Conversations with others

The issue in essence is that I prefer to “converse” in a more theoretical manner (and although the subject matter is flexible, there’s only so much theory that can be applied to day to day life) and my wife seems to gravitate towards a narrative method; usually about the recent events she has experienced or about how she feels in relation to the actions of her friends, but usually both at the same time.

She usually chooses bad times (as in, appears to talk first-assess situation second) to start conversations with me and myself, I feel like she rarely makes herself available for conversations (which she actually does need to actively do, as a result of her auditory processing disorder and ADHD-C). As could be imagined, a conversation probably feels like a big investment from either of our perspectives, so I think some strategy is necessary. And hey, “Be the change you want to see …”, so here I am:

Can any of you identify with this and share some tips that have worked for you?


Well, I identify.

I have a lot of people in my life who want me to listen to them!

I think I do a great job listening to my wife. She says not, however.

I think she doesn’t have awareness of me. For example, she’ll have her back to me and I’ll go into the toilet to pee, and suddenly she’s talking as if I were in the room. I cannot possibly hear what she’s saying. Also, we’ll be in car, and she doesn’t notice that I’m on the phone and she’ll just start talking to me. I can’t do the two things at once, that is listen on the phone and listen to her.


What you describe - the lack of awareness thing - is presenting as a current major communication barrier and general life frustration for me at the moment. The inter-room shouting, the walking off talking and expecting the conversation to continue unaffected and all the things you described and more … do we need to book a time and take a number?

I feel I do much better at actually actively listening to her (and it IS a micro-second by micro-second effort to concentrate and not drift off or tune out), and she often makes no attempt to hide her lack of interest when I talk on my terms … she does a lot better at pretending to listen to me than I do though and, because she thinks I am unaware of her lackluster commitment, balances her efforts as equal to mine based on that fact [frustrating]).

So, any suggestions?

My counselor suggests I look her in the eye before I speak to her . . .


Not bad advice either. We are both equally as bad at that as we are always so far behind the ball that we rarely converse without multi-tasking. I’ve identified this as part of the problem, but it is hard to communicate the negative contributions of another when they see you as fundamentally psychotic and lacking insight. The more I raise concerns which demonstrate I am not the only one lacking in insight, the more I am perceived as lacking insight and the less merit my observations have.

It should be fairly evident I would have thought, but I have to learn to accept that other people have other levels of awareness.