This might be the best piece of advice I could offer to a wife: Tell your husband what you NEED, even if you think he should already know.
I spend a lot of time inside my own head and sometimes I think everyone around me - especially my husband - magically knows that's going on in there. He should just know why I look around the messy living room and sigh. Here are the thoughts behind the sigh: "There's so much to do in here. I need to vacuum, but first I have to pick up everything off the floor and if I do that, then I should put everything away, not just shuffle it to another room. But when I take stuff into the bedroom, I'll see that it's a mess in there, too, and they say a messy bedroom is not conducive to a good night's rest. So, if I take stuff from the living room so I can vacuum, then I'll have to clean up the bedroom, too, and I don't have time for that...sigh..."
Anybody else have a running dialogue anything like that in their brains? The point is this - my husband did not hear any of that. All he heard was the sigh. And all I NEED from him is to pick up and put away the stuff that belongs to him so I have less to pick up and figure out what to do with. And all I have to do is ask him to do it...
Instead, I sigh and he says, "What's wrong?" He was busy with something else and I walked in and sighed. He thought he was being attentive by asking what's wrong. And I jump down his throat with a "Seriously? How can you not SEE what's wrong?!" He looks around, more than a little dumbfounded. And I throw up my hands and say, "But I don't have TIME to clean the bedroom!" and storm out.
The same goes for so many scenarios about our needs. The even trickier ones are the ones when I think my husband should know what I need from him EMOTIONALLY - a reality that changes by the moment!
My husband is not a mind reader - nor would I want him to be! - but he is a good listener and he does want to do things that please me. All I have to do is ask...
Of course, this is also great advice for husbands. When we are clear and communicate our needs, there is not only a greater chance that those needs will be met, but we also have the opportunity to grow closer in our relationship. We understand each other better and the partner being asked has the chance to serve the asker and show him or her love.
What do you need that you just need to ask for?