Married With Benefits™

13: Rapid-Fire: Questions (a lot of) Other Husbands are Asking

with Brian Goins, Jeff Feldhahn, Shaunti Feldhahn | July 13, 2020
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Gathered from a live audience at FamilyLife's Love Like You Mean It cruise, Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn and Brian Goins answer a variety of questions from husbands--like, "Why does she ask for my opinion, then do her own thing?" "Why does she pick on my tone of voice?" "Why doesn't she say what she means?" "How can I convince her I think she looks good?" "How am I supposed to avoid fix-it mode when she talks?"

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Brian Goins

    Brian and his wife Jen love building into families and eating great food together. They have three children who all want to move to Montana. Brian serves as Sr. Director Special Projects at FamilyLife. He is also the executive producer on an adolescent-focused documentary series called Brain, Heart, World ( aimed at helping change the conversation about pornography in our country and has written Playing Hurt: A Guy’s Strategy for a Winning Marriage.

  • Shaunti Feldhahn

    Shaunti received her graduate degree from Harvard University and was an analyst on Wall Street before unexpectedly becoming a social researcher, best-selling author and popular speaker. Today, she applies her analytical skills to investigating eye-opening, life-changing truths about relationships, both at home and in the workplace. Her groundbreaking research-based books, such as For Women Only, have sold more than 3 million copies in 25 languages and are widely read in homes, counseling centers and corporations worldwide. In 2020, Shaunti, together with her husband Jeff Feldhahn, released Thriving in Love & Money. Little did they know just how timely this book would be as the world suddenly changed and couples needed to be able to talk about money more than ever. While most money books deal with surface issues of budgeting and debt, many couples struggle to even talk about money and it creates tension and a barrier to true oneness in their relationship. This is the money book that’s not about the money. It uncovers the issues that cause money conflicts and provide couples with truths that are relationship game-changers. Because you need a better relationship, not just a better budget. Find out more at Her book, The Kindness Challenge, continues to catalyze a much-needed movement of kindness across the country and beyond. Dozens of prominent organizations and leaders are coming together to do The 30-Day Kindness Challenge, and encourage their followers to do the same. Shaunti’s findings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show and Focus on the Family, The New York Times and Cosmo. She (often with her husband, Jeff) speak at both live and on-line events in the U.S. and around the world. Shaunti and her husband Jeff live in Atlanta with their daughter and son, and two cats who think they are dogs.

Gathered from FamilyLife’s Love Like You Mean It cruise, Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn and Brian Goins answer a variety of questions from husbands–like, “Why does she ask for my opinion, then do her own thing?” “Why does she pick on my tone of voice?” “Why doesn’t she say what she means?”

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13: Rapid-Fire: Questions (a lot of) Other Husbands are Asking

With Brian Goins, Jeff Feldhahn, ...more
July 13, 2020
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Brian: From the Podcast Network at FamilyLife®, this is Brian Goins, host of Married With Benefits where we’re helping you love those you live with and rediscover the real benefits of saying, “I do.”

You know this season has been a lot of fun. I’ve been joined with good friend, Harvard-trained researcher, best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn as we really try to unpack that verse in 1 Peter 3:7 where it talks about “husbands live with your wives in an understanding way.” We could all use a little more understanding.

We’ve been tackling, this whole season, the questions every husband is asking and for this episode it was really fun. We were out on the Love Like You Mean It® cruise. We decided we’re going to leave the comforts of the studio and go out to a live audience and just get rapid fire questions from real husbands just like you. I wonder if you would have asked some of the questions these guys ended up asking. Enjoy the show.

[Recorded Message]

Audience member: Why do wives ask for your opinion and then when you give your opinion they say “Well that’s not what I want to do so I’m going to go ahead and do what I want to do anyway”? [Laughter]

Brian: We’re getting some applause at that one. I’m guessing some guys have felt that. I have felt that. Jen has asked my opinion about what I want for dinner or where we should go on vacation and I give an answer that I think is a pretty good one, but then she’s like “Okay great. No, we’re going to do this.” What’s going on?

