Listening can cause headaches in your relationship. Don’t get me wrong, you need to listen to your partner, but when to listen and when should you LISTEN?
In my marriage, one of the things that I am still learning is when to take what wife says literally and when to ignore what she says and instead listen to her emotions and her heart. Relationships are difficult because sometimes you need to take your partner literally and other times you need to ignore their words.
How we interpret communication is complicated by several things:
- Our current emotional state
- What our mind is saying to us
- Our past relationships and
- Whatever emotional wounds that we may have experienced
|Clearly there are times in relationships when you need to take your partner literally, but when do you need to ignore the literal and instead listen for the emotions behind the words?
When my wife asks me to take chili out for supper, or buy some milk, or pick up the kids at 6pm I take these directions literally. Navigating communication with straightforward tasks is usually relatively simple. But in relationships, simple requests are not usually simple. Emotions get involved and expectations can transform a decision into a drama. Pain can change your perspective. One of the most difficult things that I have had to come to terms with is my reaction to our disagreements.
Sometimes, she says she can’t stand me. And at other times, she has said that she feels nothing for me, like we are just roommates. When I hear this, my mind reacts. My emotions hijack my mind with feelings of hurt, rejection and confusion. Clearly there are times in relationships when you need to take your partner literally, but when do you need to ignore the literal and instead listen for the emotions behind the words?
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