Live
Oprah's Lifeclass is streaming live now!
Watch
Live
Today at
Oprah Live Stream
Remind Me
Loading...
How to Communicate with Your Husband
It's a question asked by countless wives: How can I get my husband to share his feelings? Roland Warren is president of the National Fatherhood Initiative, an organization focused on strengthening the role of the father in the family. He stresses that couples need to soften the way they approach each other. For women dealing with reticent husbands, these ideas may open the lines of communication.
The Three Rs
Roland says you should remember three critical ideas when communicating with your spouse. First, relax by managing your emotions, words and actions. Secondly, relate to your husband; seek to understand him. Finally, release: When an argument is over, leave it that way.

Find a Good Time and Place
Before trying to have a talk with your husband, pick a time when he's most relaxed—not when he's walking in the door from work. Men are activity-oriented, so try taking a walk while you talk, or take a long drive...just the two of you, to get his full attention.

Warm-Up Questions
Roland suggests beginning with some warm-up questions. Use them to spark a meaningful conversation between you and your husband. Be sure to listen to your spouse's responses without judging him. Remember, the goal is to understand where he's coming from. Try these sample questions:
  • When you worry, what do you worry about most?
  • When do you feel happiest?

The Bigger Picture
After you've used the warm-up questions, try these:
  • What one thing would make this the best year of our lives?
  • How can I support your role as a father?
  • What do you dream for yourself?

You may be able to start a conversation, but don't become too frustrated if your husband doesn't completely open up immediately. Sometimes, just expressing your interest can be the beginning of bigger communication.


How to Get Closer to Your Husband
What you can do to improve your relationship without talking about it
The most useful communication technique of all time
4 steps to healthy communication

Comment

    0 Comments

    Advertisement

    How to Stay Together and Stay Yourself
    The art of staying together, and staying yourself.
    Illustration: David Cowles
    Having her adored husband around: comforting, engaging, fun. Having him away for a few days: pure euphoria. Cathleen Medwick on the fine art of staying together while staying yourself.

    The taxi is just pulling out the driveway. He is on his way to Indonesia, a five-day business trip. Gone! I don't know what to do first. Take a walk outside with just a noisy bunch of tree frogs for company? Throw a highly objectionable CD (that would be Carousel or Show Boat) into the Bose and raise the volume to deafening? Turn out the lights, peel off some clothing, and dance? Or sing! I'm great on the choruses, even the solos, I've been listening to this music since I was 10.

    Let me catch my breath for a moment. My husband has left the building. And I'm exultant; it's the way you'd feel if you landed alone on the moon and everything was cool and silvery and you knew you could go home to Earth again—just not quite yet. Because I'm crazy about Jeff, my husband of 32 years. We've had coffee together practically every morning all that time. We've bought dinged and battered antiques that nobody else would look at twice. We've lived congenially, for the most part, in a one-bedroom apartment, a rambling prewar classic six, and two drafty, centuries-old exurban farmhouses with sodden basements (doesn't every house have water seeping through its limestone foundation?). I've handed him a glass of vodka as he's obsessed about his dozens of orchids, his acres of flax, and shrieked at him as he's uprooted the tender shoots of our 50-year-old peony bushes with the rake of his tractor. I've seen his eyes close in rapture as he's played his guitar, watched him gaze with boundless admiration at our sweet, manic quasi-Labrador, and even at me. I've seen him accumulate a world-class collection of ties—enough to outfit a small company—and a pile of laundry so steep it finally collapses into the bathroom doorway, where he nimbly climbs over it, scattering clothing like rose petals in his wake. I've watched him sleep propped up on his elbow, head resting in his hand and blankets merrily twisted around his legs, as the eternal light from the blaring television flicks hectic patterns onto his face. I've listened to him snore so resoundingly that our neighbor's peacocks honk in solidarity. And I've tiptoed out of the bedroom, slippers in hand, to slide beneath the covers of our daughter's bed (she's long been out of the house), where the velvety night envelops me and I can hear the humming of my own reclusive mind.
    PAGE 1 of 3

    Comment

      0 Comments

      Advertisement

      Save Your Marriage from the Recession
      Marriage counselor M. Gary Neuman
      In uncertain economic times, bank accounts aren't the only things that suffer. "Many of you are at home right now terrified about your financial future. Whether there's been a job loss or not, anxiety is sky high for so many people," Oprah says. "The stress of it all is taking a really huge toll on people's marriages." 

