Relationships: Verbalizing Your Feelings
As with most things, there is rarely a black or white answer when it comes to communication issues. While there are certainly many men who can communicate their thoughts and feelings, men have long been socialized to internalize feelings and often have not been shown by their own male role models how to listen, empathize and respond appropriately.
Without knowing the content of your discussions and the specific course that they take, it is difficult to say what goes through your husband's mind when you approach him about a serious topic. Oftentimes, men find it difficult to participate in a discussion about a problem they can't fix. Many women simply want to be heard and understood while their husbands want to "fix it." This often comes across to their wives as if they are minimizing the issue at hand. If the husband's solutions are met with defensive reactions, these patterns frequently result in arguments and marital dissatisfaction.
Of course, there are times when you may approach your husband looking to try to solve a problem and still run into resistance. If your husband's response to his own frustration is to walk away in the middle of an important discussion, then you need to ask yourself a few questions: Am I happy in our marriage? Do we share common interests, values and goals? Do our behavior patterns towards each other work for us? If your answer to these questions is "Yes," then it is possible that this is not a big long-term problem for you. However, if you feel strongly that the behaviors you engage in are not working and are causing a rift between you and your husband, then you both need to learn new ways of addressing your issues. Yes, this means both of you probably need to change how you do things. Although immediate resolution of ongoing issues is often not possible, it is important for the long-term health of your marriage that the process you engage in maintains the goal of negotiating a solution that prevents growing resentment and fosters optimism for the future.
For further suggestions on how to address this issue, I'd recommend two things. First, check out the book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert, by John Gottman and Nan Silver. Second, seek out a therapist that both you and your husband feel comfortable with and begin working on identifying solutions together in therapy.