Matt at Must Be This Tall to Ride, continues his on going discussion on marriage with a blog post called, Cracking the Code: 7 Ideas That Would Have Saved My Marriage
I really appreciate the way he has dug into these issues and his willingness to delve in and consider them from a wife’s perspective. He has indeed, “cracked the code” on how many of us feel and it is well worth the read.
I wish to elaborate on just one part of what he said,
“In conclusion, you should assume when your partner tells you something that she/he is telling you the truth. Denying the validity of your spouse’s claims will ensure your divorce close to 100-percent of the time.”
This fits in well with what has recently been my on going theme, always listen to your wife. But don’t just listen, hear what she is saying to you. Just the act of listening is acknowledging that she is an actual human being, someone who is smart and sane and not just crazy and emotionally driven.
Recently I clashed with a few bloggers who were suggesting the precise opposite, never listen to your wife, she’s just attention seeking, being manipulative, having un-godly tantrums, do not ever be moved by your wife’s feelings etc, etc. Sorry, but that’s just appalling, abusive, and also a recipe for disaster. And divorce.
I actually adore men, flaws and all, and seldom focus on their weaknesses, but that is one I often observe, even in my hubby. There can be a kind of arrogance, a sense of entitlement, that does not respect women’s feelings, that assumes we are just being irrational and therefore probably crazy and not worth listening to.
I remember being emotionally overburdened when the kids were small. I also remember how hard it was to make hubby understand. I was left sputtering about how the house was a mess, as if what I wanted was for him to help me with the dishes. It wasn’t about the dishes at all, it’s never really about the dishes, it’s about the mental and emotional weight women often bear. Especially moms with small children. It is the mental real estate our brains must traverse and conquer each and every day, and how men often just sit there, their brains happily parked in their empty box, watching TV or playing video games.
Do women envy the empty box men seem able to park their brains in? Yes, I suspect we do. To never have to know exactly where someone’s favorite socks are hiding, to not be pre-emptively concerned about a million future disaster scenarios that haven’t even occurred yet, that is the stuff of our dreams.
Again, it is not really about the dishes, he could jump up and do the dishes, it is really about the fact that he does not have to think about the dishes. When this happens, women wind up sounding like mothers, nagging little boys, trying to remind him about all the things that need to be thought about. That totally kills desire and romance because men are not attracted to their mothers anymore than women are attracted to their children.
There’s no gentle way to say it, but when women become emotionally over burdened, 95 % of the time it is because a husband has not stepped up and taken responsibility. Power loves a void, a vacuum, and what he doesn’t handle, she will pick up. If she has to pick up too many of these emotional things and he just sits back and lets her, she’ll begin to feel alone, abandoned, resentful, disrespected. Erased. He doesn’t listen to me. I don’t really exist. Why am I even with him?
Women are notorious for picking up things that don’t or shouldn’t belong to us. We can make it look really crazy too, as in, “I just wish you’d help me mop the floors,” and the moment someone tries to help, we’ll jump back in “nevermind, you don’t even know what you’re doing.”
I don’t wish to imply that men are exclusively to blame here or that women never act crazy. I talk a lot about symbiosis, about the cause and effect often going on between men and women in relationships. Our culture has also done a grave disservice to us all by not teaching men how to be men and women how to be women, but to instead reject all the things that make us unique.