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post #16 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 07:52 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

I try to listen and hear and pay attention. But she will never ever ever ever ever ever stop or back down. Never. She just winds up and and up and up until it all goes to sh^t. Being attentive is useful when you're attached to someone who's not an anger junkie or pathologically unhappy and vetting all the time. All she wants to see me be an audience to that.


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post #17 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 07:54 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

What do men and sperm have in common?
They both have a one-in-a-million chance of becoming a human being
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post #18 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 08:06 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

It's funny. I went the gym a few days ago and spent an hour with 4 women on the treadmills behind me. Even through my ear buds I heard the penetrating screeching of 4 simultaneous unrelated 'conversations'. This is the key difference between men and women. Women don't actually have to have anyone responding to them or listening to them to make it a 'conversation' as long as the other person is simply chattering away at the same time. I know of not any man ever who communicates like that. You call it 'empowered multitasking' or some such bullsh^t but it's just listening to you talk to yourself about yourself.

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post #19 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 08:11 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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It's funny. I went the gym a few days ago and spent an hour with 4 women on the treadmills behind me. Even through my ear buds I heard the penetrating screeching of 4 simultaneous unrelated 'conversations'. This is the key difference between men and women. Women don't actually have to have anyone responding to them or listening to them to make it a 'conversation' as long as the other person is simply chattering away at the same time. I know of not any man ever who communicates like that. You call it 'empowered multitasking' or some such bullsh^t but it's just listening to you talk to yourself about yourself.
Where's the thumbs-down button?!!???
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post #20 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 08:17 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

I consider myself to be an improving listener. I recognized I was not a good listener and thought about why. Maybe some of what I recognized about myself, and some of the things I've been able to do to help me as a listener are applicable to others.

I described the busy-ness of my mind in the "Don't give us hints" thread on the second or third page. I was told by one of the bright ladies on the board that the functioning of my mind is not uniquely male. Whether it is, or isn't, it was still what got in the way of me really listening to my wife. However; I noticed I listened well at work when we got into involved problems ... so where's the connection?

My wife and I spend a lot of time in different worlds. That doesn't stop when we get in each other's presence. I need to make an effort to get into her world, and she needs to recognize this about me and help me get into her world, and get into mine. If I'm just sitting, my mind is so busy that I don't process what she's telling me. So:

My wife is a very good hiker as am I. When we hike together, I noticed I listen very well - it's something we're doing together. My emotions are in neutral, and I don't get frustrated at interruptions because we are working on this together. I translated that into daily walks. She walks during the day with her friends, but I asked her to set aside time for the two of us to walk daily - it translated. I was able to listen as we were working together, and I didn't have to fight the busy-ness of my mind to be able to listen.

I made an effort to get more involved in the housework. My wife is our household manager, so I have to ask her for tasks I can do. On the tasks that we have to do together, I find again, the busy-ness of my mind subsides, and I am much more able to listen and talk with her. An example of this was that today, we re-arranged our theater room. It took all afternoon. We worked shoulder to shoulder on it, and had great conversation as we did this. This is not different from two men working together when we can talk easily.

My wife is not going to be able to listen to me if I try to get into technical details of my job - no problem since our areas of expertise are different. She listens very well about relationships on the job, though, and she has some very good advice. I don't want to complain about my manager all the time, for example, but if I'm a bit strained with him, I find she can listen and interact very well with me. I don't want her to solve my problem, but I find she has good input. This eases the busy-ness of my mind when I can share with her on this level, and with reduced busy-ness, I find I can listen better when it's my turn to listen.

If there are things I need to do that she can help with, I'll ask her to help. So, for example, when I needed to clean the branches out of the back yard after our last ice storm, I asked her to help. I promised her I'd help her with the kitchen and with folding the laundry when I was finished. This allowed us to work together on all three tasks instead of working separately on them as would seem more natural. She didn't have to do much heavy work on the yard, but being shoulder to shoulder with her and working once again broke through the busy-ness of my mind and I was able to listen and interact much more naturally. It extended, too, especially to the folding of the laundry as again we were shoulder to shoulder working, and interaction was very natural. Of course, it's good to turn the TV off when we're doing tasks like folding laundry as that only distracts both of us. Later, when we're through with the important interaction, then we can cuddle together and watch TV (sort of ... my attention span is too short to sit through many TV shows, so this becomes a time when I try to do something nice for her - usually the time I do something like paint her toenails or massage her feet. I enjoy doing these probably even more than she enjoys having them done ... to each his own ).

So my suggestion is: Ladies, watch your husband and see who he can interact with and what he's doing when he can interact easily. Can you get into those types of activities with him? If so, does he listen and interact better during those activities? Also, invite him to help you (I know, I know ... ). Maybe you can share all tasks instead of splitting up and doing different tasks separately.

Guys, maybe what works for me is also useful for you. I'll let you think it through and decide.

I know it sounds like I'm blowing sunshine again. It is working for me, and I am improving - I won't call myself good just yet, but I am improving. I just thought I'd post in my story in case it is helpful to someone else.