Shaunti: Well some of what’s going on—I can take a pretty good guess that some of it is ladies, you know that whole thing where the guy says “Here’s what I think we should do” and then it actually starts your brain thinking even more down another potential direction and so you start talking it through. Like “Well I don’t know. Well what about this?” or “What about that?” Remember it’s the beginning of the conversation.

I think probably the most important thing is to realize you think you’re coming up with this perfectly thought-through baked plan. Like you’ve covered every base in your head and yet, then she starts talking in a different direction. Just let her because this is her doing on the outside what you just did on the inside.

Brian: Jeff wants to jump in here.

Jeff: Can I? One thing that Shaunti—and this is to the women—one thing that Shaunti has truly learned to do when it comes to me in these situations is she knows that when I say something it usually means that this is the settled opinion I have on it. This is what I thought through and this is where I’ve come down on it. What I need to know from her is that when she’s talking it isn’t the settled opinion. So what she says to me is “Look, I need to think this through by talking it through. I’m not rejecting what you’ve just said.

Shaunti: I’m just thinking out loud.

Jeff: I’m just thinking out loud.” That gives me the freedom from thinking that she’s totally submarined me. We might still go with what she says, but at least I know that it’s not that she was—

Shaunti: —rejecting your idea, yes.

Jeff: Yes.

Brian: So it’s basically adding another opinion in to this conversation that she’s having in her mind. Ladies, would you guys agree with that?

Audience: Yes.

Brian: Yes, I’m hearing some yes. I’m hearing some validation. It might be helpful for the ladies to go “Hey, I’d love to hear what you’re thinking but I might need a couple more hours or days to process that so let’s keep the conversation going.” But sometimes as guys what it feels like you’re doing is you just want validation for what you’ve already been thinking about.

Shaunti: Well that does probably sometimes happen, too. Let’s just be honest.

Brian: Yes, it does.

Shaunti: But I’m guessing that a lot of it is we need a little more time.

Brian: Okay. Carlos, there’s another question over here.

Audience member: Why do women seem to focus more on the tone of how you say something versus the words?

Shaunti: It turns out this is one of these things that neuroscientists studied pretty intensively over about the last ten years and I know I’m going to butcher this. If we have any neuroscientists in the room, I apologize in advance, but it turns out that there’s actually the female brain is wired more for perceiving things like tone and perceiving things like body language at a better level than men do.

For a man, a certain tone or a certain body language has to hit a higher threshold in order for that man to go “Oh, there’s an issue here,” but for a woman, we can kind of hear that tone in your voice and our threshold is much lower. We suspect “he doesn’t really mean that” because of the way he said it. So that’s the reason—I’m pretty sure that that’s at least one of the main reasons why that happens.

Brian: It seems like—and we talked about this in one of the questions we had in our podcast where women they process feelings first, and so before even words are coming out, they’re picking up on the signals of “He’s feeling something and his body is telling the truth on him.”

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: Or his tone is telling the truth on him. It’s a bit of an unfair superpower that you ladies have which really drives us guys nuts, right?

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: Yes; alright.

Audience member: Hi. I think God has wired men to react primarily to commands and direct requests and direct questions and women communicate more indirectly. For example, my wife would tell me “Ah, the car is down to a quarter tank of gas.” Translation: “Go out and get some gas.”

Brian: Yes. Whereas for me, I’m going “Great! Let’s see how far we can go on a quarter tank of gas. [Laughter] We can go a long way. Let’s go all the way to the red.” Come on. It’s a challenge at that point, right?

Shaunti: Oh gosh, every wife in here is cringing right now because of that. It is interesting. I will confess that as a woman we have a way of subconsciously thinking “Does he care enough about me to push through to what I’m actually thinking and feeling even beyond what I actually said.” That does happen. It may not be the majority of women, but it does happen at a pretty high rate and it’s totally unfair to expect you guys to read our minds.

Ladies we can’t do that, right; we do want to be direct. But at the same time—if I could just say with my husband back here—sometimes when I am direct, as a woman, it doesn’t go over so well—

Brian: No.

Shaunti: —because then Jeff thinks I’m telling him what to do.

Brian: Or getting applause on the back on that one.

Shaunti: So, I kind of feel stuck with this one. Ladies, am I representing here? Yes.

