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Compared to him, you're... George Clooney?
September 18, 2005 10:26 PM   Subscribe

My husband's not speaking to me. Was what I said really so bad?

I was telling a story about my boss, who has macho jerk tendencies and never wants to show emotion. And I said to my hub, who is fairly reserved emotionally, "I mean, compared to him, you're practically Richard Simmons."

And that was that. He's not speaking to me, and I swear I don't get it. I was trying to make a point about my boss, not him, and yes, it was an exaggeration, but I tend to those.

All he'll say is, "Tell any married guy you know that story, and see what their reactions are. You'll understand."

So, be straight, I can take it.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (96 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Without knowing the both of you and your backstory, no outsider will have a valid opinion on whether your husband is overreacting. But generally speaking, straight men don't like being compared to gay men.
posted by cribcage at 10:29 PM on September 18, 2005


Most people can take a joke. If they can't, they have issues. More than likely, (and I'm not a psychologist) he's using this as an excuse to be upset. He needs to get over it, but good luck telling him that.

If nothing else, apologize. Cook him a nice dinner or whatever he likes. Maybe it's not a big deal to most people, but if it is to him, make it up to him. Then move on.
posted by BradNelson at 10:32 PM on September 18, 2005


Generally speaking, homophobic straight men don't like being compared to gay men. Secure straight men shouldn't have a problem with it.
posted by cloeburner at 10:33 PM on September 18, 2005


What are you talking about? Richard Simmons is GAY?
posted by luriete at 10:36 PM on September 18, 2005


What? Jeeeeez. Totally ridiculous. Not cool.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 10:36 PM on September 18, 2005


This reminds me of an old story where a man asks his wife who she really thinks is sexy in the movies, expecting the answer "Warren Beatty," and she says "Ed Asner." I don't remember the author, but it was anthologized in Laughing Matters, ed. Gene Shalit.

The point, I think, is that we of the chronic testosterone poisoning like to be admired for our manly virtues, of which the effervescent Mr Simmons is perhaps not the foremost exemplar. It's hard to say, because I don't know the dynamic, but if I got the idea that a girl was interested in me because she saw characteristics verging on the emasculate, I might be upset. I myself wouldn't particularly want to be valued for those reasons.

A subtle squeeze on the biceps and a murmured "ooh, so strong," might work wonders; it is unfortunate for you that it is not 1950, when such a remark might have been delivered - and accepted - with a completely straight face.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:36 PM on September 18, 2005


Since the Godwin corollary has been invoked and the H-word has been uncorked, it's worth pointing out that these sites (MetaFilter, Wikipedia, etc.) tend to attract Zima-drinking pantywaists in far greater numbers than barflies or football fans. You might consider the type of man your husband is, and compare or contrast with the demographic you're polling.
posted by cribcage at 10:38 PM on September 18, 2005


Sounds like someone's either homophobic, insecure about who he is or his sexuality, or both.
posted by gramcracker at 10:39 PM on September 18, 2005


Perhaps he's not offended on a sexuality basis, but more along the lines of just not wanting to be compared to someone like... umm, that.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:41 PM on September 18, 2005


Men don't like to be told that they're not as manly as someone else, even if the other guy is disgustingly macho. Men want their women to appreciate their man-ness. Maybe he is insecure, but let's say he came home and mentioned some annoying, girlish woman at work and said:

"Compared to her, you're practically Rosie O'Donnell."

Nothing against Rosie, but I know few straight women that would like to hear that from their SO.
posted by letterneversent at 10:51 PM on September 18, 2005


What ikkyu2 and letterneversent said.
posted by dreamsign at 10:54 PM on September 18, 2005


I can't handle an SO not speaking to me. Just can't deal with it at all. I tend to get very angry and throw a tantrum, which generally leads to the other person shouting back, and then we can have a nice argument and clear the air.

As far as I'm concerned, if you can't tell me what your issue is in a straightforward way, without giving me the silent treatment and pouting about it like a four year old, then we've got a real problem and I'm going to harp on about it until you can tell me what's wrong.
posted by sid at 10:59 PM on September 18, 2005


SO I'm a married guy that you've told the story to, and I don't get it. If my wife said that to me I'd either simper "Oh stop it dahling" or do a Schwarzenegger interpretation or something stupid like that.