      Marriage counselor M. Gary Neuman says when people start getting anxious, problem-solving skills are the first things to go. "Panic is the biggest obstacle to creativity, and now is the time that people need to look at everything creatively," he says. "When people panic, they become paralyzed and they don't make decisions—and then decisions are made for them."

      PAGE 1 of 13
      FROM: Recession-Proof Your Marriage
      Published on April 08, 2009

      Comment

        0 Comments

        Advertisement

        Start the Money Conversation with Your Kids: A Script for Parents
        Why You Need to Talk to Your Kids About Money
        M. Gary Neuman explains how to talk to your children about money during a recession.
        Economic problems can be a life-changing moment for children, and fighting about money in front of your children can influence how they view money and family for the rest of their lives. Worrying about financial security isn't your child's job, it's yours.

        It's also your responsibility to teach them the true meaning of family. When your children are older, they're going to look back at the tough economic times you faced and either say, "That was a time our family completely fell apart," or "My parents, they showed us what real family is all about." They will carry that message for the rest of their lives.

        Instead of fighting with one another, join forces and fight together against the world—your kids are depending on it. By doing so, you're going to set them up for success their entire lives. Sit down with your children and start a conversation. If you can reassure them, they will not be traumatized. When they know that you're in charge, they will be calm. It's your job to make that happen.

        Use this script to have a money talk with your kids.
        PAGE 1 of 4
        FROM: Recession-Proof Your Marriage
        Published on April 08, 2009

        Comment

          0 Comments

          Advertisement

          Two in a Bed
          Dr. Robin Smith
          Are you a bed hog? Does your partner snore? Do you fight over the covers? Millions of adults fall asleep beside another adult. And there’s also a good chance that the person sleeping next to you makes it very difficult for you to get a good, sound sleep. Maybe he’s an insidious snorer. Maybe she’s a sleep walker, a sleep talker or a sleep kicker. Dr. Robin talks with Paul Rosenblatt, author of Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing, about how to cope.
          The information provided here is for entertainment and informational purposes. You should always consult your own physician before starting or modifying any treatment program. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.

          Comment

            0 Comments

            Advertisement

            The One Thing You Need to Do to Save Your Marriage
            Relationships aren't easy, even for relationship experts. Here's a new technique from the co-founders of Imago Relationship Therapy that can work for any couple.
            Comic book couple
            Photo: Thinkstock
            Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, authors of Making Marriage Simple: 10 Truths for Changing the Relationship You Have into the One You Want, reveal a strategy they discovered in their own struggles, which can lead to a massive, permanent turnaround.

            Most of us can identify the big, ugly problem in our marriage. It's that "the kids just went off to college" or "we're not having sex" or "he spends all his time at the basketball court" or "she doesn't like to travel to countries without plumbing" or "god, he never laughs." For decades, working as therapists in counseling sessions, Hendrix and Hunt heard hundreds of couples name that lone wrecking-ball that was bringing it all crashing down. They knew, of course, that the problem under discussion wasn't the problem.

            The fundamental idea of Imago therapy, after all, is that people tend to marry the person that they hope will solve their own problems from childhood—a person who, paradoxically, often exacerbates those problems until the two learn to communicate. Who on earth can recognize that all alone?

            And yet...they suspected still another kind of conflict was lurking around in most marriages, wreaking havoc. They weren't able to identify what it was, though, until their own relationship began to fray and falter. "It was a terrible time for us," says Hendrix. "We could hardly stand each other. We knew we loved each other, but neither of us felt loved, or even understood."

            One day, they went to the bookstore. They'd exhausted all the sections that offered clinically acceptable advice about their situation, such as self-help and relationships. Instead, they decided to check out an area they'd never visited: astrology. On a back shelf, they found a book about the compatibility of couples based on their signs. The two were so desperate for help that they did an exercise in the back page. "The result was," says Hunt, 'You are going to destroy your relationship unless you suspend all negative scrutiny.'"

            Yes, this was a book about horoscopes. Yes, these were two people with doctoral degrees, two professional therapists who considered astrology along the lines of hocus pocus. But whether it was fate or luck or just a very insightful analysis based on their birthdates, the message hit home—painfully. "All the blood drained out of my face," says Hunt. "I thought somebody must be watching us, that somebody must have set this up." Negativity was the root of all their problems—and they wondered if it was the root of their clients' problems, too. "We were so embarrassed we hadn't found this out in therapy," says Hendrix. "But, at the same time, it was a relief to know what was wrong."

            Next: The experiment that may revolutionize your marriage
            PAGE 1 of 3

            Comment

              0 Comments

              Advertisement