Monday, August 8, 2011

Value Her Opinion

Let me ask you a question; how opinionated are you? Are you one of those people who has an answer to anything, who can spout forth the latest wisdom on current issues, who is always letting others know what you think about it? Okay, maybe you’re not that sort of person, but how good are you at listening to the opinions of others?

Have you ever noticed that your wife doesn’t agree with you on everything? In fact, there’s a strong possibility that she doesn’t agree with you on a lot of things. That’s actually okay. It’s not necessary that you be in agreement on everything, just the important things.

Learning how to deal with your disagreements is an important part of learning how to live together as a married couple. Many time, couples struggle with this, thinking that they have to agree on every little detail, or their marriage will go down the tubes. No, what you have to do, is learn to compromise on those details that really aren’t important to you.

Most guys don’t have much trouble compromising on home décor. Actually, most guys probably don’t even notice the home décor. She could decorate your home in modern caveman and you’d be comfortable. Actually, you’d probably be more comfortable than her decorating it in Victorian style.

On the other hand, most guys have a real problem compromising on things like what kind of car you are going to buy, how you’re going to spend your money and sports (that’s a biggie). Hey, life is full of compromises, you’ve got to learn to roll with the punches and find a middle ground that works just as well for her as it does for you.

You start that, by listening to what she has to say. If you don’t listen to her, you’re never going to know what she thinks or how she feels about things. Now, there’s a real secret here in listening; that is, you need to pay attention. In other words, you should be able to repeat back what she said, in your own words, without changing the meaning. It’ll take a little practice, but you can do it. The other important thing is to never, never, never put her opinion down. She is just as entitled to her opinion as you are to yours.

Granted, her opinion may seem a little crazy to you. When my wife tells me what she thinks is wrong with the car, it pretty much always sounds crazy; but she clearly thinks that I need her opinion, or I won’t be able to repair the car. Okay, so I let her have her say.

When you ridicule or immediately throw out someone’s opinion, it sends a message to them that they are not valuable. Remember our definition of romance? We’re trying to show her that she’s valuable. So, any time you ridicule or throw out her opinion, without at least giving it a reasonable chance, you are doing the opposite of being romantic. Sounds like a losing proposition to me.

Not only should you hear out her opinion, but you should also give it serious consideration. Hey, you’re not always right, and sometimes, she’s going to be the one who has the answer. As crazy as it sounds, she might even have the answer to why your car doesn’t run. She may not be able to explain why she thinks it’s the alternator that’s bad, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be right.

So, whatever it is, listen to her. Let her tell her your opinion. Who knows, she just might have the answer that you’ve been looking for. Then you can tell her how much you appreciate her help.

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