No, trust ME. Please.
October 4, 2011 2:27 PM Subscribe
How do you deal with anti-intellectualism in a spouse?
posted by anonymous to human relations (45 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I try to be a well-informed person... I research most things before accepting them as true, especially if there's expense involved. Skepticism is my default position. As it turns out, this drives my wife up the wall.
I have chronic back pain and she wants me to see a chiropractor. I've researched chiropractic and decided that it's not worth my financial or emotional investment. (But I digress, this thread is not about that.) I looked up some legitimate medical practices and happily informed my wife that I'd like to go meet with one of those doctors. I thought she'd be pleased that I was taking action, but she got upset that I rejected her idea.
She asked me why I didn't trust her or believe that she knew what she was talking about. She had done no research apart from relaying a recommendation from her mother, who sees a chiropractor. She acted as though I had insulted her mother directly. She accused me of "ignoring" her, when I had in fact taken her advice into consideration, weighed it carefully, and decided against it. Bottom line, she took it very personally, as if she were the object of my rejection.
That's just one example. According to my wife, I "do this to her" all the time. She wanted me to promise to take her word for things like this more often. I assured her that I completely trust her and her intentions, but all I could muster was a non-commital "we'll see" about that promise. I love her completely but I'm not going to trade in my circumspection for anti-intellectualism, gullibility, and hokum. Maybe I should add that I have a phlegmatic personality and try to avoid conflict, and my wife is the opposite. This issue I'm writing about is only a problem because she made it one.
How can I explain my position to her without making her feel like an idiot? It's not that she's stupid, she's just willfully ignorant about some things. Folksy might be a good word. I can't change that part of her, but when it comes to making important decisions about health and money, I can see that I need to veto the ignorance, as often as it comes up, without it harming our marriage. We don't have kids yet, but I especially don't want to encourage that attitude in them once we do. How can I show my wife the utmost respect and still root out mental laziness whenever it pops up? (At least concerning the Big Stuff; I can let inconsequential things slide.)