Need Third Party Input on Marital Issue

Updated on November 24, 2010
L.J. asks from Arvada, CO
37 answers

First of all, let me say that I plan on letting my husband read this and all of the responses I get. For this reason, I ask you to keep your responses non-inflammatory because getting him angry of defensive will not help the situation. If you think I am in the wrong, feel free to say so. I want totally unbiased help.

My husband I have been married for 7 years. We have a 5 year old, a 2.5 year old and a baby due in March. We have the same problems over and over and over. Right now, his question is: Why can't he ask why? I am sick of having to answer and explain everything to him. He asks me "why" a lot from anything ranging from me saying "I need to run to the store to get more Mandarin oranges for the party." He will say "Won't the regular oranges we have work?" I will say "I just want more Mandarin oranges. They are different." The discussion will then turn into him grilling me on "Why?" "I don't understand why those won't work." etc. etc. etc. During this discussion, I finally blew up because I couldn't understand why my answers weren't good enough, why we were having such a stupid discussion or WHY it was so important that I come up an answer that would satisfy him.

Another example: I am 6 mos. pregnant and we took the girls to the pool last weekend. I said I didn't want to take our 2.5 year old down the 2 story waterslide. Well, he couldn't understand WHY I wouldn't want to do that, accused me of making HIM do everything and was rude to me about it in front of friends. Would most husbands expect their pregnant wives to do this and get mad if they said they didn't want to? I don't understand WHY I would have to explain it to him, why he would get angry or WHY my answers are never good enough. I feel like when he asks me WHY or WHY NOT it is not because he is genuinely curious or wants to know. It is usually when he wants to debate me or pick a fight. Then I will be told I have low-self esteem, am overly sensitive, hormonal etc. because I handle a little question without freaking out.

This morning we got into another fight because he asked me what I want to do for Thanksgiving. I told him I don't feel like making a big deal out it...just us and the girls would be fine with me. (Did I mention that I have varicose veins in my vulva from the pregnancy? I am in constant pain but he tells me he didn't know this-despite the fact that I walk around groaning and holding my crotch--I try not whine about it ALL the time). So anyway, I get the question "Why don't you want to do anything? I can't understand why you wouldn't want to do something with another family. etc. etc." I said, "Look, I am not going to tell you why. You have never acted like you cared when I tell you my reasons for something. It is not important. If you really want to do something with others, we will." That was not good enough for him. He needed to know WHY I felt this way because he wanted to do something with others and he would feel guilty if we did and I didn't want to. He has NEVER said "Ok honey" and then acted like he understood on issues like this. He has never once been ok with doing something my way simply because I can't give him a good enough reason why we shouldn't do it HIS way. This is the same from big decisions to small.

**I should add that his tone is usually scornful, sarcastic and challenging when questioning--he does not use a gentle or non-confrontational tone. So usually at least 50% of what I am reacting to is HOW he speaks to me as opposed to what he is actually saying.

**And, in response to the second poster, he would never say he was ANGRY that I wasn't taking her down the slide. He is much more passive-aggressive. He would know how that would sound so instead of saying he was angry or frustrated, he would display his scorn through his tone of voice or make a comment like "You DON'T? I don't understand why you wouldn't want to do this!" in a scornful angry voice. He uses a nasty tone of voice a lot instead of directly insulting words. That way when he is called out on it, he can deny he did anything wrong. This was also in front of others so I didn't feel it was an appropriate time to have the discussion. He just angrily stomped away before I could say anything anyway.

What can I do next?

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answers from Anchorage on

Sounds to me like you could use some marriage counseling. It really helped my husband and I learn to talk to each other in a better and more productive way.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

If it were me, and my husband constantly asked why this, why response would be: "why not?" I have to agree with the other posters regarding marriage counseling. This is a very annoying habit and it's disrespectful to you. It's egging on a fight and constant bickering which does not make for a happy household for children to be raised in. He needs to learn another form of communication that isn't so negative. Another thing, it's also possible that anxiety issues can cause someone to constantly be on the muscle. Maybe talk to a doctor to see if it's a chemical inbalance.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

If your husband could say it with a kind tone, I would say that his asking "why," once or twice is a good thing. I always lament that men never ask "why," or care to know what you really think about anything.

