Communicating Affection Without Talking

I frequently hear women express concerns about their husbands not communicating affection or what they think and feel about many topics – especially about them, personally, and their marriage. The husband usually responds with comments like, “You know I’m not a talker” or “I can’t communicate as well as you can.”

Although most men do have the ability to effectively communicate with their wives they often don’t, and there are many different reasons that we won’t go into now.

Before we go farther, let me clarify that there are some couples in which it’s the wife who has the greater challenge with communication, but since the majority of “non-talkers” are men we will assume this in order to keep it simple. If you are/have a quiet wife, feel free to apply the information as it suits your situation.

When I’m working with couples who are frustrated about one-sided communication I often recommend a specific tool for the husband to use in an effort to keep the line of communication open on a more consistent basis. This tool is what I call The Love Journal.

The Love Journal is simply a notebook that the man uses exclusively for the purpose of writing daily messages to his wife. I usually recommend that he make at least one entry every morning. The message can be as short as one sentence or as long as a paragraph. The objective is to help the husband communicate his sincere and genuine thoughts and feelings about his wife and their marriage. I recommend that each message express some form of appreciation and affection.

The journal is to be kept somewhere in the couple’s bedroom that can only be accessed by them so they don’t have to worry about someone else reading it. The wife is free to read the journal at any time and if she wants to write a brief response to the message she can, but it is not an expectation.

The Love Journal is for the sole purpose of expressing positive, affirming and loving thoughts and feelings and is not for mundane communication or reminders like, “Don’t forget to wash my blue slacks.” And, no, it doesn’t count if you write, “I love you because I know you will wash my blue slacks in time for my meeting.”

I receive more positive feedback related to the use of this tool from both husbands and wives than any other tool I recommend related to improving communication and intimacy. I have also found that many husbands discover that the more accustomed they become to writing their thoughts and feelings down on paper, the more comfortable they begin to feel in daily conversation. For many non-talker types, it’s not that they don’t know how they feel; they just need a little help getting started.

Guys, if you struggle with communicating affection to your wife I challenge you to begin your own Love Journal today!

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

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