shut upUnhappy husbands tell me their stories and they’re not pretty – the stories, not the husbands. My job is to help him clear the fog in his head and untangle the knot in his gut so he can think clearly and make some tough decisions.

One of the hardest decisions a guy has to make is whether or not to speak his mind.  Sounds simple but it’s not. He is afraid to say the things he has always wanted to say out loud but fears it might cause trouble. Might make her mad. Maybe cause a divorce.

But now he is facing just that.

There’s trouble. She’s still mad. There is now talk of divorce.

And he is still tongue-tied.

Why does he wait until the last possible minute to say what he has been thinking for years?

What are the consequences of finally blurting out exactly what he has been wanting all along?

What Do You Want?  Here are Their 21 Scary Answers

These are the actual words real men use to tell me what they want to tell her.

These are their deepest held secrets about what they REALLY want in their relationship. And they are terrified that telling her would just tip the scales enough to finally force her out the door.

  1. I want to feel welcome and appreciated in our home.
  2. I want to feel like we can trust each other and have each other’s back.
  3. I want to be able to tell her something without it always turning into something I’ve done wrong.
  4. I want to feel her delight in waking up next to me. At least a smile would be nice.
  5. I want to feel listened to.
  6. I want to feel understood.
  7. I want to feel valued for what I provide.
  8. I want to feel desired.
  9. I want sexual intimacy.
  10. I want sexual variety and spontaneity.
  11. I want to feel at ease around my wife.
  12. I want her to tell me what she needs.
  13. I want her to allow me to fulfill her needs.
  14. I want to feel safe when we talk about our needs.
  15. I want to feel like a team.
  16. I want her to trust my intentions toward her are good.
  17. I want her to believe me and believe in me.
  18. I want her to acknowledge and appreciate my role as a father.
  19. I want to have deeper conversations and be vulnerable without fear of judgment.
  20. I want her to honor my need for personal growth and personal time for me.
  21. I want to love her and feel loved in return.

When a man tells me that he feels afraid to say those things out loud he is really telling me he is ashamed to say them out loud.

He is ashamed to open up about his deepest desires with the only woman on the planet currently in the position to meet those desires. And he’s scared shitless. Crazy, right?

I get it. I was in the same place once. Inside my head I could make grand statements about what I wanted and what I deserved. I privately declared to the stars that I would someday have what my soul craved before I died. “Yes, it might mean divorce. I don’t care. It’s a human right. I’m not wrong to want what I want!”

…I thought to myself.

In reality, many men are ashamed to declare what they want.

Real men don’t talk like that. They keep it inside. Women will feel threatened if men talk about their deepest desires. Better to keep walking on eggshells and not rock the boat.

Maybe things will get better. Maybe in another year.

This piece was first published on

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