Exasperated wife says “OK. Should I pick something up for us instead?” is the wrong answer.

Proper communication is vital for pretty much any happy interpersonal relationship, and that goes at least double for married couples. The tricky part, though, is that husbands and wives may not always agree on what qualifies as “proper” communication.

Recently, Japanese Twitter user and married woman @multikeeper sent out a now-deleted tweet, saying:

“If a wife suddenly says to her husband ‘There’s no way I can make dinner tonight,’ and he responds with ‘OK,’ don’t you think that’s strange? And then if he says ‘Should I pick something up?’ and thinks that’s supposed to be a kind gesture on his part, isn’t that weird too?”

For some, @multikeeper’s complaint might be hard to understand. If one spouse says they can’t get dinner ready, and the other immediately offers to handle the task instead, is that not a reasonable, thoughtful reaction? But @multikeeper’s dissatisfaction doesn’t lie with what the husband in her scenario says, but with what he doesn’t say. Other Twitter users who shared he irritation chimed in with:

If a wife says ‘There’s no way I can make dinner tonight,’ there must be something behind those words. She’s not feeling well, or she’s depressed about something, or something unexpected happened so she’s busier than usual. Doesn’t her husband think about, or care about, that? Just being considerate enough to ask ‘Are you OK? What happened?’ makes all the difference.”

“Sounds like my husband. He never asks ‘Are you OK?’ But when he’s feeling sick, he makes a big deal out of it. I think a lot of people who were raised having others worrying about them, but who never worried about others, end up lacking in human empathy.”

@multikeeper confirmed this was exactly what she was getting at, that by not asking his wife why she’d become unable to prepare dinner, he was also showing his indifference to whatever unspoken plight she was going through.

▼ Pictured: A woman who probably can’t make dinner tonight.

However, when screen captures of @multikeeper’s tweet were recently tweeted by another Twitter user, @B__E__W__B, it prompted several people to say her stance is overly harsh and unappreciative.

“This is an example of a bitter wife who’s turning a blind eye to her own inability to explain her situation, and instead painting her husband as cold-hearted or inconsiderate,” @B__E__W__B tweeted, and many others had a similar reaction.

“So is the husband supposed to be a mind-reader?”

“It’s important to tell people the things you want to convey.”

“If you’re feeling sick or something, just say so.”

“It’s a mistake to say ‘You’re not doing enough to understand me’ if you yourself won’t tell that person what’s going on.”

“It doesn’t make any sense if someone is talking to you about dinner and you suddenly jump to ‘Are you feeling OK?’”

“Maybe the husband thinks that if the wife doesn’t mention, on her own, why she can’t make dinner then that means she doesn’t want to talk about it, and that’s why he doesn’t ask.”

There were also a number of people who took a middle-of-the-road approach, saying that yes, it would be nice for the husband to follow up on “I understand” by inquiring about his wife’s physical or emotional condition, but that not doing so doesn’t necessarily reveal him to be selfish or unkind.

A quick glance at @multikeeper’s publicly visible Twitter account shows a steady stream of tweets expressing exhaustion and exasperation with her husband, so it’s possible that her harsh take on the “I understand” response is being colored by pre-existing marital friction. Still, regardless of whether or not it’s an absolute necessity, asking a quick “Is everything all right?” when someone says they won’t be able to do whatever they said they were going to is almost always going to be appreciated, and might be a smart habit to get into just in case your spouse shares @multikeeper’s opinion.

Source: Twitter/@B__E__W__B via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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