To start off this article, I want you to imagine that you are speaking to a friend and saying something like this.
“I don’t know what is the matter with my husband. He is just acting weird. It seems as though he is avoiding me and doesn’t want to talk. It is seriously annoying me.”
I am sure that no matter how long you have been married for, at some time or another you have been through a similar situation to what I just shared. And I’m sure if you are like most wives, you have wondered what is up with your husband.
But you see there is often a very valid reason for him suddenly being quiet or acting in different ways from what you are used to. I so understand, but I want to assure you that you have a key that you can use, to help him to open up and share with you.
The Usual Reason
When things have been going pretty well in your marriage and then they suddenly change, there are any number of reasons for this shift.
Sometimes your husband may be going through stress in his work or business activities. Other times he may be concerned about something, like finances or other pressures from the world.
Perhaps part of the reason he doesn’t want to share with you is because he does not want you to become stressed by it as well. Whatever the reason for it, unfortunately it creates a barrier between the two of you.
As I shared in my article entitled What Did You Say?, communication is a vital part of your marriage. There I showed you how to communicate effectively from your side. Now I want to show you how you can get him to open up and begin to share with you more.
The Wrong Way to Approach Him
If you do not understand what is going on with your husband, the chances are you will think that he is just being full of nonsense. And so perhaps your first reaction may be one of aggression and attack.
You will most likely do this if you are an expressive type of person who more easily shows your feelings. But you may be on the opposite end of the pendulum and are a quiet analytical. If you are frustrated enough, you will probably blurt out your feelings too and will want to get it off your chest.
But the right way to approach him is not to say something like,
“For goodness sakes what is up with you? You just never talk to me at the moment. All you do is escape and go for walks, or yell at me whenever I say anything. Would you please just spit it out and tell me what is the matter?”
I can understand your frustration. But unfortunately this is not going to make things better. In fact it is likely to make things worse. He will retreat even more into his shell, or he will explode back at you and you will end up having a big fight.
The fact is he doesn’t need someone getting on his case if he is going through something. He needs someone to lure him out of that shell and urge him on.
The Right Way to Approach Him
What then is the right way to approach him? It is quite simple. You need to look at your own beam first.
You might be thinking to yourself,
“But if I look at my own beam, it means I am admitting that I have done something wrong. I’m not the one who is in the wrong here. He’s treating me badly.”
I understand, but trust me when I say that this is the best approach to use.
Look for a good time to speak to him. If he is engrossed in a sports game or something it won’t be a good time to speak as I shared in my article on What Did You Say?. But when you can, approach your husband and say to him,
“Honey, I have a problem. I can see that something is wrong. You seem to be distracted or worried about something and I am concerned about this. Do you want to share with me what is going on?”
There are a few ways that your husband can react.
Firstly he will hopefully react positively and begin to open up. If he is worried about something he may start to share with you what it is.
If that happens that is wonderful and you can stand in agreement with him about the problem. I will share with you more about this shortly.
Or he may simply say something like,
“Oh it’s nothing much. Don’t worry about it. I’m just being introspective.”
This reaction is basically just saying,
“I’m not interested in talking about my problem, but it is nice that you asked anyway. I’d prefer that you just leave me alone.”
Or he may react and say something like this.
“What do you mean you see something wrong? Trust me there is nothing wrong. You are just overreacting.”
If he didn’t open up, but rather reacted like I have just shared, you are probably still frustrated. You wanted him to open up, but right now you are still none the wiser about what is going on. If this is the case I suggest you just say something like,
“Okay it’s no problem. I just thought if you wanted to talk it would be a good idea. When you want to talk I’ll be waiting and ready to listen.”
Just be available to listen when the time is right. The best thing you can do is to leave him in the Lord’s hands. Let Him work on the situation. You can be assured that the Lord will do just what is needed to bring about a change for the good.
It may not happen instantly. In fact it often takes time for things to change.
Sometimes he may have to change bad habit patterns and past programming. Maybe he has developed the habit of keeping things to himself all his life. Now he has to learn to change things a little.
Just be there and available. And when he is ready he will be like that tortoise that comes slowly out of his shell and heads for the bait.
What You Can Do
Perhaps you are blessed to have your husband opening up to you. If this happens, then aside from listening there are some things that you may want to do, depending on the situation.
If he is concerned about something, why not talk about the situation together? Then suggest to him that you pray together and give it to the Lord. Offer to stand in agreement with him if he wants to do so.
Praying together is one of the most powerful ways of bringing unity in marriage. And especially if your husband is concerned about finances, you can also help to carry that load. You can do the same for any area that may be bothering him.
As you put this idea into practice and share in the way I have described, I am confident that you will see an improvement in your relationship and an ability to talk more openly.
Your husband in turn will be more ready to share things with you, because you will not be coming across as arrogant or pushy. He may even begin to open up more on his own.