Again, what Isis and I are trying to explain is that for some people it doesn't automatically mean "don't follow me" either. We're also not saying that we would follow our SOs every single time, but that if we got an awkward hug and our SOs walked away, we'd follow and ask what was wrong. There is something obviously wrong if our SOs are acting out of character, so we'd find out what it was.
Aha! I think I'm starting to see our common ground.
Your reaction is based on a combination of your SO's behavior and
your knowledge of your SO. You two have been in this situation before, learned from it, and developed a "code." This is good communication, because actions provoke the desired response in a way that they probably wouldn't among strangers.
By contrast, OP seemed kind of mystified by what her SO's behavior meant, leading me to believe that they haven't
established a protocol for this type of thing. In that case, I think it's reasonable for her DH to expect that she would take his behavior entirely at face value. In other words, he behaved in a way that would have provoked the desired response from a stranger, and was frustrated when OP chose to respond differently.
I get why she did: she has every reason to be nervous about him seeming to withdraw. But there was no mutually-agreed-upon system that dictated her actions; she was unilaterally worried that he was withdrawing, and so went looking for subtext where he claims there wasn't any. They didn't have a code, but she believed that his actions were coded, and he was annoyed.
If you want your behavior to mean something other than its surface value, then you have to either say something, or establish that pattern over time with your partner. A lot of posters have those patterns in their relationships
, myself included, and it's easy to see this situation through the lens of our own habits. But the DH here just wanted his actions to mean exactly what they looked like. He went to a room where the OP wasn't, and when she followed he told her that he was tired...and it turned out that he was tired and wanted to be on his own for a while. It's not code, it's literal. So I don't agree with the PP's who've said that this was a situation in which he should have had to explain what his actions meant or set up a specific signal to indicate that he was doing exactly what he wanted to be doing--that would just be adding an extra layer of redundancy.
Whether or not him doing exactly what he wanted to be doing is acceptable under the circumstances is, of course, the other half of the topic....