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Assalam O Alaikum
***Do you understand the silent man? Do you understand why he is silent? Do you know how to deal with him?
Some may wonder if this issue is important enough for me to dedicate an entire article to. Well, it certainly is! Most of the marital problems nowadays arise as a result of a misunderstanding between a talkative wife and a silent husband. Since I deeply care for the family and its unity, I will tackle this issue.
The case here is not about a silent or a talkative person - it is much deeper. It is about two genders which do not understand each other well and, therefore, have many clashes. Sometimes, the clashes are inadvertent and acceptable and at other times they are disturbing and cause much evil.
One of the biggest challenges facing husbands is to be able to understand and properly support their wives when they talk about their feelings. The same challenge faces wives when their husbands choose to have their silent moments.
A remarkable sociologist says that women and men think and exchange information differently. Women think in a loud voice and share their process of inner exploration with an interested listener. Their expressed flow of thought helps them understand their inner-self. This process is totally natural and very necessary in some cases.
On the other hand, men think carefully and silently before they ever speak or give any reply. They examine what they listen to within themselves first in order to give practical answers. This process might take from a few minutes to many hours, which is very disturbing to women. When a man does not respond verbally, it is as if he is saying, “I do not know what to say about this issue at the moment, but I am thinking about it”. However, his wife thinks that he is saying, “I am not answering you because I do not care about you and deliberately ignore you. What you say is not at all important, that is why I am not replying.”
Women usually misinterpret men's silence and, based upon what they feel, imagine the worst possibilities. They congruently measure their own nature and motives to that of men. The difference in natures is the cause of the misunderstanding between men and women.
Women only keep silent when they do not want to talk to someone whom they no longer trust or care to have any relation with. Moreover, they keep silent whenever they feel that what they will say might hurt someone’s feelings. Therefore, they misinterpret men’s silence as hate or ridicule. For women, a man's silence results in their state of insecurity and bad feelings.
Women should know that this is not the case. They should know that when a man is stressed or busy, he automatically ceases to talk and prefers solitude for some time. Men usually do not allow even their best friends to violate their solitude. Therefore, a wife should not hastily think that her husband does not talk to her because she has wronged him. Instead, she should leave him until he gets out of this frame of mind, which usually does not last for long.
This is certainly a difficult lesson for women to understand. When stressed or frustrated, women search for someone to share their troubled mood with. They hate solitude because it doubles their frustration and stress. Consequently, a wife’s persistence in forcing her husband out of his solitude, thinking that this is proof of her care and sympathy, is not suitable for a man. Men do not interpret this attitude as noble. They regard it as an interference with their own business and a lack of respect for their feelings.
Therefore, both men and women should show their care and support for each other with the knowledge of their natural differences in mind. Each should show the kind of care and support that is preferable to the other partner. For example, a wife should not push her husband into talking before he is ready to do so. She should not chase him with phrases like, “Is there a problem?”, “I feel you are not alright!”, “Is something wrong?”, “What is wrong with you?”, “Talk to me! I want to help you!”, “I will not leave you until you tell me what happened and calm down!” etc. Such phrases, though motivated by good intention, provoke men and annoy them, especially if their first reply was, “There is no problem”, “I am alright” or “I want to be alone for a while”.
I am not belittling women’s good feelings which motivate them to care for their husbands. I am merely drawing their attention to the nature of men. I recognize that it is not easy for women to not worry about their men. For women, worrying about the other is one way of expressing love and care. Moreover, I know that women are not happy when the person they love is in pain. However, I advise every woman who wants to deal properly with a silent man to try the following:
Do not belittle his need for a temporary solitude in order to think or reconsider himself.
Do not chase him with solutions or ways for helping him.
Do not chase him with continuous questions about his feelings and mood.
Do not follow him around. If he is in a room, for example, do not enter this room or sit beside him - even if you intend to keep silent until his temporary solitude ends.
Do not get nervous, over- sympathize with or worry about your man. Men like to see their wives have faith in them and their capability of solving their own problems.
These pieces of advice are recommended by sociologists and I suggest we try them.
There is a saying: “Wisdom is the quest of a believer, wherever he finds it he is most worthy of it.”
Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah swt be upon you all.
(Article By Amr Khalid)