Friday, September 7, 2012

Make Yourself Available to Talk

One of the biggest complaints that women have about their husband’s is the lack of communication between the two of them. This is even true in couples where it seems like they talk a lot. The question isn’t so much one of talking; it’s what they’re talking about.

You see, most couples talk about the incidental problems of their lives. Problems with the kids; problems with paying bills; problems with the broken washing machine. Those aren’t real exciting subjects to talk about; not only that, but they’re really not talking about you and your relationship. All they are is dealing with the vagrancies of life; something we all have to do, but don’t enjoy.

When your wife wants to talk with you, what she wants is to talk about your relationship. Now, I realize this can be really dangerous. In fact, it’s so bad that probably the most feared words that any married man can hear are “we need to talk.” That can take the biggest, toughest Rambo type guy and turn him into a total wimp. We run when we hear those words, and with good reason; for most of us, that phrase has come to mean that our wives want to tell us off.

Like I said, I understand the problem. I’ve been there. But, you know, this isn’t a problem that’s going to go away if we ignore it. In fact, it’s just the opposite. This is a problem that is going to grow faster and faster, the more we ignore it. Then, one day, the phrase won’t be “we need to talk” it’ll be “I want a divorce.

Granted, women can be extremely negative when they “talk.” They can cut a guy up in pieces and spit out the bones, all in the amount of time it takes to say a few sentences. That seems to be a natural ability they all possess. The question is whether or not they possess the ability to control it.

For a woman, talking is therapeutic. The very act of talking helps her deal with the situation, even if no solution is found or agreed upon. What they need is the opportunity to talk about it, not that we can come up with a solution, or even that we make some major change in our lives. Although, I’ll have to say that we’d better take the time to think about whether their complaints merit our making a change.
Let me give you a few secrets about letting your wife spout off:
  • Don’t take it personal. Yeah, I know, it sure sounds personal. Often, women will express their frustration about one thing in their lives, as being something totally different. A problem with a strong willed child can come out as you’re not taking her out to eat.
  • Look beyond the words, for the hurt that she’s feeling. Once again, it may not have anything to do with what’s being said.
  • Don’t lose your cool. This is about letting her vent, not about getting into an argument. You don’t have to “win,” you have to let her express herself, so that you can both win.
  • If something she says requires some action on your part, make sure you understand the need, the action to be taken, and that the two of you are in agreement. Even so, don’t expect that your actions will solve everything.
  • Use the opportunity to minister to her. Hey, you’re supposed to be the priest of the home. Well priest, what does she need? If you don’t know, send up a quiet prayer, asking God for wisdom.
  • Don’t accept “clichés” as being true. Statements like, “you have to support me on this” are her opinion; but that doesn’t mean they’re biblical. There are a lot of things which people think are true, but aren’t necessarily so. Check it out first, to make sure that what she’s expecting lines up with the Word of God. If it doesn’t, gently teach her the truth.

Having said all that; the big thing I need to say is that you and I need to make ourselves available to our wives, so that they can have those times to get things off of their chests. The longer we make her wait, the rougher it’s going to be when it actually happens. We can head off a lot of problems by making sure that she has those opportunities to talk to us about something deeper than the baby throwing up.

A woman who has had the opportunity to unload her heart is going to receive romance much better. More than that, she’s going to be able to express her love more fully. If her heart is filled with garbage from life, then that’s all she’s ever going to be able to show.

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