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A Question Worth Asking

By Yana Berlin





If you want something, remember to ask for it.




One amazing part about turning 40 is all the physiological changes that happen to us during this exciting time of life. It seems that all the complaints and issues facing our sorority sisters turn out to be very similar, if not identical.



Lately, it seems that discussions around the lack of affection and compliments received from husbands has became a very hot topic among girlfriends. After hearing the same thing over and over, I began asking two questions: “Has your husband always been like that? Have you?” This usually led to some very interesting discussions.



Those of us who married in our twenties have either celebrated our 20th wedding anniversaries or are getting ready to do so. Why is it that all of a sudden we need to be complimented on our hair color, dress or shoes? Why, after so many years together, do we need our partners in crime to start saying that we are beautiful, smart, attractive, and still the love of their lives?



My answer is that we are fabulously forty women who require that special attention. We need that extra hug, kiss or compliment. We need to hear that we are still the most important part of our husband’s life.



And that brings up another question. If we need it and aren’t getting it, why haven’t we asked for it?



Our Men Aren’t Talking



Upon realizing that we now require more attention from our partners, it occurred to me that perhaps our partners require just as much, if not more, from us. The question is, do they get it?



As I analyzed my marriage and my immediate circle of friends, I began to see a familiar pattern. We women talk, share, discuss and nurture each other. But what do our men do? They shut down.



Have you asked your husband or lover when was the last time he had a meaningful conversation with his best friend? It’s almost comical what men talk about. They can spend hours sitting on a coach and talk about absolutely nothing (at least nothing meaningful by our standards). So it never ceases to amaze me how I or any of my girlfriends can spend 20 minutes with any of our male friends and know everything that’s going on in their life.



For example, on Sunday I was visiting a friend. While we were catching up on events of our lives, she told me that last week one of her closest friends husband stopped by and in 10 minutes she knew that his wife is battling a bad case of menopause that has affected his marriage, his daughter is doing great in college, and he is devastated by the news that his son is experimenting with drugs. He also expressed concern about the uncertainty of retirement, and she was worried that he is a bit depressed and lost at the moment.



The saddest part was that after spending a few hours between that same friend and her husband, it was evident that they didn’t discuss any of these issues. Sure they talked. They had a long and meaningful discussion about the current state of affairs and how it will affect our economy. But her husband had absolutely no idea about his friend’s problems, and furthermore could not understand why his friend would share them with his wife and not him.



The other shocker came when my friend asked her husband if he shared about the tough times he has been going through recently. He looked at me in total disbelief and responded forcefully, “Heck no! Why would I?”



Take the Lead



Ladies, this may or may not come as a surprise, but our husbands, boyfriends and partners don’t talk to each other! In fact, they have no clue what to say to each other. They are complex individuals, but they are also very insecure. They will never reveal what’s on their mind for fear of appearing weak, uncertain and vulnerable.



Yes, they are the weaker sex, and that’s why we love them so. In order for us to be happy and to make them happy we need to find out not just what makes us tick, but also what makes them tick.



If your husband hasn’t complimented you over the last 20 years, why should he start now? If you wanted his compliments, why haven’t you asked for them all these years? More important, what are you waiting for? If you want to receive compliments, start giving them. Compliment your husband on how great he looks, keeping in mind that he is getting old and is not liking it. Reinforcing him with your positive outlook is not only beneficial for him, but for you as well.



Keep your lines of communication open. Coach your husband gently, telling him what you want and need. Repeat it as often as necessary, but be discreet. By now you should have figured out that you can’t change him. He is far from perfect, and so are you. Nevertheless, this is the man you married; this is the man you love.



If he has never been the romantic type, take the initiative and book that get-away vacation for just the two of you. Make a reservation for dinner. Text-message him and remind him how much you love him. Most of all, don’t forget to say, “Thank you” or “That’s sweet of you” the next time he makes the effort and compliments you.



Above all, don’t ever forget how we got to be Fabulously Forty. It came with years of experience. The years may sometimes seem like our enemy, but in truth, the experience gained from them is now our best friend. If we got this far, we can go anywhere!



Live your Best Life.

Yana Berlin

Founder of Fabulously Forty





I welcome you comments feel free to email me at: yana@fabulously40.com


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