My wife lives in the details.
Ok, here is a sneak peek into one of my conversations with Stacey about taking a mini-vacation.
Me: Babe, let’s take a mini-vacation.
Stacey: When and where are we going?
Me: I want to take you to the beach to chill a little. Next month, let’s make it happen.
Stacey: Ok, we need to put into the budget hotel cost, gas, food, and extra spending money.
Me: Ok, that’s fine. Let’s do it.
Stacey: Well, how much is it going to cost? I need to know what to put in the budget and you do know we have plans for dinner next weekend with the Turners, also we’re supposed to send a video to Gerard by next Thursday, and did you remember to go by the post office, I was waiting on a delivery.
Me: Ok, I’ll look at some hotels. (Notice, I didn’t respond to any of the other things and that’s only because I at times can only deal with my original thought before moving on to something else).
Now some of you guys reading this blog are probably laughing because this is the same way it plays out in your relationship. Or, maybe it’s the other way around for some of the women reading this. Perhaps, you’re the one who is spontaneous and you don’t live in the details and your man lives comfortably in the moment he’s in.
My wife lives in the details; however, I will admit that every now and then she will grow a wild hair and color outside the lines. But, believe me, it’s not going to be that far out. As a matter of fact, it was one of the main lessons I learned early in our marriage. As we were making plans to go somewhere, I was put in charge of transportation and directions. I had all my stuff together and was ready to roll, UNTIL, Stacey started asking me every little detail about the directions and transportation. My response was a side-eye, “I got this babe!” That still wasn’t enough for her. So, I eventually caught a hold to what she was asking and proceeded to give her the who, what, when, where, and how of the trip and when I finished she said, “that’s all I needed to know.” Here’s where the lesson came in. I don’t live in the details, especially when it’s something she is handling or doing, I just need the beginning and end of something to function but my wife needs the beginning, middle, pre-ending and the end. Prior to knowing that about her personality, I would take things personal. I felt like she didn’t trust me to handle things and it was just the opposite. It wasn’t a trust issue on her end, nor was it a details issue on my end, it was simply our differences in communicating information.
Communication is a key component in any relationship, whether it’s marital, business, or family. Honestly, I can’t say for certain that ALL women live in the details and ALL men just want the bottom line. Actually, that’s not the point of this blog. The point is to bring an awareness to the importance of understanding how your spouse communicates. Stacey gives a lot of information about the plan and she NEEDS me to give her a lot of information about the plan. I just need to know that we have a plan and my role in it. Period. It would be easy to narrow this down to it being a gender norm but I don’t think that’s the case. I have seen examples of men who are far more detailed than their women, from the way their clothes are hung in the closet all the way down to how the toilet paper comes off the roll. So, that eliminates the generalizations that we tend to make. If we make it about a genuine desire to understand the “one” we are with, it will ultimately help us to win in our relationship.
Let’s just take the first part of the word “commune” it means to converse or talk together, usually with profound intensity, intimacy, etc.; interchange thoughts or feelings. From this one definition, we can see how arguments can breakout between couples when there is a lack of “interchange of thoughts and feelings.” It happens often in relationships, but the take away should always be that the other person has an opportunity express fully how they feel and what they are thinking, even if they communicate it differently than we do.
Even after learning that Stacey lives in the details, I still don’t get it right all the time. Sometimes she has to probe me for a little more information. But now, I don’t get upset or annoyed because my ultimate goal is to make sure our “communion” is not broken, and if being a little more detailed with information is what keeps things flowing in our marriage, then that’s my goal.
…and our conversation continues.
Me: Yes dear. We are leaving at noon. Please pack a casual outfit with flat shoes and budget $400.00 I’ve already picked up the package from the post office and rescheduled dinner with The Turners.
Stacey: You are THE man.
Me: Yeah, I know. I’m your man.