When a Man Listens to a Woman

By David Clarke
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If you don't listen to your wife, she might not feel loved. She could feel frustrated, hurt and rejected. Fortunately, there are practical things you can do to stay focused while your wife is talking.

Listen to a broadcast about communication in marriage with Dr. David Clarke.

I was sitting with my wife, Sandy, and listening to her talk. She was moving from one topic to another faster than I could keep up. About 0 minutes into our conversation, I suddenly lost track of what she was saying and zoned out.

I knew I was in trouble when I heard Sandy say, “Are you listening to me?” I covered my internal panic by calmly replying, “Of course I’m listening to you.” Sandy then uttered those five terrifying words: “What did I just say?”

I couldn’t tell her because, well, I wasn’t listening. I spent the next 20 minutes apologizing for not paying attention and for lying about it. Not pretty. And not fair to Sandy.

Guys, I’m guessing you may have found yourself in a similar situation from time to time. And you know that when you space out, it’s not necessarily because you’re bored or disinterested; you’re just wired differently than your wife. But if you don’t listen effectively to your wife, she might not feel loved by you. She could feel frustrated, hurt and rejected. Fortunately, there are practical things you can do to stay focused while your wife is talking.

3 strategies for better listening

Schedule 30-minute “couple talk times” three times a week.

Have these conversations in a private, quiet place in your home — just the two of you. No kids, no pets, no phones and no TV. Without distractions, you can genuinely listen to the most important person in your life.

Actively listen by using reflection.

Respond by including key words and phrases your wife has used concerning content (what she is saying) and emotion (how she is feeling about what she is saying). By doing this, she will feel heard and not just listened to.

Process what she says and respond.

Take note of one or more topics from all she shares, think about them and give her a response at the next couple talk time. By sharing what you think and feel about these topics, you’ll show real interest in her and you can take your communication to a deeper level.

Discover the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Marriage

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© 2017 by David Clarke. Used by permission.

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Learn How to Cherish your Spouse and Have a Deeper Connection

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? What does it mean to cherish your spouse? Couples who cherish each other understand that God created everyone different, and as a result they treasure the unique characteristics in their spouse. We want to help you do just that. Focus on the Family has created a free five-part video course called "Cherish Your Spouse". In this video series, Gary Thomas will help you have a deeper level of intimacy and connection with your spouse.
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About the Author

David Clarke

Dr. David Clarke is a licensed psychologist with a full-time practice in Florida, where he does extensive counseling with individuals and families. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in Portland, Ore. Dr. Clarke has authored nearly a dozen books including Cinderella Meets the Cave Man, The Six Steps to Emotional Freedom and A …

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