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You Want Your Marriage To Stay Alive? Talk.
by Greg Baker
5/10/2010 / Marriage
Communication is an art, a skill, a learned behavior. Just because you can speak doesn't mean you can communicate. There are many different ways we communicate. Words are powerful, but body language or even a kiss can communicate as well. It's essential that you learn to communicate.
I'll break this article into two parts. The first part will be for the wife and the second part will be for the husband.
FOR THE WIFE
Communicating with your husband will take a bit of understanding on your part. Most men just don't like talking about their emotions. They have emotions-despite what they might say-and they have them just as strongly as you do, but they don't like to bring them out and show them. They see it as a sign of weakness.
This isn't true for every man, but it is consistent enough to make a generalization in this case. You will have to know the nature of your own husband. I've seen cases where this was switched.
Getting your husband to open up to you is like trying to crack a nut with a pair of tweezers. It can be a trying experience. Here are some ideas you can try:
1. Ask your husband what he intends to do, not necessarily how he feels. In learning his plan, you will gain an understanding of how he feels.
2. Praise him. Every man has an ego and most men like that ego stroked. Men often pay attention to heartfelt and meaningful praise. You can get your husband's ear more with praise than with criticism and nagging.
3. Talk about plans for the future. A lot of men think in terms of what must be done. Ask questions about both of your future, get him to make plans with you and he'll talk.
4. Use his interests to express your feelings. This may take a bit of practice and skill on your part, but use that which interests him to explain how you feel. For example, if your husband is a die-hard basketball fan and you feel like a failure in something, you may want to tell him that you feel like a basketball player that just missed the winning shot as time expires. He'll immediately relate to that and understand it. If your husband likes to hunt, you may say that you feel like a hunter sitting in a deer stand all day and not even seen a single squirrel. He'll know what that feels like.
5. Don't try to force your husband to talk. Try to use these ideas to get him to open up to you.
FOR THE HUSBAND
Communicating with your wife isn't an option, it is a necessity. Providing her with security is best given through communication. Even if what you have to say is about negative circumstances, she'll draw security from the conversation.
Women define themselves more by their relationships than men do. The strength of her relationships is essential to most women's security and happiness. And the strength of a relationship is built on communication.
Here are some tips, gentlemen, on communicating with your wife:
1. If you want to know what she is planning to do, ask her how she feels about it. As she explains her emotions you'll gain insight into her intentions as well.
2. Take time to listen to her. This is vital. Many women just want their husbands to listen to them. You don't necessarily have to solve her problems, tell her what to do, or explain things to her, you just need to listen. Don't presume to correct her, fix her, or change her. Just listen.
3. Plan the future together. When you talk to each other, talk about the future. That is what you did when you first met, and that helped bring you together.
4. Schedule times to talk. Anticipation, for most women, is a greater force than surprise. I usually let my wife know in advance when we are going to do something together. She will think about it and just anticipating it often goes further than the actual event does.
5. Praise her. She needs to hear you say how pretty she is, how lovely she is, how much you love her, how appreciate you are of her.
Try these things to establish good lines of communication in your marriage.
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