Why can't my husband hear me?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by Xtina, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

    729
    0
    149
    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    This forum has proven to be the best place I have ever been online for advice, both chicken and non-chicken related! So I thought I'd bring up tonight's frustration just to see if someone has some bit of wisdom to impart to me, especially men or people who have been married for longer than I have (almost 8 years, yay!)

    As the title might suggest, my problem is my husband's selective hearing. I know lots of women face this, and men do too. I don't want to start a big post devoted to talking about how "inferior" men are, because I don't think that's it, and I want honest, well-formulated responses.

    I looked this up on Google just to see if I would hit on some other discussion that covered it, but I found a lot of stories that were much worse than mine, and advice for problems that are much different. It's not that my husband is mean, or uncaring, or any of the other horrible things some women report. Sure, he can be uncouth at times, but for the most part, he listens and remembers more things than I give him credit for. The problem lies in his complete inability to hear my attempts at starting a conversation, or the simple questions I ask that need a two second response. Like tonight, he was on the computer and I was watching TV in the same room. I asked him about three questions and patiently waited for answers that never came. And they weren't questions that would be boring to him (at least, not all of them). One of them was, "Hey, honey, when's the Super Bowl?" I mean, talk about his dream...he's been waiting for me to show an interest in football for ten years. I asked twice, spaced about a minute apart, and he never even heard me.

    A related problem is that his response time is super slow...excruciatingly slow. It's not just him; his whole family is made of slow-moving, slow acting individuals. They're not dumb by any means, but if you're burning dinner and you ask for a pot holder to save the day, consider the dinner lost to the flames. The help will get there about five minutes too slow, if it ever gets there at all. He just can't jump to a task, no matter how urgent. This goes for answering any question. I never thought I came from a particularly fast family, but compared to his, we all look like a bunch of quick-witted jackrabbits. I have trained myself to not keep prompting him rudely ("huh? well? what do you say? did you even hear me?"), so I know that his answer, if I ever get one, will be at least 10 seconds down the road. I just can't train myself to remember that before asking him some small question or making a trivial statement. It's such a conversation-killer! And super frustrating. Sometimes I even wonder if he has some kind of brain damage because he just trails off in the middle of sentences and thoughts, and forgets that he was even talking. And it's not senility, he's only 29 years old! If he weren't basically a genius, I would be forced to conclude that he is mentally challenged. I think he may just have too much going on in his head, because he does the classic smart kid things: bad handwriting, stuttering because he has too many thoughts, etc.

    He says that it's because I talk to him when he's doing things, but he is ALWAYS doing something. I don't know anyone who sits around doing nothing, waiting for a conversation to be started, especially him. He's such an active guy, always reading something or building something, or dreaming up some great new project.

    This has caused serious fights in our history together, and I'm really not interested in continuing that pattern. I'm more than willing to accept blame for my attitude and the ways I've tried to remedy the situation, but I just want to put all that behind me and learn how to get him to converse with me easily. It seems like the only time he can do that is Saturday mornings and he gets so feisty and alive then that he's just as likely to pick a fight with me as he is to have a fun conversation. A big part of me gets really hurt (just like a woman!) when he can't hear me. I feel like it's the ultimate insult, to talk and not be given the time of day. But I know he doesn't mean it that way, so to avoid fights I've almost ceased to bring my hurt feelings on the matter to his attention, even though sometimes it's so frustrating that I can't help it.

    So what am I doing wrong? Is it unreasonable to expect that I can ask a question and get an answer within 2 seconds 90% of the time? Should I talk less? I know I probably talk too much, as the length of this post proves, and I do make strong efforts to not flood him with all the data in my head like I do on forums [​IMG]. Should I just give up the ghost and forget about being able to get responses from him? Or is there some wifely secret that you ladies who have been married longer than I have know? Husbands? Got any tips? Because everything I've tried, from nicely trying to explain how it makes me feel to sarcastically giving him a taste of his own medicine has failed and made him angry and defensive. He suggests - somewhat jokingly - that I should just never try to talk to him because it's pointless...he will never hear me. My mother-in-law says not to worry, that by the time we're 50 I will hate him and not ever want to talk to him or care what he does. And I hope to God that I can avoid that, because he's my best friend and I want our relationship to continue to get better with time, not worse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  2. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    6,966
    20
    283
    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Oh,you poor thing but forgive me for laughing so hard, for a minute I thought you were one of my dh's relatives. [​IMG] I had to repeat some of your complaints to dh and he started laughing and said, no it is not one of my relatives...HE KNEW WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY. It something that gets me more frustrated than anything else he does. Not listening and then acting surprised when something comes up or someone says something to him that I already told him. Or even something he has said to me...he forgets. Honey, it happens when they say the words...I DO. [​IMG]
     
  3. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

    729
    0
    149
    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Ha! I know, they immediately lose interest in us. Yes, I noticed a distinct falling-off of his motivation to treat me like a human on day two of marriage [​IMG]

    No, he really is a great guy. Still brings me flowers sometimes, just for no reason! But gah, how frustrating the conversing problems are!
     