Mind you, my wife has no clue who Richard Simmons is and I have only a vague idea (now corrected via google).

Tell him to stop emoting so much and start acting like a man!
posted by wilful at 11:00 PM on September 18, 2005


sid, I thought I was the only one. I'm not alone!

I agree with what's been said above.. this is an excuse. He's upset about something, and this was the final straw. Or he's insecure, as noted above.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:02 PM on September 18, 2005


Ditto dreamsign. My best friend is gay. I grew up in Berkeley. I'm 'metrosexual' (whatever that means). [My point here is that I'm not homophobic.]

Equate me to Richard Simmons? Not cool.

On the other hand, it sounds like he's overreacting just a li'l bit.
posted by incessant at 11:07 PM on September 18, 2005


man, tough crowd here. You all do realize they may have other issues at play here besides him being homophobic right? Pulling that card is simplifying this into "oh well he's just overreacting"

Maybe this is just the status quo and this is the remark that set him off. Or maybe he does have issues that he's not manly enough and this just hit him where it hurts. And it's kind of hard to see how you were being playful here, as letterneversent I think I would get slapped by any girlfriend I'd ever had if I pointed out "that compared to the femenine girl at work, you're practically Rosie O'donell"

bottom line, you need to apologize so you can start talking about why this cut him to the bone so deep and he can understand that you didn't mean to hurt him.


and for all of you saying he's "homophobic", just shut it. It's not that he's gay, it's because he's a spaz. I doubt even gay crowd here would appreciate being compared to richard simmons.
posted by slapshot57 at 11:11 PM on September 18, 2005


Perhaps he doesn't like being used as a benchmark for someone who is emotionally reserved. Imagine if it were ugliness rather than ability to emote - "Compared to him, you're practically Brad Pitt!" I'd hate to her that, especially from my wife.

But the quote from your husband undermines my arguement.
posted by mullacc at 11:19 PM on September 18, 2005


Gah! s/arguement/argument
posted by mullacc at 11:20 PM on September 18, 2005


I'm with mullacc. If my girlfriend were talking about someone she considered a jerk and finished by saying what you said, I'd take it as, "I mean, you're a jerk, but you're not nearly as bad as this guy." Richard Simmons's sexuality wouldn't even enter into it.
posted by Acetylene at 11:26 PM on September 18, 2005


As is often the case with relationship questions on AskMe, I wonder about the context.

Was this one in a long series of comments calling his masculinity into question? Was it an isolated incident in a context of your consistenly letting him know how much you value him as a man?

If it's the latter, I'd say he's overreacting. If it's somewhere in between, well, I don't know.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:27 PM on September 18, 2005


I'm married, straight, not exactly famous for emoting either, and I find the Richard Simmons comment pretty damn funny. If my wife said that to me I'd bust out laughing. So at first glance I think your husband's overreacting.
posted by ldenneau at 11:32 PM on September 18, 2005


Most people can take a joke.

Obviously he's upset to a pretty extreme degree over a passing comment, but let's look at the context.

He's your husband. And he's not a very aggressive type. He's probably had a lifetime of avoiding or playing to alpha males, perhaps particular episodes which bother him greatly - who knows. Men are wired to kill each other and rape everything in sight. It's part of how the gene pool is filtered and successful genes spread, just like any other animal in the jungle. Sometimes it's not easy being male.

Whether Ricahrd Simmons is gay or not wouldn't mean anything to me, because I'm completely unhomophobic. However, that said, Richard Simmons is still a freaky, sweaty, repulsively unattractive, hyper-annoying weirdo who has made a fortune doing jumping jacks with the obese. I have a hard time imagining the man who would be proud to be compared to him (although I recognize he's basically okay and probably has done some good things).

Now let's also consider the husband/boss thing. An uncharitable reading would go something like this: your husband is a tyrant, like all men, who thinks he owns you and he naturally feels competition with the man who bosses you around at work all day. He doesn't want to hear that, comparatively, he's some kind of poof, because it brings the republic of his patriarchy cwashing down around his widdle head..

