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Let's Give Him Something to Talk About

Let's Give Him Something to Talk About

7 ways to get beyond "yup" and "nope"
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34 Comments

While we were dating and early in our marriage, Steve and I talked for hours, sometimes late into the night. As the years passed, however, he backed off. When we did talk, we ended up arguing, or it seemed he kept conversations superficial. I often wondered, Why doesn't he talk to me anymore?

Then I discovered, through trial and error, that I was engaging in conversation-stoppers such as being a bad listener, a conversation hog, and at times, a nag. So I began a quest to encourage meaningful communication with my husband once again. Here's what I learned.

1. Listening requires zipping my lips.

"Honey, you never tell me how you feel," I repeatedly complained to Steve.

Finally, one day he started to. But as soon as he mentioned his first feeling about a family conflict, I blew it by blurting, "You shouldn't feel that way."

"That's why I don't tell you how I feel," he said.

Conversation aborted.

I once saw a t-shirt that read: "I'm talking, and I can't shut up." I couldn't help but think, That's me.

The apostle James says we need to be "quick to listen, slow to speak" (James 1:19). When I put this advice into practice and don't make quick judgments or think about what I want to say next instead of listening to what he's saying now, Steve opens up more freely.

2. Letting him lead brings us closer.

My dissatisfaction with our communication came not so much from the fact that Steve didn't want to talk, but that he didn't talk about what I wanted to discuss. Often I'd muse mournfully, My girlfriends think what I say is interesting; why doesn't my husband?

He doesn't because he's not one of my girlfriends. Steve just can't get excited over hearing about people he doesn't know or about what happened at my women's Bible study like my girlfriends can.

But I still wanted to talk with him! In Ephesians 5:21, Paul says we're to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." For me, part of that submission means I adopt a "What do you want to talk about?" attitude. For instance, Steve loves sports. While I usually find sports boring, I love people, so I read about athletes and tell Steve about what I've read.

He also enjoys reading the newspaper, so I try to read it as often as I can. We discuss the stories, which often leads to conversations about how they relate to our lives.

I've also learned to let Steve decide when and where he wants to talk. While I crave face-to-face, intimate conversations, often he talks while he's doing tasks around the house or while we're on errands together. I've learned to say "yes" when he asks, "How would you like to help me with the yard work?" or "Will you go with me to the store?" because I know the task will also include conversation.

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Related Topics:Communication; Marriage; Men; Spouse
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Displaying 1–3 of 34 comments

Sharon Mavis

February 05, 2014  2:27pm

I appreciated your emphasis on the role we wives play in stifling conversation from our husbands. Our hearts long to hear more from them and we jump to conclusions when we don't -- false conclusions. It's a delight to our own hearts to hear what they have to say. Thank you for the article.

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Amy Okorie

May 14, 2013  11:21am

My my my. The ladies are usually the talkers but my husband couldn't shut up. He is the nag in the house. He must have something to say at all times and must comment on any issue at all whether it requires comment or not. He does not think before he opens his mouth, so he ends up saying hurtful things to me, his friends and family. I am not a talker and rarely complain. I tried to lead by example by listening to him politely, but he doesn't do the same to me. This article is just him and more. Showing him this article will just lead to another looooooong talk....so

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Mrs. TGS

February 09, 2013  7:23am

What Rhema!! To God be ALL the glory in Christ Jesus! My Husband is a mirror image of Steve, and through a recent challenge, by God's grace and the tangible love of Christ that my Husband demonstrates to me, I realized that I had been taking Him for granted. He selflessly restores me, even when I tend to be unruly and disagreeable, and loves me to life without trampling me about my shortcomings. Thank you for confirmation, and a few great extra ideas! Just yesterday, I began recording things that I need to discuss with my Husband on an audio recorder to re-listen and prayerfully then write down what I need to say, so I don't overwhelm or cause him to withdraw. By God's mercy & grace, I did all that, and ended up not using any of it, but I felt relief, and the LORD graced me when my Husband addressed the situation without me having to say a word! Thank you for sharing these Covenant saving truths. May the LORD continue to bless and prosper every marriage to fulfill His Divine Design!

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