- If I had known she wanted _____, I’d have ____.
- If I had known _____ bothered her, I’d have ____.
- If I had known she was upset about _____, I’d have ____.
- If I had known _____, mattered to her, I’d have ____.
I often hear this kind of thing from men. It’s not always those exact words, but they communicate they had no idea and, they would have done something different had they known.
Some of the time the fellow’s wife failed to tell him what she thought, wanted, or needed. More often, I suspect she made an effort to communicate with him, but he missed it. Some of this is about men not taking hints well, and some of it is about male/female differences in communication and processing.
If you need to tell him something, try the following:
- Pick a good time. Not when he just got home, or when he is about to fall asleep. Also, avoid times when he is frustrated, stressed, hungry, or overdue for sex.
- Get his attention. Men tend to focus on one thing at a time, so if there’s anything to distract him he may not hear you. Taking a walk or a drive together are good (excluding rush hour).
- Keep it short. This is one of those places where less is more. He may tune out if you go long.
- Give him a headline. Get the point first, and then give him the details. We process better this way.
- Do your best to keep your emotions in check. This may be difficult, or impossible depending on the issue, but do your best. He can become more focused on your emotions than your words.
- Be painfully concise. If you leave him to connect the dots, he may not reach what you see as the only obvious choice.
- Suggest a couple of action steps for him – if appropriate. Make use of the fact we are task oriented.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I see a star!
Worth Reading: J has been on both sides, making her Confessions of a Higher-Drive Spouse excellent. If you are the higher drive spouse, you will identify. If you are the lower drive spouse, this will help you understand how it feels to be on the other side.
A big thank you to all of you who supported us last year. Lori just finished sending out 2014 giving statements/thank you letters. If you gave last year and do not hear from us shortly, let me know. If you want to support us financially, go here. If you want to support us with prayer, have at it – we need all the prayer we can get!