How to Fix the Fix-It Syndrome (When You Only Want Him to Listen)
When I first saw the, “It’s Not About the Nail” video, I laughed my heart out. And then realized, the reason it was so funny was for the first 8 years of our marriage, my poor husband was the one with the nail in his head.
It’s usually men who have the “fix-it syndrome” but in the case of my marriage, I was the one with the problem.
What HWC contributor, Kim Hall, suggests here is almost identical to what I began doing to fix my “fit-it” challenge.
The beautiful thing about this “syndrome,” is the person trying to do the fixing means well. It’s done in love. And during the times when that way of expressing love becomes frustrating to your spouse (or vice versa), try this fantastic tip.
Until Monday…make it a great day!
Have you experienced this before?
You and your husband are sitting together, enjoying a rare moment of quiet.
You turn to him and share about a problem you’re having, perhaps at work, or with a friend.
The moment you finish, your husband offers up his expertise in his concise and straightforward way.
He looks at you expectantly, waiting for your thanks, because he has just given you the best gift ever: a solution!
His expression quickly turns to dismay and puzzlement as he sees your anger beginning to flare.
“I just wanted you to listen. You don’t have to fix everything all the time.”
The fix-it syndrome has struck again.
This is such a familiar refrain in relationships that Jason Headley’s short and amusing, tongue-in-cheek video, “It’s Not About the Nail” went viral.
If you’ve ever felt similar frustration at not being heard, take heart.
There is a simple way to fix the fix-it syndrome.
First, it is helpful to remember that men and women are wired differently. While both sexes can be chronic fixers, men think more predominately in terms of problems and solutions.
Women enjoy discussing and empathizing, and especially like knowing they are being heard and understood. The process of solving the problem is almost as important as the solution.
Next time, instead of doing what you’ve always done and getting what you’ve always got, I invite you to do this:
Let your husband know what you want.
Tell him you just need to vent, for example, and need him to listen, that’s all.
Remember he is not a mind-reader.
To be even more proactive, give him the gift of this question he can ask you any time:
“Would you like me to listen, or would you like my help fixing this?”
It’s a fair and helpful question, and needs to be asked and answered with courtesy, compassion and respect, of course.
I can tell you that using that question in our household has contributed to much more peaceable conversations.
The funny thing is that whoever has the problem tends to be more open to advice, too.
As part of these conversations, you can these tips to avoid fights.
I also heartily endorse and echo what Kathi Lipp shared here recently: the objective is to resolve your difficulties, not to win. After all, you and your husband are on the same team!
Question: How can you use these ideas to build a stronger marriage?
May you find happiness wherever you are! Kim @ Too Darn Happy
THE BOOK: Read the book that inspired the powerful TED talk and prompted author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, PhD., to write the book’s foreword. Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, bestselling authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts said, “We’ve been counseling couples and writing marriage books for a long time, and we can say with absolute certainty, there has never been a book quite like The Argument-Free Marriage. If you think no such union exists, or if you’ve come to the conclusion that arguments are necessary in marriage, allow Fawn to challenge that notion and set you on a path to creating the greatest partnership in life: your marriage.”
Latest posts by Kim Hall (see all)
- How to Fix the Fix-It Syndrome (When You Only Want Him to Listen) - November 21, 2015
- 5 Great Marriage Lessons from the Least Likely Place - July 21, 2014
- 6 Surprising Benefits of Dating Your Husband - June 23, 2014