Friday, April 5, 2013

Did you hear that?

Most guys are going to go from reading, to scanning, to closing the page within 4 seconds. Bet on it.
Why? We don't care. We don't listen, we don't try to listen, we don't want to be told we don't listen, we assume we did listen even though any rational person could prove we didn't. It's a fact.
I came home once, after spending a day with my dad, and told her all the great stuff I learned from him. He had pointed out how I was letting things get to me, how I was creating stress, how to get past stuff, etc. etc. My wife just stared at me. For about 15 seconds after I finished. Awkward silence. "I have been telling you the exact same thing for years. Why could you hear it from him, but not me?" No good answer. I honestly couldn't remember her ever saying anything like that. Obviously.... She was completely crazy. Either that, or I never actually listened to her.
At our marriage intensive with Joel and Kathy Davisson, they listened to my whining and griping during our private session. I told them how crappy my life had been, how used and ripped off I had been, how hurt I had been, how everything was everyone else's fault and other useful information. Kathy leaned over and told me to let it go. (See the post "Let it go" for the rest of that) I did. Life changed immediately. No joke. I was actually able to just let it go, detach my emotions from my past and move on. Wow. My wife, again, just stared at me. I had done it again. Kathy told me to let it go, I heard what she said, and did it. How could I hear it from one person but not my wife? I honestly didn't remember ever hearing her say that.
But, then something weird happened. As she was telling me how she had told me to let it go, I saw something. As she said "let it go," my brain flashed an image, it kinda covered up what my eyes saw. I promise, this sounds weirder than it actually was. In front of me, my beautiful wife simply said to let it go. My mind translated that into a mean woman, glaring at me with a finger in my face, telling me what to do. Crap. I think that had happened before. I think part of our marriage issues came from me blocking out what she was saying, either on purpose or just as a reaction. My mom is a tough lady with a short fuse, I guess my mind was trying to make them the same person. Yeah, weird. ( I will get into the whole mother/son thing later )
After that, things really changed for me. I can hear her now. When she says she is thirsty, I want to get her a drink. When she mentions her feet hurt, I want to get the lotion and rub her feet. When she says she doesn't like something, I make a note to not let that happen again. When she asks for something, it's a priority. Not henpecked, just listening and proving to her that I am. You are not more of a man that me because you brush her off and laugh about her with your buddies. Making her the most important person in my world and proving it daily makes me all the man she needs. She needs me to prove it to her. She needs her knight to rescue her from everything that traps her. She is not a nag. You just don't listen so she has to repeat it. Can you do it? Can you step up to do what has to be done? Do you love her enough to stop everything, turn yourself towards her and listen to what she says? It does not feel natural at first, trust me on that, but it will. Honestly, who do you really want to impress? The one person in your life who you have vowed to love, honor and cherish? Or the other guys? Seriously. What kind of man is more concerned with what other men think than what his wife thinks?  Make her first. Listen. Love her the way she wants to be loved. She will tell you. She has been trying to tell you. You can have the strongest marriage to your best friend if you will just listen.
Try it.

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