By Steve Koening
A study that found that most women want their husbands to talk to them. The desire is so great, that the majority of women said this was more important to them than sex, money, or children. So how can a woman get her husband to talk to her?
It’s a tricky question, because the very nature of the question makes it sound like you can manipulate your husband into talking. Well, that’s not the right way to go about it. You can’t simply make someone talk if he doesn’t want to. In fact, if you try, you’re more likely to drive him away than you are to find success.
But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck doing nothing. There are, in fact, many things you can do to encourage him to talk. Let’s look at three of them.
(1) Pray — This seems obvious, but most people pray according to their own desires, not according to their husband’s greatest need. In other words, do your prayers sound something like this, “Lord, please make my husband talk to me.” If they do, then you know your prayers are focused on you and not on your husband.
The next time you pray for your husband, try this instead: Pray for his relationship with God. If he’s not talking to you, then he’s not leading you and your family. He’s not fulfilling his duty as the spiritual leader of the home. So his relationship with God isn’t where it needs to be. You can’t force your husband to have a right relationship with God, but you can pray for him. So pray and trust God.
Once he gets his relationship with God in order, you’ll be amazed at the difference in his willingness to talk. It probably won’t come all at once, though, so be patient.
(2) Give up control — Remember what happened in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve fell? The curse against the woman was that she would desire her husband. Another way to think of this is that the woman would desire to control her husband. A major reason a man refuses to talk to his wife is because it’s his way of maintaining control of an area of his life. The minute he opens his mouth about it, a controlling wife will instantly take control of it. So he remains quiet.
Many wives don’t realize they’re controlling. The best way to discover what your husband thinks is to ask him if you’re controlling. But be prepared for an answer you may not like. And don’t get defensive. Listen closely to what he says. You might learn something about why he doesn’t talk to you.
If a controlling wife wants her husband to talk, she has to give up control. She can start by repenting and asking God and her husband for forgiveness.
Then she needs to take the focus off of what he’s not doing and turn her attention to what he is doing. Encourage him, praise him, and find ways to build him up. Use Philippians 4:8 as an outline for action: “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
(3) Study your husband — Who does your husband talk to? Why does he talk to them? What does he get from them? By studying your husband’s conversation habits, you might discover some things you’re not offering him in your discussions with him.
Also consider what really turns him on. What are his interests? Try to learn more about those interests and talk to him about them. Remember, the goal here is to start a habit of conversation. So even if it doesn’t go very deep, at least you’re getting him to talk.
Finally, study his strengths and weaknesses. How can you encourage the areas where he’s strong? And how can you help out where he’s weak? Service will go a long way toward starting conversation.
Every man is different. And the reasons they don’t talk are just as varied. But these three principles will help you focus on the real priorities.