Before we got married, I found this hilarious video called “It’s not about the nail – video”, thinking this explains everything I rushed to show it to my then fiancé. It’s a short clip about a woman complaining to her husband about this intense pressure in her head, and how all her sweaters are snagged, she is scared it will never go away, frustrated and sad she is looking for sympathy. Her husband immediately realises all her problems are related to the nail stuck in her forehead. He then suggests she takes out the nail (solving the problem) only to upset her more.
More than 3 years later, I still sometimes refer back to this video to explain a situation, and 3 years later my husband still does not get it.
Wondering if it’s only my husband, I recently showed it to a group of married people (with varied ages) and while the wives exchanged knowing glances ALL the men were confused (I kid you not!). They were baffled. This video makes so much sense to women and zero sense to men (zero!). I think the most confusing part of this is, that when the person he loves the most have a problem, and he has the perfect solution to said problem, your husband cannot see that fixing the problem would upset you. In his mind it is simple math: (wife + problem) / (husband + solution) = happiness.
By now we know math in relationships is never that easy…
Last night, while watching “Laugh your way to a better marriage -video”, Mark Gungor explained how men and women cope differently with stress. Men go to a nothing box, and women re-examine the whole thing into the finest details. I poked my husband in the ribs and said: “It’s not about the nail”… And the light went on! He kind of gets it now…
Here’s why I think it’s not about the nail, read it, use it, don’t use it. It changed the way we communicate in our house so much, I really do hope it does the same for your marriage!
Husbands, please note: Sometimes your wife just needs to be heard, not rescued!
You married a strong, independent woman. She most likely had a place of her own, with bills she paid with a salary from a job she got by herself. She can make it without you. (Although we really do not want to). When we complain about life and things that went wrong, just hold us and say, “I’m sorry, is there anything that I can do to help”. If we say no, just unload the dishwasher or make us coffee. We do not need (read want) your advice. (Even if it would save us a lot of trouble). When she is ready, she will ask you for advice or guidance just do not give it before then. My best explanation for this is that most women are a tad bit crazy, and we sometimes need to sort out our own issues. We do not always know exactly how we feel about something and have to verbally run through the whole event to sort out our feelings. Give us space to work through our feelings, and when we are ready to handle whatever issue we had, it is time for you to make coffee and some good suggestions!
We know you have the answer, but so do we. Women really need to let go of the bad energy related to an issue. That is why we talk to you about it. We already know taking out the nail will help, but we want someone to understand that we really really loved that sweater.