Last edited by shy_guy; 02-19-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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post #21 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 08:40 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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I consider myself to be an improving listener. I recognized I was not a good listener and thought about why. Maybe some of what I recognized about myself, and some of the things I've been able to do to help me as a listener are applicable to others.

I described the busy-ness of my mind in the "Don't give us hints" thread on the second or third page. I was told by one of the bright ladies on the board that the functioning of my mind is not uniquely male. Whether it is, or isn't, it was still what got in the way of me really listening to my wife. However; I noticed I listened well at work when we got into involved problems ... so where's the connection?

My wife and I spend a lot of time in different worlds. That doesn't stop when we get in each other's presence. I need to make an effort to get into her world, and she needs to recognize this about me and help me get into her world, and get into mine. If I'm just sitting, my mind is so busy that I don't process what she's telling me. So:

My wife is a very good hiker as am I. When we hike together, I noticed I listen very well - it's something we're doing together. My emotions are in neutral, and I don't get frustrated at interruptions because we are working on this together. I translated that into daily walks. She walks during the day with her friends, but I set aside time to walk with her - it translated. I was able to listen as we were working together, and I didn't have to fight the busy-ness of my mind to be able to listen.

I made an effort to get more involved in the housework. My wife is our household manager, so I have to ask her for tasks I can do. On the tasks that we have to do together, I find again, the busy-ness of my mind subsides, and I am much more able to listen and talk with her. An example of this was that today, we re-arranged our theater room. It took all afternoon. We worked shoulder to shoulder on it, and had great conversation as we did this. This is not different from two men working together when we can talk easily.

My wife is not going to be able to listen to me if I try to get into technical details of my job - no problem since our areas of expertise are different. She listens very well about relationships on the job, though, and she has some very good advice. I don't want to complain about my manager all the time, for example, but if I'm a bit strained with him, I find she can listen and interact very well with me. I don't want her to solve my problem, but I find she has good input. This eases the busy-ness of my mind when I can share with her on this level, and with reduced busy-ness, I find I can listen better when it's my turn to listen.

If there are things I need to do that she can help with, I'll ask her to help. So, for example, when I needed to clean the branches out of the back yard after our last ice storm, I asked her to help. I promised her I'd help her with the kitchen and with folding the laundry when I was finished. This allowed us to work together on all three tasks instead of working separately on them as would seem more natural. She didn't have to do much heavy work on the yard, but being shoulder to shoulder with her and working once again broke through the busy-ness of my mind and I was able to listen and interact much more naturally. It extended, too, especially to the folding of the laundry as again we were shoulder to shoulder working, and interaction was very natural. Of course, it's good to turn the TV off when we're doing tasks like folding laundry as that only distracts both of us. Later, when we're through with the important interaction, then we can cuddle together and watch TV (sort of ... my attention span is too short to sit through many TV shows, so this becomes a time when I try to do something nice for her - usually the time I do something like paint her toenails or massage her feet. I enjoy doing these probably even more than she enjoys having them done ... to each his own ).

So my suggestion is: Ladies, watch your husband and see who he can interact with and what he's doing when he can interact easily. Can you get into those types of activities with him? If so, does he listen and interact better during those activities? Also, invite him to help you (I know, I know ... ). Maybe you can share all tasks instead of splitting up and doing different tasks separately.

Guys, maybe what works for me is also useful for you. I'll let you think it through and decide.

I know it sounds like I'm blowing sunshine again. It is working for me, and I am improving - I won't call myself good just yet, but I am improving. I just thought I'd post in my story in case it is helpful to someone else.
Great post! I have always encouraged couples to share in the work load--unite and conquer, not divide and conquer. 2 people doing one task get it done in 1/2 the time, and it isn't so f*cking BORING, either. So while people may argue that "we get more done" if you do x while she does y, that isn't even true. What usually happens (and research shows this) is that men finish sooner on household tasks b/c they are willing to settle for a lower standard (again, this is a generalization; some men are definitely more orderly and careful about housework than their wives, of course). The other "rule" needs to be that the person whose primary domain the work is in--usually, wives/household, husbands/yard--gets to determine when it is done to satisfactory standards (because the one with expertise understands the long term impact of lowering the standards--and lots of times, this just makes more work down the road, esp. when it comes to house work).

But working together is a great way to reduce resentment. Bring the kids in on it, too; I do my kids' chores with them when they ask, and we have great conversations, as you point out.

Obviously there are certain things that might not prove conducive to sharing the load--maybe doing the taxes? I don't know (I always did them). Anything that is mentally taxing (pun intended) might be a "one-person" task, at least at certain stages.

But your observation about how the "routine busy-ness" is a great time to share together, both the work and conversation, is so clearly stated, that I hope people "see" it and give shared housework/exercise/etc. a chance!
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post #22 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 09:06 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

I recently read the book called "The secrets of happily married men" and it has a really good in-depth explanation about differences of men and women in the communication area. It has a lot to do with biological differences in our brains. Women's brains are incredibly more capable of interpreting emotion in facial expressions than men are... In fact women can usually detect moods in men before men are even aware they are showing signs of it. Men's brains on the other hand are extremely more efficient at problem-solving in a logical manner. This lends credence as to why women often get frustrated with men when the guy wants to fix her problems, because the woman may just want to be connecting to an emotional aspect of a situation whereas the guy instinctively is programmed to want to solve the issue that is causing her stress.

