A Wife’s Perspective on Men and Openness And WW Linkup!

Battle between SexesIn a couple of weeks I will be diving into a series on “Men and Openness” that’s based upon a survey that I’ve been conducting for several months now. But today I want to approach this sticky subject from my own feminine and often skewed (probably due to Estrogen) perspective. 😉

[Tweet “My husband and I have struggled with having a relaxing heart-to-heart for most of our marriage.”]

In fact, if you’re a man and you just read that sentence (which I would love for you to be so kind as to Tweet), you may feel like I’m speaking Chinese. According to your male brain, “relaxing” and “talking with your wife” do not belong in the same sentence! But from my perspective as a woman, the two concepts are synonymous!

I remember that this conflict of interest began with my husband even before we were married. I was all about getting him to open up and talk about his feelings ad nauseam. <insert male gagging sound>

Ironically, it was what made me feel closer to my guy—whenever we could get past his “gagging reflex” and on to that blissful moment where his defenses came tumbling down.

It happened, people!

It really did and does … every once.in.a.blue.moon! And when it happens, it’s as if the clouds part and I can hear the melodic notes of an angelic chorus resounding from heaven.

Here’s how I see the battle lines being drawn—at least between me and my man …

  • He thinks of a “heart-to-heart” as a scary journey into the unknown—when the males get taken captive by the “She-Woman Conversational Giants.”
  • I think of it as an opportunity to “swim” with my hubby in the ocean of emotions that I’m already immersed in daily.
  • He looks at this encounter as “hard-work” that doesn’t always end productively—maybe even “drowning” on that “swim” with me!
  • I look at this swim as a chance to “relax”—feeling comforted because I know that the “exercise” is always worth the effort and will help us to feel better … at least eventually.
  • He’s tempted to feel intimidated by my emotional finesse or savvy.
  • I’m tempted to assume he’s just being resistant as a way to punish or control me.
  • He fears being soft and vulnerable because it might mean revoking his “man-card.”
  • I fear that if we do not “open up” with each other regularly and deeply our “marriage card” may get revoked!
  • He expects that “I will expect him” to know his feelings as well as I know my own.
  • I don’t expect him to know his feelings, but do expect him to push himself out of his comfort zone by “learning” to identify them whenever we need to talk.
  • He expects that if and when he knows what his feelings are, I won’t like or accept them.
  • I know that neither one of us may like the “feelings” we discuss, but I still think it is worth learning how to “go there” gracefully with each other.
  • He has experienced one too many times where I’ve tried to control or fix his emotions and/or reject his disclosures.
  • I am … “Busted!” But also hopeful for another chance to get it right this time!

As many of you know, I’m leaving on vacation this Thursday and have two great guest bloggers, Aimee Imbeau and Mary Geisen hosting the next two consecutive Wedded Wednesday’s while I’m gone. But I will return to start up this series on Men and Openness by revealing week-by-week the responses men gave me to questions I’ve posed through my survey. As a bit of teaser—one thing I’ve noticed is that these men are saying the same things! So apparently, we, wives, have some serious work to do to correct this break-down!

One more thing, please pray for us as we conduct our Connect U workshop in Lynchburg, Virginia this Friday! Click here for more details!

[Tweet ” Where the battle lines between men and women are drawn when it comes to opening up!”]

What male and female points of perspective would you add to this list?


What is one question or concern you’d like to see addressed about sharing openly with your mate?

[Tweet “Join us for another WW Linkup that encourages us in our lives and marriages!”]

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19 responses to “A Wife’s Perspective on Men and Openness And WW Linkup!”

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great post, Beth! I think you caught a lot of the differences perfectly.

    One thought – something you touched on –

    Many men feel that conversations happen when a woman has an agenda…the chromosomes are not XY for nothing, as in WHY is this conversation taking place?

    Men do it too, but they don’t BELIEVE they do it.



