“Talk It Out”
I watch super hero movies through the skeptical eyes of a realist. The ability to fly? Nonsense! Teleportation? Yeah right! While I roll my eyes at these mythical characters and their abilities, there is one ability that for a long time I believed was perfectly attainable by every male specimen: mind reading. Every guy should know that when I say, “I don’t care,” I really mean, “I want to watch 27 Dresses, not Saving Private Ryan, and you better agree!” Duh!
But ladies, as much as we would love for our guys to be mind readers, they never will be. They need us to express what we want and need, and they hate guessing games! So instead of waiting for your fiancé to develop super-human abilities, try incorporating these tips:
- Tell him exactly what you want. Men are usually blunt, honest people, and they find it refreshing when a woman is forthright. So instead of saying, “I’m so tired of doing the dishes. If only someone else could do them …” try “Honey, would you please do the dishes?”
- Speak the truth in love. Just because you are being honest does not mean you have to be hurtful or rude. Avoid critical, name-calling statements like, “Stop being so lazy and help me!” Instead, you could say, “I sometimes feel resentful when I end up doing most of the housework. It would mean so much if you could help me by taking out the trash.”
- Be receptive and responsive. Healthy communication goes both ways, and men need to know that they can express how they feel without repercussions. For example, I used to battle a terrible habit of formulating a “right” response in my head. If my husband said what I wanted to hear, he was safe. If not, game over. Because of this, my husband would try to figure out what I wanted to hear instead of telling me what he truly thought. Now I try to listen to him without deciding what he should say. If we disagree, that does not mean he is wrong.
- Address unhealthy beliefs about communication. Unfortunately, many couples do not clearly communicate because they have false beliefs about their feelings. In the book “Simple Secrets of a Great Marriage” Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend state that “many people have been taught that their wants don’t matter, are selfish, or have little or no chance of being fulfilled. So they shut down from feeling those things and communicating them.” If there is something you are longing to share with your fiancé, reflect on why you have refrained from doing so. Is it because you are afraid of his response? Perhaps your fiancé has not expressed something because he feels it is unimportant. Tell your significant other about any fears or hesitations you are experiencing, and encourage him to do the same. Assure him that his thoughts and feelings are important to you.
While your guy may never be able to shoot spider webs or travel at the speed of light, he still needs to know that he is your superman, and healthy communication affirms that. So what are you waiting for? Talk it out!