Women (sorry to generalize) think that the only reason men don’t do what they are asked, is because they must be deaf. Therefore, women conclude, it has to be said louder with each repetition.
The problem is, he’s not deaf. He simply doesn’t get or understand the language you are talking in.
I know that sounds crazy, but keep reading.
Let’s use a common example. You would like your husband to change the light bulb and, how can I say this politely? He doesn’t.
You don’t need to be Warren Buffett to realize life would be a lot easier if he simply changed the light bulb. Yet as obvious and as clear as you think you are, you aren’t.
So, let me translate what men actually hear when you ask them to do something.
Mrs. Sandy Smith wants her husband to put his socks in the hamper rather than deposit them on the floor of their bedroom.
Now, Mr. Jack Smith is no wimp; he’s incapacitated and he just ran the Boston marathon. Picking up the socks therefore would seem to be no big deal — in “woman-speak,” that is.
Unfortunately, Sandy speaks, so she says, “Honey, please put your socks in the hamper.”
Now, for a little more than 99.99 percent of all women, that’s pretty clear. She didn’t say it in Latin. And her husband graduated Yale with honors, and apart from being as fit as a racehorse, he’s a negotiator for the International Monetary Fund. He should get it.
At least that’s what Sandy thinks.
Unfortunately, Sandy never learned to speak “Man” (apparently they don’t teach it at Princeton, where she too graduated with honors). Sandy speaks only “Woman,” and as her husband never learned to translate, this is what he hears:
“Honey, this afternoon I volunteered you to donate your kidney to a poor Sudanese farmer, then tomorrow we are going to suck out all your blood for the Red Cross — is that ok?”
Let me try and explain why men hear it that way.
Dogs hear and smell things we don’t. Bees see shades of color we don’t. Women see things that men don’t. So, when a dog hears something or a bee sees something, we think they hear and see what we see — but they don’t.
Men only hear really big deals. Everything else does not exist. Therefore, men only think women are asking for something that is a really big deal.
So, if you get a man’s attention (no small thing), then he thinks you are asking for something really big. Because he can’t hear anything else.
And, if you convince him that it’s not a big deal, then you immediately lose his attention.
When you ask your husband to give you his kidney, that’s a really big deal. And he very probably will do it. Therefore, a women thinks, if he will give me his kidney, then for sure taking out the garbage is no big deal.
That’s how you think. But he doesn’t think (like that). He only hears “BIG DEALS.” So, as soon as you say this is no big deal, he goes deaf.
When the request or chore doesn’t get done and you get really mad, however, then he does it.
Why? Because now it’s a big deal.
If you think back, men love being heroes. So, when you were a damsel in distress (excuse the lack of political correctness), your man rode up on his valiant steed and slew the dragon. Make him a hero for changing the light bulb, and he will do it on a horse.
You don’t have to believe me, just try speaking in “Man” for a while and you will see for yourself. The next time you want your husband to do something, instead of saying, “On your way home, do you mind picking up some eggs?” — language choices which tell your husband that what you’re asking is no big deal — say it like this: “If we don’t have eggs for tomorrow morning, I don’t know how I will be able to get through my day.”
Not only are you going to have eggs, but you might have them delivered on a horse!
By Rabbi Stephen Baars
Originally from London, Rabbi Stephen Baars resides in Rockville, Maryland, and serves as executive director of Aish Seminars. He did nine years of post-graduate studies at the Aish HaTorah Rabbinical College in Jerusalem, and has been an educator and marriage counselor for the past 25 years. Rabbi Baars and his wife, Ruth, are blessed with seven children. Learn more about Rabbi Baars at www.getbliss.com and www.core9.live.