Yes, yes all you Elvis die hards, it is in fact a little less conversation, a little more action. But with us in the legal field, the opposite is the cry most often on the minds of our spouses and loved ones.
It is a fact that sometimes in strong marriages, one spouse just wants to sound out the other spouse. They may want advice, they may want a sympathetic ear, they may just want to hear aloud what they are thinking about.
Those who are blessed with lawyers, are blessed with someone who through three years of education and training along with however many years of practical application are fully formed efficient problem solving machines. We have learned to hear a problem, and then not just solve that problem, but to execute the fix as fully and time efficiently as possible. Your just wanting to talk be damned, we are going to fix the thing that we believe ails you.
My sweetness is a Disney nerd, and in the movie “Finding Nemo” there is a little crustacean who is driven to clean. An example is here. I too am like that with my sweetness, she tells me something that is bothering her and then ducks because my first inclination is to fix the problem for her with explicit directions for the things that I cannot do myself. But sometimes, she doesn’t want that, sometimes she needs to just let things be messy while she sorts another issue out. And in those moments I sometimes once I realize I am forcing her into a fix feel like this clip.
Now then, add in the inclinations of a Dominant personality, something that honestly most good attorneys have, and you have a perfect storm of a problem solver who cannot wait to put on the Superman cape and just fix.
So how does one approach this situation so that the attorney spouse isn’t put out, but also in a way that the non-attorney spouse feels their actual needs are met? I have found that if sweetness couches the issues by asking if I will listen to something so she can run it by me, that while I am internally making lists, charts, graphs, battle plans, drafting a militia, and already conquering her world, that I am able to sit and follow along until she is done. Then I inquire if she wishes to hear my thoughts. Sometimes sweetness does, and sometimes she indicates she would prefer to figure things out herself but thanks me for allowing her to vocalize the issue and that it helped to do so.
We attorneys are an intense breed, but with a little love and understanding of how we operate under the hood we aren’t that much different from humans.