Messages and Metamessages

When I read the essay named “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers” by Deborah Tannen, I discovered a reason for breaking of relationships, especially relationship between spouses. Relationship between husband and wife is one of the most beautiful bonding in the world. It’s a relationship where two different persons get along with each other for lifetime. Sometimes, it does not last for long. It happens for several misunderstandings. The conflict of messages and metamessages can be a reason for this. Wives expect their husbands to understand their feeling without expressing it. On the other hand, husbands want their wives to share with them everything. Both of them are right in their own place. It is fair enough when a wife wants her husband to ask how her day was or give her a compliment for something. It happens mostly with housewives who spend the whole day in home and at evening their tired husbands return. Again, we can’t blame the husbands as well. They spend a busy time and sometimes tensions regarding work pile around them. That’s why they may not pay attention to their wives. Moreover, males are straightforward, so they may like their wives to be straightforward too. Husbands simply don’t understand their wives’ metamessages as they think practically, but being emotional is also fair enough. After all, people have to be emotional in case of expressing their love. Being practical has nothing to do with that.

Well, I can guess a solution to this problem. I think it is better if women quit conveying metamessages to their husbands and don’t expect them to understand their untold feelings. They should learn to be practical like them. Then if someday their husbands ask them how their day was, or be able to catch their metamessages, it will be like a surprise to the wives and they will be delighted. So, quit expecting and be overwhelmed with the unexpected happiness.

Eventually, I had better give this suggestion to my mother because the same thing happens between my parents, who are happily married for 31 years. My father never gives her any gift on special occasions like wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day and birthday. Mother becomes bitterly disappointed when he does so and complains to us in front him. Then my father says that everything he has belong to her too; al; she has to do is to demand. He adds that how he can know what she wants or not. This kind of confusions of messages and metamessages between my parents sometime irritates me and sometime makes me laugh. Couples have to be more understanding to each other for avoiding this problem.

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About fmoriam
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One Response to Messages and Metamessages

  1. rstha says:

    Dear friend,
    I do agree that one of the reasons for the misunderstanding between men and women is difference in the medium of their conversation. Men are always straighforward and women always expects things to be understood without having to express it. The interesting thing is that though the essay was written in 1986, it is still true in present world. I am with your opinion that women should stop expecting and accept the way things are going on. This will help keep their conversation out of misunderstanding.

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