"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: 4 Reasons Husbands Don't Express Themselves

Husbands are interesting critters. I ought to know – I’m one of them.  We are often criticized for our unwillingness to communicate our feelings, express our needs and desires, etc.  Our wives want us to talk to them, communicating in a real, emotional way, baring our hearts and souls to them.  It’s how many of them connect with us and feel loved.  But the average man has trouble communicating this way.  We generally take a more "don't ask, don't tell" approach to communication, especially communication of an intimate nature.

We won't discuss our problems. 
We won't tell you how we feel.
We won't tell you which restaurant we prefer.
We won't tell you how we like you to do your hair.
We won't ask you for something we want.
Everything is fine.  Everything is good.  Nothing is wrong.

Why do we behave this way?

A few reasons ....

1. Pride 
We don't want to blow our cover.  We have lived so long pretending that everything is fine, and getting everyone to believe us, that we don't want to admit that we never really had our act together in the first place, and that we spend our lives pretending it's cool to be us.

2. Fear
We are afraid of what our wives will think of us if they find out what we really want.  After all, no normal person has those kinds of thoughts, right?  It takes a real sicko to come up with these thoughts.  We better not EVER let our wives know what we're thinking.

3. Rejection 
We have been chastised for our opinions ideas enough times (not just at home, but at work and elsewhere) that we have learned to keep our mouths shut and move our heads up and down in agreement.  It's easier than trying to express an opinion and being shut down. 

4. Defeat
We just don't want to keep fighting for what we want.  There comes a time in every battle when one team wins and the other team loses.  When a team loses often enough they resign themselves to defeat before they even come out of the locker room.  Many husbands are the same way.  Constant defeat causes us to give up the fight.  It's much easier to become complacent and agreeable. 

Men, sometime we have to fight the battle, even if it makes us uncomfortable.  I say that knowing full well that I am just as guilty as the next guy of keeping my mouth shut when I should speak my heart. Does this mean I should just say whatever I want without regard to consequences?  Well, no.  Of course not.  There are parameters set up for us in God's Word.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:30).
This verse reminds me that when I speak my mind I must always run it through the filter of humility.  Am I going to use my words for selfish reasons, to promote my own interests?  If so, then I should keep my big mouth shut.  On the other hand If I run my opinions through the filter and find that I'm truly following the lead of the Holy Spirit and that I am expressing a godly theme that will improve our marriage or family, then it needs to be said.  It may be uncomfortable to express my thoughts; they might not be well-received by my bride.  However, if I am truly considering her and our marriage, and not just my own selfishness, then I should say it and let the chips fall where they may.


  1. Great post - very exposing! Thanks

  2. For men to express their feelings, besides the ones people want to hear, it takes an audience that's willing to hear things they don't want to hear. Don't ask for an honest opinion if you can't handle a negative one. Of course for husbands, we ought to know our wives well enough to know what they can handle. I learned this reading books by Warren Farrell.

    1. Thank you for bringing up an interesting point. Husbands must live with their wives in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7). In so doing, we must be understanding that while we have to utter negative opinions at times, it's important to be understanding of what she can handle, and speak the truth in love (and with great tact).

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I never know what a man is thinking. It's nice to get a peek through the tough exterior. Very helpful.

  4. Sometimes the exterior isn't so tough once you get behind it and see the real man.

  5. Very good post Thomas... I really like the fact that you're willing to be open about these things. Many men are not willing to go there, which points directly to your point #1, interestingly. My prayer is that the LORD will use this post to penetrate the callouses on many hearts, that cause them to be blind to these sorts of issues. Blessings!

    1. It's my prayer as well. I've found more freedom in letting go of my facade than I ever had when keeping that wall in front of me.

      It's true, many men (myself included) are too prideful. We want everyone to think we have everything figured out. Truth is we are scared little boys who don't want to lose control of our world.