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Challenge: Romance After Kids

Gosh darn it, Husband -- JUST LISTEN!

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If your wife needs something fixed she would call a handyman. She would phone a friend, post a query in her local online mommy group, or peruse Angie’s List and read through each and every review — but guess what? She didn’t, ’cause nothing needs to be fixed. Nope. She doesn’t need you to fix a damn thing; she just wants you to listen.

Listening? What’s that?

You see, the problem is that men, well, when their partner presents them with a problem, for some unknown reason they almost always feel as though that they must make a literal or figurative “repair” to have been helpful.

This is a fallacy! This is wrong! This is the exact opposite way your partner wants to be supported. Most of the time, all women really want is for you to hear us — not just give us the impression that you are listening and not tell us all of your opinions on the matter.

All we absolutely want is your eyes on our eyes and when they are not on our eyes they are on our lips watching our words come out. You know what your ears are supposed to be doing? Only hearing what we are actually saying, not what you think we are saying or what you want to hear.

As a woman, it is so darn frustrating to never get what you need or want at a time when you need and want it. And when we are mid-problem, all we need and want is for you to listen (and for chocolate, or wine, or both).

But, there is a caveat. Do you know what is even more frustrating than a partner who doesn’t actively listen? One that doesn’t even care. Yep — now, that sucks.

When you are in a relationship and especially when you are a woman in a relationship, it is very easy to complain…about anything…all of the time…and then again…about anything…all of the time. It cannot be easy to be on the opposing side of this or to watch it from the sidelines — this I have come to realize.

So, instead of cursing your name and bitching about feeling unheard, I am going to find complete and utter appreciation that I have a partner in my life who is wanting and willing to go beyond the mere listening I desire and to give me what I deserve, even if I don’t always realize it.

I deserve someone who wants to help me curb my complaining so that I can enjoy life and its blessings more.

I also deserve someone who wants to fix what I tell him is broken.

But do you know what this poor man deserves? This poor man, who wouldn’t even for a millisecond refer to himself as a “poor man” is being described as such because he has to put up with me.

This man — he deserves a woman who doesn’t get frustrated when all he is trying to do is help, in the only way he knows how — by trying to DO something about it, to improve it.

You see, the problem is that women tend to be a bit self-centered and demanding and we forget to notice that…

If our husband sees something that needs to be fixed, he tries to fix it. He doesn’t phone a friend, he would never post an online query to a group of strangers, and he sure doesn’t peruse Angie’s List in search of someone else to fix his (or my) problems.

So, when it comes to your husband, let him try to fix whatever he wants.

Even if he doesn’t fix a damn thing, appreciate that although he may not have been listening to you in the way that you wanted, he was loving you in the way that you needed.

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