“What do you actually hear when I speak?” – Couples communication problems

One of the most fundamental challenges all couples face is understanding what the other is really saying to them.

If you can’t understand each other then gaining a connection that makes sense is going to become a monumental challenge.

The trend of what I see is the men admit to me they really don’t understand their wives and the women tell me they are being crystal clear to their husbands.

I’m generalising here of course.

In these situations, I have to help women understand what men hear when they speak and help men understand what she wants.

So many women I see cannot believe that their men don’t understand what they are saying, to them their messages are simple to understand so in her mind he, either doesn’t love her or there something wrong with him.

The amount of times is staggering that I hear women tell me their husband has no empathy and I have to tell them it’s not he has no empathy he just doesn’t know how to translate what you are saying.

Getting the communication right is critical to maintaining attraction and keeping trust alive. It builds a foundation of security that enables the couple to focus on love, fun, passion, adventure etc.

Again some of this is a generalisation and some couples won’t fit what you are about to read but learning your unique couple communication structure is critically important.

An example:

A couple were sharing with me how she was so upset with her husband she was screaming at him. Her message was she hated him, she wished she hadn’t married him she wanted him to get out and she wanted a divorce.

She at the same time she was pushing him out of the house.

So I asked this gentleman what was he thinking as this was going on. He told me she seemed pretty clear, there was no ambiguity in her message so he left and went away to their holiday home for a week!

I said to him I’m now going to ask her a question and I want you to listen very carefully to her answer.

“When you were screaming at him there was another voice in your head – you know the one I mean.”

She gave me a knowing nod.

“What was that voice saying?” I asked her

She said “It was saying don’t go…”

“WHAT!!??” he shouted why didn’t you just say that I would have stayed?

The lesson that guys are not getting early enough is the moment you meet the women you love your job is to learn her.

Because it’s impossible to protect her in the way she needs – if you don’t understand her.

If the husband is not protecting her in the way she needs she will move to protect herself and this makes him redundant to her this can make her take charge of the whole relationship which she will do but resent him for it.

I often tell this personal story to my clients…

Cloe (my wife) stepped into the kitchen after a day of clothes shopping. She walks towards me with her finger pointed directly at me and in a harsh tone told me I NEVER hugged her.

Thankfully I understood what she was really saying but a man’s translation of that moment could easily make things much worse.

He could either comply by just trying to hug her and then be confused at why he is being pushed away or he could go to defend the logical facts.

I hugged you at 8.30 this morning and how is it you seem to remember everything except that!

NEVER NEVER NEVER that’s ridiculous!

If I had done any of those things I would have totally missed the point and made the situation worse.

My wife Cloe in that moment was bringing me an energy that engaged me to firstly connect with her and help her feel safe again – which I did.

She had a horrible shopping trip and she needed my energy (strength) to feel safe and loved again.

So it wasn’t about the hug at all – BUT for many men, this makes no sense.

Now what’s interesting is there are some women that are very aware this is what they do and some are doing this but have no clue and some that never share because there is no point.

My message today is please make it your mission to understand your partner and what they are really saying because it’s a fundamental foundation to your life together.

I know that many men do say to their wife just tell me what you need and I’ll do that.

In my experience, she will tell what she thinks she needs but it’s not what’s going to work and when men do things and they don’t work men do generally give up.

Men don’t naturally understand women and women are not good at giving their men the tools he will need to look after her.

Obviously, this is a massive topic and what I described above may not be your dynamic but there is a fundamental fact you must not ignore and that’s if your dynamic is not attractive to both people then a lack of communication skills is going to be one of the problems to sort out fast.

About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.