In any relationship, communication is important in maintaining good rapport and relations between two individuals. This is especially the case in a married relationship. You and your wife need to be in constant communication with each other, so that you know each other’s needs, feelings and thoughts.
However, communication does not necessarily mean spoken or verbal communication. As psychologists would say, only about 20% of communication is verbal. The rest is non-verbal or unspoken. This could come in gestures, activities, body language, or sometimes even silence. It’s sometimes simple. For example, it means that your wife can show you that she loves you by being loyal, or by serving you breakfast in bed, or by helping organize your home office, for instance. At the other extreme, a spouse can also show dissatisfaction by giving you the silent treatment or avoiding the other spouse altogether.
Therefore, understanding your wife’s unspoken needs will be important in keeping a healthy relationship. Here are a few things you should know and do.
- Listen. Listening is a big part of communication. And this does not mean simply hearing what she says. Truly understand what she is telling you whenever she speaks. And, when she shows non-verbal signs, “listen” to these, too. Try your best to understand what these mean.
- Pay attention. Sometimes, your wife will talk to you, but her needs will not be part of the conversation. Still, if you read between the lines, so to speak, you will start to understand what she’s trying to say with her nonverbal and even verbal cues.
- Ask for advice or opinion. Sometimes, you will get context clues and ideas when you ask your wife for advice about important things. This way, you get to understand her opinion and stand on something. Sometimes, you will need to give her the opportunity to talk and express her needs. This way, she doesn’t feel compelled or pressured to initiate talking to you about something.
- Don’t ignore the trivial matters. In other cases, your wife might be too worried about something that seems trivial, such as a lost household object, small unpaid bills, or problems with the neighbors. When this happens, this might be a sign that something bigger is troubling her.
- Connect the dots. Understanding non-verbal cues will sometimes involve a little bit of analysis and logic work. Try to piece together the puzzle by bringing together observations that you gather from your encounters with your wife. If she is being silent or is avoiding a certain topic, then she might have some issues or concerns that are deeper.
With any relationship, the important thing is to show love and respect. Even if you don’t always agree on everything, show your wife that you understand, and that she can tell you what’s on her mind, be these problems, needs, or simply some small matter that is bothering her. Be proactive with listening. This means listening not just to the spoken word or the verbal cues. Rather, try to listen more deeply. Read between the lines, and understand your wife’s actions, so that you can respond to her needs in a more loving way.