Author Topic: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)  (Read 9027 times)

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snappylt

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(Background: ) My wife and I don't take separate out-of-town trips very often.  Usually we have traveled together, or, actually, the last few years we haven't had many overnight away trips at all.

The last time I took a separate out-of-town trip was about five years ago, when I attended a week-long conference related to my job.  I carpooled to the conference city with co-workers.

The first night that I was there I called home just after 9:30 P.M. to let my wife know I had arrived safely and to ask how things were at home.  When I called, my wife was watching reruns of her favorite TV shows while she crocheted.  She sounded quite annoyed that my call was interrupting her show.  It's been 5 years, so I don't remember her exact words, but I do remember her tone sounded quite annoyed.  She pointed out that she had been watching TV and had had to interrupt her crochet stitch-counting to answer the phone, and said that the boys were all playing a video game together  and she was sure they didn't want their game to be interrupted either.  I felt very hurt, but I did not say anything rude.  I think I said something like, "OK then, well I guess I'd better hang up now so you can get back to your TV show."

After that treatment on the telephone I did not feel like calling home again all week.  (And no, there were no calls to me from home all week.)

In the car, on the way back to my home city after the conference, one of my co-workers was telling us about how her husband had fared taking care of their children all by himself that week (based upon her phone calls home).  After she finished her story, she turned to me and asked, "Snappy, how did things go for your wife and sons back home this week?"

I replied by telling her that I had no idea how things were at my house.  She seemed surprised at that, so I explained about the one time I tried calling home and said that I hadn't tried any more calls home after that one.    She and the others in the car didn't seem to know how to reply to that, and quickly the subject was changed and we chatted about other things the rest of the way back.

When I returned home, I tried telling my wife how hurt I had felt.  She acted totally bewildered, said she hadn't intended to be hurtful, and since nothing unusual had happened at home she hadn't seen any reason to call me all week.
(end background.)

Question: A few weeks from now, in early June, my wife and my eldest son (who will be home from college by then) plan to drive more than 1,000 miles away to attend a cousin's graduation ceremony.  I'll be staying home with another son who will still be in school here then.

Would it be rude of me to behave as my wife did five years ago?  By that, I mean, would it be rude of me to not call my wife's cell phone at all while she is   away on this road trip?  If my wife does call home, would it be rude of me to react to her phone call the way she reacted to mine five years ago?

I'm inclined to think that it would be rude to treat her the way she treated me.  I'm thinking that while it would be so tempting, I'd rather behave myself and treat her the way I wish I had been treated.  (I'm thinking I'll feel better about myself if I take the high road here.)

But what do others think?


Edited to add a reference in the subject line to the update at post #36.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 03:41:16 PM by snappylt »

Sneezy

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 01:19:09 AM »
Take the high road. In the long run, you won't regret it.

perpetua

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 01:21:20 AM »
Take the high road but tell her how hurt you were.

Anyone who puts TV ahead of their spouse in a situation like this really needs to have it pointed out to them how hurtful it is.

Jelaza

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 01:24:53 AM »
It would definitely be rude to react that way to her phone calls.  If you would feel uncomfortable calling her, though, I don't think it'd be rude to not call.  Don't call her unless you want to call her.

Allyson

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 01:26:32 AM »
Do what would make you feel best. It's possible she wouldn't be bothered if you didn't call her, if her not calling you was any indication. She might not take it as a 'take that' but be totally fine with it. And if she did take it as a 'take that' to something that happened 5 years ago, I don't see that as being productive for either of you. You let her know you felt hurt by her reaction to your phone call, there's nothing else really that can be done at this point. If she just has a different view on amount of contact, you're not going to convince her to feel otherwise.

JoieGirl7

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 01:36:27 AM »
I think the fact that you think it would be "so tempting" to exact revenge on a five year old slight by your spouse is distubing and rather scary.

While you claim that you would "rather" behave yourself in regard to calling your wife during her upcoming trip, you seem oblivious to a deeper problem which is that you have harbored a grudge for so long against someone you have an intimate and daily relationship with.


perpetua

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 01:40:06 AM »
I think the fact that you think it would be "so tempting" to exact revenge on a five year old slight by your spouse is distubing and rather scary.

