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sometimes it means consciously taking unhurried time to talk with her. On the other hand, a wife needs to consider her husband and his needs as well. Sometimes pressing duties mean a husband cannot talk immediately. Sometimes a husband is under the weight of a decision or responsibility that occupies his mind, and he may find it hard to focus on his immediate surroundings. If talk time is needed in a full schedule, setting a time limit may be helpful. A husband’s anxiety level may rocket out of control if his wife says, “let’s talk,” when he knows he has only ten minutes to spare. These observations reflect a basic difference in the way men and women process and communicate information. Men tend to process information by thinking about it; women tend to process it by talking about it. So when a couple faces a problem, the husband typically wants to think and his wife typically wants to talk. Understanding these differences can make a couple more considerate of one another (to allow for “think time” and “talk time”), and misunderstanding these differences can make a couple irritable and accusing. Consider these pointers for improving husband/wife communication: (Note: in the context of prison, not all these practices are possible. Do your best to apply the principles here as far as possible in whatever situation you find yourself; even small additional investments in your marriage can produce remarkable results.) A wife’s communication needs are often different from her husband’s, and he is responsible for meeting her needs. Loaves & Fishes • Issue 32 | 43


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