How To Get Your Partner To Open up


How To Get Your Partner To Open up

Just like most men I was not open with my emotions when I was growing up or when I got married. However, over time I’ve slowly been able to understand why it’s important for a man to open up his feelings and how a wife can help her husband open up emotionally.

How to get your husband to open up emotionally? Your husband will learn to be open emotionally as you:

  • Gently help him understand his feelings.
  • Earn his trust.
  • Accept his feelings.

To best help your husband open up to you emotionally, you’ll need to know why men hide their feelings. 

How To Get Your Partner To Open up


Why Do Men Hide Their Emotions?

Men certainly have emotions, in fact, some people argue that men are even more emotional than women but they just don’t express or share their emotions. Why is that? Some people say that men are more private as a result of societal conditioning. Others say that men are this way naturally. I believe both to be true.

The first (at least personally for me) is that my feelings are special and not everyone deserves to know them. I have been in very emotional situations with people I love, but do not trust with my emotions. As a result, I’ve felt that I had to hide them.

Men often feel like they cannot share their emotions. So what do they do? They distract themselves. Why do you think so many men play video games? It serves as a great distraction. Or if they don’t want to distract themselves they can participate in the one activity where it is acceptable for a man to show his emotions: sports.

Sports are a great way for a man to let go of his emotions. Why is it okay for a man to shed a tear when he wins the ‘most valuable player’ award but not when he feels lonely or overwhelmed? Watch any professional or even local sport and you will see all sorts of emotions that men play with. You’ll see happiness, disappointment, and discouragement. You may even see some guys lose control of their emotions and turn violent.

Speaking of which, one reason that men can be hot tempered is because anger is the one emotion seen as “manly”. Men can hide their other emotions and let it out in the only way that they either know how, or the only way that seems acceptable… anger. Obviously anger needs to be controlled, Which leads to emotions being held in, which is also unhealthy. The only solution is to express emotions in a healthy way. The healthiest way is to open up and verbalize those feelings. So how do you open him up?

If you’ve been married for years you’ve probably been either offended or disappointed when your husband won’t open up to you. The good news is that there is a lot you can do for him as his wife.

Accept his feelings. Just like anyone else, a man needs to be accepted. If he tries to open up to you and you do not accept his feelings he will not trust you with his feelings again. He will feel rejected and will shut down. You need to make sure that he has a safe place. That doesn’t mean that you have to like or agree with everything he says, it just means that you need to acknowledge and understand. Don’t over react, quickly dismiss or ignore what he shares with you. Don’t defend yourself, just listen. don’t shut down, remain open. Don’t make him regret what he’s shared.

Another reason a man doesn’t share his feelings with his wife could be that in his eyes she is too precious to risk hurting or offending. An example of this would be a man who feels uncomfortable around his in laws but doesn’t want to say anything to his wife about her family lest he hurt her feelings. While his intentions are good this ultimately does more harm than good and results in disconnection and lack of emotional intimacy.

Earn his trust by helping him understand his feelings. Another possible explanation as to why your husband wouldn’t share with you his because he himself doesn’t know what he is feeling. It is not uncommon for a man to feel something and not know what it is. I call this “feeling off”. Because of the taboo nature of men and emotions we simply aren’t aware of all the emotions as much as women are. If you ask a man about colors he might say something like “black, brown, blue, green, red, yellow and white”. If you ask a woman she might say “Beige, Maroon, indigo, periwinkle or smaragdine” A man will think of emotions as happy, sad, and angry. When in reality there are so many more: Disappointed, overwhelmed, unsupported, and a whole host of others. 


Listen– When your husband does open and talk to you make sure that you really listen. listen to what he’s saying, the message he’s saying and his body language. Put yourself in his shoes and try to see from his point of view.

Gently prod– He may need you to gently prod and ask questions. Emphasis on the word “gently”. If you push too hard you will only make the problem worse. Don’t make it an interrogation. Use your intuition as a wife to find the right balance. Make sure to do it out of love and concern and not resentment or bitterness.

Talk side to side– Some people find it easier to talk about difficult subjects if you’re not face to face. So go on a drive or take a walk together. See if that makes it any easier for the two of you.

Set the example– Be open yourself, but not overbearing. Don’t just be vulnerable, but show him so he can’t not see that you are vulnerable. He will be more likely to be vulnerable if he sees that you are.

Start small– Start with the small stuff and work towards the big stuff. Ask him and then listen, and then ask the next question and listen. This allows him to share the smaller, less important things and then slowly move up the ladder to bigger more important things.

Don’t make assumptions– Just because he’s a quiet guy doesn’t mean that he’s upset. Don’t tell yourself false stories. If you think something is off ask him what it is or help him find out what it might be. You need to trust him and what he says.


Why you need to get your husband to open up to you.

You need to get your husband to open up to you because he needs you. He desperately needs you. He may not know it but he will once he gets through to the other side. He feels stuck, he’s either suppressing and denying his emotions, or he’s distracting himself just to survive. He needs you to help him out. He needs you to help him find a healthy way to know and express his emotions. As his wife you are the best person for the job. You have the biggest chance of success because of your relationship. You also need to help him be open because being open is being honest. Does that mean that if he’s not open to you that he’s being dishonest? well yeah it actually does. It sounds harsh but think about it. If you keep asking your husband why he keeps avoiding your questions or why he doesn’t tell you how he feels is he being honest? No. This is why he needs you, to make honesty a part of your relationship.


Learning how to express my emotions has been one of the biggest blessings since I’ve been married. I used to hide what I was feeling, but that’s clearly not healthy and not sustainable. Eventually it will find it’s way out in a bad way. Now, I feel a lot more at ease sharing what I’m feeling, I’ve expanded my knowledge of which emotions I feel. And most of all, I have more emotional intimacy with my wife. When vulnerability is accepted it leads to closeness. You really can’t afford to not do it. I’m not perfect at it but I’ve come a long way. It’s not an overnight thing either. It’s a process. Take your time, be patient, and learn from your mistakes.

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