Listen, Between the Lines

‘Soft words break the bone’. I always recall with clarity, the day I experienced the truth of this statement, by the Jewish monarch Solomon. It was a few minutes past 10 PM, when my wife stepped into the living room where I was working on my laptop. ’After we said goodnight to each other, she asked,

‘Gem, when are you coming to bed? ‘By midnight I answered.’

She took my right hand in both of hers. Thinking she was about to complain about my habit of turning in late, I steeled myself for a defense. (We have argued about this many times.

Instead, she looked at me wistfully and said in a gentle voice,

‘It’s so nice to go to bed together.’

The bone of my defense broke. Without effort my defense was neutralized. Solomon knew what he was saying.

You see, most nights I go to bed at least two hours after Njeb has gone to bed. The time is spent either working or reading. Though my  wife’s statement hardly came across as a criticism or accusation, it was thought provoking.

I heard, loud and clear, what she did not even put in words – ‘I listened between the lines.’

What I heard her say, with my mind and not my ears is, ‘We hardly go to bed together. I’d love for us to go to bed together.’

After I mulled it over, two days later I informed Njeb that I have decided for us to go to bed together four times in a week. It is not an easy decision, but a critical one.

As a result, I told myself to not bring work home consistently. Also to create other times for reading. These tasks are nothing compared to marital health and bliss.

Everyday, I resolve not to be insensitive like the guy in this pix.

The idea of going to bed together may seem unimportant or not big a deal. But it is. Especially for me, since it means a lot to my wife!

The importance of listening cannot be underscored enough. Particularly where spouses, relatives, friends and colleagues are involved.

Learn to listen enough to catch what has not been said. It is the art of ‘listening between the lines.’ This is one sure way to make the most of your day, everyday.

Learn to listen enough to catch what has not been said.

– JeNom Makama

I have not perfected this ‘art’. No, far from it. But I have resolved to do better than I am doing. Everyday. Day by day,

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