I just think it has a lot to do with how people process language. Some people can’t engage in any activity (thinking, watching TV, reading, driving, listening to music, even eating) and still be alert and receptive to spoken language. They seem to have to be actively listening BEFORE you say something in order to hear it as meaningful language, and not just background noise.
I do it when I’m reading too - I can’t process written and spoken language simultaneously, especially if it’s different languages (I usually read in English, and don’t even register when my dh says something in Serbian). Then again, I’m less distracted when something in Serbian is on TV and I’m reading in English.
I don’t think it’s something people should be blamed for, anyway.
I once read that a mother should ask her husband and children to do things “so sweetly she could not possibly be refused.” It works, my DH and children do whatever I ask, happily. The down side is my daughter is emulating my technique.
I hate being ignored also. Biggest pet peeve ever. It’s like the ultimate expression of treating someone as a non-human. If someone were ignore me when I call them to dinner or ask for help with something, I would probably tell them how insulted I was and that I expect an apology. They also might end up eating bread and water for dinner.
I tend to feel the same as the OP, but having suffered 20 years of being expected to work out what others were really saying to spare them the pain of articulating anything directly, I go to great lengths to say/ask exactly what I mean and no more and no less. If someone wants me to do something I expect them to ask me directly and I will even become quite “obtuse” on occasions where I suspect game playing.
I expect a response of some kind in conversation even to statements, not just questions, as a matter of courtesy. Doesn’t need to be a big deal, it only needs to indicate I have been heard and the other party is listening. I grew up in a family that shared none of my interests and talked over the top of me all the time and instantly changed the subject when I talked about anything I cared about, so it’s a bit of a red button with me. It was symptomatic of deeper problems to do with the complete inability to recognise personal boundaries and my separate identity as an individual, but that’s a long story. It’s my problem, not other people’s, but when I explain it I do expect some level of respect for my sensibilities.
Do your best to be sure he can hear you. My wife will ask me a question from another floor sometimes and I hate it cause I can’t hear what she is saying;
If this is a big issue, make sure he’s aware that it is an issue to you. If you have already done so, but he still fails, remember that all husbands and wives have annoying quirks. If he is still a great husband in most other ways you might have to live with it to some extent. After all, no less then Father Corapi has said that some of us don’t need to wear hair shirts for penance like the saints of old because some of us LIVE WITH our hair shirts!;
I would suggest re-phrasing the question, as such: The baby needs a bath today, could you please see to it that it gets done before she goes to bed? Rather then stating it has to get done now, give him a chance to do it when it’s convenient for him. Also leaves no excuse:)
(I’m not too concerned about the “if she wants it now.” The baby will need to learn to live around her parents schedule…and I know it can be easier with kids when they are in the mood to do something but they also have to learn to do stuff when they don’t want to do it).
Best of luck to you from one who doesn’t always hear his wife, either…pray for patience for her, too:)
Totally agree. If I make a direct, unambiguous request, I always get a response (and usually a very willing one). If I beat around the bush, expect my husband to be a mind reader or set him up for criticism because he didn’t anticipate the need or take the initiative, things go a lot less smoothly.
DH and I were at the farmer’s market the other day. I saw some peaches and cream corn - I said “ohhhh peaches and cream corn, dosen’t that sound good”. DH said “why do they call corn on the cob cream corn?” and kept walking.
Had I said “let’s buy some corn”, I’d have had corn for supper.
A second echo here. My husband would not hear the OPs request as an actual request, he would hear it as an optional suggestion. A direct, “would you please…” is almost always met with an immediate response in my house though.
Now, whether or not the baby actually gets clean is another story…
Actually when I think of it, the way bath time works in my house is: “Would you please run the bath for Allen, put him in it, and watch him till I finish , and then I’ll come in and finish him up?” Notice the detail in instruction here. If I were to say, " Would you please give Allen a bath for me?" Hubby would be just as likely to wipe him down with a wet wipe, that is after all much easier than filling the tub.
Not that this thread is about bath time in particular, I mention this to say that specific instructions more than likely produce specific results!
I am a woman. And an engineer. It would never occur to me to say anything other than, “let’s buy some corn”. I know a man (also an engineer) who commented to a waiter 20 years ago that “that chardonnay would probably be nice” and who is still waiting for it.
**I understand that being direct and to the point is a good thing. That’s not the problem. Hubby has no problem doing what needs to be done or helping me out.
It is the not knowing IF I have been heard that bothers me. It doesn’t matter if I am making a comment on the weather, asking him for help, or telling him about something. More often than not it appears as if he is not listening because he doesn’t respond…at all. But most of the time he does here me when I ask if he heard me:rolleyes:
the next day “SO do you think you could do what you said you would?”
“Huh? Oh yeah that – yeah sure I’ll do it”
…and he stands there…
So I finally learned to say “can you do THIS NOW?”
Otherwise I have come to learn that “sure I’ll do it” can often mean:
“It’ll be done when YOU do it!”
Once I made that joke he got the hint and is a bit quicker about getting things done.
He’s great guy, and he’s a great procrastinator – which is so endearing, a man after my own heart – as I can be the world’s biggets procrastinator too! LOL Between the two of us we really have to nag or nothing get’s done!
Oh my! Are you sure we’re not living with the same man?
My DH fails to respond to alot of what I say too… and it irritates me too. I might as well be talking to a wall!
But, in his defense, I usually pick a time to ask him something or make a comment about something when he is watching TV, or tying his shoes or some other intellectually draining daily task. :rolleyes: I’ve figured out that the man just isn’t wired to do more than one thing at a time.
So… I am TRYING to get in the habit of first saying “R, can I ask you something or are you busy?” Then, one of two things happens… he’ll say, “Sure, what’s up?” Or more likely, “Well, I’m terribly busy throwing this napkin in the garbage. Can you hold on until I am finished with this task that requires all of my attention?” OK, so he doesn’t really say that, but basically, I just try to get his attention and have him let me know when he’s available to listen.
Annoying? Sometimes. Less annoying than getting ignored? Yup.:yup:
You said “The baby needs a bath today, so if she’s interested, she could have it now.” Your husband isn’t being non-responsive, he’s still waiting attentively for you to tell him whether the baby is interested.
Well then jump on top of him with both knees in the chest, that will get his attention!
Seriously…I am very skilled at tuning people out. It’s a defense mechanism that I developed since childhood for preserving my sanity. I am also not very good at chit-chat. Sometimes I get home from a frantic day at work, a harrowing commute home, and I’m finally back in the safe zone at home. My wife might start talking about what her friend told her today, make comments about the weather, tell me that the cat caught a mouse today, tell me that we’re overdrafted by $500, tell me what she bought at the grocery store, tell me how her mother is doing, etc…
I might have missed the part about the overdraft (example). The main message is buried in all this other stuff. Later we’ll have the, “no you didn’t, yes I did,” spat about the overdraft. A little charity both ways would have saved the day. For my part, I should pay more attention, and for her part, she could let me “decompress” a bit before starting in with the chit-chat. Or get my attention, unambiguously. Amazing that once I hung on her every word, but after 13 years of marriage, I confess that I sometimes do tune her out when she feels like being chatty. But then, she knows that because I got that “thousand yard stare” going on and am as responsive as a zombie. She snaps me back into reality if she needs my attention, but sometimes, we both drop the ball. Other times, I’m all ears, and walk into the house asking her what went on during the day. It’s really a two-way street. Maybe the day-to-day married life has worn us down, and our marriage is overdue for a little tune up. I suspect I know what you are going through, but you haven’t told us much about your DH. My advice is to talk about this with your husband, with him pinned to the floor if you have to.