This month Ask Coach Kathy is about a spouse who feels that the communication in her relationship lacks emotion and depth.
My husband and I have been married 16 years and I feel all alone. We talk about stuff like what color to paint the living room or what kind of car we want to lease, but when it comes to emotions, my husband doesn’t share much at all. How do I get him to talk to me about how he feels, about anything?!
It sounds like your husband has developed a habit of communicating on the surface with you. If he’s been doing this for 16 years, you’re probably not going to be able to talk him into talking about his feelings. The best thing you can do, is put on a heavy duty set of antennae, which means stay hyper aware of any emotion he shares. Whether he’s sharing frustration, glee, disappointment, watch for it. He probably isn’t going to come to you and say, “Today I felt ______ when this happened.” He does, however, have feelings. He just isn’t delivering them in the traditional way. So, you have to learn to receive them differently, then acknowledge and validate what he is feeling. If he starts to feel safe around opening up to you, you’ll see more emotions coming from him, thereby making you feel more connected.