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Getting his attention

You know you want him to listen to you - but how do you actually get him to do it? The answer may be a lot simpler than you think.

So I recently re-read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. If you haven't read it yet - well, I think everyone needs to read it once in their life. [Wondering how to get your husband to take a peek? Leave it lying around, open to a page that talks about MEN. If he falls for the bait, he will be thinking - yes, that's true... duh, of course... who doesn't know that? And then he will turn the page and read something about women, and think: OMG, you mean it's not just my wife???]

Having said that, there is a lot in the book that never really resonated with me. His 'points' system is interesting food for thought, but I never found a practical use for it. I never wrote a 'love letter', and I certainly don't train my husband to do things for me by sending him to buy milk when he's getting ready to go to sleep.

To me, one of the most important things, which every man and woman needs to know, is:

  • A woman needs to be able to talk about her problems, just to get empathy. Men are confused by this, because when they see a problem they are programmed to try to solve it. And we all know where THAT conversation is going, don't we???

So when I advise young women, I teach them that they need to educate their husbands early on in their marriage, about how to listen to a woman. (My husband and I even made up a code for this: if I just wanted to talk without hearing solutions, I would say "I just want to talk" - [or something like that - it's been a loooonnnng time since I had to let him know that directly!].)

When I re-read the book, I noticed something else popping up over and over, that I hadn't quite processed before, which was this:

Men are fueled by appreciation.

Now you're probably thinking, what's the chiddush? Everyone likes to be appreciated.

But it's much more than that.

Since men are driven to be providers, when they get positive feedback for giving they get pumped up. They get a charge. They get excited to do the same thing again. 

I've even heard the feeling compared to getting points in a video game (can you hear it? "YEESSSSS!!!! <fist pump>).

So of course you're going to be trying out this new skill, RIIIIGGHTTT??

But here's something you might not have thought of:

Even if you've been training your husband to JUST LISTEN, he may not understand it - and he may be frustrated that he's "not doing anything".

So next time you vent and he listens, make sure to lay it on thick:

  • "I feel so much better now that I was able to talk about it"

  • "It makes me feel so relieved to know you're there for me"

  • "You're such a great listener. I love being able to just talk to you"

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