Many wives say that their husbands don’t want to share with them…the husbands don’t share their feelings and what is going on in their lives. We need to all understand that men and women process emotions differently and men generally need to feel respected to be comfortable sharing emotions with you.
Here are some important tips on “Healthy Relationships”
Things You’ll Need:
- A compassionate approach
- A willingness to hear his perspective
1. Ask simply. If you want to get a man to open up, do not start the conversation by saying, “We have to talk.” Also avoid launching into a lecture about your own feelings on the topic at hand. These tactics work against creating an open, non-threatening atmosphere. Whether the issue you want to discuss is small or big, always start with a simple question such as, “How would you feel if we broke from tradition and vacationed in Tobago during Christmas this year?” or “What are your thoughts on our sex life?”
2. “Shut up.” You must do this long enough to allow him to take in your question, formulate his thoughts and finally, speak. Do not interrupt. Do not finish his sentences. Do not come back with counter arguments.
3. Beware that he may express feelings that are different from yours, and you better not freak out about it. If you yell or break down in tears because he doesn’t share your perspective, you can bet that he’s not going to share his opinions with you in the future. Take a deep breath, stay calm and keep an open mind.
If you want an open dialogue, you’ve got to accept viewpoints that are different from your own.
4. Listen only. The point of this exercise is to get your husband to open up, so now is not the time for you to talk. If he shares his feelings and then asks you to share yours, by all means speak up. If he doesn’t ask for your feelings, drop it. Let him be the sole one to share this time. If you want to respond to things he says, give it a few days. Then you can bring up the topic with, “I’ve been thinking about what you said the other day, and I have a thought I’d like to add.”
5. Thank him. When he has finished–whether he uttered one modest sentence or presented a detailed monologue–let him know that you appreciate his openness by saying, “Thank you for sharing those feelings with me.” This is essential even if you were less than thrilled by what he had to say.
6. Do something else when the conversation finishes. Watch a movie. Take a walk. Cook dinner. “Part ways” and come together later. This will show your husband that a conversation about feelings doesn’t have to last for hours and can end lightly.
Tips & Warnings
- For some, talking about feelings is a learned skill that takes practice, just like playing tennis or piano. Be patient as your husband learns.
- Talking about emotions needn’t be an overly emotional experience. Approach the discussion with as much matter-of-factness as if you were recounting the story of a routine trip to the grocery store.
- If you make the discussion easy on your husband, in time he will speak about his feelings on his own without you having to inquire first.
Tune in every Monday to my Radio program “Healthy Relationships” on 98.1FM @ 12:20pm. Blessings!
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