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How to Explain How You Feel to Your Husband

by S. Grey

Communication between men and women is intricate, so explaining your feelings to your husband may not be a simple endeavor. Men process emotions and communication differently than women, so adopt a modified communication style to get him on your level. Be direct and acknowledge how he processes emotions to get your feelings across to him. By meeting him where he is in terms of emotion and communication, you better connect to him and reduce your own frustration.

Be Assertive

Men use an assertive style of communication, so you are more likely to explain your feelings to him if you adopt the same style. Use language that is direct and active. Speak with confidence about your emotions. Adding these elements to your speech will present the idea of status and power, two important parts of masculine communication patterns. You may also end up feeling more confident as a result of adopting a more traditionally masculine speech pattern.

"I" Statements

Simple and straightforward "I" statements help you explain your feelings to your husband. These statements let you take ownership of your feelings and give a direct antecedent and reasoning for them. Communicating with men using these phrases helps them; they understand your exact feeling and the exact event surrounding it. An example of an "I" statement is: "I felt aggravated when traffic was backed up on the way home because I had things to do once I arrived."

Let Him Process

Give your husband time to process the emotions you explain to him. Doing so will increase his ability to respond appropriately. Many men are socialized to be less emotive than women, so he may feel uncomfortable with talking about your emotions. Yet, he still may have valuable input. By not rushing him into a response you honor his autonomy.

Ask for Solutions

Men are goal- and solution-focused in communication, so enlist his help when you explain your feelings to him. Men tend to use communication to provide advice or solutions rather than to enhance social relationships, as women do. By asking him to help you problem-solve with your feelings, you help him feel involved and utilize his male communication style. Problem-solving with your husband connects the two of you and integrates how both of you may naturally communicate. He is more likely to be receptive of your feelings when he knows he is helping you.

About the Author

S. Grey has a Master of Science in counseling psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He is also pursuing a PhD and has a love for psychology, comic books and social justice. He has been published in a text on social psychology and regularly presents research at regional psychology conferences.

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