However, you say he says "why" in an accusing tone. Husband: Is this true? Are you asking "why" because you are annoyed at her? Or because you really care about her thoughts and feelings? You need to be honest with yourself about this. And if you are annoyed, then understandably your wife is not going to respond positively to your questions.

Husband: understand that pregnancy is TOUGH. I'm a pretty strong, athletic woman, but when I was 8 months pregnant, my husband made me get out of a moving car in the parking lot because he didn't want to force the driver behind us to have to slow down. 15 years later, I still resent him for that.

You are a man. Your wife is a woman. At our very core, the biggest thing we women want from our men is to be TAKEN CARE OF. Even tough strong chicks like me. When you treat your wife like a "lady" (to sound old fashioned) you will get SO MUCH in return, especially more and better sex. Because MEN turn us women on.

So when your wife, who is carrying YOUR baby, is complaining because she is in pain or tired and worn out from carrying your baby, do something sweet for her, don't demand that she go down a slide. All you guys have to do is ejaculate once to have a child, and then we women do all the rest of the work, and give birth too. I guarantee you, you wouldn't want to have to give birth.

Take care of your wife, and when you ask "why," I hope you are asking it in a tone of curiosity and concern, not accusation.

Good luck, you two.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Passive-aggression is classified as a personality disorder, not a mental illness, and I believe your husband is passive-aggressive. I suggest counseling. He needs to learn how to communicate directly instead of his current method of "why, why, why????" Which is his way of disagreeing with you or saying that your judgement or preference is wrong.

Although if it were me, I might answer him how I answer my kids' questions of why? Because I said so!

Just remember that your husband's personality disorder is NOT your fault. He learned it from his parents and he's just emulating how they communicated.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

In response to your husband's question, "Why can't he ask why?" I would say it's because he doesn't really CARE why. His asking "Why?" is a passive-aggressive way for him to say, "I disagree with what you are doing, and I want to argue with you until you admit that you are wrong and submit to doing things my way."

If he truly wants to know your motivations and feelings about things, he would accept the explanation you give him without further argument. He is clearly not doing that.

The next time he asks you Why?, I would ask him, "Do you truly want to know, or are you looking to get into a debate about this?"

I'd propose an experiment: Ask him to stop asking Why? for at least the next month and see if you have more productive conversations. Or tell him you will answer his first "Why?" only if he doesn't follow up with more questions/arguments. Because this particular conversational tactic has obviously become a massive sticking point between the two of you. Sidestep it altogether and find a different (and hopefully better) way to communicate.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


9 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

I would counter with "WHY is my first answer not good enough?" "WHY are you badgering me?" "WHY don't you think I am capable of making a good decision?" "WHY don't we step over to this counselor's office to ask him how we can get over this?"

Marci W. commented:
"You sound very emotional and angry towards your husband". Well yeah! I would be emotional and angry too! That's a natural response to injustice or hurtful behavior. If you didn't have emotion, you would be dead.

Counseling!!!! Your husband may have other great qualities but this needs to be addressed. We are actually dealing with my FIL on this issue and it has gotten to the point where he is being emotionally abusive. Put your foot down and find a counselor.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well, this may sound harsh but......
I guess I'd tell him the same thing I told my kids when they were three years old and asking WHY WHY WHY
There IS no why!
Honestly, if he is going to behave like a toddler, it's no surprise that you are treating him like one.

You guys really DO need some professional intervention. If only for YOU, so he can have someone with a doctorate who makes a 6 figure salary tell him WHY!
Good Luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My husband doesn't necassarily say "why?" but he used to need explanations for everything even the mudane. I am used to making autonomous decisions and not having to explain my self. He began this behavior when we had my son, not before. Then I realized he wants an explanation for everything I ask or do becasue he doesn't want to do what I asked him to do or was wondering why I couldn't do EVERYTHING!! I finally got fed up and said "Listen I am not asking you to do things or whatever, to hear myself talk I am asking you becasue I need your help and we are a family 50/50. No more questions, becasue the next answer out of my mouth you won't like!" Pretty much stopped an occassional slip here and there but no longer does it. Sounds like your hubby is either unhappy about something or just wants to hear himself talk. I do agree as this has gone on for some time that maybe you two should seek outside counseling. Baby number 3 is on it's way no time like the present to get down to the root of the annoying "WHY'S" IMHO

