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Men listen, they just can't hear!

Updated on November 15, 2014

What did she say?

Men grow up learning to fix things. It gives us an identity and makes us feel like men. Its not only what we do, its who we are. We buy tools for fixing things. We buy books that tell us how to fix the things we have to fix and we watch T.V. shows that describe how to fix all the things that need our fixin.

In the beginning men needed to hunt, but, with the evolution of supermarkets, the great hunts have vanished with mastodons and man evolved into a modern day fixer.

Marriage provides man with immeasurable opportunity to fix things, however, this is where the real problem in marriage surfaces. Women don't want any fixin. Obviously, this leads to some confusion for our evolutionary handy man.

Returning home from work, last week, I found my wife flustered and crying. I was elated. Here was an opportunity for "Mr. Fix It" to strut his stuff. After all, its what I do. I fix things, I've trained for this day all my life. The problem is, she doesn't want any fixin. She will even tell you so. "I don't need you to fix anything, I just need you to listen." Now what do I do? I wasn't trained to listen. I fix things, I don't listen to them.

"What do you mean, you don't want me to fix anything, you're crying?"

"Yes" she says, "I'm crying, I'm not broken."

Being adaptable and wanting to be useful, I sit and try something new, I listen. She begins by replaying every moment of every hour that has expired since she got up that morning. Women adore details because details reveal the moment by moment unfolding of emotions that will tell a story that will make no sense to any man on the planet. After thirty minutes, we're half way through the moment by moment replay and I still don't know what happened. She's still laying the requisite foundation of necessary details and the only revelation I have, is that something that didn't happen has more details than Wikipedia!

After another thirty minutes I begin to suspect hormones or the side effects of medication. Maybe menopause, pre menopause, post menopause or what ever pause that has come to wreak havoc on her life. One thing I do know is that once you start listening, there is no pause. Anything that has upset her in the last forty years is on the table and I can't figure out what problem is actually confronting her today. At this point, I attempt the impossible and ask her again,

"Just tell me what happened?"

She begins to cry all over again and tells me that I haven't been listening. I've been listening for sixty minutes and I don't know whether the car blew up or if there is an IRS agent in the bedroom!

Men don't grasp the concept of details because they don't want a relationship with the problem, they just want to fix something. Women, on the other hand, want a relationship with everything on the planet. By the time men get the details, they could have gone back to work and picked up a retirement check.

Now I understand that women build relationships from talking. When women talk, they're giving birth to a story that needs to be told and the details are her children. Asking her to get to the point is like telling her you don't want children. Women go real deep when they talk, because what's bothering them isn't what they're really talking about. Women are talking about feelings and the only experience men have with feeling is from flatulence. While men are trying to define this feeling thing, she's giving birth "in the deep".

Men don't venture to the deep because men are afraid of the deep. They want everything up on the surface where they can see it. If they can see it, then they can fix it. Men don't fix stuff from below because they are surface creatures. They don't go into the deep until they die.

Two hours and twenty minutes later, she smiles and thanks me for listening. She and all her details march off like baby ducklings following a mother duck. I have no clue what happened. She's left me there, staring at the deep, dazed, confused and forever disconnected from the identity I was so desperately clinging too. I haven't fixed anything and I'm still afraid to look at the car or go into the bedroom!

Women claim that men don't listen. I say that we do listen, but, with forty years of feelings all climbing up from "the deep" simultaneously, the entire surface is littered with emotions and men can't find exactly, what thing, he's supposed to be listening too. Somewhere in all this mess a monster has climbed up from out of the deep. It is buried in litter and we can't find it.

I've learned that it is best to shut up, nod my head up and down like a bobble head and mirror whatever expression her face is conveying. It is admittedly difficult because men can only listen long enough to isolate a problem and then they need to either fix it or kill it. Women, on the other hand, treat problems like neighbors your going to have over for dinner.

Today, she is still birthing children in the deep and I suspect, waiting for me to take Lamaze classes so that I can share in the experience. There isn't anything to hunt and there isn't anything to fix.

If this evolution thing continues, men will eventually have to get together and talk about their inner feelings. That should take about a minute.