A more charitable reading is that your boss is a significant man in your life, someone who has power and influence over you, and your husband both wants to protect you from him and on some level may fear you'll come to see the other man as more attractive.

So... let's be charitable for a moment. In one swoop you've told him that this powerful figure in your life is a raging menace, and that he, himself, couldn't hope to contend (either to prove his worth to you or protect you directly). Compound this with the multivarious esthetic offense of being compared to Richard Simmons and you've got a problem. He's got to live with the knowledge that every day you leave the house to go minister to the needs of some man who would eat him alive, and in the light of whose image your husband reminds you of a perspiring poof.

Now... he should get over that and realize we're not in the jungle. And I'm sure he will. But emotions aren't on a rational push-button control, and you obviously hit a nerve. An old, biological one, perhaps. It doesn't sound like it was your fault. Just one of those total-lack-of-perspective moments that occur all the time between men and women. After all, part of the challenge of being heterosexual is relating to someone whose makeup you just can't relate to. That's normal.

But apologize for the unintended offense. It's easy to apologize for something you didn't intend, right? The only difficult things to apologize for are the ones you did actually intend, and would do again. Right?
posted by scarabic at 11:33 PM on September 18, 2005


What scarabic said.
posted by Brian James at 11:35 PM on September 18, 2005


There is very little context to your question and there is no way you can convey in a few paragraphs the complexities of your relationship with your husband. You reaching out to a bunch of strangers on a blog to try to seek vindication for your "innocent" comment indicates deeper issues than "I just can't understand why he would be offended - please explain." If you know your partner you usually know how to push his/her buttons and which buttons you have pushed, no?
posted by wsg at 11:38 PM on September 18, 2005


I think what he's thinking is that you were "comparing" him to Richard Simmons, while you were just using a common idiom ("next to x, y is like z," where z is a wildly out of bounds example). I'd tell him it's like you saying "Next to him, you're a kitten" and him getting offended at your comparing him to a kitten. It's just a linguistic thing.
posted by abcde at 11:43 PM on September 18, 2005


I would only add to some of the excellent commentary here that certain male behaviours and attitudes must undoubtedly seem bizarre to many if not most women. I would only ask (and recommend, for your benefit) that you refrain from immediately dismissing it as silly -- at least to his face -- because, let's face it, we don't understand a lot of women's attitudes much better, but for some reason (maybe just the times), we regard them with a little more seriousness (the male ego is an old joke; the female ego is best left alone -- or stroked).

And this particular one may be a bugbear in that your man may expect you to understand it, as masculinity plays such an integral if convoluted part in the sexuality and attractiveness game. If you really can't understand this, is it not perhaps not the first time this has come up, but the first time you've realized it?

And yeah, Richard Simmons is an annoying little man. If Luke Wilson were gay and my SO compared me to him? I'd be just fine with that.
posted by dreamsign at 11:43 PM on September 18, 2005


Your statement, "I mean, compared to him, you're practically Richard Simmons" implies that you regard your husband as someone less than Richard Simmons. No one likes to be told that by a loved one that they don't measure up to someone else. The gay/straight issue is immaterial.
posted by mischief at 11:46 PM on September 18, 2005


I doubt even gay crowd here would appreciate being compared to richard simmons.

Um, yeah!
posted by 5500 at 11:48 PM on September 18, 2005


I think some people are glossing over the comment as completely inoffensive far too much.

Let's say you're guy and your boss is a young, attractive, successful woman. Let's say your wife is a somewhat older, slightly less attractive woman. Would you say to her, "Compared to her, you're practically Joan Rivers."

Sleeping on the couch for a month would be a mild response.

This is like that; anonymous essentially compared her husband to her boss in a VERY uncomplimentary manner. Heck, why not just castrate him and get it over with?
posted by Justinian at 11:51 PM on September 18, 2005


Scarabic's bang on.
posted by burhan at 11:51 PM on September 18, 2005


The Council of Apes in my office has ruled thusly:

The gay thing has nothing to do with it. Alpha males have nothing to do with it. Your ape is upset because you felt the need to compare him - the love of your life - to your boss - a macho jerk - at all. You couldn't resist throwing a backhanded, snarky and completely irrelevant comparison into a story that had nothing whatsoever to do with him. You were talking about your boss. Specifically, you were putting your boss down. Why did you have to drag your husband into it?