  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    My dh is one who focuses on the task at hand, period. This was the first lesson I had to learn. He wasn't ignoring me, he was focused and either did not hear me or he heard me and intended on answering in just a minute when he finished what he was focused on, but by then he'd forgotten all about it. Another thing I learned was to stop and see just what it was he was doing. Ok, he's on computer, is he researching something important to him, is he in a conversation with someone else, or just playing Solitaire? Solitaire was safe for answering me while the others were not. Sometimes he would get grumpy when interrupted depending of if he was having problems with whatever he was working on. Yes, I spent a good bit of time not talking by doing my own thing, then much later when he was no longer involved I'd let him know it was my turn for his attention. That's when we would interact. But I first had to be considerate of what he was doing and check to see if he was intensely focused on something. After a while, we both mellowed and got used to each others ways and all has worked out fine. We are closer than ever because we feel we have mutual respect. We just had our 40th anniversary last fall.
     
  5. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    11,744
    15
    321
    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    Ummm, [​IMG], I can't believe I had the attention span to read your entire
    post. (Just joking with ya)

    Your question is one women have been asking forever.

    I'll offer a few thoughts:

    Could he just think you know he is listening? Many men, including me,
    listen to our wives but don't see the need to say we heard them. If we
    are sitting in the same room then we obviously heard you.

    Could he just have a lot on his mind?

    Could he have a touch of ADD?

    He sounds like a typical 29 year old to me.

    Is it always like this with him or just sometimes? Do the two of you have
    deep conversations?

    Just so you know we guys do the same thing to each other too. We just
    don't care.

    I do understand that it can feel insulting when you are talking to
    someone who doesn't acknowledge you.
     
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    11,744
    15
    321
    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    Quote:[​IMG] Someone had to say it. [​IMG]
     
  7. wasatusay

    wasatusay Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    131
    Nov 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    All I have to say is '"welcome to the real world of men" . I have been with mine 20 plus years and still can't believe a woman raised him and I have had this many years of training him and have come to the conclusion that I would not want to start from the beginning even though the results are not what I intended, maybe another 20 years will help. But hey my mind has never been bored due to the burning question of " where is your head at?!" I will leave it up to you to figure out where it might be on any given day....but I have concluded it is not far between the head and the feet on most days. But I wouldn't trade mine for all the pennies in China.
     
  8. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    first [​IMG]

    Now, being a male type person...let me first say that you gotta get our attention...that does not mean saying Honey and then going...you have to get our attention and huh doesn't count! I make my wife mad all the time because she will tell me something when I am otherwise previously engaged with great issues like where the heck did that hair come from...invision trying to see your own eyebrows without using a mirror [​IMG]...get our attention when we look at you then you can talk! If that doesn't work try a good ol' [​IMG]! What cracks me up is when my wife and i are watching TV together..I ask her a question or make a comment and she says huh? she is usually multi tasking reading a book! I give her that look of see...gotta get the attention thing first

    Best of luck...keep it going...remember us husbands are like puppies...kinda hard to train but it is well worth it!
     
  9. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,277
    45
    193
    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Sorry you are having trouble getting through, but it's not his fault. Our (guys) brains work different than you girls do. Alot of us cannot multi-task. When I am concentrating on something, I just don't hear my wife. The slow respone is because I'm trying to back up my train of though to see if I can remember what I heard while I was concentrating on the item in front of me. I'm not ignoring her on purpose. The question she asked just gets filed away with all the other background noise. I wish I could watch TV, talk on the phone and balance my checkbook all at the same time while fielding questions from my better half. It aint gonna happen. One thing at a time. Sorry to tell you this, if he's like me, it will get worse. I did see a program on Discovery channel, or one of those other learning channels that backs me up on this and I use that excuse all the time now. Me wife now says "HELLO, HELLO, HELLO!!" and makes sure she has eye contact before asking me any questions. Annoying for her, but it helps.[​IMG]
     
  10. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    6,966
    20
    283
    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Well, here it is the spouse focusing while in his recliner watching the speed channel. [​IMG] But I cannot complain on how he treats me. He builds me anything I want for the chickens, helps out around here and is always doing great things for me...it is his hearing that seems to be a problem. he told me 21 years ago to stay on his left side so he could hear me...... [​IMG] Now the left side is like his right side [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by