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    • profile image

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    • profile image

      Shayan 3 years ago

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    • Mary Cimeni profile image

      Mary Cimeni 4 years ago from Philippines

      lol. This is so true! even those who are yet lovers.. Not all the times girls need men to fix anything, when they cry. Men just have to listen first.. yeah, that's all we need. and then we're fine. hey, listening is an art!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Oh my! This is hilarious! I laughed out loud the whole way through. What terrific insight you do have. Your wife is so fortunate to have you. I now fully understand man - no wonder eyes droop when men listen. I will be sure to have a tangible object to fix the next time I ask a man to listen. Send this to SNL- I'm sure they would use it!

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      John! great to hear from you. Thanks for reading and so glad you enjoyed. Stay well my friend

    • profile image

      John Thill 7 years ago

      Alan, so true! this would be a best seller but at the end we still wouldn't have the information we need to "fix"the situation, even if we fully understood the problem. Wow, you sure said a mouthful.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      (I listened! - Smile.)

    • profile image

      arb 7 years ago

      A smile is worth a thousand words!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS


    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      Nellianna - I fear I've made impression where I only sought to give it. I look forward to mutual readings and mutual admiration.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      OHMYGOSH, arb. I have laughed so hard reading this clever, witty - and SO true piece that my mascara is running and my sides hurt. It's taken me a lot of decades to "get it"- that men do not have training in -nor much interest in - listening or "talking things out" - and they are hell-bent on fixing, remedying, repairing and feeling their seat in heaven is guaranteed. It's who you are for sure. We women need to "understand" as much as we want to "be understood". This is how it IS!

      I think how frustrating it could be for the guy with a woman who is a good fixer herself. In fact, my George, who would never in a million years have thought to get out the vacuum cleaner spontaneously and run it, would jump up immediately when I got it out, take it from me and insist on running it -his way. Sometimes I only intended to "run it" in the open areas, not move the sofa and vacuum under it and every other piece of furniture, but when he did it - that happened and then I had to rearrange the cushions and at the items on the coffee table, all disturbed by this thorough cleaning I had no time for before the company would arrive.

      But it is fun to learn this stuff. And to hear it so wonderfully described from that perspective is truly a joy. Thank you.

      I was thinking I might follow you from reading some of your poetry. This article makes it a certainty! You are so GOOD!

      Please tell you wife that she looks perfectly lovely at the end of your quill and she helps the rest of us feel better about ourselves, too!

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      Edlira, thanks for reading. The inspector General (my wife) is not yet sure about my writing. She wants to make the changes that would not make them funny. She wants to look better than my portrait of her. What fun would that be?

    • Edlira profile image

      Edlira 7 years ago seem to be doing great in making your wife happy, no matter what the price for you (after all love is not think you should collect your fine, funny hubs and have them published. I am sure you will succeed!

    • profile image

      arb 7 years ago

      Hi Clink, thanks for reading and I will look for your upcoming hub! Be well.

    • DeLaro11 profile image

      DeLaro11 7 years ago

      Hi Arb

      This is C Delaro I can tell that I will be able relate to you in so many ways. I to am a grandfather of three boys and I have five grown one well the youngest is a senior in High school she thinks she is grown. I am a Fly fisherman and your right we are trained to fix things and we do not think the same as the women in our life believe me I have four daughters. stay tuned for a hub I will post in the near future called Fish On I think you will like it.

      thanks Clint

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      Hi Feline Prophet! Nice to meet you. Thanks for the read and the follow. My wife has taught me that a mans whole purpose in life is to listen. Just as well, she has covered everything!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 7 years ago

      Once in a while you get a husband like mine - who does all the talking! Quite naturally he doesn't stop long enough to listen! :D

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 7 years ago

      Lol arb!

      I bet you could... I bet you could. :)

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      From one distorted humorist to another, many thnks.

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 7 years ago from Indiana

      I'm a genetic mutant.... a woman who abhors details, but still expects her husband to listen to the highlights and figure out what's going on.

      Now that I have read your hub, I realize that it's not that he didn't hear me, it's that he can't talk and listen at the same time. He's taken a lot of flak for that.. esp. since I always spare him the gory details.

      I feel sorry for men, we do not make it easy on you. It's a good thing women are so important to have around, if I were a guy, I'm not sure I would bother!

      Useful, and borderline hysterical!! You are a gem among men!

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      Dr. Amelia, Thank you for reading.

    • Dr. Amilia profile image

      Dr. Amilia 7 years ago

      Awesome hub. :)

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      Qudsia! It took me longer to read the comment than to write the hub, and, after all the details, I am staring at the Grand Canyon. If you had a conversation with my wife, I could take a cruise before the two of you finished explaining things to each other! LOL - you are so funny.

