How To Communicate With Husband Who Will Not: How Can I Get My Husband To Talk To Me

Responding to a request, this article hopes to answer the question. The answer is cultural as much as biological. I've also sought to connect with the issue personally. Those who know me well know I crave talking deep stuff, but I wasn't always like that.

Until I lost my first marriage I had the capacity to go deep in discussion, but little interest. And it didn't go well for me. It's part of the reason my first marriage failed. As I look over my journals in that period of life I certainly was reflective. So why didn't I open up with my then wife in the latter period of that marriage? I was busy, distracted, unstimulated at that point of my life, and really didn't think there were any problems worthy of discussion. I'd become blind to my own circumstances.

Culturally, baby boomer men (born between 1945-1960) don't reflect about deep stuff with themselves, let alone talk with others. There are exceptions. They grew up in a challenging and confusing time. Perhaps it's more accurate to say they think a lot, especially as life's transitions confront them. This can be frustrating for their wives, who see them shut in, who resist 'help'. The more a wife may want to help, the worse the husband feels the pressure to give what he may feel incapable of giving. He may feel he can't give her what she wants, and he may be right.

Gen-X men (born between 1961-1981) are probably a little more amenable to expressing their emotions, but don't forget who their fathers are - baby boomers. They've had to learn how to do it, and some, like myself, have had to learn the hard way.

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I read an article by Gail Sheehy, and she said that men don't understand women, and they know it, yet women also don't understand men, but they don't know it. Hence, why women are trying to work their men out, and why men don't tend to bother. Another issue that Sheehy mentions is men don't seem to ask questions as much as women do. We've been trained by our culture to work things out for ourselves. Our biology, too, because we're the 'stronger' gender, causes us to think we've got to work it out for ourselves. No wonder we're telling ourselves to man up instead of open up. And little wonder men seem less inquisitive than women.

Interestingly, the cultural scales are sliding and more young women are working things out for themselves; young men can be the ones asking the questions.

Advice for women who feel they can't reach their husbands. Back off. Don't make it a sport. Ask better questions. Questions that do get him talking. Work into the discussion from there. Understand that he will engage if he knows how to. Time discussions appropriately when he's not distracted by something he thinks is more important. And, accept his simple answers. Don't get frustrated by them. And if he feels you're satisfied with his answers, he's more likely to keep going.

I find I open up when I'm stimulated, when there are no other distractions, and when I know I'll be listened to, and most of all when I've got something to say.

Intimacy is central in all this, yet...

Intimacy is a vague concept in marriage. Clarity comes when both partners can agree what it means.

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Sharing joy and playfulness was how you first experienced love and bonding as an infant. As adults, repeatedly sharing moments of playfulness and happiness will increase your bonds of love. You will have a base to help you face the challenges that will inevitably come.

Many people mistakenly believe that play, especially for adults, is a waste of time. There is the misconception that if they are not being productive, they are just taking up space.

But play is productive. It is necessary for both physical and mental health. It is relaxing and stimulating for the brain at the same time. It unleashes our creativity and increases problem solving. Laughter lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones and boosts immunity.

When you play, you are also fully enjoying the present moment. Past and future worries fade away, giving you a break and a chance to gain perspective.

Chances are, when you first met and started dating, you played. Through pleasant, non-competitive interactions you began to fall in love. You talked, you laughed, you touched, and you played.

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If you have stopped playing in your relationship, it is time to lighten up. It is time to add some fun, some humor and some play to your everyday lives. This kind of mutual enjoyment is more than just fun. It is a chance to relax and renew your love for each other. Sharing delight and joy will bond you in a special and healing way.

Every relationship is unique and you will have your own ideas of what is funny. One example was Jamie and Alex, who had been married for 15 years. Jamie was trying to overcome a bad habit of calling Alex nasty name. One day when she was getting frustrated with him, she started, "Why you . . . you, person, you!" Her restraint and that statement broke the tension. They looked at each other and laughed. They were then able to talk things out.

Find or create you own inside jokes. Have fun together, laugh and enjoy one another. Taking time to play together will make the good times great and help smooth out the rough times. A sense of humor goes a long way toward adding life to marriage.

This type of play is not to be confused with making fun of each other. Mocking is not humor. A cutting remark, followed by I was just teasing, is not play. Humor is only funny if both parties are laughing.

Many difficult situations that occur, are things that we are able to laugh about later, sometimes years later. When we can learn to see the humor in difficult situations as they are happening, we will greatly reduce our stress, increase our ability to find solutions and strengthen our relationship.

Play is good for the heart and good for the soul. Humor and play will add joy to your relationship as well as helping to sooth hurts and struggles.

