Can You Hear Me Now?

July 12, 2013

in 2013 Awesome Husband, Communication, Good Marriage, Series, Understanding Her

Needing to be heard and understood are huge for women. In part this is because woman are so relational, and don’t feel connected without good communication. Additionally, many women have been silenced, ignored, or discredited in the past, and this can make any hint of those things painful.

Brass Screw Eye © The Hillman Group

My wife tells the story of going with me to a hardware store I did not know. I walked in and said to a male employee, “screw eyes”. He answered “Isle 5”. That was the entire “conversation”. Lori said a woman would have said, “I need to hang a humming-bird feeder, and I’m looking for a decorative screw eye…” She also told me a female employee might have found my version to be a bit rude. Neither method of obtaining the location of the screw eyes is wrong, nor is one inherently better. However, gender differences mean my request is best suited for two men.

The point is most women need more than the raw facts when they communicate. For women communication isn’t just about sharing information, it’s also about relationship. She needs to make a connection with you when she talks to you. If you tell her to get to the point, you ensure she won’t feel heard.

As for understanding, this too is more complex for women. The facts are part of understanding, but so are the thoughts and feelings that accompany facts. If you don’t allow her to express these other things, she won’t feel understood even if you can recite word for word what she said.

It is easy for a man to dismiss women’s fuller form of communication as a waste of time that accomplishes nothing of use. This is only true if you don’t put any value on making your wife think you care enough about her to communicate with her the way she desires to communicate.

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6 comments
joer80
joer80

If one person is wired short, and one long, why not both meet in the middle?  "I’m looking for a decorative screw eye."   :)

janna94
janna94

In my house, we tend to be the opposite.  It is my husband who can make a short story long, and it is me saying, "Get to the point!"  I've never had to worry about the whole "using his word quota" thing.

Do you think the feelings you are putting on the woman, is what my husband feels?  Or is it something different because he is still "wired" male?

sbmeans
sbmeans

 I know my wife well. I can often anticipate what she will say or where a conversation is going. All too often, my quest for "efficiency" causes me to cut her off or not let her finish her train of thought. It makes her feel disrespected and not valued. Happened again just yesterday. I'm learning.  

Thanks for this reminder!

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@joer80 Often that works, especially in more casual relationships. In a marriage there are times when he needs to be quick, and times when she needs more words.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@janna94 I also far more vocal than most men, and more vocal than my wife. I don't feel those things much, if at all - certainly not as much as most women do.

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