15 answers

Husbands Who Don't Listen

What do you girls do when your husband doesn't listen to you?

I married a talker, not a listener, and I knew that when I married him. It's just that lately it seems to have gotten worse. Now he cuts me off mid-sentence or talks over me or just plain ignores me. We had a rough day yesterday with a lot of bickering, and by the end of the day I had just given up talking to him. I didn't even want to be around him. We were both unhappy. Then he asked if I wanted to go for a walk (walk the dog). I'm thinking, cool, now we can talk or just at least enjoy each other's company. But then he comes out ready for the walk with headphones on. Why even ask me to go? He said it was just background music, but it's already hard enough to talk to him, now I have to talk over the music too? Maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself but I cried about it a little last night. I don't have any reason to believe that things are going to change. At this point I don't even want to try to have conversations with him. It's not like he listens, why make the effort? I would say I could just talk to a friend instead, but frankly I don't have any close friends right now.

I know this is a common problem with men, but this is the first time I've had to deal with it. Past boyfriends were all actually pretty good listeners, but my husband is the poster child for the stereotype. It makes me feel disrespected and inconsequential.

So how do you girls handle it?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Buy an air horn and interrupt him when he talks. THAT will get his attention.

I know EXACTLY how you feel. My mom does this to everybody. SO annoying and makes you feel like what you're talking about doesn't mean anything or have value.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I had this licked - so i thought. I got him to listen to me by walking away when he didn't let me talk. Now, he talks constantly and if I try to add to the conversation he talks louder or interrupts me.

To be quite honest, the only time I get him to listen to me without interruption is when I have the ball of conversation in my hand. LITERALLY. It's a ball and when I have it in my hand, he cannot add, inturrupt, or debate - period. When I pass the ball to him, I cannot add, inturrupt, or debate or walk out. It's childish and a therapy 101 trick that works sometimes. If I walk out and come back with the ball, I get the eye rolling heavy sighing "GREAT! Now what!?!?!?" attitude and we decide from there whether or not to speak or take a time out. Usually it's a time out. By then, I've lost my thought.

Sometimes, it's just not worth battling. When I stop talking and pidgeonhole up all my thoughts, he may ask, but generally he just doesn't care to know or is too oblivious to my needs to recognize them. I've told him repeatedly that I need him to not just hear me but to listen to what I'm saying then after that he takes over the conversation and it's just not worth it.

I don't believe it's a "guy thing" and I'm very secure about his love - I think it's a need to be more noticed or more important or more right than to hurt, disrespect, ignore. I truly believe it's not changeable until they recognize it in themselves which if we have to point it out to them, they're not going to see for themselves.

3 moms found this helpful

Buy an air horn and interrupt him when he talks. THAT will get his attention.

I know EXACTLY how you feel. My mom does this to everybody. SO annoying and makes you feel like what you're talking about doesn't mean anything or have value.

3 moms found this helpful

He is being immature and disrespectful. Communication is a two way street. I'm sorry I don't know how to "fix" this, but I just wanted to you to know that you have the right to be heard and listened to. You shouldn't have to make him listen to you. It sounds like he needs to "man up" and learn how to treat you, his wife. Communications is vital to a healthy marriage. Have you ever told him how it makes you feel when he does that? Maybe putting it into writing would work better...you cannot interrupt a letter. ;) Whether you write it or speak it, try to state how you feel in a respectful, civil, logical way. My husband is an excellent listener, but even he doesn't respond well to accusations or over emotional statements. Be direct and clear. Don't beat around the bush. I hope you are able to work this out. :)

2 moms found this helpful

That is the point when i ask my husband "are you listening to me? oh, you were? what did i just say?" and i make him repeat it. ticks me off when i think he isn't listening.

2 moms found this helpful

Change the locks-that ought to get his attention.

2 moms found this helpful

You may be accused of patronizing, but 8kidsdad is right.

I will actually say, did you hear what I said? (In a non-combative tone).

If he says yes, I will ask him what he heard. 9 times out of ten, his interpretation of what I said is not even CLOSE to my intent.

If he says no, I will say it again. Of course he will be listening better at that point.

All of this with a good natured tone (not sarcasm or frustration).

But I have to say, I'm often guilty of the same crime, not giving him my complete attention, but I'm better and quicker than he is to realize when I'm doing it. And furthermore, it doesn't seem to piss him off the way it pisses me off when I can't get his complete attention.


2 moms found this helpful

Tell him you want him to listen to you. TELL HIM. Don't hint. Don't suggest. TELL HIM. Use sentences like, "I want you to hear me and listen to me. I don't want you to have any background music or background noise. You listening to me is important to me."

Then talk to him on something that is important to you. You can ask him questions on what he thinks about what you said to see if he heard you. My mind starts to wander if someone is just talking to me or at me and doesn't want me to respond or care what I think or how I feel.

Good luck to you and yours.

2 moms found this helpful

If I'm in a bad mood, I will literally raise my hand and wait to be called on (which irks him because he knows darn well I'm going to say what I have to say whether he likes it or not).

If I'm in my normal mood, I will wait (forever) until he's done speaking, then tell him 'okay, I listened to you, now it's my turn to talk'... we've been working on giving each other a turn and really LISTENING, not coming up with a rebuttal in our minds while the other is speaking.

One time when I was being ignored, I was so far as to write down what I was trying to say on a post it note, and stuck it to his forehead.

If I had a quarter for every time I said 'Honey, did you hear me?'.... I'd be a rich lady ;)

I've learned to pick my battles. If he's too busy talking and trying to prove his point than listening to my side of things, I give up and address the issue again when he's in a better mood. It's just SO not worth making every little disagreement into an arguement where people get their feelings hurt.

2 moms found this helpful

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