How to Communicate with Men

How to Communicate with Men

5 Life Hacks for Communicating with Men So They Hear You and Get You

Everybody knows communication is the key to a good relationship. That’s obvious.

But what if it isn’t?

I’m a good talker. I started talking early, and I never really shut up.

Growing up, my sport was Scrabble. I even majored in communication in college.

So when there were big problems in my marriage just a few years in, I knew it wasn’t me who wasn’t communicating properly.

The problem was clearly him. I noticed he didn’t even like to communicate. He didn’t listen, and he didn’t want to talk.

When I asked him how he felt, he said, “Hungry.”

Exasperating!

That’s when I realized I was in for a long “’til-death-do-us-part.” Divorce started to sound pretty tempting.

Miraculously, I then learned a few things about communication that they never taught me in school. And the funny thing is that after I learned them, my husband became a much better communicator.

Here are the 5 life hacks for communicating with men so they hear and get you: Click To Tweet

1. Stop Communicating With Him

When I heard that communication was the key to a happy relationship, I thought that meant that my husband and I should talk a lot.

And if some talking wasn’t doing the trick, that meant more talking would definitely be called for.

But that never worked. We spent endless hours on the couch communicating, and that never got me what I wanted–which was to know that he loved me like crazy and thought I was beautiful and special and amazing.

But the conversation never, ever got to that. Instead, they were painful, annoying, and relentless attempts to get him to see things my way.

I’ve since discovered that saying very little is a much better alternative to that kind of communicating.

I’m not talking about a cold war, where you just don’t speak and he knows you’re mad at him. I mean just deciding to let it ride for now, and maybe sleep on it and talk about it later if it still seems important.

I’m talking about leaving State of The Union addresses to the President, and saying what you want in short, little, teeny sentences.

Now, I know there is never a need for a long conversation to hash things out. We haven’t had one in over a decade.

The quicker way to get to the outcome I want (intimacy, passion, and peace) is to put metaphorical duct tape over my mouth until I can formulate a simple sentence about what I want, or issue an apology for criticizing him, or get some rest and perspective.

In other words, saying nothing is a much better choice than pummeling my husband under the guise of “communicating.”

2. Talk to Your BFFs Instead

What does talking to your girlfriends have to do with communicating with men?

Plenty.

For one thing, it’s a great place to go with a problem that might hurt the intimacy if you communicate it to him. Like, I might say to my sister, “My husband’s office is so messy, it’s really driving me bananas!”

And she can remind me that I can close the door so I don’t have to see it.

Problem solved.

But if I say to my husband, “Your office is so messy, it’s driving me bananas!” I’ve just criticized him, and that hurts the intimacy.

You might be thinking, “But what if it’s true!”

But speaking that kind of truth just makes me a porcupine wife who is prickly to be around, and that’s not worth the price of admission.

My husband already knows if his office is messy. He doesn’t need me to tell him.

But that’s not the only reason talking to my BFFs helps me communicate with my husband. It also just helps me get all my words out. And it makes me happy.

Remember how I haven’t shut up, pretty much since birth?

Sometimes I give my husband a break by talking to someone else for a while. He seems to appreciate that.

3. Say What You Want

When we haven’t had to sit on the couch to “talk” (read: fight) for an hour and I’m in a good mood from chatting with my BFFs, the atmosphere around here is great.

One way to ruin that in a hurry is by complaining.

Unfortunately, complaining is not an effective way to communicate with men. They can’t even hear you when you’re complaining, as far as I can tell.

Using this skill instead is like magic for communicating with men in my experience, because they not only hear you, they get all motivated to make it happen.

That skill is telling him what you want, instead of going on and on about how you can’t live like this for one more second.

So complaining would be, “There’s no room on the digital recorder for the new season of Fixer Upper, and it’s because it’s all clogged up with other shows that we’re never going to watch.”

Saying what I want would be, “I want some space to record the new season of Fixer Upper.”

