Listening to Your Husband

listening-to-your-husbandIs listening to your husband something you do naturally? Does your husband ever say, “You’re not listening to me!?”

The most important part of communication is listening. If you don’t understand your husband, how can you expect to influence his heart and to have true oneness in your marriage? Join Alan and Susan Evans as they talk about marriage once again, and the importance of listening. This topic applies to homeschooling, because both the husband and wife should be in agreement about what you do in your home. Listening is not something that comes naturally to most people, and it is crucial to having a good marriage.

Join us on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 3:30pm Central (1:30pm Pacific). Click here to join us live on the Homeschool Channel.

If you missed our previous marriage webinar, “Don’t Let Homeschooling Ruin Your Marriage,” you can watch the replay here.

Here is an outline of what we covered:

  • Listening is crucial to understanding another person, especially in marriage. In order to have oneness in your marriage, you need to know how the other person is thinking about something.
  • Many Scriptures mention the importance of listening. (James 1:9, Proverbs 12:15, Philippians 2:3, Romans 12:3, Galatians 6:3, Proverbs 18:3)
  • When I’m interrupting, it’s because I’m putting myself first. So listening really requires you to esteem the other person as more important than yourself. (That’s what love is.)
  • Pride causes you to plug your ears to the other person, so humility is required for listening.
  • Before listening fully to what somebody is saying, if you’re formulating in your mind what you’re going to say next, you are not listening. (Scripture says it’s to your folly and your shame to act this way.)
  • Why do men stop talking to their wives? They want to avoid conflict.
  • Be positive in your interactions with your husband instead of negative.
  • If you have not listened to your husband in previous conversations, there is no reason that your husband would want to talk to you, because you don’t listen to him anyway. Or we haven’t followed through on what our husbands wanted us to do because we didn’t prioritize it. We just forgot because it wasn’t important to us.
  • Both people in a conversation have an agenda. This is what makes communication difficult.
  • Expecting people to behave in a certain way and then getting angry when it doesn’t happen is not constructive. It’s selfishness.
  • The only person you can change is yourself.
  • Ask questions to fully understand your husband.
  • You need to create an environment where your spouse feels safe and loved and not judged.
  • Women sometimes inadvertently attribute wrong motives to their husbands, thereby hurting themselves. They twist what their husband is saying. I give a humorous example (but I was deeply hurt at the time).
  • When you are talking to a man, try to get to the point and not go on and on. Otherwise it’s so much work for your husband to listen to you, and he doesn’t have the mental energy to do it.
  • We talked about what to do when you have opposite views on something.
  • Just because your husband is not doing things your way doesn’t mean he’s not listening to you. He can be listening to you and walking by the Spirit and choose the opposite of what you want. That can be godly and correct on his part. (It ended up that the opposite of what I wanted was better for me in the example I gave.)
  • Try to see the situation through his eyes. This will help immensely in listening. You will have a greater influence on his heart and mind.
  • If you are sinning (with gossip, slander, anger, complaining, etc.) and your husband refuses to listen to you, he is doing the right thing to stop you from sinning further.
  • Rely on God to make you a better person in your marriage. The couples that cling to God as the only strength they really have are the ones that will make it, says my husband.


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5 Responses to “Listening to Your Husband”

  1. Holly Peterson says:

    My husband and I are the opposit of this video a lot of times. Mom wants to rest after eight hours of work sometimes too! It makes me totally sick that everything goes back to the woman, that she’s got to be the only one to pick up all the slack. Puke! I think it was insulting to say your friends are under a “delusion.” A better solution might be to train the kids to have a quiet thing to do at a certain hour around dad’s coming home so mom and dad can remain sane. When we were both all worried about me being “submissive” and him being “honored” we were always so tense. When we dropped the nonsense (when my husband dropped the nonsense) we started having fun. HE started having fun. We started connecting. I couldn’t fix our marriage, he had to. I tried till I nearly died. It took him, as the head of the home, doing the chilling out and loving. Sure, he’s still the leader but he doesn’t lord it over me anymore and I don’t obsess. We’ve all got bigger fish to fry, y’all, maybe a couple just needs to chill out and enjoy. I agreed with most of what Mr. guy said.

