I don’t want to make light of communication problems in relationships. I don’t want to put myself forward as someone who can offer relationship advice. That is an area for the professionals, and this website is designed primarily as a bit of fun whilst imparting a few pearls of wisdom I have garnered from my long struggle with The Enemy in the battle of the sexes (otherwise known as the female of the species).
If men and women knew the information on this page, there would be a lot fewer communication problems in relationships.
Picture this scenario:
Husband arrives home from work. He’s had a bad day. As soon as he walks in the front door, his wife starts talking to him. She’s had a bad day at work as well.
Wife: I’ve been rushed off my feet all day. I didn’t even have time to call my sister. She must hate me.
Husband: You should find yourself another job. You’re always moaning about it. Why don’t you ring your sister tonight?.
Wife: But I like my job. Why would I want to quit? And my sister NEEDS me. Have you any idea what she’s going through?
Husband: Just do what you can.
Wife: I feel so overwhelmed sometimes. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Husband: You do too much. You need to slow down.
And soon they are having a blazing row. And it could all have been avoided. Communication problems in relationships can be avoided to a great extent by realising one thing. The woman thinks her husband isn’t listening to her, the husband is increasingly frustrated because he has heard her every word, has identified her problems and given her the solutions. Yet she doesn’t seem to even hear the solutions, never mind pay any attention to them.
If only they remembered that Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Men are problem solvers. Present a Martian with a problem and he is in his element, because solving problems is what he does. But when a woman talks, she is not looking for a solution to a problem. She talks to build relationships. She talks to examine her own feelings before working out how she feels about things.
It is amazing what can happen when you are thinking about a certain subject. For the past few days, every time I turn on my television there seems to be a crisis between men and women. And every time somebody has asked the woman ‘Have you talked to him about it?’ That is what women do, they talk. Now I could come out with some old jokes, like ‘Women talk twice as fast as men listen’, but we are talking about communication problems in relationships.
So what do we men do in such a situation? The first thing to say is what NOT to do. Don’t try to solve the problem. In the battle of the sexes, the thought that a man can solve a woman’s problems is a nonsense – women are much cleverer than us men at solving problems.
So what to do? Listen to her, don’t interrupt her with solutions. Show her that you EMPATHISE with her. Show her that you are listening to her. Show an interest. If you don’t understand something, ask her a question that shows that you are listening. Say those little words that confirm to her that you are listening. Little words like ‘Yes’, ‘Really’. Ask her how she feels about the situation. Women absolutely LOVE to be asked how they FEEL. If a woman is upset, don’t try to solve the problem, just sympathise and give her a hug. One hug is worth a thousand words (and from a man a thousand words is an awful lot of words, that tells you how valuable a hug is).
I can vouch for the value of a hug from personal experience. I remember that once my ex phoned me about something (You will meet my ex again in these pages, probably referred to as 'The Bitch'). She was upset and I listened to her talk. After she put the phone down, I sent her a text ‘Here’s a hug from your friend’. The effect was amazing. Within five minutes she was on my doorstep, hugging me for real.
And ladies, please help your man. Tell him frequently, ‘I don’t want you to solve any problem, I just want you to listen to me’. And if you DO want him to solve a problem, TELL him. Men are problem solvers, they like solving problems. If you have a problem for us to solve, we turn into the proverbial knight on the dazzling white charger, riding into battle to rescue the damsel in distress.
This is a very simple way to cope with communication problems in relationships. But a very effective one. I have seen married couples who were on the point of divorce fall in love again just because they discovered this secret. Arguments stop, women have their feelings validated, they feel closer to their man, and their need for intimacy is met simply by having their man listen to them in this way.
Please remember that serious communication problems in relationships should be dealt with by professionals. But you could do far worse than act on the information on this page.