It’s not a new thing when a husband doesn’t say much, express his feelings or is reticent. On the other hand, he may want to really talk but not know how to say the words—without being misconstrued. Most husbands have things on their minds that they want their wives to know about, but if they don’t say or spell them out in black and white, those things may remain unspoken, and this won’t augur well for the marriage.
As his wife, you need to know that your husband wants to be heard and understood, too. So, here are some of those things that are not being voiced by your husband, but you need to know.
1. “I need your attention.”
Rather than saying this to you directly, your husband might drop subtle signals. It can be the audible grunt he makes when you hug the kids for the third time in a day and you don’t even notice him when he walks into the room, or he tries talking to you about a new business idea he’s excited about and you interject with, “the electricity bill came in today, it’s rather high…so, what were you about to say?”
Don’t expect him to speak, when you just doused his fervour. He constantly sees you give attention to the children and other family members and keeps wondering why he’s left out of the equation. Girlfriend, he needs attention but he’s not saying it.
2. Respect is a great propeller
A propeller of a ship or an aircraft causes it to turn quickly and move forward. Also, when you show your man respect, he advances more in every area of his life. Respect is a big booster and motivator for him, especially when he receives it from the one person he loves so much. Show me a husband who is usually excited and is super caring towards his wife and family, and I will tell you that husband is getting ample respect from his wife.
Respect brings out the best in your man. So, he’s not saying it but he needs it. Are you giving him the necessary respect?
3. Husband: “I want you to initiate sex, too.”
Yeah…don’t you know he gets turned on when you make the move? He’s waiting for you to grab him unexpectedly and even talk dirty to him, too. Let him look forward to rushing home from work as you lovingly whisper what you would do to him when he gets back. Or send him some naughty text messages during the day. I bet you, his mind will drift to you more than once during the day.
Men like to chase and they also like to be chased. A man wants to feel needed by his woman; it validates his manliness. “It’s demoralising for him, if he is turned down by his wife again and again when he requests for sex”, says Kurt Smith, a Northern California-based marriage and family therapist. So, what are you waiting for? Game on!
4. Say, “I love you, more” and praise him.
I bet you cannot count the number of times you’ve said to your kids— “I love you,” but when it comes to your spouse, you scratch your head to remember when last you said those same words. He wants to hear you say it—and often, too. Not only when you feel like it, or when he helps you out or assists you with some major finances. Let the words be on your lips each day. Men want to know they are loved and appreciated.
Praise him for who he is, what he does and the contributions he makes to the family. Don’t just secretly admire him; admire him openly.
5. Enough of the guessing games, please.
Why do you expect him to guess what you’re thinking of, or what you want per time? He’s thinking, why don’t you just tell me what’s wrong with you or what you want, without waiting for me to figure it out?
Newsflash babe, he might never figure it out. And it drives him nuts when you accuse him of being insensitive, when you’ve not told him what you really want, or how you feel!
6. “Can I have quietness, here?”
Most husbands hardly find it funny when they walk though the door and they are greeted with loud incoherent music, screaming children or an upset wife. And then, the house looks disorganised. It might not be your fault for the disarray. Afterall, you’ve had a long day, too!
But even if your family is as large as The Brady Bunch family, you can quieten down things, especially if you get home before him. Don’t let him walk into an inferno of bedlam. Allow him to rest or lie down. It’s not at that moment you remember all the pending issues that need attention. Also, those battles you pick with him or the kids, are really not necessary. He’s not saying it, but he needs to have his peace.
7. He wants you to touch him
Yes, a lot of men thrive emotionally and connect with their spouses through physical touch. They miss the physical contact and they are not saying it. They don’t just want pecks on the cheeks, they want deep kisses and intimate hugs. Your touch and hugs tell him what you’re thinking, amongst which are:
I believe in you…
Thank you for being there for the children and me…
I love you…
I appreciate you…
You mean a lot to me…
You turn me on…
You make me feel loved…
I’m passionate about you…and so on.
So, touch and caress him.
8. Your corrections and criticisms are not helping.
They are doing a number on him. Realise you’re not his mother or class teacher. He can’t stand the harsh criticism, scolding or corrections every turn he takes or even when he fouls up a bit. It’s especially disrespectful and awkward when you correct him before the prying eyes of his friends, family members and outsiders, too. Stop making him always feel like a little boy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
There are ways you can talk to him, without belittling or humiliating him. If you often accentuate the positives and strengths of your partner, he will be disposed to hear or listen to you.
9. He worries about not being able to perform sexually as he ages.
To you, it might not seem like a big deal but it is to him. He’s concerned about not being able to perform as he approaches midlife. It’s important to him that you understand his fears—whether real or imagined and make him feel relaxed and confident about his sexual relationship and the love you both share.
10. He wants to be heard.
You ask him a question and before he responds, you’ve asked him two or more questions. This is quite bothersome to him because he needs time to process a response before speaking and you’re giving no room for that. This makes him believe that “you don’t really care about what he has to say.” Why don’t you pause, take a deep breath and allow him time to make his contribution to the conversation without walking over, halting or preempting him?
There are still some more things men may not say that they need you to know, like they don’t want you to lose your fun side or playfulness, not being slipshod with your physical appearance, them needing space to just do their own thing without you always looking over their shoulder. He wants you to also desist from controlling the relationship or dictating its pace—it’s already affecting your union and causing things to spin out of control.
On a final note…
It’s one thing to be aware of what your husband is not saying but another thing entirely to do something about it. Perhaps, you might even know some of these things highlighted here. But the question is—what are you doing or what are you going to do about what you know?
All the best!