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

It sounds like your husband is an aggressive communicator. Usually people engage in this behavior because this is how they were brought up, they have no real argument/reason for their opposition and think that shouting/arguing/speaking forcefully will let them "win", or they have either repressed disdain or obvious disdain for the person with whom they are communicating (ie. think they are smarter or better informed). The best way to deal with an aggressive communicator is to refuse to argue (easier said than done, I know). Using your example, you say I am going to the store for Mandarin oranges. He says why. You say because I want them, pick up your keys and go get your Mandarin oranges. When you get back from the store he may start to argue again. You say I'm and not having a conversation about this and walk away. He will probably still continue to argue because, in all likelihood, he wants to be right and he wants you to listen to him, acknowledge that he is always right and that he "knows best." He isn't going to change because he doesn't see it as a problem. You cannot and should not put up with scorn or disdain constantly. I suggest therapy for your passive aggressive husband so he can get to the root of his problem. If he refuses and continues to behave in a manner which is disrespectful (and this if you need to justify why you do or do not want to buy oranges...and I can only imagine how frustrating it is when everything you say or do is questioned as if you are incapable of making a decision) then you need to evaluate your marriage and decide if you wish to stay or part ways. In my experience, people like your husband do not change without professional intervention and a genuine desire to do so.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

There are 2 BIG differences between the phrases "Why?" & "Why?".

One is demanding approval (meaning, unless your answer is good enough I will not approve you to do so or intimate that you will not be "allowed" = controlling and borderline abusive)...

The other is seeking information in order to understand &/or HELP.

Tone of voice is what differentiates the two.

How the other person feels (the one being questioned) is either attacked and dismissed and "less than" / not important enough for the other person to think about OR completely at ease and nonchalant.

My husband does NOT think tone is "important". But he doesn't snarl at his boss. He doesn't micromanage his employees. He DOES snarl and micromanage me. And he gets sent packing over it. He gets 1 or 2 warnings and then he can spend the next big chunk of time (afternoon, day, night, week, whathaveyou) elsewhere.

"What are you doing?!" he snarled / snapped / demanded


"What are you doing?" he asked interested / brightly/ sexily/ gently/

TONE makes the single biggest difference in WHAT we're saying.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

what is the issue?
well, the problem is that you give into his whys. yes, he will ask because he seriously doesn't understand, but if you cut his first why with 'because i want to,' then what is he going to say?
i say this because my husband seriously is confused sometimes about things i do, i want to do, or i will do. he will ask why? and i have tried to reason with him but then i realize unless he gets into my brain, he will not understand why. there is no reason why he needs to understand why you need mandarin oranges. you just need them.
here's a perfect example: i have slaved my behind off all this weekend, between doing a thousand loads of laundry, cooking, cleaning, picking up, bathtime, taking kids to two birthday parties, and then today taking them for a few hours in our yard so we can play soccer...well needless to say i am beat.
my husband worked on his harley. period. that is it. the entire weekend.
i was/am tired beyond words. i needed a break. so i bring my kids into the house after playing in the yard for hours, tell him i al going to get my kids some socks. he said. why? don't they have socks?
sure i could have said no they need the non-skid socks and those kinds shrink after a few washes, and i have a 20 per cent coupon off that expires today, and i need a break from everybody so my 5 min drive to the store and back will give me my much needed relief. instead i said, 'they need socks,' and left.
he has never put socks on our kids. he has never been bothered by the fact that my kids slip like crazy people on ice when wearing anything other than non-skid socks, so why ask me now? and no matter how much i explain, i know he will not understand why i need non-skid. so no need to expand.
i usually deal with his unnecessary questions by giving him a very short answer, that does not leave room for follow-up questions.
so, back to you, darling, your husband doesn't need to understand where you're coming from on issues like the ones you have mentioned. and yes, you being pregnant (and please let him read this) he should be cooking dinner tonight, help with bedtime, and tell you what a great mommy you are.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

