Hints are for puzzles

July 20, 2010

in Communication

Ever give your wife indirect hints, hoping she will so, or not do, something because of what you say – without having to actually express your concern, desire, fear or whatever? I’ve come to the conclusion that hint are for puzzles, and marriage is not should not be a puzzle.

Examples what’s said versus what is meant:

  • “I should probably do the lawn/laundry/trash/dishes.” = “I will do it if you don’t, but I really wish you would do it.”
  • “Are you tried?” = “I’m bored, can we leave already?”
  • “When did we last have sex?” = “YO! I’m way horny over here!”
  • “If it really matters to you …” = “I think you’re being selfish, but I’ll do it, and grumble about it all the while, if you don’t back down.”
  • “Getting to be the kids bed time.” = “I wish you would put the kids to bed.”
  • “Joe told me that he and his wife …” = “You’d be so much better if you were like that.”
  • “Look how late it’s getting.” = “We should go home before you are too tried for sex.”

There are many problems with hints:

  • She may miss the hint.
  • She may know you are hinting at something, but not know what.
  • A hint makes it easy for her to ignore what you want, even if she gets it. It’s like telling her you are not going to ask for real, so if she does not want to do it or discuss it she should just ignore the hint.
  • If she does not do what you want, you don’t know if she missed the hint or choose to ignore what you wanted.
  • We tend to assume the other person got the hint, and just is not willing – which makes for hard feelings.
  • She may see your unwillingness to just say what you think, feel or want as unmanly, and that’s not a good thing.

If you engage in hinting, ask yourself why. Do you hint about things you don’t think you deserve, but put them out there because you might get lucky occasionally? Do you hint to avoid direct confrontation? Do you hint as a way of nagging her about things you know she won’t do? Regardless of why you do it, realise it’s not good communication, and not helpful to your marriage.

7 comments
landschooner
landschooner

When it comes to sex I don't hint nearly as much as I used to. But the reason I hinted was so that I or we didn't ruin the entire evening. If its a rejected hint, then she can pass it off as not getting the hint and I can just let it slide. If I put myself out there completely then its much harder to hide the disappointment and she has to face the disappointment and it ruins the evening. Basically I wanted to have sex with my wife, not to end the evening with a downer, which is usually what my sexual overtures did. I don't hint nearly as much anymore. But to be honest, a lot of romance IS hints. Its suggestions and intimations and overtures of love and sexual advance etc. Because SHE will NEVER get around to the sexual part of romance, always wanting to remain in the pursuit part of the romance. So I've reduce the romantic pursuit since its counterproductive for us. Her sexual resistance has actually reduced what she was trying to attain. NEVER ever did I reduce romance because of getting sex. She got MORE romance from me, but she could never connect the two things. Like sex and romance are entirely unrelated. I reduced romance because of over 10 years of consistent rejection. Now, I just tell her "I want to have sex with you tonight" If she doesn't want to, I tell her "We haven't had sex in 17 days. We need to make love soon and we need to be making love more often" It works better than anything else I've tried.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@john toner - "Soft-Direct" - like that, I like it a lot! I also like your example - give her all the facts, then let her make a choice.

john toner
john toner

Great post. A while back I came up with the 2-word phrase "Soft-Direct" for family communication. We can, falsely, think that all "direct" communication is "harsh", leaving the either/or choice of either being "(harsh)-direct" with our spouse, or "hinting". There is a third option - Soft-Direct. You can say what you mean - but phrase it in a gentle way. "Honey, I'd like to leave this party in 15 minutes or less, so we'll still have energy for sex when we get home... but, if you want to stay later, that's OK too." That is "direct" - telling your spouse what you want, but also "soft" - making an appeal, not a demand.

Eric - BHF
Eric - BHF

This is a great reminder about hints. There seems to be a fine line between hints and kindness... Should we really say "YO! I’m way horny over here!" instead of the much gentler and kinder, "When did we last have sex?" .-= Eric - BHF´s last blog ..Is Your Wife the Problem =-.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Eric - BHF - I'd say neither of those is a great way to say it. The "YO" is probably how a lot of guys feel at times, but it's not kind. OTOH, I don't think asking how long it's been is honest - most guys know down to minutes how long it's been. I also wonder how it's heard - I mean if my bride asks me how long it's been since a mowed the lawn, how do I hear that?

devall1
devall1

I'm having trouble with these posts always going into spam. I have whitelisted Paul's e-mail address that shows up in the header. But these still seem to go to spam. Any help would be appreciated.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@devall1 - The full header address reads: noreply+feedproxy@google.com; on behalf of Daily Generous Husband Tips [paulb@themarriagebed.com] So it kind of depends on the way the spam system works. You can whitelist "noreply+feedproxy@google.com" which will clear all feedproxy e-mail - probably safe as they are very good about spam and opt in only. If you can whitelist by partial subject, "Daily Generous Husband Tips" is always in the subject line. If anyone has other ideas, or specific information for specific systems, please post.

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