Brian: Because when you come across as direct, it may feel like a nagging. It may feel like a command and a guy’s going “I don’t want to be commanded by my wife right now.”

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: So we’re been in a catch-22 here. Using the subtle suggestion that we hope you pick up on doesn’t always work for us guys.

Shaunti: It doesn’t always work, but at the same time, maybe one of the answers is as a wife being willing to say this: “If the car is down to a quarter tank of gas, you know it would be awesome if at some point, would you mind? I love the fact that you do that. It makes me feel so loved.” Is that a way to help you guys like accept it?

Brian: I think you say this a lot in some of your material; we were talking about “How can wives help the husband feel like the hero?”

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: So to be able to say “Hey, I noticed that the car is down to a quarter tank of gas.” Instead be like “Hey, you would be my hero if you could get that filled up here in the next couple of days because I’ve got to do this, this, this and this.” There’s something about that rephrasing as opposed to expecting him to read my mind. Are you saying yes to that?

Shaunti: Thumbs up. That would work.

Brian: You be the hero. I know he wants to be the hero. Alright, Carlos, you got another one?

Audience member: Would this be fair to say that this is why we’re told scripturally women submit to your husbands, husbands submit to your wives rather than trying to try to figure somebody out or conform them to my way of thinking? Just accept them the way they are and do those little things that are going to help you understand each other.

Shaunti: Instead of trying to control each other which is often what happens instead.

Brian: Yes, absolutely. What I love about what Jeff and Shaunti have done is that science always catches up to God’s truth, and when you recognize so much of what their books are about is about 1 Peter 3:7 “Live with your wives in an understanding way.” It’s like Peter is saying “Hey, you need to move into that understanding” which for guys, that’s not always our first instinct and we need the Spirit of God to do that.

Then you look at Philippians when Paul is talking about do not just look out for your own interests but look out for the interests of others and imagine. Then Paul he also says in Romans, “Outdo one another in showing honor.”

So the scripture is filled with—if you really want to have a great marriage, is how do I love them the way they are rather than how I expect them to be?

Jeff: You know we were—that’s fantastic. We were talking with someone who said he knows this couple that was in counseling with their pastor and this guy—it was pretty intense—and this guy finally just said to the pastor, he said “Look, I’m not trying to change her behavior. I just want to control her mind. [Laughter] That’s all and if we can do that, we’ll be happy.”

Brian: Right. That’d be awesome. It’s not going to happen.

Shaunti: That is why God tells us these things in the scripture to counteract that tendency, right?

Brian: We got one right here?

Audience member: I have a confession—and I have made this confession to my husband—and maybe because I’m about to be 50 and it’s happening more and more, but there are times where I’m angry with him and my behavior very clearly demonstrates I am angry with him and I can’t even remember why I’m angry with him.

I know with women—the metaphor I’ll steal that women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles. It usually—and I’ve told him early in our marriage sometimes it has nothing to do with you, but you just triggered it, or you were just here or—

Shaunti: You were standing there in front of me.

Brian: I just looked at you.

Audience member: And so other than maturity which has gotten better over 20 years, what is something that you have learned in your relationships to just kind of—where he  can—you know because I’ve had to tell him “It’s not about you,” but I’m still in a mood, regardless. I want to be out of that mood, but I just can’t seem to get there. So, any ideas?

Shaunti: Yes, there’s actually—our last research study, which was on the kindness challenge actually, we discovered an answer for that, and it works 89% of the time. It’s essentially a way that you’re retraining how you think about this person. This is not by the way, the kindness challenge, it’s not just for marriages. It works for any relationship. Like I did it for my 16-year-old daughter.

Here’s the three things we call the 30-day kindness challenge. This will retrain what you focus on. Don’t say anything negative about him for 30 days, either to him or about him to somebody else. Find and say something positive every day / praise, something praiseworthy every single day. It’s like Philippians 4:8 in practice. Think on whatever is excellent, lovely, and worthy of praise rather than what’s worthy of driving you crazy.

And then every day for 30 days, also do a small act of generosity for him. It is astounding how much it changes your feelings and it changes what you focus on because what you focus on is what you’re going to feed. If you focus on the things that are irritating, it’s going to be more irritating. If you focus on the good things, that irritation is just kind of going to float away.

