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To find this habit utterly infuriating?

(58 Posts)
Lipsticktraces Thu 21-Feb-19 16:33:35

Please give me your opinions as apparently I’m BU!

DH has a habit of pretending he’s going to do the opposite of what I want/ask him to do. For example I might say “shall we get the babies ready to go out?” (We have six month old twins) and he’ll reply “No, we’ll stay in” He’ll then repeat himself a few times when I say we have to do as I’ve suggested. Or I’ll ask him if he’s getting up and he’ll say “no I’ll stay in bed” even though he knows he’s getting up.

I’ve just hit the roof after he’s done it for the sixth time today when I asked if he’s taking dog a walk (his response was “No, I’ll stay here”) He’s told me he’s only joking and I have no sense of humour. Am I wrong in thinking there’s nothing funny about what he’s doing and it’s actually incredibly passive agressive?

C1rrus Thu 21-Feb-19 16:35:07

I wonder if he finds your questioning annoying?

dudsville Thu 21-Feb-19 16:36:01

It's boring but small fry, I'd let it go and focus my efforts on more important matters.

ILoveBray Thu 21-Feb-19 16:37:45

It would get old very quickly for sure.

My husband has a habit of repeating a particular word in a strange way EVERYTIME I say it. It was funny the first time, now after the thousandth time I want to smack him.

No advice really, but I empathise. They think they're being funny. They're not.

AbbieDabbieDoo Thu 21-Feb-19 16:38:32

That would be really annoying but yeah, maybe it's the questioning that's annoying him so he's purposefully annoying you back? I have a colleague who always says, "can I ask you a question" in situations where it's really not necessary and she could just ask the bloody question. So I always say, "nah" or "don't know - can you?" instead of just asking why she's asking. I know I'm being childish and annoying...but so's she!

PomBearWithAnOFRS Thu 21-Feb-19 16:41:13

Start taking him at his word. So "do you want X for dinner?" He says no, you make dinner for you.
If he says "no we'll stay in" settle down comfortably and start reading or put a film on.
If he asks why, or what you're doing, say "ohhhhh, you were lying to me. Ok." and wait expectantly until he says what he's actually doing.

Lipsticktraces Thu 21-Feb-19 16:41:42

C1rrus Perhaps he does but the alternative would be nothing ever getting doneconfused

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Thu 21-Feb-19 16:41:48

I get you.

My husband has a habit of answering any question I ask with a yes or no but...and then basically telling me the opposite confused. So then I have to say, do you mean yes or no then?!

I have no idea why he does this. It’s very irritating though.

Lifecraft Thu 21-Feb-19 16:42:18

Just ask him to do the opposite of what you want.

"You are staying in bed?"

"You aren't taking the dog out for a walk?"

"We are going to have sex?

"You aren't doing all the housework today"

"You aren't going to let me disappear for the day whilst you have the kids?"

Holidayblues31 Thu 21-Feb-19 16:43:20

It’s like that awful sarcastic priest who assists bishop Brennan in father ted. Would drive me crackers

Lipsticktraces Thu 21-Feb-19 16:43:38

@Pombear @Lifecraft brilliant suggestionsgrin

Funkyslippers Thu 21-Feb-19 16:44:34

OP, my OH does something like that. It's very infuriating but I try not to let it get to me. Infact my OH just winds people up probably without realising he's doing it, it's his default setting.

Lipsticktraces Thu 21-Feb-19 16:44:46

@Holidayblues Oh god it is! Perhaps I need to lock DH in Father Jacks underwear hamper?

Strugglingtodomybest Thu 21-Feb-19 16:45:12

Six times already today? Yep, totally infuriating OP.

I like Lifecraft's idea!

sheldonstwin Thu 21-Feb-19 16:45:52

I think it might be a power thing, OP. My ex used to do a similar thing a lot. He would pretend that he had changed his mind about a plan we had made, or pretend that the shop was out of stock of what I wanted, or stuff like that but he would do this all the time.