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Has your marriage turned into two people living separate lives together?

Even in the best of marriages, each spouse will need something to call their own. Whether it is a yearly hunting trip with the guys or a monthly spa day for the girls, a little time away from each other often serves to strengthen a marriage. However, it is not too difficult to go from the occasional "me" day to entire weekends or even months of time spent apart. There may even be times when spouses are alone with each other and still in their own worlds.

If you notice a wall of silence growing between you and your spouse, it is time to look into seeking a professional counselor to discover what the underlying problem is. It is not uncommon for two people who shared many common interests in their twenties to, over time, develop different interests. This does not mean your marriage is doomed, it simply means you and your spouse will have to work at what used to come naturally-enjoying each other's presence.

Changes in Your Sex Life

Many things can affect the libido of one or both partners. Your wife may feel unattractive after having children and may be pulling away from physical intimacy as a result. As men age the level of testosterone their bodies produce declines and this can cause not only a decrease in libido but the most-dreaded of male concerns-erectile dysfunction.

In addition to libido and physical concerns, a common problem in the current economy is men feeling emasculated by unemployment or underemployment. Many men feel it is their place to provide for their family and if they are unable to do so, regardless of the reason, they may not "feel like a man," and as silly as this idea may seem to women, for men it is a very serious matter. A man who feels inadequate outside the bedroom may fear he will be inadequate in the bedroom. This apparent lack of interest in sex from a husband can make a wife feel it is her problem.

These are some of the most difficult issues to discuss between two spouses and, many times, the most destructive if allowed to fester. Therefore, problems in the bedroom need to be addressed soon and by a professional therapist.

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Do you find yourselves disagreeing with each other more frequently?

Every married couple argues from time to time. In fact, if you and your spouse do not argue on occasion it probably means you are not communicating at all. However, if you find yourself in the situation where all communication is arguing, then it may be time to see a counselor.

It is easy for small disagreements to become cracks in the foundation of a marriage. If left unrepaired these small cracks can develop into to gaping holes and, before you know it, your marriage is collapsing around you.

Spouses need to communicate, but if all you and your spouse are doing is arguing it is time to get help. It is rare, if not impossible, to fix a problem or compromise on an issue if you and your spouse are constantly stewing in the juices of anger and resentment. This is not something which will go away on its own and the sooner it is addressed the easier it is to repair the damage.

We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Therefore when two people who are as close to each other, physically and emotionally, as a married couple it is only natural for the smooth road to develop a few potholes over time. In many cases these can be repaired by the couple themselves but some problems such as withdrawal, sexual dysfunction (physical or psychological), or constant arguing need the help of a professional therapist.

If you noticed a crack in the foundation of your home, you would not wait until your house fell down to seek help. Neither should you wait if you notice a problem in your marriage-get the help you need and save your marriage while the cracks are small. You will be glad you did.

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I try to take questions that I get asked about relationships and turn it into relationship advice for women that are useful. Sometimes, the man that a woman chooses can be even more emotional than the woman herself. Hey, don't laugh. I used to be one of those sorts of guys. This can be a problem, especially if the woman is serious about this man, but he's sensitive and gets touchy about little things to the extent where he gets emotionally hurt if the woman does or says something wrong. I'll talk about the 3 most common ways below.

1. During PMS

There was this girl who I used to date who would put me through hell if I did anything that was slightly out of line while she had her PMS. She would say really hurtful things, like, "you are the biggest idiot that I've ever dealt with in my life."

The worst part is, she would pretend like it didn't happen and laugh it off afterwards. I didn't find it funny. I actually found it pretty sad and if I could cry, I would have.

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2. No Appreciation

Not appreciating what a man does for you is a sure fire way to lose him very quickly. Ultimately, we are all selfish beings. We are in relationships for our own benefit. I don't know what women want, but men want acknowledgement.

We want to feel like we are adequate providers to our women. We want to make someone happy by giving them the world and then some. If we do and she ignores us, we'll be pretty shattered and so will our heart.

3. No Empathy

This is something else that could severely injure a relationship. Women and men care about different things. Some of the things us guys care about might not be that important to women.

That doesn't mean that you don't empathize and at least try to understand why it's important to us. Ignore what we care about and you're ignoring what makes our heart big enough to fit you in the first place.

This relationship advice for women is something that you would never read in a magazine. That's because it's more so stuff that's real life, which either I have experienced or a mate of mine has experienced. If you want to increase the length that we're together with you, make sure that you're empathetic, you appreciate us and that you don't say anything you would regret during your PMS.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.


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