This to me is one of the most crucial aspects of beginning to understand miscommunication in one's relationship... Because when a man and woman can both start to understand that they are programmed by nature as different thinkers, they can both appreciate their differences and start learning how to engage each other properly.
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post #23 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 09:20 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

^^^^ yes!^^^^^
I think communication problems for women are equivalent to the sex problems for men. There are very few threads on the former many on the latter. .

It is good to see that someone post about communication problems. I think it is a widespread problem and affects marriages as adversely as sex problems. The effect shows up in the willingness on the part of women to have intimacy with a man who seems to refuse to meet her needs for communication.

Can make a woman feel as if she is being used for sex if the problem is severe enough.

This is a minor problem in my marriage. It has become kind of a joke. We laugh about the way he misinterprets what I say and what i say makes it difficult for him to interpret. We both changed - i have had to be more direct in my communications and he has had to listen more carefully.
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post #24 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 09:30 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

I agree with Runs, both are responsible for adjusting communication styles to suit the natural differences between men and women.

You can't fault men for the way they process info and you can't fault women for the way they express information. We have to compromise to remedy the problem. If one or both refuse to understand and comprimise then problems have to be anticipated.
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post #25 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 09:44 PM
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I actually think its funny that some woman would expect their man to do certain household chores. If the boot was on the other foot and my wife had to do the extremely physical job that I did she would not have lasted five minutes. 'Eh! which way do you turn a nut to open it?'

There is also the whole tone thing that woman adopt. They have a drone that causes a natural reaction in a man's brain. Hence shutdown. There needs to be voice training for woman. i.e A mute button!!

Most men are very kind - if we really talked about our feelings it would hurt you fairer folk so much that the droning would never end!

Oh and whats the difference between an intelligent woman and a dinosaur?.....................................
.................................................. ......

I don't know I've never met either one!!!



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post #26 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 11:06 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

Question back to the ladies: If we've made our best effort at listening, do you mind if we have time that we just want/need to tune out? For example, if you want to watch TV for a while, and I want to listen to music and play sudoku, would you be understanding if I put on my headphones and played while you watched TV and not be upset that I don't hear anything? Would you be able to let me tune out like that for a while?

EDIT: Background: This happens with me is why I ask. I can stop it easily enough, but I don't. It's a minor irritation to me because part of the entertainment value of the game is in seeing how fast I can solve the puzzles, and the entertainment value of the music is interrupted when I take the headphones off in response to looking over and seeing the "I just said something to you" look on her face. Usually, she wants to call my attention to something in one of her home shows on TV. Honestly, I'm not that interested in the show or I would be watching it with her. Reiterating that this is after I've given her the princess treatment until she's ready for a break, I'm asking if what I'm doing would be an irritation to you ladies who say your husband is not listening to you.

Last edited by shy_guy; 02-20-2012 at 08:51 AM.
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post #27 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 09:13 AM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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Question back to the ladies: If we've made our best effort at listening, do you mind if we have time that we just want/need to tune out? For example, if you want to watch TV for a while, and I want to listen to music and play sudoku, would you be understanding if I put on my headphones and played while you watched TV and not be upset that I don't hear anything? Would you be able to let me tune out like that for a while?

EDIT: Background: This happens with me is why I ask. I can stop it easily enough, but I don't. It's a minor irritation to me because part of the entertainment value of the game is in seeing how fast I can solve the puzzles, and the entertainment value of the music is interrupted when I take the headphones off in response to looking over and seeing the "I just said something to you" look on her face. Usually, she wants to call my attention to something in one of her home shows on TV. Honestly, I'm not that interested in the show or I would be watching it with her. Reiterating that this is after I've given her the princess treatment until she's ready for a break, I'm asking if what I'm doing would be an irritation to you ladies who say your husband is not listening to you.
I don't see anything wrong with that....I let my H tune out whenever he wants and if I have something to say or ask, unless it's urgent, I wait until I can see that he's done....That's just me though, sometimes I tune out to read or something like that so I get it....
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post #28 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 09:42 AM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

It's fine to tune out sometimes, just not all the time.
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post #29 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 01:49 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

i simply cannot continue to listen to someone who has made their point, then remade their point, then starts to repeat the process from the beginning over and over, man or woman. in fact, in the business world i will flatly tell someone that they have already made that point and there is no need to repeat it. i will listen to it from my wife to a point then i will politely say, "yes dear, we have covered that", then she will do it again
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post #30 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 02:23 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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i simply cannot continue to listen to someone who has made their point, then remade their point, then starts to repeat the process from the beginning over and over, man or woman. in fact, in the business world i will flatly tell someone that they have already made that point and there is no need to repeat it.

That's a negotiation tactic. Wear them down until you get everything you want. A close cousin of "Let me ask the same question over and over and over regardless of the answer I hear" tactic.

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