Marital Monday: Don’t Talk Just Listen

shhI don’t know if it is because I am a Social Worker but I always feel the need to give advice when my husband is talking. Okay! I must be honest. I just don’t give advice. I totally assess what he is saying and give him a full out treatment plan. This works well when he asks me for my help but many times he just wants to vent to his wife about whatever is on his mind.

It didn’t hit me that this was a problem until a few months ago when he told me flat out he finds himself not wanting to share things with me because I go so deep into what he is saying. It really made me think. Never do I want to be so annoying that my husband does not want to communicate things that are on his mind. I am his wife not his therapist.

Am I the only one that does this? I don’t think so. Social Worker or not, I think this is something that many wives do and many husbands find annoying. Many times, as women we feel we need to be a problem solver. Well, I have news for you many times our husbands just want us to be a listening ear. Whether he wants to talk about work, family, aspirations, or whatever, we just need to listen.  We get on our husbands for not wanting to communicate but never do we take a look at how we respond when they do communicate. When we do this it is as if we are saying that they are incapable of problem solving on their own. We are treating them like our child not our spouse (which is a different post for a different day, lol).

Because of my inability to just sit and listen I took away my husbands desire to talk to me. I am just grateful that he was honest enough to let me know how he felt so that I could work on it.  That showed me that he wants to be able to share things with me. As I am typing this I am finding myself tearing up at that thought of how things could have been had my husband never communicated his frustration with me. There would have been a lull in communication between us.  Communication is a NECESSITY.  Many marriages fall apart without it.

So now I just listen. I enjoy just listening. I may ask a question here or there for clarification but that is about it. I have faith that my husband values my opinion enough that when he would like it he will ask for it, and he does. This simple change has really helped us. I can tell he enjoys talking to me now because he does it more often.

Think about how you respond when your husband tries to talk to you. Do you cut him off and rail off all the things he should do or should have done? If the answer is “yes”, then this post is for you. Try to just listen. You may be surprised that as he is talking out whatever it is, he will probably come to the same solution you would have offered on his own.

~Tricia

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