He’s learning when not to talk to me.
As I look back on this (almost) first year of marriage, that is one of the lessons I’ve learned. Truth be told, it’s something I’m still learning. There are good times to talk to my husband and then there are not-so-good times.
Early into our marriage, I’d be making dinner and Jeff would ask me questions. For him, this was a good time to talk. I’m a captive audience, right? He can just sit at the table and talk and I can listen. For me? Not so much. It throws me off. It gets me flustered. I feel frantic. I feel anxious. I don’t prepare dinner well. I don’t converse well. I’m not rude or anything; I’m just not paying attention really well. Maybe I’ve not yet mastered the art of cooking and talking at the same time. I feel like I’m failing at both cooking and being a wife. I don’t like that feeling.
So, we’ve learned: If you see me stirring something or putting dishes on the table, that’s not a cue to ask my opinion on our 401(k) investment options. Much better to wait the 10 minutes til we’re actually seated at dinner. Then I’m totally ready to listen, think and respond. I can tell Jeff’s learned this because now he’ll either stay away or he’ll ask “this isn’t a good time, right?”. Right.
So…If you really want me to focus on the conversation or be responsive, don’t initiate the conversation when I’m making dinner. Now, I can talk while washing dishes, but not when trying out a new recipe.
Times not to talk to Jeff:
- When he’s on the computer
- Right before bed (if it’s something serious or a decision needs to be made)
- When we’re driving to Columbus in that first 1/2 hour when traffic is thick
- When he’s just mentioned how full his schedule is
- When I’m upset or tired!
Times to talk to Jeff:
- At dinner
- When we’re driving to Columbus after the first 1/2 hour.
- When we’re pulling weeds in the flower beds
- Any time not listed above
A “trick” that I’ve learned is to let him know that I do have something to talk about, it isn’t major and to ask when he’d like to talk about it. Usually he wants to know the topic, but then we just schedule it for later when we can both give it the attention it deserves. I discovered that one while dating him and it’s become even more important. The “whole pick your time” wasn’t as much of an issue when we were just dating. When we were just dating, you’re usually focused on each other. You’re intentionally out of your day-to-day hassles in order to get to know this person. Sure, there are exceptions to that rule, but it generally held true (for us anyway).
There are good times and
bad less-than-good times. If you’re going to have the conversation, you should pick the right time!