Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ask the Faithful Readers #1 - Questions You Hate Your Spouse to Ask

It's the weekend so I thought I'd try something fun and different. Several of you have submitted wonderful questions about important issues in your lives, which I appreciate very much. (And I have some interesting topics lined up for the next few days, so stay tuned.) Today, though, I want to turn the tables and ask your opinion on an issue of my choosing.

Dear Faithful Reader,

Does your spouse ever ask you a question that makes you groan inside? ...or maybe even outside? You know what I'm talking about, where you just want to say, "I wish you wouldn't ask me that!"

I sometimes hear about "no-win" questions, where all possible answers seem laden with problems. Consider this one: "Honey, does this dress make me look chunky?"

How might a husband respond? Let's try, "Yes, I'm afraid it does."

Uhhh ... no. That's a complete wash-out on so many levels. So how about:

"No, of course it doesn't make you look chunky."
"Oh you wouldn't tell me even if it did."

So I'd like to know: What question / request do you hate hearing from your spouse?

Signed, The Inquiring Advice Guy

Comments are probably preferable for this one (rather than emails), since I'm sure everyone would like to see the responses. As a small perk, I'll pick my favorite response and feature it in a post of its own, with a link back to the winner's blog.


  1. Actually, if I'm asking if this dress makes me look chunky, I really want to know. I hate the whole double standard as it falls on men for this one. If I ask a woman if she thinks a dress makes me look fat, I'll usually get a useful answer, maybe "Uh, maybe - I don't like where that seam falls. Who designs this stuff, anyway?" (Note, by the way, that all the blame for chunkiness in this scenario is placed on whoever designed the garment, not on my love of sweet potato fries.) Luckily, I've finally convinced my husband that I have no intention whatsoever of giving him a hard time for his answer. I asked.

    And most of the time, he also blames the clothing designers.

  2. hit a sore thumb here.

    I spent most of my early days as a model. Always on, always made up, always dressed as though I were going to a photo shoot.

    Many years have passed, (20 or so), and I have let myself relax a little when it comes to style.

    The question my husband asks that completely bites me is this:

    Here's the scenario: We are about to go out and I spend an hour getting ready, great hair, great makeup. I come down the stairs and my husband sees me and asks:

    "Is that what you're going to wear?"

    It sets me on fire each time!

    I've come up with the perfect response though, especially after I see that his belly has...well...let's say expanded a little over the years.

    I shoot back to him:

    "If you take off that fake belly I'll go change my clothes."

    This usually ends the conversation pretty quick.


  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :-)

    There's really nothing that my SO says to me that makes me groan, other than when he rambles on about his gun collection. "This is a shiny new 22-45-857474646274617 ruger triple fudge covered, blah, blah, blah, double barrel, action lever, blah, blah, blah, rifle, shotgun, pistol some kind of thing, with a compass and a scope and a thing that tells time, and here's the hard case and this is how the lock works." Haha. Yeah, good for you. I don't care. I used to pretend that I cared when we first started dating, but now it's like, "Shut up already." But I love him to pieces. I'm sure there's a million things that I say that make him groan. We won't ask him though. :-)

  4. Having never been married I don't have any insider knowledge. But, one big dilemma comes with truth-telling.

    "You should've told me about it a long time ago! Why did you lie?"
    "Because the truth would just upset you!"
    "Don't lie to me again."
    "I can't promise I won't lie, I'll always lie if I know you'll be upset by the truth. You are happier not knowing. See how nice it was here 10 minutes ago?"
    "But that was all false happiness!"
    "No, the happiness was real. My words were false. Can't you just accept the fact that if I'm lying, it's probably for a greater good?"
    "No! How am I going to know when you are telling me the truth if I think you might be lying?!"
    "That's what trust is."
    "No, it is not!! It's not trust if I know you are content lying."
    "I would tell you the truth someday once I had resolved the issue."

    This kind of situation can be very problematic because most people who lie feel they are doing a service to their partner by shielding them from the truth. And with that reasoning, they'd probably continue to lie regardless of how bothered their partner is.

    "See? This is exactly why I didn't tell you."

  5. As opposed to shan I have been married for 34 years and I can tell you that the same thing that shan mentioned has happenned several times in my marriage mainly about the children.
    He "Why didn't you tell me this about son no.1?" or
    "You knew about this all along!!"
    But after all that, fairly recently he told me that he was pretty glad I hadn't told him some of the stuff that I'd kept hidden cos he would have died of panic! So my worst question from my husband would be "Are you keeping something from me?"

