Asking For Too Much Conversation in Marriage?

Conversation in Marriage #genderdifferences #communication #conversation #marriage #expectations

Let’s face it. There are major differences between men and women, but none more obvious than in the desire for conversation. There’s a drastic difference in the amount of communication women typically use on any given day versus men.

Studies have actually been done on this that reveal how women use approximately 20,000 words per day, compared to the measly 7,000 word count that men tend to prefer and express.

I don’t know about your household, but this difference has caused a whole lot of messiness from time to time between me and my “Mister.”

Communication in Marriage #genderdifferences #communication #marriage #conflict #vulnerability

You can see this difference in action by simply asking a man a question related to feelings or relationships. Then turn and ask a woman that very same question and the difference will come into focus.

The man will either say, “Yes,” “No,” or more likely, “I don’t know.”

And the woman will say something like, “I’m so glad you asked! I’ve actually been wondering what I think and feel about that issue a lot lately. In fact, just yesterday, I was talking with ‘Sally Soandso’ about this very same issue, and I told her … yada, yada, yada.”

Notice any differences?

[bctt tweet=”Is there a difference in the amount of conversation you and your spouse want from each other? #unrealisticexpectations” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Conversation with Mate #genderdifferences #conversation #wiring #acceptanceWhen I was young, and dating my soon-to-be husband, I imagined that he would want to talk with me into the wee hours of the morning, whenever he sensed that I had something on my heart.

This is where the messiness began to enter in.

Those fairytale notions didn’t quite pan out for me like I had hoped they would when the mundane and dry reality of life and marriage hit me smack between the eyes!

Actually, my husband, Gary, is very talkative (in a manly sort of way). As a couple, he’s definitely the more extroverted of the two of us.

  • Typically, he is the one who has to be pulled away from conversations with others after church or elsewhere.
  • He’s also the one who loves to strike up a conversation with our waiter/waitress or the stranger waiting in line (although I’m learning to do this more and more these days!).
  • More times than not, he’s the one who loves to tell you story after story—going into way more detail than I, as a reserved introvert, would think AN.Y.ONE would ever want to hear!

The bottom line is … my man definitely has the gift of gab! 😉

But the strangest thing happens when it’s just the two of us. It’s as if he morphs into the proverbial “bump on a log.”

Don’t get me wrong! There are plenty of times when he tells me what’s on his mind and goes into great detail explaining it all to me. But when it comes to “chit-chat” or even deeper—talking about feelings—it’s as if he’s missing the “zip” in his doo-dah!

Some of this is due to Gary’s wiring and some of this is simply due to that gender tendency I mentioned above.

So for the longest time, I tried to force or manipulate my husband into being more like my wonderful girlfriends who love to chat with me for hours about relationships and feelings … or even the occasional DIY pallet project on Pinterest. Unfortunately, all of thisbut especially the pallet details—quickly elicits a glazed and faraway look in Gary’s eyes!

So somewhere along the line I figured out that I was forcing something that should have been respected instead. So I worked on adjusting my expectations and approach in four key ways. 

[bctt tweet=”I realize I was forcing something in my marriage that should instead be respected. #conversation #adjustandaccept” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

So what are these four key ways?

4 Key Ways to Adjust Your Expectations and Approach to Conversation with Your Mate …

  1. Realize your approach isn’t working and accept your mate’s different wiring. Respecting your mate’s differences also respects the Master Creator’s grand design of your mate’s wiring and/or gender characteristics.
  2. Pray for God to give you patience with your mate and for friendships to fill your “conversation cup.” 
  3. Realize that accepting your mate’s differences can open the door to more connection and conversation. 
  4. Find ways to supplement your need for conversation by cultivating other same-gender friendships with people who love conversation as much as you do. 

After beginning to pray for this desire in my life, God slowly provided some great girlfriends who love to sit and converse about life with me (number 2).

Now, I never feel the need to expect Gary to be my only source of a good, juicy conversation (number 1).

Instead, I turn to my girlfriends who are happy to oblige, whenever I need a little more than Gary can realistically give (number 4).

As a bonus, since my expectations have become more realistic with my hubby, he’s actually opened up more with me over the years (number 3).

And every once in a whileyes, it’s true—he’ll even open up about those dreaded feelings! 

Shhhh! Don’t tell him I told you that! 😉

After all, it just might mean revoking his “man card!” But then, I’m sure I could whip up a new and sturdier one for him from a Pinterest projectmade out of “pallets,” no less! 

