NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Q: My husband is a warm, loving and generous man. He's passionate about us and playing bass guitar with his band. Yet, when it comes down to really discussing our immediate future, career plans and having children, he's vague and lacks strong opinions. This has really begun to worry me. How can I broach topics which are extremely important to me and not make him feel emasculated or patronized?A: The ability to discuss the future in practical, transparent and loving terms is vital to the success of any relationship. You stated he is passionate about your marriage and his music. That's a great start.
Keep in mind that these factors might cause someone to become overly cautious. In order to broach sensitive topics with grace, I would encourage you to be extremely transparent. You must understand and translate the underlying reasons for your own worry. Once you're able to comprehend and communicate your own feelings more directly, he'll find your concerns more compelling to address. Don't worry or search for a result in the beginning of your discussions. It's important to just start the conversation. The key to initiating these conversations is to start with open-ended questions and really listen! Respectfully, let him know what you need and expect from him. You describe his nature as warm, loving and generous; these are all excellent and advantageous qualities to bring to your "discussion table." Try your best not to attach any negative judgment to your inquiries. Instead frame the discussion in terms of his strengths, highlighting these strengths to entice him into a deeper conversation. In order to fully participate, he may need you to help him organize his thoughts, admit his vulnerabilities and help him to feel brave. Best of luck and keep in touch! Please send all questions to ASK NOAH at firstname.lastname@example.org Have a profitable and peaceful week, Noah This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.