A husband comes home. Tired from the 8-hour job, he lazily takes off his shoes and slumps on the sofa. He turns on the TV and watches football. The wife, who made excuses to his boss just to get home early and prepare dinner, hears the husband arrive. She expects him to go looking for her and give her a kiss. But he doesn’t; and now she’s disappointed, not to mention feeling rejected. The rest of the night is a disaster.
Most divorce and legal separations happen because of miscommunication. This usually happens when the wedding honeymoon phase is well over. When this is not resolved right away, resentment grows. And when it explodes, everything else blows. In the book, ‘Men are Mars, Women are from Venus’, John Gray says we were hypothetically from different worlds.
Out of boredom and curiosity, both sexes went to Earth to live together in harmony. But in time, we got so caught up with the everyday tasks that we forgot how to respond to each other’s needs or how to listen with the heart.
She says: I hate my boss. Maybe it’s time you look for another job.
He answers: I’m tired. Why don’t you take a rest?
When the wife says those things, all she wanted was a sympathetic remark from the husband. She’s not asking for a solution. What she expects to hear is an affirmation or a validation of her feelings. She wants him to just listen and not talk. The husband who listens with the heart will respond as follows:
I’d feel the same way if I had a boss like that.
You must have accomplished so much today. Tell me what happened.
And as expected, she pours her heart out. After which, she feels better. The husband, on the other side, takes things differently. He mostly wants to be left alone. The following lines are the usual causes of arguments:
He says: I got this. Are you sure? Maybe I can help you.
She answers: We’ll look on the other block. No honey I really think we’re lost. Let’s ask for directions.
Insisting help where none is asked spells mistrust. He thinks she doesn’t believe he is capable of solving the problem on his own. He needs to feel he’s the Tarzan and she’s the Jane, and that he’s got it; hands off please. The same is true when he’s the driver and you both know you’re lost. The wife need not point it out. Support him by saying:
Ok. I know (with a trusting smile).
Yes, let’s do that.
Staying sensitive and tuned in to what the other needs at the moment are still the best way to know how to respond effectively. But as we don’t always feel as understanding as we should be, couples must know how and when to tell the other of his/her offended ego. The sooner resolved the better for the relationship.
Also reference: psychology today