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Episode 199 - Your Husband Doesn't Need to Tell You How He Feels (Replay)

This week Kayla tells us "it can be very hard to try and make improvements or adjustments in your relationship if you are coming from a place of anxiety and fear and stress." If you've ever worried that you and your husband don't communicate well, then this episode is for you!


Communication is a hot topic when it comes to marriage and relationships.

And while improving our communication is always a value, this episode will help you challenge what you consider to be "good communication" and discover what major form of communication you may be missing out on entirely.


  1. Worries about feeling close to your husband

  2. Communication differences between men and women

  3. Intimacy and verbal communication

  4. Flipping the statement


  1. Mating in Captivity

  2. Why Gender Matters

  3. Leonard Sax, 2005, p. 29 "In boys, as in men, the part of the brain where emotions happen is not well connected to the part of the brain where verbal processing and speech happens--unlike the situation in teenage girls and women. "

Episode 199 - Your Husband Doesn’t Need to Tell You How He Feels (Replay) ===

<00:00:00> Kayla Levin: Welcome to the summer series oldies playlist. Don't stress about remembering all the foundations or figuring out what old episodes you should go back to. If you're new here, we've cultivated the best of the originals back when the podcast was still First Year Married for your summer listening pleasure.

<00:00:16> Kayla Levin: Enjoy.

<00:00:17> Kayla Levin: Episode four, your husband doesn't need to tell you how he feels.

<00:00:22> Kayla Levin: Welcome to the First Year Married Podcast, where we get real about building the marriage of your dreams. I'm marriage coach Kayle Levin, and I take newly married and engaged women from anxious and insecure to confident and connected through practical tips, real life inspiration, and more than a little self awareness along the way.

<00:00:53> Kayla Levin: Hey, welcome back. Thanks again for listening in to the First Year Married Podcast. I have a story for you today before we get started. So we just launched this podcast. It's been really exciting seeing everyone subscribe and sign up and listen. Um, I literally didn't completely process that when you watch a podcast, people listen to it.

<00:01:20> Kayla Levin: The first time that I went on our little anchor app that sort of shows you all the feedback about your podcast, it showed me how many listens we've gotten and you don't know who's listening. So it's like this really bizarre experience, but I've been hearing back from some of you and I am just loving the feedback and thank you all so much for your encouragement and your support.

<00:01:41> Kayla Levin: But one special experience that I realized when you go into business with your husband, you should really have nerves of steel, especially if your husband's anything like mine and he He likes pranks. So he came, he came home with a picture of our local shopping plaza and said, like, check out this picture.

<00:02:00> Kayla Levin: And it was like, I don't, it's really, you know, it's decorated for the holidays is that I couldn't really figure out like what he was showing me and he's like, look closer. And behind the big sign that shows all the local stores is a billboard with my face on it and the podcast. I really didn't know whether I should laugh or cry or throw up.

<00:02:20> Kayla Levin: I was like completely shocked and it's now hilarious that I look back at it. But yeah. Yep. Have nerves of steel. If you go into business with your husband, definitely bring something to the business that I would not. That's for sure. So one thing I would like to talk to you about today, which I'm not even going to try for a lead in.

<00:02:41> Kayla Levin: There's, there's, that's not related. It's not related. It's just a story for you. So one thing, what I want to talk about today is communication misconceptions. As you know, the title of this podcast this week is your husband doesn't need to tell you how he feels. This is one of my favorite, favorite things because early on in my marriage, I didn't realize how much of a lens I was looking at my husband with of what I expected for normal behavior.

<00:03:11> Kayla Levin: Now, I went to Um, a school where there were boys in my class. I dated my husband. I don't know why, and I keep saying this, I don't know why it was that once we got married some of these things seemed to bubble up more. I really think it's just because you're so much more concerned about everything working out when you get married.

<00:03:30> Kayla Levin: That anything that doesn't seem to be going according to plan seems much scarier where before it was like, Oh, yeah, that's cool. Don't worry about it. It's fine. So I, I experienced this myself very much, um, in the, what I expected my husband to be like in terms of how he would communicate with me and share about his day and share about his feelings.

