To fall out with OH over questions?!(187 Posts)
My OH and I had what I would say is our first proper arguement. He was off with me, I asked him what was up and he told me he doesn't like how I speak to him sometimes. He says I snap at him when he asks me stuff and make comments which make him feel a bit rubbish.
Now I totally know I do this (well not the comments bit, I don't like that), but I can see me doing this and understand why I feels like that. But the reason is because I am so fed up of him asking me things before he has even remotely thought about the answer for himself. It drives me crazy.
After our darling little dog decided to wee on the floor - where's the floor cleaner? It's always in the same place and he knows this. I said where do you think it could be and he tells me where it is. So why ask me?!
Changing our DS - has he got clothes? You know full well he does and you know where they are kept.
Making tea - how do I cook this/how long does this take? Read the bloody packaging.
These are a tiny few examples of the automatic questions I get constantly (I should note these are not my actual responses but what I'm screaming in my head(. Now I 100% wouldn't have any objection if he had taken a second to think and genuinely didn't know but this is simple stuff that he could quite easily use his own brain to work out. I explained this to him and also explained that when he is helping out with DS or Making dinner it's so great but with the constant questions I feel like I be aswell have done it myself! And it doesn't give me a chance to switch off. He says I'm weird and that that's how people communicate and he doesn't understand why I get so annoyed. I said how will he learn if he keeps asking me, how does he think i know these things or find out when he asks me?! Then he stomped off to the shower and we've not spoken since (this was about 10.30 last night).
Am I right to be so frustrated by it? I feel bad to make him feel rubbish but It really does drive me crazy. If he just thought about things for a split second he'd know the answer to most of the questions he asks me! Arghhhh.
You are right that it is unnecessary. My children do this and it drives me mad.
However if someone is abrupt with me for a valid reason and snaps it upsets me too. After all it should be about the content of your speech and not the delivery!
My DH does this. The message that he is giving is that he will do the task ie cleaning, child rearing etc, but the responsibility remains mine. It is really annoying.
I have the same issue with DH and after years of just answering, I just started asking back "what/where/how do you think?". Recently was him asking how much conditioner to add to the wash WHILE holding the bottle in his hand! I've explained to him that this kind of deference in not endearing, but actually comes across as "this is too insignificant for me to think about, so despite you being busy with something else can you do my thinking as well as yours?"
However, he has told me that the reason why he asks is because I (admittedly) come across as controlling and I've been known to redo something he's done, so asking is almost like seeking validation. So, I've had to learn to let go a little, and he's had to learn how to think for himself and take initiative.
It would annoy me, too. However, if this is your first real argument and you've already got a DC, you're doing well!!
You do need to discuss this. Something along the lines of 'No, I don't believe this is how normal couples communicate. It makes me feel as though I have another child, not a partner. However, I do realise I shouldn't snap at you, that was rude and I'm sorry. In the future, I'll just not answer the questions when I know you know the answer, which gives you the opportunity to answer your own question without me feeling pissed off. How does that sound?'.
My DH does this too. I get cross and tell him to use his own brain. I hadn't thought about why he does it but JustPopping sounds spot on.
I totally get your frustration. It's a perfect example of how the male and female brain work differently. My DH is a bit like this sometimes and I find it frustrating because before we got together he was perfectly capable of functioning on his own but now he will take the easy way by just asking me, and yes, it feels like you can never switch off. Example the other day.
Him: do we have eggs? (as he opens the fridge door, knowing that's where they are kept)
Me: yes, plenty
Him: Eggs, eggs, eggs, where are the eggs (muttered to himself but loud enough for me to hear as he gazes vacantly into the fridge)
Me: If you think I'm getting off my arse to come and retrieve the eggs for you because you, at the age of 51 have yet to learn to move inanimate objects to see what is behind them then think again. Look for them like a woman!)
Him: moves butter and finds eggs
Me: Silently screams
My DH does this with specific things such as the washing machine. When he asks I say to him 'I'm not going to answer that question'.
He then just gets on with it.
You're absolutely right to challenge him on it, it's an annoying habit that serves no purpose other than to prevent him using his own brain.
I think it's time for a sit down chat so you can express your frustration. I can see how he's hurt by your response to him but he needs to understand how annoying his questions are.
YANBU. Stop helping him! If he asks, just say "I don't know, you'll have to look/check/read the instructions."
He'll stop asking if you stop helping him all the time!
