Feb 11, 2015
Rabbi Yitzy's Marriage Tips: Part 2

Rabbi Yitzy Hurwitz, the spirited Shliach battling ALS disease, offers another 5 quick marriage tips for men on how to listen better.

By Rabbi Yitzy Hurwitz

One of the biggest complaints women have to their husbands is "He doesn't listen." The problem is that men have no idea what women mean when they say that.

The first thing you need to know is that women have a natural need to be understood. When they feel understood they feel loved. They will even tell their best friend "I really feel like he understands me." Translation: "I feel loved."

This is difficult for men to understand because men don't have a natural need to be understood. Becoming a good listener takes a lot of patience and effort. The reward is tremendous.

The next thing to understand is that, being natural listeners, women get extremely frustrated when you don't listen. That makes for an unhappy wife, you don't want to go there.

The reward for becoming a good listener is a happy wife, a deep, close and meaningful relationship. She will become your strongest advocate and stay by your side thick and thin.

Listening is understanding her from her perspective. To do this, first you need to shut down your way of thinking and experience her feelings from her perspective. This way you really get to know her, not your understanding of her, but her understanding of her.

Listening is more than hearing words. Women say a lot without talking. They use facial expressions, body language, clothing and self care to express themselves and expect you to notice.

Women are detail oriented. They especially notice things that are wrong or out of place. For example, she could be all made up and dressed to the nines. You see an amazing, flawless sight. All she sees is a small pimple that appeared on her chin.

Men, on the other hand, see the big picture but miss the details.

Listening requires noticing details and putting the clues together to form a conclusion. At minimum you should notice that something is wrong or that something is different. Then you will be able to ask "What is wrong?" or "What is different?" If not you are "clueless," don't be clueless.

Here are some tips for good listening:

1. Set times for listening.

Make it a habit that the first five minutes when you come home is for listening. Ask your wife how her day was. Imagine how good she will feel, knowing that she is first on your mind when you come home.

A good time for listening is after the children are asleep but if she is too tired at that time, do it earlier. It is okay for the kids to see you together talking, it will be a valuable lesson and will give them a sense of stability.

The main thing is that you set times that work for the two of you, and that you keep them. Your wife will look forward to being with you at that time.

"I don't have the time" and "I'm to busy" are not exceptable excuses, make the time.

2. No opinions.

All she wants is for you to listen and understand, that's it. Refrain from sharing your suggestions, opinions or advice, they are not relevant to her feelings. Just listen and understand.

3. Hear the new material.

Women change every day, so every day there is more to tell. There are also deeper parts of herself to share. What you heard yesterday is not enough today. There are new facets discovered today that need to be shared. There are also new things going on in her life.

4. 'Listen' to the motions.

When you are listening look at her. Notice her expressions and body language. Every so often, give her a subtle hint to let her know that you understand. It could be a nod or a soft sound. This will let her know that you are paying attention. If you don't, she will assume you didn't understand and repeat herself. She will get aggravated and complain that "he doesn't listen."

5. No distractions whatsoever

You are not required to be listening all the time but rather when you are supposed to be listening do it correctly. Be focused and pay attention. Remove distractions, put away you cell phone and teach the children not to disturb you at this time. Let her feel like you are totally there for her, let her feel like you are interested in knowing her.

It is my hope that you put these tips to the test, and that that this contributes to your wife's happiness. Her happiness will surely contribute to your happiness. Happy wife happy life.


Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz is the founder of Chabad Jewish Center in Temecula, CA. He is married to Dina and has 7 children and is currently living in Los Angeles as he battels ALS disease. Visit his blog at yitzihurwitz.blogspot.com. To donate to his medical costs, visit hurwitzfamilyfund.com

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Opinions and Comments
1
Rabbi yitzi
Im your big fan!!!!
Refua shlema kerova!!!!!
(2/11/2015 1:09:40 PM)
2
Thank you!
Your words - spoken from the heart, enter the heart - especially knowing that it is so difficult for you to put them to paper.
refuah shleimah krovah!!!
(2/11/2015 1:22:26 PM)
3
I hope my husband reads this :))))))
(2/11/2015 1:31:17 PM)
4
Married over 40 Years
...and I am still trying to "train" my dear husband to really listen and not assume he knows what I am going to say!
(2/11/2015 2:16:05 PM)
5
you couldn't have been more right
You said this better then I could have ever explained this myself. So incredibly heads on. Wow!! I will definitely make sure my husband reads this. No not just reads this but studies this. Lol!!
Thank you so much dear Rabbi.
(2/11/2015 2:42:06 PM)
6
question
"2. No opinions."
by not saying your opinion you are agreeing to what is being said (shtika khowdoa)
that it is correct
can this not lead to bad things?
(2/11/2015 2:59:41 PM)
7
Wonderful!
Thank you for sharing such wonderful and practical tips!
(2/11/2015 3:27:34 PM)
8
a man
This is too hard for me. Is doing half not enough?
(2/11/2015 3:36:29 PM)
9
Thank you
Your advice is right on target
(2/11/2015 4:55:40 PM)
10
To #6
Not exactly...

When your wife says "I had a hard day at work. They kept giving my more and more documents" - she isn't interested in hearing a solution from you (something like, "why can't they give it to your co-worker").

She is simply sharing her feeling and wanting them to be heard. That's it. This might sound weird to a man and that is what R' Yitzy is pointing out. All your wife wants at that point is a listening ear. Not an opinionated verdict or solution.

When your advice is sought, you will already know. Otherwise, simply listen and show you are listening (by saying, "aha" "oh, that must be so annoying for you" etc.)
(2/11/2015 5:03:08 PM)
11
Oy Vey #4
stop trying to change your husband after 40 years !!!

