Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Talking From the Heart… Huh?

I think the most dreaded words that a man can hear from his wife are, “Honey, we’ve got to talk.” It seems that women never say this famous phrase when they want to talk about something light, or even talk about the kids; and especially not when they want to talk about something fun. No, they reserve that most dreaded of phrases for times when they want to talk about problems in their marriage relationship.

How is it that manly men, such as combat veterans, construction workers, hunters, and mountain climbers can fall into terror about such a short, simple phrase? It’s because we know that whatever comes after that is going to challenge us to communicate in a way that we are unprepared to face.

When women talk about talking, they’re talking about communicating emotions with words. For a woman, that’s an incredibly easy thing to do; but for a man, it’s a major struggle. The difference comes from the difference in how our brains operate. You’ve probably heard this somewhere, but it’s worth repeating. The left hemisphere of the brain is the logical side, where men basically think. The right side of the brain is the creative, emotional side, where women basically think.

The problem really isn’t that we think on different sides of the brain, although that in and of itself can cause plenty of problems. The problem is in the connections (or lack thereof) between the two sides of the brain. You see, women have thousands of connections between the two halves of the brain, allowing them to jump back and forth from one side to the other. On the other hand, men have very few connections between the two sides.

So, when a woman says, “let’s talk” they are wanting an emotionally based conversation; something that is very easy and natural for them; but something that men literally and truly have a problem doing. How do we ever manage to communicate?

Day 48 – Okay, today we’re going to have a lesson on learning how to communicate from the heart. You wife will love this, and you’ll find that it’s really not all that hard, if you approach it the right way.

Remember when you were dating your wife? What did you talk about then? Don’t try and tell me you didn’t talk much, I know better; you talked for hours. In fact, there were probably a few nights that you talked till the sun came up. So, what was it that you talked about for all those long hours?

Don’t remember. Well, let me help you out; you talked about your dreams; that’s what you talked about.

You know, it’s kind of strange, but before marriage we talk about dreams, and then once we make it through the wedding, we quickly forget how to talk about those same dreams. Oh, they may still be there, but they are buried under the problems of day-to-day life. So, instead of talking about dreams, we end up talking about problems. Obviously, it’s much more fun to talk about dreams than it is to talk about problems.

So, let’s relearn how to talk about dreams. One great thing about this is that all dreams come from the heart. That means that when you talk about dreams, you’re communicating from the heart, exactly the kind of communication your wife wants. Ready, let’s go.

The key to talking about dreams is to talk about something that isn’t real; not only isn’t real, but probably can’t be real. Let me give you some ideas of topics of conversation, which are all “dream conversations:”

·        If we had a million dollars, what would we want to do with it?
·        If we could change one bad thing in the world, what would be the most important thing to change?
·        If we could go on vacation anywhere in the world, to see and do anything we’d want to do, where would we go? What would we do? (leave cost out of this conversation)
·        If we had only 30 days to live, what would we do with that time?
·        If we could build a house any way we wanted (ignore cost) how would we want to design our house? What would we want in it?
·        If God would let us do one thing, anything, what would it be?

I hope you’re getting the idea here. If you don’t see anything in my list that you like, make up your own question, the idea is to have a question to start the dream conversation.

Now, take your wife out someplace to eat, or for desert, or even for a coffee, and make this question the subject of your conversation. You’ll quickly find that you are actually talking from the heart. Your wife will love it, and you’ll actually enjoy it too.

One rule: Remember, there’s no such thing as a bad dream. So, whatever either of you answer is a good answer; don’t scoff her ideas just because they are different than yours. Maybe you can find a way to integrate your ideas together and make one dream out of them.

Finally, don’t do this just once; this is a great way to build the communication between the two of you; make this a regular part of dating your wife.

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