Marriage Mondays with Shaunti Feldhahn
3/23/15 at 01:07 PM 0 Comments

Husbands, Reassure Your Wife

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Welcome to Marriage Mondays! Each Monday, join me as I share my top findings on the little, eye-opening things about men, women, and relationships that make a big difference in creating great marriages.

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Tip #50: Husbands, when you are angry or upset with your wife and need to get some space, reassure her that “We’re okay” before you pull away – and give her a hug when you come back.

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There is one fairly simple thing you as a guy can do that will dramatically increase your wife’s happiness and security in marriage: when you are displeased with her, reassure her that you love her before you pull away to get some space.

I know you think that shouldn’t be necessary! Of course she knows I love her, you think to yourself, we’re just arguing and I’m just upset, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love her!

But there is something you need to know about women. And this truth will, I hope, suddenly make sense of this confusion – and give you a good insight into what to do -- the next time you two are at odds.

You see, when you said, “I do,” you thought the deal was closed. In all likelihood, the question “Does she love me?” has never again crossed your mind. But according to our nationally-representative surveys of women, your wife probably sees things completely differently. The vast majority of women (somewhere in the 80-90 percent range), secretly wonder things like, Am I lovable? And in marriage, that translates to Does he really love me? Would he choose me all over again?

So you see, for her, her “I do” will probably always mean “Do you?”

Yes, she probably knows with her mind that you love her, but sometimes her feelings need to be convinced. She is more vulnerable than you ever realized to doubting whether she is loveable and loved. Conflict, your withdrawal, even your silence can trigger those feelings – and they are painful. As one strong, confident woman ruefully told us in our research for For Men Only, “I know it is not the most modern, liberated thing, but some very desperate feelings arise when I feel like he is displeased with me.”

And those desperate feelings may lead to some words and actions that may be… um… counterproductive to peace in the home. But it is entirely because she needs to be reassured of your love. In eight out of ten women, when something’s not right between her and her man, it is difficult or impossible for them to get it off her mind. As several women put it, “When we’re at odds, nothing is right with the world until the issue is resolved.”

The good news is that, now that you know this, the simple solution is to reassure her. Words like, “I’m angry and I need some space… but honey, I want you to know that we’re okay.” Actions like a quick hug when you come back from getting that space, to show that you’re working things through and still there. A quick reconnection a few hours later that says you’re done working things through and you’re sorry for the conflict – whatever those words and actions are, they may seem minor to you, but they are priceless to her. Trust me on this, guys: P-R-I-C-E-L-E-S-S.

In fact, do those actions and words of reassurance each time you have conflict or are upset… and I’ll bet you’ll find a really welcome pattern emerging. You’ll be so good at making her feel secure, that you’ll find the conflict arising a lot less often.

Join us next week for the next installment in Marriage Mondays!

Do you want Shaunti to share these life-changing truths at your church or event? Inquire about Shaunti speaking, here.

Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages and her newest, The Good News About Marriage. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her findings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.

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