One of the top complaints we hear as marriage counselors is,
“My husband won’t talk to me!”
This can be very frustrating for a wife who’s trying to connect with her husband. Good communication is foundational to a healthy marriage, and while husbands tend not to have as much to say as wives do, this by no means lets them off the hook.
If you’re looking to have more chats with your hubby, learn how he feels, and what he thinks about his day, his life and your marriage, then we’ve got some tips for you.
How to Get your Husband to Talk to You
For starters, check your beliefs. Your mind has something that is known as a negative bias, not just your mind, all of our minds have it too. What that means is that if there are ever any empty holes or spaces where we don’t have answers or understand why, we have a tendency to fill them with something negative. For instance, if your husband won’t talk with you, it must mean they don’t care or you don’t matter to them, right? Actually, WRONG.
Long story short, give your hubby the benefit of the doubt about why he doesn’t share or talk as much with you. The reason might not be anything negative at all. Doing this will help you lean in with understanding more than with frustration.
You also want to focus on creating a safe space for them to share. When you let go of the frustrations this gets a lot easier. In our home many years ago while trying to get my own husband to share, it would often look like this:
I try to talk to him and ask questions.
He barely shares.
I repeat myself and ask more questions.
He once again barely shares.
I get frustrated and then we fight.
And round and round we go, and I’m left wondering why he never talks to me. Perhaps it was because every time he did, we would get into a fight. Honestly, I’d probably avoid that too!
You also want to try to understand that your husband is way more sensitive than he may lead on. He likely does care about communicating well, but is perhaps insecure with what to say, fearful of a fight, doesn’t want to be wrong, or just doesn’t know how to communicate well. We can often influence this avoidant behavior in them when we have big reactions of frustration…just like I used to.
So, when you want him to talk with you, make it a judgment free zone and a place where he has the space to pause and think about his answers and where he has the ability to have a simple answer without it not being so deep. When he shares, even in small ways, accept it and appreciate it. The smoother it goes, the more you will get from him in the future.
Finally, to get to lengthier conversations, here are two simple things you can do:
Ask open ended questions and talk about things that interest him. Keep in mind, this is not a landing place, this is a launching place. Ideally, you will get to a place where you can talk about all things—hard things, your things, your marriage and dare I say…feelings. The reality is, if you’re married to a man who struggles with communication, these are some communication training wheels that will help encourage him.
Instead of, “Did you have a good day?”, trying saying, “What was good that happened at work today?” or instead of, “Do you want to do something this weekend?”, try, “What would you like to do this weekend?” If you really want to get the words flowing, try asking him his opinion on fixing a problem. Men are wired so well for fixing problems and things like this will be right up his alley.
Whether you’re encouraged or struggling with these things, we’d love to invite you to take this a little deeper and go read Why Men Don’t Share How They Feel, and then be sure to check out episode 33 of the Expedition Marriage Podcast on What Wives Need to Know about Husbands and Failure.
Until next time,
Enjoy the Journey of Marriage