I hate to look wrong in the eyes of my beautiful wife. I know she knows I am not perfect, but I want to look as good as possible to her. Most men are this way, and as far as I can tell it is a much bigger pride issue for husbands than it is for wives.
This desire/fear results in men doing some stupid things. The classic example is the guy who will not stop and ask for directions because that would be admitting he is lost. So, he drives until he finds a clue – or gets lucky.
This fear is also why asking your husband about something can result in him burying you with reasons why he did or did not do something, or why he should or should not do something. If he perceives the question as an accusation of being wrong, he reacts by trying to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is right. I have done this because of Lori saying, “Why did you do it that way?” Turns out she asks that kind of question to get involved, to open communication with me. But I use to perceive it wrong, and beat her down with a storm of defensive words.
You may be able to avoid some of this if you communicate differently. If he hears curiosity rather than doubt or accusation, he will be less defensive. Try, “Interesting, I’d have done such and such, but your way works too.” You could also toss in a bit of flattery – something like “How did you think of such a clever way to do that?” or “That’s very creative, what made you think to do it that way?”
Yes, I know your girlfriends do not need these extra words to understand you, but then they do not have that pesky Y chromosome.
~ Paul – XY and mildly hearing impaired.
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