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Linda Mintle, Ph.D. is a licensed marriage and family therapist, author of 16 books, a national expert on family issues and the psychology of food and weight. She's an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School, a national speaker, writer, and news contributor.

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Become Fluent in Your Husband's (or Wife's) Language

It’s been a long week and you finally have a chance to have a little conversation at dinner with your spouse.

You, the wife, begin... “How was your day?”

Your husband responds... “Fine.”

That was it. No details, just a one-word answer.

Let’s say you, the wife, begin the conversation. It might go more like this...

“I had a crazy day at the office. Joyce got mad at our boss and lost it. Everyone was upset, but afraid to say anything. It was a nightmare. What was your day like?”

“Actually good.”

All of you men reading this are thinking, good grief, too much information!

But are these answers a function of the different social behaviors between men and women?

Studies have shown the differences in men and women’s brains to be more of a matter of degree, not of kind, meaning the two genders are more alike than different. However, a recent study at the University of Pennsylvania says that the different brain wiring in men and women may account for this difference.

According to the researchers, gender differences in brain wiring begin to be seen in adolescence. Images of male brains show more connections WITHIN hemispheres. Women’s brains show more BETWEEN hemispheres. This means that women are more suited to multitasking and analytical thought; they express themselves using emotional states and are more socialized towards emotions from an early age. Yes men, this might be why you find us overwhelming at times.

Men are better at linear tasks that require attending to one thing at a time. They too feel things deeply, but don’t process things as quickly as women or put those feeling into words.

Furthermore, when an argument happens, women may stay upset longer. This is possibly due to the enhancing effects of estrogen that can prolong the secretion of the stress hormone. So when a man says, “Let it go; get over it. He already has!”

We know that sharing emotions does help relationships. So men, take a deep breath and think about what you might be feeling. Ladies, don’t ask men “to talk” when they are watching football or fixing the sink. When you do “talk,” edit your speech and tell him what you need. Men, pay attention to your physical body and verbalize what you are feeling. Share a few more thoughts than a one-word answer.

In other words, let’s become more fluent in each other’s language.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Thursday, January 23, 2014 3:57 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: Become Fluent in Your Husband's (or Wife's) Language

I think it goes back to when couples are dating. How did you talk to each other? Once you're married, there is still a need to connect to one another regarding each person's daily experiences. If you don't, you can easily grow apart - because then at least one of you is not truly being let in as a part of the other's experiences. Men and women can learn to communicate well if they take an active interest in the other person on a day-to-day basis. Even now, my husband will make it a point to mention to me if I forget to ask about his day, because we have made it such a connecting point amidst all the hustle and bustle. He vents his daily frustrations (and triumphs), I vent mine and we support each other that way - little by little, day by day.
Left by The West Family on Jan 27, 2014 12:16 AM