Ladies, Is He Listening or Are His “Husband Ears” Turned On?

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husband ears marriage husband not listening wife not listeningYes, we woman, can and often do talk a lot about what we want and need done in our homes, our careers, and especially our marriages. Some of us more than others, but either way, communicating is most likely what we women tend to do best. That said, is the man in your life really listening, I wonder?

You see, the other day I asked Man how he could forget to grab chocolate chip cookies from Subway when the last thing I said when I left him inside to go next door to Blockbuster was “don’t forget my cookies” and the rest of the conversation went a little something like this:

MAN: Cookies!?! Baby, I didn’t hear you say that.
WIFE: But you responded “ok” and nodded like you heard me.
MAN: Yeah but I had my “husband ears” turned on then.
WIFE: What the hell are husband ears?
MAN: It’s a form of selective hearing we men often use for survival. We tune out most of what you’re saying and listen for key words like, “bills”, “sex”, “trouble”, or “help”.
WIFE: “I’m absolutely speechless. So that’s the problem?”

“Husband ears” he says, huh? It does explain why I’m always repeating myself, but it doesn’t justify him getting so angry when I do. If you’re tuning me out, how can you be bothered when I have to go on, and on, and on? What does he think will happen?

I won’t lie, I started thinking about what life would be like if I turned on my “wife ears” and what words I’d filter out and which I’d listen out for. For starters, I’d never hear the words “cooking”, “laundry”, or “grab me a beer” again. I’d be sure to never miss “shopping” or “extra cash” – ha! Wouldn’t that be nice?

I’m not sure I’m cool with the whole husband ears idea – marriage isn’t a workout class – you don’t get to voluntarily opt out whenever you’re not in the mood to do it. I’m also certain that one of the qualities my husband loves most about me is that I’m attentive and a good listener. Trouble is, he’s not returning the favor in this case. No bueno!

Have you had a similar conversation with your husband? Are you dealing with a case of “husband ears”? Do you turn on “wife ears”? Is there a place for this technique in a marriage?

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19 Responses to Ladies, Is He Listening or Are His “Husband Ears” Turned On?

  1. tmpringl says:

    Well, first I'll just say, it's not just your husband. I don't know if my husband thinks I babble too much about unnecessary stuff (well, actually I know he does) but he listens for "Dinner's ready," "sex," "{our kids' names}," and that's about it. LOL.
    My recent post VIDEO: “Life Is Not Over”

  2. Wendy says:

    I enjoyed reading your hilarious blog! Bet my husband is always using his husband ears whenever I'm reminding him his bills! Thanks for sharing this great blog..
    My recent post Grand Bornand

  3. My husband is the same way…… After awhile you learn to just pick your battles about things. AND guess what I learned to turn on my "wife ears". It works both ways.
    I know now that I have to get my husband's attention about things using various means. For example, when my husband is watching the game on TV I wait for a commercial before talking to him, unless the house is on fire. In your situation, I probably would have said you know I'll need those chocolate chip cookies before we have sex tonight. ;) lol
    On a more serious note, it happens in all marriages. I even think both people are guilty of it.
    My recent post Another Gray Hair! Are you serious?

  4. My husband was going to the store yesterday and asked me if I needed anything. I told him I needed a bag of potatoes. He confirmed and said "I got ya…potatoes." He returns from the store with his gallon of ice cream and no potatoes. Wasn't he the one who asked me what I needed. He turned on his husband ears and totally tuned me out. I guess he just asked because that is what he thought he was suppose to do.
    I should start turning on my wife ears.
    My recent post 3….Really?

  5. Crazyhectic says:

    As much as it sounds funny, it can be so annoying. I think most husband use that more often than they should. I don’t think it’s a good think. They wouldn’t like it if we did it. That’s for sure! – CHB

  6. So hilarious. This always happens…usually with little stuff like cookies. I've learned to shake my head at the whole thing. I'm sure I have a set of wife ears that I put on every now and then : )

  7. and now we have a term for it. husband ears, huh? my husband certainly puts his to good use and i repeat EVERYTHING! i'll have to share this new found information with him! :)

  8. Tiffany says:

    Story of my life. If it's not about sex or money, he didn't hear it.
    My recent post Fun Facts Wednesday

  9. My husband puts his on too. He was putting them on when we were dating! I used to test him to see if he was listening though, and ask him to run back the conversation. If he was actually listening, he would recite it. If he wasn't, he would admit that he wasn't listening. Go ahead and put yours on. As long as you have a filter with important words (although forgetting cookies isn't fun).
    My recent post Wedding Wednesday: My Sister Got Married

  10. Sally Thompson says:

    Wife ears sounds good too! This is a very interesting story.. I will definitely share this with my husband too.. So that he can be aware that i know about his husband ears..
    My recent post express oil change coupons

  11. Selective hearing-itus. I often times throw in, "I won a million" bucks into a conversation to make sure he is truly hearing me.
    My recent post Days Like These

  12. Thank, Q says:

    I do this constantly. LOL! The Mrs. will send me to a restaurant and she's really particular about her order. I always concentrate on the entree and forget something else in the process. Either I forget to bring an apple pie, cookie or even stop by the store for a drink. It's not always "husband ears" that's the culprit for me though. Some times, I try so hard to get everything right that I forget something. We men sometimes feel pressure even where there isn't any simply because the consequences of disappointing your mate aren't always favorable. :)

  13. Darren Miller says:

    Hello Man Wife And Dog,

    This was a real pet peeve of my partner before countless hinting that didn’t work and will never work. I received constant nagging to do things which only produce undesirable results. There is a point where I had to change to improve our relationship, (It wasn’t easy.) Change is never easy, Im happy I did. Great article

  14. Hahaha! Husbands ear… I think that's what the way it goes. Sometimes annoying but sometimes thrilling.
    My recent post The Basics Of RC Cars

  15. Pingback: Using Your Senses To Love Your Spouse | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

  16. LOL… too funny. I can't ever show this page or even mention "husband ears" to my SO, lest he start using that excuse! He does tend to space out or completely forget what I said right after saying it, and our arguments can be extremely tough to resolve sometimes because he recalls things incorrectly.

    Not listening carefully and easily forgetting are all super bothersome to me, but I've learned to deal with it. He doesn't do it intentionally (at least I don't think he does!), and I've learned to find the right times to approach him about certain matters so I get his full attention. I tend to talk a lot anyway (as you can see by my writing c: ) so I can't completely blame him for forgetting things ;)
    My recent post Click one of the post titles above to include it at the end of your comment

  17. Lucy says:

    I think husband ears come into existence when wives tend to talk to much. My husband is always attentive to what I have to say because I'm not talkative :D

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