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When a Man Listens to a Woman

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Illustration demonstrating how a man and a woman think differently. The woman is talking about vacation plans, while the man is thinking about sports and camping instead of listening to her.
Ian Murray

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 10 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

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take a free marriage assessment to identify key areas where your marriage could use improvement and the tools that will help you strengthen your bond with your spouse. Take the free assessment!

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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