I have counseled many couples where the husband refused to open up and talk to his wife. Over the years, I’ve encountered a number of reasons why this kind of situation arises in a marriage.
Some men have unhealed wounds in their past. These hurts cause them to be emotionally guarded and withdrawn.
At other times, a wife with a sharp tongue keeps a husband from being vulnerable. He’s afraid she’ll use what he says as a weapon against him.
And some men are just naturally quiet. It’s part of their personality. When you combine this kind of man with a wife who really needs his conversation, that marriage is going to have its challenges.
Regardless of the reason, one of the worst forms of abuse for a woman is silence from her husband. I’ve had wives in my office beg and plead for their husbands to talk…while the men just sat quietly, stone-faced, refusing to open up.
I’ll be direct: Husbands, you have to open up and talk honestly with your wife—regardless of what past hurt, present hesitation, or personality quirk is holding you back.
She needs this interaction and so do you.
If she has harmed you in some way, forgive her. If she is less than careful with her words, tell her about it. Confront her if she struggles to speak kindly, but do not withdraw from her.
For the sake of your own marriage and your own personal health, you need to find a way to work past what keeps you from communicating honestly with your wife.
Men who internalize their problems and don’t talk about them have a greater incidence of heart problems, alcoholism, and stress. A lack of honesty and openness about feelings and problems is the root of addictive behavior—addiction to alcohol, pornography, gambling, and a number of other serious issues.
You call yourself the strong, silent type? You’re wrong, because true strength is displayed in the courage to open up. There’s no bravery in hiding thoughts or feelings in fear.
If you are the type of person who is naturally silent, then make yourself open up and start communicating. Get in touch with your own feelings and begin to express them openly.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you learn to communicate and to give you the courage to change. He will answer your requests, because He is interested in you and your marriage.
Proverbs 12:18 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Husbands and wives: don’t be reckless with your words, but understand that healing begins when you can open up and communicate with your spouse.