The work day has ended. You pack up, drive home, and pull into the driveway. Being completely exhausted from the long day, you can't wait to get inside and just rest. There it is: your favorite chair. You sit down, turn your favorite tv show on, and breathe...ahhhhhh, finally time to relax.
After about five minutes of blissful heaven, you can hear your wife talking. You can’t understand the words that she is saying, but you know she is saying something. Then it hits you...maybe she's talking to you! Finally, you hear the words as crisp as a red delicious apple on a hot summer day. “Are you even listening to me?” your dear wife says. At this point, you have two options. You can fess up to the crime and feel the wrath of a woman scorned, or you could try and play it cool. I suggest that you admit defeat, and tell her you weren't actually listening. As a working dad, there have been days where I have been the man in my silly example. It’s not something I am proud of, and it’s definitely something I have been working on. By becoming a better listener, I have learned to read my wife better, and it's become easier to know what she's thinking. Here are a few tips that I have learned along the way, and can hopefully help you:
Show you care
As nice as it would be to bring home a dozen roses every week, it would get very expensive, and it's not actually the best way to show her that you care. Listening to her concerns about anything and everything will help more in the long run as she knows she can confide in you. But LISTENING is key. My wife doesn’t always want my advice for some things, because, really, she just needs to vent. I can’t fix all her problems, but she feels better when I listen because she knows I care and am trying to understand her.
Be an active participant
As I just mentioned about conversing with my wife, I like to show that I am actively listening to her needs. For instance, if my wife is standing in front of me, blocking the TV show I'm watching, I don't try to look over her shoulder to watch my show. Instead, I pause the show and engage with my wife. Being an active participant also means that when the questions arise about dinner, I don’t say something like “I don’t know” or “you decide." These comments don't help, and it tells my wife I don't care. If I answer with a good solution, I make a connection with my wife. Being an active participant has helped me understand my wife’s mannerisms and hand signals. That way, if I have a distracting thought, I can still follow what she’s saying because I know her body language.
Work at it
You’re not going to become a master at listening and reading your wife overnight. This will take time and effort on your part. I feel that I have somewhat mastered this skill, yet I know I still need improvement. Continue to work at it and you will have a great relationship.