  6. Would you rub my back?

  7. Seeing as I'm single at the moment, and it seems so long ago since I wasn't, I can't quite remember a question that makes me groan. Oh except maybe the "Is everything ok?" question that I get if I happen to be having a quiet moment. I can't be up and bubbly 24/7 you know. We all need our down time.

    As far as the question mentioned in your post is concerned...I did ask my youngest son (13 at the time) "Does my bum look fat in these jeans?"

    His response?

    "Mum, I don't even want to go there"

    That pretty much answered the question for me anyway didn't it? lol

  8. Hi, new here, followed you from Dr. Deb's.
    First ... glad your daughter is learning sign 'just because' ..that was why I learned it, same age ..and I'm 41 and still signing!

    Second the question ...

    "Why didn't you tell me?"

    I DID
    No, you didn't
    Yes, I did!
    No, you didn't. I pay attention, I know what I've been told and what I haven't been told. I'm sick and tired of everyone saying they've told me something they haven't told me.

    (me thinking ...everyone it's not JUST me I'm not the central problem here?)

    I did tell you ... we were in the car on the way to church, and I told you XYZ.

    Well, you shouldnt' have told me then. I wasn't thinking about what we would be doing this week. I never pay attention to what's coming during the week on Sundays! You should tell me at a time I'm going to be paying attention to you!

    eyeeyeyeyeyeeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeey *smacks head*

  9. "Is my bald spot noticeable?"

    "You really enjoyed that didn't you Sweetie?" (after sex question)

    "Why won't you help out at my office and with my business?"

    There are just a few Doc Andrew.


  10. Oh, man. let's see. The only thing I dislike him asking me is "have you been working on your thesis?" Because I was probably procrastinating it. If you asked him, he's say "Good God she never stops asking me about the past girls when I told her I only wanted to remember her as the first and the last, not the others." or "Oh God, I hate it when she asks me about a second wife and then gets all weepy. I told her we can't see into the future and that I was 100% sure I did NOT want one ever."

    Because yes, I am just THAT insecure about myself. My task is I am trying soooo hard to NOT ask these questions and not live in a series of past reltaionships and what ifs but rather what is concrete. I do realize it's me, being insecure with myself and what I percieve as my ability to "hold him" (as if I have all the control over his emoitons?! I know, silly) or "how I measure up" (which I know is totally not how *I* judge people, why would he be any different? he has stated he loves me for me.

  11. I am single now but when I have been with someone I opted to be honest rather than lie.
    I have found that lying only makes it worse.
    Sat you are asked if you wife/husband looked good when if fact they looked horrible and you opted to take the easy way out and be safe and then they found out that they looked horrible
    Who do you think will get the blame?
    Honesty is the best policy even if it means a little grief.
    It’s better than being a liar and put on the firing line for it.
    Have a nice day

  12. It's late at night, we've both gotten into bed after a busy day and we're both exhausted.

    My husband turns away from me and asks, "Will you scratch my back?"

    I groan aloud!

    "I'm exhausted, I don't want to scratch your back."

    "Scratch my back, pllllleeeeeaaaaasssseeeee."


    "Why not?"

    "Because if I have to move my hand to scratch your back, then I'm not falling asleep and I'm tired!"

    Almost every night we go through this routine. Sometimes I give in and scratch his back for a while. Other times I don't.

    Oh, and Heaven forbid if I ask him to scratch my back!

  13. Okay... Mine has nothing to do with how I look. The question that aggravates the hell out of me is when it's time to "shop" for something... say a prom dress for my daughter. I say "I need to take Krysti shopping for a prom dress" and he says "Okay, how much is it going to cost?" ... like I can pull a figure out of the sky and tell the store this is what I'll give you for that dress! I say "I don't know... we haven't been to the store yet!" ... He does this with EVERYTHING! In recent years I've given up and I just buy the damn dress on the credit card and let him whine about it later!

    Now... I'll tell you the question that I ask HIM that drives HIM crazy. It is this... "Honey, what do you want for dinner tonight?" ... I think I'm being nice to ask -- he thinks I'm trying to drive him insane! His typical response is Pheasant Under Glass! So... he has trained ME so that now I say "Honey, your choices are baked Rockfish, Tortellini with mushroom sauce, or egg salad sandwiches... which would you like for dinner?" LOL!

  14. While dating my future husband, he once said he would love me forever and a day. I sighed, and then I asked him if he had ever said that to anyone else before. Silence. Yes, he said he told his last girlfriend the same thing. I married him anyway. It took guts to be honest.