In my case, I think my ex did it so then he could watch my face fall, and then watch me sigh with relief when he says he is only joking - it's a kind of mild but rubbish form of control.

TowelNumber42 Thu 21-Feb-19 16:48:03

It is annoying when people dress up a request or command as a question.

Taking the babies out. You asked him a question. He gave the "wrong" answer. You kept on about it until finally you told him that he has to do it. What have you gained? Don't do passive aggressive fake questions. Start with "We need to take the babies out now. Let's get our coats on."

Same with getting up. You were worried he would be a lazy arse and leave all the work to you. Your question was a fake question. Say "You have to get up now. I'm not doing it all on my own."

The fact that he is a lazy annoying arse is a different problem. A bigger one most likely. Still, stop with the fake/trick questions. Say what you actually want.

Lipsticktraces Thu 21-Feb-19 16:48:54

I’ve wondered if it’s a power thing but it just infuriates me and makes us argue. Where’s the pleasure for him in that?

If I wasn’t a seriously sleep deprived mother of two babies I might laugh it off more, but I am so I can’t.

ralphfromlordoftheflies Thu 21-Feb-19 16:49:32

I hate these 'jokes' which are, usually, perpetrated by a certain type of Middle Ages man. If there's an audience they glance around to make sure that everybody is suitably amused by their wit. I make sure that I stare back with cold, dead eyes.

ralphfromlordoftheflies Thu 21-Feb-19 16:49:50


cricketballs3 Thu 21-Feb-19 16:49:53

Are the questions you are asking obvious? For example DH might ask me if I'm going bed to which my answer is "no, I'm going to dig the garden over" as the answer is far too obvious to the question

ButterflyBitch Thu 21-Feb-19 16:51:37

My husband declared at the beginning of the year he would stop doing all the things that annoyed me. None of them big things. ‘Jokes’ ‘winding me up’ ‘saying something funny’ he was quite surprised by how many things I found annoying. Honestly the amount of times a joke has been repeated again and again. It’s like if I didn’t find it funny they first time then I won’t find it funny the 6th time will I?!
Anyway it quite a bit more peaceful now I dont have to constantly grit my teeth and restrain myself from knocking him out (joke)
Quite like the idea of turning it around on him,
You could try that

Lipsticktraces Thu 21-Feb-19 16:52:34

I don’t think so cricketballs. We’ll usually have discussed it earlier and agreed we’ll be doing it. So when I’m asking shall we get the babies ready it’s because we earlier agreed to take them out iyswim?

Tinty Thu 21-Feb-19 16:55:06

I hate these 'jokes' which are, usually, perpetrated by a certain type of Middle Ages man. If there's an audience they glance around to make sure that everybody is suitably amused by their wit. I make sure that I stare back with cold, dead eyes.

^ ^

And it gets old really quickly, I can assure you of that.

winsinbin Thu 21-Feb-19 16:55:46

My DH asks me blindingly obvious, unnecessary questions which drive me mad. It irritates me that he feels the need to question me about basic stuff so I often respond to as your DH does to you. If I am feeling more mature and reasonable I simply ignore them. I wonder if that’s the case here? That he’s finding your questions as irritating as you find his responses?

viccat Thu 21-Feb-19 16:56:56

I get you, my mother is like this! She used to cause so many embarrassing situations with it as well, for example she'd go up to a member of staff in a small shop and say "I wanted to make a complaint about the item I bought last week..." and as the staff member would look worried she would continue "it was simply too good, now I want to buy the same every week". Followed by fake laughter. confused

downcasteyes Thu 21-Feb-19 16:58:18

Oh God, that would drive me nuts too. It's just a waste of time and energy at a time when it sounds like those are in short supply. The fact that he's continuing to do it despite knowing that it causes conflict is just weird.

