3 tips to help you relate better with your husband

If you’ve been married beyond the honeymoon phase, then you’re familiar with the ups and downs of married life.

Morning breath, bad hair, and the no make-up, feeling completely unsexy mornings.

What’s interesting is that even when you’ve felt the furthest thing from sexy, your husband likely was still interested in sex. I know, shocker.

I know I am, although I do prefer brushed teeth, to get rid of morning breath.

This is not a stop-the-presses type of comment – but guys are just wired differently.

And even though this may mean there are times when you have to fend off his advances with weapons and “headaches,” the fact that men and women are wired differently is actually a great thing.

You see, it’s not what we don’t have in common that creates the problems – our differences actually create the energy and tension necessary for growth into something better and more meaningful.

It’s all in how you look at it.

Men and women are just different.

They’re designed that way.

But somewhere along the way it seemed like society wanted to blend us into one androgynous creature, where we would have more in common and would be interchangeable in our roles and functions.

A word of clarification- I’m not discussing whether men can stay home while women work, or if one gender has more strengths than the other. I’m simply pointing out that for marriage to work best, men need to be men and women need to be women.

At Simple Marriage there’s been a lively discussion in the past about the Nice Guy.

The Nice Guy is best described by a belief that if he is “good” and always does the right thing – even at the sacrifice of his own needs and masculinity – he will be loved, have his needs met, and have an overall smooth and happy life.

But in the long run, both men and women wind up frustrated and isolated when they refuse to grow up and become better men or women.

So rather than spend time with this post trying to get men to be more like women or women to be more like men, let’s focus on each being who we were created to be, only better.

What follows are a few ideas that may help when it comes to relating to your husband. As a side note, I think of myself as a “guy’s guy” so this is from that perspective. And again, every person is wired different, so this won’t apply to every guy.

1. Honor his pragmatic side.

At the core, men are problem solvers. We tend to take great pleasure in solving some issue or problem. Because of this we will often be thinkers, not feelers.

So when it comes to conversing with your husband, you’ll usually get further when you approach him asking what he thinks, not “how do you feel about … ?”

Appeal to his values and his sense of what’s right, rather than his feelings. (Incidentally, this same advice holds true when raising boys. I get farther when I explain to my son about right and wrong than I do when I try to get him to understand how his behaviors affect other’s feelings.)

2. Be cool with guys-only evenings or weekends.

I believe that one of the best things a husband can do for his marriage is have a couple of close male friends he spends time with.

Obviously, if his time with them is spent at the strip club or picking up other women, then he is doing absolutely nothing to help the marriage or you. But when he occasionally gets with the boys to play poker or golf or hunt, do what you can to encourage it.

And again, doing something like this every weekend isn’t going to improve the marriage, but within reason, it will.

He’ll get an outlet for his life, and provided his buddies are good men as well, they will all be better for it. Iron sharpens iron.

3. Don’t think all conversations must be face to face.

Women are usually more comfortable with face to face conversation than men. But even this isn’t always the case.

When you’re in the midst of tough discussions with your spouse, sit beside each other without having to look at each other. This can relieve a bit of the tension and allow the conversation to progress further.

Better still, practice the walk and talk. Take your tense discussions outside and have them while walking together. The combination of the physical movement and the side by side conversation can dramatically decrease the emotion tied to the issue you’re discussing.

Okay ladies, what’d I miss? What helps you when it comes to interacting with your husband?

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Corey writes regularly about marriage and relationships on his site, Simple Marriage, which is full of laid back information sure to improve your relationships.You can also catch his radio show - Sexy Marriage Radio, a weekly show filled with straightforward and practical information that will help your marriage.

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  1. I, for one, would like to know more about point 1. I am having that problem with my son and would love to know how to explain things to him in a way he ‘gets’. Good article!

    • The main idea of this with boys is to couch behavior discussions more in terms of right and wrong than his impact on others. Boys often have more drive to compete (and win) than worry or think about how their actions affect those around them – but they do understand rules and boundaries for the way things are.

