Author Topic: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)  (Read 9372 times)

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Iris

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2013, 05:26:31 PM »
I'm the same as Mrs JWine*. I genuinely miss my husband when he is not here but I don't enjoy our phone calls at all. I much prefer a text conversation which can develop more slowly and (to me) more naturally. When you talk it out with your wife you may find the same thing. Not wanting to talk to you on the phone is probably no reflection at all of how much she misses you.

Or she could be like my mother and brother. Both of them have people they love truly and deeply, but if they''re away, they're away. They really don't miss people. It's like a compartmentalizing thing or something. I don't understand it myself but it's just the way they are.



*on an unrelated note my phone tried to autocorrect this to swine repeatedly. Mrs JWine, if I ever call you a pig I would like to apologise in advance :)
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miranova

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2013, 06:26:41 PM »
When I'm on the phone I feel "on" the whole time.  If there is a pause at all, it feels awkward.  Because of this, I only enjoy phone calls if I or the other person have lots to talk about so pauses are avoided.  Texting, emailing, and instant messaging don't come with the same "always on" feeling.  Pauses are more natural and even expected.  Because of this I rarely call people other than my husband.

I call my husband daily on my way home from work, but that's because after a day of work we both have plenty to talk about!  There aren't any pauses and usually I'm still on the phone with him when I pull into the driveway.  But there is something different about out of town calls.  When he is out of town he is VERY busy so I can't just call him on my way home from work, I have to wait for him to call me, and it's usually late at night and I'm exhausted and not really in an overly talkative mood.  Sometimes the ringing phone literally wakes me up, and half the time he forgets that there is a time difference and that it's later where I am!  So I'm sure sometimes I sound annoyed or don't feel much like talking, and I think a few times he has been hurt by it, but we talk about it and I explain that he can text me as much as he wants all day and I will respond but 11:30pm is not the best time for a meaningful phone conversation. 

It sounds like your wife didn't intend to hurt your feelings.  Your feelings were valid, certainly, but you discussed it and it's time to move on.  Just set reasonable expectations for this trip and keep in mind that both of you will probably have to compromise.

Yvaine

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2013, 06:32:10 PM »
When I'm on the phone I feel "on" the whole time.  If there is a pause at all, it feels awkward.  Because of this, I only enjoy phone calls if I or the other person have lots to talk about so pauses are avoided.  Texting, emailing, and instant messaging don't come with the same "always on" feeling.  Pauses are more natural and even expected.  Because of this I rarely call people other than my husband.

This is a very good point! I hate long awkward pauses on the phone, and they do happen if there's not much to say. I'm in an LDR and we've discussed this--if we're both tired and don't have any anecdotes on tap, it's so much harder to interact on the phone vs. when we see each other in person. When the other person is right there, you can just quietly cuddle when there's not much to say. On the phone, I feel like I have to fill all the dead air with something interesting.

Jocelyn

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2013, 08:07:45 PM »
(Background: ) 

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.   
It would be retaliatory rudeness.
Even more, I'm concerned that this is still so painful to you after five years, that you're fantasizing about hurting their feelings as yours were hurt. This goes beyond the expertise of an etiquette board.

Jocelyn

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home?
« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2013, 08:20:14 PM »


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.
  My father had a rare gift for walking into the family room in the last 5 minutes of a show, and beginning talking, so that those of us who'd been watching couldn't hear the end of the program. It was especially annoying, considering that the rest of us were required to wait until a football play was over before passing between Dad and the TV.  It was annoying that we could remember to look to the TV before we moved, but he couldn't remember to look at the clock before he began talking.
So yes, I can see that a family member might be annoyed at a phone call's timing, especially if it disrupted the count on needlework which could mean having to undo and redo work. The call might have come after a long frustrating evening of trying to get a pattern to turn out right, and having to do it over again more than once.   

Perhaps the wife answered sharply. Perhaps she even continued to be sharp and frustrated during the call. But this wasn't last week, it was 5 years ago. That's a very long time for a husband's hurt feelings to be left unresolved. And that, I think is more of an issue than who was or wasn't rude to whom 5 years ago.

cicero

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2013, 10:33:47 PM »
Snappy that sounds like a good idea. Talk to her before the trip and listen to her. And tell her that you do miss her when you are not together - that is a sweet thing for a spouse to hear

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zyrs

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #51 on: May 20, 2013, 04:05:25 AM »
It's a good plan, snappy, but make sure that you both agree to a level of communication that fulfills both of your needs. 

Gyburc

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #52 on: May 20, 2013, 07:22:33 AM »
Snappy, I can sympathise - you sound very much like me, and your wife sounds very much like my DH! DH really isn't much of a phone person and doesn't get very chatty when calling; I often seem to catch him at bad times when I phone him. Also, when he is travelling without me, I have to remind him to call me just to let me know he has arrived safely. He doesn't really 'get' that I worry about him and like the reassurance of a call.

(On the other hand, I have to admit that I do enjoy the time to myself when DH is away, and it can make me pretty cranky if he suddenly tells me that he is actually going to be home when I thought I would have some peace and quiet!  >:D)

I think you've had some good advice, and you're obviously thinking things through. Do tell your wife that you miss her!
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joraemi

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #53 on: May 20, 2013, 08:11:13 AM »
I didn't read the whole thread, so if this has already been said, I apologize.

The thing that came to my mind is: You teach people how to treat you.  Normally this means in terms of setting boundaries,etc.,  but I don't see why it can't apply to modeling the behavior you would like to see from your spouse.




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bopper

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #54 on: May 20, 2013, 10:10:40 AM »
Model the behavior you wish your spouse to exhibit.
"Sweetie, give me a call when you arrive."
"What time would be good for us to chat"

rashea

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #55 on: May 20, 2013, 10:26:06 AM »
I think it's good that you recognize that this wasn't really a departure from the way she normally answers the phone. That might help.

But, I think she needs to work on her communication. If you're so busy that you can't answer the phone without sounding annoyed, let it go to voicemail and call back later. Honestly, her not wanting to talk for a week would have hurt me as well. Even just a quick "everything going well?" works. My partner is much the same about phones, as in, he can't stand using them. So we compromise on sending emails when we're apart. Or messaging. And that works, because we're both more expressive that way at times, and it's easier for us to keep going with the normal things of life. It satisfies my need to connect, and his need to not have to talk on a phone.
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Vermont

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #56 on: May 20, 2013, 12:35:15 PM »
I do think you had the right to be hurt by her reaction 5 years ago. Her response was an indication that she was putting her desire to watch a TV show rerun above her interest in you and how your trip had gone. Sure, it might have caused her to loose 5 minutes of her call, but politely saying "Glad you called. How was the trip? No, not much going on here. I'm doing some crochet and watching TV as usual. The boys are upstairs playing games. How about I have them call you tomorrow night?  When would be good."

I used to travel a lot. It was always expected that I would "touch base" at least on the first day of my trip. I might call when it wasn't a good time for the family to talk and I was ok with a "We're watching Lost, can we talk to you tomorrow?"

Snappy, I think your plan is a good one. Since she doesn't enjoy phone calls, but the ball in her court to call home. You can say "I'd like to get a call or text daily to know how things are going."

Wordgeek

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Re: How rude is it to be annoyed by a call home? (updated:#36)
« Reply #57 on: May 20, 2013, 01:01:01 PM »
Insofar as this is an etiquette issue, the matter has been resolved.