We have been looking at Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and specifically at how husbands can show love to their wife. Dr. Eggerichs uses 6 basic areas to express how a husband can do this and they follow the letters C-O-U-P-L-E. Today, we finish looking at the second letter in C-O-U-P-L-E and that is Openness.
Most husbands don’t tend to fluctuate quickly between extremes but may over time move in a particular direction. That is why when a guy realizes he may be at the closed down stage it might not be like flipping on a light switch for him to suddenly be Mr. Open. It can take days, weeks, or even months for him to feel like he can and wants to be open with his wife.
Women, on the other hand, are much more sensitive creatures and respond quicker to everyday joys and stress that come in life. Sometimes that can drive a husband crazy but other times it may be the thing that shows you why you love your wife the way you do. It is usually what makes her different from her husband and why she has a special touch when it comes to taking care of you when you are sick, being a great mother to the kids, or showing great excitement or appreciation when something great happens.
So, let’s look at some ways your wife can feel you are open to her. These are some suggestions and may take some time for you to implement. These are also some ways that you might get your groove back if you have ventured into a shutdown state in your marriage. It may just be utilizing one of these as a first step that opens the communication back up in your marriage.
Sharing – Your wife wants to know about what is going on with you. That means she wants you to share her feelings, talk about your day, and what struggles you are having. I know it doesn’t seem like our day is that awesome a lot of times and may seem quite repetitive, but she will get a sense of connection with you from just a little insight into your heart.
Initiate Discussion – Your wife wants to know that she is important to you and that you care about what is going on with her. This is as simple as asking her how she is feeling, how her day was, what is going on in her mind, and just simply asking for her opinion on a topic.
Expression – Another thing we don’t think about often, but our facial expression goes a long way in how approachable we are. Nobody wants to chat up someone that looks like a cold blooded killer. Try to have an approachable expression that isn’t threatening, shows a relaxed body language, and be careful to make good eye contact with your wife.
Give Her Attention – Some of the best communication time I find is something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood. Taking away the TV, a book, a tablet, or a phone in hand can make a great time to have a relaxing, easygoing chat with your wife. Finding time where you can give your wife your full attention is super important to her.
Tone – We don’t often think about it, but our tone can go a long way in how much people want to be around us. Also, the same tone we have when we are around the guys may come across as harsh when we are around our wife. We have to keep in mind that our wife may be more sensitive than we are and that attitude may come off as threatening.
Communicate the Important Stuff – Sounds like something stupid to say, but feelings get hurt the quickest and sometimes the longest when there are surprises. Keeping a continual dialogue going about the financial matters, job situation, kid’s schedules, and future plans that go on in a marriage is a good practice whether things are going great, in a rough patch, or just cruising along. Being on the same page helps your wife and you prepare for the needs of each other during a particular day or week.