  2. Whatever you do, don’t put him down or belittle him – it’s the fastest way to shut down the conversation.

    • So true!! Good point!

      I wholeheartedly agree with #3. I find that when my husband and I take walks around the neighborhood while discussing a bigger issue, we are a lot less defensive and a lot more proactive and attentive to each others perspective.

  3. I think there should be a secret number four of the exception that proves the rule. After over 12 years of marriage (yes with the ups and downs), I’ve learned my husband actually wants me to sit still and look in him the face, not push him into guys’ night (aka schedule more time with just he and I), and ask him how he’s feeling. I think men always want and need respect, but it is good for partners to remember we are dealing with individuals who might not always match the general advice.

    • I agree w/Breann. Know when your relationship is the exception to society’s ‘rule’. After 7+ yrs of marriage (and talking w/other married couples) I’m sooo aware of how many couples there are where the woman is the more pragmatic one and the less ’emotional’ one. I think it’s really important to talk about how to affirm those husbands, especially ones that aren’t the sports-playing, hang-with-the-guys type that some are. My experience is that these men can often struggle with feeling ‘less manly’ b/c they don’t meet the stereotype (which can also affect how they make friends and relate with other couples). I believe focusing on my husband’s personality + his abilities and interests helps me be more than thinking I should treat him like what society says most guys are like.

  4. I would add take time to hang out together. Some of the best time the hubby and I spend are not on romantic dates but on trips to the hardware store, or renovating houses together.

  5. I’ve finally figured out the “not look at each other” one. Sometimes our best discussions are lying in bed next to each other in the dark. Even a disagreement is easier to overcome staring out in the dark and talking.

  6. I am trying to learn to let go and let my hubs have guys-only time. (Especially since our 5 yr old son has recently decided he absolutely HAS to have guys-only time with his dad). It is hard for me because my husband works long hours and on top of that has a long commute and he is tired and we don’t get to spend time together when he gets home at night. So when he needs a break to go out with the guys, I have to admit that I get jealous because it really does cut into our already extremely limited couple/family time. We have talked about the possibility of moving closer to his job so that he can be with us more. I hope that happens, and then maybe I won’t be jealous of his guy time.

  7. After ONLY twenty-seven years of marriage, one thing I know for sure is that in all interactions with my husband, he needs to know my respect for him. And one of the best ways to respect him is to acknowledge the man HE is. Some things true for “most” men aren’t true for “this” man, ya know?

  8. Posting to say I think it’s time for me to unsubscribe from this blog. Didn’t know it was quite so dated in terms of understanding men and women — i.e. being so cut-and-dried about what men and women can be — or in the assumption that those of us women who are married are all married to men. Your ideas are helpful to any marriage, certainly — but I have to imagine I’m not the only person surprised by the way you frame it.

    • Emily, I completely agree. Not unsubscribing, but I find this dated attitude distasteful and a bit misogynistic, and will consider dropping this blog if it comes up in other posts.

      The tips themselves are fine when not couched in sexist terms.

      • Emily, I also agree and couldn’t have said it better.

        • This article was off putting for me too, I think because of the simple “men need to be men and women need to be women”, as if we can all agree on what makes men men and women women. The binary way that the genders are presented here: women are X, men are Y – honestly, I think that some (maybe most?) Simple Mom readers are too thoughtful and have lives that are too colorful and messy for such black and white characterizations. The picture of the “man” painted here doesn’t describe my husband in the slightest, and I know quite a few men who are every bit as guided by their feelings as they are by any pragmatic concerns. I, for one, was relieved to see pushback in the comments. I think I offered pushback on the last guest post by this author, since I thought that post was also too reductionistic to be helpful, at least to me. Sorry, but when you start talking about something as sensitive as gender roles in marriage, I think you should be more careful than this post was.

