How To Communicate Your Needs To Your Husband

I made a mistake! I made a video about a year ago where I talked about “how to change your husband”. In the video, I addressed the overly demanding and nagging wife and neglected to mention the dangers of being a wife who silently stuffs down her feelings. So I just deleted the old video and re-shot the video below in its place.

Last Friday I attended an all day Marriage Seminar by Dr. David Clarke.

(pictured with us is Clare from Peak313 Fitness)

During the seminar, Dr. Clarke shared about a scenario that he sees in marriages that are on the brink of divorce. Women come into his office who are miserable. They have stuffed down all their needs for years and there in his office they finally release all that they have been feeling. By this point, their marriage is hanging on by a thread. The wife is angry and bitter and has enabled her husband to treat her wrongly. Their marriage is damaged and restoration is hard work.

I hope to encourage anyone who feels like they are hanging onto the side of a cliff and about to fall. If you feel like you are just too tired and too weary and you can’t hang on anymore. You need to pray. Pray about your hurts and needs and then tell your husband “we need to talk“. This will set the stage for a serious discussion.

The video below will explain further.

If your spouse is struggling with an addiction – you need outside help in your marriage. Please see a pastor, elder, an older woman you trust or call a Christian counsellor. Focus on the Family has a 1-800 number that you can call Monday through Friday 6am to 8pm. It’s 1-800-232-6459.

Do not wait to address the festering sores in your marriage until you end up a statistic. Work on your marriage today. I am praying for all – May God Bless your marriages ten fold!

Walk with the King!

This post is linked to Raising Homemakers, Titus 2sdays, and We Are That Family.

Today is Women Living Well Wednesday! It’s a Link-Up Day!!!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, finances, recipes, organization and more!)


  1. Olivia says

    Thank you so much for constantly sharing wisdom from God's Word! As a girl who isn't married yet, but hopes to be soon, I am learning so much from mature Christian women like you. This video was really practical, and I hope it helps a lot of other women, too, with a tension that can be hard to get right! I love that all Scripture is profitable and useful to equip us, even proverbs about wives for women who aren't wives yet. :) Thank you for your example of valuable ministry toward your family and for using what you learn to serve through your other ministry on the blog! I'm praying for you!

  2. Faith says

    Thank you so much for this timely message! My hubby and I have been married for just over a year, but have spent it living separately due to his station with the military. We just relocated to AL 2 weeks ago and are all trying to adjust to living under the same roof. I know I sure needed to hear this today as I struggle with expectations of what married life should look like in our new circumstances. I so appreciate the role model you are and look forward to many more life lessons as we walk with the King together!

  3. Ingrid says

    This is something I have been struggling with lately. Thanks so much for posting it and being willing to re-tracked something you previously posted. Thanks for continuously pursuing truth!

  4. Anna says

    Wow, thank you. I've never really heard this addressed from a Christian perspective before. I often swing between the two extremes. I will sometimes make my "needs" very clear, and then I will give up and begin to harbor bitterness inside and shut down from my husband.

    I like what you said about giving it time before you mention things, and then being honest about why you're bringing them up.

    Thanks, Courtney!

  5. Lisa Maria says

    Courtney, this video really spoke to my heart today.. I used to be that wife who sucked it up and allowed bitterness and resentment to fester in my heart. Unfortunately, I would then, when the stress got too much for me, explode with everything that I was holding on to. Its taken us close to 20 years to come to the point of balance that you speak of. What a blessing you are to us women.. I truly wish that I had had your wisdom when I was younger.
    Love & Blessings

  6. sarahandnick says

    This could not have been MORE timely! It's resolved about 75% of my hangups in my marriage. I grew up in a family that didn't communicate emotions and feelings. Everyone stuffed them down and dealt differently. In turn, I'm now learning how to communicate and share. I struggle with feeling free to share without overstepping my boundary as a wife. Thank you for blessing us all with this Courtney, I'll be implementing this immediately in hopes that the next conflict doesn't become a midnight crisis.

  7. Jennifer says

    On the days when I am home and able to get dinner on the table as soon as my husband gets home or (shortly there after), I have him call me on his way home. He ride home is roughly 35 mins so I know when I need to start my meals so they are still nice and hot when he arrives. Saves us some arguments for sure :-)

  8. Sonya Schroeder says

    Thank you Courtney for the great reminder. I use to be the wife that just spoke her mind about her feelings however it didnt come across in love. The Lord has shown me great things with this struggle. I can now come to my husband and express my needs in love so that he truly hears what I am saying. He tries harder when I speak to him in love. It has been a great lesson and great walk learning to be more loving!

