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Coffee with Clare

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Hi Friends – Welcome to our second week of Coffee with Clare!  I am delighted that you are here today!

Dear Clare,

I have noticed that when talking to my husband, he has really started to tune me out.  He is very good at faking it.  We can be sitting down at the table having a conversation, and he is looking right at me, and I am sure he must be listening.  However, when the subject comes up again- he swears we have never talked about it before.  I am pretty sure he doesn’t have memory problems because everything else is fine (he remembers appointments, balances the checkbook just fine, and can recall every detail about the antique shotgun he saw at the gun store). I don’t think I ramble endlessly, but it has me wondering why he is just “tuning out” on our conversations.

So, what would you recommend?


Tuned-Out in Oklahoma


man cheering for soccer goal on tv


Dear “Tuned-Out”:

Wow, this is a very common problem – especially with people who have been married for a very long time.  Next time this happens, you might say, “And when I went shopping today I saw three elephants trample a car, a tiger chasing a man down the street, and there was a big black bear on Third Street that ate a man …. “  Let’s see if he says “that’s nice, dear,” or if he actually looks up and smiles. 

Then you say, “See?  I am so GLAD you are listening.  I feel like we are not communicating – really communicating – like we used to.   Like, I am not important anymore.”  Tell him what you want from him and your relationship – make it clear to him that you really want to work on your two-way conversations and communications, but don’t do the blame game.  Own up to the fact that you are also probably just as guilty with not listening as closely as you should.  You may start by suggesting a “date night” every other week on a Saturday (or another day that works for you both). Do something simple, and promise not to keep checking phones or watching TV.  That’s a start.  And on the odd weeks when you don’t go out, set aside at least once or twice a week – where TV and electronic devices are turned off.  Just sit and just simply talk for 30 minutes.   And remember, we all need to learn to listen BETTER – which is not easy!      


Thank you for stopping in today!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at:   I would love to hear from you!

Until next time~


Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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  • hayli says:

    Welcome to life with men haha. Though, my husband surprises me sometimes and will bring up things that I said when I didn’t think he was listening. I think that men get preoccupied with their own thoughts sometimes- and they also tend to like stories to get right to the point, so if we ramble or give too many details we get tuned out. My husband has come to the point where he will just tell me “okay, too many details for me, get to the point”

  • Lee Anne says:

    LOL my husband is guilty of this too. I think it’s an issue most men face haha!
    -Lee Anne

  • Jessi Haynes says:

    This is such a cute idea for a series. Very “Dear Abby”! I hope people give you lots of good questions, I’d love to keep reading along!

  • Pam says:

    I understand this dilemma. It makes you feel that the person doesn’t care or doesn’t think what you are saying is important. But Clare’s advice is very good. Thanks Clare for always being there with a listening ear. ??

    • Clare says:

      So true, I find myself often distracted and not listening. I have to actually stop what I am doing and look at the person’s eyes to really, really listen! Thanks for the support, Pam! I sure appreciate it – stop back for more Coffee with Clare!

  • Karen Patten says:

    This was great advice! I admit – I’m guilty of tuning people out sometimes myself 🙂

  • Ester Garcia says:

    Yesterday as I was talking to my husband I saw looking at me but looking crossed eyed as if he was dazing off, so I called his attention and said babe pay attention and he said I am. I told him you weren’t dazed off? seeing blurry things? and he started to laugh and say I was wasn’t I? then I kept talking and making sure I was making contact with him to make sure he was listening the whole time hahaha. Guys are something for sure.

  • Shann Eva says:

    I love this post series. Great question and great advice. I often feel like no-one in my house listens to me at all. That’s what you get when you live in a house full of boys! 🙂

  • andi says:

    i like the tips – ‘specially the first one on how to get the husband to listen 😀

  • Aly says:

    Great answer! Complete transparency is always the key. Confront him! In love of course!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, “confronting in love” is the hard part sometimes isn’t it!!!!? And being transparent – that can be a challenge sometimes, too, but it’s important!

  • Ha! Great advice! I usually insert, “And then Godzilla walked by” in place of your elephant line 🙂 Celebrating our 20 year anniversary soon 🙂

  • Karen Dowd-Hansen says:

    Very good advice, Clare! I am sure this is happening to many of us – I know it is to me. I have blamed it on my husband’s hearing loss, but if that were all it was, he could simply say he did not hear me. You are right – we need to face this head on and just try harder to make time for our relationship. Life is so busy. We have our own business that takes up much of our time, and I also have a career that I refuse to give up. We need some time for us. No more making US the last priority!

    • Clare says:

      So true, Karen – thanks for sharing your heart! I myself and QUITE guilty of this, too – not listening, not stopping to really focus and listen! I am glad you are making YOU a priority! You go girl! Thanks! 🙂

  • I love this so much, Clare. This is pretty much my life with my husband, but he openly admits to tuning me out. We have developed a “code phrase” if I really need him to listen. I just say something along the lines of “then a purple monkey flew across the room.” And he knows if he hears those words what I’m talking is important, and he needs to listen. It works for us, so that’s why I love your advice so much. I’m really loving your Coffee with Clare series. 🙂

  • Clare says:

    I love your “code words” Kelsey – and yes, I MIGHT pay attention if I heard that a “purple monkey flew across the room”!!!!!! ha ha ha – LOVE it – thanks for stopping by and so glad you like the series! I appreciate the support! 🙂

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