Chatty Husband

My husband shares too much with his family.

Question

Whenever my husband talks to his family on the phone or in person, he tells them too many things. I have spoken to my husband about this and he says he understands my feelings, but he continues talking too much. What else can I do?

Answer

In Genesis 2:24 God said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” According to the text and our professional experience, you can’t cleave until you leave. From what you say, it sounds as if your husband hasn’t emotionally “left” his family-of-origin.

Either he understands how important confidentiality is to you and doesn’t want to change or he still doesn’t get it. Having been a man all of my life I would suggest the odds are good that he still doesn’t get it. Trust me, just because he thinks he understands doesn’t mean he gets it. Sometimes it’s hard, yet it’s always smart to start by assuming the best. So what are some ways you could help him get it?

The first step might be to find a couples group in your community that is learning about developing a Christian marriage. If your husband were to understand what the Bible means when it talks about honoring, serving, nourishing and cherishing our spouse (Ephesians 5), that alone could be a huge wake-up call for him. The Family Life ministry has the Home Builders series of Bible studies that are simple, practical and encouraging.

We would also encourage you to contact the Family Life ministry at www.familylife.com for information on their weekend marriage enrichment conferences that God has used to transform literally hundreds of thousands of marriages. You’ll get more relational help in that weekend than most couples get in a year of other church-related activities.

Another contributor to the problem might be your different personality types. If your husband is an extrovert that doesn’t understand what responsible extroversion looks like, he is likely to speak before thinking. If you are more introverted and private, “any” personal disclosure could be uncomfortable for you. We would encourage you to learn more about personality type by taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and having a trained counselor discuss it with you.

Nothing can take the place of your learning new ways to more effectively communicate your heart to him. In Communication: Key to Your Marriage, Norm Wright shares specific ways you can help your husband see with your eyes, hear with your ears and feel with your heart.

You have legitimate concerns about trust, safety and intimacy. We’re glad you haven’t given up and are reaching out for help. God can use your working through this problem to increase your understanding of one another, deepen your appreciation and knit your hearts more tightly together in love.

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