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Why do men lie? Why don't women listen?

  • Ephelia
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10 years 8 months ago #142365 by Ephelia
I've been a member of wiki for a long time and I've read the same comments from men and women over and over... many of them mystified by why their partners have changed, why their partners didn't tell them they were unhappy before leaving, why they left without saying...

I lived with a man who I was profoundly unhappy with and couldn't get him to listen to why that was - he just did not seem to understand or believe me... I read a blog from someone else this week with a husband who was equally deaf, so I know its was not just me...

I've listened to my own partner's explanation of what his marriage was like and why he left. He insists he repeatedly told his ex wife that he was unhappy... but she insists in letters and calls that they had a happy marriage... she was shocked and surprised that he left... he says he made an appointment for an estate agent to put the FMH on the market before he left but she canceled it... she says she had no idea he wanted to separate...

Do I think one of them is lying? Do I think any of the posters on these boards are lying? No, I really don't. I think my partner and his ex wife both believe they are telling the truth... I've felt really sad to have spent the last 2+ years listening to them having pointless, frustrating conversations with each other that have left them both miserable.

I think the problem in many cases is that men and women assume that because they use the same words when they speak, they assume they are actually saying the same thing with those words - problem is academic linguists have shown that the genders don't actually mean the same things when using the same words.

I'm sorry, I'm not very good at explaining this but I'd like to recommend a book that revolutionised my understanding of conversations not just with the men in my life but with my children and parents and friends. This writer explains these differences very well and I really think might help those people who are struggling to understand what happened...

The book is: 'You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation' by Deborah Tannen.

It's not a 'Men are from Mars...' type of book - I found the style of that highly irritating and rather sexist but this book does make the point that there are very profound gender differences in how men and women speak and think. The author uses properly conducted scientific research to illustrate her points, which is why I think it's so valuable.

Hope it helps

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  • Marshy_
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10 years 8 months ago #142383 by Marshy_
Replied by Marshy_ on topic Re:Why do men lie? Why don't women listen?
Hi Eph. Why do you beleive what you are told? His ex may be telling you what you want to hear. He may be doing the same. We do this for a variety of reasons. People say things for a variety of reasons. And the most useful information (becuase that is what it is) is unbiased. But views are like arse*****. Everyone has them.

All I can say to you is read between the lines. You wont get answers. The only answers that are likely to be true are the conclusions that you draw from a situation.

But saying that he didnt listen may be incorrect. Perhaps he didnt understand. I listened to my ex. But I didnt understand the messages. They wernt direct. They were far to subtle to understand. Maybe that was it. Sometimes people want to say something but dont want to hurt them with direct comms. I cant say thats right or wrong.

As for wiki. One of the reasons the advice is so good is becuase its unbiased. And usualy based on lifes experiance. I dont know you and you dont know me. There is no point me trying to influnce you becuase you wont have any impact on my life. So anything I say and others to is unbiased. Thats the best form of advice. C.

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  • hawaythelads
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10 years 8 months ago #142385 by hawaythelads
Replied by hawaythelads on topic Re:Why do men lie? Why don't women listen?
I must admit i do have trouble understanding the ex harridan with me ear defenders on!!!;)

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  • NellNoRegrets
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10 years 8 months ago #142388 by NellNoRegrets
Replied by NellNoRegrets on topic Re:Why do men lie? Why don't women listen?
Sorry but my ex didn't tell me he was unhappy. He told me I was a \"miserable cow\" and then chose to spend his spare time drinking and staying elsewhere.

I gathered from that that he wasn't intereested in our relationship any more. Fair enough. But when I suggested a separation and he agreed, he didn't tell me he already had someone else lined up to live with.

When he did tell me, (I wormed it out of him), he said the reason he hadn't told me was that he didn't know how I'd react. So he lived with me for 31 years and didn't know how I'd react.

So I guess that showed me our relationship was dead!

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  • Marshy_
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10 years 8 months ago #142390 by Marshy_
Replied by Marshy_ on topic Re:Why do men lie? Why don't women listen?
hawaythelads wrote:

I must admit i do have trouble understanding the ex harridan with me ear defenders on!!!;)


Try the trazer technique Pete. That shuts um up. Mind you they do wriggle a bit and foam at the mouth so dont try this in doors. ;-)C.

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  • Ephelia
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10 years 8 months ago #142398 by Ephelia
Replied by Ephelia on topic Re:Why do men lie? Why don't women listen?
Hi Marshy,

Well you've pretty much summed up what the book says in a few words! You do need to read between the lines... people say things for a variety of reasons... the book is still worth a read if you want further explanation... because reading between the lines isn't easy and this book gives pointers...

You're right, when I was trying to explain to my husband I probably wasn't direct - certainly not direct enough - not because I was trying to be difficult but because what I was trying to say was hurtful and I hate hurting anyone I was trying not to be cruel... but by trying not to be hurtful and cruel I ended up hurting him more... horrible irony...

I do agree that wiki is good but can't agree that its not biased... we're all biased in that we're influenced and affected by our own experiences... but its good to read lots of different biased views because then you see things from different sides, so you may understand them better...

As for my partner and his ex telling me things I want to hear... frankly after 3 years I really don't want to hear any more about it at all...

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  • rubytuesday
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10 years 8 months ago #142406 by rubytuesday
Replied by rubytuesday on topic Re:Why do men lie? Why don't women listen?
Congrats on your 1000 post, Ephelia!

The book sounds interesting, will have a look at it.

Mind you - I think i was very direct and clear when I told my now ex-husband, on many occasions that his drinking was destroying everything - more likely he chose not to listen ;)

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