  9. Christin/Joyful Mothering says

    So funny that you mentioned dinner on time because that is one area that really bothered me as well!

    I did mention it and funny thing is, he agreed. He agreed he didn't like being late all the time and would rather sit and eat dinner with the family–but, with the way his work is, it's just not always possible. It's just not. He gets off at 6pm and often doesn't even leave the shop until 6:15pm. So he'd roughly be home by about 6:30pm.
    That makes for a late dinner for my little ones. I've tried several things.
    I've tried pushing dinner back and offering a snack. It doesn't work because they just want more snack (because they are still hungry). Kids tend to get cranky when they're hungry (so do adults, right?! 😉 )
    So, finally, I just had to let go of the idea and heat his food up when he gets home.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts — they are right on! :)

  10. Audrey says

    Courtney, thank you so much for this!! This subject got brought up in our GMG group, so this video will help us so much. I know it's hard to find the perfect balance between a bitter, resentful, quiet wife and a quarrelsome one…. this is fantastic (and timely!) advice. Thank you so much!

  11. Felicia Wilson says

    What do you do when you have tried and tried to voice something and he gets defensive and hurt every time? The situation is, my husband is kind of a workaholic. Or at least it feels that way. His work is in a town 45 minutes away from where we live. He leaves in the morning about 7-7:30 (before everybody is up) and doesn’t get home till anywhere from 6:00 to 7:45. I have tried to gently hint that maybe he could start looking for a job closer to home or maybe we could think about moving closer to his work. There’s always an objection as to why we can’t do that.
    There’s a never-ending string of crises that crop up at his work and somehow he’s always the guy that “has to” fix it. When there’s been an especially long period of late nights and I ask how much longer this particular spate is going to last, I get the defensive reply that he hasn’t been working late “that much” and that his boss works a lot more. I gather from Facebook that his bosses wife is as unhappy about it as I am.
    And when he’s not working, he’s doing things for other people all the time. Saturday after Saturday gets consumed with fixing people’s cars, fixing people’s computers, helping people move in, hauling things for people on his trailer, showing his brother’s rental property to potential renters, etc. He has a servant’s heart. I get that, it attracted me in the beginning and yet, I find myself more and more thinking “Why did we even get married? This is pointless.” We have three kids but I feel like a single parent a lot.
    He’s taking a week of vacation this week so we can “really focus on the kids”. In reality, this is the second day and last night he was gone helping people move and today he’s gone installing stuff on computers for some side work he’s doing. I expect the rest of the week to go the same way. We’re going on a date tonight (the first in a really long time) but he’ll probably be looking at his iPhone half the time, checking all his e-mail, text messages and Facebook notifications.
    I know I sound cranky and maybe selfish too. He does a lot of kind things too. Puts the older two kids to bed nearly every night, watches all the kids when I need to make my weekly grocery shopping trip or have an appointment, says sweet things to other people about what a good wife and mother he thinks I am, comes and picks me up when my vehicle breaks down. Because of that and other things he does, I sometimes feel guilty for even having these thoughts. But they keep coming back again and again. I feel depressed because of it a lot of the time.
    I know this is not an issue worthy of divorce or even separation but something’s gotta give. I came to the conclusion today that either something has to change or I have to figure out how to build a life without him. I don’t mean divorce or leaving him but just learning to not need or want him so much so that it will hurt less when he’s not there.
    Am I being unreasonable? Do I need to just change my expectations or what? Please help me. Thanks.

  12. Stuffing it Down says

    This video brought me peace. My husband has forbidden me to talk of certain feelings or needs, so I have to stuff them down or he views me as disrespectful. I’ve recently began taking them to Jesus because the bitterness was destroying me. Thank you for reinforcing that we need to also take our needs to God.

  13. Ashlynn says

    Thank you for this video. I have a hard time expressing my needs to my husband gently. I find myself repeating them and I do not want to be a continual dripping… So then I think I just need to be quiet. Then I can’t stand keeping silent because I then start to get mad at him and won’t sit with him or talk to him.. then he wonders why. My husband is passive and still needs to learn how to be his own man and lead a family. I need to learn to be more gentle and encouraging/helpful. I was a single mom of a toddler before we got married; living in my own place and independent. So, it is easy to lead the family myself since that is what I have been doing! My husband was recently laid off so my frustration has climbed and I now doubt his ability to care for us, since he doesn’t even lead us spiritually or in our decisions. We are in our first year of marriage and both have much to learn!


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