Brethren, don’t be mad at me for revealing another man-secret. It’s been a long time since I’ve exposed the nasty inner workings of a man’s machinations to survive in the woman’s world of marriage. Remember when I dutifully instructed all of MTE’s manly fans about how to settle any argument with your wife using three simple words? Anyway, it’s been three years, and now I dare to venture into dangerous relationship territory again. Sisters, hang on to your YW medallions; you’re going to find out why your husband may have problems listening to you. It’s because…. whatever you say he is filing away in the “Yes Dear” portion of his brain.
I know this concept to be true because I first heard about it in a sacrament meeting this time last year. The MTE staff followed up with in-depth research on the undernet, the outernet, and the internet, and discovered that there really is a portion of a man’s brain where he stores everything a wife says that he doesn’t want to deal with at the moment, because he is too busy thinking about himself- the “yes dear” partition.
It all boils down to two simple words- listen and hear. When women speak they expect us men to “listen;” instead we merely “hear.” Hearing involves processing audible signals in the brain and turning them into thought. Listening, however, is a much more complex process. When we listen, we add an extra step and act on the thought we have heard. So, when my sweetie asks me to take out the trash, she expects me to listen- hear what she said then act on it. I however, may prefer to merely hear what she said. When a husband wants to make his sweetie think that he is listening, when his true desire is to merely hear, he will respond with a perfunctory “yes dear.” This phrase signals to the brain to file away what he has just has heard to the “Yes Dear” portion, where it will stay ignored indefinitely.
The Yes Dear portion of the brain has diffused many tense situations in some marriages, contributed to many festering emotional sores in others, and served as the most popular plot theme of relationship comedies. The Yes Dear portion of a man’s brain allows him to store a request for action (listen) from his wife and then postpone acting on it (hear) until a more convenient time.
About six months ago I suffered an aneurysm in the Yes Dear portion of my brain. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but apparently one afternoon my wife was proposing some plans to turn a sitting room off the side of our master bedroom into her craft room. I was hearing what she was saying, and like I had done several times in the past, I tried to file it away, but this time it wouldn’t go. I actually found myself interested in and having opinions about the color scheme of the room and the type of Ikea bookcases we would purchase and transform into trendy storage cubbies for her craft gear! Go figure!
She was just as surprised as I was. This trend has continued, which makes me worry that the Yes dear portion has been permanently damaged. I have actually found myself excited over the color or her new walking shoes, or genuinely worried about her health when she plans to work outside on a particularly hot and humid day. Clothes and weather matter to me now.