The Secret to Emotional Intimacy (It May Surprise You)

The Secret to Emotional Intimacy (It May Surprise You) April 9, 2018

It’s no secret, women are notorious for beating around the bush when asking for what we need. It’s just not romantic when you have to Spell.It.Out. when it comes to emotional support. Beating around the bush is a complete waste of time. SPOILER ALERT: Your husband is not going to get it.

It seems more romantic if he somehow just knows what you need and gives it to you. But he doesn’t have an Emotional Intimacy Detector.

how to get emotional support from your husband

We all need emotional support because we all have emotional intimacy needs. Quite a few actually.

Click HERE for ways to tell your husband what you need

I’ve tried many ways to get my husband to meet my needs and none have been effective in the long run, except one.

I used to think I could subtly let him know I had an emotional need. If your husband is anything like mine, he won’t get it. I’d end up frustrated, and he NEVER EVER got it.

Finally I figured out how to get my needs met.

Here are some don’ts in trying to get your needs met:

  • The silent treatment

I used to think if I gave him the silent treatment, he’d get a clue. Logical, right? Don’t say anything, and he’ll know exactly what you need. I’d walk around for days saying little or nothing. When he’d ask what was wrong, I’d respond with a prominent “nothing,” with coordinating folded arms and pursed lips.

Not talking to him will never work. He’ll either walk around racking his brain trying to figure out what your problem is or he’ll actually believe you that nothing is wrong. That’ll make you madder. Either way, he’ll have absolutely no clue as to what is wrong with you. Then you have to put out extra effort to seem really irritated, hoping he’ll ask you again.

  • Dropping hints

Chances are your husband isn’t going to get the hint.  And you’re going to end up more frustrated. He’s a smart guy not a mind reader. I’d tell him a story about a “friend” who had a similar need and how her husband met it, hoping he’d make the connection. He didn’t.

  • Manipulation

I used to try to shame him into meeting my needs by telling him how other men met their wives’ needs. Did it work? Nope. No one likes to be compared to someone else. Usually he’d end up feeling defensive or inadequate. Or he just wouldn’t have a clue.

  • Complaining

When all else failed, I’d complain. I’d whine about how he NEVER spent time with me or whatever it was I wanted. If that didn’t seem to get a rise out of him, I’d toss in some sarcasm. This usually ended in a fight because he’d feel disrespected. But he still wouldn’t have a clue as to what I needed.

  • Withholding affection

This was always my last ditch go-to. You’re not meeting my needs. Don’t e-ven think about me meeting yours. No huggie. No kissie. Sometimes I’d make a flippant remark like, “You’ll need me waaaaay before I’ll need you.”

After 32 years of marriage, I’ve determined the best way to get my husband to meet my needs is to ASK HIM.

Once I got over the fear of looking weak or needy, it made a world of difference. We have less miscommunication and more emotional intimacy. He wants to know what I need so he can provide it, if he’s able. He didn’t want to have to play “What’s Your Wife’s Emotional Intimacy Need?” to figure out what I needed.

How do you go about getting your emotional intimacy needs met? We all have them. We have quite a few. And our spouse is our number one emotional intimacy need meeter.

So if you want your husband to meet your needs, tell him what you need and how he can accommodate. It might feel awkward or unromantic, but it works.

How do you tell your husband what you need?

Need skills to build intimacy?

  1. Get on the waitlist for my next group coaching session–Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.
  2. Visit my website,  like my Facebook page and  join my private Facebook group.
  3. Check out my FREE resources and download  How to Be A Wife No Man Will Ever Want to Leave.
  4. Apply for private coaching with Sheila.

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Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be. 

She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.

After 33 years of marriage, she’s a  coach  and a speaker whose passion is to equip women to break relationship-stifling habits and do marriage God’s way. And you don’t have to be a doormat to do it.

She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota with their five children and their Black Lab, Largo.

In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network.  Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian,, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.

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23 responses to “The Secret to Emotional Intimacy (It May Surprise You)”

  1. Yes, I used to teach relationship seminars & always included this fact…men do not have emotional radars! They need to be told clearly & distinctly!
    Great post!

    You’re very welcome to drop by for a cup of inspiration anytime.

  2. Its funny how we use all the ‘tricks’ to try to get our husbands to do what we would like and skip over the easiest one. I think somehow we women have decided that if we ask then it invalidates their expressions… as if intuitively being tuned in to us makes the demonstration of their affection more real. What if God were the same and He expected us to just guess what made Him happy… we’d get it wrong all the time and we’d never know if what we were doing was pleasing. Instead, he wrote it down for us so we can constantly reread and be sure that our obedience, worship and devotion is pleasing! thanks for this post!

  3. Sheila,
    Great post! Too bad I didn’t read it yesterday. I tried the “I will treat you the way you treat me.” As you can imagine that didn’t work so well. I agree, asking for what you need always works the best. I hope you share this with our readers on Grace and Truth tomorrow. I am not sure if you link-up with us already. I am a fairly new host. It was great to read your post today. I am so glad I slowed down to read. Blessings, Maree

    Your site looks beautiful!

  4. This is soooooooo true! I used to drop so many hints, and you are so right–they just don’t get it! I have learned to just outright TELL my husband what I need from him, which goes over much more smoothly! So happy to have found your blog today! 🙂

  5. Oh yes, it has taken me the longest time to realize that when my husband asks me, “what is wrong?” he really does want to know. I used to assume that he was just asking, and didn’t really want to know! So then the whole conversation would be affected and it would take much longer for me to get at the real heart of the matter. Thanks for this great post, encouraging true and real honesty!

  6. Been there- done that! All of the above! You offer some very practical helps, and one very powerful suggestion! Ask.
    Ps- I love your tagline- progress, not perfection. Amen!

  7. Oh my, I have tried most of those ways and as you know they do not work. The simplest thing is to just ask and it eliminates so much confusion and emotional stress. Sure, it doesn’t sound romantic, but it really is the only thing that works. They just can’t read our minds or pick up on those subtle hints. After 43 years you think I would have learned this well, but sometimes I wish he would just know. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this and for linking up with us at the #LMMLinkup. Blessings to you!

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