Women, Try Some “Shoulder To Shoulder” Time!
Women often express, "I dream of my husband and me having an emotional connection. I want to know his heart and feelings, and for him to know mine. I want him to listen to me and understand me. I have tried to discuss my needs with him but he doesn’t seem to get it, and I can see him getting discouraged when I surface this issue with him.”
Maybe I can offer some thoughts.
Study male friendship. Look at how men interact with each other and then look at how women interact with each other. Women get together and talk about their heart issues and relationships. They get together for that purpose. Men, on the other hand, get together to do or watch some activity. As these men do shoulder to shoulder activities with a good friend, they relax and feel comfortable to talk about the deeper issues confronting them. They do not do this with every man with whom they do shoulder to shoulder activities, but only those with whom they experience a special camaraderie and trust.
With your man, try spending time just "being together" without an agenda to talk or interact. Yes, I know that appears to be a waste of time. If you can’t talk face to face, sitting shoulder to shoulder watching a football game seems silly. However, that's thinking about your relationship with your pink brain. There's nothing wrong with your pink brain. God made you this way and it is good in his sight. God also made your husband to think about things with his blue brain! If you want your husband to experience a sense of bonding with you, you have to give him shoulder to shoulder time. For some reason, when you do this authentically, your husband opens up various compartments to you. That does not mean spend 15 minutes with him and then turn to him and say “Talk to me.” This is not some formula to get him to meet your emotional needs. This is a way of respecting who he is as an end in itself, but a byproduct is that when he feels more confident about your friendship -- that you like him -- he typically shares more of what's going on inside of him.
If you pressure your husband to talk face to face and he feels the nature of the conversation is negative or critical, he loses energy to respond. Why? You never used to be this way. Think back to when you were dating. He saw you as someone fun to be with, and someone who liked him for who he was. He saw you as a positive, friendly person rather than a woman who had expectations of him to perform in a certain way in order to make her happy.
So, do you just put a sock in your mouth and watch football with him and never talk? No, you reach across the aisle and do the shoulder to shoulder activities. See it as something that fills his respect tank, and when you fill his respect tank, he turns to you and says something from his heart. And, he’ll listen to your heart. If you look around at those couples that really enjoy each other, I predict this wife gets this. She has made a decision to give her husband shoulder to shoulder time, and at some point (never as quickly as she wants) her husband turns to her face to face and talks. He might even ask, “So how are you feeling?” It is actually kinda simple once you understand the blue brain.