Critical Mass: A Communication Explosion

September 1, 2016

in Communication, Sexuality, YOU4HER, ZIMAGE

Yesterday I talked about how small changes can add up to a massive reaction. Getting the reaction requires doing enough to reach critical mass.

One place this happens in marriage is communication.

Critical Mass: A Communication Explosion

I’m sure you talk with your wife, but do you have deep, intimate communication with her? Do you stop at exchanging necessary information and asking each other for things, or do you share your hearts? Are you sharing surface thoughts or deep feelings?

We’ve been taught men are strong and silent. We hide our feelings because that’s what a man is supposed to do. By the time we marry we’re so good at hiding our feeling we keep them from our wife without even trying. Get naked with her in bed? Oh yeah! Get naked with her emotionally? No way!

If you want real intimacy with your wife, you must learn to share your inner self. Tell her your deepest thoughts, and your feelings. Share your hopes and fears, your wildest dreams and your secret goals. Then listen, really listen, as she shares the same things about herself. 

At first, this is going to be difficult for you. It may even be painful. This is the building to the critical mass stage, and it can be hard work. But when you hit critical mass it all changes. Sharing your inner self is no longer difficult, it’s easy. In fact, you will want to share with her. You will know and be known in a way you never thought possible and it will feel great. It will strengthen your marriage and make it easier to deal with difficulties.

And there’s a bonus: Intimate communication makes a woman much, much more open to sex.

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Some men see vulnerability as a weakness, but women actually see the strength in a man revealing his true self to her. It makes us feel even more connected that he would lower the barriers and let us see his heart. We know you guys don't do this easily, so it means more when you do it with the woman you love.


Great post, Paul, and I hope it made a lot of men really think.

Being vulnerable (except, in almost a third-person sense through my blog) is a nonstarter for me. It would be easy to blame it on illness, to say that I can't afford to let my guard down in this ferocious a fight, but that would be self-serving.

I learned early that good leadership involves being invulnerable and stoic; when men see you as being subject to the same emotions ad feelings, affection may increase but the kind of respect needed to get them to follow orders without hesitation is degraded.

The thing is, you can't shut that off. It's not really self-image at work, at least I think it's not. It's a practical aspect of the kind of life I chose.

I did make an effort to change, but it was a dismal failure. I felt like a fraud, my wife began to miss the Vulcan she thought she'd married.

So, "How are you feeling?"

"Good to go."

themarriagebed moderator

@BudekSchmeisser  I hear what you're saying, but I think you sell yourself short. The man I met last fall was not the one you describe. Guarded yes, but not to an extreme.


I'm working on my end of this, but it is scary being vulnerable with hubby because it can upset him and lead to him getting defensive or argumentative. Or, he gets sarcastic and teasing. Or, he shuts off. Any way you look at it they are signs that he is uncomfortable with deeper stuff.

I'm a glorious train yard of thought both logical and abstract. My brain never shuts up. Even when I sleep I dream vivid, realistic dreams all night long, sometimes multi-layered. I have many dreams and ideas, thoughts, concerns, and like to look at things from many angles.

Perhaps hubby just can't go there. Perhaps it is a personality difference that can't be helped. Unfortunately, the only people I have found to have qualifying intellectual conversation with are men. The three I have conversed with are all married and we established boundaries before conversation. And while I feel intellectually stimulated talking with them, that's the only stimulation I feel. None of them have been anything but respectful. Never even a hint of flirting and I wouldn't want it anyway. But, I feel like I am somehow cheating hubby if I take my intellectual conversation elsewhere.

But, I am in a marriage where not only are my deep thoughts not known because of his limits, but my sex life isn't good because of his limits. I can't go find someone else to take care of my sexual needs (nor do I want to), but am I supposed to live isolated and petrified without intellectual conversation, either?

I'd love to find a woman to discuss things with, but I have yet to find one and I find the dynamic with men more intriguing. It can be fun battling "mansplaining."


@libl My wife tells me that women tend to be quite competitive, even in sharing feelings, and she never feels truly 'safe' with most of the women she knows. Do you think this might be a part of the reason why it's easier for you to talk with men?

She feels safe with me because I'll listen without trying to turn the conversation to myself. 


Just curious about the topics you like discussing with men and what makes it a 'qualifying intellectual conversation.'


This has been my experience. In fact, that was the key to renewing our marriage and ending the sexual refusal. The emotional openness with her feels great, and it has made me more open to real honesty with other men in my church.

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