Last weekend, Jim and I were talking. I shared that the messy situation in our world was causing me some stress, and that I was tired—mentally and emotionally tired. He made an observation I’ve heard many times: he asked me if I had truly given the issue to God. He commented that if I had, it wouldn’t be bothering me. In that moment, I was hit with a revelation…I have NEVER heard a woman make that statement!!
Now, before anyone says “duh!’, let me say that I’ve never had occasion to really ponder it. I’m not typically a worrier, and I don’t generally get terribly stressed. The goings-on of life the last 2 months have left me feeling overwhelmed. Am I worried? Not really. Just overwhelmed. Anyway, in that lightbulb moment, I remembered the words of a hysterically funny teacher on marriage. Mark Gungor, who wrote a book called Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage and teaches a seminar of the same name, describes this very thing. We’ve read the book and done the seminar via DVD, and we love it! He talks about the differences between men’s and women’s brains. It’s worth the time to watch. (Go do it. Now. I’ll wait…) Note that at the 8:00 minute mark, he describes IN DETAIL the exact male/female brain responses to stress we’re seeing. (It was worth the time, wasn’t it? I bet you laughed! )
My brain is interconnected. I can cook dinner, talk on the phone, and monitor the children all at the same time. Most gals I know are able to do it. Jim? Nope. He’s single-minded. It’s not a problem…just a difference. But once in a while, it can cause problems. I finally found a picture that describes the differences accurately:
At our house, when one of the girls is on the web, there are multiple tabs open in a single browser. When Jim uses the web, each site gets its’ own window. Seriously. (The little boys have trouble managing multiple tabs too. I generally open a new window for them.) Again, not a problem…just a difference. But knowing the differences in brain make-up, I’m surprised that it took me SO. LONG. to figure out why the statement “If you’ve given it to God, you wouldn’t be thinking about it” has bothered me so much.
So. I try to not dump on Jim too much. He can’t fix the problem (I know that) and he’s simply not wired to sit and listen without wanting/needing to fix. Rather than having both of us frustrated, I keep much of it to myself. When I NEED to talk, I ask him if he’s willing to listen. He always will. And you know what? My revelation has enlightened both of us! He’s MUCH more willing to listen since he knows it’s a processing function, and I much more readily understand that his brain simply isn’t wired to process stress verbally.
Compromise…it’s a good thing.