Friday, April 29, 2011

What do you mean you can't read my mind?

It seems men are often accusing women of expecting them to read our minds. How was I supposed to know that she wanted that, or expected me to do this? She never told me , they complain to each other.
The thing is many women do not like to tell the man what they need, want, desire; at least not all the time. Women's rights may have come a long way but there are still plenty of men who do not like to be told directly by a woman what he should or should not do. And there are plenty of women who do not like to have to tell the man what to do. For one thing, if you tell him more than once then that is classified as nagging, the cardinal sin that any women could commit.
There is something much deeper I believe though. Women do not want to tell a man something because they have this innate desire to be understood without using words. A man who can decipher body language, and subtle hints is a rare prize. The man who catches on to his wife's longing glances at a clothing store and surprises her with a gift card from that store has accomplished no small feat. He has recognized the inner desire of his beloved's heart. More importantly though, he did not just recognize his wife's desires he acted upon it in a gracious and loving way. New clothing may not be an important thing in the long run, but for a woman it can boost her self esteem and be a creative outlet as well.
A woman longs to be known, loved, and appreciated on a deep level by her significant other. There is something innately satisfying when he brings home her favorite snack food without being asked. Or when she has had a long stressful day, he sees the despair in her eyes and offers to cook dinner for the kids while she goes out and drinks coffee with a friend. If a woman has to ask for something then perhaps she reasons its not really that important. If someone else lovingly gives it to her , then its a confirmation of that person's love and thoughtfulness. More importantly it tells the woman that she is valued and cherished.
I remember one time reading a department store circular and commenting on a special deal where you could buy a pair or sapphire earrings and necklace for a low price. My husband not only listened to what I said, he went directly to the store and attempted to buy the jewelry. Turns out the ad was for the following week. Undeterred though, he REMEMBERED what I had said about the jewelry and returned the following week and bought the jewelry. The fact that the jewelry was probably not real sapphire was irrelevant to me. I loved that jewelry because it was a physical reminder that my husband had not only listened to what I said, but truly heard me , and then acted upon it.
Trying to read some one's mind is not easy. It takes hard work, time, and commitment. It requires actively listening to your spouse. It takes a little bit of courage to act upon something that may be difficult or challenging. It takes thoughtfulness and creativity sometimes. In the end though, rest assured most wives do not really expect you to read their minds. Open and honest communication is the pillar of all relationships. Still for those occasional times when a husband does read his wife's mind, she will be grateful.

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