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Women and noncommunication

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. This is mainly to pick the brains of the ladies here, but anyone can reply. Psych majors especially.

    In the past few months, we've read the posts of more than a few members here having very serious problems with their spouses. If I remember correctly, the one statement that seemed to accompany almost all these posts was, "and she didn't talk to me at all," or "this came from out of the blue," or something very similar.

    Now, everyone please understand I'm not trying to start a heated thread here.

    What I'm trying to find out is: Why do so many women do this? - Not talk about what's bothering them until it's (almost) too late. I just watched a show last night about biology of the sexes, and one of the innate strengths researchers seem to attribute to women strongly over men is language and communication skills. Do these disappear at the altar?

    Aside from the members here I have two close friends that are going through extremely messy divorces, one of them you would not believe if I told you how insane it got.

    I know men and women are NOT on the same frequency a good deal of the time, but how about just leaving your man a note in his shoe that reads, "We need to talk", instead of first getting a moving van or a plane ticket?

    No flames towards men or women please, just intelligent theories or comments. Maybe we can uncover something that will save someone else's marriage before it goes over the falls.


    No references to anyone here please.
  2. sometimes people try to let things work themselves out; and don't do anything about the problem until they realize that it won't get better on its own. and this (that it won't fix itself) doesn't become apparent until its too late. maybe? i'm not sure.
  3. I think its a two way street. Its hard at first but when it works.. its amazing. My gf and i really only have talking (she lives interstate), but even then initially it was hard to get into the swing.

    As a male i really had to swallow the pride and open up. Many guys dont do this. They're probably afraid of being called a sissy or wimp if they show their true feelings.

    Many relationships that end with the "it happened so suddenly" proves there is no communication. If something comes up, or myself or her think of something we phone each other and say "hey i've been thinking". When that is said, it signals to the other person to just listen, it says to me (or vice versa) that "i dont want an arguement, this is just what i have been thinking, lets work it out". Too many relationships focus on having a good time, maybe they are afraid of voyaging into an area that could cause problems etc.

    But if those problems arent discussed and a happy medium found.. then it will be those very same problems that will result in the "i had no idea" comment.

    Girls can be very open, they talk to their friends. their girlfriends and best friends are their support group. But if u do it right, then you can become part of that category. Now my gf comes to me, even to bitch about her friends! heehee

    I do think, personally that the problem lies with the males. Girls are very emotional, and like to express it, crying, talking, writing in a diary. Men on the other hand: "Oh it'll work itself out". There are some women that wont talk much either. On a large percentage my girlfriend likes to deal with things in her head, but we still talked about this problem of not opening up to me fully, and slowly but surely we worked on it. I tried to show to her that if i was willing to open up, then its okay for her to really open up. Two way street.

    *shrugs* thats my 2 cents.


  4. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
  5. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    In my experience, guys can be pretty oblivious to what's going on. Women, I think, tend to read way into every little thing a guy says, and so maybe we assume that guys do the same thing when we talk. But they don't, so they end up missing all the extra stuff the chick thought she was communicating.

    That's my guess.
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    damn, it took me 34 years to figure that out.
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    At least you figured it out. Many people never do. I agree with leanne's assessment. I know there's a lot of stuff I'm not aware of, but that is compounded when someone reads to far into things. And reading into obviousness isn't going to be good for anyone.

    But I was wondering the same thing, MJ
  8. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Because you're just supposed to KNOW, man.

    If you REALLY loved her you WOULD know.

    So if she has to TELL you, what's the point?

    That's pretty much it.
  9. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    leanne and jcadmus seem to have a bead on the target.

    My experience (sorry Mike, I'm breaking the "no specific situations rule" :( ) is that I had the information in front of myself, but just was so oblivious that I didn't or wouldn't see it. I didn't even realize what I was doing until my wife was gone. Now I'm playing "catchup", trying to convince her that I can be a better person, and be the kind of man she wants to grow old with.

    I'm not having much success....


