How direct are you with your spouse?

Since my husband is not a mind reader, I must be vulnerably direct. This basic necessity first surfaced when we were dating. One day as we sat discussing something, I was not being forthright at all. Though I don’t recall the full conversation, what I do distinctly remember is him finally insisting, seemingly a bit exacerbated, that I just speak what was on my mind. Finally mustering some courage, hesitantly and uncomfortably, I forced myself to utter words that did not naturally flow. His response has also disappeared from my memory, but what has stayed with me is the knowledge that this moment changed the way we interacted. Successfully being pushed out of my comfort zone, I was headed in a new direction with our communication.

Frequently, all I want now from Ryan is a hug. So, I directly say, “Can I have a hug?” He then swoops in and saves the day by giving me the requested comforting, strengthening hug. However, occasionally, he’ll evaluate a situation and assume I want a hug based on past experience when actually the last thing I want in that sensory overloaded moment is to be touched. Directness is once again required.

Life is not a movie and no one has been handed a script. Instead we are all constantly performing improv in our daily lives, which can be exciting but also stressful. My encouragement for those who tend to avoid directness is for you to be lovingly direct with your spouse. You might not have because you might never have asked. Or maybe you have because you never said you did not want to have! Give your spouse a break by daring to be direct. This does not mean you should discard all filters and voice whatever comes to mind! The point is to remember your spouse is not a mind reader. Speak up! I double dog dare you. And if you happen to be on the other end of the spectrum and have no problem being direct, most likely you need to tone it down. Just sayin.


  1. And let that direct speech always be gracious. Directness clothed in love and a sweet spirit, no matter how forceful that tone is, becomes the trademark of the woman whose speech has been tempered and controlled by the Spirit. A lifelong lesson and goal!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your question. So, if I am understanding correctly, one spouse is being direct (because to not be direct is a problem) but it makes the other spouse uncomfortable. My attempt at answering may miss the mark, but I’ll give it a try. If a spouse is feeling uncomfortable, then that needs to be explored more for why is there discomfort. Is this a new way of communicating that is very different from the person’s background and so uncomfortable and something to adjust to? Does the person feel attacked? Directness can come across poorly at times – hence the sentence I said about needing to still use filters and also the sentence at the end about toning down the directness for those who find it natural to be direct. Overall, a lot of patience is needed in communicating between spouses. Gentleness, respect, and heaps of patience. For the situation you mention, seek to find the real source of the discomfort and try to tweak the communication to make everyone feel safe. And, if all that doesn’t work, it might be time to get a little third-party help. A good counselor can really help in such a situation.


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