Why He Doesn’t “Ask” for Help

I seriously thought it was just a cliche saying that men refuse to stop and ask for directions, until I ended up riding in frustration on the night of my sister’s birthday celebration, while my husband made turn after turn, looking for the venue and never once asking for help or pulling to the side and plugging the address in the GPS.

I have had a front row seat in Caleb Ishman 101 for the last almost 9 years, and this is what I’ve learned. I thought he wasn’t asking for help, but he actually, most certainly was.

Women speak up and say, “Hey! Can you help me with ______.” Meanwhile, men speak a completely different language. Let me give you a scenario for example before I break this down. My husband and I were hanging out at my parents’ house with the family. My brother and his wife was there, and he decided to start practicing a song on the piano for church. He didn’t quite have the chords down, and my husband, Caleb, got up and started helping him out with the chords. I thought he was being rude, because my brother hadn’t asked him to help. He didn’t say that he was struggling, and I was concerned that the male egos would clash. Nothing like that happened. Instead, I had missed the conversation that they had without speaking.

My brother respects both my husband’s and my opinion on music, because he admires what we’ve done in our career. Since we were there, he took the opportunity to get some feedback, by playing the piano, knowing that Caleb would know the right chords and jump at the chance to help out.

I had to apply that same situation to my own interactions with my husband. It took a few misunderstandings to get there, but I’ve got it and I’m sharing with you. Here are ways he’s communicating his needs with you.

Men aren’t very talkative, so when they speak, we better listen up. If he makes a suggestion, as casual as it may sound, he’s seriously expecting you to hear him and to act on it immediately.

  1. He complains.

    This may sound childish, but some men aren’t the greatest at talking about their feelings. Sharing a complaint or frustration with you is his way of asking you to care, and to jump in and do something.

  2. He shows you.

    Actions have always spoken louder than words. You know your man, so you know when he’s happy, upset, or indifferent. Just like we can give the silent treatment when we’re upset, men have their body language and signals too. His behavior can cue you in on what might be going on with him.

  3. He shares an adverse situation with you.

    Usually, men don’t want to admit when something is hard for them to handle or if they can’t figure something out. So, their way of “saying” something is to share what they are facing or trying to do. If you have any ideas or solutions, this is the time to save the day!

  4. He puts his issue on display.

    Men are, from my experience, very private. Knowing that women are naturally inquisitive and nurturing, if a man allows you to see what he’s struggling with, he wants you to ask questions and to offer your help.


When Caleb invited me to his home for the first time, and prefaced it with “Don’t get scared off”, I knew, when he opened the door, that I would be cleaning up after him for the rest of our life together. LBVS

When he complains about how little time he has to get everything done in one day, I know to offer to carry some of his load.

Get in the habit of looking for his communication in other forms, instead of waiting for him to flat out say that he needs help. That, most likely, will only happen every blue moon.

What cues has your man given that you might have missed?

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