Be the Smart Wife’s Carin Goldstein – a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – gives tips on keeping the love alive (no matter how tired you both are!).
It’s 8:00 PM and your day of caring for everyone’s needs (aka your kids) has now ended. The kids are (hopefully) asleep and the final dirty dish from dinner has been put away. You walk to the living room looking for your husband because you are more than ever craving adult conversation.
So you find your husband on the couch, looking VERY focused on what he’s watching on TV. However, you are like a train on a train track wanting nothing more than to share with your husband about your day and to hear about hi. And why wouldn’t you? It’s not like your kids have been hanging out with you all day saying, “Hey Mommy! How’s your day going and tell us what’s on your mind!” Unless you were high on some psychedelic drug, that would more than likely NOT happen.
As your hubby lounges in his “DVR Zone,” you walk up to him and say, “Hi! What are you doing??” Silence. You hear nothing. “Honey? Did you hear me?!?” you exclaim. “Huhhh??” he answers as if you’ve pulled him out of some hypnotic trance (which you have). “I didn’t hear you,” he moans. At that point you wonder why even bother because you feel like he’d rather make love to his DVR than engage with you. “Never mind,” you answer and you walk away feeling completely disconnected from your husband.
As I hear many women complain about the above, here’s where you may be tripping over yourself: Men by nature are kinetic. Meaning they connect to ideas through motion and being physical whereas women connect in a more verbal way. In fact, research shows that men have a higher capacity to learn when they are physical and moving. So if you want your husband to listen to you, then you need to connect with him in a way that he biologically can and here’s how:
• TOUCH – We underestimate the power of touch. Between face book, twitter, texting, skyping, etc., people are less and less in the same physical vicinity let alone touching each other. When was the last time you walked up to your husband and just grabbed him and gave him a BIG bear hug? Your relationship definitely benefit from more touch.
• GO ON A WALK WITH HIM – I’m not kidding. Any form of physical activity (whether it’s a hike, a walk, hanging out with him while he’s golfing, etc.) will allow him to be more available to listen to you than if you’re sitting there trying to make eye contact with him. Remember, they’re kinetic creatures.
• LISTEN – When you ask your husband a question, listen to him and don’t interrupt him. If it “seems” like he’s finished the answer, wait even a minute longer, because he may have more to share with you. If he’s taking more time than you would to answer, it means that he’s really giving your question thought. If he’s respecting your question, then respect his process in how he answers you.
• RESPECT HIS ROUTINE – If you know that he always puts his car keys on the key rack, then don’t accidentally leave them on the kitchen table after needing to borrow his car. Honoring a man’s routine helps him to feel connected to you and loved by you.
• SEX – Haven’t you noticed how much better the conversation is AFTER sex compared to before sex?? Enough said.
So the next time he’s lounging on the couch with his eyes locked to the TV, rather than sitting away from him, sit down next to him and get really close. Touch his arm, put your head on his shoulder and watch his response. My guess is that you touching him may help him to come out of his hypnotic trance and THAT would be a much better moment to talk to him. Remember, he’s not your girlfriend, so be smart about your husband’s biological wiring and if you practice the above you may start to experience a more satisfying connection with your man.
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Carin Goldstein is a wife, a mother, and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 10 years of experience in helping people to improve the quality of their lives. Her advice can be heard on her highly talked about video blog “Be the Smart Wife.” Sign up for her FREE bi-weekly videos at http://bethesmartwife.com and join her facebook fan page at http://facebook.com/bethesmartwife in order to enter this week’s summer contest!