Hi Friends – Welcome to our second week of Coffee with Clare! I am delighted that you are here today!
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you!
Until next time~