Have you ever found yourself sharing something really close to your heart with your mate, only to realize he or she is far, far away?
Not really listening at all? Ouch!
In my marriage, this has been done to me and, quite frankly, done by me to my husband more times than I can count!
It’s so easy to let the distractions of life interfere, especially in a phone-obsessed world.It’s so easy to let the distractions of life interfere, especially in a phone-obsessed world. Click To Tweet
We have people nipping at our heels every second of the day, at least when we let our phones do the dictating. Don’t get me started on how this plays out in a household full of children interrupting every adult conversation!
How to Love Your Man Even When He Doesn’t Listen to You
Many years ago, in an effort to stay connected, my hubby and I chose to carve out Friday as our day off. We’ve spent this dedicated day doing fun things together for decades now. So on this particular day, I have a higher than normal expectation to be listened to by my husband.
Though, I will say that I’m never happy to discover he hasn’t been listening to me no matter what or when!
Sadly, we’ve gotten into quite a few fights on our fun and relaxing day off together, because of my inability to really love my spouse when he isn’t listening.
At some point, I realized that I needed to change the way I approached this problem. So here are some steps I now take that have helped me to love my mate when we enter the not-listening-zone.
5 Important Steps to Take When Your Man Doesn’t Listen to You
First… Assume the Best.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
This Scripture makes it very clear that my first responsibility whenever my mate doesn’t listen to me is to be quick to listen to him. After all, there is more than one way to really listen to each other, right?
You and I must listen for what’s not being said but rather demonstrated—always with compassion in place. I’ve discovered that when I do that, I am assuming the best about my mate, rather than the worst.You and I must listen for what’s not being said but rather demonstrated—always with compassion in place. Click To Tweet
Assuming the worst sounds like: He isn’t listening to me because he doesn’t really love me.
Or worse: He isn’t listening to me because he’s selfish.
But assuming the best sounds like: His mind is cluttered and still distracted on this day off. So I need to give him a break by extending grace to him in this distracted moment.
Second… Slow Your Anger.
This next step flows from the step and verses above. Whenever I’ve assumed the best, I actually slow my anger as well. Imagine that! #squashangerwithcompassion
I dare you to try this! Try remaining angry when you’ve just assumed the best about your mate’s hurtful actions. God uses it to short-circuit the anger in amazing ways!I dare you to try this! Try remaining angry when you’ve just assumed the best about your mate’s hurtful actions. Click To Tweet
Third… Choose to Be Patient and Overlook an Offense.
So once I’ve assumed the best and slowed my anger, a natural outflow of this process is the choice to be patient.
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
Apparently, whenever we do this, we actually show wisdom! How’s that for a lovely bonus?!
In practical terms, I take this verse to mean that I should avoid pointing out to my husband that he’s not listening to me the very first time he does this. Maybe not even pointing it out the second or third time.
Fourth… Prayerfully Deal with Any Bitterness.
Whenever my spouse does not listen to me time after time, I take Jesus’ words to heart :
“ . . . First, take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
I use this as my cue to prayerfully deal with any bitterness I’m likely harboring that’s blocking my view. This not only helps me to genuinely overlook the offense (Step 3) but also determines and aids my next step, should I need it.
Fifth… Lovingly and Respectfully Confront.
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
After prayerfully dealing with any bitterness (Step 4), my heart and mind are in the right place to confront. It is only then that my words can reflect the compassion and patience God has cultivated in my heart for my husband.
If the problem still persists for you, then I would suggest repeating these steps. Always assuming the best, being slow to anger, patiently overlooking an offense, and dealing with any bitterness. And then and only then, lovingly confronting your mate.
Each of these choices and actions gives us a greater ability to love our spouses when they hurt us by not listening to us.
In my case, I truly believe exercising each of these steps, even and especially exercising them over and over, strengthens my love for my husband. Truly, God redeems the hurt you and I experience in our marriages by developing obedience in us that produces the fruit of love for our mates.God redeems the hurt you and I experience in our marriages by developing obedience in us that produces the fruit of love for our mates. Click To Tweet
About the Author:
Beth and her pastor husband of 31 years are enjoying the early stages of an empty-nest and eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first grandchild in October of 2018!
Beth typically fills her days with blogging, life-coaching, mentoring, as well as speaking at marriage workshops and women’s events. You can catch her hanging out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. To find more of Beth’s insights and posts, head to messymarriage.com, where she offers her e-book, Forgive U, along with 35 other free resources in a subscriber library.
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