by Nancy C. Anderson

After nearly 30 years of marriage, I’ve discovered some of the secret passageways between women’s words and men’s ears. Four communication techniques have helped my husband and I understand each other-demystifying some of our differences. Here’s the first of four blogs, look for the second part in Monday’s Project Support blog:

Allow Room for Venting

I tend to think aloud. I use my words to help me sort out my thoughts and decide how I feel about something. Sometimes I don’t want a solution; I just want to “vent.”

For some reason this makes my husband, Ron, uncomfortable because he wants to fix it, forget it, and move on. I like to take a long, hot bath in my problems before I even think about solving them.

When we were first married, we moved into a different neighborhood and began attending a new church. I was almost friendless because I was shy and waiting for a warm and wonderful woman to approach me with a sign on her forehead that read “Friend of Nancy’s.” She hadn’t yet appeared, so I shared my feelings with Ron, “I’m lonely. I wish I had a best friend.”

Ron, with the best of intentions, started to help me solve my problem. He gave me a lecture titled “Friendship 101.” He said, “In order to have a friend you must be a friend. What have you done to be friendly?” Then he got out a legal pad and a wide-tipped Sharpie and wrote in block letters, “Nancy’s Friendship Goals.” Next, he started to draw a flow chart. He was confused when I started to cry and said, “I don’t want a diagram. I want a friend!”

Now if I just want to vent, I tell Ron ahead of time. He’s even learned to ask me, “Do you want my advice or just my ear?” What a guy. I think I’ll keep him!

Nancy AndersonGuest blogger Nancy C. Anderson is an award-winning author and speaker who loves to teach women and couples to avoid the “Greener Grass Syndrome” by watering their own lawns. Nancy and her husband Ron teach at marriage seminars and banquets. For more information about their speaking schedule and other marriage articles: or their blog