Whether you recently said “I do” or just celebrated a double-digit anniversary, you can probably spout off a lot of information about your husband – his middle name, where he was born, his favorite food. But knowing these other things can bring you closer than ever.
By Lauren Ramakrishna
Find out why, and try these relationship strategies to ensure your husband is anything but a mystery.
1. When He Needs Space
Sharing office news, the kids’ schedules and the latest neighborhood drama as soon as your husband walks in the door each night can backfire. “Most women want to immediately connect at the end of the day. For a lot of guys, they need their space more than ever then,” says Les Parrott III, PhD, a psychology professor and co-author of The Good Fight: How Conflict Can Bring You Closer. Give your hubby a few minutes to unwind when he comes home. You’re more likely to get his undivided attention if you wait.
2. When He’s Really Listening
If it seems like your husband constantly tunes you out, consider this: Men may look at other areas of the room while still paying attention, according to Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, who reviewed videotapes of same-sex best friends talking. Rather than focus on where your husband’s gaze lands during conversations, note how he responds to you.
If your words are truly falling on deaf ears, Rachel A. Sussman, a relationship specialist and author of The Breakup Bible, suggests gently telling him you feel he isn’t listening; then, let him respond. “Don’t accuse or blame him,” she advises.
3. The Most Productive Way to Fight
Arguments happen in any good marriage. But there’s a wrong and right way to fight. Through a study conducted to predict how long couples would stay married, researchers discovered that yelling during fights often led to divorce – but so did approaching arguments differently from one’s spouse
“Ask yourself, ‘When would I want to have this conversation?'” suggests Sussman. “Then, think about what might work best for your husband.” Assessing both your moods can help you pinpoint the best time for a constructive argument.