Thursday, January 29, 2009

Learn That Questions Are Statements and Statements Are Questions to Get Along with Women in Relationships and Marriage

With us guys, “what you see (or hear!) is what you get,” but with women, often statements are questions and questions are statements, and if you don’t read them right, you’re toast! (Ladies, print this one and pass it along to your husband!)

From time to time, my wife reminds me of the day I learned that when listening to a woman, statements are questions and questions are statements. I’d like to describe that lesson for you so that you can start listening better and stop being labeled an insensitive jerk who shuts her out when she wants to talk.

My wife is a fiercely independent woman; if I died tonight, it would not be the things I did that she would miss. Early in our relationship, she would occasionally set out to do something and say, “I’m going to go do such-and-such. Are you coming with me?”

It wasn’t often, and when it happened, recognizing her independence being a typical guy who expected a woman to just ask if she needed help, I’d just say, “No, go ahead,” and she’d mutter something under her breath and leave the room with a scowl on her face. I thought she was just focusing on the task at hand and trying to work it out. When she would come in later in a foul mood and we didn’t get along for a day or two after that, I always thought she took her task and/or herself too seriously and wasn’t satisfied with the results.

Wrong answer.

One day she said that she was going out to set out some flowering plants, and asked if I was coming. It was a beautiful day, I had already finished everything I needed to do that day, so being outside sounded like a great idea, and I said, “Sure.” Her face lit up like a child’s at hearing they were on the way to Disney World and she left in a hurry.

When I joined her a minute later, she didn’t know where to put them, and had been puzzling over it for days. I suggested a spot next to the house, and you could see the stress melt from her expression as she said, “I was thinking about that spot, too. That will work.” A bell went off in my head, because something had just happened, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Then there was a voice, “Full power to sensors, maximum sensitivity!” (Yes, I was once a Star Trek fan.)

She grabbed a small shovel and headed for the spot. I knew the soil there to be very heavy with dense clay because we’d dug it up once before and found there to be no topsoil there, so I went into the tool shed and came out with a mattock, long-handled shovel, and a garden rake. She was furiously chopping away with the hoe trying to make a hole for the bulbs and getting nowhere fast, and said, “This is why I hate gardening around this place. The dirt is just too hard and sticky.”

Ever on the lookout for an excuse to inject some naughty play, I said, “Well, I can think of at least one thing that hard and sticky works well for, but your garden isn’t it,” and started chopping up the clay with the mattock, which only took a couple of minutes because it’s a much heavier tool and designed for such work. She was looking a bit shocked, but pleasantly so, and said, “I knew you’d know what to do. What’s next?”

That bell started ringing louder, and I thought, “Is this why she asked if I was coming out here with her? Surely not! Why didn’t she just ask me to come out if she needed help?” But the idea stuck. I said, “You can’t set those bulbs in that clay or they’ll just rot. It’s too wet and doesn’t breathe, and there are no nutrients in it because the worms don’t go there. We need to mix in some rich top soil and mulch to feed the plants and aerate the ground, and then the worms will keep it going. I’ll carry the bags (we had some left over from another project) and you mix it in with the dirt I just turned up.” And I went off to get the topsoil from the shed.

I returned with two bags, emptied them into the clay, and said, “It’s going to take two more. You go ahead and mix these while I get the other two.” I came back, and she was just standing there. I said, “What’s wrong?”

She said, “I don’t know how to mix this stuff together and get the big lumps out of it. I’ve needed you to show me how to do all this since we moved here.” BOOM!

It was true! Her question, “Are you coming with me?” was indeed a statement: “I need you to come with me.” I said, “Why didn’t you tell me before now that you needed help?”

She said, “Every time I tried to get you to come out here and show me, you refused.” BOOM! Another revelation!

I said, “You mean that when you asked me if I was coming with you, you expected me to know that you meant that you needed for me to come with you? Do you want to tell me how I was supposed to know that???”

She said, “Well, everybody else does!”

I said, “Define ‘everybody else.”

She said, “Rose, Mary, Miss Sue, Nancy, my mother, my sisters, my daughter – everybody!”

I said, “Do you realize that in your definition of ‘everybody” there is not one male?”

She said, “Well, I just assumed that you knew too, and you just didn’t want to help me.”

I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation, but you can see where it was going. I had no idea, until that moment, that her question was a statement, and she had no idea that I didn’t know everything about talking with her that all the women in her life knew. I assumed she would ask any questions she had, and she assumed I was disinterested because I didn’t take the hint. Here are some other common examples:

“Are you wearing that?” is actually a statement: “You should not wear that.”

“Are you hungry?” actually means “I’m hungry. Can we talk about where and what we’re going to eat?” (Refer to my free reports, “Break-Up Busting 101” and “What Women REALLY Want,” which you can download via the links at the bottom of this newsletter for relevant lessons from back issues of this newsletter, especially the excerpt, “Men State, Women Negotiate” from my book, for vital details on this scenario.)

“I’m bored,” actually means “Will you please do something to give me an emotional or adrenaline boost before I take matters into my own hands and make life hell for you for a few minutes because I can create drama faster and easier than I can create fun and excitement?”

Women seldom speak the obvious, or directly, about anything. If she makes a statement, it’s to ask a question, usually to enter into a negotiation about remedying or celebrating whatever she has just stated. If she asks a question, it’s to declare that a condition exists that needs your attention, and rest assured, there is no monosyllable answer that will suffice for whatever her question is.

This is one of the many, many pitfalls in any relationship with any woman, and you must prepare for it and the rest of them to the best of your ability, because if you do something wrong, women have a nasty tendency to assume you did it for the worst possible reason. It’s not a fault, flaw, or anything else. It’s just how they tend to be, and if you’re going to be around one or more of them every day, you simply have to accept it and work around it. That’s our job as men. It’s never been easy, because there’s never been a really effective operator’s manual for women in committed relationships, until now…

It’s called "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and it’s waiting for you at
http://wwwmakingherhappy.com, ready to be sucked up with a few mouse clicks and a few bucks and put to use to kick your relationship up to levels previously unknown to exist. I get letters every day telling me how great it works, and it will work for you too, if you’ll just use it, so do it now! Never put off until tomorrow the happiness and success you can enjoy today!

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!

David Cunningham

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