I totally get where both of you are coming from. It's annoying but being snapped at isn't nice either
This is one of the reasons I left my DH. Every single thing he ever did required my input. If he was making me a sandwich I'd be called into the kitchen to "see if this is all right for you" - I am not picky, have my preferences but eat anything put in front of me. If he was dressing DD I'd get "what shall I put her in" - "clothes" would be my usual response. Maybe they're all like that, I don't know, if so I won't be in any hurry to move someone else in as I just can't bear it. It's lazy and assumes your time is worth less than theirs.
And I rarely actually helped and he never stopped asking for 20 years! So that tactic doesn't work.
Thanks ladies! He said to me last night he wants to feel like my team member but feels like my apprentice because of how i speak to him. I said well it kinda does feel like he's the apprentice because of the questions. I said when he is home and takes DS it's great but because of the questions i feel like I'm just looking after him looking after DS and I don't get to switch off. I really don't want to back down from this. He needs to use his own brain.
I used to work with a girl who was the same - she drove me nuts. I told him that too!
3 years in MrsV! We are one of those lucky couples that just get on. It's very lovely (when I'm not cracking up answering pointless questions).
I spent years biting my tongue with H, patiently answering questions like this! Then I started answering with " We've lived in this house the same length of time, the powder/conditioner/whatever has always been in the same place, so why are you asking me?"
It's one of the (many) reasons we are now divorcing! Funnily enough, after The Conversation, he had a 'lightbulb moment' and was suddenly capable of completing all those tasks without referring to me at all.
So in his case, it wasn't that he believed I was too controlling, it was simply that he was too lazy to do it himself. Or thought, as a pp mentions, that they were too insignificant for him to be troubling himself with.
Only you can answer which camp your DH falls into. MsVestibule's conversation sounds good; have a go with that.
I agree with Hermione
My DH used to do this all the time and I started to get more and more snappy and sarcastic in my responses. He blamed it on his terrible memory, but I felt like he just couldn't be bothered to remember where he had put things because he knew I would. We had many an argument over this.
When I started answering 'I don't know' to most of his annoying questions, he stopped asking. We haven't had an argument about this issue in ages.
It's a perfect example of how the male and female brain work differently
It's bollocks like this that lets men get away with this crap
Male and female brains don't work differently at all, but men are taught that bothering with household details is beneath them so they delegate it to the nearest female. It's so deeply internalised they don't even realise they are doing it.
Sounds like you have got stuck in a bad cycle. You talk down to him, he feels crap and asks more and then you carrying on talking to him like that.
Not saying you started it though. Probably impossible to tell where it started.
I explained this to him and also explained that when he is helping out with DS or Making dinner it's so great but with the constant questions I feel like I be aswell have done it myself!
The words 'he is helping out with DS or dinner' jumped out at me.
He thinks this is your job and that he is just 'helping you', so you should be grateful.
If he thought he was equally responsible for parenting then he would learn to do the tasks himself. And he is wrong, people don't 'communicate' by asking questions about things they could easily find out for themselves.
And I thought it was just my dh I'm taking comfort from this thread. Lastinthequeue - that's exactly it - its like its beneath them to actually waste their superior brain cells on something soooo trivial.
bran - it sounds like he is stuck in the bad cycle
where's the hoover ? Oh I'll just ask George even though its lived in exactly the same place for years.
My OH does this but I hadn't really noticed it properly or found it annoying. I bet I will now though, oh dear!
He's asking where, how etc not because he doesn't know but because he wants you to do the task in question.
That would drive me insane. Utterly insane.
My husband does it. And I snap at him when he does, or give him sarcastic answers - if he is going to irritate me with stupidity then I am going to irritate him by being arsey. He is better now and does it less.
As to why, I don't quite get it because he is a lovely and smart man. I think partly it is a default reaction when he doesn't know where to start with a task, partly to get a bit of recognition for "helping" - a bit like a dog wagging its tail when you praise it, and partly for conversation. He likes small talk and I hate it, so we do clash on that sometimes.
He still says thank you to me for doing the washing up, even though that drives me potty. I am not doing it as a favour to him, just as he doesn't do it as a favour to me. It is just a task that gets done by one of us every day.
I don't see why we need to attach emotion or praise/reward scenarios to mundane tasks and I do not consider them my domain.
Many years ago now, when my DD1 was still a preschooler, I was repainting our hallway. DH said he would make her some lunch.
I suggested that she really liked hot buttered crumpets and there were some that he could toast. Nice and easy, right?.
A few minutes later, back floated the question of "How do you toast crumpets?" Not even bothering to think that perhaps it would be in the toaster or under the grill.
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