His vs Hers
In many of life’s scenarios you will come to understand a simple truth. That truth is that there is no substitute for hard earned experience. It teaches what works and what doesn’t work. It also establishes pretty quickly whether or not what you’ve learned in the past is applicable or not to your present circumstances.
Unfortunately, that’s not the experience that we are going to discuss today. What I want you to focus on in this Blog is on what you see, hear, feel and perceive on a day to day basis. After you have pondered on that for yourself I want you to consider what your wife’s experience is on any given day. If you are not in the habit of doing this then hopefully, you will by the end of this blog.
Who are you?
You and I are both products of a culture that encourages and compels us to be concerned solely on what is affecting us and no one else. Empathy is not a widespread because after all, where is the profit in it? Moving forward, I will challenge to you to step outside of yourself and take 360 degree perspective in your relationship and take moments to consider the impact of your decisions on your wife with whom you share space, resources etc.
When you take a wife, you have taken on the responsibility of and consequences of “doing life” with a woman who has a completely different perspective and experience in relationships. Often times, women are on the receiving end of a lot pain, suffering and disappointment. Perhaps you may have been the source of some of this chaos yourself. Regardless if you have or have not, the net result is the same and we have to start accounting for that as men and husbands.
One the major lessons you will learn and need to apply is the idea of empathy. This is relevant for her as well, but we are talking about you as a husband in this context. Empathy focuses your emotional energy towards your wife in an effort to accurately understand what she is experiencing on her side of the relationship. Since so many things go unsaid between couples it is imperative that you learn how to be empathetic with your wife so you can get valuable information to help guide how you interact with her. The benefit to this is that you will be better informed and will make better decisions that will potentially have little to no negative outcomes because of the feedback that empathy has provided you with.
Once you have graduated through the entry levels of empathy you will be at the phase where you can apply it masterfully to benefit your overall marriage. You have to remember that all the decisions made in your marriage, even the selfish ones will have a direct impact on your marriage which ultimately affects how you see and treat each other. Let’s look at this in real time through an example.
Let’s say that I am in the habit of coming home and kicking my shoes off and cutting the TV on. From there I shower and then come into the kitchen to check with her on dinner. This happens daily and so it always puzzles me that she seems indifferent and sometimes frustrated with me. I don’t get it and so I return the favor by being distant and indifferent which has now put our love life on hold.
When I use the power of empathy to be curious why her mood is in the state that it is, hopefully she will open up and let me know why. She might reveal to me that she is under a lot of stress from her own set of obligations at work and that I never recognize that because all I want to know is what is for dinner and if I’m going to have access to “Wifely Delights” later. She might also say that responding to her concerns and pains are clearly not on my priority list. This makes her want to disengage from the relationship and find a drive thru every night. Upon hearing this my reaction and realization should prompt me to recognize that my wife is suffering and I should do my best to respond to her when she is in trouble. I should also recognize that I have been missing an opportunity every day to sniff this trouble out ahead of time by asking her about her day and her experience on a regular basis instead of letting an atomic mushroom cloud alert me to the fact that there is trouble.
What can I expect going forward?
The point of this issue is to encourage you to consider two things. The first is that you have a completely different experience than your wife. Her experience as a woman in this world is exponentially different than yours as a man. If we are to be good stewards and guardians of our families then we can no longer afford to be in the dark about what they actually need. The best way for us to gain that critical information is to talk to them about their experience and listen carefully. When you understand what your wife’s reality is on a day to day basis then you can be well positioned to be there for her during a time of need. In some cases you may meet the need before she even recognizes that it is there, now that would be some Next Level Black Belt stuff!
Always remember that you are built for this relationship and you can handle all that comes your way as long as you have the right tools and information. Stay encouraged and stay committed.