Getting Your Spouse to Open Up! Video

Getting a reluctant mate to open up to you is about as easy as coaxing a cranky toddler to eat his peas. At least, that’s what I’ve discovered in my own life. And it’s also what I’ve heard from countless others, especially wives, in conversationless marriages.


Today I’m answering another reader’s question in my Questioning Marriage video series. In the video, I offer three important steps to create more safeness in marriage. I’ll be giving three more when I post the follow-up to this video.

If you’re not working on figuring out what keeps your mate from coming close and opening up, then you’re inevitably going to drive your spouse further and further away.

So how do you make yourself and your relationship safer?

Click on the video to discover some steps to move in that direction …


What would you add to my list of ways to encourage openness?


What tactics have failed to produce openness in your marriage?


Here’s a Couple Conversation Guide to practice conversational skills and active/reflective listening.

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8 responses to “Getting Your Spouse to Open Up! Video”

  1. Yeah … pouting, yelling, sarcasm, the silent treatment. Talk about an invitation to clam up and pull away.

    Let’s hear it for wise accountability partners. And yes and amen to the prayer journaling … the most focused way I’ve found to pray.


    1. Unfortunately, that response happens a lot more than I ever would’ve imagined–based on the people/wives I’ve talked with, that is. I think it’s easy to feel helpless and then you pull out all the stops to get your guy to open up, only to find him running for the hills! ha! And I agree about accountability partners and prayer processing. Those two habits have radically changed my heart and marriage for the better. Thanks for joining the conversation and for your continued encouragement to me, Linda. Hugs to you!


  2. I have been known to pout before. I almost hate to admit it. I love the idea of a prayer journal. I journal and sometimes I write prayers but I need to dedicate a journal just for prayers. I also like the idea of a Godly friend to help with processing, to pray together and to affirm truth for each other. Looking forward to the next step.

    I pray you are starting to feel more yourself. I also hope the holidays are joyous!


    1. Yeah, I never “feel” like I’m pouting when I actually am. It’s a hard thing to recognize and to accept about yourself. But once you see it and deal with it, boy … It can radically change your relationships for the better.

      And prayer journaling is the best. I really do (prayer journal) things sort of instinctively, but there are patterns that I’ve developed over the years. Now I’m in the process of trying to extricate them so that I can give others a better roadmap for prayer journaling. It’s been such a powerful tool in the Lord softening my heart. Thanks for stopping by, Mary! Always great to see you in the comments, my friend. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated!


  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Beth, this is a really great video. You’ve covered some really vital points, and have good, concrete suggestions.

    One suggestion I have is that the ‘affirmation’ phase has to go on for rather more than two weeks, if one hasn’t been affirming one’s mate (this applies to both wives and husbands!). It’s said that changing a habit – like quitting smoking, or adhering to an exercise routine after leading a sedentary life, takes about this long. Two weeks of affirmation followed by an attempt to open up communication that doesn’t go well can destroy the ‘affirmation habit’. It’s like letting glue dry when you fix something; you just have to wait out the nominal time given by the manufacturer…and then tack on a few more hours before you try to use it.

    From the ‘dude’ standpoint, I find it difficult to open up for two reasons –

    1) I grew up in a situation in which anything I said was likely to be used against me. Silence was my only real defense.

    2) I often feel that I don’t have anything valid to say. I tend to filter my thoughts carefully, and ask myself, “Why am I considering saying this?” If it’s to garner sympathy, or, worse, pity, I remain quiet. Likewise for admiration – if I’ve accomplished something about which I’m pleased, why am I mentioning it? If I am trying to evoke admiration, I have the uncomfortable feeling that it’s a form of bragging, and I likewise will say nothing. I admit that there is something dysfunctional about this, because it’s my perception of my intended words, and not how they will be received.

    There’ another issue that I’ve experienced, and that is a different spiritual outlook. I’m a fairly grim Christian; Jesus accepted His duty to die on the cross, and there’s little of “God’s favour” to be found in that fate, at least on the temporal level. I can accept this without bitterness; duty is duty, and what’s good enough for Jesus is far more than good enough for me. But my wife sees things differently (she’s closer to the Robert Schuller paradigm), and there’s surprisingly little common ground. I accept my situation; she feels I should cry out to God for the injustice. Those are hard to reconcile.

    I hope you’ll excuse the length of this comment.

    Also…could you bring back the SJT Coffee Mug? It became kind of a beloved character in your videos. Just having ‘him’ on the table would be a nice touch.


  4. […] Getting Your Spouse to Open Up! Video  Messy Marriage […]


  5. […] two-part video series I gave the first three steps in this process (click here to read and watch Part 1). And in this video I give the following three, well … “and a half” steps to take […]


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