<00:03:50> Kayla Levin: But I, I see this even more with my clients. And this is an area that just creates so much fear and anxiety. And I'm so excited for my newlyweds to listen to this podcast because what I like to say about, you know, the work that I try to do is that sometimes what we're doing is we're peeking in your brain and we're doing self coaching and we're, we're really working on our thoughts and we're getting self awareness and, you know, it's, it's straightforward, but it's work and it's awareness and it's.

<00:04:19> Kayla Levin: self development, and it's evolving, and it's self growth. And some of this work is just light bulb moments. Like, oh, I thought that was a big problem, and it's not. I just lacked information. What I love to do is just share the information that just makes the light bulb go on and makes those concerns, those fears just evaporate.

<00:04:40> Kayla Levin: So if you've been worried that your husband And you aren't as close as you want to be because you're not having those deep and meaningful conversations the way you expected. This episode is for you. So I'm going to start with a book that I read, um, in the last year or two called Why Gender Matters.

<00:04:59> Kayla Levin: It's by Leonard Sachs. It's a phenomenal book. I'm going to link it in the show notes for you. And he talks about the difference in development between boys and girls. And his goal in writing the book, he actually didn't really set out to write a book in the first place. His goal in writing the book was to create a book that discussed gender without any political goal either way.

<00:05:23> Kayla Levin: He said that when he looked to find books for the parents in his pediatric practice, to explain to them why their boys weren't acting like their girls. Um, The only books that were out there either were trying to argue the point that boys and girls are really exactly the same and everything is nurture or they were trying to prove the point that boys and girls are totally different and shouldn't be treated the same and it was either coming from this like very sort of conservative perspective or this very liberal perspective and it didn't feel like anything was just straight science and so he set out to write a book that would really not have any ultimate goal except to shed light.

<00:06:02> Kayla Levin: on the difference in how boys and girls develop. I know I'm talking about boys and girls, trust me, this all relates as they grow up. So what he talks about is a story of how boys tend to struggle in English classes and where could this come from. And there's a lot written about women and verbalizing and language centers of the brain and sort of how we're connected to them more.

<00:06:25> Kayla Levin: What he did that I thought was so fascinating is he actually went to an all boys school. Where the boys did very well in English. And one of the teachers talked about how they accommodate the way that a boy's brain works in the assignments that they give. He says that the way a female brain works is that, and again, and again, you know.

<00:06:45> Kayla Levin: I, I mean, I say this all the time in my course. I need to make sure I'm saying it on the podcast also. When I say male and female, so we have male and female. We also have masculine and feminine and all of us are totally unique and we're all kind of a mix up of the two. It tends to be that most women have more of the feminine traits and most men have more of the masculine traits.

<00:07:05> Kayla Levin: But sometimes you're going to hear something that you're going to say, wait, I identify more with the masculine side. So that's fine. I get that. It's, it's not a problem. But, but generally speaking. Thank In a female brain, when there is a strong emotional experience. The language center of the brain lights up, right?

<00:07:21> Kayla Levin: If you're watching it on an MRI, um, you would see the language center light up. And that is not the case for the male brain. Um, the language center is very tied to, if I'm remembering how he says it correctly, I want to get the quote and post it on the show notes for you. The male brain is more tied to spatial relations, like the other places that we know sort of stereotypically boys are good at, right?

<00:07:44> Kayla Levin: They tend to excel in spatial relations. You know, you read a book. And then you write an essay on how do you think this character was feeling? Or what do you, what would you have done in that character's position? Or how would you have felt if you were going through the same thing? Or name a time in your life where you experienced something like the character, okay?

<00:08:03> Kayla Levin: So that's a very traditional way of teaching, of, you know, discussing reading. And so what happens is that the girls are excelling because when they're experiencing the emotions of the story, they can articulate Right. Their language center is tied in so they can articulate those emotions. They can articulate the emotional experience very naturally.

