What The Heck Is She Saying

Learning To Understand The Words That Are Coming Out Of Her Mouth

“Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”
~ Oscar Wilde

“I do so much for you, yet you are always ignoring me. All you care about is yourself and your fishing boat.”
Before Elizabeth could continue, Jamie reminded her, “I work hard.  I have a right to relax on my days off.”
Elizabeth jumps back in with, “Meanwhile I do everything around here!  This family would fall apart if it were left to you to take care of.”
Jamie mutters under his breath, “It’s always something.”
“I heard that!” Elizabeth exclaims. “You never listen to me. You’re not the man I married. I want more romance in my life.”
“Why do you have to do this right at bed time?” screams Jamie. He marches back to their bedroom thinking, “She doesn’t appreciate anything I do for her.”
Elizabeth sits at the kitchen table crying tears of frustration.

When it comes to communication, men typically understand the basic lingo when a woman says, “Fine”; it doesn’t necessarily mean things are fine. This generally means that it would be a good idea to go ahead and shut up.
And when a woman says, “Never mind, I’ll do it myself”, this usually means all hell is about to break loose because she has already asked him to do the same thing several times before.
As men, we tend to understand these statements, but when women start talking on an emotional level, we men can really get confused.  Here are some points to help you understand what your woman is actually saying and will make her feel supported at the same time:

1)     You can do everything right and still hear complaints from a woman.  This may be more of a reflection of what’s going on with her in other areas of her life.
*   She may be overwhelmed with taking care of the children.
*   She may be exhausted from a hard day at work.
*   She may be worried about her parents who are ill.
*   She may be feeling insecure about herself.

2)     Don’t be so conditional in your love for her. As long as she is sweet, you are there for her, but if she isn’t, you are ready to walk away. How would you like it if she did this to you?
3)    Notice the absolute terms she uses. These can serve as red flags to prepare you to listen up. When you hear words like always, never, everything, nobody, and anything; these words indicate that you need to focus more on listening and trying to understand. Her message will sound like a personal attack on you but it typically isn’t.
4)     Here are some translations of common misunderstood statements:
“Nothing is going right”  Men hear this as their woman calling him a loser and I can’t trust you but this is a reflection of her own frustrations and her need to know that you appreciate her.
“All you care about is yourself”  Men hear this as their woman saying he is self centered but, what she really means is that she needs your reassurance that you love her and in fact you want her.
“You never take me anywhere” Men hear this as their woman saying she doesn’t appreciate a thing he does but she is really just needing to feel special.
“I do everything” Men hear this as their woman telling him he is completely lazy but she is seeking some form of permission to relax without him thinking bad of her if she does.
“You are never prepared” Men hear this as their woman saying he is an idiot who can’t be counted on but she wants to know if she slows down or relaxes for a while that he will be on top of things should it be necessary.
“I want more romance in my life” Men hear this as their woman wants someone else; that she has grown tired of him but what she is really saying is that she is tired and wants to take some time for them as a couple to do something romantic. A simple date or getaway will work or perhaps some flowers or a card.
“You never listen to me” Men hear this as their woman thinks he is selfish and uncaring but she is meaning that she needs for you to show her some extra attention and interest.

5)    When you hear statements like these, this is when she needs you the most. These are almost like a call for help. Women tend to hate to ask for what they want or need so these statements often hold a veiled request for your strength and comfort.
6)    RED FLAG! Here are some thoughts you may have just before you do something stupid:
“Why does she have to do this right now?”
“Am I going to have to hear about this the rest of my life?”
“It’s always something.”
“Oh no; here we go again.”
It is common to think these things but you will make things        worse if you say them out loud.

7)     If you think the sort of thoughts mentioned above, you should stop and remember that she is probably saying indirectly, “Please listen to me.  I need you.  I’m tired and I need your support.” Even if she isn’t saying these words, this mindset will help you maintain a stronger and more supportive message to the woman you love.
8)    If you don’t know what to say in response to what she said, just listen. Perhaps hold her. But whatever you do, don’t get defensive.
9)    Don’t try and fix her upset feelings. Men tend to become rather extreme when their woman is expressing her feelings, especially if she is frustrated or anxious. A man will do just about anything to get her to shut up or calm down but she will still be upset because she wasn’t looking for him to fix anything. I once knew a guy who didn’t golf for two years because of something his wife said while upset. He thought she wanted one thing and was trying to settle her down when in fact she stated she didn’t mind him golfing.
10)    Don’t take things personally even though it will all sound personal.
11)    Repeat this over and over in your head, “She is never upset for the reason I think.
12)    Most importantly, be PATIENT with her. Upset feelings and communication skills can easily get tangled up.  Remember this truth and that she is the woman that you love.

Mark Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta. Mark Webb is also the author of How To Be A Great Partner and founder of Partner Focused Relationships™.  Sign up for Mark Webb’s “Relationship Strategies”  Ezine ($100 Value).  Just visit his website at http://www.powerfulrelationshipadvice.com or http://www.therelationshipspecialist.com

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