Men and women have different ways of communicating. Once you understand how to speak your beloved’s language, life will be a lot smoother!
My wife asked me, “Does my hair look better?”
The context of the conversation was that the COVID lockdowns had prevented her from going to the hairdresser to get her regular haircut. This is a grief to a woman, let alone the feeling of not looking her best.
Being a man, I made a simple answer to her question. “It looks better than it did before!”
Immediately she retorted rather heatedly, “Are you saying it didn’t look any good before?” My logical mind sprang into action — big mistake. “No, I did not say you looked bad before, I simply said you look better now.”
To further explain: over the past several months, when my wife’s hair was getting longer and longer, we had several extensive conversations about her hair length. I had reluctantly agreed with her that shorter hair suited her better.
This was her assertion, and as my wife’s chief fashion consultant, I felt she had a point. So, when she responded in such a way, I pulled the car over to the side of the road (we were driving at the time) and immediately went into logic overdrive — second big mistake.
“You know I love you. You asked me a simple answer and I gave a simple answer. Your hair looked good before, but I was answering the question you asked. It looks better now than before.”
My male ego was becoming more and more self-assured, while my wife’s feminine ego, from her point of view, was under attack. Suffice to say, our conversation grew more heated and inconsequential.
We were ships passing in the night, and we were not hearing each other properly. To put it mildly, it was not one of our better moments.
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is the title of the worldwide bestseller by Dr John Gray. Men and women are different. Dr Jordan Peterson agrees, but he makes the valid point that men and women are more alike than they are different.
“Men’s brains are made up of little boxes and we have a box for everything… we have boxes everywhere and the rule is, the boxes don’t touch… Women’s brains are made up of a big ball of wire and EVERYTHING is connected to everything… It’s like the internet superhighway and it’s all driven by the energy we call emotion… It’s one of the reasons women tend to remember everything.”
You simply have to watch this clip to get the humour. It is something every man should watch about every six months, including me. If I had, I would have answered my wife differently.
Words of Love
When she asked me, “Does my hair look better”, I should have replied, “Yes, it looks better but it looked good before too.” Emotionally, she was taxed during lockdown. Not being able to go to her hairdresser regularly made that taxing experience even worse. She didn’t need logic — she needed love.
John Eldredge said, “We think you will find that every woman in her heart longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure and to unveil beauty.” The truth is that these three things are heavily connected, as Mark Gungor says.
I have told you of one of my failures — now let me tell you of a recent success. (I could fill this newsletter every week with my failures.)
Recently it was my wife’s birthday, and I went to my local department store, the one with good clothing at good prices. I bought not one, but three items of clothing, knowing that at least one would surely work, and we could exchange them if they didn’t. The long cardigan worked, but the two dresses didn’t, and we both knew it the moment she put them on.
So, the same weekend (this is important, men), we returned to said department store and spent 90 minutes trying on about 20 items of clothing.
This can be difficult for a man because he likes to go into the shop, get what he wants in the shortest possible time and get out again. For many women, it is the experience of shopping that matters and the fact that everything is connected to everything.
Yes, I felt like a shag on a rock in the dressing room, but hey, you get used to embarrassment after a while. The experience of trying to find the right dress is as important as finding the right dress.
The fact that you, her lifelong partner, help in the process is important. Even if you are colour-blind and a fashion novice, you can still help in the great adventure of helping ‘unveil your wife’s beauty’.
The good news is, you will develop unbelievable patience in the process, and that will be a great asset in your marriage and family.
Learn from someone else’s mistakes. Men and women are different, but the difference is wonderful, because everything is connected to everything.
Yours for more connection,