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Please explain sarcasm to me

(48 Posts)
brightnearly Tue 21-Mar-17 17:33:24

Things have not been easy between DH and me forever for quite a while now.

I get frequently accused of being sarcastic, and I simply do not get it at all - I really don't quite understand the concept!

He tends to write the shortest text messages and emails to me; mostly things like 'Ok' or the bare essentials ('Leaving now'; 'My holidays are on these dates' etc).

I'm actually sad that I don't merit a friendlier conversation style, and have teased him before about it - saying for example that I appreciate his concise style, or something to that effect. Especially if I've written a detailed message, just to get 'OK' as a response.

He says he's too busy to write, but today he managed three whole sentences in an email - telling me off for 'shouting' at him in an email.
(I had said 'But the children are at school then!' - I wouldn't have thought this is shouting.)

I replied that I was amazed by his eloquence.
He said that was my 'typical' sarcasm.

I get that this is tongue-in-cheek - but I thought sarcasm was actually malicious?

Please let me know what you think - maybe my communication style is bad!

Adora10 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:36:46

He sounds the sarcastic one tbh; fact is you don't sound like neither of you like each other very much.

brightnearly Tue 21-Mar-17 17:39:32

Well, he certainly doesn't like me very much, and I don't like the way he treats me.
But I don't want to inadvertently be sarcastic and horrible - or be confused because I've been accused of being sarcastic when I'm not.

Adora10 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:41:35

If I didn't like the way my partner was treating me I'd not worry about being sarcastic: I'd worry more about my future with him.

category12 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:43:31

How is your spoken, face to face communication?

brightnearly Tue 21-Mar-17 17:45:03

Bad. If the conversation does not go the way he likes, he goes and hides in the bathroom and tells me to go away.

As a last resort, he threatens divorce.

I 'am' the problem, according to him.

brightnearly Tue 21-Mar-17 17:46:36

But am I sarcastic?

Primaryteach87 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:48:08

From your response about being eloquent, he would think that you were using it as another opportunity for having a dig at him. If you weren't trying to sound annoyed and genuinely wanted to 'peace make' with him you would have said something like 'sorry love, that wasn't meant to be a shout. Xxx'.

I'm not saying you are unreasonable or not in being annoyed or you should peace make. Just translating :-)

annandale Tue 21-Mar-17 17:48:11

Your responses do sound sarcastic. I think being sarcastic by text or email is a minefield. I would copy him and keep written info straightforward -say only what you mean. Use sarcasm against yourself, face to face only - see if it helps.

category12 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:48:28

Well, I would be thinking of relationship counselling or taking him up on his offer, depending how far down this road you are. It sounds really poor between you.

What's good in this relationship?

category12 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:50:15

It doesn't sound as if there's any benefit of doubt between you, no presumption of good will.

Billybonkers76 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:51:20

I think messages via text can be misconstrued. What you write teasingly, with a smile on your face, can be seen as sarcasm if he's not in the same teasing mood.

brightnearly Tue 21-Mar-17 17:57:24


See I thought that making that remark about eloquence/conciseness was a gentle way of saying that I felt quite short-changed in terms of communication.

He has no goodwill towards me, I think. At all.

Ohyesiam Tue 21-Mar-17 18:00:49

I always think that irony is funny, but sarcasm had a bite, and intends to bellittle. So it's about where you are coming from. Of you intended to be light hearted, you are being ironic, but I don't imagine he will see it that way.
He, on the other hand, sounds very passive aggressive.

Lweji Tue 21-Mar-17 18:09:26

You did seem sarcastic or ironic, none particularly good if things are already difficult.

I also don't see the need for the ! in that sentence. It looks quite forceful.

What's the problem with his short replies?

What happens when he hides in the bathroom? What do you say to him?

The thing is, if you want to address your communication issues you will need go ask people who can observe your interactions face to face. That could be friends or a counsellor.

Lweji Tue 21-Mar-17 18:11:17

He, on the other hand, sounds very passive aggressive.

He tells the OP about how he thinks her sentence was shouting. She replies about his eloquence. OP, you seem like the passive aggressive one to me.

brightnearly Tue 21-Mar-17 18:12:09

Aha - yes, irony!

That's exactly how I mean it - not to belittle or hurt, but just to express this feeling of 'Come on, I've just spent quite some time on this message, and you just come back with 'Ok', as if I was some anonymous, random person delivering a service to you'.

brightnearly Tue 21-Mar-17 18:13:30

Sorry, I actually explained to him that I was merely surprised, that's why I put the exclamation mark.

Illstartexercisingtomorrow Tue 21-Mar-17 18:17:43

I think you perhaps are not communicating what you actually mean.

You said he was eloquent when actually you were pointing out he was concise. Two different meanings. If my spouse and I were not getting on and one of us told the other they wet eloquent in their response I'd take it as sarcasm. If he or i had said concise then that's just pointing out a fact and giving a clue as to why it's upset you

frieda909 Tue 21-Mar-17 18:20:52

Yes, your messages are exactly what I would describe as sarcastic, and a little passive aggressive.

Gentle teasing can be ok when things are generally going well, but if you already have problems then saying things like 'oooh you're so eloquent today' is just going to come across as a dig. Which, from the sound of it, is exactly how you meant it.

I don't mean to be harsh. I have a close friend who is absolutely dreadful at written communication and is constantly upsetting people via text and email. She will then always be completely bemused and not understand what she's said wrong. She'll show me these messages and I'll wince because it's so bad but she just cannot understand it.

annandale Tue 21-Mar-17 18:22:16

So why didn't you text exactly that? (from Come on onwards). Was it because that would be too confrontational? Then putting the same thing ironically doesn't help, it's just confrontational and a bit nasty.

Save complex interaction for face to face communication.

brightnearly Tue 21-Mar-17 18:31:34

I think I'm not explicit/assertive because I fear I will get told off.

If I say that something hurts me, he will come back and say that I actually do that thing myself, and hurt him!

If I'm not communicating the way he prefers (like making a sarcastic/ironic remark), I might get punished - I was left to cope on my own with toddler/baby in tow during an outing with the ILs, because I had upset him and he decided to sulk in the car.

He has threatened to cut outings short/driven home to sulk as well, to punish me.

If I say how nice it would be if we were nice to each other, he accuses me of being a hypocrite, since I wasn't nice myself.

If I have a different opinion (say - I don't think leather shoes should be rinsed with water when you clean them, he does), I am accused of causing an argument.

It gets quite tiring to put up or shut up!

frieda909 Tue 21-Mar-17 18:34:25

It sounds like things are very difficult in general. I'm sorry. When was the last time you actually felt happy to be with him?

brightnearly Tue 21-Mar-17 18:37:56

About 10 years ago. sad

memyselfandaye Tue 21-Mar-17 18:50:37

Why do you bother? I'm not being arsey btw, but honestly why do you live like this?

It sounds utterly shit, split up, divorce and go and have happy lives, seperately. Life's too short to waste 10yrs of it in misery.

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