Have you ever heard yourself complaining that your man doesn’t listen? Are there times when you feel like he listens only for a few beats and then before you come halfway to what you actually want to tell him he’s already there, advising you on how to solve your problem? Of course it’s frustrating. You either sigh in disappointment or you rise your voice on him “You are not listening!”
Then he gets confused. “I am listening! How on Earth could I tell you what to do if I weren’t?”
But you don’t need his solution right now. Maybe you’d appreciate it some other time if you’re in a vulnerable situation that you really need your hero’s help, but not now. What you want him to do is to simply listen and empathize.
As a woman, you want to talk about your feelings. And you want to be heard. You want at least a pair of understanding ears that can listen, an attention that is solely focused on you. This is about what you feel. It’s important for you to air it out, earn some loving support in order to make you feel better. You want some empathy.
But your man does not know it. All he knows is that you’re upset and he needs to make you feel better.
You can’t really blame him. He came from a Mr. Fix-it community. Whenever he feels that you’re upset, he wants to improve your mood by giving solutions. You’d hear him utter phrases such as “You shouldn’t worry so much, things are gonna be okay” or “Just ignore them. You’re better off without them”, etc.
I remembered one night I was going to bed, my hubby’s on the phone. (As you know, we’re in a long distance marriage. He makes sure that he calls me at least twice a day and especially when he gets back from work, that’s before I go to bed) I complained to him that a couple of mosquitoes were in my room. These irritating little creatures must have smuggled in when I went out to the terrace through the sliding screen door. There was significant increase of mosquitoes that month – which is not always the case – and because my room is in the lower floor of the apartment building, I was a good target for them. No matter how quickly I close the screen door when I go to the terrace, they’re quicker. It bugs me to know that there were unwelcome visitors in my room. I couldn’t spray mosquito killer, it’d stink the entire room for hours. I had to sleep.
Before I was done expressing how upset I was with the mosquitoes, my husband was already telling me what I should do, “put on lots of mosquito repeller, wear thick night pants, cover yourself from head to toe with a blanket, blah, blah and blah.” I was cut mid air. Open mouth, I thought “so here’s my Mr. Fix-it guy with his hat on”.
My friend Daisy giggled when I shared this story to her because she had the same recent experience with her husband.
She was extremely upset with the sky train employees one afternoon because she could not use the ticket she had purchased the other day. She inquired why the machine wasn’t accepting her ticket card; she hasn’t used it. They informed her that tickets should be used on the same day they were purchased.
She was surprised that no information is posted or printed in any sky way station that says so. Not even in the ticket card. She told her husband about how incompetent the sky way management is and how they can improve. But she was more surprised by his response. “Don’t worry; I’d give you my new BTS card. It’s refilled for another couple of months.”
It was a good thing that I and Daisy are reading the same book – Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – we didn’t feel disappointed. In fact, we acknowledged the gestures our men offered to us as display of love EVEN if we expected and needed differently. We understood that it’s not that they aren’t interested to hear our drama, but it’s their orientation to take care of their woman by fixing her troubles.
Understanding your man’s nature and how he approaches problem solving can stop you from feeling bad and ignored the next time he gives you solutions to your problem instead of just listening. You must however learn the art of communication that could make him listen to you, hug and provide you peace in times that you need the most.