I remember years ago a book was published, Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars. I think it was even a New York Times best seller. And I think none of us needed a book to tell us how different men and women are.
My husband and I are so different, we very well could be from two different planets. But then again, we kind of were. I was born and raised on the west coast. He was born and raised in Texas. City girl and country guy. Even our families and upbringings were complete opposites. There is no right or wrong, together, we can be something stronger.
My husband’s upbringing was as stereotypical southern as you could imagine. Yes ma’am, yes sir, star football player, star baseball player, born and raised his entire life in less than a 20 mile radius, father who ruled the roost with an iron fist, fishing in the spring and summer, hunting in the fall and winter.
My upbringing was so different, growing up in several suburbs of large west coast towns. Always in subdivisions. No major sports, never truly needed for anything, we were subject to corporate America and there was a lot of commuting, but it all worked in the end.
In his home, there was little communication about feelings, whether good or bad. In mine, we were lovers, huggers, talkers, even if it was screaming. Having grown up the ways we did, we both naturally took on both mentalities.
I think every generation strives to do better than their parents’ generation, not because they did it wrong, but because we want to do better. We both want to be more and do more. But we both still struggle.
My husband struggles with opening up. When for so long, he instinctively kept things to himself, it has taken time for him to get used to the idea that he had a partner, a team mate, who wanted to know it all. I care and want to know if he’s had a good day or bad day. He’s my husband and I care.
I’ve always talked, heck sometimes too much. But it’s in my nature, when there’s something good to be shared, I’m bursting at the seams to share it. When there’s a disagreement, I want to talk it out and solve it now. I say I love you and I’m sorry way too much and silence can make me uncomfortable.
Coming from such different viewpoints on pretty much everything has taken us time to find our middle, where we can meet and each of be comfortable.
Because I’ve spent so much time talking, my listening skills haven’t always been the best, and my husband has never wanted anything more than a listener. So I’ve learned to shut my mouth sometimes, let the silence smooth over, to give him time to process his day, to process his feelings, to feel the need to share. And when he shares, I listen. And I truly take it all in, even when it’s about things that I have no clue about, I listen.
Men and women are different, we’ve all seen the scenes where a woman is just steadily talking away and a man is just nodding his head. I think about 90% of the time, women just want to talk, sometimes we even know no one is listening. But my husband and I’m sure many other men, they don’t just want to talk, they want to be heard. So my job is to listen. To let him know that when he speaks, it’s important to me.
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