See the difference? Now he knows what to do to make me happy: make some space for my show!

And my husband, like all husbands, wants to make his wife happy.

4. Respect His Thinking

Men need respect like they need oxygen. Just like I want to be desired and adored, my husband wants to know I think he’s capable and competent.

Otherwise, he won’t feel loved.

And when people don’t feel loved, they get defensive. And when they’re defensive, they seem like jerks, and that tends to ruin the good vibrations.

Therefore, when he thinks something completely different from what I think–like we should save the recording of The 10 Commandments from a couple of years ago because we might want to watch it later–I can either argue with him by saying that if we haven’t watched it in all this time, it seems unlikely that we ever will, or I could just say, “Whatever you think.”

As long as I have room to record Fixer Upper, what do I care?

I just saved myself an argument and gave him the respect for his thinking that he craves and deserves.

5. Keep it Light

The longer I’m married (nearly 27 years now), the more I think humor might be the answer to every problem.

I’ve learned from my husband that when one of us is struggling to put up the curtains, and they slide completely off the rod onto the floor–the best thing to say is, “Hey, quit messing around!”

I think he got that from his heroes, the Three Stooges. Now he’s got me saying it too.

That beats, “Hey, watch what you’re doing!” every time for keeping the air clear and the connection strong.

One great way to communicate and still keep the connection strong is by keeping it light.

Referencing inside jokes, making silly faces, cutting the Quaker Oats man’s picture off the box and leaving him hidden around the house for the other person to find, splashing him at the sink–all of that is a good way to communicate with a man.

The message will come through loud and clear: I’m happy and confident in this relationship, and I’m glad I’m in it with you.

That’s one of the best messages a man can hear from the woman he loves.


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49 thoughts on “How to Communicate with Men”

  1. Loved this Post, Laura!
    I can always use a reminder and a refresher on all of this! As always your tips are spot on. And your writing style is so easy to understand and relate to! thank you for your work!

    Reply
  2. Thank You. I have noticed that talking does not take us to a better place, It is just frustrating not to be able to let him know how I feel about him and our relationship.

    Reply
    • Jackie, Sometimes it feels incredibly tempting for me to “tell him how I feel about him and our relationship” but unless I’m speaking about my gratitude or respect, or else coming with vulnerability then I’m really just complaining and criticizing, which really hurts the intimacy, which is the very thing I’m wanting more of.

      Reply
    • Donna, That sounds pretty lonely. Have you read The Empowered Wife? That describes the 6 Intimacy Skills that will restore the conversation and make it playful and passionate again. You can read a free chapter here:
      http:/getcherished.com

      Reply
  3. How do you communicate with your husband if he has abandoned you and your kids for another woman? I pray everyday that he will change his mind, but right now the kids are lucky to see him 3 hours a week!

    Reply
    • Shanez, That is terrible. I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I wouldn’t give up on this marriage though. Are you practicing The Six Intimacy Skills yet? If not, get your hands on the book The Empowered Wife ASAP and if it resonates with you then you may want to consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to get support on restoring your marriage at the link below. It’s completely possible to save your marriage even when he’s moved out with another woman.
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
      • Thank you Laura for your response. I already had my complimentary discovery call with Bonnie and I am currently reading The Empowered Wife. It is very inspiring, I wish I had know about the Intimacy Skills 20 years ago! I am not sure what to do though if my husband, who has been cheating on me and just moved out with another woman about 2 months ago, is asking me to pay $400 of taxes that he claims I owe to him when he has been in control of my money for the 1st half of the year (2015). Should I just say “Whatever your think” and pay it or do I explain to him that he owes me money and that I will not pay the $400 (our joint account is currently withdrawn on top of that). I want to restore our marriage, but I don’t know how to handle the money situation without causing any more harm.

        Reply
        • Shanez, I had the same reaction when I learned the skills–I wished I had learned them sooner! But I’m grateful I know them now. I’m not sure how to solve your money question in a short blog comment response. My overarching thought is let’s get your husband back home where he belongs and you can share assets again. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re wanting though, and I trust you’re the expert on your own life. I’d love to see you get support if it is your intention.

          Reply
          • Hi Laura, I would love to get my husband back. That is certainly my intention, I just don’t know how??? After reading your book, I discovered a lot of things that I shouldn’t have done. I had so much resentment towards him and I just buried myself into working, taking care of the kids, and house chores as he did nothing but work, buy himself luxurious things, and go out with his friends (which I discovered later on, it was another woman!). I am very lost and hurt! I feel like I have been robbed.

          • Shanez, I don’t blame you for feeling lost and hurt in your situation. It’s possible to get your husband back, but it will be very tricky to do without support. Consider getting a coach to help you save your family. The sooner the better. In Chinese, the symbol for crisis is also the symbol for opportunity. You have a crisis and an opportunity in front of you. You don’t have to do it alone–you can have a guide who’s been in a crisis in her marriage and made it to the other side, to a passionate and playful relationship.

  4. Ok, what am I missing?I hear the no complaints part , I do. I get it. It’s no nagging and be grateful. My question to you is, how should I handle the situation(s)if we are out eating dinner and he flirts with the waitress or at a work party and he doesn’t introduce me to his coworkers ands leaves me to fend for myself? What if he disrespects me in front of our 12 year old daughter when I refuse to argue with him and get up to leave and he says “good riddance “? Or when he nags at me that the house”isn’t clean” but when it is he doesn’t say anything and if I asked him about it he responds, “well it’s your job.” Or “Ive been too busy to notice “. Or I lose weight doesn’t say anything but if I gain weight he’ll make “jokes” about the couple of pounds I’ve put on. But to other women he’ll stumble to be helpful or complimentary. Then people tell me what an awesome husband he is!

    Reply
      • Hello Laura,
        My mother is really hoping that there will be a recording of the webinar you just posted about above^… Is it possible to record it? And if yes, how may we have access to it? Thank you very much!

        Zina

        Reply
        • Zina, I love that you and your mother share an interest in this topic! If you write to me at laura@lauradoyle.org and mention the Get Respect webinar, I’ll keep you informed about when you can watch it in the future.

          Reply
  5. Wonderful post, Laura! Although my husband and I are still separated (my choice because of other issues), these kinds of nuggets from your books really did make a big difference. Whereas some other well-regarded “experts” say that complaints are okay (as opposed to criticism and contempt), you helped me see the light…that what I DON’T say is like gold, and that disagreeing with his thinking triggers his defensiveness. And you’re right…the only input I give that avoids our pitfalls is when I give it very sparingly and with the utmost vulnerability.

    I do still have a question on this topic though. What if I’m the one stuck on the couch listening to him lecture me? Since I left him, he’s gentler about it, but it’s still hard when he goes on and on about how he feels if I don’t accommodate his 100th request…while, in the meantime, even my most basic needs continue to go discounted and disregarded. And even if I keep it short and very sweet in saying my desires (what “I would love”), he gets upset that I’ve gone to problem solving mode and that I’m not accepting him as he is. Ideas?

    Reply
    • Deb, Congratulations on making the intimacy a priority in your relationship by deciding NOT to say certain things, and using vulnerability. I know how much courage that takes and I admire that!

      I wouldn’t like to be lectured either as you describe. There’s still more improvement ahead for you as you continue to practice the Intimacy Skills. I’d love to see you get some support. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to uncover the best move for your relationship. You can do that here:
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  6. I am heartbroken and I don’t know what to do. We’ve only dated 4 months but what an incredible 4 months. He sent a text this morning that he wants to take a step back and take a “little bit of time away” and I don’t know why. He has treated me like I’ve always dreamed of being treated. He’s 54, I’m 53. After only a couple of weeks he told me he was falling in love with me. He took me to meet his family….invited to his mom’s family reunion….. Please help me. He lives 5 hours away so I don’t know how to apply the guidance in your books. He found me. I wasn’t looking.
    Please help. I am devastated.

