What Wives Want. . . Men, Are You Listening? (R)
Okay, so at the end of the day – I HAVE NO IDEA!
In Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage, he quotes an address given by Dr. John Barger. At one point in the address, Barger said the following:
“Can men. . . withdraw the sword of sorrow that pierces every woman’s heart? I don’t think so. Their problems are generally not the kind that have a solution, but rather form the very fabric of their daily existence. . .
“One of my friends, when confronted at the end of his long workday with his wife’s complaints about the noise, the troubles, and the unending housework, snapped back in exasperation: ‘Well, do you want me to stay home and do the housework while you go to the office?’ You understand his point: He couldn’t solve her problems. What did she want him to do?
“I’ll tell you: She wanted him to listen, to understand, and to sympathize. She wanted him to let her know that despite her problems, her exhaustion, her dishevelment, he loved her – to let her know that it caused him sorrow that she was suffering and that if it were possible, he would change it for her.”
Wow. She didn’t want him to solve her problems. She wanted him to listen and sympathize.
Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn in For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women said exactly the same thing:
“Whether it’s with your girlfriend or your wife, listening to her so she actually feels listened to will pay immediate dividends in a deeper, stronger, more rewarding relationship. Why? Because smart listening tells a woman louder than almost anything else that she is known, cared for, and loved. It’s probably not too far off to state that smart listening has more power in her life and heart than-get this-all the things guys do first and best. Like analyzing, rescuing, deciding, doing, helping – or fixing the problem.”
So, husbands, how are you doing at ‘smart listening’ to your wife? Leave the cell phone off when you get home. Stop checking Twitter when she is talking to you. Let her be the one to turn on the TV. Don’t try to fix the problem. Just listen to the problem and hurt with her that she’s hurting. That MAY be all she needs.
I need to listen to this advice. Anyone else?