Monday, 29 April 2013

Book review: Getting your husband to talk to you

If you wish that your husband will talk to you – or talk to you more often- or talk to you on a deeper level then this book is for you. What it offers are principles and techniques that the authors claim has worked time and time again in getting husbands who typically don’t talk – or don’t talk much – to begin sharing their thoughts, feelings, and emotions with their wife.

In one of the stories told about a wife's complaint to Bob (one of the authors) that her husband won't talk, she challenged Bob to see if he could get her husband to talk and then remarked that “It won't do any good.” Bob decided to take her up on her dare to see if he could get the woman's husband to talk. Bob met up with the woman's husband and to his surprise the man began to talk and for the next thirty minutes Bob realised that he had said less than a dozen words. Wondering why the guy's wife had made such accusation that he wouldn't talk, Bob mused that perhaps maybe there aren't any men who cant talk. Maybe there are only some men who have never been listened to.

The book is full of these kind of stories, advice which the author have given and as a result bore real fruit.

The authors offer seven reasons why men won't talk to their wives and I'll list just a few. Buy the book when it comes out to read the rest and the reasons why the authors have chosen these seven reasons why men won't talk to their wives. The reasons below are not listed in numerical order as it is in the book:

1. Men don’t talk because they are afraid of their thoughts and ideas will be criticized and rejected.
2. men don’t talk because they do not believe they are as verbally skilled as their wives.
3. Men don’t talk because they don’t want to appear emotionally weak.
4. Men don’t talk because they don’t believe that they will be listened to.

This book emphasises the necessity for a wife to have a listening ear. A wife needs to take the advice James gave to his community when he wrote, “my dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Every one should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” This is because words are little pieces of a woman's soul and women would rather talk just to talk but men will talk if they are already doing something else. A wife who has a silent husband at home will need to understand this and perhaps join her husband in doing activities that he likes to do.

As well as listening, asking the right questions is instrumental in getting one's husband to talk. Always start with questions people are comfortable to talk about. A good practical advice I believe that is commendable for all situations.

The next quotation comes with an 18+ warning. 'Many wives have long desired for their husbands to understand the vital place of foreplay in preparing them to engage in sexual intimacy. One of the most common complaints wives have is, “he is so eager to reach the main event for him that he doesn't take the time to bring me along with him”. In a similar manner, your husband requires conversational foreplay in order to respond to your desire for a deeper discussion.'

Ask him questions that he is comfortable with. Do not be eager to 'reach the main event' of heart to heart conversation. Take the time to bring him along. This is an advice I personally will heed to when conversing with men in relation to discipleship and mentoring.

Bob and Cheryl Moeller suggest seven questions that can reach his heart. I will list a few. 1. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job? 2. Who is the one person you admire most and why? 3. What’s the best compliment anyone ever paid you?

This book does not shy away from addressing heart issues like sin. A women is not always to be blamed for her husband's silence and likewise a wife needs to examine her own heart so that she is not harboring bitterness towards her husband due to his emotional neglect of her communicative needs. Bitterness writes the married couple 'is a settled decision not to forgive, and it builds enormous walls in relationships.' If your husband senses that you still hold things against him and won't forgive him of his past mistakes then he is going to keep silent or not want to talk to you. 'Bitter roots produce bitter fruits in a marriage.'

On a more lighter note, 'make food and men will arrive. We have often jokingly (actually not so jokingly) tell single women interested in attracting a man that one of the most effective strategies involves just one word: food. “make it and they will come.”

At the end of each chapter there are discussion questions to talk through which indicates that this book is available for small-group use.

I am not a husband and not a wife so what did I gain from reading this book and why did I continue to read it? First of all this book is beneficial to both genders in two ways. 1. Most of the advice offered are suitable for both genders and it is rooted in scripture and experience. 2. One day if the Lord wills, I too will become a husband unless my portion is that of Christ and Paul of which I am content with. O to be like Christ in every way and of that apostle who was born at an untimely hour. As a husband I will understand the necessity of opening my heart to my dear sweet Christ saturated wife and of the greatness my conversation nourishes her feminine want for dialogue. I will spot quickly the faults in me of why I am neglecting her and spot the lame faults in her which have created a barrier in me. Also in addition, I can offer advice to husbands in keeping them accountable whether they are neglecting this vital duty of communication with their God ordained wives.

If you have a silent husband or if you are single and want to understand issues in marriage to do with communication, I beseech you to buy this book when it comes out. It offers godly advice and does not shy away in dealing with sin. It offers the gospel.


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