Listening involves more than hearing. Listening is empathizing and understanding at the heart level not just intellectually. When wives feel not listened to, they can feel neglected and unappreciated. We all need emotional and physical connection with our spouses. This disconnect can affect the relationship in negative ways.
Why do so many husbands struggle to listen? Is this something they are born with or is it something they learn later in life?
Whatever the reason, it is an important skill husbands can learn to improve. The more a husband improves his ability to listen, the greater chance he'll have of connecting. The more a husband connects, the happier the relationship will be.
Three Tips To Help Improve Your Listening
Below are three tips that as a marriage counselor and couples therapist I have suggested for the couples I work with. Practicing these tips is what is needed. The more you practice the better you will become AND the more effective these skills will be.
#1: Set Aside Intentional Time to Listen to Your Wife
With all the hustle and bustle of life, it's easy to get lost in distraction. You're going to have a difficult time listening with the kids yelling or the TV blaring in the background.
Dr. John Gottman, psychologist and well known couples counselor and marriage therapist, writes about the importance of setting aside intentional time to talk. This does not have to be three hours. 5-10 minutes of day of intentional time can be a real game changer.
Schedule the time if you have to. Make sure it's during a time where each person will be clear and energized. Clear any distractions. Intentional time can be a wonderful way of reconnecting in the relationship.
#2: Practice Empathy Instead of Advice-giving
Often, wives simply want to be heard and may not be looking for advice. If they want advice, they will tell you!
A wife is also often not asking her husband to "fix" anything. When she says she wants you to listen to her she is requesting that you empathize with her situation.
What is empathy? Empathy is looking out someone else's window. Empathy is entering someone else's reality and imagining what that would feel like.
Empathy is not something that men always feel comfortable with. A lot of men want to offer solutions and move on. Empathy requires patience and perspective.
Empathy helps your wife know that you are trying to understand her rather than fix her or her problem. This is a powerful skill that can enrich your relationship.
#3: Follow-Up With Action
Wives know you have listened when you follow-up with some sort of action. It's easy to hear your partner's perspective and then forget what they have shared.
Follow-up signals to your partner that you heard what they said and that you value it. If your partner stresses about work, you could follow-up with massage or night away from the kids. If your wife complains about a hurtful comment, you could follow-up with a compliment.
It's very important that you match your partner's words with an action that signals you care. Sometimes your partner will share something that you can't do much about. A fight with a friend or an irritation at work. The appropriate follow-up would be to ask her about her feelings a day or two after the initial conversation.
Begin Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Katy, Tx & Houston
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our marriage therapists and couples counselors can help. Marriage counseling or couples therapy can help you strengthen your relationship and deepen your connection as a couple.
If you are experiencing challenges in your relationship, a couples therapist or marriage counselor can help you deeply improve your communication. Strong communication is a foundational element in a strong relationship.
If you are ready to start your journey in couples counseling or marriage therapy, Katy Teen & Family Counseling can help. All you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Let us help you fall in love all over again!
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Serving Katy, Tx & Houston
Below are a few of the other counseling services we provide for teens, families, and young adults in Katy, Tx and Houston:
Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Quique Autrey is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and an experienced couples therapist and marriage counselor.
Quique also has a passion for helping teens, young adults, and adults who may be on the Autism Spectrum. He has a talent for connecting with and helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
If you're ready to start your healing journey in marriage counseling or couples therapy, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.