Men and women tend to differ in terms of communication, so you may need to adopt a new strategy when communicating with your husband to avoid pushing him away. Instead of a social, empathetic approach, use a style that is more direct and goal-oriented. By respecting common differences in communicating between men and women, you can make him feel comfortable and thereby elicit better communication. By meeting your husband where he is, you will not only reduce chances of him pulling away but also strengthen your bond.
1. Be Direct
Men value direct communication, so using language that is simple and direct will probably reduce the likelihood of pushing your husband away. State upfront how you feel or what you are thinking. In conflict, use the same strategy. Women tend to use questions in arguments, which may elicit frustration in men. Be frank to let him know where you stand. Instead of asking him if he understands how you feel, let him know that you are frustrated or upset at him so that he better understands your emotions.
2. Consider Emotional Differences
Using emotional communication may feel uncomfortable to men and can be disconcerting for your husband. Many males are not socialized to be emotive or as expressive as women -- emotional behavior is not always rewarded in males and many father figures may not outwardly show the emotional range women do. Communicate with him in a way that allows him to process emotion. Do not try to force emotions out of him, as this may lead to frustration on his part. Instead, give him time to think about his feelings and express them in a way comfortable to him. It might also help to frame communication in logical terms, with which your husband may feel more at ease.
3. Honor His Independence
To avoid pushing your husband away, respect his desire for independence. In communication, men value independence and their role in the relationship. Avoid speaking to him in ways that make him feel emasculated or though he does not have a choice. Respecting his identity and autonomy in turn makes him feel respected. For instance, give him options when asking him to do something. Instead of telling him to put up a bookshelf, ask him if he will do it. He has the ability to opt out if he so chooses.
4. Think Purpose
Adopt a communication style that transmits information and is goal-oriented to communicate with your husband without pushing him away. Men are highly solution- and information-focused in communication. When speaking with your husband, lean more toward the facts than emotional content. For example, when you talk about your day, he is more likely to feel comfortable with exact details than how you felt about them. When sorting out a conflict or trying to solve a problem, focus on solutions rather than the details of the problem. Your husband feels valuable with solution-focused communication, especially in problem solving.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images