My sisters and I are following a budding romance. Well, actually there are quite a few people watching to see what happens. Yes, mostly women, although it’s not like the men close their ears if we give them an update. It doesn’t seem to bother the two involved. They are quite open about what’s going on. Well, they’re not exactly open to all of us – only my sister gets the called-in updates. But we have a phone network set up. I’m savoring it (pathetic, ain’t it?) while it lasts because we all know that sooner or later this couple will get sick of the scrutiny. I would have already had enough. Good sports.
Anyway, my sister was speaking with the female part of the studied couple a few days ago. This woman was relating a conversation she had with the male part. The female was upset about something (o.k. guys, no rolling the eyes with the comment: of course!). The male asked what was wrong. She said: nothing. They repeated this drill a few times. He pressed a bit harder. And finally she said that if he needed to know then yes, she was confused/upset/perturbed about something. And she told him.
As I was pushing this story along the phone lines, I was shaking my head. How many times I’ve said: It’s nothing or I’m fine or NO, really, it’s nothing or I’m fine, just leave me alone or I’M FINE, DAMN IT! ….. It’s a lie – he knows it and you know it. It’s a game – both of you know it!
I really try not to play games with Steve. But this one is tenacious and I still pull it out on the rare occasion. Steve used to say, “O.K. That’s fine. If you think of something you want to tell me later, let me know,” and walk away. NO GAME PLAYING with this man. But he’s learned (sometimes) that when I resort to something like this, something so stupid, then it just might be serious. At least in my mind. And he’s willing to play along (sometimes) because he loves me. And indulges me.
Aside: It can get us into trouble though. If he doesn’t read it right, or doesn’t play by the rules. My rules, that is. So I should probably stop doing it.
So. Why do we do this? I have no answers, only conjecture. Do we want our spouse to show how much he cares by insisting that we tell them what’s wrong? Do we need to hear him say how important it is to him, so please let him fix what’s wrong? Or are we afraid that he won’t be able to fix it so why bring it up and take the chance? Or even worse, what if he doesn’t care about what is bothering us? Laughs at us? Doesn’t take our concerns/worries/complaints seriously? What then? Are we programmed not to burden others with our problems so that it takes begging and promises to get it out of us? Do you play this game? Any answers out there?
This concludes another view from my married life.