SOLUTIONS ARE SO OVERRATED!!
What do you do when your wife wants to talk about a problem, and every attempt you make to solve it is turned away? (And if you’ve never encountered this, have a look on our video blog site for a very funny version of the situation, entitled “It’s Not About The Nail”)
So your Beautiful Other is talking about a current situation, saying, “I don’t know what to do. What options do I have,” describing the situation slowly to you. It seems so logical to need to solve it. Your wife is hurting, and you want to take away the pain. You want to fix it.
But often she just wants to talk about it with someone she cares about deeply. She just wants to talk about it – without finding a solution at the moment. So sitting with her and hearing her, nodding and making listening noises, and saying things like “That really must have been hard for you,” is what she’s looking for from you. It helps her. She hears you’re supporting her in the emotional tide. She knows she’s been heard.
Oh, and if you haven’t watched the video “It’s Not About the Nail” yet, it is very funny!!
And like the lady in the video, your wife may just want to have you listen – today. Tomorrow might be different.
Maybe if she asks twice, “What will I do?” or something similar, it’s OK to ask something like:-
Right now, would you like me to help you come up with answers… OR would you like me to just listen for now?
Don’t assume that two questions make a need for solutions. Just sitting hearing her is as good in her eyes as a killer romantic date. (But If you jump in and try to solve it without asking her if she’d like that, she may, just for a moment, think
He’s trying to think of an answer while I’m still in the middle of telling my story. If he’s busy thinking about answers, he can’t really be listening. Am I really being heard
So she doesn’t feel like she has been heard at all.)
Oh, and ladies, it is very much a different type of communication from what guys are used to. So when you sit down to tell the Handsome Other the problem, perhaps at the start you could say “Right now, I just want you to listen, to hear me. Today, I don’t need an answer.” Don’t assume your need is obvious to your Handsome Other.
And guys, let her talk, and let her be heard. If she seems to send “help” signals, ask if she wants help. If not, the time spent listening is as good as a date!!
And probably cheaper
All content copyright 2018 Greg & Kathy Weller