<00:08:24> Kayla Levin: So the, what they did in this boy's school is they had the boys read Lord of the Flies and they said. Based, if you've ever read Lord of the Flies, it takes place on an island and there are a lot of descriptions, long descriptions of what the island looks like. And so they said the boys should make a map of the island based on the descriptions.

<00:08:43> Kayla Levin: So for instance, if at some point it says the sun set and the shadow went this way, then they should extrapolate from that information which way was west and then use that, right?

<00:09:06> Kayla Levin: It's so interesting how politically charged this is because even just saying this, I'm realizing like that's not going to be easy for some people to hear. And that's fine. What's important to me is what works. What I have seen repeatedly is women expecting their husbands to communicate with them about their feelings in a purely verbal fashion, meaning your communication, any communication that I'm getting from you that's nonverbal isn't really as valid.

<00:09:37> Kayla Levin: And until you sit down and you pour your heart out to me and you open up to me, I don't feel that same sense of connection, right? So, I want to read you a quote from Esther Perel. If you know her, she's phenomenal. She wrote a book called Meeting in Captivity. And she talks about this a little bit. So she says, um, Interestingly, while our need for intimacy has become paramount, the way we conceive of it has narrowed.

<00:10:07> Kayla Levin: We no longer plow the land together, today we talk. We have come to glorify verbal communication. She goes on to talk about how she feels it's not a coincidence that, as women have had more independence historically, and been able to work, And take care of themselves and don't have to get married. So now they can have higher demands of a marriage.

<00:10:28> Kayla Levin: And so now the expectation is for more verbalization because they can have that expectation because they aren't sort of trapped in their marriages in the same way as they would have been if they couldn't provide for themselves. And I love the way she says that, that she says the way we conceive of intimacy has narrowed, right?

<00:10:47> Kayla Levin: If it's not verbal communication, there can't be intimacy there. And that is a thought that can be very harmful and very difficult, right? If what you're expecting from your husband, again, is that pour your heart out conversation, which I'm not saying that those conversations are bad. I'm not saying that they don't give you something that maybe you need, but to expect them of your husband, if that's not what's natural for him and only, and you'll hopefully you'll know what's natural for him at this point.

<00:11:15> Kayla Levin: If not, he can tell you, it can set you up for unnecessary disappointment. What I think is even worse is that. If you're only expecting and only valuing that verbal communication, then again, you're not valuing any other communication you're getting from him. Is there something that he does that shows you that he loves you?

<00:11:36> Kayla Levin: Does he always make your coffee in the morning? Or does he always put his phone down when you walk in the door? If he doesn't, don't start getting annoyed with him. Looking for accurate and specific verbalization of every emotional experience is a more feminine trait. So, it doesn't mean that he can't do it.

<00:11:53> Kayla Levin: Again, your husband might have, like, we're all this combination of masculine and feminine, so he might be more feminine in his verbalization. But generally speaking, you're creating an imbalance of, of what the relationship should look like, right? So, if you are a woman married to a man, it's not really fair for the expectation for a good relationship to be a feminine expectation.

<00:12:14> Kayla Levin: Right? But more importantly, and this is something we can apply in every area, is you always want to question what you're making it mean. Right? So if someone comes and says to me, my husband doesn't tell me how he's feeling. So what does that mean for you? He doesn't tell you how he's feeling. So what?

<00:12:31> Kayla Levin: Right? Does that mean you have more time to do other things? No. Obviously, you know, this is something that you're feeling is negative. Okay? One tool that I give my clients a lot is to just flip the statement completely. Okay, so if you're saying to me, my husband doesn't tell me how he's feeling, I want you to start trying on the thought, my husband always tells me how he's feeling.

<00:12:50> Kayla Levin: And how might that happen? Well, your brain, again, is going to go look for evidence to prove whatever you're thinking. So, if you're saying, my husband doesn't tell me how he's feeling, you're going to notice all the times that he's not telling you how he's feeling. But if you try on the thought, my husband always tells me how he's feeling, then you might notice that whenever he's sad, he always asks to curl up and watch a movie together.

