Husbands want to know why their wives are always angry with them and wives want to know why their husbands ignore them.
There’s an easy answer to that. Over time, marriages develop a polarization. For example, the more she nags the more he blames her for whatever the issue might be. The more he blames her for the problem, the more she nags, criticizes and harasses. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle: nagging angry wives match up with cold, blaming, quiet and distant husbands. And so it goes. Lots of distance between the two and not much fun. Each blames the other for the pain and neither seems able to break the grid-lock in their relationship.
That part’s easy, describing the problem. What to do about it is another matter. Both men and women fail to understand how sensitive emotionally a man truly is. Not only is he underdeveloped emotionally, so emotional matters scare him, but he has not been given the skills or the practice of managing himself in intense emotional waters. While women were growing up they were learning emotional relationship skills. Guys on the other hand were out exploring, doing muscular activities, and solving practical problems in physical reality. Few men understand things you can’t see or touch, like emotion and feelings. Truly, it can seem as though men and women grow up on different planets.
What’s a wife to do to help her husband be a little sweeter and nicer and warmer towards her?
Stop complaining and plan instead. Rather than complaining to your husband how you never do anything together, step up and scheduled a babysitter or nanny and take your husband on a date.
If you want to be with your husband, be with him where he is. If he’s watching TV on the couch, sit with him on the couch and watch whatever he’s watching. If he’s in the garage tinkering with his hobby, go to the garage and helped tinkering with his hobby.
Take it slow. If there’s something important you need to talk to about with your hubby, do two things before you start talking: 1. Set a time and place with him to talk about your topic of concern and tell him what your concern is. Don’t engage him about this topic now. Wait until that time set comes, even if he wants to do it right now and get it over with. 2. When you begin talking to him, start slowly and avoid a big wamp over his head with your full gunnysack of complaints.
Here’s some insight: if your husband cares about you, he wants all your problems fixed. If you continue to complain, he feels inadequate because it means he has not fixed your problems. What he doesn’t understand is that women sometimes just need to talk and whine abit in the presence of someone they feel safe with and get “it” off their chests. However, when she does that, the man often feels like he’s let her down, otherwise she would be happy and not so “emotional”. Once again, he’ll make an attempt to solve the “problem”, or give up and go cold and quiet because “She is hopeless. I can’t ever please her.” He needs to now all he should do is just listen. But, that’s hard to learn.
When you feel angry or contemptuous or misunderstood or lonely, touch your husband but say nothing. If he looks surprised as you stand there with your arms around him or your cheek next to his, still stay quiet. If he demands to talk about this physical contact or he is worried that something’s up, reassure him by simply saying, “I miss you and wanted to get a little closer to you.”
Remember wife, you have superior emotional skills when compared to your husband. Therefore it’s your responsibility to be careful and gentle with him when in emotional interaction. He can’t take emotional heat like you can so matter of factly. With that in mind, here’s a final tip: nagging and criticizing your husband will almost always get you the opposite of what you want.
Touch first, talk later. Both are necessary, but in the proper sequence, you will thaw out a cold and distant husband and maybe save a marriage.
Call a good marriage counselor: Paul W. Anderson, Ph.D. 913-901-9110