I was sitting in a coffee shop, my cup empty and hers still full. Cold, though, probably because she hadn’t taken the first sip.
Tears stood in her eyes while she explained the way her husband didn’t listen to her. “He doesn’t know what I’m thinking or how I feel about anything. He doesn’t hear me when I talk to him. Not really.”
A few days later, I sat across the table from another friend and listened to nearly the same words tumble from her lips while I digested the eerily similar confession. “If he would listen to me, maybe he would understand where I’m coming from.” The conversation repeated itself with a third coffee shop confession, and I found myself sitting at my piano a few days later trying to understand why listening is so hard in deep relationships. It’s hard enough to be a good listener when it’s not a deep relationship. But with the people who matter the most, shouldn’t we be putting all our effort into hearing what’s in their hearts?
When I’ve listened to women who struggling in their marriages (and I don’t believe this problem is gender-specific), it seems there has come a point in their relationships where their spouses have begun to tune them out. You can listen without really hearing someone. Not grasping the motive or the desire underneath the words leads to misunderstanding. Sometimes we say things the wrong way in an effort to be heard because there’s such a powerful weight to being heard, really heard. Lose that, and the relationship suffers in every area. When you lose your voice, you lose the part of the relationship where you’re on the same team.
I knew I wanted to write a song from the point of view of someone who doesn’t feel heard in their marriage. I wanted to take on that role of desperation and longing. I wrote the lyrics while sitting in the carpool line at my son’s school one afternoon. Using an incredibly simple chord progression, I wrote the music to let the words be the vehicle for getting that desperate feeling across. My producer really helped me communicate that yearning feeling on the album version of the song with his beautiful use of the strings.
My hope in writing and publicizing this song is that people who hear the song who find themselves in a silent marriage will make the effort to learn the art of listening to their spouse. Look across the room at the person you married and remember, that’s still the one my heart loves. Marriage is worth fighting for, and hearing, really hearing the other person—without interrupting or formulating a reply—is one way we can fight for the kind of love that lasts.
So this song is about marriage and the art of listening. My disclaimer is that I did not write it about my own marriage. Sure, we have our “hear me” moments, but I am deeply grateful for a husband who wants to hear me and who pulls the words out of me when I don’t want to explain myself.
I was approached by a videographer out of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in April when my album was being launched. He’d seen a clip from the song “Hear Me” that I’d posted on Facebook, and he offered to film a full length video for me. I’m not a fan of being the subject of a music video, but I love what Wes did with the scenery and setting. We had a lot of fun shooting this video, and I’m now super impressed with what a drone and a camera can do together.
And let’s be honest, the opportunity to play a vintage piano in the middle of a field? Yes, please.
Feel free to share the video. You can purchase the song here.