Communication is KEY when it comes to having a thriving marriage. However, many couples find it hard to have even a brief heart-to-heart conversation with each other daily. Over the years, my husband, Dave, and I have spoken to countless married couples about this very subject. In those conversations, I have heard too many women frustratedly admit that their husbands simply won’t talk to them. This reality causes more than just hurt feelings. More often than not, a marriage lacking in consistent two-way communication winds up ending in divorce. So, what’s a girl to do when it comes to getting her husband to talk?
Well, here are a few pointers that I have learned (and continue to work on) through the years:
1. Husbands listen more intently and are more willing to talk during an activity.
Years ago, I read an article that stated this as fact. After much research on male communication, they found that men tend to open up more when they are in active play of some sort. This could be a sport, a board game, walking, etc.. I have found this to be true in my own marriage. Dave and I LOVE walking by our favorite local canal on our date nights, and our very best conversations tend to happen on those walks. I think it allows both of us to speak more freely because the act of walking puts our bodies at ease. Exercise is a stress reliever and a distraction from the worry or apprehension we may feel about what we really want to say to our spouse. If you think this might work for you, just try it on your next date night and see what happens. You just might have your best conversation yet!
2. Husbands tend to talk and listen better when standing or sitting beside their partner instead of face-to-face.
The same study that I referenced before also reported that men communicate more effectively when beside someone as opposed to face-to-face. The more I thought about this, the more it made sense. Whenever I see two male friends talking, they are usually side-by-side…running at the gym, watching the game at the stadium, or viewing television. At the base of every strong marriage is a strong friendship, so it would benefit all wives to at least give this a try. Maybe watch one of his favorite television programs and chat it up during the commercials. Get tickets to that game you both have always wanted to go to and cheer on your favorite team together. Again, it wouldn’t hurt to at least give it a try.
3. The phrase “We need to talk…” usually makes a husband want to run the other way.
I’m not saying this is the right response, but I have found it to be a common response by men. For some reason, men don’t usually WANT to talk something out. They don’t usually read our unspoken cues either. Read “The Most Common Mistake Women Make in Marriage”, for more on this.
If we want to get our husbands to listen and respond to us, then we need to allow conversation to happen more naturally. Instead of telling him, “We need to talk…”, ask him to go for a walk with you and let the conversation happen there. Find ways for you both to be together alone. Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with telling our husbands that we’d like to talk to them at all. I’m just saying that men don’t generally respond well to this statement. It makes them worry about the looming “talk”. Then, they start dreading the conversation. So, by the time a husband sits down to have that talk with his wife, he goes into the conversation on the defense instead of open…even if the wife only has good things to tell him.
As spouses, we want to bring out the very BEST in each other. We want to set ourselves up to WIN when it comes to communication. The lines need to be wide open between both partners, and these three pointers just might open up those lines a bit more for husbands.
Husbands, YOU have things you can do to improve communication with your wife as well. For tips on how to better understand and communicate with your wife, please read “10 Questions your Wife Asks Herself Everyday”.
When both partners are actively trying to effectively communicate with one another based on what brings out the best in each other, both parties win.
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Thanks so much for reading and sharing!