Some time ago I wrote a post about how wives can deal with an emotionally distant husband. That post was mostly on how to understand why your husband is so closed off and how to use that knowledge to extend grace. In this post I will share some tips on how you can actually help him open up to you.
This hack is known as the Pareto principle, sometimes called the 80/20 rule. In its most basic form, the Pareto principle states that 80 percent of a cause results in 20 percent of an effect (or vice versa). There are many variations to this rule, such as:
- 80% of books are sold by 20% of authors
- 80% the wealth is controlled by 20% of the population
- 80% of marketing results in 20% of sales
- 80% of your efforts produce 20% of your results
It’s this last one that we want to look at. In business, this means that 80% of what the employees spend their time on isn’t doing much to help the company. Conversely, only 20% of time is spent on tasks that actually get results. Productivity coaches teach executives, managers, and employees to weed out those ineffective tasks and instead focus their time and effort on the other 20% that get 80% of the results.
So how can you apply this simple principle to your marriage?
One of the most common struggles in marriages today is the difficult challenge of maintaining intimacy once the “honeymoon phase” ends. It’s easy to let yourself get so busy with work, kids, church responsibilities and the daily grind of life that spending time focusing on your relationship can be difficult.
If a husband does not feel respected, he cannot feel loved
- “I do not need you to tell me what to do.”
- “I am a grown man”.
- “I hear this every month when you get ready to start your period.”
- “You worry over EVERYTHING, Honey.”
- “You never believe me when I tell you things”.
- “Have a little faith in me.”
- “Do you not even believe in me that much?”
- “I can’t please you. If I don’t do what you want, you are unhappy. If I do what you want, you say I am only doing it because you told me to.”
- “I can’t win here.”
- “I am in a no win situation.”
- “It is the same thing, over and over with you.”
- “What hurts me the most is that you don’t trust me with the kids.” (I know he would NEVER let anything happen to our children. I just wish he was more cautious with them. STILL and issue I am going to have to confront it at some point but I need to deal with simply letting go first).
- “No man wants to be without respect.”
- “Trust me.”
- “You always believe the worst about me.”
- “No man wants to be talked to like that.” (in reference to a couple we know)
- “She talks to him like a dog.” (in reference to a couple we know)
- “I told you I would take care of it.”
- “You don’t believe me when I DO compliment you.”
Do you ever feel clueless when it comes to communicating with your wife? You already know you need to communicate better with her. You are aware of the statistics on how many marriages end in divorce over this issue. But you feel frustrated because you just can’t seem to get it right. Your wife has probably let you know that she needs you to open up to her or communicate more with her. She may have even told you that she feels like there is no emotional connection between you.
If this is you, rest assured that you are not alone in your struggle. In fact, I understand where you are coming from all too well. What is a godly man to do in this situation?
Do you have an emotionally distant husband? Does he often “check out” on you or refuse to talk to you? Or maybe he just doesn’t know how to connect emotionally? This is a common problem that many women face in their marriages. It might seem as if your husband doesn’t care about you or that he isn’t interested in you. Sometimes, you may feel like your suffocating under the emotional neglect. Some women even go so far as to say it feels as if their husbands hate them because of this problem.
What can you do if you find yourself in this kind of situation? Is he really uninterested, or is it that he just doesn’t know how to relate in an emotional way? If so, how can you help him to come out of his protective shell without pushing him away? If I may, I would like to offer a man’s perspective on this important issue.