Girl Talk

Girl Talk Edition 5: A Husband’s Lesson on Empathy Thanks to Home Depot

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Happy Sunday loves, did you turn your clocks back? I’m really happy I get to spend some extra time in bed with the hubby. To be honest, the moving of two homes into one, and working and renovating really took a physical toll on us and we are totally taking the first half of the day to get some R + R and enjoy quality time with each other. So earlier this week, while the hubby and I were in Home Depot, he annoyed the hell out of me. Like really … you must be thinking … oh gosh what did he do now LOL. Well it may seem trivial, but it really wasn’t to me. So let me set up the day. We were already out and about hitting up the stores getting things for the house, from Bed Bath and Beyond, to Marshall’s to Raymour and Flanigan and then to Home Depot. So none of these stores have super plush carpeting under your feet right. You with me still? OK…..Sooooo, we are in Home Depot after 45 minutes of shopping, I start fading and lagging behind Scott because of the lack of food and my feet, they were starting to hurt. He says “why are you walking so slow?” I said “because my feet hurt” he then says to me “well you should have worn something comfortable on your feet like sneakers or converse, you knew we were going shopping” Giiiiirl I was totally thinking to myself Β “dude are you serious, how much more comfortable could I get than Lucky ballet flats?” Ummm it’s not like I had on, heels, wedges or stilettos for crying out loud. So needless to say we get home, unpack the items and I nicely say to him, “that wasn’t very nice what you said in Home Depot” … what do you think he did? Yup. He looked at me like I just said the craziest thing and had this expression of confusion on his face as if to say…”what are you talking about lady”? He didn’t say it, but I knew what that face meant … Β total and utter confusion…

I went on to explain to him by saying “I didn’t want to hear that I needed to wear something else on my feet” what I told him would have been a nicer, kinder, more appropriate response to my ears and heart was “honey it’s OK, we are almost done, I know it’s been a long day or something like that”. I said to him “see how much better that answer sounds”? I didn’t know exactly what I was asking him to give me. I couldn’t really put it into words or my finger on it. I just knew, however, that what he said didn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. More perturbed quite frankly.

Well wouldn’t you know, exactly one day later, while reading our go to couples communications guide (as I call it LOL), given to us by our therapist, the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus” Β smack dab on page 180 was a snippet titled 101 ways to Score Points with A Woman. #4 on the list said and I quote “resist the temptation to solve her problems-empathize instead. Can you see the opportunity that I was presented here in regards to couple communication skill building? I had to seize the moment with this ammunition. I turned to him and said “see this is what I was talking about when we were discussing how I was feeling about what you said in Home Depot”. Β It was in that moment, of reading #4 on that list, that I realized what I wanted that day from my husband…empathy. After talking it over, yes, he agreed, it would have been nice to empathize with me instead. It was another eye opening and funny moment for us. We work on our marriage EVERYDAY, trying to make the right decisions not to get each other upset and to take each others feelings into consideration. Marriage is work and tools like this book is what I think every couple needs. Every time we read it we learn something new. It won’t hurt your marriage…we promise it will only help. Consider it a gift to each other.

{ EMPATHY }: The ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

I encourage you all to express how you feel to your partners. They may not get it the first time, or all the time, but with a little help they will get it. You have to find a way that works for you, whether it be with a book, or after sex, or having a glass of wine after dinner. Deep down, our husbands really do want to make us happy and don’t want to hurt us. We just have to help them along.

I hope this was helpful to some of you. Have any of you read this book with your partner or on your own? What are some tips you have for communicating and/or getting a message across to your partner about how you are feeling?

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