What you say and what you mean might come across as two different things when you’re talking with your husband. For example, you say, “Don’t you just love what the Gibsons did with that new kitchen addition? It must be great to have everything all fresh and new.” But what your husband hears is, “I really love the Gibson’s new kitchen addition. I sure wish you’d figure out a way for us to get a new kitchen.”
So you see, simply sharing your dreams can come across as a slam to your husband because when a man hears that his wife is unsatisfied, he feels pressure to make it right. Here’s how to share your dreams without hurting him.
1. Share Selectively.
You don’t have to nix sharing completely, but be choosy about what you do say, and don’t fall into a pattern of admiring everything that others have and you don’t. If you do, he’ll start interpreting that as, “She doesn’t think our life is good enough.”
2. Watch the Pressure Valve.
The more you say you want, the more he could hear, “You need to make more money! Work harder! I want more!” Before you say what you dream of having, think about how it will make him feel in the pressure department.
3. Preface Your Comments.
Before you share about a style of house you love, or the pool you’d love to have for the kids, preface your comments with something like this, “You know, we are fine the way we are, but if we ever did move, I would love a ___________.”
4. Dream Together.
Get him to talk about his dreams first. Have a conversation about his dream vacation for the both of you. Ask him what his dreams for your home and family are, and then you can share more naturally in that context without hurting him.
5. Put the Shoe on the Other Foot.
So, what if your husband was always going on and on like this, “Boy! Wouldn’t it be nice if we had the income the Snyders do? Did you hear what his wife earns?” Or, “I would love it if our kids had manners like Jack and Amy’s kids. She’s done a good job with them.”
Now even if your husband is just sharing his hopes and dreams, it can still sting. So before you share, think about how your words will make him feel.
If you find most of dreams include the expenditure of money, spend some time teaching yourself to dream about things that will really matter to you more at the end of your life.