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Communicating to my wife better

Community Member


 I'm currently listening to a marriage audio book called  'His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Harley'. It talks about the differences between men and women and how to bridge the gap between them to grow healthier stronger relationships. This has always been a personal aim for life and my children. We encourage open dialogue regarding feelings to encourage better communication skills. This however doesn't seem to reciprocate onto my wife and I. 

Basically I feel like this: I have a wife who I love and cherish, but when I try to speak my mind or how I feel these discussions always fall on deaf ears. If I sit around being a family man, helping with the kids, assisting in the house where I can then all things are fine. I give her compliments, buy her flowers, we have great sex when we have it and generally it looks like a great harmonious relationship. BUT, if I want to have a deep and connected discussion about my feelings then that's shunned, avoided, even fallen asleep on. I sound like a woman here after listening to this audio book because I am actually looking for a deeper relationship that is connected at a level that is built on understanding each other not just doing what she wants! That last statement sounds selfish but I have stood by and given her the things that she cried and screamed for, more children, she has 4 of them now and it actually seems like she has what she wants and now I am the accessory on the side line that must just been seen and not herd because that is almost a demodulating quality for her and she can't deal with a man not having his 'stuff' together. She seems to be only happy with a rosy relationship that ticks the boxes that she has in her head. 

There have been improvements and I am positive that she after about 4 years of almost begging for change that she actually is starting to listen, but there is no feedback. It's just silence and staring. I recently made plans to assist the family with having what she wants and put into motion the steps needed so that she and the kids would be looked after but then she started to connect ever so slightly so I stopped the plan. This audio book has highlighted my deepest fears that we are not connected on a deeper level but only superficial ornaments wearing the hat of husband and wife. I have asked repeatedly to go to concealing but she won't. She won't even contend the idea that perhaps she might actually be doing something wrong. Any help plz

2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Ricky, welcome

Proper communication where each others needs are respected should be top priority for you both IMO. But there could be a barrier there that she is unaware of or if aware of, she cannot do much about. So this is a complex question.

My thoughts are with some friends of mine. All married. One male friend cannot seem to get his emotional needs met by his wife. After a few years of complaining, he has sought me out to listen to him. But in all other aspects he's happy. A female friend of mine cannot accept her husbands laziness. He has given up work, doesn't do housework, gardening ...doesn't do anything except play on his computer. She is not far from separating.

So in some circumstances one could fine solace in other people to fill the gaps.

I'm intrigued to know if your wife has the "capacity" to communicate in the manner you are seeking. You manner might well be quite normal and your wife might have a mental block there. Either way if there is a condition or hangup then I feel sorry for her. She zones out for some reason.

For you to feel resentment might be a little unfair if the above is the case.

I'd seek Relationships Australia or some other good counselling service to find an answer.

Take care.

Tony WK

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

dear Ricky, hi and nice to get your comment.

I have just replied to Fhar on the comment she has posted, where some of what I have said may relate to your comment.

What you have said always seems to be the other way around, where the husband won't tune into what his wife is saying, and only concerned about all the minor details of the marriage/relationship.

So the big question is why do people lose the connection between each other, because when we are first going out, both of us are 'all ears' and talk about anything, but over time this eases off.

Well everybody will have their own reason, but surely there must be a common theme, so could it be living together 24/7 for years, or perhaps one of them is more dominant, or one of them only thinks about their own needs first and then the family come second.

I can not say and won't enter into the argument, unless it does start, so really I can't give you a reason, however there were points in my marriage which I could mention, but that would take away your comment. Geoff.