By Stacey Rose, PhD, LCSW
Time after time, I hear women complain that their husbands just don’t understand them. “He should know after all this time what I need!” This is a common statement by many of these wives. How should he know? Are you one of these women? If so, you might say, “Yes, but, I’ve told him before-so many times!” Maybe you haven’t told him in a way that he can hear it…
In order for both men and women to get more of what they want and need out of their relationships, it is critical that they are clear, consistent, and specific about what they need. Men may not always remember that women need to be heard and understood before they feel close to their husbands. Women may not always remember that men need a ‘time-out’ and that just because they need a break, does not suggest they don’t love you. The more we give our partners what they need, the closer we tend to feel to each other. In addition, the more they will give us what we need in return.
This holds true if you are discussing where you want to eat dinner one night or how you want your partner to make love to you. So how do you tell your partner what you need? What is the right way to do so? Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to getting more of what you want from your spouse today!
- Timing is everything. Find a time where you and your spouse are relaxed without any distractions. Wait until the kids are asleep and you are both unwinding from the day instead of calling each other at work and expecting their full attention.
- Use “I” statements. Don’t tell him what he is doing, instead stay focused on you.
- Start with the Positive. Instead of telling your spouse how he is failing you, tell him what you are happy about first and then tell him how you’d be even more fulfilled if you had more of… For example, “Honey, I am so proud to say you are my husband, even after all these years. I love how you are so devoted to our family. At the same time, I sometimes feel as if I need more of your attention; just focused on me. If I had more of your presence, I know I’d feel closer to you and that would mean so much to me.”
- Tell your spouse the things you think he should just know, because he doesn’t! He may be an intelligent guy, but a mind-reader, probably not! Again, some readers may think if I have to tell him then it doesn’t mean the same thing. Be careful not to cut off your nose to spite your face! So what if you have to tell him? What matters is that he hears you and responds to your needs. Does the way you got what you need matter as much as the fact that he listened and rose to the occasion?
- When he does give you what you need, say thank you. Sometimes, the simple manners we learned in kindergarten can mean so much in marriage. A thank you can be a simple acknowledgement that you see he made an effort and you appreciate it.
- And if these tips don’t work, feel free to see your local psychic for tips on mind-reading!