Opposites attract. With a little communication, those differences usually can be navigated. But sometimes it’s differences in communication itself that are the problem.
Authors Bill and Pam Farrel offer a simple word picture to illustrate the distinction between how men and women communicate: Men are like waffles; women are like spaghetti.
Ladies are the spaghetti. The noodles run in random directions, and they all seem to touch each other. That’s a visual for the way women easily jump from one subject to another within a conversation.
Guys, how can you better track with your wife when she jumps from one issue to another?
- Don’t immediately jump to a solution. Guys are always looking for an answer and think finding it is the goal. Not your wife. Her goal is to talk things through. Like spaghetti noodles that run together, women think about the next thing, and the next thing, and connect it all together emotionally.
- Be willing to set aside whatever you’re doing – whether that’s work or watching the game on television – and listen. Focus on what your wife is saying and let her talk it through, wherever it may lead.
In contrast, to spaghetti, guys are like waffles, a series of boxes separated from one another by walls. Generally speaking, men only focus on one box at a time. When a man is at work or watching a game on television, his attention is solely on that.
Ladies, how can you get the most out of a conversation with your husband?
Stay in the box with him.
Men often say, “I start a conversation with my wife, and she takes over. The next thing you know we’re running somewhere else, and I don’t know how we got there.” Even though you probably see all the issues attached to the one your husband is talking about, don’t let your desire to explore them all lead you someplace else. Stay in the box. You’ll level of connection and intimacy with him will go to a much deeper place.