How to Communicate with Your Spouse

I’ve heard women say they want to be listened to, not given advice. While this can be accommodated to an extent, it’s not fair to ask a man to just sit and listen to his wife’s complaints and ask him to be restrained. Men love their wives. Thus it is in their nature to try and help them. So, just as wives need to be listened to, so do husbands need to be listened to. When a husband offers advice to his wife’s problem, let her not say a thing like, “I didn’t ask for advice, I just want you to listen!” That is rude of her to say. Let her rather say “I appreciate that you’re thinking of a way to help me. I’m not sure that would be the best option. Allow me to tell you more about my situation.” The husband learns to listen to his wife, but the wife also learns to listen to her husband. Husbands hate hearing wives in distress longing for help, so they offer help. The wives may not think that offer ideal. Similarly, wives hate to hear husbands speaking of their ideas of what to do, so they say they don’t want to hear about those plans. The husbands may not think that suggestion ideal. So you see, both husbands and wives need space to speak in their own way, and to be heard. Men like to talk about action, women like to talk about feelings. Though there can be times when more emphasis is given to woman’s speech, there must be other times when more emphasis is given to man’s speech. Seldom should conversations be one sided. A conversation between a man and his wife can be difficult because of inherent differences in male and female speech preference, but they can learn to accommodate each other within a conversation. Women thirst for “being heard & acceptance”, and men thirst for “collaboration & building”. Let each spouse have in mind not only their own needs, but the needs of their other half, their spouse. Though male prefers one method of speech and female another, both have interest in both types. For the man to insist on his preferred speech all the time would be him using his wife as a door mat, and for the woman to insist on her preferred speech all the time would be her using him as a door mat.

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