Does your pet provide a better ear than other humans?
Pets give their owners unconditional love, warmth, and companionship — always ready to listen and offer a sympathetic nuzzle. So could spouses learn a few tips from their furry family members?
Some pet owners certainly think so. In fact, a recent survey finds that 33% of married women believe their pets are better listeners than their husbands.
Moreover, the AP-Petside.com poll revealed that, overall, 25% of pet owners find their pet to be a better listener than their spouse. Dogs also ranked as better listeners than cats according to their owners, who placed the rival pets at 25% and 14% above their spouses, respectively.
While the poll was mostly geared to cat and dog pet ownership, husband Jenson Crawford hopes that he’s at least “a better listener than a snake,” but agrees that “dogs are — hands down — better listeners than husbands.”
“When my wife talks to me, she wants me to listen to how she’s feeling. I listen to the words and try to fix things,” Crawford, who has been married 10 years. “The dog doesn’t understand her words and can only listen to how she’s feeling. The dog gets her emotional message and doesn’t get bogged down by the words.”
Crawford, a 51-year-old resident of Culver City, Calif., says he gets caught up in his wife’s words and “almost always” misses how she is feeling.
“Maybe I’m not a better listener than a snake after all,” laughed Crawford, who owns an 18-month-old Golden Doodle with his wife.
Baltimore marriage coach Alexander Seinfeld does not find the “pets v. husbands” debate surprising.
According to Seinfeld, a woman prefers a husband to simply offer sympathetic acknowledgments, such as “really” and “oh my” over fixing the problem.
The negative impact of advice giving, Seinfeld believes is what leads “many women to show more affection to their cats and dogs than to their husbands.”
“This topic makes me chuckle because it underscores what I tell men all the time: the secret to being a good listener to your wife is to listen without offering advice,” says Seinfeld. “Pets do this better than husbands, for sure.”
Summer Valley Veterinary Clinic
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