5 Ways Not to Communicate with Your Husband

5 ways not to communicate with your husband_thumb


There are a lot of articles and blogs out there giving you tips on how to better communicate with your spouse. Today, I’d like to share with you these 5 Ways Not to Communicate with Your Husband. And for all the men out there, here are 5 Ways not to Communicate with Your Wife.

1.    With bad timing.

All of us can have tough days. And all of us have issues we need to address with our spouses. But there are certain times that your husband does not want you to unload problems on him or give him a list of things he needs to do. When he walks in the door after work, when he’s eating dinner, when he’s out on a date with you…all of these are examples of times that should be off limits.

2.    With disrespect.

Not many things will anger a man more than someone being disrespectful to him. So, wives, respect his judgment. Don’t constantly question his decisions. Respect his abilities.  Give him a chance to fix the sink before you tell him you’re going to call the plumber.

3.    With abstract feelings, not concrete facts.

Of course, we all know that men and women aren’t wired the same way. We also know that women communicate more with feelings and men with facts. Do you want your husband to “get it?” You can start by sharing your feelings, but then tell him exactly what you need him to do. For example, don’t just say, “Sometimes you just don’t get it” or, “I wish you would just be more understanding.” Give him specific marching orders of what you want him to do that will help change those feelings. Men can’t decipher feelings very well, but we are good at taking clear orders.

4.    With multiple issues.

Most men have a fairly good ability to process things you tell them, as long as it’s one thing at a time and as long as they aren’t doing anything else when you make the request. When you throw too many things at them at one time, they may not hear anything. So that you know he hears you and understands you, have him stop what he is doing and look at you. Then, tell him one thing and have him repeat it back to you. Then you’ll know he got it.

5.    With assumption.

Your husband really does want to please you. He wants to be your hero. But, he cannot read your mind. When you make assumptions and he does not come through, you’ll probably get frustrated and say things like, “You should have remembered that I don’t like pickles on my sandwich” or “Why did you buy that? You should have known that I wouldn’t like it.” Don’t assume; be clear and tell him what’s on your mind.


I’d like to hear from you on more ways wives should not communicate with their husbands. Please share your comments below. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Bob

    I think all the men are afraid to comment…. :S

  • Chet

    You really hit the nail on the head in this article. The only problem is getting my wife to
    read, understand, and ACCEPT the points made in the article. She will immediately
    turn her thoughts to what I need to do to understand her process better. This
    way, she gets the focus off her and does not need to accept any responsibility
    to change, nor does she need to make any additional efforts.

    I do like the article because it gives me clear categories that I can use as
    talking points. For example, telling her “let’s focus on just one item at
    this time”. Maybe I can help to bring change in her approach.

    Thanks for the insight. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one with these

  • juliaCD

    Great tips, but I am not quite sure my husband likes marching orders or repeating things back to me. I fear he would think it belittles him…

    My husband says before work, after work, during dinner, after dinner, before bed, during breakfast, in the car, and during the weekend are all off limits. I just end up simmering for days at a time…I am starting to suspect manipulation of “the right time” and avoidance on his part…

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Ha ha. I think the men should go for it!

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Chet, hope it’s helpful. Maybe you can just print it out and leave it on the kitchen counter!

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Maybe share this with him and ask him how you are doing on these points…that may disarm him a bit.

  • Lorine

    Once again, Mark, you are spot on! Great article, clear and succinct. I think another way to NOT communicate – and to turn off the listening switch for men (and probably us women, too) – is to drudge up the past. We need to let old stuff go, forgive even when we don’t feel like it. Also very important to stop judging; accept that he/she is simply a completely and utterly unique (strange? haha) individual and find the best ways to love him/her. This all takes a lot of praying and clinging to God’s graces.

  • zfiore

    Great article..I can attest that all of this works. I/We have figured out each these points out over the course of our marriage and done them and have a better marriage for it. Communications should be your first priority..figure out what works for both of you. I have never liked hint dropping. Ill tell my hubs exactly what I need and He tells me exactly what he needs and then we do our best to give it to each other. We would lose so much time trying to “figure out” what we needed otherwise, guess wrong, and fail. And when we have 4 kids, and one on the way, we need all the time we have spent productively :)

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Lorine, excellent point. Appreciate you sharing that!

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    I like that way of communicating…just be clear and give to one another.

  • anon

    All good advice, but it seems to put the burden of communicating on the wife. I’m the one who has to: keep track of the multiple issues and make sure I only present one at a time, (checking off the list mentally and saving the rest for later) I have to pick the right moment, (when he’s doing nothing else, even if I need to be), speak with respect (even if it’s the umpteenth time I’ve mentioned it, or he’s being disrespectful to me). When I communicate with clear, concrete facts and “marching orders” I’m being controlling, accusing or insensitive. I can’t win. Even when I have done all these things, he often still hears me in a way I can’t control. Depending on his mood or disposition he may hear me like his friend or his mother. I don’t expect him to read my mind, but when we talk about something multiple times over 20 years,(big things, not sandwich orders) and it still doesn’t change, it’s hard to want to invest the energy in employing effective communication techniques any longer. Communication becomes utilitarian. Just get it done. Effective, loving communication is a two way street. I can see that your advice here could be very helpful and useful, but only if both sides of the street are open.

  • http://sandysandmeyer.wordpress.com/ Sandy

    I’m sure there’s an equally good list of ways not to talk to your wife, but this is not that list. I don’t think they want the burden to be on the wife, but many times we wives need to be told that men communicate differently from us. Keep your eyes open for the men’s list. I’m sure it’s coming.

  • JLSawyer

    I am new to Family Minute and I think it’s wonderful. Thank you for the effort you put into helping families get by in such a busy “earth minded” world. These points aimed at the wives are food for thought :)

  • abner fernandez

    Love it!

    To the point, articulate and very interesting,


  • kevin

    Very good advice. I shared it with my wife by reading it to her, while we lay in bed. Her reaction when asked what did she feel about the article: “Yeah, I heard it.” Translation: How self-centered you men are. So, I presented a follow up so that I’m not assuming anything. Me: So, what did you hear. My wife: “Same ol’ stuff you’re always complaining about. But, some of it makes sense.” (Now, what part of the article was that …) TaDa!

  • http://susanme.com/ Susan Merrill

    Sandy. It is here! http://www.markmerrill.com/2013/08/19/5-ways-not-to-communicate-with-your-wife/. I am sure there are more. Let me know what I missed.

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