I’ve never been married to any other man than my American husband and I often wonder if I’d married a French man or a Greek man, if he would be a better listener.
(Phivos, perhaps you can answer my question?) Do Greek men listen to their wives? Do they pay attention to them when they speak, even at home after thirty years of marriage? Please be honest.
I owe this post idea to Robert the Skeptic and I urge you to jump over and read his. I commented on Robert’s blog asking him:
Are all husbands the same? I have to keep asking my husband, “Are you listening to me?” when he’s reading his novel as I speak. SO RUDE! Sometimes I wonder if that’s just American husbands or husbands around the world.
Robert’s response to my comment:
Gusty Oh I am reasonably confident that that this distraction is in endemic to the male gender world wide. And… what was the other thing you said now?
It occurred to me how I can guarantee an immediate response from my spouse: send a text or write a note or an e-mail. Does that explain the theory that men are visual and prefer a picture, a piece of paper or a computer screen rather than a voice?
What do you think? I know Robert says women are good at multi-tasking, whereas men can only focus on one thing at a time, however, I also think there’s a question of MANNERS.
I found a list of 10 things women really want from their spouse and this is one of them:
It’s really disheartening for a wife to share her thoughts and feelings with her mate and then realize that he didn’t actually listen to her. Your wife wants you to not only listen with your ears, but to listen with your heart.
I did a Google search and came across these answers which I’d like to address with you and see if you agree or not?
Why do some husbands not listen to what their wives say and completely ignore them?
Is it because they are no longer interested in their wives?
1. “It’s called “selective hearing”. Almost every guy has it. But sometimes they just have other things on their mind. Or sometimes maybe they think we talk so much, they tune us out.”
2. “I think its how you approach the person and tone of voice.”
3. “I notice my husband listens more if I use a softer voice and speak rationally rather than making demands. Husbands still want to be men and make decisions. They’re wired that way. They do not like to feel like they’re being told what to do.”
4. “No, its just them being MEN.”
5. “Maybe it’s because some wives never shut up and deserved to be ignored.”
I guarantee you that I’m not one of those women. HAHAHA! My husband is an attorney and I’ve learned through 23 years of marriage to get to the point FAST, or he won’t listen. I’ve met a few women in my life who ramble on about nothing, and I’ve told my husband how lucky he is that I’m not one of them, hoping that will make him listen. I agree, a woman who repeats the same thing over and over to get attention, can irritate other women as much as men. Thankfully most of us are not like that.
So are all men the same, or is it just American men?
What do women think? How about men reading this?
It's definitely just men! My husband is often surfing on his phone when I talk to him and it's difficult to know what he hears… One thing I've learnt is never to talk to him in the morning.. then I know for sure that he doesn't hear a thing as he takes ages to wake up!
Pseudonymous High School Teacher says
My husband doesn't listen at all. He's American, but from Hawaii, where I think they listen a little better than where I am from (LA).
Not enough hours! says
The Indian man I married doesn't listen either, or if he does, he doesn't respond.
I think it comes with the Y chromosome.
Robert the Skeptic says
I truly do not believe this is a uniquely American distinction but instead an intrinsic property of "maleness" that transcends national borders. From a purely psychological and sociological standpoint, men clearly rely more on visual and kinetic cues. You women KNOW this and exploit our visual senses with great skill and without mercy.
All kidding aside, I think most men wish that women would "cut to the chase" and be more direct in their communication. I can recall my father telling my mother: "Mary, I ask you what time it is and you tell me how to make a watch".
If your communication is conveyed through action, the message is more likely to be understood. Men appreciate action; for example, in any nation on earth, when a woman comes up and plants a kiss on her man, the message is clearly unambiguous. Believe me; you have our attention.
At our house, the mornings are usually our communication time – one of us gets the coffee and we sit in bed and brief each other what will be transpiring that day. Then, while my wife is in the shower, I write down on the calendar what she just said… hey, I am a man – I know my limitations.
I'm not naming any names but one side of the sex pool do zone out when listening. LOL
Ballerina Girl says
Ok, I am sorry, but I get so tired of women crying over the same things..I also get tired of the typical men bashing that I see in the US quite a bit…commercials mostly right now, since I live overseas.
Truthfully, a lot of it has to deal with timing, in my opinion. If your husband is reading his novel, why are you trying to get his attention to talk about something that needs his attention? It is probably the wrong timing, unless it is something urgent.
My husband is not American, and he is also a lawyer. I understand the point you are making about not beating around the bush, and babbling.
