Listening Night

You know the old saying “opposites attract”? In many ways, that was true for my husband and I. While we certainly have our similarities, there are many ways in which we are opposite.

My husband, for example is and extrovert and kind of a genius. He taught himself to read Greek in less than a year, and his idea of a relaxing afternoon is studying his tremendously thick C++ computer programming book.

I’m an introvert that would rather spend my time working on my blog, writing books or reading a young adult novel. And for the record, I can’t understand computer programming to save my own life.

Needless to say, sometimes each of us are more than a little bit bored by the other’s interests.

My husband can drone on for hours about the intricacies of his latest computer program that he’s designing. Not a topic I’m particularly interested in, but then we also have the times when I’m babbling non-stop about blog stats or social media algorithms and he’s as lost in that conversation as I am when he discusses Greek with me!

That’s why listening night, is important to us. And no, we don’t call it that, it’s nothing official, it’s just taking the time, to really, truly listen.

Usually when my husband jabbers on about something I don’t understand I give a half-hearted “mmmhmmm” and move on to something else. It’s okay, because he gives me a tired “that’s great honey” when I talk about my blog and after a bit he tends to change the topic too. We both understand, because these aren’t our shared passions, and they don’t have to be.

But sometimes, it’s still good to take the time to truly listen. To ask questions and do your best to comprehend the other’s interests. Even when they are completely beyond your realm of understanding, like my husband’s are to me.

When I do this it’s my way of saying “I love you” to him in that moment, as I try to understand whatever has his smart brain intrigued for today. I hear the “love you” back from him as he grins and cheers with me when I break a blogging milestone or tell him about a novel that had me in tears.

Listening night doesn’t have to be something official, (although it can be). It’s just the simple decision to put aside phones, and switch off the tv, to look each other in the eye and truly try to understand what your spouse is fascinated with, even when it doesn’t also fascinate you.

By Paula Rollo on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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