“You don’t really listen to me and my opinion doesn’t really matter. I mean, you’re just gonna do what you want to do anyway,” my wife would say, never looking me in the eye.
Of course, every time she said it, I would try to make an adjustment and correct what I thought was the issue. Then one night, the tension overwhelmed us. We sat down and had a serious talk, heart-to-heart.
I’m not gonna lie, this conversation was hard, really hard. But, it made me realize that I had absolutely no clue what the real problem was.
In short, I discovered that my wife did not feel valued by me. She didn’t feel as though I valued her perspective, her intelligence or her input. She didn’t feel like I needed her.
This really bothered me, and I felt like her feelings came completely out of the blue. They didn’t reflect how I really felt about her at all.
I decided to ask other guys if their wives ever said things like that to them. The answer was “YES” time and time again.
I even asked some wives from our circle of friends, “Do you feel valued and needed by your husband?” The response was “NO” almost every single time.
So, I decided to ask my own wife a question that I’d never asked her before,
“What makes you feel valued and needed?”
She told me right away, and I didn’t have to guess, offer my own solutions or inaccurately try to value her in the same way I want to be valued.
Now, the challenge isn’t to understand my wife, but to show her how much I value her in the way that she needs.
Last night, I heard her tell one of her girlfriends on the phone about how great our marriage has been lately. So, I’d say it’s working.
***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***