Ask Kari: Why does my husband spend so much time at the local bar after work?

Dear Kari,

My husband has been hanging out at the local restaurant in the bar area more and more in the past six months. Sometimes he will come home from work and then go right down the hill to the bar, missing out on spending time at home with our children and me. I am beginning to suspect that either he is having an affair or he is avoiding the responsibilities of our home life. He tells me he just needs a place to wind down his day and not to worry. What do you think is going on?

--Left at Home

Dear Left at Home,

It is hard to say what is going with your husband without more details of your home life and relationship. I recommend that you pick a good time to talk with him alone and inquire more deeply what is driving his desire to remain away from you, your children and your home. Ask him what going out allows him to feel or escape from. State what you feel when he is away from you. State what you would like to be different. Prepare yourself to listen well, as hopefully you will get the answers you are looking for.  Good luck, and remember to focus on one question at a time to facilitate the opportunity of a good conversation between the two of you.


As published in the August 2015 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

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