This One’s For The Girls . . .

Alex and Blake had spent most of the day deer hunting, deep in the woods, and after a long, unfruitful hunt, were conversing in the semi-darkness around the campfire. Alex asked, “Blake, do you ever wonder why women take everything we say so personally?” Blake replied, “Yep, I do.” Alex then said, “Yesterday was her birthday. I have been listening to her for weeks picking out clues for a gift. Got her a set of bathroom scales ’cause she had mentioned that she would like a new one. Shoot, now she won’t even talk to me.” Blake digested Alex’s comment for a few moments, then replied, “Good. Glad I’m not the only one. Thanks for the good word.”

And there you have it.

Effective, efficient, and productive. Just like most conversations held by men. Short, and to the point. Yessirree Bob, we don’t waste time, energy, or gray matter when we engage in a conversation to tackle an important problem like the one portrayed above.

So it’s probably not a news flash to you, the wonderful women that complement and round out the incompleteness that we are, that not only do we not always communicate the way you do, we also do not possess the wisdom to comprehend various dynamics that most of you pose to us. Remember! This is not a forum to criticize anyone, but to be real and transparent, so that we might better deepen our relationships, and become more of the Godly husbands we so desire to be!

To better explain this common conundrum, in a recent Realtime poll of male respondents, the personalization of relatively trivial statements or actions (on our part, of course) 🙂 often leaves us at a loss for further statements . . . or actions. What is even more befuddling to us, is that when it is clear that one of you have taken personal offense to what we think makes perfect sense, the resulting inaction is total silence. You know, the silent treatment. Being frozen out. Nonverbal communication (very chilly and unfuzzy ) rather than the verbal kind that makes a whole lotta sense to us!

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If there are words spoken by you, our brides, they often resemble something like, “If you can’t figure out why I’m upset, then there is no point in discussing it.” Then as our pea-sized brains begin to process what was just told to us, panic and frustration begin to set in, and you might then see us, arms bent upward, palms facing the sky, with an are you kidding me? expression on our faces. Sometimes we truly are at a loss!

See, we really are a different breed than you. Not necessarily a different species, but more like people from a different country. We resemble one another physically (somewhat), but speak totally foreign languages, and lack some of the cultural understanding of the other.

Want to know how we view ourselves? Thought you’d never ask :p

We the men in your lives, are fixers. We are plumbers, hunters, electricians, carpenters, and protectors of the things that go bump, clang, honk-honk, rattle-rattle, or beep-beep in the night. Someone has to go through us to get to you or our families. And if they dare try, they had better be ready for a fight! For we are fighters too. We fight all that is evil in the world in order to make it a better place for you. Yes, we are the ones willing to swim the highest oceans, and climb the deepest seas to ensure that you are not only aware of our total dedication to you, but as well, our undying commitment to those that we love.

 

 

Yes? Maybe? Hopefully? OK, maybe that description is not all that realistic all of the time, but it’s what we want to be to you. And in those moments of utter helplessness, when we know we must have done something really stupid, but can’t connect the dots, we are likely to throw our hands up in frustration, or just simply walk away. Truthfully, that is probably more in an effort to avoid escalating the issue, rather than completely giving up on it. Or you.

So when we find ourselves in situations we can’t fix, and feel completely stalled out in our journey to be The Mqn, – God’s Man, we step out of our box of comfort, and ask you humbly:

Why IS it that you seem to take relatively “impersonal” comments or actions SO personally?

And, how might we go about improving our communication with you when this DOES happen?

We gallantly await your reply!!!

It is OUR hope that we ALL . . .

FINISH WELL!

