“My husband doesn’t understand me. I get so frustrated when I try to explain myself. I get so fed up when this situation occurs, I just want to scream!” This happens to husbands, wives, and partners of all sorts.
And yes, it is a problem, and it’s one that everyone who has ever loved another experiences. It is pervasive and has been in every relationship since the beginning of time.
If I could solve this problem we might see every couple staying together. You see, being understood is the core of feeling connected to our special person. When our husband, wife or partner does not understand what we are trying to communicate to them we are left struggling alone, and that is a feeling that for many of us is intolerable.
What Can You Do When Your Husband or Wife Doesn’t Understand You?
So what can we do about being misunderstood? As a couples counselor I think one of the first things to help us would be to know that being misunderstood does not mean we are not loved. Now this is a concept, but it’s an important one. Think about your own experience when you feel that you are not being understood by your person. What happens to you?
Take a moment and really think about it. Do you feel sad? Do you get frustrated? Do you feel alone and helpless? We all feel something when we are not connecting to our special person in a way that we were expecting. If I look really deep inside myself I know that when my husband does not understand me I feel frustrated. I feel like I have to work really hard to do something that should have been simple.
Understand Where Your Wife or Husband is Coming From, When They Don’t Understand You
I always expect to communicate a thought that he understands and then we talk about it and have a normal conversation. But there are times when I tell him something and he won’t follow me and he becomes confused. He says something like, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” And if he says something like this all I feel is imaginary cold water being tossed in my face. It feels like a slap.
Now I know he is not doing either of those things. I have come to realize that how I presented the material just did not connect to the parts of his brain where he makes sense of things. It is NOT personal he is simply not understanding me. He is just trying to connect with me and I imagine he is frustrated with himself that he can’t follow my thought process.
But I don’t experience him. I experience myself and it feels terrible when I think I have been clear and he can’t understand. For us as people in relationships, we have to learn that both of us live in a system that contains our own unique ways of receiving and processing information. I love the way I think and organize my thoughts. They make perfect sense to me. And it is unbelievable in the moment when he doesn’t follow what I am saying.
Try to Patiently and Positively Clarify, Without Getting Mad
And it happens, many times. So what have I learned? I have learned that it is better if I don’t get mad at him when he doesn’t understand me. I have learned that even though I don’t want to say it again and I thought I said it well, I do say it a second time, more carefully and slower and here’s the important part, I repeat myself WITHOUT ATTITUDE.
No ‘tude, because he or she did not do anything to you on purpose. My husband, and your wife or your husband or partner is not misunderstanding you with the intention to get you riled. Your partner is not doing something to make you mad. Your beloved, yeah, the one you really like, is just trying to understand YOU!
Give Your Partner the Benefit of the Doubt and Remember That They Love You
If you think about this you can see what is happening. You try hard to be understood. Your mate reacts like you are speaking a foreign language and you go ballistic. Here is the next step. I don’t want you to feel so bad when you are misunderstood. I encourage you to not go to the suffering part when this happens. Try to give it another shot at explaining. See if it helps.
I have worked on this for years. It does get better. I still feel the frustration when my husband doesn’t understand me, but I also don’t react in a hurtful, spiteful way. I give him the benefit of the doubt and I just move forward. This is a muscle that you can build too. It doesn’t make everything perfect, but it sure eliminates unnecessary stress. And isn’t that something we all want.
Tired of Feeling Like “My Husband Doesn’t Understand Me,” and Ready for a Helping Hand?
Read a Book About Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn about how to feel more heard and understood in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you develop better communication skills and tools for coping with misunderstanding when it arises in your relationship. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.