“All married couples should learn the art of battle as they shouldlearn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest–nevervicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to amarriage the principle of equal partnership.” –Ann Landers
Gender conflicts have always plagued men. Women and men are different,and modern marriages present new challenges.
Miscommunication is a leading cause conflict and divorce, so learning howto talk to your wife is necessary for a happy and successful marriage.
Talking to your wife might seem easy, but if you get it wrong, it canmean a life of strive instead of a peaceful home.
The Difference Between Results and Relationships
Menand women think differently. That is a basic fact of life.
Understanding these differences can bring reconciliation to your marriageand improve communication with your wife.
Men are action oriented. They like to have a task with clearparameters and processes. Men enjoy following a step by step process that isconsistent every time the task comes up. They look at work in this manner,and also at their relationships. It is often said that men operate on onlytwo planes. They are either on or off, engaged or disengaged.
Women are more like control panels with dozens of switches and dials.What works one day may not work the next. This often frustratesresult-oriented men.
Understanding this difference can help lower the frustration of how totalk to your wife.
Women are relationship oriented. The journey is more importantthan the destination.
Women like to talk for the sake of talking, not necessarily in order tobring resolution to a situation.
This frustrates men, who feel the need to fix the problem that is beingdiscussed. Understanding what your wife wants can lead to betterunderstanding and more effective communication. If you are unsure of whatshe wants, just ask her what she is looking for. If she just wants alistening ear, she’ll let you know.
Plugging into Her Interests
Everybody wants to feel valued, and this is an especially important partof any marital relationship. Years of togetherness can make spouses lazy.
Don’t let this get in the way of effective communication. One of bestways to talk to your wife is to find out about the hobbies and causes thatinterest her. Ask her about what she is doing and what is going on in herlife.
While her hobbies might not interest you, your wife does interest you. Sotalk to her about the things that she cares about.
You don’t need to take up sewing or protest for human rights, but atleast learn enough about it so that you can talk about human rights andsewing.
When Talking to Your Wife, Timing Is Everything
Women multitask a lot. This is great for your wife’s productivity, butlousy for your marriage’s communication.
Casual conversation can fit into a busy schedule, but the importantsubjects should be kept for times when she can focus more. If the kids arenoisy, the bills need to paid, or dinner in burning, it’s unlikely that youwill be able to talk to your wife.
Wait until the timing is better. It can also help to pitch in to ease herburden so that she’ll be more available later.
Knowing the Difference Between Communication vs. Control
A healthy marriage is built on the principle that both partners holdequal consideration. This doesn’t mean that you both have the same jobs.Traditional marriage roles can be healthy in a home.
But if you’re using position or clout to have a heavy hand, that isn’tthe best way to nurture the relationship. When you talk to your wife, youshouldn’t go into the experience expecting that your opinion will alwaysrule supreme.
That isn’t communication.
It’s control, and controlling relationships can be dangerous to familiesand children. If your wife knows that you care about her opinion, she willmuch more open when you talk to her about any subject, whether it’s casualor serious.
What about Intimacy?
Besides money and children, sex is the biggest factor that influences thequality of a relationship. Talking to your wife about sex can be sensitive.Have a good understanding of the issue before ever broaching the subjectwith your wife.
Most women don’t understand the value that a healthy sex life has for aman. This doesn’t mean they are jerks.
It does mean, however, that you have to tread carefully until you havereached an understanding. With men, sex is the way that they experiencebonding and emotional connection. Women do not need that physical bond nearas much.
Emotional closeness and other areas of the relationship are more valuableto a woman.
But each partner can learn to give and take to make sure that the other’sneeds are met. Discussing this with your wife should be done when therelationship is healthy and no other issues are present. Timing is importanthere.
Don’t place blame on any one person, but rather, seek to find commonground and a point of understanding with your wife.
Dos and Don’ts of Talking to Your Wife
While it can seem complicated, keeping a basic list of dos and don’ts onhand can give you a good point of reference if you find yourself strugglingto talk to your wife effectively.
- Don’t treat her like your child. You are a partner, not a parent.
- Don’t use threats to get your way.
- Don’t try to talk to her when the children are active or she isbusy.
- Focus on what you have in common.
- Spend time remembering the positive parts of your relationship.
- Be considerate in general and communication will come easier.
- Don’t try to fix everything.\
- Pick your battles. Be willing to let some things go that aren’treally important to the bigger picture.
The Emotional Bank Account
When a couple gets to the point where they seek counseling, there aremany tricks and techniques that the counselor has up their sleeve. While youcan certainly pay to have someone help you talk to your wife, you can alsolearn these things on your own.
One common counseling tool is explaining the principle of the emotionalbank account. This theory states that every person has an internal measureof the value of a relationship in their life. For each positive interaction,a deposit is made. Each time something troublesome happens, an emotionalwithdrawal is made. When the account is in the red, problems occur.
Healthy relationships have emotional bank accounts that stay in theblack.
Keep this in mind when you talk to your wife.
Your goal should be to fill that emotional bank with warm fuzzies as muchas possible.
This can include helping around the house, being a good provider, caringfor children, or being emotionally available. If you anticipate needing todiscuss a sensitive subject, take extra time to make deposits in your wife’semotional account to make up for the possible impact of a sensitivediscussion.
Talking to your wife isn’t always easy. If it were, marriages wouldn’tend in divorce.
Even so, by taking the time to understand gender differences and how theycontribute to marital relationships, you can find techniques and tools thatwill ensure that you have healthy and frequent communication with your wife.