While you claim that you would "rather" behave yourself in regard to calling your wife during her upcoming trip, you seem oblivious to a deeper problem which is that you have harbored a grudge for so long against someone you have an intimate and daily relationship with.

I don't think the OP is the one with the 'problem' - i think the spouse who considers something as ridiculously trivial as television to be more important than her husband's call home is the one with the 'problem'. And if he's still hurt by it he has every right to express that, if only to be able to move past it. Getting revenge probably isn't the way to do it, though.

artk2002

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 01:43:17 AM »
Retaliatory rudeness is wrong. It's even worse when it's 5 years after the fact. Don't act like a petulant 4yo. Frankly, your refusal to call home the rest of that week was extremely childish. It sounds like she didn't realize what she did. I've done that -- been distracted and then someone interrupts me and I come off very peeved. It's not intentional and I would be very, very hurt that someone held it against me for 5 years.

Yes, your wife was likely rude, or at least not as warm as you expected her to be. Your response to that is entirely out of proportion.

I know that when I've been on the road and I call my sons, sometimes they're annoyed at being interrupted and I've told them that I didn't appreciate it. I certainly wouldn't think of playing tit-for-tat five years later. To avoid problems like that, we have some set times to call. Do you have that with your wife?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Yvaine

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 01:50:42 AM »
Yeah, I'm going to agree with previous posters. We all have moments of being distracted or in our own little world. It's been five years. Let it go.

(A few weeks ago my BF called during the ninth inning of a tense baseball game I was following. I was a little distracted. I sure hope he doesn't remember that five years from now. Little annoyances are just part of life during a long-term relationship.)

delabela

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 02:03:57 AM »
It would be incredibly rude to pull a "see how that feels!" move 5 years after the fact, especially when the original offense was extremely minor.

I love my SO with all my heart, but I also look forward to the occasional time I have to myself.  I could see getting into the mind frame of getting some alone time and just settling in to veg out, and then being a bit annoyed by a phone call.  Particularly if my SO had only been gone less than a day. 

So, I think the best advice is to put it behind you.  If you want communication in your relationship to be different, that's certainly an area lots of couples have to work on (and it is work). 

Arrynne

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2013, 02:23:09 AM »
It would be incredibly passive aggressive to do it. Your wife should have let you know she was busy and asked to call back at a later time.

NyaChan

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2013, 02:42:01 AM »
I think you are justified in being hurt at the reaction you got.  However, that is something you should have - and DID already discuss with your wife.  Did she not give you a satisfactory reaction - i.e. and apology or acknowledgment that what she did was hurtful to you even if she didn't realize it would be?  If you are still upset, then talk to her about it.  Doing the same back to her, however, will be unproductive and likely cause a much bigger problem.  If I were her, I'd bring it up to you if it hurt my feelings.  If your response was that you were trying to teach me a lesson about how you felt 5 years ago about something I thought we'd already resolved...I'd be incredibly angry and lose some respect for you. 

Unusual Banana

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 03:09:42 AM »
Judging by her reaction when you told her you were hurt it sounds like she doesn't think phone calls when one of you is out of town are necessary unless something unusual happens, so she probably wouldn't even notice if you did behave as she did five years ago.

Since the two of you seem to have different expectations about phone calls I think you should let her know in advance that you'd like to talk to her on the phone sometimes while she's away and maybe arrange times that would be convenient to both of you. You should definitely not be rude to her if she does call you.

Lindee

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2013, 03:11:12 AM »
I'd discuss this with your wife before she goes. Not in a bringing up the 5 year old incident, that is long over, but to work out if she wants to phone home or be phoned.  Will she be happy to let you know she has got there safely, does she want you to ring her every night or will that be too much?  Whether it is every evening, arriving and leaving or something in between or only in an emergency it doesn't matter as long as you both are happy with it.

And while I'm at it, when you do speak, remember this is the person you have chosen to spend your life with, so unless things are going really badly between you I think it would be nice to let her know you love her and miss her.

TheaterDiva1

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2013, 03:55:59 AM »
If she didn't realize at the time what she did wrong, I don't think she'll get the message if you do this five years later.  Sounds like a simple lack of communication - talk to her before she goes about if/when you want her to call.