How To Talk to Your Wife So She will Listen

Published: 02nd September 2007
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Men and women are not alike. Men will never understand why women talk so much and can feel so much. And women will never understand what is in a man's brain. (Not necessarily sex all the time.)

However, there is a similarity between men and women. (Thank God there is some way to talk sense into women somehow.)

The similarity is something each of us wants and really wish for. Do remember this after your wedding.

Do you know what it is?

It is called "respect".

Each of us wants to be treated with dignity. We don't want to be spat at and neither do we want our esteem to be tattered.

All of us want to be treated with the utmost respect.

And so do you, be it you are a man or woman reading this post.

After posting this post, a reader emailed me that "wow, you can read a person inside out and won't it be scary? Aren't you manipulating other people's feelings too?"

I don't think so. Neither do I see as a manipulation of feelings. I prefer to see it as a conscious effort to place my spouse' position in all discussion.

As the cliche says, put yourself in other people's shoes. It is very true indeed.

Those couples who are not conscious about what they say and not say (their non-verbal) are actually doing more harm.

Let's say you may be unaware that you are infact rebellious even though people see you as soft and easy-going. Part of your nature may be ready to retaliate, possibly because at home you never had the chance to in front of your authoritarian parents.

So one day, your wife said something in a similar stern tone as what your dad did in the past to you as a little girl. Something in you is triggered and you barked them without hesistation and stormed off.

This happens in all couples' communication patterns and so does it happen in yours.

If your wife is not careful or sensitive enough to realise it is your inner-child that is showing all these behavioural pattern and barked back at you for being so sensitive to his harmless remarks, a war will spark off between both of you.

And this war may last even longer than Iraq war.

During our heated discussion (you notice I never use "argument"), I always choose to interpret is as not our fault. Things just happen and we shouldn't play the blame game.

No one is responsible and things just happen and I promise more will come.

Relationship is never smooth, you know. Neither is wedding planning even though you have the best wedding planner.

Recently, my wife did not do something as she promised.

We had a long discussion (remember discussion!) yesterday and now let me do my best to rewrite what I said.

- "The purpose of this discussion is not to point out who is at fault but for the benefit of our relationship."

- "Would you rather keep this inside me and see things happen or share with you so that we can understand each other better?"

- "I would rather say something that may anger you for the next few weeks than see our unresolved isssues erupt uncontrollably after 10 or 20 years. I want our relationship to blossom and I seek your understanding."

Hmmm...if these are useful and sound lots more better than how your darling normally talks to you, you may want to start adapting these new ways of self-expression.

You realise I didn't say "It is your fault" or "What you did is wrong or I'm right."

I know I'm social work trained and not many social workers apply what they learnt to their own relationship and marriage life. I know some social workers have screwed-up relationships because they fail to believe what they learnt works too in their own lives.

Oh yes, they forgot they are also human after all.

It is never easy to consistently remind myself to be conscious what I say. I am a human and I have limits too. I will blow off my top once in a while even though most of my friends consider me as someone with high threshold of pain and has lots of patience.

Old habits die hard and it takes lots of effort and commitment to fully embrace new positive habits that are beneficial to your relationship.

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