The Importance of Listening in Marriage
My husband John is a self-proclaimed computer geek. Do you know what that means? Lots of talk about CPUs, ram, network access, accessibility, blah, blah, blah. For years listening to the computer mumbo-jumbo drove me crazy.
#1—I didn’t know what he was saying.
#2—I didn’t care. (I mean, I was still trying to figure out what to make for dinner while he was talking about reconfiguring hard drives … or something like that!)
I would try to be patient when John talked through a computer issue at work, but I’m sure my face displayed the (bored and overwhelmed) truth.
Then a couple of years ago I started to think differently. I realized:
1. John processed problems by talking them out. It truly was a blessing that he turned to me!
2. When I gave John space to talk it helped him decompress. Once he got the words out, they were off his mind and he could spend the rest of the time focusing on our family . . . and me.
3. When I listened to John talk about computer stuff, it became easier for him to talk to me about everything else. As I became a good listener in all areas, he more freely opened his heart concerning the deeper stuff of life. And I’m not the only one who benefited.
The more I started listening (really listening), the more connected my husband felt toward me and the more he opened up to our family.
After being married for nearly 25 years, I still don’t understand the CPU/IBS/ABCDEFG talk, but it doesn’t really matter. I’m thankful that I can meet my husband’s needs.
Recently, I’ve tried to not only been a patient listener, but I’ve also worked to be a thankful listener. God has blessed me with a smart, capable, and hard working husband who trusts me and wants to spend time sharing what matters to him. I’m thankful that we have each other to turn to and talk to. I’m thankful that we don’t have to completely understand each other’s worlds, but we are still available to listen and care.
Steps You Can Take
- Give your husband the room to vent and share about his day.
- Ask how you can be praying for your husband.
- Make it a point to tell your husband know how much you appreciate him.
- Take time to pray for each other.
God, thank you for my husband. Thank you that I can be a sounding board for him in numerous ways. Thank you for this man, and help me to be a thankful listener. Help us to draw closer together as we meet each others’ needs in numerous ways.
Generation NeXt Marriage: The Couple’s Guide to Keeping It Together by Tricia Goyer
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman
How to Get Your Husband to Listen to You: Understanding How Men Communicate by Nancy Cobb & Connie Grigsby
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Beautifully written. Thank you! It’s always nice to be reminded of the simple things.
Tricia Goyer says
Thank you so much for your encouragement, Brandy!
Kathy Miller says
I agree with Brandy – it is a good reminder. I do try to stop what I am doing and thinking so I can listen. It’s not always simple though! Sometimes it takes effort.
Definitely one of my weaknesses! My husband is a cell phone geek and I SUUUUUPER “don’t care.” But, I have grown to practice and practice and practice listening WITHOUT trying to fix the problem. It definitely helps him out, I can tell!