    Women need to understand that men have the mentality of a block of granite when it comes to communication: No subtlety allowed. You gotta beat it into our heads to get us to see it.

    Men on the other hand need to try to grasp the subtlety instead of ignoring it. We need to understand that women feel a very deep-seated need to be understood, and take it very seriously.
  10. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Actually, I don't think it's so much that guys ignore the subtleties, because to do that, they'd actually have to recognize them. I, for one, do not pick up on women's subtleties at all.
  11. One of my girlfriends was very vocal and we often got into many arguements and fights. But I think that's one of the reasons that we stayed together for so long, all the steam we had built up came out, albeit somewhat forcefully. At least we were talking.

    I think, like Floyd and Gard said, some people/women/men hope things will work themselves out and ignore them or just let it build up in them until it explodes.

    I also think some people associate arguements and fights with having a dysfunctional relationship and therefore if you get in one with your spouse of significant other then your relationship might not last. However, to a certain extent, they are healthy because it helps you get out everything that frustrates you about your partner and in the end, if you really care for each other, you'll come back and make up.

    Though I think certain relationships need to be tempered to this. Some people really don't like getting into fights and feel very meek and vulnerable during and after them and try to avoid them, which can be bad.

    I know my parents get into a lot of arguements, but they've been together for quite a while and don't show any signs of breaking it off.

    P.S. I should probably add that by fights I mean heated arguements with raised voices, not violence or anything.
  12. ok. this is a really good thread. and can be helpful to anyone wanting to see how others deal with communication, the pros and the cons. women like to talk out their problems. not have them fixed all the time by somebody, but just for someone to hear them. sometimes just the talking it out helps adn the answer comes while talking. however, and please, take no offense to this guys. men have this mental block that seems to turn on when a woman is talking. due to: it seems we are complaining, seems we are whining, seems so little to the man, and many men just were never brought up to listen to the lady. most are brought up with the communication skills needed. the women also need to find a better way to communicate so they do not pass themselves off as being whining, complaining. my husband never heard me at one time. now he does hear me, when it was almost to late. now he listens. because now he knows it is my way of working the problem through. also, women do tend to let things hang hoping the problem will fix itself. well, that won't happen. and some are to independent to run to their mate to talk it out. that is me. it happens when it all becomes unbearable to me, then i snap. because i hate relying on anyone else to help me fix it. i am getting better with that though. i do notice though, that with my kids, being boys, they are being brought up with the communication skills needed in a relationship. they see, they talk. and i find that so great. i am not a talker, yet somehow i taught them to talk to somebody right away about a problem. and they do. the generations have a lot to do with communication.
    sigh. sorry so long. we all can learn though, and that is the good part.:D
  13. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    this caused me problems for a long time--until I finally learned to put down the remote and actually pay attention to what the heck she was saying to me. I CANNOT focus on two things at once, and after almost 11 years of marraige I am convinced that women can actually do this and men can't(don't flame me, this is just my opinion).

    I've also gotten really good at saying I'm sorry.

    Gard--good luck...I hope it all works out for you.
  14. But with these subtleties I think women miss them too, because if they such important subtle issues then wouldnt they dumb it down for men?

    If its a serious issue(s) that could lead to breaking up/divorce, why not explain it plain as day? Rather than hinting around the subject?

  15. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    Not all women can do it.

    From what I can tell, the roles in my relationship are completely reversed. I am the one always wanting to talk about whatever is bothering me, while my g/f (now ex, but still good friends) will just let it all build up until she can't take it anymore. After we got together, she would never talk to me about anything that was bothering her, which drove me crazy because we were best friends for 4 years before that. I read WAY too far into the things she says or does (or doesn't do), while unless I make it blatantly obvious, she has no clue that anything is even bothering me.
  16. int


    Jan 21, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have a communication problem. I'm the quiet, creative type. The high school dork. I don't speak up when I should, nor enough in general. I'm aware of it, I'm working on it.