Your discussion probably came across something like this: "Let me tell you about my day. My boss is a macho jerk. By the way, and I say this for no reason in particular, did I ever mention that you can be a macho jerk too? Well, you can. And that brings me to another point, which is that he's a bigger macho jerk than you. Now, back to my boss..." Thanks honey. Way to use me as a benchmark of emotional dysfunction.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:58 PM on September 18, 2005


it's worth pointing out that these sites (MetaFilter, Wikipedia, etc.) tend to attract Zima-drinking pantywaists in far greater numbers than barflies or football fans
posted by cribcage at 10:38 PM PST on September 18


This coming from MeFi's biggest wuss, take note.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:58 PM on September 18, 2005


P.S. Your husband overrreacted a little bit, but it's not wise to compare any heterosexual man to Richard Simmons.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:59 PM on September 18, 2005


Mom? Are you talking about Dad on the internet? Sorry - this just reminds so much of my folks...

anonymous, I'm not saying you should do the following, but think about whether you might want to show him this thread. It may help him as well if things are coming from a 3rd party, and it's hardly one-sided so far...but of course, you'll know best how he'd handle it.

This could easily be something the two of you will joke about in a couple weeks.
posted by hellbient at 12:09 AM on September 19, 2005


As a sensitive male, who, in the past, was sometimes needlessly upset by off-hand comments my partner would make; while I don't see anything particularly wrong in what you said, obiwanwasabi's comments resonate with me quite a lot more than scarabic's.
posted by nthdegx at 12:21 AM on September 19, 2005


Your husband may have been offended by the comment, but, "not speaking to you" about it? He's being a total duche.
posted by delmoi at 12:33 AM on September 19, 2005


He's pissed off because he's afraid that you feel some attraction (however small) to your boss, who's a macho jerk, and goddammit, women always like macho jerks - and too often end up screwing 'em. And since your husband isn't enough of a macho jerk, obviously you don't respect him enough; in fact, you respect him so little, you compare him to one of the least-sexy celebrities around.
[At least, that's what he's thinking.]

Either your husband's got to become OK with you working for a macho jerk who he suspects gives you a little emotional thrill, and trust that nothing's ever going to happen; or you've got to make sure every story you tell about your boss starts with "Know what that asshole did today?" and doesn't involve any smiling or laughing while you tell it.
posted by mistersix at 12:44 AM on September 19, 2005


It's not a gay thing, that's incidental. It's like this. There are two important men in your life, men you see all the time, men who have a say about your future, men who exert some influence over you: Your boss and your husband.

You've just told your husband that your boss is the more macho of the two.
posted by mono blanco at 12:56 AM on September 19, 2005


my wife has no clue who Richard Simmons is and I have only a vague idea

Please tell me where your paradise is so I can go live there at once.
posted by kindall at 12:59 AM on September 19, 2005 [1 favorite]


If I were your husband (or me, for that matter) I wouldn't have thought of Richard Simmons as a wellspring of emotion (which he is, I understand.) I would have thought of him as, well... something quite horrifying. The silent treatment: excessive in most circumstances. But Richard Simmons.... (shudder) I think he probably imagined you were comparing something other than his E.Q.
posted by rebirtha at 1:13 AM on September 19, 2005


what cloeburner said. don't blame yourself because you didn't do anything wrong.
also, your husband may be in the closet.
posted by matteo at 1:23 AM on September 19, 2005


I, for one, don't like makeup and princess behavior. But how would you feel if you were my wife, and I said to you "This chick at work is always done up like she just got out of the beauty shop, and she sits around all day polishing her nails and powdering her nose. I mean, compared to her, you're like... Ruth Bader Ginsburg."

