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You May Not Know These 8 Things Are Pushing Your Husband Away

You May Not Know These 8 Things Are Pushing Your Husband Away

My wife and I have a wonderful and happy marriage. Over these last several years we have learned from each other, grown with each other, loved each other and fought with each other.

I still remember when we first got married; all the hope and faith we had of being together forever, living happily ever after. We are still living our journey towards “happily ever after,” however a brief separation only two years into our marriage would challenge the strength and foundation of our friendship and act as a wake-up call to how difficult that journey could be.

The road to healing our relationship was paved with tons of hard work. In any relationship, there will be times you just want to give up and throw in the towel, however, I urge you not to give in too soon. You will be amazed what time and self-reflection can fix.

I write this to you as a husband, to remind you that your husband is not just your spouse. He is your best friend, your teammate and your partner. This is the one person in the entire world who truly has your back.

These 8 tips are from my experience and may point out things you probably don’t know are pushing your husband away and destroying your marriage.

1. Being oblivious to financial matters.

There is almost always one person in a relationship who oversees all the financial matters. Stereotypically this role would fall on the husband, (though please note I said stereotypically as I am well aware that there are many wife’s that take on this burden as well.) leaving his partner completely oblivious to the state of their financial affairs.

This paradigm can lead to an unbalanced relationship. The wife could end up resenting the husband for being too controlling or naggy around topics of money and the husband could end up resentful of the wife’s frivolous spending and blissful ignorance. It is unfair for both parties in a relationship for one person to take on all the stress, risk and responsibility that comes with financial decisions.

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You are partners that have come together in marriage to build a future and part of that is sharing the responsibility of building your financial security.

2. Putting your parents or friends in the middle of your relationship.

Two’s a party, three’s a crowd. As single individuals it is a common practice for us to share our troubles and woes with those we love and who love us. This is not a bad thing; in fact it is completely natural. So it is understandable that this is a common mistake couples make at the beginning of a relationship.

The problem stems from the fact that our family and friends love us so much that they will automatically go to bat for us, even if we were the one in the wrong. Not to mention the fact that often it is too easy for us to tell our “version” of the truth that depicts ourselves as the sainted victim and our spouse as the heartless villain.

If you truly and deeply love your spouse, once you have vented all of your anger and hurt out to your loved ones, you realize how silly the whole thing was and it is much easier to return home with an open mind and a calmer more forgiving heart. Not so for your friends and family. You see, they truly and deeply love you, not your spouse. So it’s a lot harder for them to forgive, much less forget.

3. Micromanaging him on the little stuff.

Remember that before you became one in marriage, you were two independent people with independent thoughts, actions, likes and dislikes. Marriage doesn’t change this. She likes coffee, he prefers beer. She likes to sleep in; he gets up at the crack of dawn. These same wonderful differences that caused you to fall in love with each other can often be the very things that drive you apart.

At the beginning of a romance it’s all sunshine and rainbows. You wouldn’t believe that your Love could ever annoy you… much less drive you to the edge of sanity. Anyone who has been in any long term relationship can tell you though that there is a point where you will begin to fight about the most inane and pointless things; things like him not putting the toilet seat down or the lid back on the toothpaste or her spending all afternoon watching I Love Lucy reruns.

The easiest way to escape this spiral of doom is to remember that you are both human and therefore wonderfully and perfectly flawed. As much as your husband might be annoying you, don’t forget that you are no peach to live with either.

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Learn to have patience and understanding for each other. Compromise is important but don’t compromise yourself out of existence; allow each other “me” time where you can enjoy and express your individuality.

4. Not being on the same page on the big stuff.

Often, we can be so busy obsessing and micromanaging the little things in our relationships that we completely forget to address the big stuff until it is too late and we are blind sighted when our partner is not on the same page as we are.

Some of these issues are the simple basic stuff such as life goals, finances, when to have kids and how to raise them, politics, religion, etc. While these may seem obvious factors to have settled early on in a relationship, it is often not the case.

These topics can be very stressful and hard to discuss and most people are very set in their opinions with no desire to compromise. Because of this, when building a relationship, many people choose to ignore and skirt around these topics in an attempt to avoid conflict. I urge you to avoid this trap though because these topics will invariable come up in your relationship; you may find that not only are you not on the same page, you’re not even reading out of the same book.

5. Not trusting your husband.

If you believe your spouse is cheating, chances are that they probably are. If they haven’t though and you continue to suspect or not trust them they invariably will cheat on you.

Because you fear they may be cheating you will naturally withdraw physical affection. Then, your doubts, fears and lack of trust will seep further into your relationship and manifest itself by you snooping through their phone, grilling them about every aspect of their day and acting jealous and territorial in front of all members of the opposite sex.

Trust is fundamental to a healthy relationship. No one can feel truly loved in a relationship that they know that are not trusted in. Eventually, they will naturally gravitate towards someone else in order to find that love and trust.

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If you have been hurt before by someone else in the past it is understandable that you would have fears and insecurities. But if your significant other hasn’t given you any cause to doubt them, be cautious of punishing them with your fears caused by someone else’s actions. If you are not careful, your doubt will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

6. Thinking that Men read minds

One of the main elements that led to the separation between my wife and I was a lack of communication. There were times when I would say or do things that would upset her, however being a passive person she would bottle it up and not tell me. If you don’t share your hurt or feeling when asked, you can’t ever come to a common ground with your spouse. Which means you will never find healing. Don’t just respond with nothing when something bothers you.

7. Not taking care of yourself.

Some may view this as a harsh, but I feel it is something that needs to be said. Love and physical attraction are not the same thing. Most people typically fall in lust before they fall in love. While marriage can result from a deeper love of your personality, character and ideals; there was still an element of physical attraction that first drew you to each other.

Think back to the first year of your romance, chances are you would never go out on a date without attempting to look your absolute best. Now with hectic life, kids, jobs and the numbing effects of familiarity it is all too easy to forget to put yourself first. This may manifest itself in a few extra pounds, un-tweezed eyebrows and overused sweatpants.

While your partner will still love you, they may not be as physically attracted to you. Sex isn’t the only factor in a healthy marriage, but it is a key stone in the foundation and it begins with you. Not only because your partner may not find you as attractive, but because you will find yourself less attractive.

Taking care of yourself by putting yourself first will increase self-esteem; higher self-esteem translates into you feeling sexier. Feeling sexier leads to sex which leads to orgasms. Orgasms raise serotonin levels, reduce stress and will make you feel sexier which will in turn raise your self-esteem. I think you get the picture.

8. Being embarrassed to share your sexual fantasies

If you assume that most people do not enter into marriage prepared for divorce or the death of the spouse, then I believe it is also safe to assume that a common preconception accompanying marriage is that this is, ideally, the only person you will be having sex with for the rest of your life.

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If this thought is going to have any kind of appealing nature for either party, it is going to need more than just your love and loyalty. We are all created as sexual creatures. It is that simple. And yet, our sexuality is as unique and complex as our individuality.

You could possess all the carnal knowledge and skill in the world but if you do not understand the likes and dislikes of your partner, you may not necessarily enjoy new levels of intimacy in your relationship.

Your mind is your most powerful sexual organ and if you are going to have a healthy, lasting and satisfying sexual relationship you cannot be afraid or embarrassed to share your ultimate desires and fantasies.

Sex can be one of the most open, exposing and vulnerable expressions of love. It is not just your body that is exposed and shared, but your mind and soul as well. Let your partner in on the imaginations of your mind.

Reflect on the 8 things and see if any one of them can be used to spice up and sustain your relationship.

Featured photo credit: niched wallpaper via google.com

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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