Improving Communication in Marriage
Rabbi Shmuley offers these suggestions to help your husband open up to you.
- Timing is everything. Rabbi Shmuley says to pick a time when he's calm and relaxed.
- Ask him about his feelings. Instead of asking what he did that day, learn to ask him how he feels about what he did. "When he expresses his feelings, he's going to feel good about it and will begin to enjoy conversation," he says.
- Don't pressure him to talk to you. Rabbi Shmuley says to cajole him slowly to talk to you.
- Tell him how you feel about things. Lead by example and tutor him about expressing emotions.
- Take a long walk or drive with him. Focusing on a great conversation helps time go by, he says.
- Initiate a conversation that will elicit a response. "Bring up a conversation that you know he has a strong opinion about," Rabbi Shmuley says.
"You can persuade your man to talk. Don't give up. Talk gently. Ask him how he feels about something. And when he gives you his monosyllabic grunt, pepper him with more questions. Sometimes, you may have to wait 10 minutes until you get a response, but don't interrupt the awkward silence by continuing the conversation on your side because when he finally says something, you'll be able to keep the conversation going. The important thing is not to be a nag. That's just going to make him retreat further into himself. Don't complain that you're pulling teeth. Just keep the conversation going as if it's the most natural thing in the world to wait 10 minutes for a man to respond. Little by little, you'll wake him up. It will happen."