7 Sensitive Subjects And How To Talk To Your Man About Each Of Them

March 14, 2013  |  
14 of 15

Even if you’ve been with your partner for years, there are some things that are always awkward to bring up in a relationship. Issues like parents, friends and sex are all things men can be very guarded about, defensive about, or even refuse to talk about. But your happiness matters! So here are ways to bring up some of the issues men are most sensitive about, without scaring them, or even scaring them away!

Your own insecurities

If you’ve been alive for more than twenty years, and dated at least one person, you have built up your share of insecurities. For the most part, it’s your job to be aware of those insecurities and keep them from harming future or current relationships. But to some extent, your partner should know about them, and could even help you with them.

How to bring it up

Odds are something your partner has said or done has ignited one of your insecurities. He didn’t mean to do it—it was a perfectly harmless thing he did—but, those negative feelings are bubbling up inside of you. Always start by telling your partner about the experience in the past that developed this insecurity in you. Let him know that it’s not his fault. Say, for example, you discovered a past boyfriend was flirting with another woman via text, and now you get anxiety if your new partner leaves the room for phone calls. Tell your partner that story. And then say, “So if I ever seem weird when you do that, just know that that’s why. And when you can, stay in the room for your calls.” There are often very easy fixes that your partner can do, to ease your insecurities, without asking him anything unreasonable.

Something your parents don’t like about him

It can be very uncomfortable when your parents don’t approve of your partner in some way, whether it’s his choice of career, the way he dresses, something about his behavior or his political beliefs. But if this is the man you’re going to be with, there has to be a way to ease the tension when you two visit your parents.

How to bring it up

Just like bringing up your insecurities, start with a story. What is it about your parent’s background/upbringing/culture that makes them so uncomfortable with this particular trait in your partner? If you need to explain their culture to him, or even struggles they had in their life that make them believe certain things, do that. You don’t want to make it seem like a judgment when you finally tell your partner what bothers your parents about him. You want to make it seem like a difference of beliefs, and you want him to see where your parents are coming from—whether or not he agrees—so he knows it isn’t personal. Finally, whatever it is about your partner that your parents don’t like, make sure he knows you adore that about him. In the end, that’s all he needs to hear.

His weight gain

Male or female, we can all be sensitive about a little growth around the mid section. But, we evolved to find a certain waist to hip ratio attractive. You’re not a bad person for being less turned on by your partner if he has grown 3 pant sizes since you met. You’ll do his health and both of your sex lives a favor if you do something about the weight gain.

How to bring it up

It’s almost a blow below the belt, but it works every time. Inquire about your partner’s family history. Surely a father, grandfather, uncle or cousin struggled with cholesterol problems, heart disease or diabetes. Your partner can’t argue when you say, “I’m worried about the way you eat, and your lack of physical activity, because heart disease runs in your family.” If that fails, say that you want to get in shape, and you won’t be able to do it without a partner.

Getting him to make more effort

Women are terrified of coming off as too demanding, too needy or “nagging.” Which is why we’re not great at asking for raises but also, not great at asking our men to step up their game. But remember this: any guy who isn’t willing to step up his game for you, isn’t worth your time.

How to bring it up

While women are terrified of coming off too demanding, men are terrified that they just won’t be able to meet your needs! If you list specific things you want your man to do, he’ll immediately feel intimidated. He’ll think you have exact images in your head of what you want, and any misstep on his part will upset you. Instead talk about the way you want him to make you feel. Maybe you want to feel like he wants to treat you more, or like he wants more time for just the two of you to catch up, or like he wants to experience new things with you, as a way to bond. Draw a vague outline, and he’ll fill it in with activities/efforts he is comfortable with.

His friend you don’t like

So one of his friends is obviously making digs at you, or is perhaps even hitting on you. But your guy is oblivious to it. You don’t want to ruin your man’s friendship with this person, or come off as too critical. So what do you do?

How to bring it up

Here’s the good news about men: they shoot each other straight. They don’t find nice ways to call each other out, like women do. They want to get the problem out in the air, tell each other what’s up, and move forward. So talk to your guy just like that. Sorry but, you’re going to have to speak his language and just say, “Babe. Your friend has been doing too much lately.” Trust me: it’s the same way he’ll word it to his friend when he brings it up. And he’s not uncomfortable about it.


Dissatisfaction in bed

Your worst fear is that bringing up any dissatisfaction in bed will mean no more sex at all. And men are intimidated by the vag1na—it’s complicated down there. So how do you bring up the changes you want, without scaring him away entirely?

How to bring it up

No matter what, do not say, “I don’t like” or “This doesn’t feel good” or “I’m not into this.” Use positive words. Say what it is you do like, that he’s already doing, and find a way to relate those to new things you want to do, or changes you want made. Start small. Don’t give him a grocery list in the first conversation. Mention one or two things, when he does them give him great feedback, and then over time bring up the other changes you want. But you have to make him feel successful, to make him feel confident about trying new things.

His family

So your guy’s family is rude to you. They’re not welcoming to you. You feel perhaps they disapprove of you. Unfortunately, they’re not going anywhere: they’re his family. And you can’t just pick a fight with them: you won’t win. Like it or not, you have to get along.

How to bring it up

You’re going to have to pretend to see where his family might be coming from, even if you don’t. In essence, you have to start by making excuses for them. You could say, “I realize that they come from this background, or this culture, and so x,y or z could be the reason it seems totally normal for them to act this way.” At least show you’ve tried to see their side of things, so your partner doesn’t think you just see his family as bad people. Then say, “But it makes me uncomfortable when they…” The point is how it makes you feel, not how you’re judging his family’s behavior. Nobody knows how to handle his family better than your man does. If he cares about you, he will handle it from there.

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