Here comes the bride

I, FOR one, was a June bride. My daughter, Chibom, was also a June bride. I thought my late husband was funny when he chose June 12 as our wedding day which we are customarily celebrating as our Independence Day. Because he said so, he could easily remember our wedding anniversary every year, thus, I could not be offended. His funny reason about our wedding date still lingers on me.

Maybe some of you are planning to get married or are already married during the month of June or any month is quite alright; it’s up to both of you. First, though, there are a few things we should know about the different communication styles of men and women, if you haven’t known yet. Because when you discuss a problem, do you seem to end up further apart than when you started the conversation? If so, we can improve the situation.

The following characteristics that will be described may not apply to every man and woman. However, they can help both man and woman understand and communicate better with each other.

Women usually prefer to talk out a problem before hearing a solution. In fact, sometimes talking is a solution. One woman said, “I feel better when I have expressed my feelings and know that I’m understood. After I talk about it; I’m over it, usually within minutes after the conversation.” Another woman said, “I can’t move on if I don’t have a chance to explain to the person concerned how I feel. Talking it out is a form of closure for me.” Still another one woman said, “It’s like a detective work. As I talk, I’m analyzing each step of the problem and trying to get to the root of it.”

Men tend to think in terms of solutions. That is understandable because fixing things makes a man feel useful. Offering solutions is his way of showing her that she can rely on him for help. So he is baffled when his solution is not readily accepted. He can’t understand why she would talk about a problem when she doesn’t want a solution. Oftentimes, she is not asking him to come up with a solution at all but just be a good listener.

For a man: Though hard as it may seem, practice listening to her feelings without interrupting. More often, she finishes and tells him she feels a lot better. Every now and then, resist the urge to give unsolicited advice. Make eye contact and focus on what she is saying. Nod in agreement. Repeat the gist of what she says to show that you get the point. Sometimes, she just needs to know that you understand her and that you’re on her side.

For a woman: Say what you need and spell it out to him. For instance, “Something is bothering me and I would like you to hear me out. I don’t need you to fix it but I would like you to understand how I feel.” But when he prematurely offers a solution, try to realize that he is trying to lighten your load.

They need to consider how each one of them like to be treated to discuss problems effectively. Hopefully, both of them equally benefit when they try to fully understand each other.


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