4 ways to help your husband say how he really feels - Part One

Recently I wrote about four ways that you can help your husband open up in a conversation for Family Share.
You can see the original article on their website here.
As I was writing the article for their website, I realized there is more to each lesson than I could include in one article (especially since there was a word limit.) In order to better explain each principle, I thought I'd break up each idea into individual posts. You are about to read Part 1.

Click on Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 to read more.

1. Watch your tone in order to show him love

Love is an action word. It implies a choice to act in a loving way. 
One powerful way to communicate to your husband that he is free to express his feelings is to speak kind words in a gentle voice. Stop the sarcasm and the insults. Kindness is sometimes misunderstood as weakness; however avoiding harsh words will keep a conversation progressing smoothly. Also, your tone of voice sets the mood in a conversation. A loud, angry tone of voice could raise your spouse’s defensive walls. A shrill, critical tone of voice may make him shut down and refuse to share his true thoughts. A whiny, manipulative tone of voice could lead your husband to roll his eyes and give up on the conversation. As you speak kind words, in a gentle voice, your husband will feel safe in your presence. He will feel comfortable sharing his opinions and emotions because he can trust you to be with him, not against him.

Take to heart the phrase “seek to understand.”
This means that you see a conversation as an opportunity to get to know him better, rather than using the conversation to only talk about you. "Seek to understand" means you go deeper and really get at the emotions and opinions that are fueling his side of the conversation. This skill takes time, but it can greatly enrich your conversation, and it helps keep tension low. As your husband feels truly heard and understood, he can return that kindness when it is your turn to talk. See an example in Part Two.

For example, your husband mentions he would like to spend your tax refund check on new tires for the car. Instead of quickly asserting your opinion that the money should be spent on something else, “seek to understand” his point of view:
- Ask questions about the safety of the car.
- Inquire into how much tires will cost.
- Discuss his reasoning for new tires now versus later.
- Allow him time to fully share his opinion with you before explaining your idea.
-Discuss these topics with a gentle tone, and use kind words.

As you “seek to understand” him, you show him that you love him. You show him you care about his opinions. Your example will inspire him to show you the same amount of consideration and respect when you share your opinions later.