The way that men just expect women to laugh at their jokes - however unfunny - is infuriating. Next time he says you have no sense of humour, make sure you reply with "My sense of humour is fine, you're JUST NOT FUNNY!"

cardibach Thu 21-Feb-19 16:59:37

* ficket* in my family that question, or the related ‘what are you doing now?’ Is met with ‘eating bananas with chopsticks’. It signals that the question was daft.
OP Towel has the solution. Don’t ask a question when what you mean to do is state a fact/necessary event. Replace ‘shall we...?’ With ‘Let’s...’ or ‘we need to...’

cardibach Thu 21-Feb-19 16:59:56

Ticket sorry!

RatherBeRiding Thu 21-Feb-19 17:00:18

If it's something you've already agreed on (going out with DC), then he's maybe finding it annoying that you are now asking him if you should get them ready? So instead of asking "shall we get them ready" - rephrase it as "right, time to get them ready - grab their coats will you".

cardibach Thu 21-Feb-19 17:00:42

Argh! cricket.
Must proof read.

sheldonstwin Thu 21-Feb-19 17:01:15

I've remembered another one, too, from when I was in hospital. The bloke giving out dinners looked at me and said with a serious expression on his face ' no, you don't get dinner today'
I sighed inwardly and thought 'here we go, another idiot doing his little power trip and then in one minute he will smile and pretend it's all a joke'

The thing is, I'm too bloody old for this shite now so I just said 'Please give me my dinner' with a straight faced stare. At which point he went into his predicable routine 'haha only joking'

So-fucking-funny. Not.

Nesssie Thu 21-Feb-19 17:03:31

Our family answer to an obvious question is 'playing tennis'
Funny how different families have different sayings.

justbinthefeckinbyebyebox Thu 21-Feb-19 17:07:54

Op I thoroughly sympathise!

Does he value his life!?! wink
I've offered my mum an alibi, do you need one?

My dad is like this, my mum hates it. After 50+ years it still
upsets her but he only stops it for a while only to start again.
It gets so tiring.

CoolJule43 Thu 21-Feb-19 17:10:49

He is joking but you just don't find it funny (I can see why though - I don't think I would either).

When you ask whether he's going to getup, I think he's trying to say you're asking the bleeding obvious. Perhaps rephrase and just say ' Come on, time to get up now' or go out or whatever. Don't ask a question that requires a verbal response. Say omething that requires a physical action

Passing4Human Thu 21-Feb-19 17:15:45

I hate these 'jokes' which are, usually, perpetrated by a certain type of Middle Ages man. If there's an audience they glance around to make sure that everybody is suitably amused by their wit. I make sure that I stare back with cold, dead eyes.

My dad! Gawd it drove me nuts as a kid. He also used to say, "pardon my French" before swearing. Every. Single. Time.

Pernickity1 Thu 21-Feb-19 17:26:08

I agree with sheldonstwin it’s a power play for some men. My husband does something similar. It gets REALLY annoying when it’s done constantly. He hates being “told what to do” so I’ve concluded it’s a play to keep some element of control.

God even thinking about it rules me up! And I’ve just realised he’s done something similar over text today.

Me: “please come straight home today (he often diverts to his parents/some unnecessary work shite) it’s a crazy house and please pick up some milk we have none left”

For context I never make “demands” like this but I have a terrible flu, one child on antibiotics practically delirious with fever and another attempting to take her first steps and falling over and crying her heart out every few minutes, amongst other shitty things that happened today.

Anyway his response:


Followed by “Important work things to do”.

He’s being sarcastic and will come straight home but he says this crap all the time and it’s annoying - it’s not remotely funny? And particularly on days like today.

He also has a long commute and sometimes ill ring to see where he is for various reasons - if I need to go somewhere will he be home on time to watch the DC/ I want to know when to put dinner on etc. and he’ll NEVER just tell me where he is. He’ll say something like “on the road” and I’ll say “where” and he’ll say “between work and home”. Every. Time. I’ll eventually snap and he’ll tell me but surely it’s not normal to wait for your wife to snap before you answer a simple question? Even if he can hear children crying in the background and I’m clearly busy? Has to be control doesn’t it?!

