Couple communication and gender differences
Thank you Tracy from San Francisco for your email stating that most of your conversations with your husband are your daily life and its tasks. It annoys you because most of the time you would like to take care of things in advance so evenings can leave room for other conversations. And you feel that your husband has no energy for other conversations. You would love more romance.
Please know that men and women view tasks differently, especially when it comes with anything to do with their private life. Both genders have different priorities, and they handle problems differently as well.
For most men a priority is urgent. Urgency makes them move, and then they usually move quickly and efficiently. So they assess a situation and define whether thy will dedicate energy to it now or not. At the end of the day most issues can wait according to their perspective. From a female perspective delaying is associated to procrastination. Women live in anticipation. They want to avoid dealing with emergencies, so the sooner they handle a matter the better for them.
In fact chores and admin talk are stress builders for women that they can’t ignore. So often they initiate conversations at the wrong time to get their partner’s attention. Their urgency is not relevant for the male partner at that point.
As a result, most conversations between a man and a woman over admin tasks are prone to take place in a stormy atmosphere. It does not matter whether it is related to the house, the kids, food, or money.
Traditional couple communication over a boring matter:
She tries to address everything that comes to her mind. Among all these things he unconsciously gives a distracted answer on all subjects that he does not consider urgent. She feels his attitude as a form of dismissal. Depending on whether she insists or not, her stress level quickly rises. He perceives her frustration but misunderstands the reason. He wants to reduce her stress level by solving the problem and end this annoying conversation. So he tries to end the conversation as quickly as possible and solve what is now urgent with the efficiency most men have.
Both have in the back of their head the feeling that they are really difficult to talk to one another. They are not any closer to each other, in fact at that moment they’d rather not engage with each other.
In addition, most of these conversations happen in the evening when both are tired. That does not help.
Choosing how and when you communicate
Timing is everything at so many levels that it does not come as a surprise that boring but necessary conversations have their own timing.
Typically when both partners are relaxed… To avoid the synchronization parameter, written communication is the best option. Each partner chooses the time when he or she will read and answer.
Women in particular should really favor email or text communication for anything that is on their that requires their partner’s input.
- The simple fact of doing something lowers the female stress level. Writing about a problem is one step further to solving it.
- Male partners are more likely to review the problem as it is and address it. Written communication is usually less emotional and it has the neutrality that men love.
With my husband, 90% of what I call admin task is successfully dealt with via email. Sometimes I simply remind him that I need his reply and usually within 48h I get the information I need to proceed.
The only way to find your way through life today is to be organized: little tricks like this increase your efficiency and leaves room for other, fun interactions.