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Indirect Questions

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This topic contains 42 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by avatar CET 4 days, 13 hours ago.

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  • #810554 Reply
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    Questions

    The times now where One of us gets annoyed are when it really is misunderstanding. Although I will admit there were times I knew what he wanted and just answered the question anyway. Like if he asked if I wanted to watch A Netflix show that I’ve told him before I don’t like. And I would just say no. I knew in those cases that he obviously wanted to watch it, he wouldn’t have asked me then if he didn’t. It’s just not as clear to me when it’s something so innocuous like walking the dog or things I don’t think he’d already have a preference for. Now I get he really means I want to watch this show, do you mind if I turn it on. So now I answer, no, but I’ll keep you company.

    #810599 Reply
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    dinoceros
    Member

    Did he communicate like this before you guys got married or did it just start happening in the last year?

    *Edited, because I realized that I was also asking an indirect question — I know you’re saying that you’ve only been married for a year, so you’re getting used to his way of speaking. But this seems like something that you would have noticed prior to marriage, I guess unless you only dated for a very short time.

    So I guess my real question is if there’s a particular reason why you became annoyed/decided to decipher his speech patterns now, versus earlier?

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by avatar dinoceros.
    #810601 Reply
    juliecatharine
    Juliecatharine

    This would drive me nuts. I’m not a code breaker, use your words like a grown up! I do like the strategy you mentioned with the Netflix example-answer the question he asked (no I don’t want to watch xyz) and the one he didn’t ask (but I’ll keep you company/can we watch x instead?). Or answering what he asks then asking if he meant it as a preferential statement. I’m not sure how else to approach it. Good luck op.

    #810605 Reply
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    Rebecca

    My ex-husband did this. As did his entire family. He’s an ex for a reason.

    I will say this–if one of you can’t adapt to the other’s style of communication (and it doesn’t necessarily have to be you, Questions), then this may be a fundamental incompatibility. It’s not necessarily going to stay merely annoying–it can grow to be something that one or both of you resent.

    #810607 Reply
    bittergaymark
    Bittergaymark

    Hah! PLEASE. Women do NOTHING but speak in fucking code — then somehow still expect their husband to be fucking mindreaders. And yet many of you here all flip out over a few semi indirect questions?
    .
    PS — So… because You hate a show is he never to watch it again? The reason he asks you if you wanna watch a certain netflix show you aren’t fond of is it’s a polite way of saying “Go find something else to do as I an gonna watch this.” If you truly are too fucking dense to figure that simple puzzle out – don’t ever try to chew gum and think (much less walk!) at the same time…

    #810619 Reply

    Oh BGM. If this was a man writing in about his wife always asking indirect questions and then getting pissy when he didn’t get what she was after, I can only imagine your reaction.

    Anyways, it is ideal when people are just direct. It is ideal when you learn and can anticipate your partner’s (or really anyone in your life your around a lot) communication style.

    But even when we know people very well, sometimes we slip and misinterpret what the other is saying. It happens, people are human.

    I think for the LW, trying to remember his communication style and re-translating it in her head will help. But, I also think, always assume good intent. Most of the time, people aren’t going around trying to piss you off, anymore than you a purposefully trying to piss off other people.

    #810630 Reply
    juliecatharine
    Juliecatharine

    Nice stereotyping BGM. Maybe you should surround yourself with higher caliber women. Or examine your prejudices. Or shut the fuck up.

    #810632 Reply
    bittergaymark
    Bittergaymark

    If a man wrote in, I’d have the exact same response. The LW made a lousy argument for a rather feeble case. People communicate in different ways. Surprise, surprise. If one can’t grasp this… well, then they probably should have simply stayed single. PS — Typically, only a simpleton ever fails to grasp or get sarcasm.

    #810635 Reply
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    Rebecca

    …or many autistic people. Geez, Mark, what crawled up your ass and died today?

    #810636 Reply
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    ron

    I don’t think asking an indirect question “Do you want to walk toward the pool?” is the problem here. The problem here is the husband basically saying “I want to walk toward the pool, your opinion doesn’t count, done deal”. The problem is only his opinion counts. If instead of an indirect question, he made a direct statement “I want to walk toward the pool” and didn’t take her desires into account, the problem is unchanged. All of these possible ways of speaking boil down to “We’re going to walk toward the pool — don’t object.” He thinks it’s more polite to voice his demands in terms of “Wouldn’t you like to…?” LW has learned that this isn’t a prelude to considering their respective choices. He’s decided and she isn’t entitled to a vote. That’s sexism. Whether a man or a woman does it, it’s sexism. Not on a several off basis, but the LW says her husband frequently does this. He can clean up his language and always phrase it “We are going to…”, but somehow I don’t think that will solve the LW’s problem. It’s a legit complaint worded poorly.

    #810639 Reply
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    Fyodor

    This isn’t him talking in code. Any English speaker knows that when someone asks “do you want to do X” that they themselves want to do it and are asking you to go along. He’s not being passive aggressive or indirect. You’re demanding a robotic level of literlaism.

    #810640 Reply
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    Rebecca

    I disagree, Fyodor. If someone says “do you want to do x?” my response is going to be to answer the question I was asked. Sometimes that answer is no. If their response is then “well, I do, do you want to come with me?” my answer might still be no, but at least I’ve got all the relevant information now.

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