Throwback Thursdays: How to Discuss Sensitive Topics with Our Husbands

This article is going to need all of us ladies to band together and draw from our experiences in communication fails and triumphs. We can not avoid it. At times we are going to encounter problems in our marriages that we need to talk about openly with our husbands. And at times they are issues that could cause the conversation to turn south really fast if we are not mindful of some strategies for discussing sensitive topics in a way that encourage more talking rather than seeing us or our husbands shut down.

Maybe your husband needs to know that you need something particular in bed. Or that you need him to stop doing something particular in bed. Maybe there are issues in your finances or serious character issues that concern you. Whatever it is, there is a way that we as wives can do our part to bring these things up in a manner that is more likely to be well received. We can’t guarantee it of course. Our husbands are responsible for their own response, but there are some keys that make it work better.

The first thing I want to mention is the importance of picking your timing well. If he is in the middle of a project or watching something important to him on TV, that isn’t the time to bring up a problem. I used to be very unaware of this and have worked hard to be more intentional about when I bring things up that my husband and I need to discuss. My husband has taken the time to tell me how much he appreciates that I have grown in my discretion in this area so I know that it’s really meaningful to him.

The other thing that is very important is to take the time to think before you speak. We often end up reacting to problems the moment they pop up, but if we can train ourselves to hold our tongues, collect our thoughts and then speak, we often end up being able to respond more reasonably. I’ve found it really helpful to write out my thoughts ahead of time on very serious issues. It helps me process out a lot of the emotions so that when I talk to my husband I can focus more on the facts and present things in a way that makes more sense to him. I’ve noticed that so many of the movies I see which depict a romantic relationship are often missing this aspect of communication when the conflict in the movie meets the crisis point. Self control in conflict is completely disregarded, but I think controlling our tongue in conflict is incredibly important.

Without a doubt it is also important to take the time to pray for insight, especially if you need to bring up an issue that could be hurtful to him. We don’t want our words to tear him down and if we take time to pray I know that God gives us wisdom so that we can say things in ways that encourage him to consider how he can change. There was an issue a number of months ago that began concerning me about my husband so I began praying about it. God provided me a way to very gently mention it to my husband at just the right timing, when his heart was able to receive it. Since then I have seen God prompt people who knew nothing of the issue I was concerned about say something that reconfirms to my husband the importance of him paying attention to the problem I mentioned. Prayer makes a huge difference.

Our tone of voice is also very important. If we can remember to say things gently and with kindness, we will find that what we say is more readily received. Whether the issue is serious or mild, we have the choice to say things in a passive aggressive manner and rudely or we can choose to speak kindly. If in our hearts we already disrespect or despise our husband, that is going to come across in how we say things. We can’t expect him to receive what we are saying if underneath our words, our tone communicates a poor heart condition on our part. And we won’t be able to hide that so take the time to deal with issues of the heart as they come up.

And that brings me to my final point. If you have a habit of sweeping things under the rug because you have a hard time dealing with conflict, you can be sure that those bad roots of anger, bitterness and unforgiveness are going to cause bad fruit in our relationship. A lot of the time we will not even see the connection between a hurt we have in our hearts and a bad reaction we had to something external, but very often there are indeed connections between these kinds of things. So have courage and deal with the stuff in your heart. Bring your hurts to Jesus and let him begin healing the broken parts of your heart.

So how about you? These are my top suggestions for how to deal with sensitive issues with your husband. What have you found to be effective? I’d love to hear from you.

original article

4 thoughts on “Throwback Thursdays: How to Discuss Sensitive Topics with Our Husbands

  1. For myself…I have never found it difficult to talk to my husband about anything. Communication between husband and wife is crucial to a well maintained and well functioning relationship and if one or the other is fearful to talk to the one person whom they should be able to speak to about anything, that makes growing together very difficult. I am able to tell my husband when he upsets me and when he makes me happy. I am able to tell him when I like something he does or when I don’t. A husband should always allow their wife to speak to them and a wife should give correction or concerns in a loving godly manner. Never degrade or berate or diminish his role as a husband.

    I do this by giving some time to think about the situation away from the actual situation. I give him and myself some space to think. Then when I have really thought about it, I go to him and explain to him that something he has done has upset me and I would like to discuss it with him. I come in a gentle loving manner rather than attack mode about to pull out my weapons to end the war. So I have found taking some time away to think first before I act to be the most affective in dealing with issues. It always gets sorted without an argument or fight. That is what works for me.

  2. I can’t thank you enough for this post. I’m one that avoids conflict and usually will not bring up issues. I’m to the point of realizing its not healthy and I can no longer keep that up. It isn’t fair to me or DH. I’m praying for wisdom as I seek to communicate with my DH on a couple of areas that concern me and have been for quite some time… Finances and our sex life. Please pray for me:-). Thanks

  3. My fiance and I attended a workshop for engaged couples about 6 months ago. We learned a lot, but the biggest thing for us was “love journals”. We each have our own journals in which we regularly write love letters to each other and exchange. This concept has strengthened our relationship so much! Our communication is still a little flimsy at times, but there has been great improvement. Even if the purpose of a letter is to discuss an issue or concern, the letter is still a LOVE letter and always starts with tenderness and appreciation. We reaffirm to one another that we care for and cherish each other. I often find that if I need to share something with my man, I learn something about the topic, or myself, as I’m writing, or after I “proof read” what I’ve written (I can often forget to mention a point or thought. Proof reading helps me get everything down that I want to say). And last, but not least, they taught us to always read the letters twice. Once for the head, to absorb all the information, and again for the heart, to understand the thoughts, feelings, intentions, desires, ect. of the writer. Our journals are used for expressing love, more than they are for expressing concern (or guilt). We often pick a topic to write to each other on, such as a childhood memory, something you did for me today that I appreciate, a favourite memory with you, something that made me laugh today, a feeling I had today that I want to share with you, ect. We always pray before we write and again before we read. And of course a discussion always follows the reading. Sometimes there is an “unscheduled” journal entry. Things that bother me, or concern me sometimes come to me at night. Instead of calling him and waking him up, I put it in my love journal and he reads it and we discuss it the next day. I cannot express how wonderful this has been to our relationship and I strongly encourage any couple, whether they’re dating, engaged, or married, to make this a habit. We have learned so many things about each other and discovered and resolved issues we didn’t even know existed thanks to these journals. I have a big issue with the “think, then speak” concept. My love journal has been a HUGE help for me to bite my tongue and use my head. He also has a tendency to react to issues I bring up with fear, hurt, or confusion. But when I can write down everything that’s in my head and heart, and he can read it multiple times, rather than hearing what I speak once, a topic may initially cause him to tremble, but he is always at peace when he is finished reading. This goes both ways. I tend to react to things in anger. But reading his words, his thoughts, and his feelings, I am forced to set aside my knee-jerk defense mechanism of anger or blame, and see the situation through his eyes. I’m sorry this is so long, but I had to share this. Whether your relationship is shaky or solid, I believe regular love letter writing will always strengthen it.

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