On shutting up…

Shutting UpApparently, sometimes the best thing to say is nothing.

And… apparently some parts of becoming a better husband are a little more complicated than I had anticipated… #NothingGetsByMe

I figured it would be tough.  And it has been.

But most of the time it was pretty simple.

Doing more around the house is a pretty simple concept, right?

But then there are the times where the kids are going nuts, toys are everywhere, nobody's slept, everyone's hungry, someone's full of poop (usually one of the kids…) and errands and chores have piled up.

It's chaotic.

This is where it gets complicated.

But I think I'm catching on.

See, I'm a natural “helper.”

And a talker.

When someone has a problem, my natural instinct is to talk with them about it.

It's no different with my wife.

If I'm home, it's usually not a problem.  The natural instinct to talk is not as strong because I know it's effective to get up and help in those situations (or help prevent them from getting that far).

I'm good so far.  That I can do.

But when I'm not home it gets complicated.  My phone rings:

Me: “Hello.”

Wife: “I can't take this anymore!  I need help!”

Now I have a choice…. What do I say?

She says she needs help.

She knows I'm not home.

So I start talking…..

Makes sense, right?

WRONG!  Apparently it's not that simple….

Sometimes she needs me to talk.

But most of the time, she just needs me to shut up and let her vent for a few minutes, making sure to let her know that I love her and will be home as soon as I can to help.  (Not always the easiest thing to convey at this point…)

I still have no idea how to figure out exactly when she just needs me to shut up and listen….

So when I'm not home and get an “I can't take it!” call, I err on the side of shutting up.  If that's the wrong answer she usually follows up with something to the effect of “Hello?!?!? I could use a little help here.  What should I do?!?!” – or something like that.  Then I know she's looking for suggestions.

Otherwise I just need to shut up and be sympathetic.

She doesn't want suggestions.

She just needs to vent.

And I just need to shut up.

Still a work in progress.

Still trying to figure this one out.

Wives, how do we know when you just need to vent?  

When you call your husband, knowing he can't be home in short order, what are you looking for?  What would be most helpful to you at that time?   Do you just need a sympathetic voice?

Maybe we can come up with some sort of a signal when it's time to shut up?  Maybe we can have a code word or something…. How about starting out with “Don't say a word” – you know… something subtle for us 🙂  

(In case you're wondering, yes, I'm going to ask my wife about a signal…)

Husbands, how do you know when it's time to just shut up and listen?


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