    Reply
    • Cara, I’m sorry to hear about your heartbreak. Sounds very painful! There’s plenty you can do to revitalize this relationship even long-distance. I’d love to see you get some support. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to connect with one of my coaches and uncover the best move for your relationship. You can do that here:
      http://marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  7. Great post. Reading and re-reading your book The Empowered Wife. My fear with communicating is that we will never communicate about meaningful things. Because, so far, those times have been very few and far between. We’ve been married 24 years and he does not do “deep” conversations. I don’t even try much anymore, really, but even if I were to just say a thought that goes beyond surface, he cannot connect with what I’m saying usually (he just doesn’t respond accordingly and jumps to a new subject quickly). His topics are planning upcoming vacations and getaways and our kids’ sports performance. Is this just part of most men? If I knew that yes, this is normal, maybe I could accept it and move on – although, I think I am finally getting to the point of accepting that this is just who he is and that I should not expect “deeper” conversation with him. Or…maybe I’m missing something?

    Can I say (with a smile on my face)….”I’d love to talk about something else tonight” if we’re out on a date and the conversation stays focused on one of those two topics?

    I probably need to create a spouse-fulfilling prophecy — “You are such a deep thinker and conversationalist!”

    It will take great courage to say that!!!! 😀

    Reply
    • Content, Congrats on the 24 years of marriage and being willing to look at how to make it better.

      I’m not sure what you mean by deep conversations, honestly. I feel like I can talk to my husband about anything I’m interested in. I just start talking about it. No need to complain or point out that it’s something other than what we usually talk about.

      My husband is pretty light-hearted and easy going, but he cares about what I care about because he wants to make me happy. I have a feeling your husband wants to make you happy, too.

      Reply
  8. Hi Laura, I am at a complete loss. Yesterday my 3 kids and I went to the mall and we saw my husband with the woman, whom he cheated with and lied about it until I discovered the affair, holding hands. We were all extremely hurt and shocked at the sight. He even had the nerve to smile at us and wave, while the other woman tried to cover her face. He texted my 18 year old daughter to explain that he wasn’t doing anything wrong and that he had married her. So now that he is officially married (which is permitted under our religion), do you still think there is hope to get him back? Or should I just give up and file for a divorce?

    Reply
    • Shanez, Only you know what’s best for you, but I believe there’s still hope for your marriage and your family. What do you have to gain by giving up and filing for divorce? As his long-time wife and mother of his children you have the upper hand over the mistress (or second wife) if you apply the Intimacy Skills.

      Reply
      • Hi Laura, how can I get support with applying the skills? I don’t know how to apply them given my situation (my husband moved on with another woman and abandoned his kids and I).

        Reply
        • Shanez, with your husband marrying someone else, it sounds like the situation has changed permanently. It is obviously an extremely difficult time for you and your children. Self care seems to be of the utmost importance at this time, so please do take care of yourself. And self care can mean being kind to yourself, honoring your needs to get through the days, and doing what is needed to put yourself on stable ground (whatever that is). You need to find your “happy” somehow. My heart goes out to you and your children.

          Reply
          • Hi Maryanne,
            My situation is really bad right now. I can’t even think or focus on anything. I am trying to be as strong as I can for kids’, but it is very difficult. Thank you for you kind response and advice.

