You’re Not Listening!

Men want to fix, women want to be heard.

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Comments (18)

(12) Nancy, March 25, 2014 5:19 PM

I see we have attracted a few misogynists to this site. The anti woman comments made here are sickening and I feel sorry for your wives.

(11) Leonard Goff, March 23, 2014 6:07 PM

I must be a woman.

I must be a woman because the biggest turn off for me is when the woman (or man) doesn't LISTEN to what I said, but instead uses what I said to just launch into what she wants to say-- such as: "I saw a good movie today." "Oh, I don't like such movies." I call this narcissistic and it is the signals real relationship trouble to me.
Has anyone found that telling the 'friend' about her/his 'narcissism' changes this behavior?

(10) Anonymous, March 20, 2014 11:01 AM

I am shocked by some of the male comments

Some of you husbands who apparently 'love' and 'like' your wives, sound extremely arrogant, patronising and yes, contemptuous. You may not understand your wives' needs, and they may be very different from yours, you may not know how to deal with them, but DON'T belittle them. You may not realise, but I'm sure your arrogant, insensitive attitude comes across to your wives. Try and be a bit more humble, and repectful !

(9) judith Razieli, March 19, 2014 7:25 PM

on listening and fixing

absolutely right.
What is missing though is not only listening but repeating what
is heard. Also hmmm something like, boy that was really stressful
True, women don't need what to do. They already know what to do. Just want to know they are being listened to and that someone cares.

(8) Anonymous, March 19, 2014 4:06 PM

reinforcing sterotypical behavior validates continued practice

Advocating better listening skills is a step in the right direction. Promoting collaborative, solution seeking brainstorming sessions would be more helpful. Stereotyping "women" or "men" is not appropriate in this day and age, nor is validating or reinforcing unhelpful behaviors. Instead, the last part of your talk could be the first part. Go on from there to suggest how in a world where both men and women have responsibilities in and out of their homes, they can be each other's best support in working together, solidifying their relationship, and continually building their bayis ne'eman b'yisrael.

(7) Anonymous, March 18, 2014 6:52 PM

Maybe the husbands ideas really aren't helpful!

I see a completely different view of what is happening here. In your example the husband gives suggestions to fix his wife's problems, but clearly he has no understanding of the situation, no doubt because he has never been in her shoes. His suggestions are therefore meaningless, and his wife is right- he is not being helpful. When she complains to her husband she wants no more than a sympathetic ear because she doesn't expect him to understand the problem. Later she will talk to her friends about it and when they give suggestions she will listen because she really does want to fix the problem. Moral of the story: don't try to "help" someone when you have no idea what you are talking about because you never actually tried out your own brilliant suggestions

Tzvi Sytner, March 20, 2014 1:51 PM

I completely agree!

(6) Rivka Deutsch, March 18, 2014 5:47 PM

You are so wrong!

It is an awful stereotype you are promoting. There are just as many women who are not complainers and want to "fix" things as there are women who fit your stereotype. There are also plenty of men out there who just like to vent and just want their wives to listen. If your point is to learn to be a good listener for people who just want sympathy, I agree completely. But don't put all women in the same basket, please. We come in all flavors.

Anonymous, March 20, 2014 1:52 PM

Hi Rivka, your statement of " If your point is to learn to be a good listener for people who just want sympathy, I agree completely" is exactly the point I am making. Well said!

(5) S, March 18, 2014 6:57 AM

true, women don't want the guy to fix it, just acknowledge how she feels. It's good to say something like "That must have been very difficult." "That definitely sounds hard to deal with."

(4) Anonymous, March 17, 2014 7:28 PM

true, but

easier said than done. Am so thankful that my wife has girls friends who, by nature, are better listeners and are more sympathetic than I.

Malka, March 18, 2014 7:49 PM


I understand how a guy has a urge to fix problems. But maybe she knows how to fix it, she just needs to vent. You're helping just by listening and saying, 'yeah that is something.'
While she can talk to her friends when they are available, she might not be able to reach them, and so she needs someone to go to.

(3) Simonne Baum, March 17, 2014 3:00 PM

you are so right

I love you Rabbi you are so right,I love they way you give good advice all the best,have a great day


Simonne B

(2) Judith, March 17, 2014 1:19 PM

It is true that, generally speaking, men want to fix things, and women (and men) want to be heard. It is important for both genders to realize the differences in communication styles and needs. One thing I would add is that when someone comes to you with a problem, (male or female) whether they want you to fix it, or not, it is very helpful to ask "How can I help you?" or "What can I do for you?" Additionally, if all you need is for your partner to listen to you, it is perfectly acceptable to preface your conversation with "I'm not asking you to fix this, and I"m not even asking for your advice...I just need you to listen." Recognizing that men and women generally approach things from different perspectives, is very helpful in creating supportive relationships. Thanks, Tzvi!

(1) anonymous, March 17, 2014 7:17 AM

I didn't listen to the video. It wasn't my wife so I didn't have time.

I get it. Women want to be heard. And heard and and heard.So I listen to it all and make appropriate noises and avoid giving suggestions unless asked. I even try and remember what I'm being told from session to session so I can try and enjoy it like a soap opera. Ideally that's what women want-control over the emotional script of the marriage with their partner the audience, interacting when the applause card is raised.

My best friend and I can take a car ride for an hour, not say a word and both think it was a great time. Not so when you inject a woman into the mix.

Problems sit around for weeks and emotional drama bounces off the walls. He did this and she said that and so on. I think it's entertainment for her. I can't see how it serves any purpose.

Me I'm pretty busy. I don't have time to listen to all her problems and then discuss mine. I just solve mine. And then move on to the next one. She has no idea.

Men and women are made differently. I get that. She puts up with my stoicism and my single mindedness and I tolerate her emotional drama. And most of the time it works out just fine. I really do love and like my wife. And our life and marriage.

But every once in a while I do wish she would just solve her own little dramas and leave me out of it. Every once in a while I wish it was my time to get some help solving issues I'm struggling with.

But men and women are made differently. Thank Hashem. I sure wouldn't want to be married to someone just like me. I would be boring. But the car rides would be okay.

Bill, March 18, 2014 4:54 PM

Thank you, Mr. Anonymous for nailing it!

I think what needs to be addressed as a followup is the constant female craving for "drama". I understand what this video explains and, of course, it's needed. But give me a break! To go on and on and on about the same things or that everything is a crisis tells me the person isn't capable to cope and should be instructed on how to. Then they won't wear everyone out with their rambling.

Tom C., March 18, 2014 5:49 PM

He understands

I agree with your conclusion. To me, it seems as if women want to complain, complain, and complain some more. If solutions are found for their problems, they no longer have a reason to complain. I guess it takes meaning from their lives :-)

Avigail, March 19, 2014 3:59 AM

Contempt much?

Your comments are very contemptuous as well as inaccurate. Numerous studies show that men talk more than women, and in mixed groups, men not only talk more, but receive the lion's share of attention and feel free to interrupt women at will. Communication studies have filmed men appropriating women's voiced ideas as their own, and then proceeding to believe that they thought of it themselves. Men's propensity for fix-it advice is secondary to their contempt for women. After all, fix-it advice is very easy and doesn't require respect, connection or attention. Women's communication styles with men seem to reflect the frustration involved in gaining and keeping a man's attention. So, what is the Creator's advice to Avraham? "Listen to your wife!" I really don't think He meant, "View Sarah with contempt, barely acknowledge her and give her some off-the-cuff fix-it advice." Ideas drawn from pop-psychology books are probably not the best source for sermons.


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