    Mother Jones RN

  15. "How much was your check?"

    Ah man, busted again!

  16. Anonymous5:23 PM

    I heard some really funny responses to does this dress make me look chunky (fat). Though I have asked the question myself, I thought the responses were funny.

    When asked that question your partner could say with impunity

    a) Compared to what?
    b) I've seen chunkier.

  17. I hate it when my fiance asks me "Where do you want to go for ddinner?" because by the time we;re in the car ready to go, I've worked a 12 hr. shift and I'm too hungry to form words. After three years of this, we've devised a plan: the Not Game. As in, Not Chinese, Not Italian, Not burgers. It's much easier to know what you don't want than what you do when you're starving!

    And my fiance hates my quirky little speech habit of beginning questions with "Would you ever..." Would you ever rub my shoulders? Would you ever grab me some water? His response that makes me groan: Yes, I would ever. And then he sits there. When I make a face at him, he says in mock surprise, "Oh you want it NOW?" Ugh.

    We're getting married in 68 days. :)

  18. Here are the questions that make me groan:

    "So, what do you think?" - after he hangs another picture too high or shelf at an angle.

    "What did you get??" - after I get home from one of my fun parties - you know, Southern Living, Pampered Chef - like he really wants to know. He might as well ask what her really wants to know - "How much did you spend?"

    "What would you think about me...?" - this is the question that always ends with him either buying something frivilous that he doesn't need and never uses or him going away on a trip without me. He returns tomorrow from Cameroon!

    Finally: "Do you have anything you need to do tonight?" - translated means "I want to go out and was wondering if you could take care of the kids so I can go have some fun!"

    I rarely groan, but I always roll my eyes - and then we usually laugh about it! For real!

    Oh, and he was in Cameroon for our 12 anniversary. We've only spend 1/2 of them together!!

  19. The hated spousal question - "How much money did you spend?"

    My response is more than likely silence because its usually more than I should have.

  20. ANYTHING.....while in the passenger seat of my car. My hubby is the BIGGEST backseat (passenger seat) driver EVER! And I'm a good driver..... really..... what, you don't believe me?

  21. hmmmm....I havent been married for years..( doing a little happy dance here) but I guess 2 questions he would ask me that drove me up a wall were:

    1. When are you coming back???

    2. Who are you talking on the phone to? ( he usually ask that WHILE i was on the phone..grrrrr)

  22. Kickin' him6:58 AM

    there are no particular questions i hate...

    it's just when he asks the SAME question 3 times... i want to kick him... hard. :)

  23. The questions I hate from my husband usually have to do with "Where is my_______?" It might be a pair of shoes HE took off and put someplace or a tool HE was using. Many times I will say "Well, gee honey, I wasn't using your screwgun (or whatever) so I wouldn't know where it is." He really expects me to know where everything in the house is. That drives me insane.

    Or another one that happens ALL the time: "Where is the ketchup?" (Or whatever else he is looking for)

    Me: "It's on the bottom shelf in the fridge."

    Him: "No, I looked."

    Me: go over to fridge, bend down, hand him the ketchup from the bottom shelf.

    Him: Stop hiding things on me *laugh*

  24. "Were you about to say something"
    "seriously, you started to say something"

    - I hate this because generally I was about to say something, but decided not to, for a good reason, I don't necessarily want to explain.

  25. Anonymous5:51 PM

    OK, this _really_ drives me insane, but I'm afraid to say anything to my husband about it because he's extremely hypersensitive and would probably take this as an attack on his sexuality.

    On many occasions when we're alone at home doing whatever, out of the blue) he'll look at me and ask:

    "Do you want to see my c**k?"

    For the reasons I mentioned above, I am essentially obliged to say, "yes". Thereupon he will whip it out and stand there with his arms out and a big open-mouthed grin on his face like a dirty little three-year old if his c**k was the greatest thing on the planet.

    Early on in our relationship I thought this behavior was cute, but after three and a half years I have to admit that it really disgusts and infuriates me. I mean, forgive me if I don't feel like stopping whatever I'm doing to worship his precious penis any old time HE feels like it! It's manipulative and tiresome, not to mention a tad bit narcisistic. Egad!

  26. i think that people need to be totally honest with each other...100 percent completely honest

    now saying that, what i hated to hear him ask is, 'do you love me today?'

    because some days i do love him and some days i'm just in like.

    so, i answer what i am feeling for the moment\day...yes, i'm crazy about you or no, not today

    he's finally accepted that i'm still around, not going anywhere -- so that must count for something

    now, he jokes about it every once and awhile - which is a good thing

    what i think is most important is when people can be honest with each other, ask what ever questions they want/need and then allow their SO to reply how they are feeling..