Sounds like he's on another team, remind him that you are on the same team; wth? Debating continually gets very tiresome and will result in you not wanting to speak to him at all eventually. Then he'll ask you why you dont talk to him, duh.
A wife and mom of 2.5 kids commands empathy from Dad, he needs to quit asking questions like a 4 yr old, seriously. Both of you will feel better without the arguments..
When he asks why just say "seriously I wish I was BUT I'm just not into it right now" and just look at him, roll your eyes and walk away if he asks what is that supposed to mean. Good Grief.
Sorry that I can't be sympathetic towards him, if I was pregant and had two kids running around, I would have very little patience for annoyance.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I really think that you should find a good counselor to see. You might be surprised how much your communication with each other can improve. They have simple exercises you can do to help you see the patterns that set you up for an argument and how to diffuse them.
When it gets to the point that you are arguing over oranges, it's time to try to figure out what's going on.
I have friends who've been married 7 years and they're going through the same thing. For instance, she pulled a muscle lifting something out of the cupboard. He knew she was going to use it to cook something and he knows she has trouble reaching that high so he should have offered to get it but didn't. So...she did it herself and hurt something. She whinced, sighed, had to sit down and take deep breaths....all the while he never said a thing.
She was thinking he should have automatically known she was hurting, (Duh! She was fussing and huffing!) and he was thinking "Why all the dramatics instead of just saying she hurt herself?"
They are both very stubborn. She wasn't about to come out and say anything and he wasn't about to respond to her trying to force him to say something. All of this in front of company, mind you.
From the outside, the whole thing could have been avoided.
They get into the he should have said this and she should have said that instead of just fricking COMMUNICATING with each other.
You and your husband should take the opportunity to figure out how to move on from here. Get out of your struggles and work through your irritations and expectations. Learn how to express yourselves to each other in a way that makes you both feel heard and validated instead of thinking it should just miracuously come naturally after this amount of time together.
Marriage doesn't work like that. It would be great if it did, but it doesn't.
Invest some time with a counselor now and hopefully spend less time arguing about oranges later.

I wish you the best.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Assuming your hubby is a reasonable man and you can have an actually discussion with him, I would ask him WHY he does this. Does he not respect you, trust your judgment, like to be in control, or just like pushing your buttons? Don't argue with him or let it make you mad. From now on, don't even entertain any "WHY" questions that addressed to you in a rude or disrespectful manner. Any time he starts with this WHY stuff I would completely ignore him if he's doing it in the same manner you described above. If he still doesn't get it, then give him a taste of his own medicine and start the WHY stuff on him every time he tells you something. Hopefully he'll get it with a simple conversation pointing out his disrespectful treatment of you and that he's behavior isn't a sign of a more serious problem in your relationship. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

A bunch of moms on this forum can't really help you. You two need serious marriage counseling or your marriage isn't going to last -- or it will last and you will be miserable for the rest of your life. And he will be miserable too.

While I agree that he sounds very childish (it actually sounds like he's about 3 years old) we don't know the whole story because we aren't hearing his side. Only a trained counselor can listen to you both and help you through your troubles.

Having more children will just make your lives harder and harder. Please get counseling for the sake of your kids. You can't go on like this forever.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

I think you need to take a vacation without him for, oh, about a month :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

When I first read "he constantly asks me why", I had to go back. I thought, "Wait - is this a disagreement they are having about a toddler"? Toddlers sometimes ask "why" about everything. Adults should NOT be doing this.

When adults constantly ask "why", it is a bullying tactic. It can only be used on people who love the asker - no one else would stick around for this. It's childish, disrepectful, and mean - you can never say "I want this" or "I don't want this" and have it respected. You are being treated like you must justify everything you do and don't want, which (as you know) suggests that you must justify that you exist as a person! Or rather, you must justify that you exist as a person INDEPENDENT of him. This behavior will eventually destroy any love and trust you have left for him. Is that what he wants?

He needs to get over this, accept that you are a whole person in your own right, with as much right to feelings and preferences as he has.

It's a shame that you started this post with the mandarin oranges, because that one could be chalked up to other things. A lot of commenters didn't seem to get past that. And if this had only happened over the oranges, no big deal. But with it happening ALL THE TIME, everything I have said is valid here.

And this part I want your husband think HARD about - WHY wouldn't a woman go down a water slide when she might have a MISCARRIAGE from doing so???? Seriously???? Does she really need to say more than "I am not comfortable with that". Man up, dude.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

If you can afford counseling, you should go so they can help you both with your communication styles.

