Hard Things To Hear, #2: It’s a Clear Thing

(This is the second of a seven-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6 and part 7.)

In John 6:60, some objected to what Jesus was saying: “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”. While I’m not Jesus, there are some who will attest that I provoke the same reaction. Might be what I’m saying, but it’s possible it might be my manner. Be that as it may, I’m going to pull rank and lay some things on the line in the next few posts. I’m going to present some things that might be hard to hear, but trust me; forty-three years of marriage is coming at ya!

Wives, this one’s to you; how many of you have the last name “Kreskin”? No one? Okay, then why would you think that you married The Great Kreskin? Prof. Henry Higgins, in My Fair Lady, had it right about men: “By and large, we are a marvelous sex!” That’s why you married us; we are that good! But we aren’t psychic!! We don’t come equipped with one of these:


Bewitched, Bothered and Bemildred

For someone who likes to write, I can be remarkably terse in real life. I am known to point if that answers a question, so I get the fact that non-verbal communication is still communication. But when a poor sod reaches the point where he is having to resort to antennae and divining rods to try to find a clue, he’s not growing in marriage, he’s just flat-out bewildered.

Will Rogers is supposed to have said, “There are two theories for arguing with a woman; neither work.” Well, years ago, Wife and I attended a week-long Christian seminar, and one of the sessions was on husbands learning to understand their wives. The presenter gave one illustration that made me believe that Will Rogers was a genius!

According to the presenter, a wife expressed a ‘hurt’ to her husband: “I’m hurt when you don’t pay attention to me in public.” He took this to heart and began to do so, but then her reaction was “I don’t want to you pay attention to me in public.” “Oh, I guess I misunderstood,” the poor guy thought, and so backed off. Only to hear, some time later, “I wish you would pay attention to me in public.” Wondering what he was hearing, he again started to do what he thought she wanted, and got this: “I don’t expect you to pay attention to me in public.” **

At that moment, in that session, in that seminar, I closed my workbook, shook my head and said to Wife, “I can’t win, can I?”

Use Your Words

But I was wrong. In reading around the blogosphere, I’ve learned that people are starting to realize that men aren’t clairvoyant. One of the most popular bits that Johnny Carson used to do was his Great Carnac. We husbands can only hope to do a Decent Carnac, and that just for laughs. There is nothing that we possess that makes us great diviners of the depths of the feminine heart. There is only communication.

Please watch this Jeff Allen video. Please get that what he treats humorously can be a real barrier to marital closeness.

What it comes down to is this: if you need something from your husband, or if you want something from your husband, speak up! While Hangman is a fun game to pass the time, having to guess letters in a word, feeling like your marriage is a game of Hangman, with your head in the noose while you try to divine correct answers is no fun. As the old folk song says, “Hangman, slack your rope.”

** Interpretation of statements:

1.  “I’m hurt when you don’t pay attention to me in public.” ~ “I want you to love me.”
2.  “I don’t want to you pay attention to me in public.” ~ “Don’t embarrass me.”
3.   “I wish you would pay attention to me in public.” ~ “I want others to know you love me.”
4.   “I don’t expect you to pay attention to me in public.” ~ “I want you to want to.”



Filed under Marriage & Sexuality

8 responses to “Hard Things To Hear, #2: It’s a Clear Thing

  1. Lina

    You do not know how hard it is for women to be direct when we are taught all our lives not to. I’ve talked to my husband and I know he’s ok with me saying, “Wipe the table, it’s filthy,” but I don’t like to be turned into ‘demanding wife’. So instead I say, “You worked hard all day 9he had the day off and I had worked an 11-hour shift) so let me clean up after you,” or “Oh let me wipe up the road salt I tracked in on my size 13 shoes.” I am so lucky that my husband has a strong ego and is willing to laugh at me when I get ridiculously sarcastic! It’s just hard for me to give ‘directions’.


  2. Pingback: Great Minds, #3 | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  3. Pingback: Hard Things To Hear #1 : It’s a Clean Thing | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  4. Pingback: Hard Things To Hear, #3: It’s A Man Thing | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  5. Pingback: Hard Things To Hear, #4: It’s a Woman Thing | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  6. Pingback: Hard Things To Hear, #5: It’s Not About You, Dude! | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  7. Pingback: Hard Things to Hear #6: Lady, It’s Not About You! | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  8. Pingback: Hard Things To Hear, #7: The End of the Matter | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

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