Here aren some quotes on listening, from a responses I made on other threads. I thought i would collect my ideas, expressed over the past, on this Communicaiton Thread. I searched "Listening" and "Listen." Then looked for Stars for posts past one year. Listening does not mean being a doormat. Sometimes the Boring Baroque Respons is needes, to command respect, which is blithering plattitudes in a postive response to insutling or inconsiderate remarks that are offenseive. Suzette Elgin, YOU CAN'T SAY THAT TO ME
Do you see that your wife values an opportunity to talk to you about her ideas, as a venting, thinking-through process? What is the best time of the day to reach your wife, when she has time to vent? How many times a week are you getting a 15 minute session?
One issue, is that a wife needs to vent, to think through the feelings of daily challenges.
One of the suggestions in the Secrets of Married Men is for the husband to Listen. Do you have times when your husband can take time to listen to your venting your frustrations?
Try to listen for little opportunities to help her with little things she craves suddenly. Like go looking for Pistachio ice cream at 3 AM.
MAKING YOUR SPOUSE HAPPY Section
My job as a husband, I believe is to listen to my wife talk about whatever she wants to talk about, for at least 15 minutes per day. Sometimes my wife wants to talk to me about my bad habits. Sometimes my wife wants to talk about her feelings of unhappiness. Whatever she wants to talk about, I give cordial feedback, "I see," "Your feelings seem genuine" etc.
When the 15 minutes, or so is up, I ask her to summarize what she wants me to think about.
I should ask her, after 15 minutes of unpleasant listening, if she wouild like to talk about someting I might be intersted in hearing about. I should ask her if she wants to try to give me an explantion of my peraonal beliefs, challenges, efforts and endeavors?
What if having you to complain about, is what makes her happy?
What phrases can you use to ask for more respect, on the next occasion when your wife speaks to you disrepsectfully?
How are you able to give your wife comfort, support and Admiration?
Life can be viewed as what we give. How are you managing your giving? Are you spending too much effort in giving? how can you make your efforts more effective? What additional resources might be available to help you with handling insurnace and government programs?
"Can I have some extra displays of affection in recognition of the extra efforts I make in helping with our child?"
I would not focus too much on her words she is going to leave. Maybe she will. I can't control that. I just try to be pleasant. "Well sometimes things don't work out" was my last response to my wife, when she threatened to leave. She said "WHAT!?" like she had expected a fear or begging response from me.
I suggested a calm approach in my previous post. Here's why.
If your wife is abusive to you, and is habitually inconsiderate, then we need to change HER habit of being a serial abuser. Maybe she was justified as retaliating for your being a bad husband, in the past. Either way, Today is today.
Suzette Elgin has many books, one is YOU CAN'T SAY THAT TO ME.
Elgin talks about the motivations of a serial spousal abuser. The main motivational pay-off is to create CONSTERNATION in the victim spouse (you).
If you are feeding into your wife's Abuse habit, by rewartding her with Emotional Turmoil, then you are unintentionally part of the problem.
Consternation can be exhibited by Arguing about some criticism. Upset can be communicated by Retaliating or counter-attacking with faullt finding agaisnt her. If your wife knows she has nailed you, your silence will not cover your facial expression.
Elgin recommends RESPONDING with the Baroque Boring Response, described in her CAN'T SAY book. I intepret her principles into responding with Kindly Gibberish.
"I try to do the wash as you would do it yourself. I try to separate out the colors and the whites. I try to take care of the delicates. I try to put dry-clean-only clothers on a plastic hanger to dry. I try to not put delicates in the Drier. I try to set the drier on Damp and take out the sort-of delicate clothes. I try to only put bleach in with all white clothers. I try to use Cold Power laundry detergent and low temperature settings to save money on the Water Heater. I try to see when we are running low on a type of detergent or bleach. I try to check all the hampers and laundry piles before I start to wash a load. I know you are a whiz at laundry, and my efforts to help probably just make things more difficult for you. You are a real efficient housekeeper. etc."
Throw in some compliments and kindly words. Avoid displaying any fear or anger or sadness. That is a reward for an Abuser. Demonstrate a LACK OF CARING or CONCERN, by just Blabbering about anything in a kindly manner. Elgin says just think of any non-controversial word, in your language, and just let teh words come out, whicl you remain confident that your calm is the right answer.
Your wife will probably turn away in disgust, not having achieved consternation. Certainly her habit wil not die with your first Insane Blithering, but eventually, she will see she is not getting CONSTERNATION or UPSET from you.