Men and women communicate differently — that's a fact! Don't let it stop you from real talk.
Have you ever thought your husband or boyfriends understood exactly what you meant, felt, or said... only to discover later that he actually had no clue? If your answer is yes (and more than once!), you are not alone.
Kelly was sure her husband understood her in a conversation two weeks before their anniversary. That was when she told him how important it was for her to spend the evening at the Twilight Restaurant where they had their first date. Why wouldn't she believe he got it? After all, he nodded his head several times in agreement as she talked and he kissed her warmly at the front door.
The morning of their anniversary, Ed told her that he had special front row tickets at the local college's basketball game for them for the evening, and that they could go to Luigi's for pizza before the game. This would be so much fun, he expressed, as they had done it several times the first year they were married. He was shocked when she broke into tears.
Marcy was sick of trying to share her feelings with Tim. The TV was on constantly, and that was where his attention was directed. He worked long hours, came home late, relaxed with the TV and slept. She felt that she couldn't get his attention, ever, except when he was in the "mood." She'd show him! Next time, she wouldn't be in the "mood" when he was.
Natalie in my novel, Next Year in Jerusalem: Romance, Mystery & Spiritual Awakenings, finds her husband, David, boring. She is sick and tired of the monotony of a life together that feels secure, but flat. It seems like there's nothing new to say. They don't fight — even that would be more stimulating! So Natalie finds her mind wandering to a past romance. Now, Jack was stimulating, to say the least! Love-making had never felt so good, and the adventures they had! Who could forget? Natalie's mind began to wander ... why not look him up on Facebook? I'll leave the rest to your imagination.
All three women are having trouble sharing a "language" with their husbands; that is, a language that is mutually understood and can create real feelings of intimacy. Without a deep, intimate connection, relationships get stale. And then, of course, there can be anger, tears, rejection, or even acting out.
So how do we speak the same language with our guy? Here are a couple of suggestions:
1. Men don't communicate well or concentrate when they're tired or simply drained. They run on empty differently than we do. We often want to talk and process when we are tired; it gets us revved back up and going. That isn't the case with most men. Don't try to compete with sports on the TV; it won't work because for many men, that's their way to recharge. See if important topics can be discussed when he is rested, and the mood is right. That may seem annoying, but there is a much better chance that you will actually hear each other and have a successful discussion.
2. Don't assume he heard you accurately. If it's something important, like plans for a special evening, bring it up more than once, and maybe leave a note by his coffee in the morning. "Kind of like with a kid?", you may be asking. Yes, it can be, but it feels so much better when you are both on the same page. It's a worthwhile endeavor.
3. Remember, no one ever told you that men and women were alike! In fact, you probably fell in love in part because your styles were different. So work at your language tactics. One good plan is to have a Date Night no matter how "used to" each other you are. Just getting out in new environments and having fun can still bring out the spark of true connection in both of you.
Communication is never easy, and when romantic feelings are involved, the stakes can seem especially high. But making sure you're heard and understood by your man is just as easy as making sure you're being clear.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist and Happiness Coach
Websites: Enchanted Self, TheTruthforgirls, Next Year in Jerusalem, Authors Speaking, Positive Psychology for Women
Latest Books: The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything), Next Year in Jerusalem: Romance, Mystery & Spiritual Awakening
Youtube: Enchanted Self, The Truth for Girls, Next Year in Jerusalem
More Relationship Advice from YourTango: