They sat across the table from me. She was angry and he was on the defensive. I asked her what the trouble was. She looked at me and said, “He just won’t talk to me!”
“Is this true?” I asked.
He got that awww shucks expression and then said, “Shoot, I just don’t have anything to say.”
I smiled inwardly because I actually knew this couple on a social basis. We had been at a party a couple weeks before and I had the opportunity to talk to him. He literally spent a half hour talking my ear off. So I knew that talking was not a problem for him. He just didn’t want to talk to her, or he didn’t feel like it was important.
So I pulled him aside and we sat down for a small one-on-one chat. I explained to him just how important talking and communication was to his wife, and how it was her way of being able to connect with him. If he would learn how to communicate efficiently with her, it could literally turn their marriage around in a matter of weeks if not days.
He looked at me and said, “Well, all right, so what am I supposed to do?”
I gave him four things.
1. “Provide her with your full attention for as long as she needs it. It doesn’t matter whether that’s 10 minutes or two hours.” I could see he was having a hard time with that, because, as I said before, he couldn’t quite seem to understand why that was important. I told him that it would meet his wife’s emotional need to feel important to him.
2. “As she’s talking, you need to ask her questions about the information of whatever she’s discussing. Yes, it will make her stories go longer, but it will meet her emotional need to feel loved by you.”
3. “As you’re sharing make sure that your body language is open. Don’t have your arms and legs crossed. Your tone of voice should be loving and gentle. Why? Because it will meet her emotional need to feel cherished.”
4. “When she gets around to asking you about your day, you need to respond with something greater than a grunt, or “It was fine”. And please don’t give her a shopping list of what you did at 9am, 10am 11am and noon. Pick something that happened during the day and tell her some details about it. Why? Because it will meet her emotional need to feel involved in your life.
I finished telling them these four things and he stared at me and said, “Ummmm, is this all about her emotional needs?”
I said, “Yeah, that’s exactly what this is all about – her emotional needs. And the more you meet those needs, the less that she will demand.”
This is one of the key building blocks we help a couple save their marriage, get rid of problems and start living the marriage of their dreams. Will it solve all problems? No, but that’s why we also have other detailed suggestions in our material for men and our material for women. We want to help you. Join us.
Dr. Vance Hardisty International Speaker and Author Love Relationship Headquarters www.loverelationshipheadquarters.com