As a woman, have you observed your partner's eyes glaze over only three or four minutes into a conversation in which you are trying to share something that has happened in your day or attempting to discuss a misunderstanding you are having in your relationship? As a man, do you hear yourself say in your mind,"Oh no, here she goes again" as your partner begins to talk.
The need to talk and the abilitiy to listen are areas in which gender differences seem to cause many clashes and frustation for both partners. Men want to get to the point. Women want to share the details of their lives. Men feel overwhelmed with too much information. Women feel more connected as they have a better picture of an event or experience.
So who is right? How can this struggle be solved?
As in most differences that exist in a couple, both are right for him/herself but wrong for the other. A compromise is best and is what is right for the couple.
Both need to stretch and grow themselves to show their understanding of their partner's needs.
Women have to appreciate that men are not personally rejecting them when they have trouble listening. Men have to appreciate that women are attempting to share their lives and the details with them and this is the way that they feel connected. If a woman approaches a man, she might give him the benefit of the doubt by starting softly and saying,"I know that this may be difficult to listen to but it is really important to me that i share this with you and i will keep it to five-ten minutes as i know that it can be challenging to listen for a longer period." A man can make a greater attempt to stay focused, knowing his wife will keep the sharing to a limited time period or say that he knows that what she is saying is important and if his attention starts to fade he will ask her to stop and then finish a little later on in the day.
More on gender differences in two weeks when i return from vacation