Self Disclosure

September 1, 2009

in Communication, Good Marriage

How good are you at telling your wife what’s going on in your head? Not what’s going on at work or how your team is doing. I’m talking about what you’re thinking and feeling, what you worry about, what you would like to change about yourself, how you feel about your marriage, and so on.

Most of us did this fairly well when we were dating and engage. However, many (most?) men pull back after marriage, limiting and even ending deep self-disclosure.

Aside from her desire/need to know you, a marriage needs intimate disclosure to be healthy and grow. While she is unlikely to identify it to you as the problem, a lack of disclosure on your part could be a significant problem for your wife. It can be a major part of why she holds back or doesn’t trust you. It might also be a part of why she is less sexually attracted to you. Of course, the way we guys work, any pulling back on her part in any of these areas tends to cause us to disclose less of ourselves; and it becomes a vicious cycle.

My suggestion is to unilaterally end the downward spiral by working to disclose more of your inner self to her. Open yourself to her in this way, and in time, you may see her open to you in the ways you desire.

 

5 comments
jowj86
jowj86

I am a wife who uses the GH tips to share with my husband things I need to tell him but can't quite form the right words. I can attest that your wife DOES want to know the bad stuff. Why? Because it effects YOU. She loves you and when she promised "for better or worse", that means she accepts everything. She wants to be there for you when you are down. That is part of her job!! It breaks my heart when my hubby won't share that he had a bad day at work. It makes me feel like he can't trust me to share things with me. I know I want to share things with him (probably too m,uch, huh guys?! lol) Now that doesn't mean come home and throw a pitty party, but genuinely share your thoughts and feelings. (I know its hard fellas!!) I find most husbands try so hard to make their wives "comfortable", give them "stuff" and lots of money... wives don't want that. They want their husbands. They married you because they couldn't live without you!! Not because they needed someone to take care of them and give them things. The Heavenly Father does that! Just thought I'd share. Hope that helps.

landschooner
landschooner

My wife doesn't really want me to self disclose. I think it bothers her. I mean, the good stuff, the happy cheerful plans etc. sure, she's fine with that, but she doesn't want to hear about where I'm really at. How my career is a drag and it feels like its going nowhere, or any disappointments I'm struggling with. Why? Because she's happy with the way things are. If I changed careers or changed anything, her comfort level would be affected. She really doesn't want to hear about it.

morefiya45
morefiya45

So, what is one to do when self-disclosure only leads to a defensive attitude? At times, I may disclose my thoughts in what I believe to be a loving manner and the reaction I receive is one of: Blame, fault, and lashing out to defend herself from what she perceives as an attack on her personally. This is the case with the simplest disclosures.

codework
codework

Sometimes it can be difficult disclosing parts of yourself and your thoughts which you know will cause her some serious difficulties. For instance in working for myself weekly cashflow is irregular and there is no certainty of future work (although the Lord has always provided). My bride has expressly stated her insecurity over this situation in the past, and does not want to know. So in situations where I may be doing it tough or dealing with insecurity or the pressure of holding the family together having those sorts of intimate conversations can (and have) proved destructive. I'd love some thoughts on how you might handle this... Do you push through anyway hoping the intimacy will overcome the fear and withdrawl, confide in a close male friend on the matter leaving other topics for disclosure with my wife, or perhaps seek to change the situation (but I'm not sure that part needs remedying). Suggestions?

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

Trust. That's what this really comes down to. Ask yourself, "Can I trust her with my heart?" If the answer is “No” then that is where you must begin. Examine your own thoughts/heart and come up with the specific reasons why you don't trust her. It could be because you watch her gossip. It could be because of that lie she told. It could be because you said something that she used against you. Once you have the specifics [i]talk[/i] with her about them. Don't accuse, talk. Start by telling her that you don't trust her and here are the specific reasons why. Then tell her that you need to be able to trust her and that you want to trust her so that you can open your heart to her. Her response will let you know what you need to do from that point on. Of course, you have to be a trust-[i]worthy[/i] human yourself before you can do this. And that is not something you can ignore, as you will find out if you dare to do this without first being, yourself, trust-[i]worthy[/i]. If you are not and you know if you are not- don’t kid yourself- then this is where you must begin. Your conscience will tell you what you need to do. If the answer is, “Yes” then that is where you must begin. Examine your own thoughts/heart and perceive what you are thinking, in and from the conclusions that drive your choices, that is keeping you distrustful of revealing your heart. You know that she is trust-worthy, so, ask her to help you understand yourself so you can be more open. Then, when both of you perceive that you can trust each other and can then start communicating, you will understand the proverb: Hatred stirs up contentions, but love covers all transgressions. Of course all of this ‘part and parcel’ of being good. Even as you were created to be.

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