Thursday, January 27, 2011

Help Her “Unload” Her Heart

Women tend to deal with things a little bit different than we guys do. If there’s something that’s bothering us, and we can’t do anything about it, we tend to “put it on a shelf” to deal with it later. That doesn’t mean we never worry about anything, or that we never think about something that’s bothering us, but if there’s a problem that we can’t solve, we set it aside.

On the other hand, our wives tend to have things pile up on them. What I mean by that is that they don’t set things aside, but rather, those things are held in their hearts. When more and more problems show up, or more and more bad things happen, this just fills their hearts up more. This process continues, until the point where their hearts are overfilled, and then they explode (emotionally that is). You know something? It’s usually us that they explode at.

So, how do we get out of the line of fire? Does this mean that we should hide from our wives when we know they’re getting close to the breaking point? No, I don’t think that’s a very good way to show them we love them. We need to help them through the problem.

Day 93 – Okay, if we’re not going to ignore the things that are bothering our wives, what are we going to do? Simple; just sit down with your wife, and let her tell you about everything that’s bothering her. This helps her “unload” all that weight that’s filling her heart, and even if you don’t do anything about it, she’ll feel better just from being able to talk about it.

Hey, this is what shrinks do, and they charge big bucks for it too. So, you can pay the shrink, or you can be the shrink. By the way, shrinks never solve their patients’ problems, they just help define them and let their patients talk about those problems.

Okay, I’m not recommending you try and psychoanalyze your wife. Even if you get it right, you’ll probably just make her mad at you. All I’m saying is let her talk about it.

Now, there are a couple of things you need to know about this. First of all, don’t try and fix her problems. As guys, that’s our natural tendency, but don’t do it. She doesn’t need a solution; she needs someone to listen to her. Secondly, don’t take it personal. I realize that can be hard to do, but anything she says that sounds like it is against you is probably just an expression of her frustration at something else. Don’t let it get to you. Finally, keep encouraging her to talk. Little phrases like, “Then what happened?” or “How did you react?” will show that you are part of the conversation, and paying attention to what she is saying.

One final detail to wrap this up. When the conversation is over, and she is feeling better, you might feel as if she’s just dumped all her problems on you. Don’t take it that way. Mentally take all that junk she just gave you, go out to the trash can, and throw it in. The idea is to help her, not get overburdened by what’s bothering her.

Granted, there might be something important she says in all that. You probably know your wife well enough by now to be able to sift the important from the trivial. Make sure that if there’s something important, especially something important that you can do something about (like fixing the screen door) that you just throw away the garbage, not the note to take care of the door.

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