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Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:03 am
by ThunderHorse
Men's Listening skills are discussed in two chapaters in Dr. Scott's book, THE SECRETS OF HAPPILY MARRIED MEN. There are a number of threads on this forum which discuss how men can improve their marriage, by encouraging their wives to vent their random ideas for some 15 Minutes per day. This thread could be a place to collect the principles helpful for men to encouarge a woman to discuss her ideas. Women often seem to usually be happier, if they have someone to listen to their random ideas.

Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:02 pm
by ThunderHorse
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.


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.


Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:10 am
by ThunderHorse
From a recent post under Taking Care of Yourself

Listenting to your Wife:

Listening is different from ordinary conversation. In ordinary conversation, men express ideas to each other. Conversation proceeds that one man expresses some ideas, and then another man expresses His ideas realted to the ideas being discussed, etc..

There are some women who are comfortable with men discussing thier ideas. Most women are more interested in thinking through their own ideas, in talking to others. So if your wife is not interested in helping you with your problems, you should prbably understand that this is how most women are. If you need to discuss problems, then it is better to have someone outside the marriage to discuss your problems. Counselors are avaialable, or some other person who does not raise the issue of fidelity.

In listening to your wife, you need to avoid expressing your own ideas on Politics, Religion, Sports, etc. Listening for venting is to encouarge your wife to talk about that interests her. Just give acknowldging comments, without disagreeing or agreeing, like "Is that right." "That is certainly something to think about." "I never thought about it that way." "You may have a point there." "Seems like a dilemna."

Many women need a partner to discuss thier ideas and challenges. Women often form a bond with a man, who reliably allows her to vent, some 15 minutes a day. If you have an idea to present to hyour wife, then I try to find a considerate manner in which to present the idea of my request. First, I try to get my wife to finish her 15 Minutes of venting, before I talk about what I want. The idea of fidelity may be degrees of being considerate to the feelings of our spouse. Getting into technical definitions of affairs, detracts from the bond of a husband encouraging his wife to vent for 15 minutes a day.

Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:27 am
by ThunderHorse
Post from infidelity, man getting his wife back after discovering her indiscretion.

Do you know how to listen unconditionally?

If she says something you argree with, you can say "That's Right, I see,"

If she says something you don't like, or disagree with, you can say, "There are probably a number of people who agree with that." That implies that you don't agree with her, but that you see the value of her point of view.

Search this Forum for 180 Degree Divorce Busters, and the Love Diet..

Do something different each week. Show you can cahange anything she might want you to change, as often as she might wich it changed.

What are all the things your wife has asked you to change?

Search Couples, for Love and Respect. If you want more respect, Loyalty, then give her more Love.

Search spiderwebbing. You don't seem to kn9ow what your wife wants, and how that changes. You don't seem to have a blueprint for getting your wife's love back.

Sounds like your strategy is working. It is surprising how 15 minutes a day of unconditonal listening can build Love for a woman.

Yesterday, I listened to my wife tell the exact same story for the day before. But my wife was still trying to put the events into perspective, so it was useful for her to tell the story again. I just ask about little things that seem to be bothering my wife, and she gets to talking about them, for 15 minutes easy.

Cuddling could be more important than intimacy at this stage of rebuilding Love. Trust for a woman comes partly from a feeling that a Husband is interested in any of the Wife's problems, not just a select few.

Dinner at a Restaurant usually gives a woman 15 minutes of unconditional listening from the man. Carrying over the habit to the home, everyday, was a little challenge for me. I was in the habit of cutting my wife off from subjects I was not inteested in, or with which I dsiagreeed.

Chapter 4 of THE SECRETS OF HAPPILY MARRIED MEN gives some ideas of topics for converation to know your wife, to discover changes in her beliefs, as she, and situations, change.

The Love Diet recommends 3 efforts a day, for a husband to demonstrate love to his wife. This can be phoning her to offer to liste to her venting and ideas. Finding ways to give compliments.

Link to thread on Compliments for Wives


Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:48 pm
by ThunderHorse
You are making a mistake in the way you are encouraging venting.

