I’m struggling with the intro to this article because I have this sinking feeling that people are going to think I’m being unfair to women. I’m not. First of all, I’m a woman – a proud, confident woman at that. Second, there are plenty of things men say to their women on a regular basis that could fill a list exactly like this one. Don’t worry. I’m working on that list as we speak. The purpose of this article isn’t to shame women or make women feel bad in any way. Instead, the purpose is to call attention to some of the things we say to our men or ask our men that really aren’t fair in the grand scheme of things. After all, it’s hard to recognize something you’re saying might be leading to problems if it isn’t called to your attention.
05: Is she prettier (skinnier, hotter etc) than me?
I am not saying this to be mean. I am saying this to be honest and realistic. Somewhere out there, there is someone prettier, skinner or just generally hotter than you. It’s not the end of the world. You know who else needed constant reminders that she was attractive? The Evil Queen. Things didn’t go so well for her. Asking your significant other is someone is more attractive than you makes you sound insecure and that’s never a good look on a person – male or female.
In the end, physical appearance is rather unimportant. Your partner chose to be with you and while that initial attraction was based on the physical, the emotional connection you have is about a lot more than that. You don’t just love the person you’re with because you like the way they look in a pair of jeans. You love them because of who they are. If you’re not sure your partner loves you, you have a bigger issue on your hands than whether or not he finds someone else cute. If you’re not sure you can trust your partner to be faithful to you even if he finds someone else good looking, again, you have a bigger issue in the relationship you need to address.
04: Are you really going to wear that?
There is just no reason for this question to ever be posed to anyone. Ever. If you and your man are planning to go to some sort of event that requires formal attire and you don’t think what he’s chosen will be appropriate, tell him that. Point out that it’s a black tie event and a t-shirt and jeans might not be the best choice. Alternatively, point out that you’re going to a casual event and a suit probably isn’t necessary. Banana hammock to the office Christmas party? Definitely a no-go. In these cases, it can be helpful to mention your man may not be dressed appropriately but don’t go with the “are you really going to wear that” strategy. It makes you sound passive aggressive and nagging. It’s far better to mention why the outfit he’s chosen may not work.
Remember though, no matter what the circumstance, what your man chooses to wear is entirely his call and you have to accept that, the same way your man has to accept that whatever you choose to wear is entirely your call. You don’t want your man telling you what to wear and what not to wear so you shouldn’t expect him to be okay with you doing it.
03: Do whatever you want. I don’t care.
Of all the items on this list, this is certainly the one I’m most guilty of and there is nothing that drives my husband more insane. These two sentences have led to more arguments than I can count and for good reason. My husband has turned this one around on me all of twice and the blood boiling rage I felt was enough to prove his point. You care. Of course you care. Just say it. If he’s asking, he’s worried about upsetting you. If you shoot back with those two little sentences, he knows he’s upsetting you and he probably feels guilty about it. If you want him to talk to you – and you do want him to talk to you – you need to be open to having even uncomfortable conversations. He’s asking to blow off dinner at your mother’s so he can go have a drink with the boys? You’re upset about that? Tell him!
At this point, it’s important to point out that just telling him something upsets you probably isn’t going to be enough to stop him from doing whatever it is that’s bothering you but by being honest, you at least open up a conversation about it. Since you’re being honest and telling him that you’re upset, continue on with the honest and tell him why you’re upset. Maybe you had something special planned. Maybe he hasn’t been spending much time with you. Listen to what he has to say in his defense. A conversation needs to go both ways. Don’t raise your voice even if he does. Be calm and rational. Maybe he’ll decide not to do whatever he planned to do. Maybe you’ll decide it isn’t the big deal you felt it was. In any event, you at least gave it a shot.
02: Would you still love me if …?
Now, my husband and I do this one all the time but in a fun, lighthearted sort of way. “Would you still love me if I was bald?” “Would you still love me if I grew an extra arm?” That sort of thing – playing around and being silly because in truth, my husband and I are really just big kids. If you’re asking seriously though, you’re telling your significant other that you think your relationship is based on something other than love and that’s not a good feeling. You’re not just making yourself sound insecure. You’re making it sound like you doubt his feelings for you. If you’re honestly not sure if your man would still love you if you lost your hair, lost your eyesight, gained weight, etc, you’re not sure your husband is really in love with you and that’s an issue you need to look at more carefully.
01: If you don’t know, I’m not telling you.
If you’re upset, your husband doesn’t know why and you aren’t willing to tell him, he still isn’t going to know why. Men sometimes do things that upset us and while the indiscretion is blatantly obvious to us, it sometimes isn’t quite so obvious to the man. We don’t get off with a free pass here, ladies. We do it to men too. We upset them without meaning to and without even realizing it and no, they don’t always tell us. All the same though, the fact remains the same – if your man sincerely doesn’t know what he’s done to upset you, there is no possible way for him to remedy the problem and there is nothing to stop him from doing it again in the future.
It all boils down to communication. Men aren’t mind readers. They can’t just look at us, see that we’re upset and mind meld with us to get to the cause of our hurt feelings. We need to tell them. We need to explain to them why we’re upset and what has happened to upset it. It really doesn’t even matter if he isn’t the reason you’re upset. Your man can tell something’s wrong. Maybe you’re stressed out over work. Maybe you’re having some kind of friend drama. No matter what the cause, if your man knows something’s wrong but you won’t tell him what that something is, he’s going to think it’s something he said or did.
Turn the situation around. Your man is acting different. Maybe he’s quiet and distant. Maybe he just has that “I’m upset” look about him. You ask him what’s going on and he won’t tell you. What’s the first thing you assume? Exactly – you assume he’s upset with you. Don’t make him feel like he’s done something when he hasn’t. Your man is there to listen to you just as much as you’re there to listen to him. Maybe if you open up about some problem you’re having, he’ll feel more comfortable opening up about some problem he’s having.