  9. So Laura, in our marriage, it’s the opposite actually. I’m not a talker, I live in my head pretty much all the time. I’m a little bit eccentric, artistic and a daydreamer, if you know what i mean. I dont get into very long conversations with most people, and I dont get bored when I’m alone. My husband is more social, he likes to hang out with friends, but he is very calm natured and does not speak very much unless he is spoken to. And he never gets in deep conversations, he is all about small talk. Dont get me wrong, I’m very OK with this. If we ride for 6 hours and dont talk about anything other than sometimes pointing at interesting sights we see on the way, I’m quite happy. I dont have any need to talk. It’s very peaceful for me.
    But sometimes I feel like my husband is bored with me. Maybe he would prefer a more chatty person. The reason I feel like this is because 6 months ago he wanted to break up with me saying that “we dont communicate, we’re like roommates”. Of course there were much more to this, and when I started applying your skills our relationship changed greatly.
    But I’m still not comfortable with myself. I feel like I have to keep him interested all the time, talk to him even when I dont want to and put a smiling mask on my face all day. This is not me. I’m melancholic and introverted and happy with who i am. How can I keep my personality and keep him interested all the time? I’m terrified of being out of date and getting cheated on 🙁

    Reply
    • Zeynap, Well no wonder you’re terrified after he said he wanted to break up. But I have good news–I don’t think that him saying that was because he is unhappy with your personality. You mention that you started applying The Intimacy Skills and that your relationship changed greatly. If your husband had not had the chance to be your hero and make you happy prior to that, then that’s one reason he may have felt disconnected. If he hasn’t seen your vulnerability or if he didn’t feel respected, that can cause a big breakdown in the relationship. If he didn’t think he could please you, or that you appreciated him, then he may feel he’s not succeeding with his mission to make you happy.

      Consider getting some support with applying the skills by applying for a complimentary discovery call to connect with one of my coaches and uncover the best move for your relationship. I’d love to see you feeling loved and secure and confident that you are lovable.
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  10. Hi Laura. I have a great husband who will do anything for me majority of the time and who supports me and our daughter financially 100% we live very comfortably thanks God. But our relationship after our baby was born isn’t as good as it used to be. He was super kind, loving, protective and helpful during our early marriage and pregnancy. But i guess with my hormones and lack of sleep after the baby, we fought alot. Still he was nice and helpful but never affectionate and bonding properly with our baby. But now our daughter is one and our relationship has improved after i started implementing some of the 6 intimacy skills in your books. Some of the major issues we have now is that we don’t talk and spend time together even though i want to badly. We haven’t gone out together since our baby was born because he doesn’t want to even though I asked him many many times. And he doesn’t help me with house chores and complains when house is untidy. He just takes out rubish, does groceries sometimes and dries our clothes. He does take care of all our billies, rent and financial things i have to admit though i never worry about those which I am grateful to him for. He doesn’t like to talk in general as he is very introverted and im very extroerted person. sometimes i talk to him and he listens without saying a word back which leaves me feeling like i am talking to a wall or a deaf person. Also when he talks to me it is usually telling me to do something in the house or for the baby which i get defensive about cos i like to be asked if i want to do something and not to be told! I always ask him or make a request when i want something from him so i get angry when he orders me instead of asking me nicely which we end up arguing alot as a result. Please give me advice to improve my marriage. Thanks

    Reply
    • JW, It sounds like a very lonely marriage, and I still remember how painful that was. Sorry you’re going through that. I’m happy to hear that you’re practicing The Six Intimacy Skills, and that they’re helping things at your house. I can see a possibility for you to make this marriage amazing and have the family life you’re dreaming of. From what you describe, it sounds like you could use more support. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to uncover the best move you can make for your marriage. You can do that here:
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  11. I don’t think that talking to friends has helped at all! My husband took my phone and read texts where I saught advice or explained what was going on and flipped out. He even violently tried to destroy my phone. He insists it is backbiting and betrayal to even have informed my mother ( for the first time in 20+ years) that things were not going well in our marriage. Although I apologized he insists everyone I spoke with apologize for listening to me (including pastors and counsellors).

    Reply
    • Wife on Paper, I can see why you feel this backfired on you! How scary to have your husband rage about you having private conversations with your mother, pastors and counselors. Very painful! Good news though–it’s not on your paper! You can’t control his reaction. I suspect he’s feeling disrespected in general though. Is that possible?

