Communication: Man vs. Woman

Proper marital communication is learned behavior.

Ladies, expecting your husband to know what you need or want without you telling him is not an acceptable means of communication. It does no good to pout, “You should know what I want without me having to tell you,” and it is grossly unfair to your husband. He really doesn’t know what you want unless you tell him, because that’s the way God designed him—analytical, logical, bottom-line. God took the details of communication and put them into woman because she would be the nurturing teacher. When He formed Eve from Adam’s rib, He removed certain things and used them to form woman. To expect your husband to automatically know what you need flies in the face of the truth of creation. Your husband does not have your genetic communication code, just as you do not have his.

Let’s turn to the men now. God expects men to maintain the honeymoon atmosphere in the home. That means, men, you cannot talk to your wife like she is one of the guys, neither in frequency nor quantity. Your best male buddy may be perfectly content with one-word answers and grunts of agreement, but that will never do with your wife. She is not made that way. Her genetic code predisposes her to need detailed communication that builds closeness and intimacy.

If both men and women could understand that they are genetically wired differently, a lot of problems and misunderstandings could be averted. Ladies, I want to let you into a man’s brain for a minute. It is entirely possible for your husband to be madly in love with you and to have a heart and mind that longs for you all day, but to come home in the evening and never say a word about it. For him, to think and feel that way is what is important, not the verbal expression of the thoughts and feelings. I’m not trying to absolve men of the need to learn how to communicate these kinds of thoughts and feelings; I’m just trying to point out to the ladies the mind-set of the man.

The role of a man in life and in the home requires the ability to react to situations without a display of emotion. Men, by design, need to be less emotional in order to be the covering they are called to be. Many times this serves them well, but it can also be a source of contention in the home. When men do not verbalize their love for their wives, the wives are left feeling unloved and unwanted, even though that is not what is going on in their husbands’ hearts. So men must learn to make the effort to speak to their wives in a way that reveals their inner thoughts and feelings.

There is a natural distinction between man-versus-woman style of communication. That is God’s way of equipping each for the fulfilling of their roles. That is to be understood and accepted, but not used as an excuse to avoid growing in effective communication. So for now, ladies, just remember that your husband cannot know what you need without you helping him along. And men, thinking loving thoughts about your wife without verbally expressing them to her does not satisfy her needs. If you will learn this now, you will save yourself a world of discouragement.

Excerpt from “Happily… Even After” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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