  27. Dear anonymous with the exhibitionist for a husband:
    He may be hypersensitive, but you must be honest and tell him this is not working for you. If you thought is was cute to begin with, then he is responding to that positive reinforcement. If you now feel differently and he doesn't know, then he has no basis on which to change. As much as you don't want to hurt him, it's not fair to him to remain silent on this one. This is damaging your relationship (to what degree only you can know, but at least a little or you wouldn't have mentioned it) and only you can stop that from happening.

    I would have the conversation at a time of your choosing, not when he asks you the question. Say, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I need to make a request for change." You can do it!

    All the best,

  28. My husband has a habit of calling me every now and then and saying, "We have a problem."

    My mind clicks off the possibilities I think of as problems; his engine blew up, he was fired, he's in the emergency room. With a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I ask, "What's wrong?"

    His typical answer, "They're out of your favorite brand of blue cheese." Or toilet paper, or white wine, or coffee, or other barely necessary item.

    I could smack him for scaring me but I love him too much.

  29. Just a few....

    Don't you think that those scrapbooking supplies should come out of your personal budget?

    Hmmmm...were you at Barnes and Noble again?

    Are you sure you want that 2nd (or 3rd)drink?

    Rub me?

  30. The irksome question for me is some version of: Are you ready? Especially when asked upwards of an hour before the target time. Variations are: Are you packed? How much longer before ____? What do you have left to do?

    The worst of all is: When can you be ready? because this is usually asked when an outing is sprung on me and the target time is ASAP. I just want to say Never. I'd rather stay home.

    He and his family of origin are sticklers for being on time. Even early. I am as irritated by his need to be at work more than 30 minutes before he has to clock in as he is by my procrastination and the perpetual chaos surrounding my preparations for going somewhere.

    My family of origin is notorious for being late. My Dad's attitude was similar to my husband's. It was my Mom who had the poor time sense. We were often fifteen to twenty minutes late to Church. I have improved on their track record with an average that is under ten minutes while my brother has been known to be hours late. My Mom almost made us late for my Dad's funeral last October.

    There may be some ADD involved as my sister and her son were diagnosed with it several years ago and she thinks she sees all the signs of it in me and our brother and mother. But I'm skeptical as their diagnoses weren't done with brain imaging, just questionnaires and my research on ADD reveals that many professionals believe it to be waaaay over diagnosed.

    The most recent occurrence of the dreaded question was last Saturday afternoon when my husband asked, Are you packed yet? This was made worse by the fact that he asked just minutes after I had asked him to clarify the exact time I was supposed to be ready to leave for his Grandmother's where I spend Saturday nights while he and his folks go to the dirt track races. I had just calculated from his answer that I had 2 hours--plenty of time to take a fifteen minute sit-down break from the chores and preparations--when he asked. I didn't want to arrive at Grandma's exhausted.

    I forgot his mother was in earshot and I popped off with: I don't need you to be my Daddy! My face is still burning over that one. It is hard to conduct a relationship while living in the home of one's inlaws!!!

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  32. Do you like your hair like that?

    I'm not sure if that is a hint that he doesn't like it and would like it changed or really likes it and hope I do as well.

  33. Your question, "Does this dress make me look fat" is one that should be forbidden from the marital language. Young lithe bodies never think in those terms. They are confident in their lean, lovely bodies. Then, later in life, the thighs start to dimple, upper arms become bat wings and tummies become rounded. She has just seen these things in her mirror and has the stupidity to ask someone to deny what she already knows. Do we lose our minds when we gain a few pounds?
    Oh, yeah, on to your question ---
    My least favorite question from my honey comes as we are getting ready for six months in Florida. I will have piles of things stacked around me clutching at my legs, lists of things clutching at my brain, washer running, dryer spinning and a harried look on my face, he will look up calmly from his man chair in front of the T.V. and say, "What time will YOU be ready to leave?" After having packed the maps, the snacks and all assorted types of "stuff", he will want to know if I managed to remember that box of new golf balls that were sitting somewhere in the house or garage.

  34. My mind is reeling trying to think of just one question to ask... I enjoyed reading the comments and many of us are in the same boat.

    I don't ask any questions that have to do with fashion, why bother... on one of our first dates, he wore a shirt that reminded me of the clowns in the rodeo, it told me right there and then that he would never know the difference between a good or bad, fat or skinny dress.