Basic Premise: There are no husbands who will not talk, only husbands who do not believe they will be listened to. If your husband believes you will listen to him, he will talk to you.
This is a question that we are asked often. These are some practical ideas that work.
A. The Seven Most Common Reasons Men Don’t Talk to their Wives
1. They are afraid their thoughts and ideas will be criticized and rejected.
2. They do not feel they are as verbally skilled as their wives.
3. They are convinced they will lose the exchange.
4. They were taught as children to be quiet or face the consequences.
5. They are uncomfortable talking about feelings.
6. They don’t want to become emotional and appear weak.
7. They do not believe they will be listened to.
B. The Five Most Common Mistakes Women Make in Talking to their Husbands
1. They expect an immediate response or answer thus pressuring him.
2. They assume men enjoy conversation just as much as they do and are just being difficult or stubborn thus misunderstanding them.
3. They don’t understand men talk as the result of doing an activity, whereas women see talking as the activity itself thus expecting him to open up while sitting still.
4. They interrupt, evaluate, or criticize their husband’s thoughts as soon as he speaks them thus discouraging him.
5. They are uncomfortable with “dead air” and try to fill in the awkward silence with their own words thus shutting him down.
C. Ten Questions You Can Ask your Husband to Get Him to Talk
1. “So what is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?”
2. “Who is the one person you admire most at work and why?”
3. “What would you change about the place you work if it was up to you?”
4. “Who did you admire most growing up?”
5. “What’s the best compliment anyone ever paid you?”
6. “Growing up, who made you feel the most loved and why?”
7. “If I could change two things about me that would make me an easier person to live with, what would they be?”
8. “What would you most like to be remembered for?”
9. “If you could spend the rest of your life doing just what you really enjoy doing, what would that be?”
10. “Tell me about two or three of the best days of your life.”
D. Seven Winning Strategies to Get your Husband to Talk
1. Ask you husband a sincere question, and then do not say anything until he responds.
2. When he does respond, resist every impulse within you to evaluate, criticize, alter or reject what he has just said.
3. Instead, smile and say something affirming such as, “I respect your feelings…” or “I can understand how you would feel that way.”
4. If there are pauses or periods of silence, say nothing and instead give him time and space to continue his thoughts.
5. Ask probing questions to draw out further information such as, “Tell me more…” or “What did that do to you?” or “What happened next?”
6. Under no circumstances start an argument or use his words against him later.
7. Allow at least 30 minutes to an hour to hear him out (don’t start sharing your thoughts until he assures you he has said everything he has to say on a subject).
Remember, marriage is for better for worse for keeps.
Bob will be speaking on this subject on TLN LIVE with Jerry and Shirley Rose, live on Tuesday evening, November 1st at 7:00 pm (a special night of Prayer and Promise) on Total Living Network. If you don’t have this station in your town, you can watch live streaming during the show at www.TLN.com.