          • Emily, Kat, and Erin – If you’d like to email me about anything, I’m all ears. Just know that as the owner of this site, I know and love that there are a wide variety of perspectives that get published here. You may be among more like-minded company than you know.

            That said, I can publish Corey’s post here with a clear conscience because I know what he means. Before I okay’ed this post, I had a bit of confusion about the same areas you’re describing, but in talking with Corey and in knowing his heart with other stuff he writes on his blog, I know that he doesn’t dislike women. At all.

            Let me know if you’d like to share anything with me by using the contact form above. And thanks for reading. 🙂

          • Tsh,
            Thanks for your response. I don’t think anyone said he ‘hated’ women — which seems to be over-dramatizing the comment. The article does seem, as I mentioned, quite dated and limiting in its framing of the issues. Every kind of spouse needs time with friends alone; any (but not every) couple is likely to have a more pragmatic partner and a more feeling partner; and sure, some conversations are better had side-by-side in the car. This post just seemed aimed at very simple relationships, and only inclusive of hetero marriages that are very conventional.

      • Tsh,
        I think Tamara summed up my point-by-point thoughts in her comment below.

        I know that the article was not written to be intentionally patronizing to women. Based on his previous posts, I think Corey and I come to things from completely different perspectives.

        I agree with the underlying theme that it is important to react to the person you are in a relationship with, not to your idea of them or how you want them to be. So if you are a feeling person married to a thinking person, then certainly it helps to approach them with that knowledge (or vice versa). I just don’t think that all men are thinkers or all women are feelers. Boys are often conditioned in certain ways that girls aren’t (“man up”, “don’t be such a sissy”), which I think leads to us believing that men are naturally like that. As we make subtle cutural shifts to allow men to have feelings, too, I think we have to stop putting men and women into these boxes we have created for them. I don’t know how we can insist that “men and women are just different” if we haven’t lived from the other perspective. I also think it’s limiting to both men and women to imply that they are a certain way, because it can be ostracizing to feel like you are “wrong” if you don’t fit that mold.

        I don’t mean to be offensive, but I feel like it would be like me, as a white woman, trying to write an article about how white women and black women are just different and how a black woman can relate better to her white friends. There are a lot of cultural differences to be sure, some genetic ones, too, but it’s not at all my place to write that article. I can’t assume the experience of “the” black woman because I haven’t lived the experience as A black woman.

        And one last note to you: I feel like my comment almost read like a threat to unsubscribe, but I didn’t intend it that way. I was just commenting that I agreed with the PP, except for her reference to unsubscribing. I was also being a bit terse as I was on a shattered iPhone screen at the time. My apologies.

    • I have to disagree that the views here are dated. I believe every committed relationship (regardless of who’s involved) still carries the traits of masculinity and femininity, and one member will be predominately one trait and the other the other trait. In this article, I couched it in terms of men and women but the dynamic is still present in couples – for it is this dynamic that provides the lasting fuel for passion, romance, eroticism, and energy!
      Sorry to see you leave the community.

      • Like most couples, my husband exhibits the more masculine trait in some areas and more feminine in others. He’s a carpenter, very physical, drives a truck, lifts weights, etc. He also cries much more often than I do, acts on feelings more than I do, spends more money than I do, is much more of a romantic than I am, and has no interest in finances. That’s just how people are. Talk about “men are men and women are women” is just plain unhelpful, unless you’re speaking with a couple that exhibits very traditional, stereotypical gender traits. I’m going to guess that those folks are in the small minority.

    • Have to agree. While I appreciate the straightforward, problem-solving style of the piece, it reflects a remarkable disconnect to many–or perhaps most–modern marriages. Ditto on the misogynistic.

      • Okay, since this is the second time the term has appeared, help me understand how this article “hates women”.

        • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

          I didn’t feel this way…but I think a lot of woman already have pent up feelings about not being good enough and maybe this hits those buttons. I know I have the pressure of being a perfect wife, perfect mom and perfect employee with a perfect house so this idea of how to do better for my husband just hit a sensitive spot!
          There are times where I will be sick for weeks, but can’t even stop to heal myself bc usually the rest of the family is sick too and mom is the only one that can make it better! That is how everything in my life is…mom takes care of everything and has nothing left at the end of the day and there is nobody to care for me…I’m sure this happens to many…so this post hit a trigger!

    • I think that it is easy to take offense at the advice if you think of it in terms of solely male and female. However, if you apply the suggestions to whomever in your relationship fits the description you may find it helpful. For example, in our marriage my husband is most definitely the “feeler” and I am certainly the “thinker. ” He is much more interested in talking face to face, and I would prefer the long talks in the dark (unfortunately, as soon as the lights go out he’s asleep so the conversation would be pretty one-sided!). Yet understanding where he is coming from – and conversely, his understanding of where I am coming from, whatever the roles – are helpful and healthy to the growth and maturity of our relationship. I would also say that the suggestion for “guy time” is just as applicable to women. We need time in the fellowship of other women. This time with other friends pursuing like interests energizing and renews each of us (perhaps in different ways) to be better spouses and parents.

  9. These are such great tips. I think a lot of trouble in marriages started when women no longer embraced their femininity and men their masculinity. We are made to compliment each other, not BE each other.

    • I though the article was good, not dated, or misogynistic at all. Men are men, women are women. I agree with lisa, we are meant to compliment each other, not to BE each other. Of course each couple is different, and each individual within that couple has different stronger or weaker traits, but that wasn’t his point. He started out saying he was a “man’s mas” and this was from that point of view. Relax.

  10. I really like the idea of walking while talking out ideas as a couple. Thanks…

    • Another idea is to conduct a conversation that’s usually tense while coloring together with crayons. My wife and I have done this and it helps relieve the tension as well – especially when we sit together at our kid’s little play table.

  11. Corey, do you have our house bugged? Because this is the core of our conversations lately. I am totally emailing this post to my husband. With it I will say: “Sorry, for giving you grief about the poker night. Have fun, you deserve it! ”

    Thanks for this! 🙂

  12. Do you have our house bugged, Corey? Because it fits with our life right now perfectly! I am going to email my husband this post with this message attached, “Sorry, for giving you grief about the poker night. Have fun, you deserve it!”

    Thanks! 🙂

  13. #3 is spot on. Although we prefer to take drives because then we aren’t wondering what the neighbors are thinking as I walk blubbering down the street with my husband 🙂

  14. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    I think the thing about these articles on how to keep hubby happy frustrate me because I’m on blogs looking a this stuff and my husband not goes on blogs to look at stupid Internet photos, and latest gadget news. My husband does not search out w to be a better husband and he thinks in terms of only sex. That is the only way that he feels like I love him, need him or respect him. If he doesn’t get any then he feels like I don’t need him. I am always seeing how I can make him happy but sometimes it’s annoying, because my needs ARE different and go unfulfilled bc they have zero to do with sex. When I have no release for what troubles me or what I need to discuss or when I need time alone, the last thing I want is to have to appease him and his needs! I think maybe tha is what is bothering some of the others. Women are always trying to improve themselves and men just stay static…

    • “I am always seeing how I can make him happy but sometimes it’s annoying, because my needs ARE different and go unfulfilled bc they have zero to do with sex. When I have no release for what troubles me or what I need to discuss or when I need time alone, the last thing I want is to have to appease him and his needs! ”

      Your needs and wants are every bit as important as his. The goal is to figure out how to communicate them and seek them in every aspect of your life. Sometimes, simply explaining this to your spouse when you’re both in a “good place” together (my wife and I have these discussions while at lunch together during the week). Trying to deal with this while one or both of you are emotionally charged will only exacerbate things.

      • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

        I think the issue is that my needs involve emotion and he is not an emotional man. Like another poster said I cannot just talk about how I FEEL and have him just EMPATHIZE with me. He applies logic to everything and tries to fix it…when I just wat to vent!

