Author Topic: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)  (Read 9602 times)

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Rohanna

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2013, 02:24:37 PM »
You said you rarely travel alone. If your sons were younger, is it not possible that she was snappy because she'd had a long day with the kids/work/housework/whatever and was feeling peeved at what she perceived as your vacation away from all that?

It is rude to take it out on a partner, but it's also rude to stew over something for 1/2 a decade without bringing it up with your wife. If you can't bring up something relatively minor that hurt you, it's not etiquette you should be worrying about, but a relationship problem.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And well change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Tea Drinker

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2013, 02:39:40 PM »
Snappy, TALK to your wife well before she leaves.  Hash out the best time of day for both of you for her to call and check in, and for you to call her.  Make sure you both agree, and that there are no assumptions to trip you up later.   I think part of the problem you had 5 years ago might have been that she wasn't expecting the call then?  That the time of day was the problem, not the call itself? 

[snip]

She can't call during certain times because a phone call is rude then.  You don't want a phone call 3 second after you walk in the door, you need to let the dog out and use the bathroom first.  So, for you, receiving a call at time X works well.  Talk it all out - and make sure she knows that you WANT phone calls every day (or not), but not at time X. And because she's the one with the events going on, she should call you when it's convenient for her, because you're at home and your schedule is not the one changing up.  Make sure you each know what the other one wants.....  Or will be hurt by.

This.

OP, think about what pattern/frequency of communication you want, and then talk to her about it. Something like "I would like to talk to you every day while I'm on the road, what's a good schedule?" or a more open-ended "I'm going to miss you while you're gone, how often do you think we should pick up the phone?" 

There probably are wrong answers--like "every fifteen minutes, even if you're in the middle of a meeting"--but there's no one right answer. When I travel without my husband, I try to talk to him every day. Other people like different frequencies, or might prefer email or text messages to talking on the phone.
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dirtyweasel

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2013, 02:41:12 PM »
In my nine years of marriage, there have been some huge disappointments and trials that tested our marriage to the very core. There have also been countless, literally countless, minor slights and hurts that have occurred on both sides. We discuss both  of these kinds of problems and try our best to move past them. If my husband attempted to retaliate for a five year old slight, I would be both unimpressed and incredulous. I would tell him to get over it. Rude wouldn't even enter the equation.

POD.  What do you hope to actually accomplish by doing this?  I can pretty much guarantee that the outcome will NOT be pretty...



snowdragon

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2013, 02:45:04 PM »
I would consider it rude and petty. And you really need to find a way to let go of this.

Dragonflymom

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2013, 03:09:06 PM »
Your holding grudges over your wife's sounding mildly annoyed about getting a phone call from you five years ago, and then considering plotting revenge for it, sounds like an issue that would be best addressed in counseling rather than on an etiquette forum.
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m2kbug

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2013, 03:20:20 PM »
I don't think retaliation five years later is very productive.  My ex used to harbor things that bothered him.  Eventually it would come out, and half the time I didn't even remember the incident that sparked the issue at all.  It never went over well and really, if it bothered him that much, why not bring it up right away?  It's just not productive to behave that way, and five years later?  Time to let this one go. 

As for travel calls, my ex and I are on different levels when it comes to communication during travel.  I want three things: 
1.  A call when they arrive.
2.  A call before they leave.
3.  A call again when they get home.

I don't necessarily want/need a bunch of phone calls in the middle, maybe one.  It would depend on the length of the time the kids are away.  I also want phone numbers so I can call them if I want/need to.

My ex doesn't care about phone calls at all, and getting him to call me was an area of contention.  I just want to know everyone arrived safely and it's not hard to make a call.  If your wife is like that with travel calls, I can see her annoyance...not that it was okay to behave that way.  You have to put up with things with your spouse sometimes that may not always blend.  I hope that what came out wasn't meant to be snappy or annoyed, you just caught her a little off guard. 

I'm sure she or your son can call when they get there, and maybe another call during the week.  I don't know if you want to talk to your wife every day while she's away.  If she'd rather not, you need to agree on a frequency and try not to be hurt.

snappylt

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2013, 03:23:26 PM »
OP here again.  Thank you all for replying.  To sum up, bluntly, what I think I am hearing here is something along the lines of "get over it already".

That is probably exactly what I needed to hear.  Nobody has told me that before because I haven't shared the story with others before (except maybe to those co-workers in the car on the way home).

If I "step away" in my mind, I can see that my wife reacts that way to many of my phone calls.  She keeps herself very busy, and almost any time that I call her at home or on her cell phone I am interrupting something that she is doing.  I don't get all bent out of shape when she is annoyed by a phone call here in our hometown.  Over the years I have learned to just ask my question or share my information and then get off the phone quickly so she can get back to whatever she was doing.  I'm used to it and shrug it off as "that's just the way she is".

I guess I had different expectations with an away-trip phone call; I missed her and figured she'd miss me, too, and that she'd be sweet to me on the phone.  Instead, when she expressed annoyance at being called away from her TV shows and crocheting, I took it to mean that her TV and crochet work was more important to her than I was, and I let it bother me for a long time.

If I had had the sense to wait and call back at 9:59, after her show was over but before the next show started, she'd have probably been a lot happier about talking with me.  Since I knew that about her, I think maybe it is my responsibility to take that into account.