He needs to understand that they why questions make you feel interogated and less than an equal partner in your relationship. Maybe he should go with you to a doctor appt so the doctor can explain to him why you shouldn't be doing certain things. He needs to understand that your answers to his questions need to be accepted and listened to without negative remark.

When communicating try to make "I" statements rather than "you" statements. "I feel....", not, "when YOU do...". Also repeat what you heard to make sure you understand what the other is saying. "I heard you say that you are angry with me for not being able to take our child on the slide, is that what you meant?" When you repeat back to them what you heard, it may help they realize how callous they sounded. Once you are sure of what they said then respond and have them repeat back to you what you said to make sure they understand you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

A few thoughts:

One, is your husband a lawyer? The kind of questioning to which he subjects you sounds like that of a lawyer: adverserial, argumentative, and absolutely not entertaining the other person's point of view.

Two, your husband clearly never learned the two words that can help guarantee a happy marriage: "Yes dear."

Three, two other words that prove helpful are "marriage counseling." You two need help! From your post, I can't know your role in all of this (it usually takes two to tango), but his role is clear. He is unable to empathize with you. He's approaching your emotions from a purely logical and rational point of view. But emotions are emotions. If you feel a certain way, you feel a certain way; you don't need a reason. The bad news is, some people are incapable of learning how to feel empathy if they didn't learn this as a child. The good news is, most people can learn.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I can understand the mandarin orange question-that sounds like a typical man thing. but wanting you to go down the two story slide?? I'm sorry but that sounds like he (subconsiously) wants you to miscarry!!! His tone of voice I'm guessing this is how his father talked to his mother. Ask him whether he thinks that may be true. I finally got my hubby to understand that his tone of voice and things he was saying were hurting me EVEN Though he didnt hear it, didnt mean to hurt me and was not aware of it. I explained that how I feel is how I feel and he can tell me I'm wrong to feel that way but that wont change how I feel. I agree counseling is neccessary for the sake of your children

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I did not read any other responses before posting this. Neither one of you knows how to listen and communicate.

Learning how to listen is one of the toughest things a married couple can learn.

He will say "Won't the regular oranges we have work?" I will say "I just want more Mandarin oranges. They are different." If you think about this, you don't really explain why they are different or perhaps he REALLY wanted to know why they are different and didn't want to say, " I don't understand".

Perhaps his frustration comes from not being able to put into words what he's really thinking in a calm manner.

Perhaps your frustration comes from automatically assuming he's going to act a certain way.

It sounds like you both are ready for a war of words and never make progress.

You need to express in a non offensive/defensive way that when he does speak to you poorly, that it hurts your feelings.

He needs to be able to ask you things in a calm, clear manner.

You both need to go to counseling to learn the 3 C's: communication, commitment, compromise.

Once each of you are able to put the others feelings and needs above your own you'll be amazed at how a simple and sincere "I'm sorry" will fix things.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Not necessary in order of iimportance . . .

When he says "I think I am a lot better than I used to be.
I am trying to change, etc." he __may__ be right.
Maybe he __is__ better than he used to be.
Maybe he __is__ trying to change but it's especially hard
for you to see/appreciate his efforts/changes
because you're so physically uncomfortable and tired.

I put that one first partly because
you said he's going to read these responses.
It's always good to start with a positive statement
before you get into negative statements.

Next . . . the need to know WHY is something I can relate to.
I'm guessing that he has the kind of mind that has __always__
needed to know why things happen, why people do the things they do,
why the world works the way it does.

This need may be (kinda) hardwired into his system
and he goes directly to that WHY mode without even thinking about it;
kind of an autonomic behavior. Your reaction to his WHYs may hit
a defensive button in him since he actually didn't __realize__
that what he was doing was an OPTION.

That he might have been __able__,
if he had stopped and thought about it,
to hear and accept what you have said or done
__without__ going directly to WHY.

That he might have been __able__, with just a moment's reflection,
to either say nothing, or, perhaps, to say . . . .
hmmm. That's interesting. I wouldn't have thought of that.
Maybe later we can talk about your thought proceses
that led you to that. Of course I don't expect to do that NOW
because we are so busy with [whatever it is we are doing NOW].

Whadda ya think?
Sound good?
Maybe even a win-win.

Acknowledging of course, that this kind of follow-up conversation
may never happen, or may realistically need to wait
until you see the youngest off to college.

