Aug 082017 2 Responses

How To Get Your Man to Listen

One of the most common complaints I receive from women is that their man won’t talk. The wife desires a robust verbal conversation with her spouse, but all she ever gets is a nod, a grunt, or a raised eyebrow. For many, they want their husband to talk so they honestly ask how they can make that happen. Yet for others, when they ask how they can get their man to talk, what they actually mean is they want their man to listen. They frame it as talking, but they are actually desiring listening. (See: How to Get Your Man to Talk)

Being heard is one of the greatest needs of humanity–male or female. At work, I can follow any legal direction a supervisor gives me as long as I feel as though he has heard and considered my objections. In parenting, I can endure disobedience as long as I believe my children are truly listening to what I have to say. In friendship, I can take differing opinions as long as I believe my friend is attempting to hear my point. In marriage, I will feel as respected as I feel heard.

Listening is important to any relationship, but especially marriage. If spouses are supposed to be friends, partners, and lovers, listening is about partnership. As a friend, we should feel one another. As lovers, we should see one another. As partners, we should hear one another. Between a husband and wife, being heard is a sign of respect. We listen to those we admire. We make an effort to hear those we love. If a spouse doesn’t feel heard, that’s a problem. It doesn’t mean the relationship is bad, but it does mean the relationship needs work. If feeling unheard becomes chronic, it will have multiple negative consequences within the relationship. (See: How to Make Your Wife Feel Heard)

What should a wife do if she feels her husband doesn’t listen?

7 Questions a Wife Should Ask About a Husband That Won’t Listen

1. Have you accurately diagnosed the situation? Men and women communicate differently. In many cases, men do not give as many verbal clues (nodding head, expressive eyebrows, etc.) as women do while listening. It’s possible your husband is listening more than you realize. Before assuming your husband isn’t listening, evaluate your relationship and possibly seek thoughts from others to see if your feeling is true.

2. Are you talking too much? Listening requires energy. While it looks passive, good listening is an active engagement. Because it requires attention and effort, we can only listen so much. Many wives feel unheard because they unleash a barrage of words on their husbands every day. The men have little chance of hearing all of it and the wives are offended because “he just won’t listen.” Many men talk less than women. If that describes your husband, cut out some of the conversation and simply try to communicate the important aspects of your heart.

3. Are you communicating only when it’s best for you to talk and not when it’s best for him to listen? Listening is easier at certain times over others. If you have something truly important to say, make sure you pick a good time to communicate it with your husband. If you haven’t had any adult conversation all day while he’s been at work, don’t be surprised if he struggles to listen the moment he walks in the door. Have him play with the kids then talk later. If the only time you ever talk is at the end of the day, both of you might be too tired to communicate. Find a time when you are likely to talk and he is best equipped to listen.

4. Are you expecting him to play the role of your only friend, not just the role of your best friend? Clearly, husbands and wives should be best friends, but it’s unfair to have your husband be your only friend. For many women, if they would develop healthy relationships with other women, the amount of listening they need from their husbands would diminish. The couple would still need to communicate, but some of the pressure would be taken off the man to hear every word the wife needs to speak.

5. Does he respect you? Listening is about respect. If he doesn’t listen to you, that could be a sign of a deeper problem. Continually focusing on the listening would just be a focus on the surface level rather than the deeper problem. Grow your respect for one another and you will likely listen better.

6. Do you listen to him? Sometimes wives feel unheard because neither spouse is listening to the other. You can’t expect your spouse to do something for you that you aren’t willing to do for them. If you continually talk over your husband, interrupt him, try to solve his problems, diminish his concerns, and ignore his opinions, he will likely do the same to you. If you want him to listen better, you start listening better. (See: One Habit that Starves Your Marriage)

7. Have you communicated your desire and sought help to fix it? Feeling unheard isn’t the greatest problem in a marriage, but it is a serious issue. It’s worth the recognition, conversation, and seeking of help to make things better. Do not push this issue to the side and just assume it can’t get better. Better communication is one of the simplest marital struggles to improve. We will never be perfect, but couples can quickly get better with a little bit of effort.

“He’s a good listener” is one of the best compliments a wife can give her husband. Couples who speak clearly and listen well can handle nearly any problem.

2 Responses to How To Get Your Man to Listen
  1. […] If you desire your husband to listen more, this isn’t the article for you (but this one on how to ...
  2. […] If you desire your husband to listen more, this isn’t the article for you (but this one on how to ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.