        We also are in a new state away from almost all our family and all of friends, so basically it’s just us and the kids. We still have not gotten very comfortable about leaving our kids with others so we have no friends to talk to and we don’t get out on our own much.

        Like I said we are all women here looking to better ourselves…I don’t know many men that try to do that, so I always feel like the women have to do all the work in the relationship!

  15. I would add: Let him do things. Sometimes I try so hard to make things easier around the house and to be on top on things that I forget that he needs to be needed. I didn’t get it was an issue until I asked him to take a look at something that required a mechanical mind and he almost skipped on his way to the task. Also this includes letting him do things _for_ me even when I don’t think we have the funds for it (dinners out, a box of Tic-Tacs… what? I adore the little pellets of minty joy).

    • Anna, I am completely with you! I didn’t realize it until I had a complete freakout about him buying me a cupcake. All I could see was ¥140 (we’re in Japan) down the drain… NOT the fact that he went totally out of his way and picked something that I adored JUST BECAUSE. Perspective! 😀

  16. Great post, but since you asked, I think you missed “respect”.
    That one word has transformed my relationships with all the men in my life. I can’t believe I made it through life this long without knowing about it (and I learned about it from the Love and Respect book).
    If you are a woman reading this comment, and you aren’t convinced, try it with men you come into contact with and watch the reaction. Just adding “sir” at the end of a simple thank you bowls them over.

  17. Not sure where some of these posters are coming from but I find your (faith based!) incites very on track and helpful and true to the purpose of the Simple Living group. I’ve been married to the same wonderful man for 23 years and we do all these. I believe our marriage is stronger now then it has ever been. We allow each other time to be individuals, male and female, with all that entails but realize in God’s eyes we are a united in marriage. And even though I stay home now (because as a unit we decided that I would), I have 2 college degrees and worked in a very male field for many of those years. Believe me that was a piece of cake compared to staying home with 3 kids!
    I don’t see any women hating here. I see God’s plan for a good marriage. If you look at what the Simple Living group is all about you shouldn’t be surprised at the (faith based!) content.
    Keep on telling it like it is Corey!

  18. Re: #1. If you ask him what he thinks, be prepared for his version of how to solve whatever he thinks is the problem. So often, we women are only looking for someone to listen, not to provide solutions. I have learned that I need to tell my husband at the beginning of the conversation that I need him as a sounding board. That way, he understands I am not expecting him to find any answers. Many times by speaking about it out loud, I will obtain the answer for myself.
    As regards how old fashioned this advice is, simply because it does not specifically consider the different styles of marriage that there are, I have to wonder how anyone could provide general communication advice that would work to improve every relationship. The advice is fine as far as it goes, but there is so much more to communicating in a good marriage and as some of the responses have shown, different situations require different solutions. Example: the woman whose spouse is too busy with work, commuting, etc., and spends all rare free time with friends may be married to someone who feels (thinks?) he is being asked to solve daily household problems whenever he does spend time with the wife. He is too tired for that and probably wants a break from problem solving. His wife needs to find a way to have fun with him (no family business discussions) at least once a week. That may help her feel less resentful of the time he spends with friends, too.

  19. the side by side talk is interesting because we have the best talks on long drives – side by side in the car. i will have to think more purposefully about this idea.

  20. I love the idea of taking conversations outside side by side. When my husband and I get into fights, he always wants to run off and go for walk, where I always want to talk it through. This might be a wonderful compromise (if we can find someone to watch the kids. HA!). But even if we just walked up and down our short street it may work.

  21. I’m sorry that some view your advice as misogynistic. I certainly don’t see it that way. Actually, I would argue that observing and responding to the differences between men and women brings respect to both sexes. For my part Corey, your advice on this site and on Sexy Marriage Radio has done nothing but enrich my marriage (of 11 years). Thank you!!

  22. Corey, I totally, totally, totally am on board with this post! Thank you for posting it here for so many women to read. On a personal note, after eleven years of marriage, the BEST way my husband and I still communicate is by walking together and talking.

