Be Your Partner's Hero - Listen

How To Be Your Partner’s Hero – Listen

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Here’s how to be your partner’s hero, listen.

My husband and I are just as imperfect as any couple. But I must say, he is my hero.

It’s not easy being married to a relationship therapist.

I’ve never been married to one, but my husband and others have said it’s not easy.  Although he and I have been married nearly eight years, I have more than 35  years of marital experience.

Not only have I spent my entire adult life trying to make marriage work, I’ve studied it, gotten my degrees around it, professionally developed it, and practically eat, sleep, and breathe efforts into creating and nurturing healthy relationships.

The challenge is that my husband has been a single man most of his adult life. You can only imagine what it might be like for him to be married to a professional relationship therapist.

But here we are, very ordinary, passionate, intense, different, and similar. In all the messiness of our lives, I must say that he’s my hero.

Here’s why my husband is my hero.

He sat through another relationship therapist’s office and did an amazing thing. He stayed with me during a heart-felt, yet difficult dialogue. He could have walked away. But he stayed.

A short youtube video called, “It’s Not About The Nail” shows a couple on a couch, struggling to communicate. When the guy points out that she has a nail in her head, she reacts.

She just wants him to listen. He tries so hard to just listen as she talks about her headaches and snagged sweaters and how difficult it is for her. She just can’t understand.

He struggles to just sit. He tries hard to listen empathically and give her loving eye contact.

That’s what my husband did for me. Only I didn’t have a nail in my head.

Being listened to is the most remarkable feeling we can ever have as human beings. Click To Tweet

I believe we’re designed by God for deep emotional connection in our marriages. When our spouse really hears our longings and desires, our love tank is full.

The way to be your partner’s hero is to listen. 

  • If what you’re hearing from your spouse seems as crazy as a nail in her head, instead just listen.
  • If you’re on the verge of telling her what the problem is, instead just listen.
  • When it takes every ounce of your being to refrain from fixing, instead just listen.

You’ll soon discover that the nail is something much deeper than what the cute video clip shows. It takes a willingness to understand. Be willing to assume your spouse makes sense, even if it looks like a silly nail to you. Allow those crazy feelings to be heard. Those “unrealistic” feelings are likely to be replaced with  remarkable feelings of connection with you.

One simple way to be your partner’s hero is to continue listening.

Our lives are always changing and our love tanks need daily filling. This requires a daily habit of listening. Seeking to understand.

When our love tank is full we have motivation throughout the day. We have a sparkle in our eyes for each other. Our differences are not so threatening. We laugh and play. For my husband and I, we dance.

And it’s not about the nail.

Questions to Ponder

How full (or empty) is your love tank now?

What can you do to make sure you listen?

What’s the next step for you?

The skill of listening doesn’t come natural for most of us. Consider the next step for you to create connection beyond conflict and be your partner’s hero. Sign up for a free consultation to find out what best fits your needs.

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About The Author

Judy Herman

Judy Herman helps leaders and families create connection beyond conflict through her counseling practice. She writes and speaks about how relationship messes are divine invitations for growing your true self.


  • Kathy Fannon

    Reply Reply December 29, 2016

    I listened to something from Pastor Bill Hybels this morning. He was talking about when our love buckets are full, we’re energized, we’re excited, we’re happy and joyful. But when they are depleted we become tired, anxious, frustrated. (A lot like what you just said!)

    It’s so important to really hear what the other is saying. So many times I’ve had to tell my husband I don’t want him to fix anything, I just want him to listen. (Poor guy!)

    This also reminds me of what I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Really listening to someone conveys love to them. We all just want to be heard, but sometimes we have to take the time to hear.

    Thank you for sharing this, Judy!

    • Judy Herman

      Reply Reply December 30, 2016

      Yes, I remember your post Thanks for reading and validating. Yesterday my husband and I prefaced our conversation with, “This is a nail in the head thing I’d like to share with you.” Looks like this will be our icon for future communications!

  • Nicole

    Reply Reply December 31, 2016

    Your piece is brave, bold, and beautiful like you. There is power and strength that comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It must be difficult to be married to a therapist, but so much easier because that therapist is you. You are amazing, grounded, and know how to take time to reflect. I am honored to learn from your wisdom.

    • Judy Herman

      Reply Reply January 2, 2017

      Wow, Thanks Nicole, you made my day! I’m equally honored to learn from you, my friend.

  • David Bennett

    Reply Reply January 3, 2017


    I really related to trying to solve my wife’s problems rather than listening to her. She never wanted me to solve anything. All she wanted me to do is sit there and listen. It took a long time for that to sink in and I still relapse now and again, but I am aware of my fault now.

    Thank you.

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