What Men Need to Know About Women’s Emotions: An Interview with Leon Roat

Photo by Toa Heftiba

Photo by Toa Heftiba

Leon and Salomé first met in Quito, Ecuador, while he was on a missions trip. Today they’ve been married for nearly thirty years. He works as a financial adviser and, together with Salomé, mentors singles and couples so they can be as healthy as possible, ready for the future and secure in God’s love for them.

1. In your own experience, how are women different than men in the area of emotions?

Women are clearly more emotional and feelings based than most men. They tend to process their emotions verbally, while men typically don’t express as much of their emotions verbally—or sometimes even physically.

As I’ve experienced this over the years, I’ve learned to be more understanding and make sure that my lovely wife feels heard.

2. What is the BEST thing a man can do when his girlfriend or wife is responding emotionally to something?

Just listen to her and everything she’s saying without interrupting. Hear her out completely.

Don’t try to fix her, because most likely she just wants to process her feelings verbally, without someone trying to fix or advise her on what to do.

Wait until she actually asks you what your opinion is or how you would advise her.

3. What is the WORST thing a man can do when his girlfriend or wife is responding emotionally to something?

The worst thing you can do is try to fix her. She just needs to be seen, understood, and heard—not fixed.

4. What are the top three things you would tell younger men about female emotions, so men are better prepared for marriage?

Many women just want to be heard and understood. They want their emotions to be validated, not necessarily agreed with. They like to process verbally, not be fixed.

So these are the top three things I would say to younger men:

• See her. Give her your full attention.

• Understand her. Just listen to what she’s saying and don’t necessarily respond. Try to truly understand where she’s coming from, or in other words, imagine you’re in her shoes.

• Care for her. Actually care about what she’s saying. As you’re listening to her express herself, don’t try to process how you want to respond, advise her, or give her counsel.

5. Do you have any suggestions for how a man can pray for his girlfriend or wife during times of deep emotional stress?

A man can always pray for his wife!

In most cases, she will be completely open to whatever God puts on your heart to bless her. Make sure it’s a positive, uplifting prayer, not a condemning or judgmental type of prayer.

Be open to what God has to say to you and how He wants to heal her emotional hurts and/or traumas that may be in her past.


If you’re having conflict with your spouse or partner, check out the following BTO resources: