What is Her Heart Saying that Her Words Can’t?
Science has proven that a man and woman’s brain thinks differently, yet we sometimes expect our spouse to still think like we do.
Women don’t want ‘fixers’ … they want ‘listeners’.
So when your wife is feeling down, how do you respond to her?
Believe it or not gentlemen, a woman’s brain works just as hard as yours if not harder. While you are thinking pragmatically, we are not only using our brain to think – but we are also using our heart. God made a woman’s mind to process more than facts – she processes feelings too – at the same time.
That is not to say that men don’t have feelings, because they do. They have just been taught or they instinctively push their feelings aside. They want the bottom line, while women take a trip around the world in 80 seconds, juggling so many emotions and scenarios as if to prepare themselves, when sometimes it may not be necessary, but it gets them through (or ready for) any crisis that may come up.
As mothers, caregivers and nurturers, we are geared to empathize with others. It’s not that we want drama, but sometimes we foresee what is ahead and we want to be ready.
Men may feel threatened by this superhero quality we have because they are geared to want to be the ones who save the day. They want to be the one that holds it all together.
In reality – I believe it takes both. I think that is why it is God’s perfect design the way He created men and women in being helpmates.
I need my husband for the thinker he is. Lord knows, that I am not very good with numbers (though I know a lot of women who are, it is not my strong suit) and I appreciate the businessman he is, the one who takes care of the taxes, juggling finances or making big decisions …as I am sure he appreciates me for keeping the household, the small petty stuff and family relations together.
But even though we have our certain roles (and I agree that every couple’s roles may be different) I think sometimes we forget what each other can offer ‘outside’ of those roles.
For instance, I am not knowledgeable in my husband’s businesses to have a conversation about it the way he would, but I can keep up with his conversations and offer my opinion from a different perspective. I can encourage him and I can tell him things are going to be okay. I can pray for my husband.
But… that is what women are geared to do… we encourage, we empathize, we listen and we are supportive even if we can’t do a thing about it. We cannot expect a man to do the same for us. It is not how they are wired.
There may be a few gentlemen who have learned the ins and outs in a relationship with their wife enough to know that their wife doesn’t want answers, or for him to fix anything — she just needs him to listen… to care… to give her a hug. Those men will save themselves petty discussions that are a waste of both of your time.
When a man is on the defense and thinking his wife just laid problems in his lap to solve on top of the ones he already had, it doesn’t help the situation for him to argue his point or to tell her she is ‘worrying over nothing’… that response only makes her feel that you don’t understand or care that she is having a hard day.
Even if you don’t understand why she is upset, if you will just bypass all the ‘bottom line’ stuff where you think she wants answers and instead, you just listen… just let her know she has been heard, then you will have given her exactly what she really needed when her words (which are many) aren’t saying what she needs.
If you think she wants you to fix what she is venting about and you really cannot fix it, you begin to feel as though you let her down and that makes you feel worse and you get in your own funk. You send the message to her that she doesn’t have a right to be human and have a bad day or else it will cause you to have a bad day and she feels like her feelings don’t matter.
All a woman wants when she feels overwhelmed, down in the dumps, or feeling as if she isn’t succeeding in things she is trying to accomplish – is her own battle. It is something she must work out on her own.
But it is so very important to let her know that you are in her corner simply by offering prayer for her, offering her a hug, or tell her you believe in her and you know she will work it out.
Then, you have stepped outside of your normal gender role where you are a problem solver and you did something that took just a little effort – you empathized with her.
You didn’t have to spend money, you didn’t have to get your tool belt, and you didn’t even have to bring her flowers. Pretty simple, huh?
Women have this bad habit of beating themselves up sometimes. They get down when they see extra weight come on, when they see a new wrinkle, when they get behind in housework or at their job. They have already done a number on themselves by the time you actually hear about it – that they really do not need more bad feelings. They need a hug. They need an “atta girl, you can do it.”
And just the support and empathy that you reach in your pocket to give her, will definitely reap reward. She will realize that yes, she must work these things out that are bothering her – by herself, but… you care. You understand. You listened.
And now she has the power that was in her all along … because someone believes in her and instead of tearing her down or pushing her away – you come in like the hero. You are letting her know that she also wears a cape and can handle these things that have bogged her down.
You love your wife, so be genuine when you show her support. There is that fine line of telling her, “You can do this! I believe in you” and “That is all you babe. I have nothing to do with this – I have enough to worry about!” Be sure, your heart is genuinely telling her you believe in her and she will believe in herself.
The way to hear her heart … is to listen with yours.