So I don’t know about all ya’ll married women but it is really hard to get inside my husband’s head sometimes. I can read people fairly well but sometimes unless he comes out and says exactly what he is thinking, which is fairly uncommon, then I am totally clueless. And sometimes being a little clueless is OK because men and women tend to think and feel so differently.
However, sometimes I am not willing to accept the cluelessness and I let it get the best of me. Satan comes in, takes advantage of that weakness and suddenly I am wrapped up in arguing with my husband about how he never listens to how I want the dishwasher loaded.
Yes, the dishwasher, people…I told you…it was a moment of weakness.
The other night after the dishwasher incident…which we will not speak of again…my husband says to me, “Are you happy?”. I replied and told him, “Of course!”. I was doing great, my anxiety wasn’t flaring up, and this new place was really starting to feel like home. Then he looks at me and tells me how important it is to him that I am doing well, that our child is doing well, that I feel settled in our new place, fulfilled with what I am doing at home and in the church, and that I am making friends and getting enough “me” time.
He tells me that these thoughts flood his mind constantly and since he is the sole financial provider in our home, it is really important that he check in and make sure we are having our needs met.
Wow. All I could do was hug him, kiss him, assure him that Eden and I are thriving, and that I was really glad he was checking in.
Then I thought to myself…so earlier, when I was wondering why I have to repeat myself to him about obsessive dishwasher directions, ALL OF THAT WAS GOING THROUGH HIS MIND??? Ok, if I didn’t feel convicted then, I certainly did now. If I think back to all the times I have sat and wondered “what in the world is he thinking about??” the above conversation sums up the answer. And here I am quick to assume the worst or that he isn’t listening at all.
The truth is women and men think so differently. And after talking to other married couples, I feel like a lot of men think and feel the way my husband does. It is just part of their design. Maybe they don’t come out and share this with their wives but it sure is on their mind. It took a while for my husband to figure out how to communicate this to me and for me to really get it.
A lot of times what really matters to me won’t naturally matter as much to him. Or, something that floods his mind may be something I don’t naturally think about. That is where intentionality comes in.
It takes effort on my part to make the things that matter to him, matter more to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I have certainly not perfected this, but here is what I know… when he talks, I’ll do my best to listen and make a concerted effort to understand, ask questions, and repeat back to him what I’m hearing. Because if I don’t then I could really miss something. I could totally miss what really matters to him, and what he is really thinking about. Which, in case you were wondering, is not loading the dishwasher (correctly).
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” – Proverbs 18:2, NIV
“It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7, NIV