Yes, 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?