One thing 25 years of marriage has taught me is that couples need to continually work on their communication. This is an ongoing (may I add occasionally agonizing) process.
One thing my wife has not learned yet, thought, is that if I am doing ANYTHING else than listening to what she is saying, like working on the computer or watching TV or writing or walking and chewing gum, I cannot understand what she just said. This is because men generally are not good multi-taskers. It’s a male thing – it’s in our genetic makeup. Women genetically are much more adept at multi-tasking; they can bounce a kid, do the laundry and write a thesis all at one time. Men; not so much… we need to focus on one thing at a time.
The ramification of this defect is that most of what my wife tells me is relegated to a kind of a feminine white noise in the background of my experience. Often I don't quite understand what my wife has just said and so ask her to repeat it. More often, however, she already knows I didn't comprehend and repeats it to me anyway. I usually act like I heard her right the first time. But usually I didn't.
One night we had checked into a motel and were in bed beginning to doze off. A car pulled into the parking lot and the beam from its HEADLIGHTS flashed momentarily across the wall. So in my dreamy stupor state she says "Oh my, what are those… head lights"?
In mortal terror I fly of bed, yelling for her to turn on the lights and get the hell out of the bed.
Wife: “What on earth is wrong with you!!??”
Me: "I thought you said Head Lice".