Have you ever heard “forgiveness is easier to get than permission?” I have an ethical problem with taking advantage of this dynamic, but I’ve worked in jobs and churches where permission was almost impossible and forgiveness was easy. At the very least this encourages doing things without asking or informing those who should be involved. Sometimes it’s so bad avoiding “proper channels” is the only way to get things done.
Sadly a lot of marriages work the same way. The version of this I want to discuss today is the man who never tells his wife what he’s going to do because he knows she will gripe* about it. If she’s going to gripe about it anyway, it seems easier to just do it and then get the gripping on the backend. Often the backend gripping is less than what would have occurred had he discussed it before doing it. Other men know they’ll get the same amount of backend gripping regardless, so just doing things saves them the upfront hassle.
I’m all for informing our spouses what we are going to do. I’m not suggesting we text each other with what we’re ordering for lunch, but keeping each other in the loop is common courtesy, not to mention loving. Unfortunately, a skewed permission vs forgiveness dynamic can make such sharing feel like a bad idea.
Might this be part of why your hubby is reluctant to share what he’s thinking or tell you what he’s planning to do? Are you unintentionally making it less of a hassle to just do things and deal with the fallout later?
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I had a blueberry chocolate smoothie for lunch.
* Yes, “gripe” is a nice way of saying what the men are thinking.