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CJBAGGINS's Photo CJBAGGINS Posts: 33,383
3/30/14 4:12 P

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Great article!

I wonder if we should, as wives, endeavour to also be quicker to offer suggestions or solutions when our husbands come to us with problems. I imagine that is what they are seeking, right?

cj

What if we woke up tomorrow with only those things that we thanked God for today?


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LIKINMENOW's Photo LIKINMENOW Posts: 51,476
2/11/14 7:45 P

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Thank you Laura for reading this article and your comment

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LAKENDAL's Photo LAKENDAL Posts: 8,168
2/11/14 9:48 A

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Laura. Mio, Michigan

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LIKINMENOW's Photo LIKINMENOW Posts: 51,476
2/10/14 9:21 P

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How Gender Differences Can Build a Stronger Marriage
by Cindy Wright

We’re sooooo different!” We hear this continually as we meet with other couples we mentor who are frustrated because of it. And we’ve said the same thing ourselves about our own relationship.

But what’s “funny” about this is that before marriage, we usually view differences in positive way.

“Before the wedding, differences tend to seem intriguing, interesting, and attractive. A few months or years into the marriage, however, what seemed so inviting in the semi-fantasy world of dating now seems considerably less than idyllic.” (Phillip J. Swihart, a contributing author to the book, The First Five Years of Marriage)

That’s certainly true with us, and we’ve come across a lot of couples that find it true in their marriages as well.

One of the things that frustrates us is the different ways we approach things that disturb us. Dr Leslie Parrott who is the Co-Director for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University talks about how most women like to have their problems understood and sympathized with (before any problem-solving would begin) and men like to get right to it and solve the problem!

The following is something that Dr Parrott wrote to a woman who is perturbed with her husband because she wants him to listen to her without “immediately” telling her what to do to resolve the issue. Leslie writes:

“My husband and I give marriage seminars to couples around the country, and I can’t remember a single one where a woman in the audience hasn’t asked this same question. And most of the time the question is met with rousing applause from other women in the group!

“The truth is, one of the most fundamental gender issues lies in how we approach problem solving. My husband, a psychologist who teaches others about gender differences, still sometimes offers solutions before he’s heard my heart.

“When this happens to you, remind yourself your husband’s giving you exactly what he’d want if the roles were reversed. While, like most women, you’re content merely to ‘explore’ your problem together, he’s hardwired to fix it. So, in a sense, he feels as though he’s giving you a great gift. Next time, say something to him like this:

‘I’m sure you have solutions in mind, but the truth is, I’m not ready to hear them yet. I need to clear my head by understanding my feelings first and talking them over with you while you simply listen. That’s what will energize me to solve this problem.’

Your husband needs to know it’s OK just to listen, that you’re not actually looking for solutions. Why? Because otherwise he feels as though he’s not doing what you really want. This may seem strange to you as a woman, but trust me, that’s what’s going on inside him. He wants to rescue his proverbial damsel in distress. So let him off the hook. Ease his anxiety. Giving him permission to “just” listen will do wonders in toning down his compulsive problem solving.

“Oh, one more thing. If he starts to interrupt with solutions, gently remind him this is a ‘feelings talk’ right now. I’ve used this shorthand with my husband numerous times. I think you’ll find it helpful, too.” (From Q&A column written by Dr Leslie Parrott in Today’s Christian Woman Magazine Nov/Dec. 2006)

Even though both spouses approach life’s problems in different ways, it’s important to find ways to bridge those differences and make them work for your marriage rather than against them.

In the above case, the man will learn how to be more sensitive to his wife’s need (once he knows he isn’t expected to “fix it”) and the woman will learn to work with the differences between her and her husband so they’re both feeling better about how things should be handled.


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