I need my husband to listen to me, not try to solve my problems!

Bette: Nadine wrote in and she says… “My husband is always trying to tell me what to do. It drives me crazy.” [Yep… I hear you Nadine, I feel your pain.] “I come home from work and I just need to vent. I don’t need him to solve my problems. What does he think I’m an idiot? And when I tell him this, it just makes it worse. What should I do?”

Nadine, you are not alone. And this is because men will naturally want to solve your problems, especially when he thinks you are upset. So, really what you need to do is say; I just need you to listen. You’ll really help me if you’ll listen and just let me vent. So, I’m going to hand this over to Michael to get his perspective because I know it can be tortuous.

Michael: Yeah. And I’ve experienced this many, many times because as Bette said, men are natural problem solvers, and I love to solve problems. It’s no disrespect to the person that I’m listening to. My mind goes right to; “How can I help that person fix the problem their telling me about?” And that’s not what you need. When I have come home in the past, I’m listening to somebody tell me about their day, the first place that I go to is; solve the problem… solve the problem. Now we teach something called; “Hold the Bucket,” which allows the woman to just vent. The way you set the guy up is; “Honey, I love you and I appreciate the fact that you want to help me solve my problems, and what I really need from you now is to just listen. It would help me so much if you would just listen.” And he will. Don’t criticize, because we’re not trying to call you stupid and we don’t think you’re not capable. It’s just a natural instinct for us.

Bette: Yeah. And when your husband does that, give him lots of appreciation because it’s not natural and it’s not easy for him. So, be sure to not go on too long.

Nadine, I hope that helps.

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