He only sees the facts and always seems to have the answers to all his wife’s issues. She doesn’t want his answers but for him simply to listen and act like he actually cares. Ever been there? Men and women, and especially husbands and wives, see life’s issues through totally different lenses. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs says it best in his book, Love & Respect: “We’re as different as pink and blue. A woman looks at the world through pink sunglasses that color all she sees. A man, however, looks at the world through blue sunglasses that color all he sees. Men and women can look at precisely the same situation and see life much differently, and inevitably, their pink and blue lenses cause their interpretation of things to be at odds to some degree.”
As humans, we naturally see things in our own favor and based upon our own needs and perceptions, whether right or wrong. As a result, in marriage, this often can create a lot of misunderstandings and make it hard to understand each other. Husbands and wives have desires. For a wife, those desires may lean more toward communication and affection. For a husband, those desires may lean more toward sex and respect. So how do we help each other understand those desires? And more specifically, how can you, as a husband, help your wife better understand you and your desires? Here are two simple yet important steps to your success.
Don’t try to change how your wife thinks. Try to help her understand the way you think.Trying to change someone is futile. You don’t hold that much power.
Trying to change someone is futile. You don’t hold that much power. However, people can and do change. And one of the best things you can do for your wife is not to try to change her or the way she thinks. What you can do is patiently guide her into an understanding of your preferences and perspectives. While she may never see things through your blue lenses, that doesn’t mean she can’t understand you and seek to please you in the ways that matter to you most. Allowing her to have her own opinions and preferences, even when they contradict yours, is key to being able to understand each other mutually and a steppingstone to success in your marriage.
Don’t just seek to be understood by her. Seek to understand her as well.
While it’s wonderful to be understood by another, it’s unlikely to happen if we fail to understand others. In many marriages, wives rarely open up to understanding their husbands’ blue-lense perspectives because they don’t see their husbands being open to understanding their pink-lense perspectives. So when conflict arises surrounding communication, finances, in-laws, or sex, couples get very little if any traction—and a whole lot of friction. Why? Because both spouses are trying to prove themselves right, which is always a recipe for disaster. Surprisingly, mutual understanding of one another is the answer. The moment your spouse knows you’re not trying to force agreement but that you want both to understand and be understood, you’ve just scored a win for your relationship.
Sound off: What could you do today to help your wife better understand you?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What is one thing I can do to better understand you?”