A less pointed way to say it would be:
"This chick is so made up I can't stand it. I mean, I know you like to wear lipstick and stuff but, by your standards, she's like Zsa Zsa Gabor"

I'm sure you've gotten the point by now. I STRONGLY recommend you do NOT show him this. I know it's anonymous and all, but he does not need to see what the public square thinks of his emotions. This was a private little fuckup, and all too many people here are just brushing him off as some insecure twat, like your comment wasn't insensitive at all. It's not like he backhanded you at a restaurant for it or anything. He's just pissed.
posted by scarabic at 1:23 AM on September 19, 2005


Wait, wait, wait...what? I seriously don't understand anything that's going on in this thread, either the question or the answers.

If my girlfriend is describing someone very weak and she says to me "Compared to him, you're Schwarzenegger" that wouldn't mean that she thinks I'm strong like Arnold. It means that I'm a weak person, but not as weak as the guy she was just telling me about. Therefore, though very weak, compared to him I'm a body-builder.

Now, if I take offense at that, it's not because I think she's saying I'm just like the governor of California or speak English with a heavy accent. And it's not because, deep down, I secretly hate Austrians. (I don't keep that secret; hell, my email address is ihateaustrians@gmail.com)

No, I would take offense because I think of myself as being quite strong, and I'm hearing that my girlfriend begs to differ on this point.

SO...if she says "compared to him, you're Richard Simmons" then I would know that, though she thinks of me as a total alpha male hunk, when compared to her macho jerk of a boss I'm basically a simpering and mincing exercise instructor. She's not saying that I'm like Richard Simmons AT ALL...in fact, she's making a point by humorously contrasting Mr. Simmons' exuberant ways with my own manly laconic nature. And, well, the gay thing doesn't enter into it at all.

As for why the poster's husband got so upset at this...well, who knows? Maybe he's always liked to think of himself as an engaging and passionate husband, only to find out that his wife thinks he's "fairly reserved emotionally". Or maybe he's completely insane, and--like Mono Blanco says--he feels threatened that his wife knows a man she thinks is more of a macho jerk than him. Or, maybe he's just an idiot, and actually does think she was saying he's like Richard Simmons.

In fact, I said all that to say this to the anonymous poster: it doesn't even matter WHY he's so mad at you. All that matters is that something you said made him mad, and--not to sound too much like Dr. Drew, here--instead of asking us nerds about it, you should, like, ask him what's up. This isn't rocket surgery, you know?

And if that doesn't work...oh, just divorce him, I guess. He sounds like a total fucking maniac...I mean, only eleven-year-old girls give The Silent Treatment. What's next, is he going to add you to his slam book?
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:27 AM on September 19, 2005


Silent treatment is the best excuse I've ever had to throw a fit at a partner. Talking (or yelling) about differences is fine. Silence is unacceptable.

Scarabic has a lot of good points here.

Proceed: Apologize. Explain how stupid you were to make such a comparison. Laugh at yourself. Then slip out of something covering, and reveal something revealing, and let nature take its course. Let him know his place in your life.
posted by Goofyy at 2:58 AM on September 19, 2005


To him, it was really bad. He's probably insecure, and there's likely deeper problems at root, but even approaching that topic can be difficult.

What you said does merit an apology, but it's not that bad in itself. It's how he perceives the comment.

It could be homophobia, but I think that's a red herring in this case. Richard Simmons also portrays a "nice guy". No man wants to be a nice guy. Nice guys lose their women fast.

So, yeah. He's probably afraid he's losing you, and by acting the way he is, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. I hope for both of your sakes that he's not horribly stubborn.
posted by Saydur at 3:07 AM on September 19, 2005


I must admit I'm a little puzzled by his use of the word "married".

"Tell any married guy you know that story, and see what their reactions are. You'll understand."

It would be different if you were just boyfriend and girlfriend?

A lot of people are acting as if he'd said "Tell any straight guy"... but he didn't.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:28 AM on September 19, 2005


It seems to me that the wide variety of reactions here proves that the formulation "Next to X, you are like Z" is open to a huge range of misinterpretation. Reading over the previous responses, I see three interpretations of your comment:

1. "Hey, husband, you are as (gay, girly, silly, whatever) as Richard Simmons."
2. "Hey, husband, my boss is a silent, unexpressive block of concrete, and you are almost as bad."
3. "Hey, husband, my boss is a tough, macho guy, but you are slightly less macho than he is."

