I recently discovered myself doing something I never wanted to do. I have seen other couples do it to each other, I have practiced exercises on how to avoid doing it, but no matter how I prepared myself I still found myself doing it!
I asked my husband a question and didn’t wait for his full response before I moved on in our conversation.
When this happens to me in conversations with people I feel disrespected. I will find myself wondering why they bothered to ask me the question in the first place. I don’t want to do this to people in conversation, especially my husband, so it has me contemplating how well I really listen to him when he is talking to me.
At the beginning of relationships we tend to hang on each other’s every word and we listen to them with our full attention.
What happened in between then and now? I know sometimes the business of life gets in the way and my mind can be on other things, but in thinking it through, I made a choice. I chose to make something else that was going on in my brain more important that what he had to say. I might as well of had my cell phone on in front of me looking at it while he was talking (big pet peeve for me).
Another question this raised was “do I ask my husband something and then tell him his answer is wrong after he gives it to me?”
I have witnessed this happening with other couples and I will notice that a person who usually doesn’t say much will answer a question only to have their spouse interrupt to tell them they disagree or that they are wrong. In these scenarios I will wonder “how can they be wrong?” if he was asked his opinion. I am sure at some point in my marriage I have done this very thing to Greg and I think it is time for me to start paying closer attention to “how” I am listening to him.
I think we need to be careful how we communicate, listen to and validate what our spouse is saying.
In many marriages men will tend to get to a place where they will shut down conversationally. Many wives can be heard requesting that they wish their husband would be more open with them and be more conversational. This isn’t pretty, but I will end this blog with some hard questions we should ask ourselves.
Are we as spouses creating a lack of communication in our marriages because of how we listen?
Are we open and encouraging to our spouses answers and opinions even if they are not our own?
Have we contributed to a communication breakdown in our relationship? If so, what can we do to repair it to its former glory?