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How Men Think – Part 3

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This is a continuation from a series.  You can find Part 1 and Part 2 here.  These comments were made by husbands in response to the post “Why Pressuring Your Man to Talk NOW Can Be a Problem”   I am so thankful to the men who were willing to take the time to share their thoughts.  I know this dialogue will be helpful for so many wives and marriages!

HUSBAND #5

In my experience nothing is so critical it needs to be decided immediately unless it’s a medical emergency or something involving some sort of imminent danger.

As a man I have a gut reaction to almost everything, but that is not a good basis for a decision. I prefer to weigh my gut feelings against the alternatives and what is best for everyone. This can take some time. Making a decision, especially one that the right answer requires sacrifice, is hard.

For example, if a wife refuses her husband it is clearly wrong. However if the husband then cuts himself off emotionally from the wife in retaliation, he is (not) loving her as Christ loved the church. Christian husbands have sinful, selfish desires that we have to master, not only for our own good but for the entire family.

I would suggest that if a husband doesn’t answer right away it should be taken as evidence that he cares enough to not make a rash decision.

HUSBAND #6

I know I don’t mind acting “right now.” Whether that’s an emergency or work, but when there is a problem or a decision to be made I do like to take my time and look at it from many angles, weigh what is best, weigh my motives especially if the talk is about us or me. I want to hear my wife’s heart and mind but am not always ready to respond right away.

I know when I do speak right away, it can cause hard feelings. For some reason, not that anybody is right or wrong, when we are discussing disagreements she can say something and I can say something. But when I say it she feels like I’m telling her she’s wrong whereas I just hear her side of things. I guess what I am saying is, I have to phrase things much more carefully in order to not hurt her feelings and that sometimes takes time for me to come up with those words. In other words, we could say the exact same thing to each other and she comes away crushed and I come away just thinking we haven’t come to agreement yet…so I have to carefully word things. Talks often have more downside than upside due to this and I want to go into it carefully, lovingly and having my homework done.

Also, I’ve learned that if we talk “right now” I’m more excitable or sound more passionate. Now that might sound like a good thing at times but many large men like me no matter how gentle or tender we are (and no matter how our wives know we would never hurt them in a million years) even just a passionate talk can seem dominating, pushy, or bullying no matter what my heart is. My wife knows my heart, but natural instincts sometimes just kick in. I’ve learned with strangers due to my size I can’t look them in the eye too much and must keep my voice low as my size intimidates almost all women and a lot of men…even my wife who knows I care for her more than myself can feel “pushed” no matter my heart if I do not very, very carefully watch my tone, level, and body language.

Anymore we have a level of trust that this is not the case (we both know now that we have the other’s best interest at heart and that we are probably just not understanding each other). When this wasn’t the case, often writing to each helped in place of talking when the topic was particularly deep, hurtful, or important, at least to get the conversation going.

Although it might not sound like it from my post above I process kind of like (the lawyer), and naturally could process things verbally but have found it wasn’t the best way for communication in our marriage. I, too, could overwhelm with words also. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk then. It was just more I wanted to keep my foot out of my mouth (my bad) or protect her feelings/emotions. I found that if I can communicate to her & I have heard what she needed to say and I really cared about it and thought it was important but …well like the Bible says be quick to listen and slow to speak. Also, it made her feel heard, I guess – cause that’s what I do best is solve stuff, not listen. I can be a bull in a china shop so I have to check that instinct and that doesn’t come naturally.

My wife knows her heart and mind also (she believe’s she right) but so do I. So if there is something big we don’t see eye to eye on, before inserting foot in mouth or hurting her I need a little time to process it and make sure I’ve thought (and I hope pray) about it.

So I guess what I am saying is it may seem like we are not talking NOW for selfish reasons…but most of the time it was because I was thinking of her. Because unlike many things in a man’s world, she’s tough, able and wise but also delicate and I can’t charge in & start shooting from the hip and throwing anything in my way out of the way. I can’t just solve it. Often times the journey to the solution or answer was as important as the as solution/answer.