What I have found is that if it is more than a week away, it is useless to remind him of an appointment. If it is something like asking his opinion on when to buy airline tickets…just do it. Don't ask him if a Tuesday or Wednesday is better, just make the decision.
Sorry to be on a soap box, and I am sure some people (women) will not like what I have to say…
but remember, I am sure a husband did not go into a marriage one way, and many years later decide not to listen. It's all in the timing…
Thanks for letting me spout my opinions….
Miss Footloose says
Ballerina Girl, I'm with you. I'm Dutch, my husband is American, and I have no complaints. He does not tune me out, but I don't babble, and I choose my timing. After decades of marriage, we still have good talks.
Sonia, you started something here 😉
I know I will not get a response from Doc if I try to talk to him when he is at the computer or reading something. I do think selective hearing is a male trait, not just American men. I agree with Ballerina Girl that timing is important. I have also found that it works well if I mention something briefly at first and go back later for a full discussion.
I am married to a Motswana man and he has listening problems. What I do now is just not talk. That makes him very nervous but I've told him I can't talk if there is no one to listen. That has helped.
Marcia Sargent says
A recent scientific study says men really do listen with only half their brain! See: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=119766&page=1
Phivos Nicolaides says
Generally speaking, I am not sure whether Greek men listen to their wives! According to some surveys one of the big problems in the relations is the lack of proper or adequate communication. This however is subject to the personality, education and the character of the individual. Personally, I have an acceptable level of communication with my wife, Popi.
The thing that gets me,is that when I do tell him something (and he doesn´t listen), and somewhere along the line he needs that info, he asks me why I didn´t tell him that?
Drives me nuts!
My husband is fine to have a conversation in the morning. It's after work, when I know to leave him alone to decompress.
@Pseudonymous H S T
Perhaps it's when you live in a slower pace environment that everyone has more time.
@Not enough hours
Sounds like you may be right.
@Robert the Skeptic
I love that quote from your dad. So if I want my husband to listen, it's easy. I just kiss him, then start talking. OK, I shall try that. I do like to kiss and hug a lot, so that won't be difficult. Thanks for the post idea.
I encourage everyone to express their views and I'm happy you did. I agree, whenever I'm outside the U.S., I see the U.S. differently. I did not want this to be a male bashing post, as I love my husband and like to talk to men. My husband loves to read, which is fine, but sometimes, he forgets to interact for hours. Even during dinner, he remains very quiet. I was raised in France where everyone shares conversation at the dinner table, and still cannot get used to silence when eating. I guess it's cultural, not just a male thing.
Please post about the commercials you mentioned and "the typical male bashing." Perhaps you already have. Shall come over and check.
I'm curious if your husband still travels a lot. I hope I didn't start a war with my post.
Thanks for sharing your approach. Good advice.
And that's why you write? To get your daily dose of words out. I know what you mean.
I shall look at the article. Sounds interesting.
Thanks for your honest answer. I thought you were going to tell me all Greek men are wonderful listeners.
I thought you were kidding but I just read the article and found it so interesting, especially if they can prove that after a stroke, women can recover more speech than men because they use both parts of their brain when listening.
I've had that one happen to me too. Thanks for pointing this out.
Murr Brewster says
My trouble is the things I say go directly to vapor as soon as they leave my face. One minute later, even I don't know what kind of point I was trying to make.
Gramma Ann says
I kind of settled the problem by example, when I am reading, or on the computer, and he comes in the room, I shut the book, turn off the computer and give him my 100% attention. Now when I want to talk to him about something he's gotten the point from my example and he stops whatever he is doing and listens, at least most of the time. If he doesn't I get up and walk out of the room. Then he asks what did you want? And I ask; "Do you have time to listen or are you busy at the moment?" He always seems to have the time to listen. But, we have been married 52 years, so we can almost finish each others thoughts… hee, hee
Smita Tewari says
I think, men globally are the same! Not quite there with us!
Read John Gray's 'Men live on Mars, Women on Venus' to understand the different psyches1
And missing u on my blog…
LZ Blogger says
In case you are keeping score… the are ALL the same! ~ jb///
All men are wired the same way. It has been scientifically proven that a man can only concentrate on one thing at a time. If he is reading or watchin' the tube and we try to talk to him…his brain really can't handle it.
Women are wired differently. We multitask, we can have six thing goin' at once and still help with the homework. That's why we can care for the kiddos.
Just Venus and Mars baby!
God bless and have a Terrific Tuesday!!!