  2. I don’t think you left out one single thing. I read all of those and could see me down through the years pulling and tugging (sometimes begging) for that deep conversation that a certain someone dreaded like a toothache. I do agree with Andrew (below) I think men are convinced we have an agenda…we’re trying to get something or change them, etc. And he is probably right! Great stuff as always. Praying for your conference ♥


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  4. I was laughing for a minute. Sounds exactly like my man.”The exercise is always worth the effort.”


  5. Isn’t it almost them same for all husbands and wives? I pictured my husband and I as I read… I am lso ooking forward to this series.
    Please also look at asking that the men tell us the best way to get them to take off their gags…
    Have a memorable holiday Beth!


  6. Great description of women and men in your post. Andrew hit it spot in by saying that men believe women have an agenda, which leaves them guarded in conversation. When I think of myself this is true many times. I want to add that men can let their guard down and enter a conversation with a woman because I have experienced that before too. Thank you for a very thorough list. Praying for you and your husband as you leave for vacation and lead your workshop.


  7. My husband is a counselor. When he was in seminary, he asked me how much I thought I knew about him. He said he’d told his mentor I knew 85% of him. I told him I’d say maybe 35%. But that was not because I felt he was holding out on me, but because that was all he knew about himself. That makes me smile to remember, because God use some major losses and trials over the next two years to cause us both to go deeper with Him which gave us greater depth with each other.


  8. My husband’s canned response to feelings is “I feel good, it feels fine, it’s good.” Before we got married, we went to months of counseling and it was like prying old rusty nails without heads out of a board to get him to elaborate. He just didn’t get it.


  9. One of my favorite tools from Connect U is the pre set “talk time”. It is totally new to us and we are nervous and excited.


  10. Ahhh, guess I’m not the only one whose man is NOT like this? My guy LOVES to talk, too…so much so that it’s hard for us to have a heart-to-heart, ’cause he’s really adept at letting it all hang out – and I have little room to share! He is totally comfortable with expressing his own tears and fears, and also his opinions, and is ready to jump in and (here it comes…) “fix” my own issues. But somehow we move on – celebrating 30 years next month!

    Wish I had some wisdom and or an answer for you, Charlene!


  11. Great post, Beth. Made me do quite a bit of thinking (see my response to Charlene, below) Good luck on your conference! I’m sure you’ll rock it and bless the attendee’s socks off…so to speak 😉

    And did I miss it, or did you leave out the linky for the party this week?! Gah – I hate when that happens to me!!

    Love you, friend ❤


  12. Sounds like a much-needed series, Beth! It’s amazing how the communication patterns from our birth families influence how we communicate with our spouse–and how difficult it is to change them!


  13. What an insightful word today, Beth!

    Thanks for sharing this!

    We are so different from our men, aren’t we!

    Hope you have a blessed day,


  14. Hmm…yes, it is difficult to get men to ‘open up’. I have found that I often project my own feelings onto my husband, thinking that he is feeling the same as I do about a certain situation. So, I ask him how he is feelings and his response is usually ‘fine’. If I keep asking, I realize that he is telling the truth – he is feeling ‘fine’. He doesn’t ‘feel’ like I do. Sometimes, though, if something is really bothering him, we’ll talk about it. That usually begins with me starting the conversation with my own feelings and thoughts. After a while, we start to get a bit silly and I keep asking him about his feelings using a mock serious tone. And we get a chuckle. But that is just our weird sense of humour.


  15. Beth! You’ve laid us out here! 😦 And its a good kind of pain too! Can’t wait for the series to begin! I wish Lynchburg was closer than the 4 hours, would have loved to meet you! Gods blessings as you minister!


  16. Praying for you and Gary even as we speak! I’m so excited about these opportunities that are opening up for you guys to minister together! What a fabulous combo you are! I’m absolutely confident that God’s going to use you big time …

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    Hugs for you both from Tim and I …

    ;-} + ;-}

    P.S. I just told Tim what you guys are doing … and he asked me if I’d like to go hear you in action!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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