You are listening to the words your wifei is using to vent.

As long as your wife is venting to you, regardless of the subject, you are perforing an important part fo the male-female relationship.

So what if her venting includes words that she is not in love with you?

She is venting, isn't she? She is calling you back.

You are doing a great job over the phone, except you are taking her venting words to heart. You don't have to try to understand everything she vents about. You need to discount some things. Like when she says she is unhappy with you. Discount it. It doe not make logical sense, it is emottional release.

It is NORMAL for all wives to be frustrated, to some extent, many times, with their husbands. Why are you worried about Normal?

Phrases for encouraging wife's Venting:

Wife: "I just don't love you anymore!"

Husband: "I am sure that many wives wish they were more deeply in Love with their husbands, at some times of their marriage."


Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:04 pm
by ThunderHorse
This is from a recent thread under Intimacy:

It does not sound like you have develped good listening/vent encouraging skills. There are two chapters in the Husband's Secrets book on Listening skills. If you are reasoning and discussing issues with your wife, you are expressing your opinions, and that is not listening for venting. Most women need to vent 15 Minutes per day. You should present your ideas, at a liesure time, in a calm, polite manner, not as retorts to her ideas. You wife needs to express her ideas, to think things out. If you are worried about what your wife says, whether exaggerated or accurate, that is the wrong focus. Your objective is to get her to vent, which may be expressing illogical ideas, or repeating things you don't want to hear about. The more exaggerated her ideas, the better job you are doing at encouraging her to vent.


Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:02 pm
by ThunderHorse
Have you tried my suggestion of getting a woman to vent by listening to her ideas for 15 minutes without expressing any of your own ideas on Ethics, Politics or Religion? Just acknowledging her ideas, non-commitally, as "Is that right?" "I never thought of it that way, thanks for mentioning that idea,." "Sounds like something to think about."

Questions to get her started talking, could be:

"How is your day going?"

"Anything not as perfect as you had in mind?"

"Anything turn out better than you had expected?"

The questions con be rhetorical, not to necessarily be answered directly, but just some words to indicate that you are willing to listen to anything she might have to say.


Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:05 pm
by ThunderHorse
One thing you can do whether near or far, is to give your wife 15 mionutes of listening-venting time, every day, or so. There is a Listenitng Strategies for Men thread under the Communications section.

Because you are a hightly principled person, with a strong sense of core values, it will be challenging for you to encourage your wife to discuss all her ideas, particularly those ideas she knows you don't like. Post back the challenges you face. My wife likes to read to me from the Bible. I have figured out how to get along in the society, and I don't need a lecture from the Bible. I feel humiliated that she wants to lecture me. But I follow the rule of 15 miutes, whatever she wants to talk about, or read to me.

What is it your wife likes to talk about that you don't like to hear? When was the last time you took time to initiate a vent session, when you actually had 15 minutes to listen to her? If you are not spending 15 minutes letting her vent, you are inviting her to go talk to somebody else. The Men's secrets book has two chapters on listening.

What do you know about foreplay? I am trying to do better with massage and my finger tips. Give me some pointers on arousal.,

Basically, my suggestion is for you to do better as a lover, yourself. Blow the competition out of the water. Have it so your wife has no interest in talking to other guys.

There are times when things become obious, that you may need to create a quiet moment ot ask for increased fidelity.

My wife is ADD, so I need to have short phrsase to mention occasionally.

How about, "Thanks for letting me know where you have been, because that gives me a feeling that my efforts for the marriage are appreciated, and that trust is expanding. Have you heard anything from your mother lately?" Maybe she is making up a story, and has bgeen making out with another guy, but you can express your ideals of marriage and family, in a non-instrusive manner.

"Your smile sure makes it feel like I am smart to pass by all the other women that cross my path." This means you are being fathful to her. Have you given your wife reason to think you accept, or practice, infidelity?

Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:22 pm
by ThunderHorse
Women want to spider web. Talk about things that seem unrelated to men, but women just need to integrate a number of unreated issues by talking about them.

Listen to women 15 minutes per day, minimum.

