The Rebuttal

A few weeks ago my wife and fellow blogger, Becca Chase, wrote a blog about the losing her keys and my “lack of mind reading” to help her in finding them. For some context, read her blog before reading mine.

So like the end of her blog states, I don’t remember this happening. I’m sure she’s lost her keys at some point or another but in this particular instance, I wasn’t on the ball.

I disagree. Wanna know how I know? Because I answered her question.

Her question was “Have you seen my keys?” My response was “No“. Direct question get direct answers (and all the guy readers begin to applaud like watching Joe Carter clear the wall and beat the Phillies for the world series). I don’t know if  I was reading a book, watching TV or staring out the window but I responded directly to what was asked of me.

Why couldn’t the question have been “Baby, can you help me find my keys?” or “Can you help me find me keys, babe?” or another question with the same words? Because then I would know the need and jump right on it. You see, once assumption comes into play (meaning: this person will know what I need and what I’m thinking) you always run the risk of being wrong. Yes, there are certain days when I know exactly what’s needed. Then there are days like the ‘key incident’. THEN there are days when I assume but get it completely wrong (There’s nothing better than doing something and instead of a ‘thanks, but…’, you simply see what you’ve tried to do simply get corrected, right?).

Basically, communication is the fuel on which the car of marriage moves forward for fun trips to the beach. No communication and you’re stuck on the shoulder of the highway, far from any exits. Guys need direct words. Without communication, men forced to think  and imagine what is wanted. And more often than not, it’s like one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books or we begin to combine 9 different conversations (i.e. “She wants me to take the baby out for a car wash then buy flowers at the NBA 2K11 dry cleaners? And not get dinner? Okay…”) and we get it wrong.

Ladies, never assume we know what you’re thinking or wanting. Here are the basic results of that line of thinking:

  • We honestly don’t know so we do nothing

  • We honestly don’t know but do something, hoping it’s right, knowing it’s wrong.

  • We do the BARE minimum (aiming for that 60%)

  • We nail it, get over-confident and mess up the next one, destroy our confidence and do worse the next time.

  • We ask a lot of follow-up questions.

  • We then do the same things to you…

  • We respond with the “Oh you wanted me to do THAT” face…you hate that, we know. It’s ingrained in us, like laughing at farts, doing air guitars, loving gadgets and action movies.

  • We start assuming for you and going WAY over board. Sometimes it works…other times, not so much.

  • And the worst one that can happen is this: Purposeful ignoring or avoidance. (imagine seeing someone you don’t really like in the mall walking towards you. And instead of TALKING to them, you run into the nearest store, waiting for them pass, so you can continue on your way. Now put that action into your apartment or home, knowing that you’ll be at the table with that person in 15 mins…)

Now I’ve been guilty of all of the above and after going on 6 years of marriage to my Becca, I’ve learned that some days you get it and other days you find out about it on a blog:) But I love her and getting better at the little things makes our laughter stronger, our story deeper and our marriage that much more of an adventure.

But seriously, couldn’t you have asked me to help you find the keys?

P.S. Just yesterday, before posting this email, the following exchange took place.
Him: Watching TV while ‘Her’ is out shopping. The Kid is sleeping. He hears the door open and the rustling of bags. His back is to the door so He continues in TV watching.
Her:  Once she is inside says, ‘Wow, you could help me, you know?’
Him: (In his head) “Why didn’t you just ask? I can’t see your amount of bags…what if it’s a day of ‘I can do it on my own’?”. But he gets up and helps anyhow…love does that sometimes, i guess. PLUS he knew he should have in the first place:)

5 thoughts on “The Rebuttal

  1. This is a great response, but I still think that -wife running around frantically looking for keys when late, asking if you have seen them- is a pretty obvious NEED HELP plea! But maybe thats our problem, we women think the obvious should be obvious. If only men would clue in then they could read minds like us women…lol….okay we can’t, but we think we can. Maybe thats another problem. Sometimes I think guys know what we need, but play stupid until we ask for it. We don’t ask because “it obvious” that we need help, and we dont want to bother you but we would love it if you would offer (how romantic). Seriously, why do guys somehow know it all in the beginning” Maybe because they are always thinking about “how can I please this woman”…so if you were in your first week of marriage I bet you would have been either
    A. shopping with Becca or
    B. waiting by the door for her to get home so you can run outside and get the shopping bags
    Its probably not the first time she came home with bags and needed help wither… I right?

    You know how men find it really hard to ask for directions, or help or advice…maybe a matter of ego… they assume that if we women don’t ask, its because we don’t want help. Communication in marriage is key, but is must be coupled with an understanding that each person is different, thinks differently, acts differently and reacts differently. So first we have to get to know each other, and then we have to remember….

    • Good stuff Tamz! Remembering is a good 2nd step. It still won’t work all the time (memory is faulty, you can never predict how someone will respond to anything, people change over time, etc.) but it’s a great base. That’s what makes marriage exciting. It’s never predictable. It’s always evolving, changing and demanding of our full attention. Becca simply makes it fun to be a part of. These stories are our reminders and hopefully they help others remember too:)

  2. Funny stuff, not to mock you, but I have experienced the same sort of things. We men are bad at interpertation. We totally need to have direct communication A to B. Hints and subtle nudges are lost on us and a total waste of time. Ladies we don’t get it. If the two of you want a good laugh about things like this I suggest reading “Cracking the Communication Code” Merna and I thought it was great, some real eye opening behaviors and explains why we do things on both sides of the fence. Reading it to each other would be the best.

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