‘I don’t want you to fix this, I just want to bitch right now.’
With that one statement, the conversations between my husband and I radically shifted once and for all. For years its seemed like he was always trying to fix my problems rather than listening to my problems and being sympathetic to my plight.
Anytime I would have a bad day at work and come home and tell him about my frustrations or irritations he would always offer some well meaning but rather annoying solution to the problem.
Usually the conversation would end with me say something like ‘forget it, you just don’t get it’ while he stood dumbfounded, wondering what in world he had said.
I tried and tried thinking maybe he would get it one of these days and lend a listening ear.
He tried and tried, offering support and advice, all the while wondering what in the world I wanted because his well intended advice was never well received.
My husband isn’t one to sit around talking at length about his problems or feelings. He gets stuff done. If something is broken, he fixes it. If there is a problem, he addresses it.
I, on the other hand, we need a good debrief. I need to feel all the feels, talk about all the feels and then when I’m ready, move towards a solution.
This great chasm between the male and female species caused such confusion and misunderstanding in our marriage.
Why would anyone want to sit around and waste time bitching about a problem when it could just be fix it? He thought. All the while I couldn’t understand why he had this compulsion to fix all my problems, didn’t he realize that I just wanted to talk to him about them?!
But when I finally understood that the male brain is hardwired to solve problems, conquer obstacles and bring resolution, I stopped getting so frustrated at my husbands’ kind hearted efforts to help me solve my problems.
When I finally understood this after years of thinking ‘he just doesn’t get it,’ I started to ask him ‘will you help me’ or ‘will you just listen.’
Those simple phrases have helped to bridge that chasm between our male and female minds.
So ladies, if you just want to bitch, tell the man you want to bitch.
If you want his help, ask him and there’s nothing he would love more than to help his woman.