Some things you learn as a husband after the first few weeks of being married (she actually has a few faults, she talks in her sleep, etc), but others took me longer to figure out. Like how much communication means to my wife. She thrives on it. Loves it. Doesn’t care when it happens – it could be 11 o’clock at night, but she still needs to tell you about how her girlfriend’s kids did this today, or she was thinking of making black beans this year for the BBQ next week. Ever been there? Countless times I would lie there in bed – half asleep – wondering why in the world she couldn’t wait until later to tell me this stuff! Until I finally got a clue and figured out that wives must look at communication, a lot like we guys look at sex.
Think I’m crazy? Maybe I am, but you know the feeling you get as a guy, when it’s been a while since you’ve connected sexually with your wife? You’re ok for a few days, and then the thought seems to pop up more and more – until you get to the point after about a week or two – where it’s the foremost thought on your mind, and you feel like you can’t concentrate on anything, until you can somehow get this need taken care of. Well, now you have an idea of how our wives feel if we don’t really take the time to listen to them. To them, if we don’t take the time to listen wholeheartedly to whatever it may be that is on their minds, it’s just like we feel when we desire our wives sexually, and they may seem too busy to care, or just roll their eyes at us like “oh come on, is that all you ever want?”. Doesn’t feel real good does it? Makes us feel unimportant. But what if instead of rejecting us, your wife smiles at you like only she can, and playfully says “well, I’m not really there right now, but I’d love to go have a quickie – just for you”. That response totally changes how you feel she cares about you! You suddenly feel like you’re her #1 – you’re important to her! Important enough for her to drop everything she had on her mind, pause whatever she was doing, and put a need that you have, before her own. If you’re like me, it makes me feel like conquering the world for her, because she loves me, and is willing to unselfishly help me with a need that I have – not because she was “into it” or “in the mood”, but because she knew that’s my love language, and was willing to unselfishly SERVE me as her husband!
Ok, now SPIN THAT AROUND, and make it apply to when she seems like she is DYING to talk to you, but you just keep walking by her “busy” with other things, or mumbling things like “hang on babe, I have to get the lawn mowed”, or “just a minute hon, the game’s almost over”. How do we think that makes her feel? I’m guessing pretty unimportant, and way down on our priority list. But, what would happen if we just took a deep breath, stopped what we were doing, faced her, and lovingly said something like “hey hon, how did you day go?”, or “sorry I haven’t slowed down enough to actually talk to you today, how did your day go?” Just like the example I gave above, she all of a sudden feels like SHE rates above all of the things on our “to do list”, or whatever playoff game is on, etc. She feels like SHE MATTERS to us – that we CARE about how she is feeling, and even though it’s not what WE need at the time, we are totally ok with her talking out her feelings to us. One other thing – when she is talking out a problem she might have had during the day, make sure you don’t try to SOLVE the problem for her (unless she asks you to). That will get you nowhere fast (believe me I know). Instead, even though every fiber in your body is screaming “I know what you need to do to fix it!”, try to empathize with her. She wants you to validate the way she is feeling, not to tell her “you shouldn’t feel that way”. I remember the early days of our marriage when Val would tell me she felt a certain way, and I would say “well, you shouldn’t feel that way, because it’s not true”, and she would come back with “you can’t tell me how I feel! I don’t care if it’s not true, that’s how I feel!” (strange creatures women are). I know this whole “listen but don’t solve” theory is pretty foreign to us guys, but that’s really what our wives need! And I know you don’t feel like listening sometimes, but just remember how you feel when you have your biggest need dismissed by your spouse? Yeah, not fun. So MEN, we need to buck up, or “man up” or “put on your big boy pants”, or whatever you want to insert there, pull up a chair, and LISTEN to your WIFE. Oh, and did I mention, that God designed our wives to respond much easier to us sexually, when her “emotional connection tank” is full? Let’s just say that a “quickie her way” may lead to a little more than a “quickie your way” a little later on that evening.