My wife and I have been married for thirteen years and what I know is that while I am still learning to speak Female, I am more fluent than I was back in the beginning. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert by any means, but I have learned a couple of things as far as communication goes, and there are four things I think are pretty important.
So every man should know by now that our wives sometime (everyday) need to vent. It has taken me years and countless scoldings and humiliations to realize that my wife needs to talk shit out and it’s my job to shut up and listen. And one of the many things I’ve learned from others about communicating with my wife is when my wife says, “I need to talk to you!” and we are facing each other on the couch, before she starts talking, I have to ask her one simple question:
“Do you want me to listen or do you want me to give you feedback?”
It’s amazing how setting that expectation of asking her what she wants before she starts talking is huge. It works so well now that my wife answers the question for me before she sits down and I already know what my job is. (FYI…men need to be directed. Well, at least I do).
Since I’m still not fluent in speaking female, because I have a penis, what I think my wife wants and I want aren’t usually the same. So if I know what my wife wants before we start our conversation, it’s a home run, I don’t need to figure anything out, I can just focus on listening.
So suggestion #1, have your husband ask you. “Do you want me to listen or do you want me to give you feedback?” See what happens and let me know if it does or doesn’t work.
Another good thing to do, suggestion #2, is to also set a time on how long you need him to actually listen. For example, my wife might say something like, “Babe, I need to bark in your ear for 15 minutes about Sally stealing all my marketing ideas in front of my boss!”
What men hear is, 15 minutes. That’s not bad. In our mind we are saying to ourselves, “15 minutes? I can do that…then I can go back to playing Call of Duty!”
The catch is, it’s got to be 15 minutes. If you go over, we tune you out because you aren’t respecting us and I’m on to something else that doesn’t involve listening. Stick to the timeline. If you are planning on going over, just tell us and give us an out if we aren’t interested.
There are times in my relationship with my wife, it’s about every 6 months that we just can’t stand each other. All the stuff we have worked on over the years just goes out the window and we get mad and maybe even hateful. I think this is normal…..but whatever.
Inevitably it usually boils down to my wife saying something like, “I think we need to talk!”.
When we gather in another room, we have learned that when we are in a battle, each of us needs to vent and we do. We figure out who goes first, we both agree we need to listen to each other and when the other person is done we say…
(Suggestion #3)”Repeat back to me everything I’ve said!”
This is fucking hard guys, because the light sabers are out and we are both using the the dark side of the force and well….you just have to take it. I’ll be honest, in the beginning I was a total shit show with this. Failure….after Failure…after Failure. I needed someone other than my wife to tell me zip my pie hole, I couldn’t hear it from her.
Moving on, the agreement is, the person gets to vent however long they need to and I have to shut my mouth the entire time, even when I disagree. If either one of us gets mad, the conversation stops and we start firing laser beams at each other and then we have to start all over again.
Starting all over again, simply sucks!
This more than likely isn’t going to work right out of the gate. Just practice it and see what happens.
The ladies are usually a lot better talking about their feelings then the men, unless you have a husband who is in touch with their emotional side. Alpha males HATE THIS and will have the hardest time with it because they simply can’t be defeated and I believe it’s hard for them to take it on the chin and just listen to everything they suck about.
A good way to practice this before you get into “I hate everything about you mode” is when you ask him to go to the store to get something say, “HONEY, repeat back to me what I asked you to get for me at Wal-Mart!!!!”
“Got it Babe! You need me to get the extra large maxi pads, shitter paper, bacon, one cucumber and the newest edition of People magazine. Is that right?”
When he leaves, text it to him because even though he has repeated the list back correctly, by the time he’s in the car, he has already forgotten at least one item. It’s a process.
Last one… Suggestion #4.
Show some appreciation.
When I mow the lawn or do a project that is going to take more than an hour, I really like it when my wife says to me when I’m done (she can even lie to me if she wants), “Honey, holy cow, those are some fucking straight lines you made when you cut the grass today! NICE WORK! The lawn looks like a professional did it!”
Now, I know it’s a little thing, but it’s like when we bring you home a card or something. I know it makes you happy because we are thinking about you for a short period of time and it’s romantic and everything, but whatever. Although I don’t get it and it’s not something that would be important to me, I don’t try to understand it. I just do it. Because you like it.
Same with the thank you, do it even if you don’t mean it. It’s ACTION!
Word to the wise, if you are a hyper anal female and everything needs to be organized and the lines aren’t straight, FREAKING LIE….don’t tell him the lines aren’t straight for at least 24 hours. If you tell him the lawn looks like shit and the he can’t even draw a straight fucking line, he might build a resentment and TRUST ME…neither of you want that! Resentments are bad….We will talk about that in another post!
So there you go…. Four suggestions. Put them to the test and see what happens.
Renick Morris writes about life with his family, bacon, football, being a Dad, marriage, being awesome, growing up, lifting weights, getting healthy, making mistakes, failing and just enjoying the time we have here on his blog The Renick Morris Project and on also on Facebook. Welcome to the Project!
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