A Fun Quiz!

Spouse A says to spouse B: You never want to talk to me!

Spouse A is :
1. Male
2. Female

In my entire life, I’ve only heard this complaint ONE SINGLE time where it was the other way around.

Five years ago I wrote about this state of  affairs  here and nothing has made me reconsider its veracity. Women want to talk and men want us to shut up.

Ladies, how do you deal with this? Have you adjusted to your mate’s low tolerance for your stories, questions and opinions? Have you found other avenues for your need to discuss the things that don’t interest your male partner, i,e, everything? Or do you insist on talking even while he sighs and adopts the grim look of a soldier off to the front line.

Do any of you have any strategies for making this conflict more interesting or entertaining.

I am anxious to hear your thoughts (since god know I can’t discuss it at home unless I just want to talk to myself!)

This entry was posted in Disorders, love, Words and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to A Fun Quiz!

  1. David Duff says:

    “Ladies, how do you deal with this?”

    Er, you could try shutting up, perhaps?

    (That comment comes from a trembling man cowering some 10,000 miles away!)

  2. harmreduction says:

    I maried a man you wants to “talk” about our relationship and feelings far more than I do. I call him the ‘girl’ in our relationship, in order to not show off how lucky I really know I am. The third and last husband has been the best husband, as I know he loves me just a bit more than I do him.
    It took me years of failure to figure out the magic formula.

  3. Skye says:

    We seem to go back and forth on this – at the moment it’s me who is copping the “Please don’t leave the room when I’m trying to talk to you.” type stuff, and also who is trying to sleep at the end of the day but being kept awake by a man who wants to talk, or when I just call to remind him of something and he starts some longwinded rant about something or wants to discuss something in detail. Sometimes though I’m the one talking away and having only about one word in a thousand penetrate the manly cone of silence. So no answers, but just to say it is definitely not a lady-only problem!

  4. Romeo says:

    Have you considered taking course to learn how to talk about sports, cars, sports involving cars, and sports cars?

  5. Miggs says:

    I have the opposite problem, guys always whine that I don’t talk enough.

  6. Lara says:

    There’s the relationship talks and the “I’m upset about something totally unrelated to US and need to just let it out” talks.

    The relationship talks usually happen every few months, after biting my tongue for far to long, usually about dumb shit, and I usually blow around PMS time. Typical woman behaviour and never ends well, unless I’m the one to approach the issues light-heartedly, which is kinda hard to do when you want to rip their face off.

    The “I’m upset about something that doesn’t involve US” convos have to be brought up at just the right time, when he’s not consumed with his own stress or busy with something else. Hard to find the right time so I usually just talk to some friends or deal on my own.

    But you better believe, when they’re upset, it doesn’t matter what else is going on. It’s all about them.

    Everything else in my life just pops up organically in regular daily conversation. I know he could give two craps about my blogging stuff, except for technical techie things. My personal relationships with people online don’t make sense to him. How can you make friendships with people you’ve never met, right? He’s always happy to hear about pop culture and news stuff, so he can go tell his own friends like he’s the one who discovered it on his own. I keep him abreast of things and he takes the credit for it away from home! Ha!

    Can’t live with em… can’t give em a lobotomy.

  7. Sista Coyote says:

    Mine problem is the opposite. While I am not married, I do have a boyfriend. He whines/complains/points out that I don’t communicate well, or I shut down completely when he’s telling his stories. I’m working on it. For the most part I have to feign interest. What sucks is when he doesn’t remember that he already told me the story. Since I’m already deemed as brazen, brassy, and bold telling him, “You already said that” is considered rude. Sometimes I let it ride other times I’m just rude. I think the trick is to find someone who a) loves to talk AND listen and b) find someone who loves you a smidgen more than you love them.

  8. killerbee says:

    The cartoon explains it all. If she had said “I’ve really got the shits with you because xxxxx” Then he would have responded in the right way.
    Women don’t ever say what they really mean and then they expect us men to read between the lines and correctly interpret what they really meant. We are not programmed that way.

  9. cannot help you as it’s the other way around in my house.