Sorry OP - I’ve gone on a rant on your thread blush it just infuriates me!

Pernickity1 Thu 21-Feb-19 17:28:38

*riles me up not “rules”

KickAssAngel Thu 21-Feb-19 17:28:39

See, my parents would do this thing of pretending to ask me a question when really they were telling what to do, and often being quite controlling. I therefore automatically gave a 'wrong' answer just to be annoying. However, I have grown out of it.

But if there have been 6 times already today that this has happened, then it means that you are asking those kinds of questions 6 times and/or he's incapable of self motivating and needs reminding 6 times.

So - be honest with yourself. Does he need this kind of control technique to make him do things, or are you chasing him when he'd do it anyway?

supersop60 Thu 21-Feb-19 17:33:59

OP - as PP have said, don't ask that kind of question. It will take his un-funny responses away, and you will get a chance to say what you really want. eg please get up - I need your help etc etc.
pernickitty - ask him how long he'll be, not where he is (it sounds controlling). and he wants the control

SisyphusDad Thu 21-Feb-19 17:39:52

Do it once, you're a wit.
Do it twice, you're a half wit.
Geometric progression.

Missingstreetlife Thu 21-Feb-19 17:44:00

Don't ask any questions. Seriously.

Pernickity1 Thu 21-Feb-19 17:46:12

I’ll try that supersop60 though no doubt he’ll come up with some other “witty” retort like “17 hours” or “I don’t know - how long do you think?” hmm

troubleswillbeoutofsight Thu 21-Feb-19 17:47:47

Is it a form of gas lighting do you think?

llangennith Thu 21-Feb-19 17:55:42

Does ANYBODY else share your DH's sense of humour? It'd drive me nuts! Don't ask him, tell him. "We're getting the babies ready to go out now. Move." And glare at him if he looks like he might be about to say something he alone finds funny.

Crikeyblimey Thu 21-Feb-19 18:04:20

If you are asking direct questions and he is being obtuse, then he’s an unfunny twat.

However, if you are asking passive questions ‘shall we’ etc. then stop it. It’s draining and I don’t blame him for an odd response.

My sister can’t ask outright what she wants and it is draining. Even today she possibly said to my other sister ‘I’ve not boiled the herd for lunch’ expecting my other sis to say ‘I’ll do it’. Rather than ‘can you boil the eggs please’. It sounds like a very small difference but fuck me it gets very old very quick.

Just say what you mean ‘i need you to...’. or ‘will you...’.

Crikeyblimey Thu 21-Feb-19 18:05:10

Passively not possibly ffs

Crikeyblimey Thu 21-Feb-19 18:06:01

Oh ffs - eggs not herd (that would have been a massive lunch)!

newnameforthis7 Thu 21-Feb-19 18:07:47

He sounds very annoying.

I second TELLING him what to do. Not asking...

Hidingtonothing Thu 21-Feb-19 18:09:15

Have you tried sitting him down in a quiet, calm moment and explaining that you don't find it funny, that it adds to your stress and affects the way you feel about him and that you have enough on your plate and just need a straight answer? Maybe ask him whether the way you approach things does irritate him in a similar way and get him to suggest alternatives instead?

It could be a communication issue or it could be a control thing, either way laying it bare by clearly telling him it's becoming a problem will make it more difficult for him to carry on doing it. If it's communication you can come up with a compromise that works for you both and if it's control and he tries to carry on doing it knowing how it makes you feel you can refer back to the conversation and call him out on it every single time.

newnameforthis7 Thu 21-Feb-19 18:11:04

I'd feel like chucking a glass of water over him LOL.

rainydayinmarch Thu 21-Feb-19 18:11:17

I hate these 'jokes' which are, usually, perpetrated by a certain type of Middle Aged man. If there's an audience they glance around to make sure that everybody is suitably amused by their wit. I make sure that I stare back with cold, dead eyes.

