Ok fellas, we’ve all been there. Our wife brings us a problem or concern. Maybe it’s about your relationship, maybe not. You can see she is looking for something from you. Like most men, you quickly try to size up the problem, present a solution or two and attempt to move past the issue. You fully expect your response to not only suffice but also reiterate just how wise and caring you are. And to make matters worse, you’ve been down this road before, it didn’t work then, yet you naively attempt to try again. So, within seconds you find yourself in a rather intense conversation about not listening (or something like that) or she groans and leaves the room.
Most men know their wives don’t need us to solve everything. But what should we do!? Here’s a step by step approach that may work for you...
1. Don't fix it.
Whatever it is, resist the urge for “fixing” to be your immediate response. Most men simply don’t like the tension of conflict or frustration, especially coming from their wife. To your wife, attempts to “fix things” feels like avoidance (she’s usually right). I totally validate the desire for peace and your eagerness to make things better for her but she’s not looking for an emotional handy man.
2. Just console.
Offer comfort or sympathy. She is likely bringing you the issue or problem as a way to connect emotionally with you. When you console you help her feel validated in her emotions. In other words, your job is to help her not feel stupid or crazy for feeling the way she feels. Try hard to see it from her perspective. Give her emotions the benefit of the doubt. Believe the best and console.
3. Ask questions.
I talk about this in greater detail in my blog “Marriage-Changing Secrets for Husbands
.” As your wife shares her emotions and thoughts, ask questions. Go further in the conversation than you would normally go. Your questions communicate interest and give her permission to keep talking. It makes you seem trustworthy to her as she shares her vulnerability.
4. Throw out logic.
This is not a slight against wives out there. This is a problem many husbands have. Husbands tend to take emotionally charged issues and categorize them into solvable action points. It works this way, “I’m really frustrated. I will identify the source of the frustration. Now that the source of frustration is clear, I will take action to change things.” Men, YOUR WIFE DOES NOT THINK THIS WAY. Believe it or not, sometimes it’s enough for her to “feel” a problem rather than “fix” the problem. Accept the reality that she thinks differently than you and throw out logic.
I hope this strengths husbands out there. Let’s all keep getting better in our marriages for the sake of honoring God, our families and the watching world!