One of you wrote about the junction of two recent tips – being honest and clear vs. being careful what we say. I suspect most of us have paid for saying something honest in a clear way. Often it seems our brides want the “hard truth” to be given in small chunks, and in very specific ways.
I think part of the issue is about being quick and abrupt. Many women don’t react well to being hit out of left field – especially when they are busy with something else. I know I have had a tendency to say things as soon as I am aware of them, but I have learned that this usually does not bring the best results. I find that the reaction is less negative, and the change of change better, if I am willing to wait and bring things up at another time, in complete privacy, and when we have time talk. A warning phrase such as “I would like to discuss something with you” also seems to help.
Another factor is that a wife may be reacting out of fear or a lack of trust. If she does not really know, deep down, that you have her best interests at heart, she may feel she must always be on guard. This may have nothing to do with you, and it may be very difficult for you to change her perception. If she has had people in her past, family for example, who beat her up verbally, then you are paying for their wrong. The best way, and maybe only way, to deal with this is to show her repeatedly that you do care, that you do have her best at heart. Actions are probably more important than words for doing this, but a few badly chosen words can certainly set back your efforts.
Bottom line – regardless of why she won’t hear you, and no matter whose fault that is, pushing her when she does not want to listen will only cause her to resist more. No matter how right or important it is, forcing her to hear it won’t cause her to consider it. Push when she is done listening, and all you do is build up mistrust that will take time and effort to undo.