Why Doesn’t Your Wife Tell You That She’s Upset Before She Eventually Explodes?

The very fact of having to walk on eggshells makes her feel shut down and turned off romantically.

married couple having argument PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock

Lots of men are in a situation where their wife tells them something like, "You were never good in bed" or "You have always been a jerk." 

They feel understandably hurt and upset, thinking that if this issue had always been a problem, their wife should have told them earlier when they would have had more time to fix it. 

Certainly, some women are very scared of conflict, likely due to having either no conflict in their family of origin or having to deal with angry and volatile parents when they were a kid.


In addition to whatever the woman’s issues are, though, the man may be making himself extremely difficult to give feedback to, because of how he responds to it.  

The primary way that men set themselves up to fail is by acting very defensive when their wife gives them feedback about even small things. 


A man who is unable to admit that he forgot to buy cereal is not a man who seems like he can be confronted about bigger issues like his sexual performance.  

Defensiveness, or flipping the script and blaming your wife for whatever you did, is going to make you look incredibly fragile and unable to receive feedback about any real issues she has.

RELATED: 10 Dos And Don'ts For The Healthiest Relationship Communication

Sometimes, women try to throw a softball and say something like, "You know, I read somewhere that women need more foreplay to get into sex than they even realize." 

The guy can respond in various ways. In a best-case scenario, he can say something benignly curious and open to feedback, like "Oh, is that something you think we should try to do more of?" 


This type of response shows the woman that he is open to hearing things that he may have to change and emboldens her to share more detailed thoughts about how she thinks they could have better sex.

However, some men say something attacking, like, "Well maybe if you were in the mood more often, that would be possible." Or he might say something like, "Great, I guess now you’re unhappy with me in bed and out of bed." 

Some guys who are really insecure might even challenge why she’s reading about sex at all and ask whether she’s being faithful.

RELATED: Why Women's Anger Is So Terrifying — To Everyone

Any of these responses shut the woman down and makes her realize that if she wants to pursue this topic further, it will be difficult and stressful, and may well end in a big argument.


Of course, a secure and strong woman can decide that her sex life is worth a fight, but there’s another key point: When a man shows himself to be so insecure that he can’t receive even slightly negative feedback, she feels frustrated and turned off, and no longer is in the mood to discuss romance or the relationship at all, nevermind sex. 

This is why some women will only persevere at bringing up difficult topics with a defensive husband when they have to do with the kids, the home, money or another issue unrelated to the relationship.

The very fact of having to walk on eggshells makes the woman feel shut down and turned off romantically.

She doesn’t feel like bringing up important things about the relationship at all, because she is soured on the relationship altogether.


However, other areas are still important enough for her to push through a potentially negative reaction, particularly if they have to do with the kids, her number one priority evolutionarily.

RELATED: 8 Communication Skills That All Happily Married Couples Know

If you want your wife to feel open and secure enough to give you feedback about your relationship, including sexual feedback, you need to show that you are confident enough to be able to hear things about yourself that aren’t complimentary. 


A change like this will win your wife’s respect and you will be rewarded with her increasing openness and honesty.  This can be transformative for your relationship, as well as giving you important information that allows you to be the best partner you can be. 

Further, if your wife grew up with an angry and defensive parent with a fragile ego, your changing and becoming more receptive to feedback will help heal her and show her that relationships don’t have to involve walking on eggshells. 

RELATED: 30 Unsexy Communication Habits That Make A Relationship Work

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.