My wife and I express our feelings in different ways. We get tangled in them. Can you help?
If you’ve found that you and your spouse have regular misunderstandings, you’re not alone! We’ve seen time and again, over years of research, that men and women simply do not communicate in the same ways.
For many couples, it’s too easy to get “tangled up” in a web of miscommunication. In today’s video, we address some of the challenges that married couples face when it comes to expressing themselves clearly and effectively.
Our ability to put feelings into words largely depends on our gender. As a general rule, men don’t tend to use many words to express their feelings, whereas women often draw on a rich vocabulary to describe their emotions.
Because men don’t tend to articulate what they’re feeling in many words (if any), women may form the false assumption that their husbands are deliberately withholding information from them. They might project their own feelings onto their husbands in lieu of a satisfying verbal exchange about their current emotional state.
What wives don’t understand is that men like to process their feelings over time, letting them marinate for a while.
Husbands can easily neglect to help their wives feel validated by listening to them talk and describe how they feel. Since men don’t generally need to feel validated by talking through their feelings, they often have a difficult time staying in touch with this need their wives have.
It’s critical for husbands and wives to be aware of this disconnect in their communication styles. Having patience with one another is critical to overcoming obstacles to clear, effective communication–and ultimately, greater intimacy.
What communication struggles have you and your spouse overcome? Are there still areas you struggle with? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.