3 Marriage Musts From Your Wife!
Many men are married for 5, 10, 20 years or more before they understand these three critical Musts about her. Men struggle to truly know their wife. They tell her that she’s “complicated” or “thinks or feels too much.” She should “just get over it,” or the ultimate marriage putdown for a wife “are you having a PMS day?” In reality, it comes down to truly understanding her…and listening to her.
Must #1 for Understanding Your Wife — Hear Her
Your wife absolutely hears things differently than you do. I’ve heard it said that men in Salt Lake City listen for the accuracy in communication and women listen for understanding. This means that men will typically state things more succinctly while she may desire more clarification. A great example is as follows. Husband (we’ll call him Blair) asks his wife (Sydney) what time they need to leave to make it to the movie tonight? While he is focused just on the movie, Sydney immediately begins to factor in getting the kids ready for the babysitter, cooking the evening meal, and going downstairs to workout…all before going to the movie that starts at 8. Sydney responds thoughtfully to her husband and explains the babysitter, the evening meal, and working out. Blair then states “that’s not what I asked…I just wanna know when we’re leaving.” Sydney becomes a bit more uncomfortable as Blair doesn’t seem to be responding with understanding. She has two choices here. She can respond to avoid a disagreement with her usual, conciliatory “let’s leave by 7:30 PM.” Or she can dig deeper and let her husband know that she really wants his understanding on when would be best for both of them to leave. What would you do? Would you skim the surface or…push deeper?
Must #2 — Truly Know Her
Your wife absolutely wants you to know who she is. Let me state that again. Who she is…not what you want to believe that she is or want to make her into. It has been my experience that too often men want to change some thing about their wife. Whether it’s how she takes care of the home, or how she disciplines the child(ren), he wants it done the way he believes is more correct. However, perhaps the most common is her husband wanting her to change her body or how she looks. She’s either too heavy (fat!), doesn’t look good in that dress…or that her jeans don’t appeal to him. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t go too well. Recently Megan Shauri blogged on this very subject, entitling her blog “When a Pinch is More Than an Inch, How To Tell Your Wife She’s Fat.” It’s a helpful and insightful read and can be found here http://familyshare.com/health/when-a-pinch-is-more-than-an-inch-how-to-tell-your-wife-shes-fat. Regardless of whether it’s about house cleaning, child rearing or weight, she wants to be understood by her husband, not demeaned. Wives want their husbands to be great sounding boards willing to shut up and listen…period. She wants eye contact and understanding, not directive comments and being cut off in mid sentence. Since men often want to be fixers…just listening attentively can be a problem. Men, mindful validation for who she Is goes much further than belittling her to “look better in your jeans,” or the classic, “just look like you did before you had our baby…that’s all I’m asking.” Oh crap!
Must #3 — She’s Your Queen
Not only is she your Queen and wants to be treated as such, don’t overlook that your son(s) are little princes and your daughter(s) little princesses to her. Your wife desperately wants to you to know this and will feel totally pushed away emotionally if her husband is too harsh in disciplining or correcting their kids. This story is illustrative of this must know point. Wife (will call her Amber) and her husband (Bill) are sitting down for the evening meal. Their 15 year old daughter accidentally tips over her glass of milk. Amber grabs a towel and stops the milk just before it gushes off the table. Nice catch! Bill becomes enraged and tells their daughter that she is “clumsy and you’re too old for this type of behavior.” Further, that he works hard for the family money and that this is “wasteful!” Amber tries to intervene and is told by her husband that their daughter needs to “learn responsibility for her actions.” Needless-to-say, Amber feels quite distanced from her husband as her little princess’ feelings have been hurt. Bill feels invalidated by Amber and storms off in true teenager-like form from the dinner table. Sound familiar? How would you have handled this situation? Agree or disagree with Bill’s stingy “intervention?”
Your wife absolutely needs to believe she is the Queen of her home and she desperately wants you to step up and be an “equal partner,” King. That is, her Knight In Shining Armor that many husbands were while dating and early in their marriage. That man who puts her needs first, compliments her on her beauty, calls her on the phone just to hear her voice…and, texted her good night and good morning. Remember that man? I’ve written on this man before and highly recommend that you check this out at http://englandcounseling.org/seek-help-marriage-counseling-salt-lake-city/.
Men, both young, middle and older aged, need to recognize that their wife wants to be heard always, to be truly known, and feel like a Queen. May we all work towards these goals in marriage is my hope for husbands and their wives in the Salt Lake City, Magna and Tooele areas. Great job! Need to make a change? Thoughtfully put these ideas to work consistently. You will see a difference!
Michael Boman, LCSW is a Relationship, Marriage and Wellness expert who writes on issues related to marriage and families. Michael is a backcountry man and also a seeker of serenity. Michael welcomes your comments and experiences with marriages at [email protected]