My hubby, back in the bedroom, a wee bit annoyed because our senior dog decided to pee on the carpet (ugh!) yells to me, “Come and get Bear, put him outside!” So I go down the hall, around the corner while Bear is coming my way. I pick him up and put him outside. I carry on with my busyness, aka, reading a book. Hubby comes out to the living room and says in his usual sarcastic and fun way (maybe?), “Thanks for helping with the pee on the carpet, it’s okay, I got it.” It appears that my hubby was in the restroom when Bear decided to just relieve himself. It needed to be cleaned up. I didn’t know what he was doing back there. When hubby yelled for help, he did not mention this important piece of information. I simply saw the dog and put him
outside like he asked.
Do you recognize anything like this in your marriage or relationships? Something like this happened twice this weekend. I love my man, but we are wired so differently, it can drive us both a little crazy. The last time I checked, we ain’t mind readers. Did I miss this beautiful blessing in my marriage? Did I get in the wrong line when choosing ‘happy ever after’?
As I am writing this I am cracking up at the hubby. I turn around and he is washing his beard in the kitchen sink. The beard under the faucet. Not something you see every day. Apparently a little ice cream dribbled down his chin, on his beard….
Communication is how information or feelings are being relayed to another through our words, our actions, and/or even our body language. This can be kinda tricky in relationships. Am I right?
Little Boxes & Spider Webs
Men usually like to compartmentalize things in little boxes in their minds. Their minds can’t handle the fabulous gift we women think we totally rock, that is, “multi-tasking.” A man likes to talk about one subject at a time. When that topic is over, he files that away in the little cabinet in his brain and is now ready for the next item on the agenda.
Now, the ladies, including myself, can talk in spider webs. Picture it. Lines going every which way but loose. Women are so unique, they are able to talk about many things at one time and conversation just flows. Other women get it. We can follow along. There is no blank face staring back at us, full of confusion. Anyone with me?
The Crazy Eye
Communication problems can pop up in situations when even the smallest of details is simply omitted from a conversation. This can actually be caused by either party involved. This little detail can sometimes cause the biggest friction in relationships. I remember one instance when picking up the hubby from his small group at church. I went to the usual location only to find no cars in the parking lot. It turned out the guys decided to meet for breakfast. It wasn’t that far away, so it really wasn’t a big deal but imagine if I had an appointment or if he were further away? Frustration sets in. Maybe some anger if it isn’t addressed right away. Things like this can really make my eye kinda twitch and I start gettin’ the crazy eye.
I am the worst at remembering details at home: the kids’ schedules, what we planned for dinner, doctor appointments for my husband, or even family get togethers. I use my calendar but how am I going to remember to even look at the calendar? Things just happen so quickly in life. Information is shared while passing each other in the hall, when someone’s in the bathroom and you’re talking through the door. These are not the most ideal places to relay some details to the other party. Some of us really need to concentrate on the task at hand. Know what I’m sayin’?
Let Me Fix It Honey
Men are natural “fixers.” It is in their genes I believe. Their male make-up. We go to our hubbies to talk through a situation we experienced at work or a conversation we had with a friend. We ladies like to just “vent” sometimes or we just want someone to listen. It is not natural for men to just “listen.” They want to make it better for us. They want to just solve it and move on. Sometimes, men like to kinda straighten up their shoulders and puff up their chests after solving a problem for us. I think they like to feel like they were our superhero.
Now, there really is nothing wrong with finding a solution, but we need to be clear with our expectations from the get-go. I learned long ago when I want to just chat or share my feelings about something, I need to tell the hubby ahead of time. Before even starting the conversation. Friends, let me tell you. This takes so much pressure off of our husbands’ minds. It clears their mind of the pressure of having to solve the problem. From the moment we open our math, our guys are already making a plan, resulting in them not really even hearing us. Also, we need to be sure we are not having these conversations in front of the TV or when the hubby is doing something else. Remember what I said earlier about multi-tasking? Yeah, it ain’t happening.
Relationships and marriage are so not easy, but if we have simple tools in our tool belts to help us communicate better, wouldn’t that save so much heartache and arguments that don’t really need to happen in the first place. Learning how God made each man and woman helps us to understand each other. Men, you can learn to ask the wife right away, “Do you need a solution or just want me to listen?” Wives, we can be more mindful in picking a good time to chat with our husbands. Good communication starts with listening, asking questions, and even repeating what one is saying to affirm them. It could look something like this, “So what I hear you telling me is…” or “Let me make sure I’m hearing this right…” These statements speak volumes in any relationship. It shows you care and that you value the person you’re talking with.
Let’s not forget about the wonderful gift of grace when we feel frustrated or we’re given wrong information, zero information, or even when we misunderstand the information. Grace is what was bestowed upon us when Jesus died on the cross for all of our mess ups. How could we not let that grace overflow to our spouses? The biggest thing with communication is knowing that we are both human, knowing that we are going to mess up and make mistakes, and we are here for each other to work things out together.
And friends, remember to find the humor in all things marriage, especially communication. It’s okay to over-communicate and to annoy our spouses a little bit, as long as we’re doing it with some joy and laughter. Laughter doesn’t make light of a situation but it does make our hearts a little lighter.
Hugging you so tight,