Interview with Nancy Cobb (Part 2)

The first few questions of my interview with Nancy Cobb served as an introduction. This next part of the interview I asked questions to bring out the content of How to Get Your Husband to Listen to You.

Why is communication between husbands and wives so difficult?

Because we are completely, and utterly different. And very often, women try to make their husbands over…to be more feminized in their conversations. Women may talk too much. Give simple sentences (bullet point) re: information. Almost every husband is overly talked to by his wife, and he tunes her out. Men are given 6 lobes in the brain to process information/conversation/discussion therefore, they are VERY focused. Women on the other hand, have 16 lobes so they can listen and multi-task. Men speak less than 7000 words a day, and women about 20,000. Women need to accept male-talk. Men just don’t use the same diplomacy girlfriends/daughters and sisters do. They are blunt. If you want his opinion and ask for it, accept it the way a man speaks. Don’t ask if a pair of jeans makes you look fat if you don’t want an honest answer.

In the book, you discuss the difference between direct and indirect talking. Can you give us a few examples of this?

Direct talking: ” I am thirsty, would you stop at the next fast food place?” Indirect: I’m so tired. (What you are really saying is I am thirsty.) He will NEVER understand this interpretation and we do it ALL the time. Your sister might say, “You’re tired? Why don’t we stop at the next fast food place and get you a Coke?”

What are some phrases women should avoid when they want to discuss something important with their husbands?

Never, ever begin with “We need to talk”, or “I’d like to go to dinner tonight to talk over issues with you.” Just say the important thing briefly. “Johnny got a D in math after being an A student. What do you suggest we do?”

One issue you discuss in the book is the tendency women have to misinterpret their husbands’ silence. I know I do that. What is the most common outcome when a wife attempts to interpret her husband’s silence? Why is this?

She is 99% of the time incorrect in her assumptions. Most men answer so briefly, that we try to interpret it, and are mostly wrong. Most men don’t want to say, “I think I may lose my job because the team is not winning.” or “I think I won’t be working here much longer, a new owner is coming in.” They want to avoid the ONSLAUGHT of questions that a nervous wife will pour all over him.

Most relationships encounter seasons of emotional disconnection. What are some steps wives can take to reconnect with their husbands during these times?

Go after him. Ideas: Take him coffee in bed when he wakes up (if he likes coffee). Meet him at the door/car when he comes home. If you come home after he does, find him – hug and kiss him. Look at him when he talks. Involve yourself in some of his passions i.e. football. There’s a great book called “Football for Dummies”. Read the sports page. You’d do that for him when he was your boy friend. It’s even more important now.

I really identified with you both as you shared, very honestly, about the difficult periods of your marriages when you were upset with your husbands more often than not. What advice can you offer for wives in that position who may be reading today?

Decide, “This is TURN-AROUND” day for me. Don’t make an announcement like that to him. Begin to live God’s way, for His glory. Read Luke 6: Jesus gives great lessons on how to handle difficult people and makes a stunning statement, EXPECT NOTHING IN RETURN….”

Are you working on another book? Do you have plans for another book in the Uncovering How Men Communicate series?

We have been asked to. We are praying about this; Connie’s daughter is getting married in a few months and she has been asked by the bride to be to keep commitments at bay until her wedding is over. I am adjusting to the loss of my husband in December 2006.

Thanks so much for taking the time do this, Ms. Cobb.

Thanks, Leslie.

I hope you all found this interview interesting and helpful.

4 Comments on “Interview with Nancy Cobb (Part 2)

  1. sounds like a great book, Leslie! Thanks for serving us in this way, as wives!! Our biggest communication struggle is that I don’t ask what my husband means by something he says, I assume I know. It’s SO hard for for me to stop and think…OH….he could have meant 2 or 3 different things here! I just hear the one and respond accordingly. : ( MY PRIDE!!! Wow! It’s got to be hard to respond to all these questions after she’s written this book on marriage….after her husband has passed away! I want to pray for her in that!!thanks again for sharing!


  2. I love it when communication theory and Christianity meet! I taught professional communication at UCF for 7 years and as a Christian, I put together a Sunday School series with my husband on Christian Communication a while back. I LOVED it! I’m really looking forward to reading this book. Thanks again!


  3. Thank you for doing this interview, Leslie. I enjoyed reading it. And thank you to Nancy Cobb for participating.


  4. I haven’t read the books, but she made some really interesting points about the differences between how men and women communicate just in the interview. I can totally identify with her characterization of how men respond briefly and to the point, and why they don’t bring up certain bits of information (provoking the never-ending barrage of questions).It’s also interesting that she thinks women want to feminize men, at least from the standpoint of communicating. I’m not sure that the opposite is true, unless you mean that men want women to stop talking sometimes. 😉


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