  23. One thing that helps us is if I shut up and give him a chance to talk. He’s not a talker and I am so I tend to talk too long. If I’ll be quiet and wait, he has really good things to say.
    It also helps if I’m willing to do what he says. He gets frustrated when he gives me advice and then I don’t do it. It makes him less apt to give me advice the next time I ask. I’m working on that.
    Timing is important, too. At 9:30 or 10:00, he’s brain dead and really doesn’t want to problem solve at that time.
    Definitely some good tips. Thanks for posting. It’s always nice to hear the guy’s perspective.

  24. I am curious to know a little more about #2. It took my husband and I quite a few years to understand the value of giving each other time alone or with friends. Now, we try to work things out so we each have regular time like that. However, it is hard to know how to find a balance. I’m cool with him doing things with his friends (and he is with me), but how do we decide what’s just enough and what’s too much? We have 4 kids under 10 and limited family time because of my husband’s work schedule.

    • One thing that has helped us is to break the day into three chunks. Morning, afternoon, evening. If he/you can pick one chunk a week or every two weeks for that to be designated friend time, I wonder if that would help to give more tangible boundaries. It has helped us to have proper expectations.

  25. You’re absolutely correct that men are designed to solve problems. Feelings = unsolvable problems… and, hence, an argument ensues! 🙂

  26. Patty Pivirotto says:

    Just wanted to say that I think it would be SO awesome to walk together and talk as we both love to excercise and be outside (it IS a great stress relief) and I find my best thinking comes when I am walking or runnning – but honestly, walking together (or running) is a fantasy for us. We have four children 6 and under and we are NEVER able to workout together. we used to work out all the time together while dating and before having children, but now it is a separate thing . . . and then when we try to talk at night, I swear my husband always falls asleep. I do get annoyed, but the other part of me understands just how tired he is after the long routine of dinner, baths, and bedtime that we both share in (he helps out a lot!). I know this is probably just a season that too will pass, but honestly, it is tough on our marriage between his work schedule and the intense amount of sheer energy that goes into taking care of our home and children. Our biggest problem is never having time and energy for each other . . . by the time the kids are in bed and the house is straightened up, we are so “DONE.” many times it is days before we have time to talk about things and even then, he is falling asleep on me 🙁

  27. I miss the days before kids when we’d go for a walk every day after work and talk about life. Even if we try now, the kids interrupt and want to be the center of attention. sigh. Something else I’d add, is that we often write down our thoughts/feelings about things that are hard to talk about. Then we switch and read each other’s thoughts. Maybe it’s because he’s really introverted, or maybe it’s because he’s a man, but it helps him express what’s going on inside. Even sitting side by side (which I actually prefer, too), he can’t get out the things he can on paper. And that meets my need to know what he’s feeling! 🙂

  28. So true about being pragmatic. I also have learned that I just need to speak straight forward to him. If I need to take a few hours off, I need to say it. He hates it when I put the guess work in his court. Still learning…Thanks for the good reminders!

  29. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i came to “return the favor”.

  30. Thanks for the info. What happens when you do all this but it is still not enough?? When the husband requires attention physically and emotionally that is beyond what you can offer without relinquishing every shred of being to that person therefore disintegrating, what comes next? I always viewed my partnership with the father of our children to be something that was my resonsibility to maintain and I honestly feel I did my best (with the exception of time together although in my defense by the the time the children were fed bathed and asleep – breastfeeding-always one on the go he would be several drinks down the road and somewhat less than interesting to be around) yes we are separated……..! I do beieve in some traditional roles within marriage (I was most certainly NOT giving up my right as a mother to be home with my children) and I respected his role (as he believes it to be also )as bread winner whilst there are children at home. It would be fun to read what advice you would give the male spouse!
    Yes men are men and womenare women Viva ladiference!

