General Etiquette > Family and Children

When there are two reasons, but the speaker only states one

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Lynn2000:

--- Quote from: StareDecisis on February 08, 2013, 06:28:46 PM ---I would totally agree with this in most circumstances, but he has NO problem saying things such as "Your bum looks a bit big in that skirt, maybe you shouldn't buy it" or "Your hair looks frizzy, maybe fix it before we go out?", even if it is completely unsolicited, which is one reason I find exchanges like the pepper incident baffling! FWIW, I actually appreciate such comments - I would rather be told something like that by my husband while I can do something to fix it, rather than discover that I've been walking around with hair like Einstein's :)

--- End quote ---

If those are real examples, maybe at some point he's learned/decided/just naturally says blunt/truthful things about appearance, but food is a whole different area for him? It sounds like maybe you've praised him for telling you something is wrong with your appearance, so maybe he's remembered that, but it doesn't translate in his mind to other subjects.

Also, TootsNYC has a good point about the "real" question. Is your husband quite literal? Is he not the planner in the family? He may be thinking that, of two answers in his mind, one is just as good to say as the other, without understanding your implied question or your future plans.

StareDecisis:

--- Quote from: Lynn2000 on February 08, 2013, 06:07:58 PM ---I wouldn't say he's so much lying, as that he/you both have communication issues. Of two true reasons (in this case), he's giving you the one that's least helpful to you in planning your future actions--that's how you see it. I suspect (as StarFaerie suggests) that to him, he's giving you the one that he thinks will spare your feelings, or is less confrontational, in the short term.

I see something I think is similar a lot with some friends and family. I could imagine my friend Amy and her husband Adam having this exact exchange about the peppers. Amy would get really exasperated at Adam, and instead of learning how she would prefer he act, he just learns that this is a really touchy subject that he should continue avoiding in the future. Plus, accusing someone of lying often causes a conversation to spiral downhill pretty fast, rather than being productive.

I could even imagine Amy saying, "WHY didn't you tell me you didn't like bell peppers before I bought that whole bag of them last week?!"

And Adam would probably be like (if he answered honestly), "You didn't ASK me if I liked bell peppers. You just ASSUMED I would eat them. And sometimes, even when you ask and I say I don't want something, you insist I try it anyway, or that it's good for me, so why should I bother giving my real opinion?"

StareDecisis, I'm not saying that's what's going on in your case, because obviously I don't know. :) But, IME, with things like this it's often that the two people are coming at the situation from two totally different angles. So, like StarFaerie suggests, maybe at a later time ask him calmly what he was thinking, without any preconceived ideas, and see if anything interesting turns up.

--- End quote ---

Oh, sorry - I didn't actually call him a liar in the heat of the moment; I said something along the lines of "Why didn't you just tell me that yesterday?", and he inferred that I was calling him a liar (which I was sort of thinking, but didn't actually say). I think that particular example drove me batty because he was the one who bought the peppers, lol!  I will try to have a discussion at a time when there hasn't been a recent issue.  It is comforting to know that you know others with similar issues (and you hit "communication issues" dead on, by the way - we have worked on general communication quite a bit, which may contribute to my irritation with exchanges like this).

StareDecisis:

--- Quote from: TootsNYC on February 08, 2013, 06:29:00 PM ---I find that with many people, I have to preface questions with an explanation that says, "I don't care what the answer is, it's no skin off MY nose if you don't like bell peppers or whatever. Please give me an answer that helps me plan."

I really have to do it at work, because sometimes I'm in charge of deadlines.

And sometimes you need to think what the REAL question is. Maybe the question isn't "why didn't you eat the peppers?" (because parents use "why?" questions to scold their children--I try to make my husband stop it, but it's pretty deeply ingrained), but is instead, "should I stop packing peppers in your lunch?"

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Brilliant - thank you!  I never even thought of that.

StareDecisis:

--- Quote from: Lynn2000 on February 08, 2013, 06:36:02 PM ---
--- Quote from: StareDecisis on February 08, 2013, 06:28:46 PM ---I would totally agree with this in most circumstances, but he has NO problem saying things such as "Your bum looks a bit big in that skirt, maybe you shouldn't buy it" or "Your hair looks frizzy, maybe fix it before we go out?", even if it is completely unsolicited, which is one reason I find exchanges like the pepper incident baffling! FWIW, I actually appreciate such comments - I would rather be told something like that by my husband while I can do something to fix it, rather than discover that I've been walking around with hair like Einstein's :)

--- End quote ---

If those are real examples, maybe at some point he's learned/decided/just naturally says blunt/truthful things about appearance, but food is a whole different area for him? It sounds like maybe you've praised him for telling you something is wrong with your appearance, so maybe he's remembered that, but it doesn't translate in his mind to other subjects.

Also, TootsNYC has a good point about the "real" question. Is your husband quite literal? Is he not the planner in the family? He may be thinking that, of two answers in his mind, one is just as good to say as the other, without understanding your implied question or your future plans.

--- End quote ---

Also brilliant!  Those are real examples, and now that you mention it, it does seem that appearance is fair game for bluntness, while food is not.  He is quite literal, and I like the suggestions for re-phrasing. 

Lynn2000:
There is hope! :D These kinds of things drive me crazy, too, because I can never solve the ones I'm actually involved in, but seen from outside, they seem more obvious. I feel like a lot of people are the same way. Thus, a good reason for asking for third party advice. :) I should post about my dad sometime...

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