If you are a wife who is married to a man who does not do a lot of talking, this post is for you! Please keep in mind that it is very normal for opposites to attract. Talkative people often marry more quiet people. It makes sense. But sometimes once we are married, we get upset that our husbands aren’t just like us! Thankfully, we can usually learn to understand and appreciate our husbands. Their differences from us can become a blessing and a big part of the strength of our marriages – if we are willing to offer grace, respect and God’s love.
When I talk with other wives, I usually ask some questions like:
1. What was he like when you were dating?
2. Is this just his personality? Does he enjoy and need time alone to recharge?
3. Does he speak to anyone else?
4. What was he like growing up?
IF THE ANSWERS YOU HAVE ARE THINGS LIKE:
1. He hated talking on the phone when we were dating. He said he didn’t have anything to talk about or he didn’t like talking on the phone.
2. He is always very quiet. He likes to have a lot of time alone.
3. He has a few friends but he prefers to spend his time on his hobbies, work, the computer… he likes being alone. He talks to people at work and church, but feels kind of worn out after a lot of socialization.
4. He spent a lot of time reading or playing by himself.
THEN… this is probably his personality and not anything personal against you! 🙂
If he has any issues like Asperger’s , ADD, bi-polar, depression, autism – that is going to take a much greater level of grace, understanding and respect on your part to be a godly wife to him. Be sure you research his condition and understand him and the extra challenges that will be yours as his wife.
***** If there are addictions, violence, infidelity, major unrepentant sin, involvement in the occult or a cult, seriously uncontrolled mental health issues – please get the appropriate help ASAP!
HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND, LADIES…
If a man doesn’t talk much before you get married, that is how he will be after you marry him!
It is extremely unfair, not to mention – unrealistic, to assume a man’s entire personality will change just because you marry him!
Realize you are going to have to adjust your expectations around his personality and around his wounds and that you will need to learn to adapt your skills and communications gifts to suit him. God created the woman to be the husband’s helpmeet. Not the other way around. We as women have much more flexibility and strengths with our verbal skills and communication abilities. We must be prepared to adjust to the individual qualities, weaknesses, strengths and unique quirks of our particular husbands.
Something that really helped me – women tend to take silence as meaning “hatred.” But most men do not intend silence to mean that they are angry. I’m sure there can be exceptions. Many times, a husband loves his wife with all his heart, he just doesn’t have a big need to verbalize his emotions and feelings. It is easier to rest in our husbands’ love if we know they love us, but they are just different in how they express their love.
SOME OF MY SUGGESTIONS TO PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER IF YOU ARE MARRIED TO A MAN WHO DOES NOT READILY SHARE HIS HEART VERBALLY:
- Accept that he shows love without words and appreciate the ways he shows love – by providing for the family, by taking care of the house, by helping with the kids and chores, by running to the store if you ask him to… these are his ways of showing love. The key is that a wife needs to recognize how he shows love and accept his way of showing love as being valid and appreciating what he does instead of being angry that he doesn’t change and doesn’t show love with a lot of emotional words.
- Commit to learning to understand him better and to see the depth of his love and appreciate his love even if he has trouble expressing it verbally. Just because a man is not great at saying, “I love you” or giving compliments does not mean he doesn’t love deeply and love well. Many men who aren’t big talkers ARE big lovers – they show it in their own ways.
- Be prepared to get a lot of your talking needs met with some godly girlfriends.
- You will need to be able to rest in his love without getting a lot of verbal affirmation or reassurance of his love. And you will need to accept that he is not wrong for not being verbal about his emotions and about his love, he is just different. That will have to be ok.
- Accept that he may not give a lot of compliments – and appreciate that he probably doesn’t give a lot of criticism, either.
- Be willing to accept his way of bonding many times – by being together shoulder to shoulder doing something without a lot of talking.
- If he doesn’t appreciate or want a lot of verbal praise/affirmation/encouragement – learn how to bless him with non-verbal respect – big smiles, possibly hugs if he is ok with that, doing special things for him that he would appreciate.
- Be willing not to pressure him to try to make him open up.
- Create an emotionally/spiritually safe place for him in case he does want to share. Be relaxed.
- If he does share something vulnerable with you, treasure and safeguard what he shares! Don’t use that against him or tell other people about it! Be trustworthy and loyal!
- Don’t turn him into an idol (don’t expect him to meet your deepest spiritual/emotional needs – go to Christ for that!) and don’t turn the idea of having deep emotional conversations into an idol (ie: I MUST have long, deep talks about emotions with him or it is not ok!).
- Accept him the way he is without wanting to change him.
- Ask for what you need in a non-blaming, non-pressuring way – “I’d love it if you could listen to me for about 10 minutes sometime tonight, please. That would mean so much to me. I feel closer to you when I share my heart with you verbally. It makes me feel connected.” You may want to also mention that just him listening is a gift and IS a way of “fixing” things for you. Sometimes it helps to say, “I don’t really need any solutions right now, I just need to process my feelings out loud and feel heard. That makes me feel loved.” You can teach him gently, what your needs are – and as he sees that you are delighted when he listens, he will be encouraged to do that more often!
- THANK HIM any time he does listen!
- Be calm and pleasant and friendly when you share your heart with him. Let him associate “talking with you” with pleasant emotions.
- Be willing to offer yourself joyfully to him sexually, even if he doesn’t have an hour conversation with you about feelings – realizing that for him, sex IS emotional and spiritual connection with you. Be available to him whenever you can. It is ok to ask for what you need in a kind, pleasant way, too. Thank him any time he meets your needs. I like to think of us as blessing our husbands sexually. Many times, our husbands feel MUCH more connected to us during and right after physical intimacy. That can be a good time to tell him you’d love to cuddle for a few minutes and share your heart. By sharing your heart, I don’t mean complaining or making demands – but sharing your feelings, your appreciation for him, your day, your dreams, your ideas… Of course, if it is late, you may want to keep it fairly brief. And – I personally suggest not trying to have a BIG TALK about something highly emotionally charged after about 10pm.
The Introvert Husband – by the Genuine Husband