Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page
As a pastor, the biggest complaint I hear from women is, “My husband just won’t talk to me.” Why is that scenario so common? Men and women are very different. He doesn't have the same emotional intensity that you do. Men are often taught to suppress their emotions - big boys don't cry.
Researchers took little girls and little boys between the ages of 4 and 6 and hooked them up to microphones and studied them as they played on the playground. With little girls they found out that 100% of the things that came out of their mouths were verbal. They were either talking to another person or talking to themselves. Ladies grow up and still do this. I hear a conversation in the other room and ask, “Honey, who are you talking to?” “Oh, it's just me talking to myself,” she says.
When our two girls were little they liked playing with dolls. They enjoyed having the dolls talk to each other. One time they handed the dolls to me so I would do the same thing and honestly I didn't know what to do. I was at a loss.
Little girls love to talk and they grow up and become women. One study found that the average woman speaks 20,000 words per day with gusts up to 30,000!
When they took 4-6 year old boys and put microphones on them they found that 60% of what came out of their mouths were verbal, and 40% (nearly half) of what came out of their mouths were sounds like vroom. We guys still do this. We drive down the road and go vroom, vroom. The study found that the average man only speaks 7,000 words per day. She speaks generally three times as many words per day as he does.
In general, little girls are better in conversing and communicating than little boys. This becomes a lifelong habit. Your wife has a much greater need for conversation than you do.
Here’s how it plays out. He goes to work and uses up all his words at work. She goes to work and uses up just some of her words. She arrives home before he gets there and is loaded for bear! She's got a few thousand words saved up. He walks in the door looking for peace and quiet and she is looking for conversation.
“Honey, how was your day?” she says. “Ugh,” he says. “What did you do?” she asks. “Worked” he says. “Who did you see?” she asks. “Roy,” he says. No wonder we miss each other. We need to learn to meet in the middle. We must understand the gender, emotional and biological differences. Gentlemen, please understand that she needs your conversation. I know work is hard but learn to have something left for her when you get home so that the two of you can communicate.
Conversation is essentially verbal attention. He values what she has to say so he’s giving her attention. When you sit, talk, listen, interact and look your wife in the eye, regardless of what she’s talking about, it means you’re interested in her, her day, and especially how she feels.
Talking and listening to each other is the beginning of communication but the need for conversation is not met by simply talking. It is met when the conversation is enjoyable for both persons involved. Unless conversation is mutually enjoyable, a couple is better off not talking to each other at all.
Characteristics of Good Conversation
1) Using it to inquire and discover each other
2) Focusing attention on topics of mutual interest
3) Letting spouses talk about themselves
4) Balancing the conversation so both have an equal opportunity to talk
5) Giving each other undivided attention while talking to each other
Conversation fails to meet this need when...
1) Demands are made
2) Disrespect is shown
3) One or both spouses become angry
4) When it is used to dwell on mistakes of the past or present
5) When one spouse goes into problem solving mode
It wasn’t difficult talking to each other during your courtship, was it? That's a time of information gathering. Both partners are highly motivated to discover each others' likes and dislikes, personal background, current interests and plans for the future. But after marriage, many women find that the man who would spend hours talking to her on a smart phone, now seems to have lost all interest in talking to her, and spends his spare time watching television or hanging with his friends.
If your need for conversation was fulfilled during courtship, you also expect it to be met after marriage. And if you fell in love because your need for conversation was met by your spouse during courtship, you risk falling out of love if that need is not met during marriage.
So let’s talk to each other and let’s have fun doing it!