I have to agree with this. So many men (often aged 40 to 60,) think they are fucking hilarious. My DH is a dear man, but his 'joking about' really gets on my tits, and he thinks he is soooooooo funny, and yeah, he says something 'funny' really loudly and looks around to see if someone is looking.

One example is when a cashier asks 'would you like cashback?' and DH ALWAYS says 'ONLY IF IT'S FREEEEEEEEEE!' grin




He thinks he is hilarious and quirky. The (female) cashier thinks he is a cunt. When I say 'ffs you say that every time! It's not funny...' He says 'well SHE smiled!' What he doesn't realise is that she is being polite. Deep down she thinks he's a nobhead, and he's the 50th middle aged man this week to try and be funny.

It's always with women too, never men.

But so many men (in this age group,) are the same. My daughter and her young female pals (aged 20-30) report tales of men like this - often at work. Middle aged men (usually portly and balding,) who think they are HILARIOUS and quirky, and that all the laydeez think they are amazingly charming and funny and attractive. With their practical jokes and windups.

Even DH comes home some days from work, telling me how he wound up this 18 y.o. young woman ('Megan') at work up by conning her into believing some bullshit. And then says how 'me and 'Megan' have such a laff at work.' ('Megan' is approx 35 years younger than him and thinks he is a massive nob.) I know this because every young female I know thinks middle aged men who try and be funny are sad cunts.

Why do middle aged men do this? WHY? Are they trying to convince themselves that they've still 'got it!' And that the laydeeez love 'em? confused

Fucking annoying. Coz on the rare occasion I do it, DH just looked annoyed. And although he thinks it's funny when he plays a practical joke on me, he gets really arsey if I play one on him. Funny that isn't it? Practical jokers never like it when you turn the tables on them!

gamerchick Thu 21-Feb-19 18:16:36

I don't ask the husband a question, I just tell him I'll let him do X,y,z. Like I'm doing him a favour.

Don't ask the question, he can't be a knob about it then.

Trippedupagain Thu 21-Feb-19 18:32:34

Oh my lord, you have my sympathy if you don't share your OH's sense of humour. My OH can be a total nightmare at times, so annoying in different ways I can't begin to tell you, but he makes me properly laugh on a regular basis.

cordeliavorkosigan Thu 21-Feb-19 20:04:42

YANBU, that would totally infuriate me. I'd be trying all sorts to get it to end.

MerryBerryCheesecake Thu 21-Feb-19 20:47:13

It's as if some of them don't know when pissing about is appropriate and when it's not.

Mine has a touch of form for this.

If I'm stood there holding two bits of wood together and say, 'pass me that screwdriver', He will go "what? This one?" , when it's the only one out then wave it about just out of reach with a 'say please" while laughing. Thinks he's being cute and funny. I have to resist the temptation to give him a serious poke with it.

There's a time and a place for ha-has, while I'm in the middle of a DIY task is not one of them.

redexpat Fri 22-Feb-19 05:28:14

Are you danish? Thats a very danish way to formulate a sentence. Drives me crackers. Uou could say right its time to get the babies ready. Take the question out.

GreenDragon75 Fri 22-Feb-19 05:50:49

My dh pretends he hasn’t heard me - every single bloody time - or he fires questions back about really insignificant bits of the story pretending he is confused. It’s to delay what I’m saying and wind me up. . It infuriates me now - I never repeat myself anymore. Most of the time I just stop and walk off or start doing something else. I think he thinks it funny but it just makes me not want to talk to him.

FineWordsForAPorcupine Fri 22-Feb-19 06:30:13

If someone tries the "I was just joking" I deadpan back "you need new material".

But I have been guilty in the past of phrasing responses in the form of a question, ie "would you like to chop some onions?", "do you want to hoover the sitting room" etc. It invited sarcastic replies. It wasn't until one boyfriend became exasperated and straight up told me how annoying it was that I really understood and stopped.

Looking back, it was something I'd picked up from my mother as a way of "asking nicely". In fact , it was passive and annoying, and now, if I have a request to make I just say it straight out (with appropriate please and thank yous).

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