Relationship Corner: Does He Really have Hearing Loss?

I have pestered my husband for years about not hearing me, even accusing him of having a hearing loss, to the point that he recently had his hearing checked by a specialist! Guess what? He can hear just fine! He just does not listen! That news inspired me to adjust my messages and to remember what I’d been teaching all these years; the important differences between the male and female modes of communication.


New brain research using MRI and PET scan technology has discovered that the male and female brains respond differently during communication. For women the emotion center as well as the language centers are highly activated. For men, it is only the language center. For example, if she is upset about something, she wants to ventilate, he on the other hand might say, “get over it!” In the male mode, he is more quickly able to get over an incident. Another problem for many men is that women drown them in details, blah blah blah…… so they tune them out! Females enjoy long well developed responses, while men just want to get to the point!


Another intriguing finding has to do with the indirect language style used by many women. Perhaps it is evolution, biology or culture, but many girls and women soften their wants and desires and talk in a coded manner. For example, if a woman asks her partner, “Do I look fat in these jeans?” she may be mining for a compliment. A lot of husbands and boyfriends probably get into trouble when they give what they think is an honest answer! Or she may say, “would you like to stop on the way home for a bite to eat?” He does not feel hungry so quickly responds, “No.” Then he is in big trouble as she sulks into her and he has no idea why!


The female code is hard for many men to understand. She might have wanted some quiet time for them as a couple before they got back to the kids. Men tend toward directness, while women have been taught from an early age to be polite and agreeable.


So before I begin one of my typically rambling monologues with my husband, I need to remember these simple pointers. I must get to the point more quickly and to make sure that I actually have his attention before I start talking!