  10. Cricket9 says:

    Heh heh heh…what an interesting subject!
    I had very heated discussions about EVERYTHING with my first husband (he was a Latino and an artist, so maybe less inhibited than the average): feelings, art, politics, superiority of his country over my country and vice versa, and so on. We were both very stubborn and the talks often morphed into fights; in hindsight, all this talking did not help with anything and did not make any difference – except I cried more than it was worth.

    My second husband was a “tall and silent” type and a workoholic. We talked about work; at any mention of “feelings” he would shut like a clam. Not only he wouldn’t talk, I couldn’t get any reaction out of him, which used to drive me crazy. However, he often gave me flowers for no reason, once wrote “I love Cricket9” in a fresh cement near our house, and wrote passionate letters to me – AFTER the divorce. Go figure.

    After these two I would just say what I want or don’t want, when I want it (as in: do it now, not a week from now) – slowly and IN BIG LETTERS, and talk about everything else with my girlfriends or one male friend – somehow, mysteriously, we can communicate. Him and his wife apparently do not talk about anything important – ever.

    Harmreduction, I agree with your magic formula, glad to hear than the third one worked out. Maybe I’ll have a look around when I have some time…

  11. candy says:

    I heard that men never want to talk because they are built differently and that’s so true. Also when you argue with a man he needs time/space for himself in the house to think it through whilst a woman doesn’t need that.
    A woman always wants to talk because us women are curious and give birth, we want to deal with a problem NOW (“I said now”) and men say “let’s talk about this tomorrow or this week-end”. A man acts like this at work, men who worked with women say that “women want to deal with matters right away” and it makes it very difficult to work with women sometimes because men are the opposite. A friend of mine said that I needed to read the book “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” as I told her that when I argue with my husband he always wants to stay by himself after the argument and she said “men are like that, you should read this book”, since that day, I understand and leave him alone after an argument. I know that we are different and I just needed that to understand.

  12. candy says:

    One day a friend of my husband told us that sometimes he hates doing something (hobbies) but since her wife likes it, he does it to PLEASE HER.
    I think this is the key to a successful relationship : pleasing the other, compromise, I am sure SW you do things to please your husband, then you should tell him “I listen to you when you talk about this because I care about you, why don’t you do the same?”. I said that to my husband and now he listens more than before.

  13. I have had a partner who loved to talk as much as me, and some much less into the chat. Looking for partners in future I’m definitely looking for a chatter!
    My deeply sexist, gender-binary take on it is that perhaps men who grew up with sisters (or a strong, engaging mother) are more adept at verbal communication with women. In my limited experience the ones brought up just with other boys have a more ‘male’ communication style. ie blocking conversation with yes or no answers, one-uping you, or offering a sentence where 14 was what you were after.

  14. Nope, I mainly talk to the wind. Except occasionally I put my foot down & make Mr MDS listen but then he annoys me ‘cos he just nods and agrees! If it is something really serious, not me just talking, then he is very good but mainly the blathering on thing is lost on him xx

  15. Haha I married “Mr. Chatty” he never shuts up! Diarrhea of the mouth, and now it seems my daughter has inherited this trait as well. He’ll talk to anyone, anywhere and chew their ear off! Although he does become uncharacteristically quiet (not completely so, the urge to talk is too strong in this one) when it comes to fighting or conflict of any type… hmmm.
    XXX
    Suzanne

  16. Cricket9 says:

    Yeah, yeah, they are from Mars, need to go and stay in their cave, preferably with a beer or two, yadda yadda yadda, all this is very convenient – for them.

    I visited a couple of friends after not seeing them for about 10 years. She’s a beautiful, intelligent woman. During my visit (maybe 4 hours) her husband disagreed with EVERYTHING she said, EVERY single sentence and statement. She did not pay any attention. How’s that for communication?

  17. Dexter VanDango says:

    Diamonds are valuable because they are rare. Sand is worthless because it is abundant. Let your words be like diamonds and they will be valued.

    (Women will want to start a discussion about ANYTHING. My last girlfriend and I would spend many evenings in my apartment. And every time I rose from the sofa to go to the bathroom to pee she would ask, Where are you going?

