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The goal of this column is to help grow great marriages, which reflect the church as places of joy, love, forgiveness and growth.
The following letter is a compilation of comments made by different wives: It does not reflect a specific person or relationship.
I want to talk to you. Talking and working together are important to me and have always been my best tool for connecting. Talking and feeling heard make me feel loved. In my logical place, I know you love me; you are a good provider. But I want sweet, connecting dialogue.
Talking does not work in this marriage. No talking means I don’t feel loved. Something is badly broken. I feel stuck, trapped and tied to a non-talking husband for what I fear is the rest of my life.
Engaging others has been a strength of mine. Many have told me I am charming. However, in my marriage, I don’t feel like that; I feel like I am just here.
Marriage is supposed to be a safe, sacred place. When I mention my concerns, you don’t take me seriously. My thoughts are minimized, you are distracted, and you show no interest. At times you fall asleep when I’m hurting. The conclusion is obvious: life is better with little or no talking.
My dear husband, please know I want the best for us. However, I see a pattern developing.
I approach you with a topic. You are busy and don’t want to be bothered, My feelings get hurt. So, I talk less. I try to stay positive and up. To distract myself, I invest in the kids, work and tasks. Over time I find myself trying to talk to you less and less. My spirit is closing.
It seems like you don’t want to talk, so to protect myself, I just stop talking.
Can’t you understand the value of talking to me - the back and forth discussing and exploring of issues? Working through our differences? Talking is such a sweetly satisfying activity.
Talking makes me feel loved.
I want your help working through life’s challenging issues - especially in these three areas:
- I need to explore my fears. I need to talk for encouragement and strength to fight them.
- Next, I need to talk about my disappointments to help me walk through them.
- And I want to share seasons of grief with you. Grieving is an important part of life and healing.
Husband, please know I do not talk just to ramble. I am not complaining. I am in search of life’s solutions. Talking helps me heal, brings clarity and lightens life’s heavy loads. Can you please help me?
This letter makes me sad. I am writing it out of love. I am writing in the hope it stirs you to revisit the idea of improving our talking. I want to talk to you.
Signed, your loving wife.
Homework: Wives, share this for discussion purposes with your husband. My hope is it will give a voice to those who do not feel heard. Pray and ask for wisdom as you proceed forward in love.
Husbands , pray daily for wisdom and a heart to hear your wife. Go on a mission of emotional growth and make it an offering to your heavenly Father.
Stephen L. Cervantes is a Licensed Marriage Therapist and expert in relationship love. He has 28 years of experience. He specializes in helping successful men who struggle in relationships. 210-490-9062. HopeCounseling.com (Stone Oak area).