Dude Skill #1: LISTEN – Part 4


Sometimes I Don’t Know What She Is Going To Say

Even after knowing my wife for over twenty-five years I am still sometimes surprised by her words. Last summer we were sitting on the porch of a lake house we rented for a vacation, talking about how hard the last few months had been and complaining about how complicated our lives were. We were making plans for the fall, and I was saying that I was going to change my schedule and put my foot down and so forth. I thought Amie, the prototypical planner, was going to jump in and offer solutions for a better fall season. Instead, she said, “I think we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow. We should just enjoy this day.” Wow! She is refreshingly unpredictable. Part of the joy of marriage is taht conversation.

Sometimes I Don’t Know What She Means

This one is a little tricky. It is difficult to hear what your wife is actually saying. At times, grasping the intended meaning of her words seems impossible.

For instance, one day Amie started talking about our kids’ schedules. At the time, we had four kids in four schools! It was chaos to say the least. At our weekly planning meeting, she was describing all fhe activities our children would be participating in that week. I assumed that she wanted me to speak into the schedule and insert myself to help solve some of the logistical problems. She stopped me mid-sentence and said, “Darrin, I just want you to hear all that is going on with our kids. I want you to know what is going on with me and how I am managing everything. I don’t need you to jump in and save the day. I just need you to listen to my heart.” Words from your wife can be an invitation to know her deeply.

I Don’t Have To Solve My Wife As If She Is A Problem

Every guy acts like a math student with his wife. She isn’t algebra, and thank God for that. She is, as one author noted, “not a problem to be solved but a vast wonder to be enjoyed.” When a wife knows that her husband is genuinely interested and engaged in the little details of her life, she will trust him more deeply with big decisions and significant life challenges.

Actively listening to your wife communicates that you want to understand her. You value her for herself, not just for what she does. Listening well affirms her character while shaping yours. Listening communicates a desire for partnership, where both husband and wife are known and are committed to each other’s well-being above his or her own. A good husband, verbally and nonverbally, says to his wife, “You are worth hearing.”


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