Men are at such a disadvantage when it comes to communicating with women. The male species is basically pretty simple, thinking one thought at a time. They have to close the open box in their brain that holds whatever thought they are thinking before they can open up another. Don’t ever ask them to do something when they are in the middle of a chore. Wait until they finish.
Women, on the other hand, have hundreds of thoughts running through their heads at any given moment. I read a quote on Facebook that said something like, “If you want to know how a woman thinks, just open up 2,468 tabs on your computer – at once.” So true! We are almost impossible to figure out.
The poor guys don’t have a chance when we analyze every move, every gesture, and every tone in their voice. We, as women, often assume we know our spouse’s thoughts because of one little eye roll or shrug, or maybe by his poor timing in walking in a room. Their actions don't always correlate with their thought.
For example - my husband is very time conscious. I am too, but I like to be right on time. He wants to arrive 15 minutes early. So we’ve had to learn to compromise, but only after years of arguing and getting angry.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to allow plenty of time for preparation. I’ve also learned to say “no” and don’t have the crazy, chocked-full days that I used to when my kids were at home. I don’t want to rush anymore. I’m usually ready to go way before it’s time to leave.
Except for yesterday. We had to get to church earlier than usual, and so I mentally planned out what to wear before I went to bed so I wouldn’t waste time in the morning. When I went to get ready, I couldn’t find the top I planned to wear with my skirt - anywhere. I searched every closet, every nook and cranny. Needless to say, it completely threw me off schedule.
As time grew closer to leaving, my husband started his pacing ritual (at least that’s what I thought.) He has learned to wait in the other room but made the mistake of walking back into the bedroom after he’d already showered and dressed.
“I’ll be ready in five minutes!” I snapped at him. I knew he was observing the situation to see how much longer it would be.
“Honey, I just came in to get my shoes.” he gingerly responded.
“Don’t rush me! I’m having one problem after another. I’ll be ready as soon as I can!” I barked.
I don’t know about you, but as soon as I get out of my routine and I feel rushed, things happen to delay me even more. I can’t think as clearly. I had nothing in my closet to wear and after fifteen minutes of frantic rummaging, I had to settle for an old “last resort” dress. I dropped my lipstick, I dropped my brush. I couldn’t find ANY backs for my earrings. How can I have hundreds of pairs of earrings but no backs?? I went without any earrings, which I thought was a huge step for me! In the past we would have been late because I would have insisted on wearing earrings.
You see, before Rick mellowed into this easy going gem of a husband, he would come into the room every two minutes asking, “How much longer?” (His pacing ritual). That, of course, only aggravated my preparation. We would argue, and I’d be mad the rest of the day. Although he’s now reformed, I sometimes unknowingly recall the way he used to be (especially when I'm tired or rushed) and respond defensively,even when he is innocent. Poor guy, I analyzed every movement he made, assuming he was trying to hurry me along, when he was calm as a cucumber and had no intention of rushing me.
The beauty here is that after all these years of marriage and working on our communication, Rick has figured out how not to react when I get in one of my tizzies. He kept his mouth shut and stayed out of my way, regardless of the impatience and stress in my voice. I tried to point the blame at him, over-analyzing his movements and raising my voice to a state of frustration. He wouldn’t bite.
And so, we got in the car, and I realized my silliness. We began to laugh and had a pleasant drive to church. We were just on time. Not early, not late.