Moving right along . . . .
whether with counseling, or with a communications workshop,
or some other way of learning new ways of communicating together . . .

Let's start with assumptions that you both DO love another,
that you both DO want one another to be happy and content
in your relationship, that not only for the children's best interests
but also for your own health and stamina and comfort,
it is vital that he recognize and adapt to your current
physical tiredness and symptoms,

to everything you say or do.

He's __not__ doing it to bug you.
He's doing it because it's an automatic response
and he is not thinking about how it affects your equanimity
It's just, perhaps, like a blink.
When a fly or gnat flies toward your eye, you blink.
When he hears or sees something/anything,
he says WHY?, like a blink.

Perhaps a fat rubber band around his wrist.
When he says WHY, you snap the band on his wrist.
Or perhaps a money jar.
When he says WHY, he needs to put a dollar (or whatever), into the jar.

You meanwhile, need to change the filters on your ears.
When he says WHY?, you can CHOOSE
not to hear attack/argument/frustration.
You can choose to hear instead . . .
"Gosh honey. I really want to help you with this.
Can you help me understand better how I can help you right now
so as to keep our forward momentum going
in this particular instance or in our life in general?"

Can the two of you get away for an evening,
or part of a weekend, without the kids,
and have a romantic dinner, some hand-holding,
eye-gazing, reminders of why you got together in the first place.

About the discomfort in the vulva . . . .
I wonder if you can enlist him, when the kids are sleeping,
to provide some tender, gentle, soothing caresses,
perhaps a very gentle massage with soothing oil.

I realize I've gone on and on far too long.
I may add more later but I think I'll stop now.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Sounds he has major small man syndrome mixed with a shot of controlling-possessive issues and a dab of passive aggressiveness.

Looks like he should go to a therapist for awhile ALONE, then as he progresses, make it into a couple's therapy. He will get only worse with the new addition coming up soon - and you and children do not deserve having to put up with his unacceptable behavior.

He's not happy with something about himself or his work environment, and because he cannot address the issue with the true source, he then transposes his anger/scorn/low self esteem onto his wife. What makes it even worse, is that you are now carrying his baby - which will make his behavior even worse because he know you will not confront, leave or MAKE him change his behavior.

Think about it this way - - if he was so demeaning, scornful and antagonistic to one of your children - would you allow it to continue? Probably not. Love yourself enough to MAKE him get the help he needs - because you cannot give it to him.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, you did write for us "to keep your responses non-inflammatory because getting him angry of defensive will not help the situation" but, I'm sorry, he sounds like a real BUTT HEAD! That would drive me insane to have anyone (let alone my husband) questioning my motivation (which is what 'why' denotes) on every stupid LITTLE thing we discuss. Sorry, but none of your examples should have even been a blip on the radar for further discussion.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Armchair psycology given to you and your husband by several people who know nothing other than what you have told us can't possibly be helpful. It is great that you are reaching out for hlp, and I suggest you see a professional therapist. Sometimes it only takes a few appointments.
The way you describe this it sounds like he is antagonizing you. The way it reads on the surface it sounds ridiculous that you can't tell him the answers to his questions. It may also sound like he doesn't seem to retain the information you do share with him.
I have this same problem with my husband now that I am pregnant with our second. He doesn't seeem to understand that I am more tired than normal, or why on earth I am acting any different than I was before. The stress is enormous. He can't seem to remember from one day to the next that I am STILL PREGNANT... Turns out a lot of men are like this. I don't think it means you have a bad marriage that you are married to someone insensitive and unable to communicate, and seemingly selfish... but I say that only hearing your side. I am sure he has a point of view that is different, and that this question asking evolved over time and for some reasons you are not aware of.
I wish you the best of luck, and if your therapist isn't working, go to a different one. I think most therapists are NOT good, but the good ones are great, and extremely helpful.
It's telling to me to read that you think you have a bad marriage. Perception is reality in so many cases - you can manifest that into being if you keep thinking that way.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Communication is so important in a relationship. Communication includes both speaking and listening. I truly wish my hubby would ask me "why" much more often, or give me a clear answer when I ask him why.

