“I’m still hungry. Is it okay if I have the soup on the stove? Roxann responded cooly. “I told you twice that it was for you.” I could hear the anger. It was in her tone.
Merely because I didn’t remember it did not prove she did not say it. And, arguing that she had not told me was a marital dead-end. I perceived she was annoyed and keeping quiet to avoid an argument wouldn’t really solve the problem. So, what is a longer lasting, more fulfilling solution to the problem of the husband who feels like he’s in trouble while his wife feels he doesn’t love her enough to listen to her?
I believe God blessed men with the ability to focus intently on one thing at a time. This gift serves them well in many areas of life. But sometimes this “gift” feels like a curse when we are intently focused on one thing and our wife feels she is giving important information that should be listened to (and remembered) and I never remember having heard it in the first place.
Here are three suggestions I hope will help:
- Husbands: It is likely that your wife easily transfers from one thought or task to another. She thinks you can do the same. You are going to need to compensate for the fact that this is more difficult for you to do. Therefore, the next time you become conscious that your wife is talking to you, stop what you’re doing, face her, and focus on what she is saying.
- Wives: Don’t assume your husband starts listening at the same time you start talking. You need to break his pre-occupation with what he is doing. Take the time to make sure you have his attention. You might want to start your sentence by using his name. If it is important, you may want to verify that he heard and understood you.
- We live in a busy world and that busyness causes problems. If you are too busy on a regular basis to stop what you are doing and give your spouse your full attention, then you are too busy.