    Insecurity.. or the need to have a final meaningless exchange before I was out of earshot???)

  18. dust says:

    My personal taste would be a silent guy, their humor is better. When freshly in love, I’d be happy just to look at them talking, sometimes. Later, we often forget to take the time. The last metastasis is when one deliberately ignores the other in order to hurt their feelings.
    One of the early boyfriends didn’t just want me to talk, but also to share my make up. He overdid it once and wasn’t let in the club that evening. I went in, regardless.

  19. Jess says:

    It really depends how the man was socialised growing up and how much he felt pressured by social expectations and stereotypes about gender behaviour. I read a really interesting book called “The Gender Delusion” by Cordelia Fine and she looked at the neuroscience and psychology research that’s been done into things like gender-specific behavioural differences and the research really breaks down a lot of the archetypal male or female behaviours as the result of socialising, and these behaviours aren’t so inherent that they can’t be changed (and they’re certainly not biologically ingrained).

    For example, people say that men aren’t particularly good at reading emotions in other people’s faces or manners, whereas women are naturally tuned to cues of emotion in others. Turns out that it does look like that when you give men a series of photos of people’s faces and ask them to identify the emotion – but that’s exactly because they’ve been told over and over again that men aren’t supposed to be good at that sort of thing. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – “I’m a guy so I’m not supposed to be good at this so I won’t try because there’s no point”. However, if you add in a bit of motivation, you can completely remove the difference in emotion identification accuracy between males and females. If you perform the same experiment and get people to identify emotions in photos, but you offer them a reward (say, $1 for each emotion they correctly identify) then this overcomes the social stigma the men have attached to emotion identification and they can perform as well as the women.

    The problem is if everyone keeps going around and saying that these differences exist and accepting them as inevitable. That just serves as further reinforcement for young males who are currently being socialised and conditioned in their behaviour. If we start acting like these difficult, frustrating, archetypal, overgeneralised behaviours don’t exist then we’ll be bringing up a new generation of people who don’t feel the need to conform to the old, unconstructive gender behaviour stereotypes. It might be too difficult for the people who have already been socialised and conditioned to change now, but we shouldn’t use their behaviour to generalise about the behaviour of all members of that gender.

  20. muddy says:

    hmmm…I’m a very good listener – maybe that’s a strange trait…but seems normal to me

  21. mimi says:

    i have to repeat things for my partner a million times for it to compute. but at the end of the day i dont really care because he makes me laugh so much.

    we’re still young though so it’s probably bound to change.

  22. Elaine says:

    Well I don’t have any experiences to have input on the subject so I bring you something completely unrelated! Have you checked out http://wtforever21.com/
    It posts the most ridiculous things sold at Forever 21 and the company sent a cease-and-desist letter to the blogger.
    (http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2011/06/forever_21_threatens_to_sue_th.html?mid=twitter_TheCut)

  23. Ann says:

    Mr. Ann doesn’t care about fashion or perceived societal injustices or what that dumb bitch did at work, but he does listen. However, he always wants to solve whatever it is I’m blathering about. More often than not, I’m not looking for a solution, I just need to get it out. So instead I rant to my girls.

  24. Suspended says:

    I don’t listen as much as I should. It’s not that I don’t care, its just that I’m so bloody tired most of the time that I forget I’m supposed to be listening.

    Life’s like that when you work too much and have kids. The constant noise from the latter creates a catatonic mindset that is needed for survival. Sometimes it’s hard to switch it off.

    I do worry that I’m making my wife feel less important than she is. She doesn’t deserve that. It’s just my good fortune that she always understands.

