I remember it vividly. Standing in the kitchen several years ago and I saw it on his face when I said to him, “Don’t treat me the way you want to be treated, treat me the way I want to be treated.” I saw the lightbulb go off in his head! He got it! He understood what I needed!
I wasn’t asking him to fix it, I was just asking him to listen……..
I was telling my husband something that had happened that day. Something that had really upset me. I honestly can’t remember what it was, but I do remember just needing to talk it through.
You know, how a lot of us ladies need to process things. Talk it through almost ad nauseam. I know I do. It makes me feel better, and most of the time, it helps me realize that it really wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought it was, to begin with.
Well, my husband being the man that he is, chimed in immediately and told me exactly what I needed to do to fix it.
…….and I have no doubt that here is what followed, in his mind, immediately after telling me how to fix it:
- he gave an imaginary fist pump or two
- checked “saved my wife today” off his mental to-do list
- then proceeded to make a series of manly grunts that would have made Tim the “Tool Man” Taylor proud
…..all done within a matter of seconds.
I know he was very proud of himself. He takes pride, as most men do, in taking care of his family.
I am so grateful to my husband for this. I truly am. However, there are times that I don’t need him to fix something, I just need him to listen.
I’m sure you already know that this is really tough for a man. Most men are wired to fix things. They are protectors. It’s just how they are. They fix something, check it off their list, and then move on to the next item that needs to be taken care of.
Women typically like to talk through things, forge relationships, nurture, talk and listen.
Neither is wrong. Just different.
When we can learn these differences in all the relationships we have in our lives and learn to embrace them instead of being irritated by them, it would make for a more peaceful life and better relationships. Don’t you think?
Since that day in the kitchen, I now preface my “need to talk time,” with “I don’t need you to fix this, I just need you to listen.”
I must admit, it can be difficult for him, but you know what? He’ll do it. He’s a great listener. He also gives great advice. Sometimes I need him to fix things, but sometimes I just need him to listen.
Now this day that we stood in the kitchen and I said to him, “Don’t treat me the way you want to be treated, treat me the way I want to be treated.” He got it. He really did. I was asking for a listener that day, not a fixer.
But here’s the thing. The road goes both ways. Yes, I want him to treat me the way I want to be treated, but I also have to treat him the way he wants to be treated.
It’s tough, but the next time you are discussing something with anyone – your significant other, sibling, mother, father – think to yourself, “Are they asking me to fix it or are they asking me to just listen?”
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