I do have a suggestion for both of you. First of all, when hubby ask you a question he should try to communicate as to why he's asking it or state his feeling or opinions. For example, "I don't understand why you need to go get more oranges, won't the ones we have work?" or "I was thinking we should spend Thanksgiving with Bob and Sue, do you have anything planned?"

You can give hubby much more clear answers. Avoid "because I said so", "because I want to", "it doesn't matter", these are not appropriate answers. Try "It's difficult for me to climb up all those steps, could you take the 2.5 yo or can we just skip it this time" or "Being on my feet for long periods of time........ can be painful, I would like to just stay home this year".

As far as the tone of voice, it's possible that hubby doesn't realize that's how he's coming accross to you. Is it possible that he may think you sound the same way? Agree on a phrase that you can use with each other, that would basically mean, "I think the tone of your voice is nasty".

Good luck to both of you.

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answers from Bloomington on

Try finding a church for counseling. They are usually free and, in my opinion the best. It sounds to me like you are not going to make it if you do not seek out help soon. Decide if your marriage is worth it and if it is make every effort o get help. If not for you do it for your kids! They deserve the best parents they can possibly have! The best tip I ever received in counseling was to work on me and not my husband. I can only change me and he can only change himself but you both have to want to change!

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answers from Portland on

I have three DIY suggestions that may equip you with new tools:

The book Please Understand Me, which will help you understand your personality types, and how they complement and clash with each other. I have found this understanding to really increase my appreciation of and patience toward people who used to baffle me. It's easy to read, easy to use the evaluation quiz, and my husband and I found it surprisingly enlightening.

The book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. It has a light, pop-culture feel, but makes some useful observations about MOST male-female relationships.

And, most helpfully, google Non-Violent Communication and start learning the difference between a true emotion (glad, sad, mad, etc.) and a concept ("feeling" understood, disrespected, taken care of, abandoned, needed, etc.) When we don't understand the difference, we continually throw wrenches into the works of our communications and relationships, because emotions are spontaneous and completely legitimate, but concepts are always open to interpretation and disagreement.

Non-Violent Communication can be used by only one party to good effect. Learning this very powerful approach is a tremendous help in understanding and respecting the other person's valid needs. By doing that, we reduce their fear, anger and defensiveness, and give them a chance to hear our needs better. I've used this approach to gently "disarm" a few difficult people in my life. I've even heard wonderful stories of whole relationships being transformed from enemy to friend. This is good stuff, and worth investigating. You can find descriptions of the basic process, examples, videos, books and classes online.

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answers from Dover on

Asking why in and of itself isn't your problem. It sounds like the problem is why he is asking and how often. If he was really asking because he was either curious or truly doesn't understand something, I think the question is fine. If you answered in a clear concise way (when his question warrants it), he may be less likely to asking why again.

Example: Maybe with the oranges, he wanted to know why a special trip to the store was needed when you already have oranges...why couldn't you wait until you were going already for other things. That would make perfect sense. Maybe you didn't give him enough info to answer the true question he was asking...maybe he didn't express the question clear enough for you to get what he was asking.

I think the two of you should discuss that. Make sure that he understands that if he truly needs clarification on something it is fine to ask why but he may need to elaborate on what he is asking. You will in turn try to answer his questions but explain that you don't think you should always be met with "why".

As for the slide, yes he should have understood that it isn't a good idea to go down the slide while pregnant. You shouldn't have to explain it but I have found that guys tend to either be super cautious or totally oblivious to things. Maybe that is the case with your hubby. Tell him you would like a little pampering while you are pregnant, uncomfortable, and in pain.

As for Thanksgiving, tell him that you would love to celebrate w/ other but given your condition and constant pain, you are not up for all of that this year (especially if you would have to host).

Good luck.

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answers from Boise on

Hi Dear,

You sound very emotional and angry towards your husband. My guess is part of that is hormonal changes during pregnancy are making it harder to cope with things that annoy you.

I think he asks you why because he disagrees with you and wants to do things his way. So if you answer him and he doesn't think you gave a good enough answer as to why, then he can do his way. So "why" is a challenge. Do you and your husband get in a lot of power struggles? It sounds like it. Are you both trying to boss each other? That is what it sounds like to me. Plus, I think that you are irritated with your husband for not reading your mind. This is a partly a communication issue and partly a power struggle and partly hormonal. My opinion. Hope it helps.