<00:13:14> Kayla Levin: Or, when he's having a really good day, he... Touches you more, right? Suddenly you might become open and start picking up on all the ways he is telling you how he's feeling. I want you to question any other beliefs and every other, any other thoughts that you're having about the communication between you and your husband?

<00:13:33> Kayla Levin: Right? Maybe it's not, he doesn't tell me how he's feeling. Maybe it's he doesn't listen to me. Right? So, again, the first step is, well, what if you just flip that? My husband does listen to me. And just see what comes up. In what ways does he listen to you? And maybe you're going to keep getting all these reasons that he doesn't listen to you.

<00:13:51> Kayla Levin: You'll probably find at least one or two ways in which he does listen. He always reads your text messages, maybe, right? When you send him a gchat, when you guys are both at work, does he respond at some point? He's listening to you there. Um, when we start to kind of open that up, first of all, we feel so much better.

<00:14:08> Kayla Levin: And I think a lot of the struggle of that first year of marriage is that because a lot of us experience that kind of insecurity, um, it's such a enormous transition that The smallest thought, like my husband doesn't tell me, or my husband doesn't listen, let's say, it seems very threatening. It's my husband doesn't listen, but now I'm married to him, and maybe that will mean this doesn't work, and what does that look like ten years down the line, and what about when we have children, right?

<00:14:36> Kayla Levin: All these other things come like barreling on top of my husband doesn't listen. when we can start to say like, well, he doesn't listen, except he always reads my text messages. So now suddenly the charge has gone out of that thought. It's not as scary a thought. And I'm not saying it's not something that you.

<00:14:56> Kayla Levin: I'm not saying it's not something that you ever, you know, try and improve that area of your relationship, but it can be very hard to try and make improvements or adjustments in your relationship if you are coming from a place of anxiety and fear and stress, right? So whenever we can kind of remove that charge, we can come at it from a place of like fun and creativity and connection and that can often get us much better results.

<00:15:21> Kayla Levin: So that's always what we want. So, again, your homework for this week is to think about what beliefs you have about your communication with your spouse, to start to notice ways in which your husband might be communicating with you non verbally, and to start flipping some of those beliefs that you did have, that you did find, right?

<00:15:42> Kayla Levin: As you, as you start to sort of dig them up, flip them and try on the opposite. I hope this, um, Um, as exercise goes well for you, I would love to hear from you. You can send me messages at FirstYearMarried on Instagram or put comments on the episode. Um, you can always find the episode notes at FirstYearMarried.

<00:16:00> Kayla Levin: com and on there I'm going to put a great article about how male and female brains really are built differently. They talk very nicely in that article about how Historically, it's been used to create, you know, male dominated environment and how this research is a little bit, has to be treated very delicately because of the way it's been sort of used as ammo against women in the past, but that now we're sort of getting to a place where we can look at it objectively and take what's valuable from it.

<00:16:33> Kayla Levin: I'm also going to give you a link to these two books that I brought up. So Esther Perel's book, Mating in Captivity and Leonard Sachs's book, um, Why Gender Matters. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of the First Year Married. I would love to have you join me on this podcasting journey. So please subscribe to the podcast.

<00:16:50> Kayla Levin: It makes a huge difference in the very beginning because it really helps the show gain visibility. And again, for those of you who have subscribed, we are beyond. Thrilled with the number of subscribes and listens we've gotten so far. So thank you so much. I'll see you next time on the podcast.

<00:17:04> Kayla Levin: Hey there. If you know a newlywed or you are one, we have a wedding gift for you. Go to to get access to my best selling course &quot;First Year Married&quot; you have got to be in your first six months, so make sure you don't wait. And if you've been married longer than that, but you're looking for some more support or this stuff is just super fun for you.

<00:17:25> Kayla Levin: I'd love to have you join me inside of my membership community, How To Glow. It's for women looking for a fresh take on relationship development. Join us for live coaching calls, signature classes, and anonymous q and a. Let's do it.


<00:17:43> Kayla Levin:

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