Listening is loving.

When you are talking with a customer you listen.

listening to your customerAny smart salesman will tell you that.
Why?
Because when a salesman listens to a customer, he/she learns about the customer’s needs and how to get paid to deliver the solution.
Why is it that we as husbands find it easy to listen to a customer, yet quickly become impatient when our wives are talking?
The quick answer is that we value our customers’ money.
But what does that say about how we value our wives?

Ouch.

yelling until you listen is the Navy wayBack in bootcamp, my Navy instructor expected me to listen.  If I didn’t, he would exercise me until I hurt too much to think about anything else but listening to him.  The same thing happened when I was in sales.  I learned how to listen to my customers by discovering that if I didn’t listen carefully, I lost the sale.  In fact, I learned so well, I could actually get the potential customer to tell me exactly what I needed to say or do to get the sale.

So the question is… are you a good listener in your marriage?
Or, after a few endless seconds, do you tune her out and think about things that interest you?

Here’s a scenario:  You’re being intimate with your wife, and through some miracle you are able to hear/read her thoughts.  This might be really cool, but it quickly turns horrible when you find out she’s not thinking about you at all… instead, she’s thinking about the mail she hasn’t opened yet, the flowers she wants to plant in the front flower bed this weekend, how your breath smells just like what you had for dinner that evening, Facebook, or worse yet… the neighbor guy next door.  Yeah, that guy.  Is this how someone who values, honors, and cherishes their spouse would think–even for a second?

Then stop it.  Listen, I’m not accusing you of those things above–especially thinking about the guy next door–but you understand where this is going. If the shoe fits…
Listening to your wife is important.  In fact, it is paramount.  Along with telling your wife multiple times a day that you love her, listening is a cornerstone of every successful marriage relationship.

Here’s your assignment for the next few days.  Listen.  At first it may not be easy, if you have to, imagine her as a customer until you have trained yourself to focus on her.  At first, just shut up.  Listen and hear what she is talking about.  At a moment of pause, ask questions about things relating only to what she is saying.

listen to your wifeI N T E R A C T.
Listening is loving.
Smile when listening to her. Look her in the eye–like you would with anyone else you respect.

And–here’s my bit of advice for the day–do not, under any circumstances, try to solve any issue or offer any solutions to anything she is discussing with her UNLESS SHE ASKS YOU FOR IT. Sorry for the yelling, but this is important. Let her be the one to ask you for ideas and solutions.  Even better yet, you can ask her what ideas she has come up with for solving her own problem and then agreeing with her – telling her why her idea will work.  One of the top three things my wife loves about how I love her, is that I value her ideas and her opinions.  And let me repeat–shut up and listen.
Set this as one of your goals.  She needs to know you value her for her mind as well, not just her body, or doing the laundry.

So, for the next few days, enjoy listening to and hearing your wife.  She is no longer the young girl you married and you might be surprised at how resourceful and interesting she is now.

And hey! Don’t forget to call her and tell her you called just to say I love you!

-ALan

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