“Honey we need to talk!”
Those five words strike unparalleled fear into a man’s heart. They usually mean an unpleasant message or a very long and arduous interaction. No wonder men dread these words!
While women are marathon runners in the endurance conversation; men are optimised for the sprint encounter – fast, focussed, effective communication is his preferred style. Like most couples, we spend a good deal of our day apart. In the early days of our relationship, we were diligent in updating each other on our experiences.
The practice kept us intimate as we both grew and changed. After a time, and especially once children came along, increasingly, there just wasn’t the time to share everything that we individually experienced each day. Yet we were still growing and changing just as much. Even as our relationship stagnated, our individual development continued. Over time, this lack of shared life experiences created the sense that we barely knew each other anymore; we had each changed so much that we felt like married strangers.
Stop. Revive. Share…
This ‘drifting’ apart is often felt more acutely by women as their need for intimate conversation is typically stronger than it is for men. One very effective habit is shing our Daily Strongest Feeling. In our fast-paced culture, it’s impractical to try to share all our encounters in a typical day apart. However if we share the strongest feeling we experience each day, then we are at least keeping in touch with the most significant experiences. It’s the strongest feelings that are associated with the most powerful experiences, the encounters that impact us deeply; these are the ones that really matter.
And it needn’t take an inordinate amount of time to do this. Five minutes is usually sufficient. This is not only achievable for the ‘conversation-wary’ husband, it actually helps focus the conversation for the woman, so that she becomes more efficient in communicating what really matters. Moreover, the practice helps us process those intense emotions. As a regular habit, the Daily Strongest Feeling is not only achievable, it has the added benefit of preventing the backlog that leads to her pressure-cooker demand of “needing to talk!” It’s a simple daily ritual with big pay-offs for us both.