Oh how irritating it is when you are not being heard by your man! It often feels like you are speaking to a wall that does not have ears. Pun intended. Getting to this point where you are constantly fighting and you do not feel like the other person understands your point of view is exhausting. My husband and I have had conflicting opinions often, and I had to learn the hard way on how to approach him. Coming from an empowered girl background, I had this mindset that, no man deserved me explaining to him anything like a baby. I carried the misled thought of having to be aggressive and confrontational in my union with me, only for it to be one of the ways that nearly led us to a break up.

With our first born being months old, our financial hardship season was only getting rougher. As you know from such, it made the home very volatile as every off statement from the other would be a trigger for a confrontation from me. I was particularly concerned with shopping for our son, how we were to survive in the coming months, since I was not in any maternity leave package, and I was getting frustrated that my husband was not getting a job. I therefore began complaining in bits, hoping that he would join the dots that I was insecure in the relationship’s financial status. After being passive aggressive for a week, and getting no response (I expressed a bad mood and such ungratefulness on the little we had at the time), I moved to being confrontational and started asking him why he was not getting a job faster! The only thing I remember before he left the house for a week was him lamenting how insensitive I was. Here is what I learnt along the way after we discussed thereafter on our recovery.(Thank God he came home!)

Making your man listen to you can end up being volatile.

Timing is everything

Like you, when your man is tired, sleepy or hungry, they are more likely to be irritable. I noticed that he was not listening to me because every time I brought up that topic on our financial instability, I was oblivious of the fact that my man had come home tired and even if he came home empty handed or with little, he had put a lot of effort to achieve that. To encourage your man to listen to you, notice his changing tides. Since the issue is important to you, get both of you in a calm and easy environment that is most likely private. It could be when both of you are having a bath, or early morning as you are cuddling in bed. Point is, be keen on the time, as it sets the mood for the conversation.

Check your tone

There is a statement a fellow mom told me that transformed her view on how our tones affect all our relationship. Her perspective was in response to another mom’s act of shouting at her kids. The statement goes, ‘Shouting at your child is as detrimental to them as your boss shouting at you at work.’ This statement gave me a light on how my tone to my husband (even when the mistake he has made is humongous) mattered. Don’t et me wrong, I do not mean that you should bottle your emotions, just that, channeling them in a good tone manner makes someone want to listen and take into consideration your concerns. Some of the practical ways I have had to use to calm down so as to help with my tone are, breathing exercises, walking before the conversation or setting some calm music in the background.

Use ‘I’ statements instead of ‘You’

‘You don’t even care what we shall cook tonight since we have not done shopping!’ VS ‘I am concerned about our financial situation and wondering if we can brainstorm ideas together on how to shop next week.’ The first statement is how I would through in that topic to my husband and immediately, his defenses would go up. Using ‘You’ statements sound like you are blaming the other person and will often make your man feel unappreciated. On the contrary, the ‘I ‘ statements voice your statement as a concern that both of you have, and that both of you are in together.

Avoid being too verbose

Using too many unnecessary words coupled with examples while dragging in mistakes or issues of the past will do you no good. Aim to be precise, and ensure you are able to express yourself without circumnavigating the issue as much as you can. Men like straight talk and will respond to it. He is more likely to struggle with your expression of all your emotions at a go as it may get super overwhelming for him. They are also wired to offer solutions, so when you speak too much, his hearing span gets cut off as he shall be trying to wonder within his mind how many solutions he has to give. Take one problem at a time and express it accordingly.

Respect him in your address

Remember I told you how I was coming out as disrespectful in the beginning of our relationship? It really started causing friction between us. Here I was, feeling that I was better and smarter, and that consulting my partner was unnecessary. DIs-respect came out in how bad my tone was, how I would walk out of the conversation before it ended, and my general attitude as I expressed myself. It was as if I wanted him to read my thoughts and know what I did, then make the decision that I wanted him to! In short, respecting your man throughout the conversation will evoke from him a sense of consideration rather than defense or zero-responses.

Great relationships are founded on two great principles. Love and Respect. If you respect your man, he will love you fully and your relationship will be wholesome and complete!

Rachel is a mum of two boys, blogger and a lover of writing all stuff inspirational. Anything to inspire women and mums and you'll find her there. Check out her family's YouTube channel too @presentfatherhood

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