  31. My husband and I try to be very clear on “fix or listen.” What this means is I need to let him know whether I need him to fix my problem or just let me vent. Once we clear this up, we move forward both knowing the expectations. Works well for us and is one of the reasons we are going on 20 years of marriage.

  32. Suzie Bourne says:

    I did hear once that it’s better to talk to a man when you’re doing something together side by side (bit similar to your third point above). I have certainly found that when I get my husband to peel apples or potatoes for me while i’m in the kitchen too preparing dinner, he can be quite forthcoming!

  33. I truly love SimpleMom.net, but I found this post to be disappointing. I thought it was shallow advice at best. 🙁
    1) Men are thinkers, not feelers? I know my 10+ year marriage would suffer if I tried to force my husband into this stereotypical gender role. He is very much a feeler – often more sensitive than I am.
    2) A weekend away with the boys? Doesn’t everyone need time out with friends? I don’t understand what that has to do with gender differences.
    3) Okay, I see where the writer is coming coming from but I don’t think it’s so much of a man-woman thing. It comes down to personal preferences.
    Usually the posts on this blog offer more insight. This one missed the mark, and while normally I would just go on to another post, I really felt compelled to share my disappointment.

    • “Men are thinkers, not feelers? I know my 10+ year marriage would suffer if I tried to force my husband into this stereotypical gender role.” I couldn’t agree more, Tamara! My husband and I celebrating 10 years together this month and a big part of what makes us work so well together is embracing each others strengths and complementing each others weaknesses, regardless of American societal norms. In this case, as my husband says, I am “book smart” but he is the one who’s “socially smart” – i.e. I’m a thinker and he’s a feeler. I’m amazed how many people in this day & age still seem mystified by a couple finding their own balance without relying on social constructs of gender norms!

  34. I totally agree with #3! Just a few hours ago we went on a family walk and it was awesome how fun it was just to talk!

  35. I just learned the word “hetero-normative” which allows me to articulate my discomfort with this post even though the advice seems pretty benign and no doubt helpful to many traditional couples. This post assumes that strict gender distinction is necessary for a healthy relationships and that this distinction will follow the traditional definition of male or female. But gender differences have as much to do with tradition and culture as biology. These traditions are often oppressive or unhealthy for those who do not fit in with our dominant assumptions about sexuality. I am sure that Corey meant no harm at all by framing his advice this way (not a misogynist!), but it still would be helpful in the future to give suggestions about ways we (men and women) can be considerate towards each other without prescribing gender roles in the process.

  36. So, yesterday my husband had a particularly stressful day at work so I sat next to him on the couch and tried asking “what do you think of …” and he really opened up and talked about it. Cool.

  37. Being honest about the tiniest detail helps; like, “I’ve been talking this long because I really am not looking forward to admitting what’s up”… All the little things that are difficult to admit allow, but allow the other person to a) know what’s going on in your head and not be confused, and b) experience your trust in them.

  38. I know this comment is a bit “late” in blog terms, but just thought I’d throw out another thumb down for this post. One thing that consistently bothers me about this sort of list is the concept that men need respect. Do women not need respect, in the exact same way? I agree with others who saw this as being out-dated. It conjures up a 50s housewife, expected to respect her husband for working while she is home with the kids. Times have changed! And that is okay! We all need respect, whether we’re the full-time breadwinner, stay-at-home parent, or like many of us, something in between. Like so many others here, I’m the more pragmatic one and my husband is the more emotional partner. In other ways, he has the more masculine traits and I the feminine. You know why? Because we ALL have a mix of masculine and feminine traits. On the whole, my husband and I tend to be generally in the middle of the gender traits continuum and I firmly believe that this has led to our ultra-happy marriage. I recall learning in a class in college that couples who fall on the extreme ends (meaning the male is very masculine and the female very feminine) have the most conflict. Anecdotally, I have found this to be true. Love your blog, Tsh, but not this guy.

  39. Just to clarify, I realize that the respect issue was not brought up in the post, but it came through in the comments a couple of times.

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