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The Husband Whisperer

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Pascal Campion
Create a heart-to-heart connection, even when your man is reluctant.

I was walking through the Dallas airport when I received a panicked call from an administrator at my 6-year-old daughter’s school. “Is anyone coming to pick up Annie today?” My heart sank! My husband, Greg, and I had talked about this, and he assured me he would pick her up. I frantically called Greg.

“Greg! Annie is sitting in the school office. You were supposed to pick her up today!”

Shocked, he shot back, “No, you told me she was going home with a friend!”

If your marriage is anything like ours, you know how the rest of the conversation went. Defensiveness and accusatory comments, and ultimately a total disconnect. The bottom line: Communication is hard.

I’ve sat with many women who were feeling alone and disconnected from their husband because they couldn’t seem to get him to talk — especially about his feelings. They were tired of hearing him respond with the basic “-ad” emotions — glad, sad, mad — or listening to him reply to “How was your day?” with a meaningless “Fine.”

I totally get it! Greg and I went through years of struggle as Greg developed his “emotional vocabulary” and I worked to help him understand why I hated the word fine. But when I heard the definition of fine expressed as an acronym (Feelings Inside Not Expressed), it all made sense. Fine was such a noncommittal, non-emotional word. And I wanted more. I wanted a deeper connection with my husband. I wanted to engage in heartfelt conversations.

But it has been a journey — one that continues. Greg eventually began to call me “the husband whisperer” because I was so determined to train him to talk to me. I wanted to engage in conversation not just about strategic details, but also about what was going on in his heart.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a switch to flip and suddenly our husbands could be just like us? They’d be able to quickly go to deep emotional places in conversation; they’d sit and have coffee while empathizing and validating our experiences and feelings; and they’d be able to share freely while “talking to think.” Or would it really be that great? I contemplated this, knowing that Greg brings a lot of balance to me in my emotional states. Although I desire to connect with him heart-to-heart, maybe there’s a better way than having two of me!

Here’s a bit of what I’ve learned:

  1. Embrace the reality that you are different and set your expectations accordingly.
    God made us to want different things within communication. Typically, men want a purpose for conversation (i.e. a problem to solve, a question to answer, something to fix) and many women crave deep emotional connection. Simply embracing the fact that men have different goals in communication can allow women to set appropriate expectations.
  2. Be a student of your husband.
    As I began to study how Greg communicated with others, it gave me keys to communicating with him — offer fewer details, be clear about what I need and what I don’t need, ask more questions. I also learned to watch for Greg’s high-energy times, taking note of what activities helped him come alive.
  3. Get him active.
    Most men will never enjoy the coffee-shop conversation that we love. However, I’ve noticed that Greg has a much easier (and enjoyable) time talking when we are doing something active. Instead of asking him to sit across a table and talk, I’ll ask Greg to go for a walk with me or take a drive together. Men have an easier time talking when they’re doing something side by side with their wife.
  4. Praise him instead of criticizing him.
    Ladies, I’ve learned to use my words wisely. I’m not perfect at this, but instead of offering only criticism, I’ve learned to intentionally praise Greg. Men long to know they are successful not only at work but at home and in their marriage, as well. Praise anything you can possibly praise him for, and always praise your husband before you offer a negative comment.

Proactive and meaningful communication is the lifeblood of any relationship. Taking the time to understand how your husband prefers to communicate will bless your exchanges and strengthen your marriage.

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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