Brian: And can I just speak to that too. I think it’s important for husbands and wives to practice this phrase: I’m angry but it’s not at you, or I’m angry but I’m not sure what it is. Then especially for guys, I think this is really difficult is that we don’t like to be around people that aren’t lovable in that moment.

Shaunti: Yes.

Brian: Like there’s not a natural—I think women have a better nurturing aspect to them where they’re willing to come more alongside and hug the porcupine. Guys don’t like the quills. I think as guys we need to trust the Spirit of God to say “Okay, I need to come hug the porcupine right now.”

Paul says to nourish and cherish which the word cherish means bring work to. We’re to regulate the temperature of our spouse and too often I’m like a thermometer. I can take the temperature and if it’s too cold or too hot, I can find another room. Preferably with a fridge and a tv.

But what God’s calling me to do is like I want to enter into that anger with you even if you don’t know what it is and to say “Hey, I’m going to be here with you during that.” Do you think that would help? Yes.

Shaunti: Like yes, I care about you

Brian: Okay.

Shaunti: This is a way I can show it. I see Carlos running.

Brian: Carlos is running in this heat. I applaud him for that.

Shaunti: Oh my gosh. For everybody who’s listening on the podcast right now, we’re in this amazing venue but it’s like 120 degrees right now.

Brian: I’ve lost five pounds in the last 10 minutes. [Laughter]

Audience member: Okay, so how as men, do we train ourselves not to go into fix-it mode when my wife/our wives just want us to listen?

Brian: Any guys have ever felt that temptation? Yes!

Shaunti: Oh my gosh! That’s a lot of hands.

Brian: Yes, exactly. So, when you come home from work or both of you come home from work, she starts recounting her day or something going on with the kids and immediately us guys, we go into fix it. That’s what we do best. Let’s fix the problem. Then we get this look across the room from our wife going that’s not what I wanted.

We feel a bit inadequate at that moment like “Why wouldn’t you want my advice?” So Shaunti, what do we need to do about that?

Shaunti: So here’s the thing that Jeff and I found in one of the research studies to help women understand men and that exact question is it turns out there’s actually a step one and a step two and step two is when your wife will appreciate those solutions.

Step one is actually taking off that Mr. Fix-It hat for just a second and realizing that what she most needs there is for you to listen to her feelings. If she’s processing through something that happened,—I don’t know; her boss embarrassed her at work, whatever the thing is, her best friend isn’t returning her calls—she’s got feelings about that. She’s all tense. She’s got to get that out and she can maybe do a solution on her own, but she can’t feel listened to on her own.

Brian: There’s some great questions that you can ask instead of going into fix-it mode. A great question would be “Oh, that must have made you feel bad?” Like recognize and reflect back the—

Shaunti: And just ask her about the situation. Give her a chance to talk it out.

Jeff: Can I share something that might be helpful for the guys? For a lot of us guys, I often times have these big ideas and sometimes they’re just ideas or dreams and I will share them with Shaunti. It’s kind of blue-sky stuff.

Shaunti: Let’s go to Maine and open a bed and breakfast when we retire.

Brian: That sounds like a great idea.

Jeff: Exactly. Wouldn’t that be cool? What I want her to do is not move into technical mode and go “A bed and breakfast in Maine! Are you kidding? Do you know what that would cost? Have you ever researched how much time, how much energy and all that?” That to me feels just the same way that our wives feel when we’re trying to fix something for her.

What I really want from her is just to enter in to the dream. I’m not going to sell all our belongings and move to Maine. [Laughter] I’m not but I want her to not be a bucket of cold water on a dream and it’s listening.

Shaunti: And it’s the same thing.

Jeff: So guys, just remember what that feels like for you the next time you want to try to fix something right away.

Brian: And so a great question: “How does that make you feel? Tell me more.” That’s a great one even if you don’t want her to tell you more because that’s really what guys are going. Like they want an end to the conversation as quick as possible. That’s why we want to fix it.

Shaunti: Gee, I can’t imagine why we don’t feel listened to.

Brian: That’s right. So tell me more, and then another great question is “Do you want me to help fix that right now or are you good?”

Shaunti: Yes, good point. Yes.