    • Susan says:

      I don’t know if you noticed that I kissed my husband when he said that men were idiots if they didn’t listen to their wives. Yes, both husband and wife need to listen to each other for a marriage to work. And both people are supposed to honor each other. Submission is a biblical concept that works when the man is walking in obedience to God. And if he isn’t, Scripture says that he can be won over without a word. On the other hand, I’ve seen many men abusive to their wives, and this is not acceptable whatsoever. Many times, however, the men are not being abusive. The women twist what the husband is saying to hurt themselves, like in my illustration of “Does this shirt make me look fat?” He was trying to say something sweet, but all I heard is that I wasn’t as pretty as I used to be.

  2. Holly Peterson says:

    Oh yeah, and my husband (who is a super great guy) had a very hurtful habit of closing his ears and rejecting the things I like,d the things I thought, and the things I thought were funny. It was from his mom being really mean to his dad and him saying “I’ll never let a woman do that to me” so he acted just like his mom toward me. He realized this years ago and apologised, and it’s been a long process, but it took him purposely caring (or acting like he cared until he really did) by his own initiative. He loves me so he tries. And lately things have gotten really good. We’ve been able (after nearly 9 years of marriage) to dump most of our “issues” (how I hate that word!) in the trash and just enjoy life and come up with real soloutions when things go bad or off, together. I wish women would stop obsessing about “how they are” toward their husbands, but I guess it can’t be helped until hubby stops being a jerk. Yes, I realize that sometimes the wife is the jerk, and so everything I said stands, just backwards.

    • Susan says:

      I agree with you about having fun with your husband. My husband and I try to spend time together just having fun. In homeschooling circles I’ve come across an anti-fun movement that is ridiculous, as if your life has to be drudgery. I wrote about how important having fun with your spouse and family is in “Is Fun Evil?” here:

  3. Alan says:

    Holly, I’ve read your replies three times now and this is what I see: You have all along been the ideal wife and your marriage didn’t start working right until your husband finally came around to understanding this and changed his selfish ways.

    If that’s the case then I’m going to hazard a guess that your marriage is still broken but you two don’t see it or have otherwise glossed over the real issues. Good for you, I guess.

    If a woman wants to improve her marriage then it usually does little good to proceed by blaming her husband for all that’s lacking in their relationship. The same goes the other way. If a man thinks his relationship with his wife is lacking then he’s not going to realize much improvement by blaming his wife.

    If you think that Susan was being unduly hard on women then you should see me when I talk to a man who is complaining about his wife! I tell him straight up to stop whining and to take responsibility for his relationship. It doesn’t matter if he thinks it’s all her fault. He can’t change her; he can only change himself. So what will he do to break the cycle and improve his marriage? And if he already tried *that* then what *else* will he do? If he tells me that he’s going to wait for his wife to fix *her* problems first then I tell him that he’s failed already.

    But since the audience for the webinar was primarily women, it naturally focused on the woman and her attitudes and actions more than that of the man. This certainly does not mean that only women bear responsibility in troubled marriages. But if they see a need in their relationship and want that need met, well, they have to start somewhere. And that somewhere is in themselves. We can’t ultimately change other people; only God can do that. We can only change ourselves.

    In fact, I’ve never seen a troubled relationship that was the fault of only one side, your marriage apparently notwithstanding. It always goes both ways. And nothing is ever going to be fixed by both sides insisting that the fault lies with the other. If *you* desire improvement then *you* have to figure out what *you* are going to do about it. That goes for men and women; but like I said, the webinar was directed at women.

    And finally, the way you put “submissive” and “honored” in quotes suggests to me that you don’t really consider those attitudes to be Biblical imperatives. What if I told you that I was insulted when people say the men should “love” their wives. I mean, seriously, that’s so unreasonable — isn’t it enough that I make the car payment without complaining?

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