How to Talk to your Spouse about Health Concerns without Scaring Him

health concernsYou need to talk to your husband about your health, but it scares him when you bring it up. You need to have a strategy for talking to him. You can’t stop him from fearing for you—he loves you and wants you healthy and safe—but you can minimize his anxiety with a few simple tips.

Be clear on what you need to tell him at this point.

One of the worst things you can do is to throw a worst-case scenario at him from the start. That would unnecessarily scare anyone. If you’ve found a lump, tell him you’re going to have it checked out. Answer his questions, but don’t put thoughts in his mind that don’t need to be there at this time.

Have the facts in front of you, and keep it short and to the point.

Men often respond better when they can see the facts. Show him studies, doctors’ websites and blogs, WebMD—anything that clearly states the facts so he can see for himself. Practice what you’re going to say, and focus on being clear and succinct.

When you talk to him, get right to the point and then stop. If you ramble, his attention may wander, or he may tune you out right when you need him to listen. Ask him if he has any questions, and answer them honestly—but again, keep it short.

Try to keep your emotions in check during the discussion.

When women are upset or crying, their husbands feel powerless and unable to solve the problem, so they become frightened and angry. If you can hold your emotions just until you’ve finished telling him what you need to, he’ll hear you more clearly.

We’re not saying you need to stifle your emotions, but give him a chance to hear and comprehend what you’re saying without becoming frightened because you’re upset.

Have the doctor explain it to him.

If you’re not comfortable talking to him, or you think he might have questions you can’t answer, have the doctor call him at home. If you take him to the doctor with you, his mind will run wild while you’re in the waiting room, and he’ll scare himself. Leave the room while he’s on the phone, and do not have the doctor call him at work unless it’s good news.

Give him time to process.

After you’ve talked to him, go to another room for a while to let him sort through his thoughts. He needs time to process what you’ve told him, and he needs to be alone. Tell him to take his time. It might be five minutes or five hours, but give him the time he needs.

What strategies have you used when talking to your husband about your health?