Why “Don’t You Agree” Can Be A Trap

Have you ever said “Don’t you agree?” to your husband?

Why "Don't You Agree" Can Be A Trap

While this can seem innocent enough, it’s not. This is seeking a yes or no answer for what may be a complex multi-issue thing. For example: “I think we should stay home this Christmas because the kids get cranky when we travel and your family is always horrible to us.” Maybe he would like to stay home but does not agree with one or both of the other things you said. 

This can also be more of a vote between you and someone else. For example “Lori said ‘blah, blah, blah’, but I think she’s wrong – don’t you agree?” This can be seen as more about the people than the ideas.

A much better question is “What do you think?’

And yes, men do this too, and it’s just as wrong. My suggestion if you’re on the receiving end of this is to reply by saying what you think. Start with where you agree (if you agree at all) and then share where you differ.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I hope you agree with this post! ;-) 

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7 Comments on “Why “Don’t You Agree” Can Be A Trap

  1. I usually ask a question about a situation & say, “what’re your thoughts?”.

    It allows for him to respond with honest feedback and lesssens the blow to me if I don’t necessarily “LIKE” what he has to say (because, after all, I DID ask him what his thoughts were).

  2. I’ve been speaking “man” after all when it comes to this. I use the exact words you suggested. Even thought if I disagree with what he has to say he will tell me I had my mind made up already so why did I bother asking. But I do want his opinion and depending on what it is, like making plans I will find a way that we can come to an agreement so we are both happy. But when it’s something purely opinion based, say if we are talking politics, I will stand my ground on what I think unless he gives me a new way of looking at it that I didn’t think of before.

    • My husband is the same way. I want his thoughts, opinion, leadership, and direction. It may or may not change my opinion or decision (because I am an adult, too), but 9 times out of 10 it does. Sometimes, yes, I have made up my mind, but I seek his blessing. If he approves or indifferent, I feel good about going ahead. If he is totally against the idea, I won’t.

      Unfortunately, he often disengages, argues, or gives up because he thinks I am just going to do what I want anyway, so why bother him.

      This comes from growing up with women who did do just that. I have spoken with him about it, and learned to alter how I say things so he hears me and not his mom or grandmother or aunts. However, I still encounter darned if I do or don’t situations, or situations where he just disengages and a decision HAS to be made. In those circumstances I pray about it and make the best decision. The crazy cycle thing is, in him doing this and forcing me to make decisions unilaterally, he reinforces in his mind that I am like his relatives, when in reality my heart wants nothing more than to be an active, cimmunucating partnership.

        • I think the biggest damage is parents acting like their behavior is justified. I am far from perfect and dealing with mental issues (anxiety, disproportionate outbursts) and taking steps to heal, but in the meantime I try not to justify my actions or my sins. I apologise, I teach boundaries, I do what I can to help my children grow up healthy and wise instead of creating damaging coping skills.

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