      Reply
  12. I am in a Marriage that we were so connected and one we could read each other’s thoughts , Then 7 months ago he started staying up late I had to get up at 330am so I went to bed, I would awake to him watching Porn and texting another female, I don’t think that is accrptable behavior for a married man 7 mths later and the porn addition has became out of control, it almost as if there is a prevision spirit there
    April my mother became ill and was taken into Hospice I went to Her and had to stay 4 wks to handle all of her affairs as I return home I am told by people that my husband said I left him they had no knowledge of my mother dyeing. He had 2 affairs that I know if , he had a hidden phone, I was able to read these text between him and the other woman I am so hurt as one of them was my daughter in-law that has been telling me lil things here and there to plant the seed he is cheating, I am devastated, She has made it to where I’m forbidden to see my granddaughter, I have been fighting for my marriage 7 mnths. The other night we are in bed he says I will be right back after 10 min I went to the bathroom he wasn’t there as I came up the hallway I saw him in the spare room with his phone on porn and pleasing himself, I have never felt this alone and like I am not woman enough. please help. PS could you hide my real name thanks

    Reply
  13. Hi Laura! I’m a huge fan. I’ve read your book the surrendered wife and so many of your tips has helped me to be a better wife. But I struggle with your advice that to respect my husband I should not try to teach or correct him? How can i advise him to do something differently without disrespecting him? For example, he doesn’t like attending family functions and it is very important to me. I told him it would mean a lot to me if he attended but i respected his decision to not come. He was very happy with my response, we avoided a fight, but he ultimately didn’t come to the event which left me hurt. He knew it would make me happy but it seemed like that wasn’t important to him.

    Reply
    • Sadie, I’m sorry to hear your feeling unimportant to your husband. I still remember how painful that was. I hear that you avoided a fight but you feel disappointed that your husband ultimately didn’t attend the family gathering. I know for me when I was first changing up the dance we did it took some adjusting for both of us. I wonder if your husband is also getting the hang of the new steps now that you’re changing things up. I promise things will improve if you keep practicing the Intimacy Skills. If you’re anything like me you could use some support. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to connect with one of my coaches and determine the best move you can make for your marriage. You can do that here:
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  14. Hi Laura, how do you communicate with your (separated) husband when one minute he wants to be at the house and is friendly and the next he stays away and is very cold and distant? He goes from wanting to meet up for a drink (as friends)!! And then tells me not to contact him, to give him space and leave him alone to sort his head out. He says he ‘likes’ me and that he still finds me attractive. And then tells me he is thinking of moving away.
    I am not quite sure where I stand or what to do.

    Reply
    • Deborah, It’s hard to know where you stand when someone runs hot and cold like that for sure. That’s like being on a rollercoaster with your life. I can see why you’re wondering what to do. However, I’m confident you can get off this rollercoaster and get back to enjoying the marriage you intended to have when you said, “I do.” I’m wondering if you’re familiar with the Six Intimacy Skills yet? If not, that’s the first thing to do–get your hands on the book/audiobook The Empowered Wife, which describes them step-by-step. You can read a first chapter here:
      http://getcherished.com/

      Reply
  15. Hi Laura, I don’t know which blog post is the most appropriate for my question, I hope this one is alright with you.
    What do you think on how to get to know your spouse well?
    My boyfriend of eight years (sort of fiancé) has never wanted to talk about the past, about our respective histories. I try to respect that and I know your advice on the difference between men and women in terms of (dis)liking to talk, but I think we would get to know each other (much) better if it were okay and if he would tell me about his life. It actually makes me wonder if he is being secretive, what’s there to hide?
    From several friends and family I know they and their spouse have shared their respective life stories with each other and they as well wonder why my boyfriend won’t tell me.
    I have told him in the past that his view on “the past is the past” (“It makes you who you are.”) makes me feel uncomfortable to talk about my past as well, e.g. I was married and I think it should be okay to mention things of your ‘former’ life without it feeling awkward.
    I feel I don’t know my boyfriend really well and that this avoidance is not helping our intimacy.
    Of course I understand most men are not fond of talking (as fond as women are), but seldom talking about feelings and the relationship does not feel right, at all.