Brian: Yes, just to be able to ask that question because she may not be in fix-it mode. Is that true, ladies? Yes. She just wants you to get into the mud puddle of feelings with her.

Shaunti: And just remember though, in all fairness, you don’t have to stop being who God made you to be. God made you to be a Mr. Fix-It and you don’t need to suddenly become her best girlfriend. Just remember there is a step one and a step two.

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: And step two, once she’s felt heard, that’s more likely when she goes, “I just don’t know what to do,” and that’s when you can actually talk about the solutions.

Brian: You mentioned on the podcast that a lot of women feel like at the end of the day or when they’ve got all these feelings going, it’s like a wound-up rubber band.

Shaunti: Yes, like you twist a rubber band and it gets all tense.

Brian: And she wants you to help her be the hero to help take off the tension.

Shaunti: Unwind all of that.

Brian: More than she wants you to fix it. So that’s a great question. Anybody else got a question?

Audience member: Recognizing how important football, basketball, the television is to our spouses, how do we balance “Could you stop watching television for an hour while football, basketball, whatever is on once a week? Once a month?”

Brian: This is hypothetical. You’re not talking about him, right? No, he would never do that. [Laughter]

Shaunti: Of course not. Of course not.

Brian: Yes, absolutely. I’ve heard that same problem.

Shaunti: Absolutely. He’s shaking his head. Absolutely, it’s hypothetical.

Brian: So how would you answer that, Shaunti?

Shaunti: Oh my gosh! Brian, this is one of those common, common things. Here’s the thing because guys, you as men, when your wife is preoccupied with something, it doesn’t occur to you that maybe there’s distance building in the relationship, right?

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: It doesn’t occur to you unless—and I dare say this is a generalization but it’s about 80% of men—unless it’s a lack of physical intimacy and you’re feeling more and more disconnected—that’s a guy’s version of this—guys, you need to know that in those exact situations where you’re just spending all your time in front of the television or working or whatever it may be, she is starting to feel more and more and more and more disconnected because that’s triggering her underground insecurity of “Am I lovable? Like if I was, why would he want to spend all of his time with the television? So clearly, I don’t matter to him.”

And just like you with your wife, if you’re feeling disconnected, you haven’t had that physically intimate time in a while and you’re longing for that emotionally, recognize that that’s the same emotional connection she’s longing for and needing with you away from the television.

Brian: Yes. I think a great diagnostic would be for us guys, is how connected do you feel to me right now? Are we feeling close? Is there anything I can do to help you know that I want to pursue you? Just asking questions about the status of your wife’s heart, almost weekly, is a great practice. Like where are we right now? For you to lead out on that rather than wait for her—

Shaunti: What do you think the average guy listening to this—because you’re a dude—so the average guy listening to this is going “That’s scary for me to ask that question because I don’t know that I’m going to like what I hear.”

Brian: Yes, you might not like what you hear. But here’s the thing. You’re going to hear it in a different way. You’re going to hear it in passive aggressiveness. You’re going to hear it, maybe, in nagging. You’re going to hear it in—you’re going to hear it one way or the other. So guys, why not be preemptive? Do a preemptive strike on your wife’s heart, and find out what’s going on there and go “Hey, how am I doing in pursuing you?”

Shaunti: That’s a great idea.

Brian: It’s a good, good thing to do. Okay, how about another question. We’re trying to get a couple more in.

Audience member: So my question is what happens—because usually it’s the opposite—but my husband is super affectionate and I’m not. How do I handle it?

Shaunti: Read the opposite book. [Laughter] Sorry, I just had to say that. You know what? This is like any type of communication though is that sometimes we don’t fit those patterns and it literally is him working to understand you individually. You know physical touch is not as much your thing and it may be his thing.

This is exactly why we do these kinds of podcasts and these kinds of talks to try to help build a basis for communication so that the two of you can literally talk about it and know each other’s needs and non needs are legitimate. That sounds like it’s a time for you guys to talk about it and realize that it’s legit. It’s one of those things that maybe the two of you have two different sets of needs, and you didn’t realize that the other person’s was totally legitimate. I say that’s a conversation.

