#7 IN MY SERIES OF POSTINGS DEDICATED TO SUMMARIZING A WONDERFUL BOOK ENTITLED “THE DUDE’S GUIDE TO MARRIAGE: TEN SKILLS EVERY HUSBAND MUST DEVELOP TO LOVE HIS WIFE WELL” BY DARRIN & AMIE PATRICK.
Why Don’t Men Talk To Their Wives?
Why is talking to our wives one of the hardest things in the world for us to do? I have found there are conscious and unconscious reasons taht keep us from communicating. Here are some specific reasons why we don’t talk to our wives:
When I look back, I see that much of my lack of communication has to do with poor routines in talking with my wife. What worked once for Amie and me doesn’t work any longer. It’s hard for us to talk when I get home from work. We tend to default into my answering, “Fine,” when she asks me about my day; and then we immediately submit to the chaos of getting homework completed, dinner prepared, and bedtime stories read. We use to have great discussions after dinner. Then we began to connect before we went to bed. Now we are too tired. Currently we are trying early morning discussions, but taht will probably change soon and we’ll have to readjust again.
Men don’t talk to their wives because they don’t understand what is going on with themselves. A couple of years ago, I met with a communications consultant about how to improve my skill in public speaking. His central critique was that my nonverbal communication didn’t match my words. He said, “Darrin, you just don’t seem to be feeling the words you are speaking. We have to connect your emotions to your words.” Most of the time, I felt nothing, even when using personal illustrations. The consultant suggested I do some work with a counselor. I realized taht because of past wounds and criticisms. I had disconnected my head and heart when I talked. I had learned to do a big part of my job without engaging my heart. The disconnect was always apparent to my wife. When we don’t know what we are feeling, or we are trying not to feel, our words will seem hollow and fail to connect.
When Amie and I were first married, we talked about everything. I shared with her my hopes, dreams, and fears. It was natural and effortless. Over the years, we have lost ground in this area. Not because of her, but because of me. It has been a subtle shift, but I have found it increasingly difficult to open up to my wife.
If you are anything like me, your hopes, dreams, and fears are often wrapped up in your work. Back in 2002, we moved from Kansas City to start a church from scratch in St. Louis. In the first few years after planting the church, Amie was heavily involved. As our family and the church grew, I thought it was sensible to shield her from many of the concerns I was dealing with day in and day out. I reasoned that she had enough to deal with on the home front.
In my next posting I will continue to discuss the reasons men don’t communicate well with our wives, as well as what our wives would like for us to talk about.
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