Listening is nearly silently listening, not problem solving listening

Comments during the listening period:

“I can see how you might feel that way.”

“ I can see how you really feel that way.”

“There are probably a lot of people who feel that way.” This means you disagree with her, but are not starting an argument. If a lot of people feel that way, that means that not EVERYONE feel that way, so that is your way of saying “You are probably wrong about that.”

Do not tell a woman she is wrong, or that her feelings are unjustified.

Letting a woman win at cards or some other game is the smartest move you will make all day long.

Do you have a honey-do list?

My wife wants me to paint he shutters, get rid of 3 broken bicycles, cut the grass, rinse off my dishes.

Make a list and do more of the simpler things.

Tonight I looked for the key for the lock for the 3 broken bicycles, could not find the key, strung out an extyension cord and ground off the lock, and tomorrow I will donate the bicycles. Not too tough.

I put some water in some dishes to soak.

You can hurt a woman but never slight her. What are some little things she wants? What is everything she has asked for in the last week? What simple requests have you overlooked?

My job to communicate with my wife, is to write out my request, simply, and wait till she brings up a related subject, then I ask her. Then I figure out how to ask her later, again, when she says no.

Most women have no interest in listening to anything their husbands have to say. You have to engineer a woman's attention.

Working and bringing home money is big and important, but women don't think big. Women just want small signs of attention, more frequently.

From Thread under Communication:


Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:07 pm
by ThunderHorse
Here are more listening phrased from another thread, last is from Dr. Haltzman:

Phrases to acknowledge a Wif's Feelings Unconditionally, under Communicaitons:

A. I can understand how you feel.

Seemed to satisfy her need for communication, and she was finished with the topic. Maybe other phrases,

B. I understand that you are disappointed in me.

C. I see how you feel that I have let you down.

D. It is disappointing that the car has needed so many repairs recently.

I need to keep phrases more readily in mind, because in the Mars mode, the phrases do not readily come to mind. I need to review more phrases that work to acknowledge the feelings of a woman.

These phrases are also difficult for me, because during the course of a day, I am defending myself from attacks, or criticism, by other people, so I have to shift gears to not consider the implications of not including a defence in my reply or response.

E. If she says something you agree with, you can say "That's Right, I see,"

F. If she says something you don't like, or disagree with, you can say, "There are probably a number of people who agree with that." That implies that you don't agree with her, but that you see the value of her point of view.

G. I am feeling embarrassed because of the short time you are giving for this issue to be resolved.

H. I can understand how some people might feel that way under some circumstances.
I. "I can understand how some people might feel that way under some circumstances."

Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:30 am
by ThunderHorse
Listening time can also serve other needs/desires of a woman. The Five Languages of Love include Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Gifts is the Fifth type, and that may be more difficult to fit into listening time. Search the Personality Café, and The Five Love language Explained, for a summary of the Languages.

There is a Thread, COMPLIMENTS FOR WIVES under the Communication heading, which gives ideas for Words of Affirmation. Listening time can also be about Acts of Service, doing some quick chore, or calendaring something to do later.


Re: Listening Strategies for Men

PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:52 pm
by ThunderHorse
A general difference between conversation topics for Men and Women is that men are primarily interested in general rules of what usually works. Women seem more interested talking about anomalies, or exceptions to general rules.

So a man has to change his hat, when he is encouraging a woman to talk about things that are of interest to her. Because a woman will often talk about things that don't have good logical explanations. One thing to talk about is things that seem absurd. One type of humor can the conceptualization of opposites, or non-sequiturs. So it may be helpful/responsive for the man to point out the humor of some situations.

So it will sometimes be difficult for a man to see the point of what a woman is talking about. Because the man is looking for a string of logical connections, or general rules to follow. So a man can keep in mind that good listening will give feedback such as "Yes, that is unusual." or "Yes, that seems surprising." or "Yes, that is an unexpected result." The purpose of the discussion of a topic, from a woman's point of view, is to get sufficient understanding of an unusual situation, by discussing it until it is sufficiently integrated into her mind and thinking, to let go of the concept, and go to another topic that has her interest.