Brian: I think the key is you know Peter says “Live with your wives in an understanding way.” If that’s something—and I could see that applying as well to wives, live with your husbands in an understanding way—how do I die to myself? This is why the cross is so important, is a reminder of: How do I love them the way they need to be loved? How do I get out of my comfort zone so that I can love them like Christ loves me?

Alright, here we go, another question. What’s your name?

Art: Art. So, my question is how do husbands convince their wives that they look good in bathing suits? And also, how can we get them to be assured just by saying thank you and that’s it?

Jeff: Accepting the compliment.

Shaunti: Accepting the compliment.

Brian: Yes, accepting the compliment. I think it’s a great question. So number one—there’s two parts—I hear him saying I want my wife to wear a bathing suit more. Isn’t that what he said? [Laughter] And to actually—but to believe/actually believe “Boy, you look great in that.”

Shaunti: So first of all, just remember—and this is for all the guys, not just him—remember that underneath the surface even the most absolutely objectively stunning woman is going to think she looks like she needs to wear a muumuu, right? Like we have such insecurity about ourselves in this area and it is impossible to describe to the average husband just how impossible it seems to us that you would like looking at us. Like that just feels completely crazy that you would find us attractive because we see the Cosmo covers too, right? We see the actresses on television. We see those visuals that tempt you and we don’t look like that. To me it is to never grow tired of giving her opportunities to hear from you that she’s beautiful to you.

Brian: Yes, and I think every woman’s heart is sitting back going, “No, I need more. I need more.” So push through that no, and go “No honey, let me look at you in the face and let you know you look beautiful to me.” I think some of the greatest marriages that are around, the husbands—in fact, I was talking to a mentor couple of mine and they’re in their 70’s and from what we could tell they were still having great sex.

Of course I want that when I’m in my 70’s, as gross as—if you think about that, but it’s like I want that and I asked the couple “Why is your intimacy so great?” The woman piped up first and she said, “Because Don says that I’m beautiful even though I know what I look like in a mirror.”

Shaunti: Awesome!

Brian: So it is being the mirror to your spouse and for ladies, I would say by faith accept it. By faith—like just don’t let the narrative of the enemy convince you that you’re not. Don’t let that enemy—because that’s what the enemy does—he whispers in our ears and the more we say “no” to that, the more we’re reinforcing the enemy’s narrative rather than your husband’s narrative who has been put on this planet to love you the way that God loves us.

Shaunti: I was just yes.

Jeff: Shaunti and I were talking about this about six months ago and I was sharing kind of from a guy’s perspective. It feels a little discouraging that I tell you these things and yet, next week, you come back, and you still need to know that you’re lovable and beautiful and all of that.

Shaunti: Like how many times do I have to tell you?

Jeff: Because it’s like I want it done. I want it now. You don’t question that, and it’s just done. She looked at me and she said “Really, you think that?” And I said “Yes.” She said “Well look at this. I could tell you how much I admire you, how much I appreciate you, how much I believe in you. We could have sex every day for two weeks, and would that solve your problem?—your insecurity about ‘Am I good enough?’” And I said, “That’s a good point, but maybe we should experiment and try it.” [Laughter]

Brian: Amen. I like that. Let’s do that. Okay, we’ve got time for one more. I see that hand right back there. There we go. Let’s do one more.

Audience member: If a woman talks to her husband and giving all this information, these feelings about what’s going on, and he starts all good, then zones out. So she in turn has all this information so she takes it to another female—

Shaunti: Like a girlfriend, yes.

Audience member: —another girlfriend. Then he has a tendency to get upset because the conversation is intense. I may be enjoying myself too much. I’m kind of pulling away. Then he’s angry like “You’ve been on the phone for two hours. You know you wasn’t doing that with me.” “Well I was but you shut it down.” I can tell when the shutdown happens. So how do we blend that?

Brian: That’s a great question.

Shaunti: You know Jeff and I didn’t get to this topic. We had so much we wanted to try and cover in this short session. I didn’t get to a topic that actually briefly will probably make a big difference for both wives and husbands to know. And honestly, it is very likely that that dynamic is purely a brain science processing thing.

