Lately, I’ve been watching a show called Decision House on Hulu. It aired in 2007 and only had eleven episodes. The purpose of the show was to have couples who are on the brink of divorce come to work with a therapist, mediator, and other professionals to help them decide if they should stay together or go their separate ways. The show is obviously not created from a biblical, Christian world view… and at the same time, I love the fact that a secular show attempted to help couples work through their issues instead of simply telling them to divorce. In one of the last episodes I watched, Judge Lynn Toler made a comment that struck me. She said to a husband who decided he wanted to give his marriage another chance, “for every emotion you have, [women] have five, and we want to tell you about all of them.”
Not in every case, but in several cases, I have heard men complain that their wives talk too much. Not only do they talk too much, but they want to talk about emotional things all the time, and that it is exhausting. There are always two sides to each coin. Women do talk about their emotions more, sometimes to excess, however it is a need that women have. In general, men do not feel as many emotions in a given day as women do – and in men’s defense, since they do not understand what it is like to have so many emotions swimming around at once, they don’t automatically know how to handle their girlfriend’s, fiancée’s, or wife’s plethora of simultaneous emotions.
So, women, before becoming angry at your man for not being willing to listen to you, explain to him calmly and respectfully (never yelling – you will never get anywhere you really want while screaming) that you are going through a lot and that you just need him to listen. Men, as hard as it may be to believe since you are not wired in that way, she really does need you to listen, so take some time and listen to your woman – listening to her emotions is important. She often doesn’t need you to fix anything, and if she does, she’ll ask for your assistance. What she will need, many times over, is your listening ear. A man who listens to his woman is a man who cares deeply. Women feel deep love and connection when they are heard by the one they love.
Additionally, timing is important. Ladies, when a man comes home from work, the last thing he needs is an emotional avalanche waiting for him. In some cases, this can be overlooked (death in the family, loss of job, crisis, etc.), but for the daily difficulties of life, give your man some time after work to relax before unloading on him. If possible, I strongly recommend having a scheduled time each night for connecting. Knowing that this time is coming will usually fill a woman with peace because she knows that in the near future she will be able to talk things out. Men, on the occasion when you feel overwhelmed with life, and you cannot handle any more, gently let your woman know.
When your man tells you that he needs a little space, respect his needs, and if you need to talk and process, call a girlfriend, or maybe a family member – unless you are looking to process grievances in your relationship. Should you need to talk things out about your relationship or marriage, schedule a time when you both can agree to talk about it (this should be within a realistic timeframe, no more than 48 hours). Make sure not to take your problems outside of your relationship without his or her consent. It may make you feel better and validated for a moment, but it can cause huge problems in the long run.
God created men and women differently – not as a cosmic joke, but because marriage is the vehicle He chose to most faithfully represent Him. To have a good marriage, work will be involved; but, there is an amazing return on your investment.
When is the last time you scheduled some time to discuss your relationship?