Stop Doing This!

I’m a guy.  I fix stuff.  Well, let’s not get too crazy here.  I don’t fix stuff like Real Men.  Real Men can repair their own cars, fix their own plumbing and grout between their ceramic tiles.  I wonder if I said that correctly?  A Real Man would know.

I fix technology problems.  Computers, networks, TVs, cables, phones and other such items.  It’s my nature.  But more importantly it’s the nature of most men.  Not to fix tech problems (otherwise I’d be bored since more men would do what I do), but rather to fix things.

We are men.  When we see a problem we want to solve it.  Just hand us the hammer and stand back!

This tendency also applies to relationships.  We see a problem and want to fix it.  This is where I start to see God’s sense of humor.  Men want to fix problems.  If you tell me the horrible thing that happened with your coworker I want to give you the advice to solve the problem.

What do women want?  Frequently?  To talk about the problem.  Not to have us throw in our two cents to try and fix it.  This is not to say that women don’t want issues to be resolved.  But their way is not the same as a man’s way.  This I learned early in marriage and have to still consciously think about it.  In fact there are points where I come right out and ask Sally, “Would you like me to give some input or do you just want to talk it through?”

Here is a suggestion for all of the husbands out there.  When your wife comes to you and starts sharing about issues at work, or with another family member do NOT immediately start offering advice.  Did you get that?  Just let her get her thoughts out there.  Put down your phone, listen attentively and be present.

To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.” – Proverbs 18:13

That’s it.  Just be there for her.  Don’t fix it, don’t tell her what she (or someone else) did to cause it.  STOP STOP STOP STOP!  I know you are still going to want to make it better with your deep insight.  Don’t.

Can you ever offer advice?  Ever?  Yes…when she asks for it.  Only then should you be jumping in.

Now go out there and listen to your wife!



  • David Mike

    I’ve been guilty of this! Still do it when I’m not paying attention.

    • Troy Stoneking

      Me too David! I’ve gotten MUCH better over the years. It’s pretty much a habit now to either not offer an unsolicited solution or just come right out and ask if she is just sharing or wants my input to try and help.