He is who he is. I have learned the only person in the world you can change is yourself. As a man I suggest, give him a little kavod, even if you feel he doesnt deserve it and youll be amazed at how he will soften up. if you want him to listen, how about in a quiet moment you start the conversation with, "I would like to share something with you and all I need is that you please listen without offering or even thinking of solutions".

Get his attention to slow down. Hope that helps.

meanwhile, Thank you Rabbi Yitzi for helping us cavemen to become more civilized. In the Zechus of your effort may HKB"H give you happiness and Joy in your difficult time, I dont know you, live in canada, never met you but love you as a brother, and think of you and daven for you and your family.
(2/11/2015 5:58:22 PM)
12
maybe someone can write advice for a woman to understand how men work?
(2/11/2015 6:55:18 PM)
13
To #2 and #8
It's about connection. When you listen to your wife and truly hear her you will be able to connect to her more deeply. It doesn't matter if she is right or not, she needs to be heard, understood. You'll know when you've done it right.
(2/11/2015 7:24:56 PM)
14
Spot on!
This is exactly what my wife complains about. You hit the nail right on the head, and I will strive to implement these points.
Thank you!
(2/11/2015 7:38:23 PM)
15
Woman are from Venus, men are from Mars
Excellent advice. Your wife must be truly special (as they say). Wishing you good health and only good B"Gur.
(2/11/2015 8:35:38 PM)
16
Yasher Koach!!
thank you and refuah shelaimah ukerovah. Keep sharing your top notch advice!!
(2/11/2015 9:19:29 PM)
17
Beautiful!
You put it just right, and short and sweet too.
May your words bring much Shalom Bayis to many!
May the zechus stand you in good stead. May we hear good news of your refuah shlaima b'karov!
(2/11/2015 9:37:34 PM)
18
Yay, Go Yitzy
You're the best!
We love you.
A fellow California shliach
(2/12/2015 12:27:32 AM)
19
Yitzy beautifull
Yitzy right 100 percent ,

Yitzy I visited you , now I am starting to understand how come Diny is so loyal and devoted to you ,

In such a time you can really see the devotion of a spous,

I hope Hashem will send you a full recovery in the very near future, and you will be'ezras Hashem help others ,
Hashen can make it , he made much much biger Nissim than that ,

Yitzy B"H you have so much nachas of your children ,

The Mendy goes to Mivtzoim every Friday on Pico and Robbinson arie , all the childrem BH so sweet ,

The most with such a devoded wife like Dini , Hashem blessed you ,

Yitzy I was at your house , your childrem went with me to the Restaurant ,

Yitzy I have allready bought a ticket for Sunday after Purim looking foward to see you and your sweet wife and childrem,

I hope this time I will have the Honor Diny and you will join us Bezras Hashem ,

Yitzy sse you in short 3 weeks,

Love you Yizy


S.B.
(2/12/2015 4:20:54 AM)
20
efshr
maybe they will print this out and put it in all the shuls and other places, it could make a big difference, it could really affect people for the better to be mefarsem this and as well, it gives schar to Yitzy, he should be well.
(2/12/2015 1:17:44 PM)
21
wow
WOW, how did he get all that wisdom. Thats way past average. This could help alot of people, increase quality of life, and more. wow. I'd like to print it out and give to people
(2/12/2015 1:24:29 PM)
22
Thank you!
Thank you so much Rabbi for the incredibly insightful advice.
We will use your advice and it will surely help our marriage!
May G-d bless you with complete health!!
(2/12/2015 8:24:01 PM)
23
What a wonderful Tzaddik you are!!!!
Hashem. Owes you big time.Get better you can bring MHM now!!!!!!!!
(2/12/2015 8:50:20 PM)
24
Yitzy thanks
Yitzy you deserve a real thanks for thinking and helping so many families with your such good advices ,

In that Zechus Yitzy Hashem will think about you and help you in all your needs ,

And in the very near future with Hashem's help, dance and sing at weddings , like you used to do,


HAYAD HASHEM TIKTZOR ???

HE CAN AND WILL DO !!!

S.B.
(2/12/2015 10:29:39 PM)
25
To #12
If women primarily want to feel loved by feeling understood, men primarily want to feel respected by being taken seriously. "oh he is useless in the kitchen" "why can't you get this right" "why haven't you done this yet?" type things.

Instead try not criticizing him to others, "I appreciate it more when it is done this way" "It is important to me that you do this right away." or "I feel ignored when what I ask gets pushed off."
(2/13/2015 12:08:47 AM)
26
thanks
I try to practice some of this advice, but she just talks, talks, goes on forever. At the end I don't even know what is she talking about anymore, it is way off from the original subject, which we did not even finish discussing yet. Oh well, we will try again, Shabbos is a good time...
(2/13/2015 11:23:28 AM)
27
to#26
That happens sometimes.

I just pretend like i'm listening.
(2/14/2015 8:09:27 PM)
28
to #27
if you do that, make sure your body language doesn't give you away. most people will develop a vacuous look in their eyes if they're listening without hearing. maybe if you listen with genuine attention you will be able to say "I'm so sorry (whatever your wife's name is) I missed the connection between the point you were making about... and the point you just made about...could you clarify that for me, please?" At the very least she'll feel like you're really listening. She may even realize she's been rambling aimlessly and stop doing so. One caveat before you ask her to clarify: Make sure you weren't actually daydreaming while she was talking to you, and missed the connection you think she didn't make. In any case,Brownie points for trying.
(2/15/2015 3:50:42 AM)
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