So, thank you again.  I am going to work on my attitude.  And - I am going to talk with my wife about this before she leaves.  (I'll watch for a time she is not busy with TV or sewing so I won't be interrupting her.)  I'll ask her, as someone suggested, what level of contact she'd like to have while she's away on this next trip and see if we can work out an arrangement ahead of time.  (Since she doesn't seem to like talking on the phone much, it may be that she would be fine with sending me a text message each night just telling me she's safe.  If we arrange that ahead of time, I'll be fine with that.)

I do think it would be rude of me to act annoyed if she calls from the road - especially because if I did that it would be an act (because I like talking with my wife).  So, I'll plan ahead with her, and I'll treat her the way I'd like to be treated.  I'll feel a lot better about myself this way.





artk2002

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2013, 03:26:23 PM »
Sounds like a good plan. I'm glad the comments helped to put this in perspective!
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

SiotehCat

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2013, 03:27:58 PM »
My DH and I frequently travel without each other.

Twice a year, I drive 1800 miles to spend time with a family. There are also times out of the year when DH will be traveling every weekend for over a month.

For the most part, we leave the calling up to the person that stayed home. My tv shows aren't more important than my DH, but I can't just sit and do nothing while waiting for his call. Sometimes I will be watching a movie when he calls and he understands when I tell him that I don't want to miss it.

We text throughout the day and save the phone calls for late at night. After he knows the house has been shut down for the night.

gramma dishes

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #39 on: May 19, 2013, 03:29:32 PM »
There ya' go!  Good plan, Snappylt!   :)

guihong

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #40 on: May 19, 2013, 03:30:41 PM »
Snappy, I'm just like your wife (in that respect), and my DH and I had the same fight  ;D.  Talk to her before you leave so you're both on the same page :).



bloo

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2013, 03:36:00 PM »
I guess I had different expectations with an away-trip phone call; I missed her and figured she'd miss me, too, and that she'd be sweet to me on the phone.  Instead, when she expressed annoyance at being called away from her TV shows and crocheting, I took it to mean that her TV and crochet work was more important to her than I was, and I let it bother me for a long time.

As to the bolded, it really touched me and I think you should tell her that. Just like you put it here. But maybe you should promise to not keep her on the phone as a sweetener.

Many years ago, my DH said I always seemed to have a frown on my face and be annoyed when he got home. It made him feel bad about even coming home. He was right! He asked me to greet him with a smile and I started doing it and now it's a natural reflex to smile at him when he walks in the door (even when I'm about to choke one of our kids)!

sweetonsno

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2013, 03:55:57 PM »
Good plan. I agree that it's pretty sweet that you were a bit homesick for her (that is what it was. . . you missed her and hoped that she missed you, too). I also think you can be forgiven for not assuming that she'd be having a nice relaxing TV session/hot bath/whatever. You are not clairvoyant. Because you realize that she usually finds phone calls interruptions (rather than welcome diversions), I think a less-intrusive form of communication is better.

I agree with all of the PPs who suggested a two-pronged approach: discuss ahead of time and employ texting. Let her know that you'd like to talk on the phone once in awhile while she's gone, and find out what sort of schedule works well for her. Then, when you are in a "safe" window, send her a quick text letting her know that you're thinking of her and would like to have a quick chat if she has a moment.

MrsJWine

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2013, 04:16:53 PM »
I think I might be like your wife. For me, it's not so much that I'm too busy (although, if I am busy, that adds to my annoyance). It's that I'm deeply uncomfortable on the phone. It's not like a phobia; it's just this weird sense of displacement and inability to function over the phone like other people do. I feel like I'm trying to listen to sign language. So for me, the phone is a tool to take care of business and then be done.

I miss my husband when he's gone, but talking on the phone does not help that. It would be like if you were thirsty, and I said, "Eat this apple! It's delicious!" and you said, "But I'm thirsty, not hungry," and I said, "But it's organic! And home-grown!" It's probably not that she doesn't miss you; it's probably that talking on the phone does not fulfill the same needs that it does for you.

I talk on the phone with my husband when he's gone because I know he misses me and does get something out of phone chit-chat, but I'm always relieved and a little tired, even, when we hang up. I have a lot of trouble carrying a conversation with him (or almost anyone except the extremely chatty people), no matter how much I try, and it's awkward and stilted, even though we've been married 10 years. I like to know he's arrived safely, I like to know if he's having a good time or not, and I like to know when he leaves. I would be perfectly happy if he texted or emailed these things to me, though.


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Utah

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2013, 04:52:35 PM »
When my husband and I are together, our conversations develop over time, and the details tend to come out over hours.  When one of us is travelling, there isn't, to me, enough time to develop the conversation and reconnect over the phone.  I am not a chit-chatter and don't enjoy "just talking" on the phone.  Except for practical business purposes, I am just not a phone person.  I adopted email immediately, adore texting and messaging, and think I actually communicate with my husband more about the minutia of life during the day or when one of us is gone now that we have mastered them all.  Maybe this woman just doesn't like to talk on the phone.  You two need to talk, and maybe agree on a chat or to text.  I think it is vital to let people know of arrivals, transit delays, contact and location information, and other practical things.  There will be a compromise that suits both of you.  Talking to each other, listening to what each of you wants, being open minded,  willing to compromise, and coming to an agreement are all polite ways to address the situation.  The past is only relevant as a way to remind you the two of you need to talk about this so it works for both of you.