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5

Father, help me to learn to accept my spouse just like you accept and embrace all of Your uniquely designed children. I know that You did this so that we would complement one another in a variety of meaningful and necessary ways. So may I always honor the design and wiring You created in my spouse’s life—knowing it honors and blesses You as my Creator as well when I do. I also ask You to give me patience with my mate so that I can extend grace and acceptance in my marriage. I pray that this would encourage my spouse to open up and connect with me when the time and atmosphere is just right. Thank You for Your enablement and provision in this area of my marriage and life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

[bctt tweet=”The differences between men and women’s communication styles can create some messiness in marriage. Find out how to resolve this issue at the link! #communicationinmarriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

How have gender or personality differences in conversation negatively impacted your marriage?

 

What are some other unrealistic expectations that have strained or burdened your relationship?

 


This is an updated post that I pulled from my vault to republish while I’m on a blogging break. So know that I will not be responding to comments, so that I can work on some other projects, as well as refuel my heart and mind. But I hope that you’ll share this post to all your favorite social media spots and I thank you in advance for blessing me in that way!

Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayLiterary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdayPurposeful FaithTell His StoryRecharge WednesdayPorch Stories LinkupBreak Through Homeschooling LinkupCoffee for Your HeartSitting Among FriendsDestination InspirationGrace Moments LinkupTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementMoments of HopeGrace and TruthFaith and FriendsBlogger Voices NetworkFaith on Fire FridayFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

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13 responses to “Asking For Too Much Conversation in Marriage?”

  1. Interestingly (and without going into too much detail), prior to marrying Sherri, I had spent a fair amount of time in various counseling sessions,much of it focused on improving communication skills, especially in regard to feelings and emotions. So I went into the marriage feeling pretty confident in that area.

    Much to my surprise, I quickly learned that Sherri doesn’t really like talking about emotions very much…except when she’s upset about something…

    Go figure!

    It’s taken a few years, but we’ve both gotten better at knowing what we each like to talk about…and we’ve also gotten more comfortable with sitting together enjoying each other’s company without much talking…

    Good post! Thank you, Beth!

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  2. When my husband and I were engaged we were also both living about 25 minutes walk from the college campus we attended, so every morning he’d come by my apartment and we’d walk in together.
    I have to admit while being engaged is pretty stressful, I still think fondly of those long, uninterrupted conversations we had. We haven’t kept up long conversations quite as much in marriage. In fact, when we have something important to discuss, it seems like I often have to send him an e-mail. No joke.
    It’s true that while I can count on my husband to support me when I’m feeling blue, if I want to talk about it a lot, I’m better off calling my mom.

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  3. My husband’s an administrator gift – you can take them out and they wonderful communicators – but when we go home, he needs quiet time to refill – me? I can talk and talk and talk – unless I’m in distress:) Understanding both of our needs for quiet and talk, though, has allowed both our communication needs to be filled!

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  4. Good reminder! We have to find a balance between good communication and forcing something that is unnatural. Thank you for hosting the link up ! Enjoy your visit!

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  5. I was a fairly good communicator…until I realized that my wife wasn’t really interested in what I had to say. She loves me, yes, but it became pretty clear that while she wanted me to hear her, she wasn’t thrilled by what I could offer conversationally.

    So I stopped talking, except to draw her out in describing her day and her thoughts.

    And it isn’t a bad thing, because – she was right. I really don’t have a lot to say, not things that are worth hearing.

    So I weigh my words carefully, and ask, “Do I really need to say this?” Most often, the answer is No, and I can spend more time listening.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/07/great-and-dangerous-expectations.html

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  6. […] Sharing with Making Your Home Sing, Amaze me Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Inspire Me Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moments Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Monday Musings, Titus 2sday, UNITE, Titus 2 Tuesday, Testimony Tuesday, Wedded Wednesday […]

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  7. This is so timely. I’ve rediscovered the value of having girlfriends recently myself. For the last few years, my husband has been my “go-to” for everything, but I also started noticing the glazed look and faraway expression…lol. We definitely need female friends we can talk with. 🙂

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  8. I see these differences at the work place also. I teach in a Christian school & sometimes noting the opposite approaches from men & women teachers at meetings & with students either makes me frustrated or just makes me laugh! I’m your neighbor at Whimsical Wednesday. Blessings!

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  9. Such wisdom in this post. It brought such freedom when we both realized how differently we communicated. We can often place unrealistic expectations on one another & cause needless frustration.

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  10. I smiled though out this post because what you say about conversation between a man and a woman are so true. There is definitely nothing like girlfriends to fill in the gaps. This post is timeless and I’m so glad you brought it back. Enjoy your respite in the mountains! Take some long walks for me! Hugs!

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  11. […] Sharing With: Wedded Wednesday […]

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  12. This is very prevalent in most marriages. We must learn to refuse our differences in nature to become a reason for contention, rather our strengths are meant to be complimentary to each other’s weaknesses.

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  13. […] Party, The Beauty in His Grip, Essential Fridays Link-up, Joy Dare, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Messy Marriage, Growing in Grace, Choosing Him All Over […]

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