When I get home from work I love to debrief with my husband. However, when I try to show an interest in his day, all I get back is one word answers. What can I do to get him to open up more?
Left Out in Louisville
Dear Left Out in Louisville,
Author Michael Gurian who wrote the book, “What Could He Be Thinking?: How A Man’s Mind Really Works” suggests that a guy controls the remote for a reason. He says, “When a guy comes home from work, the man brain in order to recharge is looking for non-emotive, non-conversational stimulation. The remote doesn’t need to talk about its day.” Women, on the other hand, recharge through a burst of oxytocin which seeps out when we’re emotionally connected – it’s called the tend and befriend theory. Given your biology, what do I suggest you do after work? Call you girlfriends if you’re looking for a burst of oxytocin – or at least wait until the man in your life has recharged (possibly through the remote) before trying to have a meaningful conversation.
Personally, I believe these generalities are slowly changing as more women are in the workforce with demanding jobs. I think we’re going to see more male like behavior after work – that is if we don’t have to immediately jump into the second shift of taking care of the children, aging parents or others. For example, my female cousin is a high risk OB GYN – she delivers babies all day and when she comes home from work she goes straight up to her home office and no one is allowed to come near until she’s had a half hour to herself. Other women I know pull in the garage but simply close their eyes and sit in the car for 10 minutes to enjoy the peace and quiet. Most likely your husband is not trying to push you away, but waiting for a better time to connect.