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      Thanks loveslove! I wonder what I'd write about were it not for her. Told her last nigh that it's why I stay married. She is more than a wife, she is the material.

    • Loveslove profile image

      Loveslove 7 years ago from England

      Oh many funny great hubs I will have to come back later...what a funny read ..thanks again !!

      reminds me of something I read...

      ''My wife says I dont listen..Or something like that ''

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 7 years ago

      arb, I am in the office reading this and only God knows how I did not explode from laughter!

      ~"After thirty minutes we're half way through the moment by moment replay and I still don't know what happened."~

      ~"I've been listening for sixty minutes and I don't know whether the car blew up or if there is an IRS agent in the bedroom!"~

      ~"Two hours and twenty minutes later, she smiles, thanks me for listening and then goes merrily on her way. I have no clue what happened, I haven't fixed anything and she left me a hole deeper than the Grand Canyon."~

      You put things so perfectly, arb.

      I can honestly say that with your experience you could actually explain women to men.

      I am afraid, I am genetically cursed to have to be explicit with details, almost as if, if I miss one, the conclusion would change. [p.s. some times by the end when I do actually reach the conclusion, I forget what I was talking about because the details were so painstaking long but because I am all talked out, I just smile and leave, lol.]

      Let me explain why I meant 'genetically cursed"...

      My dad, with my mum has become so used to hearing [not sure if he is listening but hearing] all the details of the same event sometimes possibly 6 times in the same day that when I go to him and say, "Papa, the meeting was productive, the presentation was great." he asks me to actually give him the details. :P

      Believe me, mum really ensures that every member of the family knows what happened in explicit pixel by pixel detail and we continue to 'hear' about it for several weeks! So some times, I zone out, nod, smile, say a few nays, an abstract comment which is neither for, nor against, so she can continue and I don't get caught of not listening. :P

      If I am brief and concise, both my parent would suspect something went wrong, lol!

      Excellent excellent excellent hub!

    • profile image

      arb 7 years ago

      Hi nighthag! Thanks for reading and for the comment, always appreciate your relpies!

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 7 years ago from Australia

      I loved this, So true on so many levels, a wonderful engaging write thanks for sharing

    • speedbird profile image

      speedbird 7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      I wish Women will understand Men more and Men to understand Women more. This way we will be seeing many happy couples around.

    • profile image

      arb 7 years ago

      Hi Jasmine Jelly baby! Thanks for stopping by. Confirming what you have known all along also confirms what I have known all along. Women have always known everything, all along! Probably why they have so much to talk about. Ha ha!Take care and thanks for responding.

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      Maven101! Your right about the sex thing. When a women wants to talk about tools, men listen. Marriage is a wonderful thing. We can all take time out to laugh at ourselves. Be well my friend!

    • profile image

      Jasmine JellyBaby 7 years ago

      This hub just confirms what I've known all along... Men make our lives so complicated!!! and men complain that we make their lives complicated.. all you had to do was L-I-S-T-E-N!! a skill most men lack but thank God you aced it!!

      Nice hub man, enjoyed reading it!

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Ray...My wife asked me what I was laughing so hard about...I had just read your Hub and read her a couple of excerpts...She just looked at me and said " See !! " ..I said " See what ? "...She said " That man is just like you...You guys never listen "...I said " Why should I listen, I won't understand it anyway "...She said " The only time you listen is when it has something to do with sex "...I said " See, that's something I can fix.."...

      My stomach aches from the belly laughs,... Truly, truth that hurts...

      Rated up, funny, and useful...Take care, my friend...Larry

    • profile image

      arb 7 years ago

      Hi b. You have confirmed my deepest suspicion. I shall keep my secret. Thanks for the read!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 7 years ago

      Well Arb, you were there for her, and she got it off her chest, in her fashion, and that's what counts...and no, NEVER, NEVER, let her know that you didn't get it.

    • arb profile image

      arb 7 years ago from oregon

      Azure Sky, Women are anything but simple, except to other women! To understand them is like wandering aimlessly in a desert looking for water and drinking sand from a mirage.

    • azure_sky profile image

      azure_sky 7 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

      Lol....yep, been there, done that!!! Sometimes we just need an "ear"....nothing more, nothing less :) We can be simple creatures, at times :) Thanks again for bringing a smile to my face.....


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