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Wifey Wednesday: When You Don't Speak Each Other's Language
Sometimes husbands and wives just don't see eye to eye.

I'm a little distracted today, and so it's hard to write a Wifey Wednesday post. But let me try and let you in on what's going on in my head today.

To make a long story short, a woman from our homeschooling group has just been diagnosed with a very rare terminal condition. She likely doesn't have long to live, and she has a 10-year-old daughter for whom she has always been the primary caregiver. To make things worse, she's in hospital an hour away from here, so people aren't able to visit her or bring her daughter to her. So she's lying there, alone in the hospital, knowing she's dying. I just have a hard time even getting my head around how she must feel.

And she and her husband really don't have any family, and not a lot of friends. So I suppose I feel responsible in some way, even though we're not close.

I was talking to Keith about this last night, and the talk did not go well. He's a doctor, so I always figure that he can figure out how to talk to doctors and get things done in the system better than the rest of us plebes. But I think he felt it was an attack, "why haven't you done anything for this poor woman?" Needless to say we were each a little annoyed with each other.

Now this shall pass. I know that once he gets home from work we'll talk and it will be fine. It really isn't a big deal. (Although I'm still quite sidetracked trying to figure out what I can do for this woman, other than going to visit her tomorrow). Often, though, our disagreements with our husbands happen not really because we see the issues differently; they happen because we have different approaches to life in general. So I thought today, for Wifey Wednesday, I'd make a chart of some of the primary ways that men and women think and act differently. And then you, when you participate, can make the list longer, either in the comments or on your blog!

Here goes:

1. Men think we're trying to get them to fix a problem, when really we want to brainstorm about a problem or just discuss a problem. That's why Keith got defensive. When we mention a problem, they figure we're angry that they haven't done something about it yet. They need to feel competent; if we say things the wrong way, we undermine this and set them off.

2. Men tend to focus on one thing at a time, while women are always multi-tasking. Even when I'm working, I'm thinking about what my daughters are doing and how they're feeling. Men often seem oblivious to the reactions of family members to their actions, not because they don't care, but because they weren't thinking of that right now. Instead of attacking them in these cases, it's often better to ask a question to help them focus differently. ("What do you think we can do to help Rebecca out of her funk?" for instance).

3. Men are quick to get in the mood; we need to be romanced. Thus, men often assume we don't want to make love, so they roll over and get grumpy. I keep telling my husband, "try to seduce me!" I'm not in the mood right now, but you could probably get me there. It's just not on the radar screen. If it's not on their radar screen, they know it can't happen. But they forget that we're not usually in the mood until we start. We don't work like them. So we could, potentially, be warmed up if they tried.

4. Men tend to relate to others on a side-to-side basis. We relate on a face-to-face basis. Men do things with others, whether it's other guys, or their children. We like talking to others. One is not necessarily better than the other. If we want to get closer to our husbands, then, maybe the answer isn't to try to get them to talk and act like us; it's to find things that we can do, side by side.

5. In the end, men need to feel like we think they're competent and can manage life. We need to feel like we are cherished. We have different primary needs. You may feel like you're meeting his if you're hugging him all the time and telling him you love him, but if you're simultaneously questioning him about his job, how he handles the kids, and the finances, he'll feel undermined.

So there's my list. Anything jump out at you? Anything you'd like to add?

And don't forget: in terms of sex, if you feel like you're not relating to your husband because there are too many differences, I lay them out in my book Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight, which is on special this month. And you can pick up an audio download of a hilarious talk I gave on the same subject here!

To participate in Wifey Wednesday, either leave a comment, or preferably write your own blog post, link it to here, and then come back here and enter your URL in the Mr. Linky.

Thank you!

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At 9:22 AM , Blogger Laura said…

Wow - you hit home with # 5. I need to go think this through some more and see what I need to change.

I finished Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight and passed it on to a friend. It was a great book and one I wish I had read way earlier in my marriage. I may start giving it as a bridal shower gift ;-)

Thanks for all you do.


At 7:59 AM , Anonymous Debbie said…

Wow - these hubby points are exactly what I was thinking about this morning. Meeting in the middle takes work and effort - and a lot of patience and understanding. Going to check out your don't have a headache book...


At 11:57 AM , Blogger Bitter Sweet Moments said…

I can't wait to join the fun starting next week:)


At 12:26 PM , Blogger Kimberly said…

when i want to talk about something that is bothering me(ad nauseum) my husband thinks i want him to fix it. I really don't, i just want him to listen...your book Honey,.....Headache is a great reminder not to get caught up in the everyday, and to make time for each other. We have been married 25 years, and have 8 children still at home. We just really love to be alone, we have a dead-bolt on our door and we use it!


At 6:38 PM , Blogger Cher said…

Amen on this post. I found you through a blogger who had posted your Wifey Wednesday button. Men and women definately have a different view of things, but it is important to try to understand each other! I've gotta check out this book of yours....

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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