  25. Bevitron says:

    My theory is that men tend to talk about five things, in no particular order: money & work; sports; technology (including cars, computers, hobby stuff, etc.); politics & news; women. I’d guess that “women” would usually come last. No pun intended. No, wait – pun intended.
    Anyway, I tend to do my talking with the musically inclined/artsy-fartsy types and I really enjoy hearing their ideas & bullshit. They usually listen as well as they pontificate, too. Plus, I kind of enjoy hearing a good technology lecture from a man who knows what he’s talking about, mostly, since I would be completely clueless about that stuff otherwise. When I need to talk about anything with high emotional content, personal problems, or I need to piss and moan, I can usually work it in near the end of a techno or politics lecture, and since he will already have a fairly high degree of enthusiasm and investment in the topic (one he likes), it’s easier to maintain that conversational involvement as I segue into the “me” part. That works maybe half the time for me.

  26. Dru says:

    Elaine – the blogger got her own attorneys to give F21 the finger, and I say good for her – they probably thought she was some small-timer they could bully and didn’t even expect her to have attorneys. Nice way to stick one to The Man, as it were.

  27. aloix says:

    I’m also a woman who has been accused of not talking / being open enough – not by a spouse, never been married, but by long term boyfriends. I’m just that sort of person, fairly private in general, and I really prefer to process things on my own before talking about them with *anyone*.

    For more mundane things, I guess it just comes down to whether interests overlap / how much of a conversation one can carry on if they don’t. Some give and take on both sides there is healthy, I think.

  28. Tallulah Eulallie says:

    I have no problem getting mine to talk. I just can’t seem to get him to shut the hell up. Our very first telephone conversation lasted 21 hours. Our second lasted 17. That right there should have tipped me off that he is a world-class motormouth. His son is a little chatterbox, and in a few years he’ll be giving his daddy some serious competition. (I can’t wait.) Even the goddamn cats like to talk!

  29. WendyB says:

    I don’t like to talk at all. Ask me what I did during the day and I’ll say “nothing,” just like I did when I was a sulky teenager and my mother asked me about school.

  30. Elaine says:

    Dru- I’m so glad she didn’t let F21 push her around but attorneys aren’t cheap so she does have a donate button on her page.

  31. candy says:

    Tallulah made me laugh with her comment, so funny about the cats !

  32. Cricket9 says:

    I have a very talkative friend. Her husband told me once, with a benevolent smile after a few hours of her animated chatting during my visit: ” I quite like when she’s buzzing around like that”…
    My former boss, after a long phone call from his wife: “That was Beverly”. “What did she say?” “I dunno, I didn’t listen” .

  33. Andra says:

    If I had a problem I wanted to get out in the open with my husband he would just get in the car (we only had one then) and go.
    I would be stuck out in the suburbs, fuming.
    It just drove me mad.
    He simply would not communicate and eventually I gave up asking his opinion or help on any subject and I think this was one of the major reasons for our breakup.
    I do know married couples who talk about everything and appear to have wonderful relationships, but I think it’s quite rare.
    I could be wrong.
    Tallulah is right about the cats. I live with a Burmese lady who has plenty to say on any subject. And if I don’t listen she bites me on the leg.

  34. JK says:

    I don’t know about all the psychological stuff above. Usually T sust asks, “You got a few minutes, I wanna talk?”

    Being the sensitive sort, I normally say “Okay.”

    I don’t know whether it’s ESP or not but when she senses I’m not actually gonna spend however many hours she wants to talk she almost always bites enough to break skin – she explains that she knew I’d have enough time to listen provided I was in post-op.

    Seems to’ve worked. She only had to drive me to the ER once. I’m really sensitive now.

  35. I once went on a family holiday where my dad would go whole days without saying a word. I don’t understand this…

  36. Some men can talk, and talk, and talk – have no fear they exist!

  37. undeadsinatra says:

    Chris Rock says it is just a matter of timing, and he ain’t wrong.

  38. Holly says:

    My boyfriend talks at least twice as much as I do, and has on occasion complained that I don’t talk to him enough. He’ll call me on the way back from work and I’ll be trying to get off the phone. I feel pretty lucky, because I’m not much for talking but like listening to people if they’re interesting enough, though I grew up with a mother who never stopped talking and a father who actively does not listen to her. I find that dynamic awful.

  39. The ex Anton says:

    There is too much to read here, Mom. I’ve read all I need to… Killerbee and WendyB in 2012!!!

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