It's Not About the Nail: Hard Marriage Lessons
[tentblogger-youtube -4EDhdAHrOg] If you can't see the video, click here: It's Not About the Nail
I'm going to try really hard to approach this from both sides. But, as a disclaimer, I am a man...
This video was passed around my men's Friday morning Bible study a while back and I just stumbled upon it again. It makes me laugh every time I watch it. I think most guys would watch, laugh and go about their day. But, because we're always trying to learn more about ourselves and deepen the communication within our marriage, I showed it to Kelsey.
In the one minute 42 second video, we both giggled a little and then Kelsey said this afterward... "It's really not that way in real life, right?" Which made me laugh even harder, because (and this is going to sound arrogant) when Kelsey tells me a problem, the solution is usually obvious, but she just doesn't want to hear it. She doesn't want a solution. She just wants me to listen.
A while back, Kelsey was telling me about how she felt rushed in the mornings.
And my brain quickly deduced: she should set an alarm and get up at the same time every day (she used to wait for Rooney to wake her up in the morning via the monitor, and didn't set an alarm).
Her response was, "I don't want to get up earlier."
Two things happen in this situation that both her and I are to blame for.
- I failed to meet the emotional needs of my wife. By jumping to a conclusion and not taking time to acknowledge her feelings of frustration, I've left an opportunity for emotional connection on the table. Furthermore, by giving an answer without offering sympathy fuels her frustrations and drives us further apart.
- She failed to communicate her needs. A simple phrase to preface her story - "I just need you to listen" - would shut down my "fix it" mode and allow me to understand what she needs in that moment. After listening and acknowledging her feelings, I might be able to ask her if she wants any help or advice that might make the situation better.
On both sides, we are terrible at giving up the most valuable commodity we have on this earth... time. It takes time to stop and listen to one another and to truly understand how we are feeling in the heat of the moment. And, it's not about the nail...
Do you struggle with similar arguments?