Women tend to process things and thoughts and feelings by talking them through. That’s literally the way the female brain is wired in most cases, not all. Men after a certain point of listening, their brains are wired where they can’t think anymore if they’re trying to talk about it. They have to go underground, and they have to do this internal processing.

That is such a dynamic that we as women misunderstand as “You’re walking away. You don’t care,” and the guy’s like “I just can’t even think.” Like “I need to get a little space so I—because I do care / because I do want to listen. I need to process it and then I can come back and talk about it,” and my guess is that’s probably one of the dynamics.

Brian: Yes, and so in that sense it might be good to even foreshadow “Hey, I’d love to talk about this for the next 20 minutes.” Can we even put a time limit on it and go “Hey, I’ve got these things I want to talk about.” Oh, I’m seeing hands up. Like give me—it’s almost like guys need to know that.

Shaunti: [Laughter] The guy is putting his cellphone—

Brian: There’s signals to guys that something is about coming to an end. It sounds like the ESPN—like [sound] then we know that this part/segment’s almost over. If ladies could do that and just say “No, hold on. [sound] This will end in just a second. I just need to get this out. But then maybe even to say/call a timeout and go “Hey, I need some time to process that a little bit.”

Because if you keep loading on, then it’s almost like guys lifting weights. I’m already out of my comfort zone but now you’re adding 45’s onto the dumbbells and it’s just a little bit too much. Whereas ladies, honestly, you can lift a lot more information than guys can.

Shaunti: It’s because we’re processing verbally so by definition it’s okay.

Brian: Well as we close up this episode of Married With Benefits, I think the goal of all of this is how do we live with our wives / live with our husbands in an understanding way? And it takes the power of God for us to be able to have the patience and the dying to self in order to really learn and you do that over and over again it does become a little second nature. You can do that.

Shaunti: It becomes more of a habit, yes.

Brian: It becomes more of a habit. I was reading a book called Mindset. I remember the woman and the man; she was talking about her husband and how they got back from a great dinner. They sat down on the couch and they were about to watch some tv. The husband said “Hey, I need some more space,” and the lady of course starts rethinking like “I thought we were on a good date. I thought everything was happening. What’s going on to our relationship and why is he kind of pulling away from me?”

She finally just said “Are we okay? Did I do anything wrong?” And he said “No, you’re crowding me on the couch. I just literally need some more space.” [Laughter] We are never made to be mind readers, and too often we assume so much about what the other person is thinking without really following up with good questions. So much of what we talk about on the podcast is, learn to ask great questions to get at where their heart is.


That was a lot of fun and you can tell we felt like we were on the hot seat. Those were some great questions. Shaunti and I, and of course you heard her husband Jeff there. Jen my wife was there. We were on the Love Like You Mean It cruise and that was one of our last speaking engagements before the pandemic hit.

We’re recording this now where both me and my audio producer CJ3 came into our building with masks on as I know you guys / all of us have been affected by COVID one way or another. I will say that I look forward to the day when the seas open back up for FamilyLife and you’ll want to check back to for when the Love Like You Mean It cruise comes back. It’s a great time to connect with your spouse and it’s a question every wife is asking, “Honey, when am I going to go on the cruise with you?” So you’re going to want to sign up for that.

This really has been a great season and this whole season has been sponsored by I Do Every Day. It’s a great daily devotional series from FamilyLife and it’s really easy for guys to help guys connect with their wife in an understanding way every day. It’s delivered right to your mailbox. They’re short. They’re punchy and they give great advice. So if you’re interested in that, you are going to want to go to You can sign up. Just click that link. It’s also in our show notes.

We wanted to let you know that our podcast network is listener supported. We do appreciate all the gifts that have come in from people just like yourself to make sure that we can keep giving help and hope to as many people as possible. If you want to be a part of that tribe that is giving, please just go to and click “donate” and we really appreciate it in advance.

Speaking of appreciation I definitely want to thank our audio producer, CJ3, the whole Married With Benefits team for helping us pull this off. I am so excited about these two first seasons we have done: Questions Every Wife Is Asking, Questions Every Husband Is Asking. It’s been a good bookend. It’s been a lot of fun putting those together. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in Season 3. Go ahead and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and you’ll be the first to know.

Until then, this is Brian Goins. We’ll see you soon.


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