May 21, 2010


Women often express, "I dream of my husband and me having an emotional connection. I want to know his heart and feelings, and for him to know mine. I want him to listen to me and understand me. I have tried to discuss my needs with him but he doesn’t seem to get it, and I can see him getting discouraged when I surface this issue with him.”

Maybe I can offer some thoughts.

Study male friendship. Look at how men interact with each other and then look at how women interact with each other. Women get together and talk about their heart issues and relationships. They get together for that purpose. Men, on the other hand, get together to do or watch some activity. As these men do shoulder to shoulder activities with a good friend, they relax and feel comfortable to talk about the deeper issues confronting them. They do not do this with every man with whom they do shoulder to shoulder activities, but only those with whom they experience a special camaraderie and trust.

With your man, try spending time just "being together" without an agenda to talk or interact. Yes, I know that appears to be a waste of time. If you can’t talk face to face, sitting shoulder to shoulder watching a football game seems silly. However, that's thinking about your relationship with your pink brain. There's nothing wrong with your pink brain. God made you this way and it is good in his sight. God also made your husband to think about things with his blue brain! If you want your husband to experience a sense of bonding with you, you have to give him shoulder to shoulder time. For some reason, when you do this authentically, your husband opens up various compartments to you. That does not mean spend 15 minutes with him and then turn to him and say “Talk to me.” This is not some formula to get him to meet your emotional needs. This is a way of respecting who he is as an end in itself, but a byproduct is that when he feels more confident about your friendship -- that you like him -- he typically shares more of what's going on inside of him.

If you pressure your husband to talk face to face and he feels the nature of the conversation is negative or critical, he loses energy to respond. Why? You never used to be this way. Think back to when you were dating. He saw you as someone fun to be with, and someone who liked him for who he was. He saw you as a positive, friendly person rather than a woman who had expectations of him to perform in a certain way in order to make her happy.

So, do you just put a sock in your mouth and watch football with him and never talk? No, you reach across the aisle and do the shoulder to shoulder activities. See it as something that fills his respect tank, and when you fill his respect tank, he turns to you and says something from his heart. And, he’ll listen to your heart. If you look around at those couples that really enjoy each other, I predict this wife gets this. She has made a decision to give her husband shoulder to shoulder time, and at some point (never as quickly as she wants) her husband turns to her face to face and talks. He might even ask, “So how are you feeling?” It is actually kinda simple once you understand the blue brain.


Unknown said...

It's amazing that God lead me to this. I've been checking the blog periodically since the last post and right when I need it most it's here. I've been desiring to communicate this need to my girlfriend for some time now; I had no idea how. Her and I read it together and now we are at least able to understand a little better what I've been trying to say. Her and I live over a thousand miles away, so it's tricky to have this kind of time together, but I know God will always provide. Thank you for your ministry. God has blessed you and has blessed so many through you. At least, I know I have been. :) Praise God.

Mike West said...

Just wanted to let you know my wife and I recently facilitated the DVD series at our church with 9 couples. A couple of marriages were put together while all were strengthened. Thanks for all you do!
God Bless....

Unknown said...

Thanx for this post. Just tonight, my man and I went for a walk. I was chatting away, as usual, and when I asked a question, he didn't answer. -Hey, Buddy, where are you?????

-Just thinking on stuff.

Shoulder to shoulder and still not communicating vocally, but we were together. :)

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thanks for the post. I have found this to be true. My husband introduced me to fishing when we dated. I fell in love with it! We have some of our best conversations after hours on the water - mostly about which lure, or which cove to boat over to...or my favorite memory when it was really quiet and I looked up and pointed to the sky and motioned to him and he looked up and together we saw a bald eagle fly right over our boat. But "real" talks usually comes hours and hours later by the camp fire, late at night. But the biggest compliment I got (well, over heard really) was when he told a guy that he loves watching me trying to hook a big fish and it gets off the hook. According to my husband, I "cuss like a sailor, yank on my rod twice even though the fish doesn't seemed hooked, peer over the boat to make sure the fish is really gone, and then check my hook to make sure there is nothing wrong with it..." apparantly he has found this to be secretly harilious that I am "blaming the hook" and all this time and I had no idea I had been entertaining him since we dated. He commented that I was his "fishing buddy." I will defend myself and say I only curse when I actually SEE the fish jump off the hook...but I did smile when I heard I was his fishing buddy. :-)

Your book has been a big help in so many small ways...thank you so much,

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