Marriage Monday: Listening to Your Spouse, Fixer to Listener, Differences Between Men & Women, Hearing Your Spouse, Marriage Monday, Love through Listening

 Marriage Monday: Fixer to Listener

Are you a fixer or a listener? The scenario looks something like this:

Spouse A: “Honey, I just had a horrible day. You wouldn’t believe what happened at work! And then I came home to the kids having problems…” The conversation continues with Spouse A downloaded the difficulties of the day.

Obviously exhausted, they plop down on the couch and wait for reassurance and comfort from Spouse B.

Spouse B: “I think you probably should have just told so-and-so at work to mind their own business. And you know, I’ve been saying that we need to tell those kids they just can’t...”. The conversation continues with Spouse B sharing all the wonderful ideas they have that could fix the difficulties shared by Spouse A.

Todd and I have been there. Spouse A generally is simply wanting to download their frustrations and receive affirmation from Spouse B. And yet, the temptation for Spouse B is to “fix” the problems shared by Spouse A. After all, they have a problem. They shared it. They certainly must want an answer. Otherwise, why would they have shared the problem?

Can you relate to this at all within your marriage? Generally, but not all the time, Spouse A is the wife and Spouse B is the husband. Often times, the wife desires to download her day, without being told how she could fix whatever issues she may have disclosed.

Sometimes, she has actually dealt with the problem already. Other times, she is tired and doesn’t want the “fix” at that moment. And sometimes, she simply wants to unload. She desires for her spouse to listen to her, comfort her, and offer reassurance that he loves her. She wants a shoulder to cry on and an ear to hear.

However, God wired men with a desire to “fix” problems. Frequently when they hear their wife download the difficulties, their brains begin to process and they begin thinking of truly great ways to fix the problems. They want to love their wife by sharing with her the ideas of how they can help to make her situation better.

As wives, we often just think the hubby is rude. Why can’t you just hear me? Love me? And on the opposite side, the guy is not trying to be rude. He is listening. And his method of loving you is to show you the answer to your problem.

Let’s get on the same page. If you’re the spouse who needs to vent and wants the “ear”, but not the “answer”, then let your spouse know that before you download to them.

And if you’re the spouse who is on the receiving end of this download, have your spouse clarify what they would like from you in this situation. A simple, “Honey, would you like me to simply listen to you today or did you want me to think of how I can help you with this situation?”

As with most challenges in our marriages, communication is key. The receiver in this situation could have very good intentions when they offer help. And yet, if Spouse A was coming with the intention of solely wanting to download, the help is only going to raise the already tense mood. Be clear of the expectations before the conversation even begins.

Intentional Tips for Your Marriage this Week:

*Have a conversation with your spouse and ask each other:

Do you feel heard by me when you share about the challenges you encounter during the day?  

            How do you think I can improve on my listening?

Are there times when you feel I try to fix the problem, rather than just tune in and listen to you?

Before you download something to me, do you feel comfortable letting me know that you just want me to listen to you?

Do you understand that in the past when I have shared my suggestions that it was done out of love?

When I have ideas that could help your situation, what would be the best time and manner for me to share them with you?

I hope you have a wonderful week and that you remember to prioritize your marriage...because it matters. 

Do you find Marriage Monday helpful? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Message me. Comment on the blog. And give a “thumbs up” and share. Thank you!

Misty Cramer is an author & speaker who recently released her first book. The Every Day God, 40 Daily Devotions for Walking with God through Everyday Moments, quickly made its way to Amazon's #1 New Release and Best Seller lists in multiple categories. In this book, she authentically shares her own story to remind us all that God has a specific plan, even in the midst of life's messes. She has been married to Todd for 39 years and has five adult sons. While they enjoy their time as "empty nesters" in rural Michigan, they also love visits from their sons, two daughters-in-law, and three granddaughters. Misty sends out a monthly devotion as part of her newsletter, and she'd love to send it along to you. The link to subscribe to the devotion, as well as the link to Misty's book can be found below:

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