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How to Ask Whether He Is Willing to Work on Our Relationship

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

Every relationship can develop problems that require work resolve. When problems develop, one partner may discover the problem before the other. If you notice there are problems in your relationship and want to resolve them, it is necessary to enlist your spouse’s support and cooperation if the problems are to be resolved, according to relationship and personal growth psychologist Barbara De Angelis, in an article on her website entitled, “Communication and Conflict.”

Straight Forward Approach

Some husbands may respond to a direct, short and simple explanation of the situation if presented with low emotional levels, according to Florence Littauer in an article entitled, “Communication Cues for Couples” on CBN.com. Begin by talking about why you believe there is a problem, such as discovering one or more of the potential relationship danger signs listed by De Angelis. Those are resistance to dealing with irritating behaviors, resentment that builds to anger and frustration, rejection and emotional separation with critical behaviors and repression of emotions. Your husband might not see them the way you do, but if he cares about your happiness, he might respond positively to your request.

Draw a Picture

Emotional word pictures can captures your husband’s attention, help him understand how you feel and entice him to agree with you, according to relationship Gary Smalley in his relationship curriculum, “Hidden Secrets to Loving Relationships.” Create a metaphor that explains your concerns and feelings, such as, “I feel like there is huge fog obscuring me from seeing you and you from seeing me. I try reaching for you, but I can’t seem to find you anywhere.” Your husband may be so concerned by your words that he whole heartedly agrees to work with you to clear away the fog.

Confession Is Good for the Soul

If you notice that you have not behaved in a loving manner because of resistance, resentment, rejection or repression, confess your part in the relationship problems. Explain that you don’t want him to feel unappreciated, criticized or unhappy. Your husband might be shocked by your honesty and be motivated to work with you. Husbands want their wives to be happy and see their marriage succeed, according to Shannon Ethridge, author of “Every Woman's Marriage: Igniting the Joy and Passion You Both” in a CBN.com article entitled, “Marriage Secrets Every Woman Should Know.”

Create Value for Him

Your husband is likely to cooperate with you to work on your marriage if he values you and believes he can help the relationship, according to relationship coach Jack Ito in “How Can I Get My Husband Back?” on his website. Explain how much better his needs will be met when you understand what he needs and how to make your relationship better. Demonstrate that you value him and want him to feel appreciated. List other things that will improve if he lovingly cooperates, such as more intimacy and fun in your marriage.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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