    Reply
    • Alo, this is the perfect place for your question! I can see why you feel uncomfortable not knowing about your boyfriend’s past. I love that you’re trying to show respect anyway! My husband had retreated pretty far into his man cave, but after I started practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills he came out and wanted to spend time with me and share more of his life with me. I would love to see you get support so you can move forward with your life together knowing your fiancé and having him open up to you. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see if working with a coach would fit for you. You can apply here: https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching.

      Reply
  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My husband and I have a pretty great marriage, and your advice had helped it to get even better and stay positive and intimate. There are times when I feel like complaining about a thing to my husband, but instead I discuss it with my sisters or friends, and they help me put it in perspective.

    Just yesterday, I wanted to complain that I felt like I was doing all the unpacking at our new house. Instead, we went for a walk together, and enjoying his company was much too pleasant to ruin with a complaint. So I expressed my pure desire to have the house feel like “our” home, not just my home, and checked that he didn’t feel left out by me finding places for all the shared things like kitchen items. The next thing I knew, he was unpacking boxes and putting things away alongside me. I got the help I wanted from him without having to ruin our intimacy.

    Reply
  17. What do I do when I’m the one that is disinterested in the relationship? My husband is a good guy, but constantly rubs me the wrong way. He only talks about surface topics if he talks at all. He has been a workaholic most of our marriage and I have from early on felt like we were not friends, that he didn’t understand me. I have always wanted and never had emotional intimacy. We have been married for 23 years. I don’t feel any love for him anymore. How do I work the steps when in this state?

    Reply
    • Molly, That sounds so lonely and painful. I’m impressed you made it so long with so little understanding, friendship and intimacy. You shouldn’t have to live like that. I can see why you don’t have any energy to work on fixing it now. You don’t have to fix it, but the only other options I know of are to leave or to continue on the agonizing path you’re on. Since you’ve decided to stay so far, then maybe the pain could be your motivation to create a different experience in your home. You don’t have to do it alone. There’s a whole community of women who have felt the same way and now have marriages where they feel desired, taken care of and special even with workaholic husbands. So get a coach so you can stop feeling so hopeless and start feeling cherished.
      https:/lauradoyle.org/rhw-waitlist/

      Reply
  18. Hi Laura,
    I too have read your book and have recommended it to other women. At first it was so great as I would use my skills. My husband has calmed down and actually does chores in the house. But we don’t share finances as I do not trust him. He’s has put us in debt many a time and I cannot handle this anymore. He works for a while and gets sick of it easily and gives up. I try not to mother him or tell him what to do. This backfired on me as he always baits me by asking my opinion. Additionally, when he sees that I am busy he will try to pick a fight. I’ve tried to show him attention but his idea of attention is me listening to him talk nonstop while I have so much studying to do! I have to sit like an ornament in front of him otherwise he’s asking what I’m doing or where I’m going or who I’m talking to.. and I’ve never cheated on him!
    Every once in a while when I do react to something he says he will use it against me and say I’m disrespectful and will never change. He will make sure he keeps saying hurtful things for at least 4 days until he gets it out of his system. By the end of it he has made me suffer so badly. Even when I apologise for it.
    It feels like such a drag sometimes. And why do I have to do all the hard work?! Why do I have to hold back what I say? And apologise. For peace? It is a very unfair position to be in just because I am a woman. I have to hide stuff that I buy so not to offend him otherwise he would say.. everyone spends and I don’t have a penny to buy anything for myself. BUT he doesn’t keep a job! Honestly I’m sick of it all. Marriage is overrated.

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