Why He Asks You Where He Left Things

Don’t tell your husband I said this, but odds are good your memory is better than his memory in many situations. A study done in Sweden a few years ago found women are better at “verbal episodic memory tasks”, while men are better at recalling “symbolic non-linguistic information”. Women are better at recalling things like faces, words, object, and everyday events. Men are better at recalling navigation. So you are more likely to remember what you went to the mall to buy, while he is more likely to be able to find the car when he leaves.

This means when you and your husband differ on the details of something from the past, your memory is probably closer to reality than his is. This is part of why I almost never argue such things with my wife any more. Aside from the fact it usually does not matter, she is likely closer to the facts. I have no idea how you convince your husband of this, because many men will argue they are the rare exception. Maybe just smile and let him have his say if the details do not matter.

Keys in the fridge © Paul H. Byerly

Where are My Keys?

Your memory strengths mean you are less likely to forget where you put things. You may also have a better chance of knowing where he put something if you saw him do it or saw the item later. This may be why “Where are my keys” is such a common thing for a man to yell to his wife. He is not blaming her; on some level, he knows she has a better memory for such things. 

Help Him Out

I used to be horrible about losing my keys, wallet, and glasses. I’m sure my dear wife cringed each time I said “Do you know where my…”. To save her sanity and mine she helped me create places for things so I was less likely to lose them. A hook by the door for keys. A bowl or box on a shelf right inside the door for things. A tray on the bedroom dresser for my wallet and anything else coming out of my pockets.

I also appreciate all the times Lori helped me look for something even though she had no idea where I left it. I felt cared about, and that is a good thing!

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m glad my head is securely attached.

Online fundraising for March RepeatBy the Way: Over the next five weeks, Lori and I are looking to raise $250 in recurring monthly support. We have not made much of a push for recurring donation for some time, and natural attrition has reduced what we have coming in. If you can help us out with $10, or $25 or more each month we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.

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2 Comments on “Why He Asks You Where He Left Things

  1. I am sure I am a great source of bemusement and exasperation for my wife the number of times I face this challenge. As you say…my wife’s recall is far better than mine. It took me years to not sweat the small stuff. SHe is more often right than me so I just defer. Rarely do I assert I’m right because most of the time I’m not 100% sure. That said, I can find myself somewhere and back again much better than she can. She knows this and asks for my help. I read maps; she reads people. Fair is fair.
    Dr Richard Norris recently posted…Marriage Is Meant To Be Addictive Not DisposableMy Profile

    • It is a real blessing when both spouses accept both their and their spouse’s strengths and limitations.

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