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About Kyle Hargrove

There's really not much that's all that special about me . . . It was probably about a decade ago when I realized that "in all its glory." At about that time some of life's recent experiences taught me that regardless of who or what anyone ELSE is, and regardless of how much I may have built MYSELF up, I'm just one life circumstance from being just like anyone else. Although my pride took a ding in the process, it was ultimately a positive and humbling experience that gave my life a different direction altogether. I'm a pretty ordinary husband and father . . . Of course, ordinary comes in lots of shapes and colors. My wife Debbi and I have been married since 2000, and both of us had been previously married. She is a school administrator and has a work ethic that has been passed down generationally - usually leaves home in the dark, and for at least half the year, comes home in the dark too. We're praying that as our kids get through college, she can retire and fulfill some of her most intimate dreams. Debbi and I have five children (Adam, Cameron, Callye, Caleb, and Brandon), one grandson (William), one son-in-law (J.R.), somewhere around five "adopted kids," (not officially but in our hearts), and four dogs (Symon, Sombra, Sophie, and Duke). I often say that I love my kids and love my dogs, but there have been days that I liked my dogs more than my kids. That is of course, suggested in jest . . . mostly :) One of our sons has completed college, and the other four kids are still finding their way through that maze. We love Auburn University (Debbi's alma mater), and Texas A&M University (doesn't everyone?) It took a long time for me to understand my job . . . Professionally, I've had the opportunity to experience some fairly diverse "job titles." I came up as a burgeoning sports journalist, switched to church staff ministry, returned to school to earn two masters degrees, entered the world of private practice, experienced the world of corporate training, founded a Christ-centered residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, and enjoyed some more private practice. Oh, on top of that, I have enjoyed the thrill of becoming a teaching chef in my spare time. All of that took a lot of learning, understanding, and energy. But in 2003 through the benefit of Fellowship of the Sword, a ministry out of Fort Worth, Texas, God showed me what my real job was, and for the first time ever, I really, really "got it." He showed me that my real purpose in this life was to first serve Him, and in the outflow of that, to serve my wife, serve my children, and serve anyone else, anywhere else, who exhibited any need, whatsoever. For a very egocentric person, learning to serve is initially kind of hard. But as the blessings start to roll in, it becomes a joyous lifestyle. It's not always easy. I'm not always successful (I'm still kind of selfish). But it is one of the highest privileges I enjoy - the calling from God - to serve people - just like He did. If we're going to develop the character of Jesus, we had better get serving - the sooner the better. Cooking, singing, golfing, reading, speaking, teaching, and writing . . . Those are a few of my favorite pastimes outside of "work." I try to not let those things define who I am, but sometimes the golf thing gets in the way a little bit. And I'm really not that good. But I value my recreation and free time. I love being around people, and meet very few "strangers," but need "me time" too. I prefer outdoors to indoors, cool weather to hot weather, mountains to the beach, and being active to sitting still. I have traveled the world, and want to find new places, and visit the previous ones again. You could say I was born with a sense of wanderlust. I want to encourage you . . . This blog may have themes but the desire to write it, and the commitment to maintain it is about one thing more than any other. If through the blog, you can be encouraged, recharged, reminded, uplifted, motivated, or if you can just relate to something you read, I will sleep well and know that God has used something - as benign as it may seem on the surface, to help you move forward in understanding who you are, and what your purpose ultimately is. Life was intended to be dynamic - not static. One of my good friends Ricky Bobby once said, "If you ain't first, you're last." Although there may be some detractors to the actual truth (or benefit) of that statement, don't you want to live your life progressing? I don't want to sit around and wish I was getting better at what I do, or who I am. I was born to pursue - to improve - to invent - to move forward. When it's all said and done, I'd like to know that I ran after God, rather than for Him to have had to run after me. We'll all be challenged . . . Writing is sometimes as much about me as it is about you. My "bag of tricks" comes as much from my own experiences as it does anything I've learned from a textbook. I don't know about you (actually I do but certainly can't speak for you), but the things I have learned in this life have typically come from challenging circumstances, mistakes I've chosen to make, mistakes I've unintentionally made, places I shouldn't have been, and a myriad of other mostly-painful experiences. I think we're a lot alike. And I think we're about to find out. As always my friends . . . FINISH WELL!

Posted on April 30, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I had to comment on the question you pose because the answer seems so obvious to me. What about just asking and/or telling? If one spouse (and it is not always the wife here) takes something personally, instead of sulking or attacking, just ask what he/she meant. No person of any gender is a mind reader and playing the silent treatment “you should know why I’m upset” card is playing games, which is destructive to any personal relationship. As far as your opening story, what’s wrong with a bathroom scale? The guy made an effort to find something his wife expressed a desire for and thought she would appreciate a scale. She knew her birthday was coming and if she expected a certain type of present she should have made her wishes known ahead of time instead of making him guess and then being angry when he didn’t guess “right”.
    I enjoy most of your posts, but this one makes me sad for people “stuck” in this type of dysfunctional uncommunicative trap.

  2. I think you may be onto something Carole. With time, there really IS no excuse for us to not “read” our wives unless we’re not trying, or never have. That is exactly why I write Realtime. The NEED to learn honesty, openness, and transparency is there, and it takes COURAGE at times, for men, or anyone else, to do just that – especially with those who know us the best – our wives. Thanks for chiming in – it’s great to hear from you!

  3. I personally think the ‘excuse’ of men being so utterly unable to understand us is way overused. Either that or I just have an exceptional husband because he knows exactly what I’m thinking most of the time. He’ll feign innocence at times but he’s a terrible liar and I can see right through him. 🙂 That being said, I think that if a man truly is having a very difficult time reading his wife, perhaps he needs to either get to know her better by just listening to her or he may even be trying too hard and his fear of failure to understand her becomes a sort of ‘white noise’ that effectively blocks his ability to comprehend.

    But I’ll just go with…I have an exceptional husband. 🙂

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