It's tip time!
Sometimes great lessons come from words of wisdom spoken by a mother, grandmother or friend, but other times great lessons come from the sting of first hand experience. This lesson is the first hand experience stinging kind.
Many years ago, I was upset with Carl regarding something. It is funny in hind sight that I cannot even remember what I was upset about. Since I was upset, I decided to pick the perfect time to address the issue with him. The perfect time apparently was after we were already in the bed and tucked into the covers. In the silence and darkness of the bedroom, I began to express my concerns.
I began to give Carl all the background information he might need to truly understand the situation. He did not say a word which is not unlike my contemplative husband, Carl. However, I began to not hear the words of apology or comfort I wanted, but the sound of snoring instead. Yes! He had fallen asleep while I was talking. I couldn't help but feel hurt and angry. If he really cared about me and my feelings, he wouldn't have done that right?
The next morning, I expressed how upset I was about him falling asleep on me while I was talking. He said words which changed the way I communicate with him. He said, "Well, I was wondering if you were ever going to get to the point." Ouch! I had two choices. I could react with something like "How dareth ye speak to the queen in such a way. Off with your head!" The other way I could react is to realize he was right.
He was right. I had picked a horrible time to bring up an issue which needed upright discussion in the light of day. Ephesians 4:26 (ESV) says, "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger." I believe this is true, and so I should have brought it up way before bed or set aside a later time to talk about it. I also gave him way too much detail!
This is the point I want you to get today. We as women, as a general rule, like to give lots of details. We think the details matter. All the background information builds the story up and is important. When I am talking with my girlfriends, I want to give and receive as much of the background information as possible. The more the better, in my opinion. With most men, however, they just want you to get to the point. The least amount of information they need to understand the situation the better. Examples of what I am talking about are below.
What Women Want To Say
Oh, I was going to tell you. Do you remember last year when we went to that wedding in July? No, you remember. It was downtown at that church with all the stained glass windows. Yeah, Steve and Jessica were their names. They had the most beautiful wedding cake I had ever seen. I totally forgot Steve's mom said at the wedding that we could bring our kids out horse back riding at their farm. We should do that now that the weather is getting nice. Anyway, Jessica just had a baby boy, and I told her mother I would bring them a meal tonight. Jessica's mom, Cindy, is in that Wednesday morning bible study with me. They live all the way clear across town so it will probably take me about an hour round trip to get there. I made double of what I am taking to them so we can eat when I get home.
What Men Want You To Say
Tonight, I am making a meal for a lady Jessica from church who had a baby. I will be home in about an hour so we can have our family dinner.
Communication is key with your spouse. Communicate everything you need to communicate, but realize that sometimes the way most men are wired is for you to cut to the chase. Start a conversation when it is a good time to talk or set up a time to talk, if the matter is not urgent. Keep it simple and get to the point with your man. He will appreciate it.
It could be argued that Carl should have stayed up to hear what I had to say that night, but in hindsight, I was able to see the majority of blame was mine. The sun did go down on my anger that night, but I learned a valuable lesson that I have never forgotten. I need to choose good times to talk, cut out pointless details if they are not needed, and give more detail if he asks or wants it. It has made for better communication for the both of us!
"Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent." Proverbs 17:27-28, ESV