I’d want a shoulder to cry on, but my husband would give me a list of solutions!
In the 1990's, the book Men Are From Mars and Women are From Venus spent 121 weeks on the bestseller list. It's not a Christian book. In fact, the author is into Eastern religions and is twice divorced. But the book hit a nerve with millions of people by pointing out the obvious: men and women think differently.
God designed us differently...He created male and female...and there are some huge differences between us.
Not everyone fits the pattern, but women typically process things by “thinking out loud”—talking through every thought and feeling. There’s nothing wrong with this if the process helps us gain perspective and isn't simply complaining.
But men are typically problem-solvers who skip the listening and sympathizing part and go straight for the kill. They want to become our “answer men.”
When I finally realized the obvious--that my husband and I think differently, I started warning him of what was coming:
“I just want a listening ear,” I’d start out, “No answers, just some sympathy while I talk this through.”
As simple as it sounds, this works!
My husband still operates in the "automatic problem-solving response mode"—but when I remind him, he tries to shut it down so he can listen and let me process. It helps him to know that he doesn't have to come up with a solution--he can actually relax. And it helps me to know my processing won't be repeatedly interrupted by an answer to a problem that may not be the problem at all.
Scripture says: "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" Ephesians 4:2.
- So let's communicate our desires humbly, gently and patiently--helping our husbands understand where we're coming from (not from Venus but from bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh*)
- Let's bear with our husband's inborn tendency to problem-solve
- Let's make it easy for our husbands to bear with our tendency to think out loud
* Genesis 2:23
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