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answers from Rochester on

I have been married 7 years and we have a 6 year old and a 3 year old and I am due any day now so I kind of know how you feel. I got lucky and got two boys first so my hubby had do to everything with they boys anyway :)

Huby- why would you not want to take your little one down the slide? Your kids are only little once, you should jump at any chance to do stuff with the kdis. I know my hubby always feels bad his dad did not do anything with him so he is always hanging out with the kids! pregnancy is very hard and you need to treat your wife better!

prego mammo-- I agree with the other posters. See a counsler. My hubby and I have a hard first 2 years. I think it was mostly just the fact the we went to see someone and not so much who we were seeing. The fact that we were making the comitment to eachother. I am wondering why he is so interested in why? Is he worred about money that he does not want to buy more things or is there something else going on? good luck! In the end everything will be ok. It seems like everything changes when my hubby sees his little baby. Somehow then everything I made him go through is all worth it!

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answers from New York on

MY question would be WHY did you marry him? Passve/Agressive behaviour sucks and will always cause a fight and name calling. Especially because passive agressive people already have a problem admitting they are wrong. I find the behaviour slightly abusive.

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answers from St. Louis on

All I can say is...Whew!!! You are one patient women, I dated a guy like this before I married my husband and for one straight year I was in hell!!! I am so glad I got away from him he drove me nuts, I couldn't take it anymore and he's still single I wonder why?? I truly hope for your childrens sake your husband grows up and I pray that you will find a solution.

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answers from Albuquerque on

If your family is ever in a mood for renting movies FIREPROOF with Kirk Cameron is really good for looking at things in a different light. I also really liked Facing the Giants, its about a football coach. Both of these movies are really awesome for refocusing the heart and soul.

Good Luck..Marriage can be hard, even harder when there a young ones. Young ones deserve loving and caring parents, even towards to each other.

The movies are low budget, but if you can look past that you will get a good movie.

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answers from Detroit on

I have read your post and feel drawn to respond. I have been married for 13 years, have 4 kids and speaking from experience, I know what you're going aren't alone.

My husband and I fought a good part of our first 10 years of marriage! We finally started looking at the WHY of why we were fighting. First off, let me say that it will take BOTH of you to fix this. You both own these problems. They are not predominantly his or yours. If you want to fix it, you guys have to come together to find ways to not inflame and agitate each other.

That being said, what are the triggers? Obviously, you don't want to be questioned or grilled over every decision that you make. You're an adult, right? Fine. I get that. I can recall similar situations that I said much of the same thing to my husband (who also likes to pick apart and analyze things).

May I just say that sometimes, sometimes, the husband is operating solely on how his mind operates. He needs to understand you better, so he probes. Sometimes he probes way too much. But please, for the sake of your marriage, put your punching gloves away. Stop being oversensitive- BOTH of YOU.

Husband- love your wife. She is fragile. She is probably tired. She doesn't feel that great at this point in her pregnancy. Have some grace for her- she's carrying your child (obviously you know this, but giving her GRACE is vital if you want to keep your marriage healthy). Don't question everything. Let her make her own decisions. Other decisions you guys can share. But, honestly, sometimes a woman needs to be able to do things on her own without a barrage of questioning.

Wife- I truly, truly get that you don't feel well (did it 4 times myself, puked my way into 3rd trimester, had sciatica, worked while pregnant...I do understand). You are emotional whether you want to believe it or not- you probably aren't out of control, but your buttons can be pushed easily.
For the sake of your marriage and your kids, try to work through this. Don't take everything personal. If your husband is asking you too many questions, ask him to give you a few minutes to calm down alone. Try sitting down when you talk, and then touch his hand. (Its hard to be angry with someone you are touching). Remember why you married him as well.
Maybe he feels out of control. Perhaps he has deeper seated worries and his questioning is about trying to gain some control over the situation.

Love each other. Hold hands. You'll miss opportunities as a couple and as a family if you both don't take the time to work this out. Don't miss out guys. I look back with regret because I was impatient and angry spirited. FORGIVENESS is the key if your marriage is going to survive.

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answers from Houston on

You guys sound like a typical married couple to me, sensless arguments and an annoyance about the other persons style of arguing.


like with anything else in marriage....compromise, agree to answer half his "annoying" questions, if he agrees to not ask so many.

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