Are you listening? How many times have you heard that? How many times have you had no idea what was being said? Our wives think we don’t listen to them, and in reality sometimes we’re not. Scripture says, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Eph. 5: 25 & 28) We are called to love our wives, and not listening is not loving. So what are we to do about it? Men aren’t wired the same way as our wives. It’s not hopeless, there are some specific reasons we aren’t listening and specific things we can do about it.
One of the big reasons is men are ‘fixers’, we share issues with other men in order to get suggestions or comments on how to fix the issue. And on top of that we think we get right to the point. This isn’t typically what your wife is doing when she is sharing an issue. She wants you to ‘hear’ her, not fix her. On top of that, if your wife is typical, she is conversational. That is she needs to talk it out, and that just drives us nuts! She’s talking and all we can think about is ‘Can we get to the point?’ Ever been there? That’s us looking for a ‘fix’ for the issue, if she would just get to it. So what is the fix for us? Two things will help. First, be aware of the dynamics, yours and hers. Don’t ‘fix’, listen. It’s a choice, you can do it. Second, talk with your wife about this exact subject. Let her know how you’re wired and that you are trying to learn to meet her need. She can help! She can remind you when you start trying to ‘fix’ that all she wants is for you to listen. Or if she is looking for a fix, then you can provide one. In either case you will be meeting her need.