14 thoughts on “How Men Think – Part 3

  1. Something my wife said this morning brought to mind what I believe is another important difference in men and women’s thinking,You see my wife and I work different shifts. She works overnight from 11-7, and I work 2nd shift from 3-12. She woks every weekend and has off during the week while I’m off every weekend.As a result I have to be very intentional to make sure we have time to connect.Anyway I mentioned that I had missed her when she came to bed this morning. Her response was “it hasn’t been that long.” I realized she had no idea that we hadn’t even been in bed together since last Friday, let alone done anything when we were there.The enemy tries tell me that she doesn’t care and that’s why she doesn’t realize, but it struck me that the truth is with the 300 things going on in her mind all he time, she simply loses track of time.I read in somewhere that if a wife can’t remember when she and her husband had been intimate, it’s probably been too long.However, I don’t think in most marriages it’s a matter of her not caring so much as she simply gets caught up in other things.Men i think are more linear with regards to time in general, I don’t know if it’s by training or nature.I generally can tell you pretty much what happened over the last week on any given day. My wife remembers the events but has no idea on what day it happened.This is fundamental for me to remember, because it’s easy to assume she doesn’t care because of the voices in my head.

    1. Ted,

      Great point! It is definitely possible your wife doesn’t remember exactly how long or what day it was last and that she is exhausted or has a lot on her mind.

      I worked nights for 2 years when we were first married – and I have to say – that was not the best schedule for our marriage! working different shifts like that and having such opposite schedules definitely makes things much more difficult and requires 10X the intentionality. I completely agree.

      I’m glad that you are learning not to take a comment like that to mean that she doesn’t desire you or want you or that she doesn’t care. I feel pretty sure that she didn’t intend anything negative by her statement.

      Wives – I would like to suggest that when your husband says he missed you like this husband did – SMILE, cuddle up close and say, “You did??? That’s good because I sure missed you, too!”

  2. I think this is especially hard for younger men(I’m 56). At 40 or 45 my passions wold have blinded me to this truth.

  3. “she’s tough, able and wise but also delicate”

    “However, I don’t think in most marriages it’s a matter of her not caring so much as she simply gets caught up in other things.Men i think are more linear with regards to time in general, I don’t know if it’s by training or nature.I generally can tell you pretty much what happened over the last week on any given day. My wife remembers the events but has no idea on what day it happened”

    These two things are so important to me, and I am glad that other men realize it. As I learn submission and how to wait for my fiance’s answers, I can tell that he is more open to discuss things than before. He is willing to listen to all of my worries and concerns. I am able to “dump” more onto him without him worrying because I believe that he is starting to see that I am trying to not pressure him into answering. It’s tough. I like to speak. I like to get answers asap, but the Lord is helping me navigate through those times where I must remain patient.

    The reason those two quotes above struck me is because 1. I am very tough. I really am. I have taken so much lately without breaking down. I went through depression. My friend died. I got into a car accident. (All this happening in one month.) Instead of crumbling, I prayed and kept going. I had a smile on my face. The Lord rewarded me with getting engaged at the end of the month. I think the best part though was how close my fiance and I had gotten that month of March. At first there was tension because I was not always emotionally available for him. I had a lot of things to sort through that could have caused me to fall. Instead, we were able to build each other up. He was patient and there when I needed a hug or an encouraging word. In turn I grew more receptive and accepting of his behaviours. While he saw that I was doing really well at handling my physical, mental, and emotional pain, he was still delicate. He would tell me things but would be careful. He would remember that I still needed a hug. He would bring me little things. He would listen to me so that I could stay tough. It was precious feeling like his princess even though I sometimes felt like a knight. Sometimes he would even tell me that I do not always have to be strong. It’s okay for me to need help. It’s okay for me to tell him if I need something done because I flat out can’t do it for myself right now. He was there for me while I was in pain. He understood that even when I didn’t verbalize it, I still needed help regardless of how tough I was trying to be.

    The next quote touched me because we have been discussing how we think. He processes stuff usually one thing at a time. I have five million things. He remembers when and what we ate last. He remembers how long ago we talked about something. He remembers conversations that I cannot even think of. I sometimes cannot remember what was said five minutes ago. I praise God because I see that he is working in my fiance. Because I am learning to be more patient and how to accomodate to how he thinks, the Lord is helping him to also understand how I think. It’s beautiful because we are able to communicate much more efficiently than before.

    Do I still have outbursts? Do I still breakdown? Yes. But now it’s usually a lot shorter. Now he is able to see that if I breakdown there is probably a serious underlying issue rather than what we are talking about. The Lord is showing both of us what is underneath so that we may be able to act accordingly. Most importantly, we both see that the other person does care regardless of our responses, and that is what makes the difference in our love and our lives. 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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