It can be very difficult to communicate effectively with a partner who gets defensive when asked questions. This behavior is often rooted in insecurity or fear. Examples of defensive behavior include responding angrily or sarcastically, avoiding answering the question, or trying to change the subject. If your husband exhibits these behaviors , it may be helpful for both of you to work on communication strategies that will help him feel more secure in your relationship.
When he is excessively defensive it can fill your relationship with feelings of resentment, insecurity, and anger. Defensive behavior can sometimes range from denial and avoidance to verbal attacks and physical aggression. Fortunately, there are ways to address this issue in a constructive manner so that both partners can work toward better communication and understanding.
Understanding the Reasons Why Your Husband is Feeling Defensive
It’s important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture to better understand why he is feeling this way and how you can help.
It can be difficult to understand why your husband may be feeling defensive, especially if you feel like you’re doing your best to support him. Take the time to try and understand what is going on in his mind and heart so that you can work together towards a solution. Below are some of the probable reasons behind his behavior.
He Feels Threatened
He may not even realize it himself, but his reaction could be coming from a place of fear or insecurity. Lack of trust in the relationship or unresolved issues from his past could be the reasons why your man is always on the defensive.
He Feels Inadequate
Your husband may be trying to protect himself from feeling vulnerable and exposed, which can lead to defensiveness. Maybe he feels like he isn’t good enough or doesn’t measure up to certain expectations.
He may be feeling insecure about himself and his place in the relationship and as a result, lashes out and becomes defensive. This can lead to a cycle of misunderstandings and hurt feelings because the underlying issue of feeling inadequate is never addressed.
When a husband feels insecure, he may become defensive as a way to protect himself. He may feel like he needs to protect himself from his wife’s words or actions and may not be able to open up and trust her. This can create an environment of tension and mistrust, making it difficult for the couple to work through conflict.
Suffers From Low Self-Esteem
This defensive behavior can stem from a lack of confidence in his own abilities. He may also feel threatened by his wife’s success or the fact that she outshines him in many areas. These feelings of low self esteem can cause the husband to become overly defensive, even when the wife is not attacking him.
Faced A Lot Of Criticism
He may have grown up in an environment where he was constantly judged or put down and now finds himself on the defensive whenever his wife brings up an issue. In order to help him break out of this pattern, it is important for his wife to be understanding and supportive. She should look for ways to show him that she is not judging him and that she values his opinion and input.
Lack of Emotional Maturity
His lack of understanding of how to properly express emotions can make him act in a defensive manner. If you want something meaningful with him you’ll have to put in more effort and focus on understanding him.
How To Deal With A Partner Who Gets Defensive When You Ask Questions
Dealing with an excessively defensive husband can be overwhelming and exhausting. He may constantly feel the need to defend himself, even when there’s nothing to defend. This kind of behavior can put a strain on your relationship and create a lot of tension. Here are a few tips to help you cope.
1. Pay Attention to Your Own Feelings: It is important to pay attention to your own feelings and to recognize when your husband’s defensiveness is causing you distress. Communicate to your husband in a calm and non-confrontational manner that his defensiveness is upsetting to you.
2. Acknowledge their feelings: Allow him to express his feelings and acknowledge them without judgement. This can help him feel more comfortable talking and can lead to better communication between the two of you.
3. Don’t take it personally: Remember that when your husband is being defensive, it’s not necessarily a reflection of you or your relationship. His defensiveness may be due to stress, fear, or other issues that have nothing to do with you.
4. Offer empathy, not criticism: Understand that your husband may be feeling overwhelmed and stressed, and try to offer words of empathy instead of blaming him for being defensive.
5. Stay Calm: When your husband is in defensive mode, the worst thing you can do is to be defensive in return. Remember to stay calm and speak to him with kindness and respect.
6: Find the root cause: It’s important to try and identify the root cause of your husband’s defensiveness. Is it insecurity? Fear of being judged? Is it something you have done or said that has caused him to become defensive? Once you can identify the cause, it will be easier to figure out how to address it.
7. Identify triggers: Identify what triggers his defensiveness. Talk to him about the situations, conversations, or topics that make him uncomfortable and lead to him becoming defensive.
How to Ask Questions Without Making Your Husband Feel Defensive and Learn How to Communicate Better
The key is to be mindful of how you phrase the question and communicate in a non-confrontational manner. By using open-ended questions and focusing on understanding rather than accusing, you can ask questions without putting your husband on the defensive.
It’s important to remember that asking questions doesn’t have to be confrontational or accusatory – it can be a way to show your husband that you are interested in understanding him better.
Avoid Asking Questions That He Will Have To Answer Negatively
For Example – If you are trying to get your husband to teach you how to cook, don’t ask, “Don’t you think you should learn how to cook?” Your husband is likely going to feel defensive, which may lead him to use an argumentative response. Instead, start by asking a different question like, “What foods do you enjoy cooking?” or “What makes a good dish?”
Don’t Ask Too Many Questions
It is tempting to ask questions about your partner’s past, his childhood, his family, and anything else that comes up for discussion when you’re just getting to know one another.
However, it can be overwhelming for him if he feels like you want to know everything about him. Be sure that there are only a few questions in each category so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed.
Think About What You Want To Know
It’s important to know why you are asking the question and what it is that you hope to gain from the answer. Keep in mind that some people might feel uncomfortable answering personal questions. It’s always good practice to ask in a nonchalant way. For example, instead of asking “Why did you break up with your last girlfriend?” ask “What was your favorite thing about her?
Formulate The Question In Your Head Before Bringing It Up
This will help make sure that there aren’t any awkward pauses or moments where things remain unclear or unanswerable. This can (and should) take some time because you need to think about what it is that you want to know and how the conversation will go if your husband answers your question.
Ask Your Question In A Non-Threatening Way That Makes It Clear That This Is Just An Innocent Question
For example, instead of asking “Why didn’t you propose to me?” ask “What are some things we may be doing wrong in our marriage?” Some people might feel like they have nothing to hide and won’t mind answering the questions; others might be uncomfortable talking about the relationship with someone they barely know and will avoid answering the question or deliberately lead you away from this conversation.