Let’s have some fun. It has nothing to do with Men being from Mars and Women being from Venus. When you are dating everything makes sense. Communication is at an all time HIGH! There are literally no misunderstandings going on and it gets to the point you were once engaged and even walked down the aisle to marital bliss and then IT happened!!
Did he change? Did you change? No that is not what took place! What happened is the rose colored glasses started to come off and you are pleasantly surprised by each other’s communication style. Get ready for your lesson in “It’s Not What You Say But HOW You Say It!
Scenario 1: Wife is at home steaming because the bills have piled up. When husband comes home how does she handle it?
(a) As soon as he walks in the door, she is all mad and starts fussing – GET on in here so we can talk about these bills! No Hello, how was your day, what would you like for dinner! Immediately she pounces with a negative tone and even BLAME in her voice!
(b) Wife has prepared husband’s favorite meal and when he walks in, she asks how was your day? I know it must have been tough out there today so I prepared your favorite meal. He is able to sit down and relax and let the cares of the day fall off. Later on in the evening, she says Honey I have been looking over our finances and would like your input on a couple of things.
Which one do you think is going to get the solution she is looking for?
Scenario 2: You have been put in charge of managing the money. Lo and behold you discover your husband has been shopping it up which is causing managing marital finances more stress than it should be, what is the answer?
(a) Are you willing to take a deep breath and look at when this change started happening? Why did it start happening? Then once he’s home, review the mutual financial goals for the marriage and ask him how can this be accomplished if the finances are in a deficit? He should respond what deficit? Open door…
(b)You’ve been waiting for him to screw things up so you can say I told you so. Now you can go and get the items you’ve been holding back on. The old if you can do it, I can do it tooo.
You thought you married someone that was on the same page with you when it came to finances and even life. His behavior has started to change and you begin to question do you even know this person.
The truth is we are wired differently when it comes to speaking, listening and interpreting what we hear. What is also true is certain things come into play when speaking, listening and interpreting such as:
(1) What are you doing when someone is talking to you, are you making notes, already thinking about your answer, washing dishes, etc. If they don’t have your undivided attention the response could very well be opposite of what you thought it would be.
(2) Are you asking questions to ensure you are HEARING what the other person is saying?
(3) Are you pre-starting the conversation with your spouse by saying, Honey we need to talk when you get home! Those words are like the kiss of death. That usually means something heavy and negative that they won’t like
(4) Are you presenting it in a negative fashion – all down, sad face and already being defeated. (PRESENTATION IS KEY).
(5) Does your body language match up with your verbal communication?
Before you share the information next time, take all of these factors into consideration. What is it that you want your spouse to do? HOW will you share the message in order to get the desired result?
Don’t turn into a Charlie Brown Episode – Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah – Going in one ear and out the other!