The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

How to Communicate with Your Special Someone

A good friend recently forwarded me this handy communication guide, suggesting I print it out and place it in my husband’s wallet:

DANGEROUS

SAFER

SAFEST

ULTRA SAFE

What’s for dinner?

May I help you with dinner?

Where would you like to go for dinner?

Here, have some wine.

Are you wearing that?

You sure look good in brown!

WOW! Look at you!

Here, have some wine.

What are you so worked up about?

Could we be overreacting?

Here’s my paycheck.

Here, have some wine.

Should you be eating that?

You know, there are a lot of apples left.

May I get you
a piece of chocolate with that?

Here, have some wine.

What did you DO all day?

I hope you didn’t over-do it today.

I’ve always loved you in that robe!

Here, have some wine.

Come on. It’s funny, because it’s true… which inspired me to make today’s Just the Tip Tuesday post all about communicating with your special someone.

The Gatekeeper (my husband) and I have a challenging time communicating now and then. Oh, who am I kidding… all the time. He thinks it’s just a man vs. woman thing. That’s part of it, sure. Men and women are definitely wired differently. Maybe if I included words like “bacon” and “blow job” in more sentences, he’d listen better. And he’d definitely have my undivided attention if he poured me a glass of wine and gave me a foot massage. No lie.

If you ask me, I think our failure to communicate is often a byproduct of our fast-paced, high-tech world. Too many distractions, information overload, and connecting through Tweets and texts are the makings of a piss-poor-communication-sandwich.

Maybe it’s a timing issue too. He loves to talk to me while I’m writing. And I seem to always have something important to tell him the minute he picks up his Crackberry. These conversations never end well. Two days later someone is always lamenting, “But I TOLD you I needed to leave at 5:15!”  or “We talked about this…I need those shirts for my business trip tomorrow.” Oh sure… you may have TOLD me, but was I actually listening? Apparently not. Here’s a rule of thumb in my house: if the fingers are moving, the ears aren’t working.

Recently, I’ve discovered that The Gatekeeper and I have our best talks when we go for walks together (without the kids). No technology, no distractions, just fresh air and exercise. There is probably some scientific reason why walking and talking go so well together. I don’t know why it works, I just know that it does.

Try it. It’s good for your health AND your relationship.

But if that isn’t an option, try one of these adorable talking plastic animals by Camilla Fabbri at Family Chic.

Seriously. How cute is that?! I’m pretty sure she designed this idea to communicate with her kids in a fun, fresh way; but I think you could use well-placed talking plastic animals to communicate effectively with anyone!

Instead of nagging your honey for the nth time about their incessant late night snacking, maybe a cute little plastic piggy placed on the pantry shelf holding a card that says “I love you. Now drop the Cheez-Its so you can lose 15 lbs. and grow old with me.” Just a thought.

Or instead of having to verbally reject your hunka-hunka-burnin’-love when they want a little sumpin’ sumpin’ and you’re curled up on the couch in your L.L.Bean flannel nightie with the heating pad and a bottle of Midol, why not strategically position a little pink pony holding a note that says “IOU”? It’s honest, caring, and direct – three tenets of good communication!

In summary, communicating effectively is an important part of any relationship. Show your special someone you care by stepping away from the keyboard, taking a walk together, utilizing small plastic animals in your home, and/or avoiding difficult conversations via strategically poured glasses of wine.

I’m here to help.

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


17 Comments

  1. “I”m here to help.” That pretty much would replace “I’ll get you some wine” in my book! Maybe I should get one of those plastic animals and just talk to it while at the computer! Then I’d be having a chat, with no chores attached!

  2. You just described our house, to a tee Iris. Each of our conversations are said at least twice. Drives me freakin’ insane. Him and that bloody iPhone and me and this bloody Internet! LOL

    Anne xx

  3. I think our therapist told us something similar to your post (only not as clever). 🙂

  4. After a few days of unusally self pitying and “poor me” moaning & groaning from his wife, my father in law gave my mother in law a small plastic donkey. She looked at the donkey in her hand and said, “What is this for?” He, a man of very few words, said to her, “The little guy says, ‘I carried 2 people all night long right before Christmas and I never said a thing. You’ve been going on about your problems for 3 days. And people call me the ass???”‘ So, yeah, plastic animals are great communication devices. Now, if I can just avoid them ending up jammed into my feet in the middle of the night when I get up to pee, I’ll be thrilled. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y17ELN_07ns (okay, this animal is metal, but you get my drift.)

  5. Yes I will have some wine with that! Maybe my hubs has seen that and that’s why he’s offering me wine all of the time.

  6. Totally agree! Except substitute wine with Jack Daniels…..hmmmm… is it too early for a drink?

  7. Lemoncello would be my choice, with pelligrino and fresh squeezed lemon, but I love it anyway!

    Just this morning I asked DH if he had been eating out every day while I was gone. “Why” he asked defensively. “Well honestly you look like you have gained weight”, I said. So I am back on the job of cajoling, cooking and maybe even “bribing” DH into getting some of his extra weight off.

    It doesn’t help I lost 5 pounds easily while in South Carolina, even eating at Mrs. Wilks Boarding House in Savannah…..what were all those dishes that everyone was ranting and raving over? I put tiny little bites of everything on my plate! Luckily there were true Southerners at the table who named everyone. Otherwise the heat made me not hungry and I just sat around and sweated it off!

    PS My therapist (helping me deal with my “chronic illness”) told me to write DH a letter about my fears and what I need from him. He said as soon as men hear something a second time, they immediately tune it out. I know my husband has this ability because we will be watching TV and some really funny commercial will play, I will comment on how funny it was, and he will say, “What? I didn’t see it”. HE IS SITTING LOOKING AT THE TV THE ENTIRE TIME!

  8. My world has consisted of cleaning up boobie milk over spray off of every inch of our house. Barf spots from the cats, cat litter flung onto the wall, dog toys, baby toys, laundry… I need one of those cows. Seriously. An everyday question from me to em, ” honey, how did you get boobie milk sprayed on the wall?” [ insert any place or thing in the entire house here]. It’s sign would say, ” you ain’t squeezin’ doz utterz here are you?”

  9. I’m going to print that for my husband as well!

  10. I can really appreciate the strategically poured glasses of wine bit. Jonathan has pretty much figured out when that needs to happen. The typing and talking thing? Not so much.
    Our best conversations tend to happen when one of us says, “Ok, we’re turning the tv off for a few minutes.” Active listening is hard, yo!

  11. with my dyslexia I first read that : men and women definitely wipe differently

  12. Not only am I going to print out the chart, I’m going to then staple it to my husband’s forehead!! And, instead of saying “Here, have a glass of wine” I’m going to request he just tilt my head back and pour 🙂

  13. I have spend the last couple days catching up on The Bearded Iris blogs that I have missed. And spend a good deal of time raving to other people about them! If I commented on every bit I wanted to I’d get little else done. You are a bright spot in wifehood/motherhood.

  14. At first I thought that was a chocolate talking animal. I think people would listen/read even more if they were chocolate. Someone should invent that. I’d buy it. 🙂

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