

    did my wife send this in. because this sounds just like me only i do profess my love.

  3. Takeena
    Takeena says:

    My husband and I have always had a disconnect when it comes to him expressing his emotions too little and me too much, I guess. We just take it day by day and try to be patient with eachother. We're just different personalities and I try to remind myself of that and not take things personal as much as I can.

  4. Mrs. Smith
    Mrs. Smith says:

    We can all change to a certain degree but men are going to always be more rational and women are going to always be more emotional.

  5. Lorraine V.
    Lorraine V. says:

    Wow, you sound like I did early on in my marriage. I've been married for 14 years now and I used to say the same thing, that's just how he is, he doesn't really express his love a lot but I know how he feels. One day I realized that I was doing a whole lot of adjusting and understanding of who my husband was but I wasn't necessarily getting the same in return. I would say it didn't really matter but year after year after year of having to always initiate "I love you" gets real old. So, I started letting him know that it was very important to me that he tell me he love me without being prompted and that he do romantic things from time to time. I feel like If I have to bend so should he. That's the way it should be. I words of affirmation are your love language then you need to get words of affirmation regularly–that's his job–to make you feel loved just like you should be speaking his love language. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for sharing.

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