It’s common for relationships to feel out-of-sorts at times.
Often, couples struggle to segue into the next phase of a relationship because they aren’t sure how to overcome those roadblocks preventing them from moving forward. And since the core of those roadblocks is often not knowing how to fulfill the other partner’s needs, a lack of communication about what those needs are can seriously destroy relationships.
However, the issue becomes more complex if your partner struggles to articulate her needs. Men are often told they emotionally struggle in relationships, but in reality, women struggle just as much. The signs of struggle are just different for each gender.
Women tend to cry more, and men tend to get angry more (amongst many other signs). But the reality remains that both genders reveal these struggles confusingly and unhealthily because they want to disguise their emotions for fear of seeming insecure to their partners.
But as a man, if you are in tune with how your woman hides her discontent, you are in a better position to resolve the issues preventing you both from moving forward in the relationship. So, here are some tell-tale signs that she hides deeper issues than she lets on and is not telling you how she feels.
Here are 6 hidden signs your wife isn’t being honest with you:
1. What she says is not what she does
When your partner says one thing and does another, it’s a strong indicator that she is not revealing her true feelings.
This often occurs if her reflecting self (what she says or wants) conflicts with her experiencing self (what she does). The experiencing self is hugely unconscious, is often automatic, and is an accurate indicator of what a person’s true thoughts and/or feelings are.
So, if your wife says she trusts you, but constantly checks your phone messages and emails, it’s likely she doesn’t trust you. It could be that she doesn’t want to seem insecure. Or perhaps she’s still secretly haunted by your past infidelities.
Whatever the reason, it’s likely her experiencing self is at work here and she isn’t aware that what she’s doing and what she’s saying are at odds. So, tread these waters carefully!
If she doesn’t want to admit these buried feelings to herself, she likely won’t want to admit them to you, so gently communicating your concerns with her is key to resolving those issues!
2. She blames you wrongfully
Blame is a strong indicator that someone does not want to take full responsibility for their actions. It’s a defense mechanism and often slips beneath a person’s conscious awareness.
So, if your partner blames you constantly, and there’s evidence to suggest you aren’t to blame for whatever she blames you for, it’s probable she’s in denial of her role in the problem at hand.
In this case, she won’t (or simply can’t) tell you how she truly feels. So, if she tells you that you ruined her life because of your constant cheating, but she’s been just as unfaithful to you, there’s a strong possibility she’s in denial of the damage she’s done to the relationship.
Whether she consciously or unconsciously refuses to take responsibility is not as relevant as identifying what insecurity underlies her blame game.
Confronting her with compassion increases the chances that she will admit her role in the matter, but whatever the reason for her blaming, it’s important to always stand your ground. Blaming you still isn’t right. Only by acknowledging where she has contributed to the problem can the relationship survive.
And if she chooses not to do so, you will at least know sooner than later if staying with her is worth the time and effort.
3. She doesn’t always make eye contact
Not making eye contact is a tell-tale sign of lying. So, if you find your partner avoids looking into your eyes when discussing a relationship issue, it’s likely that she’s hiding her true feelings.
For example, if you ask her if she is annoyed with you and she doesn’t look at you when she says no, it’s a strong indicator that she is annoyed with you.
So, try to assure her you will not be upset if she reveals her true feelings to you. Create a safe space where she won’t feel judged for expressing herself because clearly, she is somewhat fearful of how you will react. Make her feel comfortable!
4. She tries to make you jealous
This isn’t a fun one. No man wants to be on the receiving end of his woman expressing interest in another man. But if she’s flirting with other men in front of you or making other efforts to make you jealous, it’s a strong indicator that she wants to prove how desirable she is so you remain interested in her.
In the case that she hasn’t expressed her jealousy to you, take it as a sure sign that she is insecure, and hasn’t been entirely transparent about those insecurities.
There are many reasons she could feel insecure about your interest in her, but the reality remains that she somehow doubts your interest, so addressing the issue with her is key. But once again, try to assure her that you are not judging her feelings. No one wants to admit they are jealous!
5. She expresses discontent with you to her friends and family
If she tells you that she is OK, but then tells her family and friends that she is not OK with you, there’s a good chance she is not being honest with you. This is not uncommon in relationships. For a wide range of reasons, partners often fail to disclose their true thoughts and/or feelings and instead reveal those feelings to their closest friends and/or family.
So, if she tells her parents you are insensitive, but then tells you that you are sensitive, there’s a good chance she doesn’t think you are sensitive.
This happens, in part, because people have two different ways of thinking, with their heads and with their hearts. She may feel different about an issue when discussing it with you in the moment, than when she discusses it with her friends later.
It’s important to note, however, that the feelings she doesn’t reveal to you aren’t necessarily invalid. Maybe you are cheating on her, and she fears expressing her discontent will pull you even further away from her since you are already interested in another woman.
But whatever the reason, know her lack of transparency stems from some kind of insecurity. Broaching the topic with sensitivity increases your chances that she will be more open with you.
6. She tells you
The most obvious sign she is struggling to reveal her true feelings is when she tells you! In this case, you are one lucky guy. So much of the work is already done without much of the hassle that generally comes along with trying to discern what her true relationship concerns are.
Whether her confession totally shocks you, or you speculated about her emotional struggles all along, at least you can now focus on resolving those issues. If she is honest that she struggles with expressing her emotions, she will likely be more willing to address the fears and insecurities underlying her lack of transparency. So be sure to catch those subtle signs that she hides her true feelings!
Whether she consciously or unconsciously withholds this information, the reality remains that some kind of fear prevents her from being open and honest. Moreover, each specific sign indicates something unique about what kind of insecurity she battles, so be sure to observe her. You may then be able to discern how best to approach the situation.
But just remember, no matter how she responds, you are always right in bringing these issues to the light even if it makes either one of you insecure or uncomfortable. Only by exposing the issues that boil beneath the surface can your relationship truly be saved.
Merissa Bury is a freelance writer with a BA in Psychology/English from Rutgers University.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.