    But, this topic raises another question for me. Excluding serious relationship issues (drugs, emotional problems, violence, and whatever else would bother you...), how many people have studied or worked in dealing with problems? How many people have good problem solving skills?

    And if you can find the root of the problem and come up with a solution, how good are you at communicating the problem and the resolution?

    Every relationship I've seen end comes from 2 problems.

    1.) They don't figure what the root of their problem is until long after the relationship has ended and it's too late.


    2.) If they do figure out the problem, it isn't communicated effectively.

    In all honesty though, the question is too broad to come up with one answer. Every situation has a different answer, and the answer is subject to the people in question: My wife and I will figure out our own problems thankyouverymuch. No one knows me better that myself and my wife, and no one knows her better than herself and me, so let us get creative with our own issues.

    But back to the communication topic: I don't buy that men are much different than women. 9 times out of 10, all of the arguments I'm involved with (including my marriage, family, friends, bandmates, co-workers, etc...) are a direct result of communication problems. And if it isn't communication, it's philisophical/personal differences. So I don't think it's gender specific - I often find myself wondering why I have the communication problem when I'm the one talking or writing and the other person is shutting down and/or not listening - man or woman.

    Everyone has a different background, education, history, philosophy, and so on. That makes it tough to find someone you can stand. And once you do find that person, you still have to work at solving the problems that will inevitably arise because of those differences.

    IMO, no one communicates all that well, and the sooner we admit that to ourselves the sooner we can all start acting like adults.

    I call shotgun.
  17. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    You may have seen this before, but I think it says it all:

    Let's say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

    One evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: "Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?"

    There is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: Geez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.

    Roger is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

    Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward...I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

    Roger is thinking: So, that means it was...let's see...February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's, which means...let me check the odometer... Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

    Elaine is thinking: He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed, even before I sensed it, that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about him own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.

    Roger is thinking: And I'm going to have them look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say, it's still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those IDIOTS $600.00!

    Elaine is thinking: He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure.

    Roger is thinking: They'll probably say it's only a 90-day warranty. THOSE sorry...

    Elaine is thinking: Maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

    And Roger is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll give them a warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it right up their...

    "Roger," Elaine says aloud.

    "What?" says Roger, startled.

    "Please don't torture yourself like this," she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. "Maybe I should never have... Oh, I feel so... (She breaks down, sobbing.)

    "What?" says Roger.

    "I'm such a fool," Elaine sobs. "I mean, I know there's no knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse."

    "...There's no horse?" says Roger.

    "You think I'm a fool, don't you?" Elaine says.

    "No!" says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.

    "It's just that...it's that I...I need some time," Elaine says.

    There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work. "OK," he says.

    Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand. "Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?" she says.

    "What way?" says Roger.

    "That way about time," says Elaine.

    "Oh," says Roger. "Sure."

    Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks. "Thank you, Roger," she says.

    "Thank you," says Roger.

    Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn.

    When Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a movie starring two Czechoslovakians he never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it's better if he doesn't think about it.

    The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification.

    They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it, either.

    Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine's, will pause just before serving, frown, and say, "Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?

    And that's the difference between men and women
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    OK - you say not to mention anyone here in particular and I won't -BUT !!

    I also notice around here, a lot of threads that basically treat women as objects, to be looked at, to be sexually available all the time etc etc

    And not as real, living breathing human beings with their own personalities, their own aspirations and desires.

    They are referred to as Babes, Hot chicks etc etc

    Now - for me it is obvious if you put these two things together they are related! If you treat women as objects for your own gratification, then why should they want to talk to you?
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Women do the same thing, Bruce... and much worse.

    That may very well be a big part of the problem. IME the opposite is also true, I don't treat any woman like an object and I've found that one way to really annoy women (and people in general) is to listen to everything they say. To ask for clarification on anything you don't understand.
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Of course these things always work both ways, but the very fact that the question has been phrased this way and assumes the problem is with the "women", tells me a lot!! ;)

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