The old wisdom that communication is one of the keys to a good marriage is true enough. What those who dispense such wisdom sometimes forget to mention is that inbound communication is more important than outbound.
The guy cliche that women are incomprehensible is wrong and comes from laziness. Any husband who practices listening to his wife will eventually find that he can indeed follow her thoughts, even if he would never think them himself.
1 Listening is not the art of silence. It is the art of considering. A good listener doesn’t just shut up and let his spouse speak – he hears her words, processes them, and tries to understand what sparked them in the first place.
2 Maintain eye contact with your wife. Looking away while she speaks not only invites distraction, it sends the message that what she’s saying is not important to you. And what your wife says to you is always important – even when it’s not.
3 Imagine that her point of view is yours. Yes, even if her point of view includes purchasing a smaller television. The simple act of pretending to be her for a few moments will not only help you navigate the minefield of spousal communication, it will help you better understand your wife and make you seem like a thoughtful husband.
4 You don’t need to have the last word. Sure, you want to – we all like to declare things definitively – but now that you’re a husband, the more important thing to remember is that you don’t want your wife to feel that you think your thoughts are more important than hers. Letting her have the last word shows that you respect her as an equal.
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