Dr. David Clarke says most guys are clams. Clams bury themselves in the sand and are quite content to hide there. Guys like to hide relationally. They’re naturally much better at tasks that require strength, confidence, and leadership. Those are key skills in business and sports, but they’re not especially useful when it comes to a relationship with a woman.
Women want closeness – connection, understanding, openness, and intimacy. That’s why when a woman’s husband clams up and hides, she tries to pry him open. And if he responds by clamming up even more, she gets a bigger crowbar.
There’s a better way.
Dr. Clarke shares 7 steps for effective marital communication:
- No distractions. Turn off your electronic devices.
- Maintain eye contact and attentive body language.
- Reflect content and emotion. Reflect key words to keep engaged.
- Ask questions.
- React emotionally. Resist only logical responses. Mirror emotion.
- Believe your spouse when they say they feel like you’re not listening.
- Ask if your spouse thinks you’re listening.
Dr. Clarke joined me for a conversation about communication in marriage on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Can We Talk? Communication Advice for Husbands and Wives.” You can hear it on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
We discussed why men “clam up” during deep conversations, and why a woman’s strategy to pry him open almost always fails. Dr. Clarke will demystify your relationship tendencies, so you can work toward healthy communication in your marriage.
I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Dr. Clarke’s book Men Are Clams, Women Are Crowbars: The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Your Man to Open Up as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. To make your pledge, or for more information, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).