10 Marriage Tips For Highly Sensitive Women

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couple getting married

A common pairing I see in counseling, and in life (and in my first marriage!) is a Highly Sensitive (HSP) female with a non-Highly Sensitive male.

I have discussed this pairing often, like here, and here.

This dynamic appears frequently in couples counseling, sometimes due to the woman’s dissatisfaction, and sometimes due to the man’s. From all of my experience with this type of couple, I present to you this list of things that HSP women married to non-HSP men should keep in mind.

Here are 10 marriage tips for highly sensitive women:

1. Sensitivity

Your non-HSP husband may not want to talk on a deep level all the time, or barely ever, but it’s likely that he may be better for you than some artistic guy who talks on a deep level but tends toward depression and anxiety. Because when you get overwhelmed with life stuff, a non-HSP can take over, no problem, since barely anything makes his heart rate deviate from normal.

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2. Empathy

If you come to the table with concrete solutions, even if they are in the area of emotionality, such as learning empathy by rote, or bringing conversational topics to the table (or doing my book together), this will go better than vague complaints like “do you ever even FEEL ANYTHING?”

3. Having sex

Sex goes a long way to help your marriage stay on track.

4. Understanding who you are

If you can go into your time machine and make sure your husband genuinely understands that you are an HSP, then you’ll have better luck. If you can’t, then try and educate him now. I can educate him myself if you can’t find a therapist in your area who does.

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5. Arguing with him

Don’t try and change your inner workings. But do reframe and compromise without saying you suck as a person. Delicate balance.

6. Watching the children

Get a babysitter more frequently, although not enough to make you feel you’re outsourcing your parenting.

7. Having more sex

Did I mention more sex? At literally any time that you can do it. Ask him to go in to work late or do it right after the kids go to sleep. I am serious, HSP women. I work with 20 couples at least at any given time and in 90% of cases I firmly believe this would transform the marriage.

 It doesn’t matter whether you think this “should” be the case, it is. Anyone is more likely to deal with you being sensitive and perfectionistic if they got laid that week unless they are a huge narcissistic jerk like this dude in which case divorce him.

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8. Cleaning the house

Hire a house cleaner if at all possible. Better that you guys don’t fight than that you save up for tuition to Harvard. Besides, who are you betting on Harvard for? The kid who is currently eating her hair or the one on his seventh episode of Stinky and Dirty? I am right there with you, people.

9. Being alone

Make sure that everyone knows that when Mommy’s door is closed, and you interrupt her, it is just as bad as waking a sleeping rabid dog.

You need your alone time, or else you will detonate. If your husband cannot understand this, hammer it into his head with a combination of flowcharts and diagrams, and dioramas.

If he still complains, threaten him with deep conversations about this topic daily until he relents. Don’t let your ego or your anxiety get in the way. Yes, the kids could scream for you but you need to take a nap, and your husband can keep them alive. For real.

10. Understanding each other

And the most important: Try to understand your husband’s point of view and convey your understanding whenever possible. Take full ownership of your often difficult nature. There is no “I” in functional marriage. (As you’re a highly observant HSP you get that joke.)

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Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.