For many years, there were things I believed about Bob. They hurt my feelings. They made me feel bad and disconnected from my husband. It has taken decades, but I am now convinced that what I believed wasn’t true.
Bob and I teach a marriage class. We talk, but the members of the class also do a lot of sharing. We noticed that a wife would share a frustration and all the wives would nod in agreement that their husbands did similar things. The same was true when a husband shared. All the husbands nodded in unison that their wives were much like his. We will not presume to paint everyone with one broad brush stroke, but we were amazed at the consistency of male and female traits. We realized that many of our frustrations were not with weird quirks and abnormalities our spouse had, but with the differences in how God made us.
What were some of the lies I believed?
I believed my husband didn’t want to listen to me.
I remember so many times when I came into Bob’s home office. He was sitting at his computer facing away from me. I would get a minute or so into the details of what I was telling him only to have him turn to face me with a confused look on his face and say, “Could you start again?” That’s frustrating. I believed he must not care about what I was saying. What other explanation could there be?
Then he made what I considered an absurd request: “Start with my name, and then wait for me to respond.” I grudgingly acquiesced. And when I did, Bob stopped what he was doing, turned to face me, and gave me his full attention. I was elated. I felt so loved! We have used this system ever since and it has worked. As it turns out, Bob does want to listen to me. He just gets really focused in on what he’s working on and shuts everything else out. I must re-focus him. It turned out this wasn’t just a quirk that was unique to Bob. The other husbands verified that they did the same thing.
Do you ever feel your spouse—especially your husband—doesn’t want to listen to you? Ask him if that’s true. There may be another perfectly logical explanation. Don’t assume the worst. No need to go around with hurt feelings.