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Posted: May 6, 2011

For over twenty-five years I have been the only woman in the Boardroom and in Manager’s Meetings.  You would think that by now I would know how to phrase my questions and conversations so that I can engage men in productive and meaningful conversations. Think again. Apparently not;I am constantly learning.

This week my question was, “Hey guys, I need to order a cake for the Retirement Party; should we get fancy or funny?” They looked at me as though I was Neanderthal woman, turned away from me and broke into animated conversation with each other about the hockey play-offs. That ended the conversation. If the majority of men are interested in talking about cakes; think again.

In all my blogs about marriage, please know there is always a disclaimer. Keep in mind that I am writing about men in general. There are certain men that if you asked them that same question about a cake, it would be like saying “sic em” to a dog. They would be all over it and probably go and help you pick out a cake and help you carry it home. My following 11 points are for the “husband in general.”

STOP AND THINK, before you launch into a significant conversation with your husband where you are expecting to achieve results.

  1. Don’t bombard your husband with “Johnny hit the neighbor boy today”, the minute he walks through the door after work. Give him the respect and let him merge from his vigorous day job into his home-his sanctuary. (Please see notes about YOU at the end of this blog). My first husband Dick always needed about ½ an hour to read the newspaper or watch the news before he could transition into home life.  At first I couldn’t understand why he was so detached, until we both discovered he needed that alone time. I respected that.
  2. Don’t talk about a strange item on the MasterCard bill at 10:00 at night. In my present marriage we have established a strict boundary; we do not talk about money, credit cards or negative stuff after 10:00. No, Nada, Zero-not allowed. Often one of us might have started this type of conversation, looked at the clock and said, “Oops, Sorry-it’s after 10:00.”
  3. Try not to discuss anything vitally important while he is watching sports or something entertaining on TV.
  4. Don’t expect his eyes to light up when you need suggestions, creative ideas or a strategic plan for your children’s birthday parties, Christmas gift ideas or what color of toe nail polish would go best with a certain outfit. 
  5. Not a good idea to discuss buying new carpet for the family room after you just bought an expensive, unnecessary pair of shoes.
  6. Try not to resolve difficult tension or make life defining decisions while you are both fatigued. Fatigue makes cowards out of us and could creative a whole new set issues.
  7. Give him time to process your questions.  I know you and I can problem solve five things at one time, they need to “think” it through one item at a time.
  8. Please don’t ask him if you look too fat or too thin. Ask your trusted girlfriend.
  9. Don’t be upset with him when he ask you what you would like for Valentines Day, Mother’s Day or your Birthday. He really doesn’t know what to do and he is afraid to get it wrong. Help him; he will really, really appreciate it.
  10. If you have a blended family, be very careful how you approach a negative item about one of “his” children. Think about what it might feel/sound like if he did that to one of “your” children.
  11. For goodness sakes don’t be the ongoing, ultimate drama queen with perpetual tears. Most men do NOT know how to handle tears; they will try to fix your problem just so you will stop crying. Of course we need to cry once in a while, but constant drama will be like crying “wolf” and over time it will lose all sympathy.

Now about YOU, how do YOU fit into this picture?  Remember that women can go out for dinner and spend five hours talking about everything and nothing. I think men must scratch their heads trying to figure out what women can talk about for so many hours.  So try to respect your husband when it comes to how you use WORDS with him.  Think again, if you think he identify with everything you say.

When we said our marriage vows I believe that many of believed that our husband would fill all our emotional needs, and by talking it out, we would be able to fix everything. Here is my nugget for you today. Teach each other your best styles of communicating. Think again if you expect your husband to understand everything about you, give you the right answers and fill your emotional needs. But I believe with all my heart that over time you will be able to connect at such a level that you will almost be able to finish each other’s sentences and “fix” the broken parts of your marriage relationship. Think again if you think it’s easy; it’s hard work but so worth it.


Posted in: Beauty through Boldness, Encouragement, Expectations, Expectations, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, Good Marriage, Hope, Intimacy, Kindness, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pain Pleasure, Resentment, Uncategorized, Understanding each other

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