Understanding Your Spouse? HA! Seriously?

Jack Gleason
Jackie Gleason

Men: what does this look like?  Different facial expressions?  With confusion comes frustration, when you are not anywhere near the same page.  I WANT to be on the same page, and I WANT to understand.  To be misunderstood can be a real bummer.  In some cases I’ve looked at the book cover and asked “Do I have the right book?”

Ok, I’m coming up short on understanding.  At the church, I wore a tux and she wore a white dress (she made it herself and it was phenomenal).  I figured that we had a good understanding of each other, and always would, and that this connected to the next part: living happily ever after.  As time went on, our understanding of each other was not happening 100% of the time like I expected. 

The ongoing talk of “I don’t understand my (spouse)!” (in some some cases accentuated by a whining dynamic) is legitimate, and I do wonder  why is it so difficult to understand each other.  False expectations?  And false expectations can produce a high intensity mixture of confustion and frustration, with a (crazy, I know, unrealistic) consideration that maybe my angel of a wife is manipulating me.


“You want me …to do what?”  “But, honey, we already talked about this.  You said you would do this for me.”

Frantically, my mind races back to the past, in an attempt to retrieve this profoundly important data, grabbing for the context, the time of day.   I then ask myself “Would I REALLY agree to this? No, I don’t think so.”   So then I ask my better half:

“What was I doing when you were saying this?”

  1. Why would we / should we . . . be able to completely understand our wives ALL the time?  We’re two different individuals.  And in my case, we are two different genders, she from the Upper Midwest, not far from Canada; and I am from the South … way south … where some folks are still wearing loin cloths.  Thus, the way we think, the way we are wired, and the culture we grew up could play a role in this “understanding thing”.
  2. If we completely understood each other all the time, wouldn’t that be boring?  Part of how we are drawn to each other is our differences.  And, if we did understand each other, what would be the motivation to move toward our wives, to develop a better understanding (which means becoming more empathetic)?
  3. Lastly, as men, we are wild (we’ve covered this already).  Wildmen are not predictable, unless you are a “Yes, Dear” husband.  This is part of why she married you because she found you interesting, and not boring.  She was attracted to your wildness, among other amazing characteristic.  It gets confusing because at times it feels like our wives are attempting to take our wildness away, and replace it for “tameness”.  That may not be what is happening, but it can certainly feel that way. 

Wrapping up I will say that my family, not just my wife but my kids and my neighbors, act as if they do not understand me because I swing on a vine from tree to tree wearing a bunch of bushes, letting out a “AHHHHHH-EEEE-YAH-EEE-YAH-AHHHHH ….”  And I have to leave for a rew months to go find pricless archaelogical treaures, and fight bad guys trying to take my stuff away.  She thinks that it is odd for me to wear a brown fedora / khaki pants / boots / brown leather jacket / leather pouch, and a bullwhip.  And when I howl at the moon, my kids and my wife and my neighbors don’t seem to get that.  So, it is just me?  Or are you guys dealing with the same stuff?

indiana jones 4 movie stills 02
indiana jones 4 movie stills 02



  1. my husband is a linear, logical thinker. I am a circular, intuitive, perception sort. After almost 35 years of marriage, 9 children, we are always able to connect with our spirits but intellectually?? NOPE

  2. Hmmm…..howl at the moon huh? I think I’ve heard that expression from someone else before, Oh yes, I remember now….my husband. Are you sure you two aren’t related! Lol! Great post. Sometimes it’s interesting being so different and sometimes it’s downright frustrating. I guess we have to take it as it comes and keep a sense of humor 🙂

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