His & Hers: Why Your Spouse Needs You to Listen

As we’ve worked on this blog over the past couple of months, we’ve been doing research on marriage and family. It’s amazing to see how many couples are struggling and most of it comes from their lack of communication. When we say communicate, we don’t mean that both parties sit and argue (although if you feel that helps, we won’t dissuade you).

Communication is a balance of speaking and listening. You can’t completely understand what is going on with the other person if you don’t listen and then respond.

So for this His & Hers post, we are tackling the issue from both sides as to why the spouse needs you to open your ears and listen up!

His

To all the wonderful wives out there who want to know what the secret of knowing what their husband is thinking then just ask him.

If only it was that simple, right? Usually the husband’s response inside his head is, “Oh crap! What did I do wrong?” Britney and I talk quite a bit about communicating with each other in marriage but it’s not enough just to talk. Each husband and wife need to learn the art of of becoming a truly good listener.

Love Us, No matter who we think we are

Behind every John Wayne is scared, skinny Don Knotts husband. What I mean by this is every guy at one time feels like he this is macho, super awesome John Wayne but most of time we feel like Don Knotts not knowing what the crap we are doing. If these heros of mine are a little too old for you, just look them up on youtube. I laughed way more than I probably should.

So what does this all mean about you being a good listener? It means we need your love. We husbands, whether we feel like John Wayne or Don Knotts, we need you to love us no matter how we feel. Sit down and listen to us. Don’t think of your next response to what we are saying, or try to give your opinion of a solution, just listen with love.

There have been times when I have finished work and was coming home, ready to start the next world war with anyone in sight because work has been so stressful and frustrating. A marriage is a safe place where you can get things off your chest. Just let it all go about the good but mostly the bad and work.

Brit has learned that I’m not mad at her but I need 5 mins to just vent about what happened at work. Every time I do this I feel so much better and less stressed. Sometimes I can even look back and laugh and say that it isn’t that big of deal. Most of the time Britney just listens and says it will all work out. She doesn’t get mad at me for feeling mad or get worried that I am going to lose work. She has faith in me that it will all work out.

Helps Grow Closer Together

You will grow closer together if you not only seek to communicate, but seek to understand one another by being good listeners. If your husband starts to see that you are serious about really listening to what he has to say and know that you will react with love and not with fear, then your talks will be longer and your love will start to grow deeper.

Early on in our marriage if shared something with Britney and she reacted with fear I Immediately shut down and did not want to talk anymore or share anything. For example, in construction sometimes you have slow times and you don’t have any work. Early on in our marriage, we were committed to do a job that we thought would last for a couple months so  we didn’t have any other work planned.  

The owner decided not to go through with the project and cancelled. So here we were without work for 2 months, which happens a lot in construction. I was somewhat used to it but she wasn’t and when I shared the news, she reacted with fear.

I immediately shut down and was like, “I’m never going to share something like this with you again.” It took time but because we kept trying to listen to each other. Now, when something like this happens, we both have faith that it will work out, and it usually does. As you listen with love, you will come closer togther to take on anything that comes your way.

Hers

To feel validated:

Going from working in your career to being a stay at home mom can be a difficult transition. When you work at your job, you accomplish tasks and goals, projects and meetings. These things often lead to congratulations or some sort of praise, barring that you’ve actually done a good job.

Mom life is quite the opposite. We are never done raising kids and for many years, we don’t see the rewards of the long days and nights. Sometimes all we want is for you to listen to the random tasks we accomplish during the day and acknowledge that we did it.

Maybe cleaning out the microwave isn’t a big deal but it might have been on the list for a week or so and when we finally clean it, we want to do a happy dance and shout it to the world…or just our husband.

Some may say, “You’re a stay-at-home mom. You don’t deserve a compliment for doing your job!” We can all use the encouragement, no matter what our “job” entails. A small compliment or words of encouragement can go a long way, especially when we aren’t quite sure if we’re making a difference.

Dealing with the unknown mass of leftovers in the fridge might not be all that interesting but we want you to understand just how disgusting it looked and that you’re lucky we’re still walking around after the smell.

If you don’t listen to the small things, why would we want to share the bigger things?

To understand:

Sometimes those little mundane stories get us to open up about the more important issues.

Just like the many things you are learning in your choice of career, we are learning a lot about ourselves as we go day to day. Working to care for children who have limited or no communication skills can be frustrating and if we get it wrong, there are usually tears involved, sometimes on both sides.

We do our best to stay positive as the pile of laundry grows exponentially. We ask you to clean up your dishes/shoes/clothes because when you leave it out, it makes us feel undervalued and as if we are the maid, rather than the equal partner in the home.

Some might be a little down about one thing or another. By listening to even the smallest issues and worries, you are making it so we feel safe to share the big things. No one likes to be ridiculed about the things that bother them but if you listen in, you might learn a little about what you can do to help.

Or that instead of offering a solution for everything, we just want to know you’re on our side, that you understand and will be there for us.

To connect:

Every woman wants to feel the love, especially after several years together. The only way you can grow a more mature love is by listening and the coming together for a solution. But you won’t remember anything if you’re looking at your phone, pretending interest. That’s because we know you’re not listening and it’s not worth wasting the words.

Doing your own thing isn’t what you signed on for when you said, “I do”. Have you asked us lately what we think of a certain situation? You might be surprised at the valuable advice we can give and if it affects our life and the life of the family, you should listen to our opinion. Even if it’s not what you want to hear, we can compromise and come to some middle ground.

Marriage won’t survive on the flutters that started the relationship. It’s not enough to be a roommate either, seeing each other every once in a while. Listening helps to keep grievances at a minimum, or at least helps you overcome them faster.

It bonds you together and helps us feel like anything we share is in a safe place.

Nothing shows love more than when a husband remembers something hours or days later. Whether it be a random craving we had or something we liked from a store that shows up on our kitchen table, it’s safe to say that this will score you some major points.

What would you like your spouse to hear?

Leave your comments below and have a good one!

Did you enjoy this post? We have a few more His & Hers posts you can check out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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