Interpretation 1, of course, is a logical misunderstanding of what you were saying--but as far as I can tell, #2 is exactly what you meant, and it's pretty insulting. So, yeah, you've insulted your husband. I'd encourage you to apologize.
posted by yankeefog at 3:51 AM on September 19, 2005


I'd agree with the people here who say that there's not enough context to tell, but maybe this is not really about Richard Simmons, and more about some underlying issues that have been going on for a while.

Like everyone else, I'm speculating here, but one possibility is that the whole issue of your husband's emotional expressiveness is a real problem for him in your marriage. I've seen a few couples where the woman often complains about the man's inability to talk about his emotions. Behind that inexpressiveness are two things: first, the man doesn't trust his wife with his emotions. Second, he feels pressure to "be a man", and he feels less of a man when he admits his insecurities.

Your comment might have reinforced both of those feelings in your husband, and it's perfectly natural that his response would be to withdraw completely. If it's reached the point of him not speaking to you, you've got some work to do to reestablish communication that goes beyond apologizing for the remark you made. You need to admit that you haven't made your husband feel that you're sensitive to his concerns, and you'll have to understand him well enough to make him feel that he can trust you not to belittle him for what he feels.
posted by fuzz at 3:54 AM on September 19, 2005


I think he's gotta get over himself, this reaction is way over the top.

But she also has to understand why that statement touched him off, because even if the silent treatmemnt is too much, I think he might have a reason to be angry.

Scarabic talked about the makeup and princess behaviour, but I don't think this gets to it closely enough.

The statements about macho and alpha male are not just about aggressive behaviour - they are, for many men, specifically sexual references.

The analogy would be me saying about a female colleage, "man she has great tits and an awesome ass and you can just tell she would be great to screw! Compared to her, you're Barbara Walters!"
posted by mikel at 4:35 AM on September 19, 2005


Maybe he's taking it as a challenge to be as emotionally reserved as your boss now and is therefore not speaking. Now the boss is Richard Simmons and the sun rises in the west!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:46 AM on September 19, 2005


As someone who's been known to overreact to minor things, let me simply argue this: the fact that his reaction was over the top does not negate the fact that what he was reacting to was insulting and inappropriate. You just don't go casually belittling your partner like that -- and then complain when he acts hurt in response.

Next time, shoot him in the head and complain about the blood stains.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:55 AM on September 19, 2005


I think YankeeFog sums it up nicely.

However, I do think there is a missing sense of the status level of the participants and perhaps the husband's fear that "the lady doth protest too much."

I think there is room for a lot of jealousy and insecurity when it comes to work relationships - especially in situations that mimic the dominant male/submissive female dynamic. In the world of sweeping generalizations, women are supposed to be attracted to manly men just as men are supposed to want feminine women. While you were complaining about your boss, you were complaining that he was TOO manly, and way more so than your husband.

I don't think your husband misunderstood the analogy as much as he felt compared unfavorably to the other man in your life - even though it was wrapped in what appeared to be a valid complaint. To remove the obfuscating language of reverse comparisons I think a more apt corallary would be something along the lines of:

"Sheesh. My new secretary is SO young. Her life experience consits primarily of going to the gym every evening so she can fit into her tight skirts. She can't do a thing without looking to me for approval first. I much prefer someone who's been around the track a few times - like you."
posted by aaronh at 5:56 AM on September 19, 2005


The silent treatment is juvenile, but I would guess that it's also indicative of a significant amount of hurt feelings. I agree with previous posters who point out that, when there is this much emotion involved, the meaning of right, wrong, and original intentions diminish greatly.

When my husband and I were going through our pre-marriage counseling, the priest told us that while arguing was a natural part of any relationship, if we cared more about each other than about being right, then our marriage would be ok. I can think of some cases where this advice would not apply, but it still resonates with me.
posted by bibliowench at 6:36 AM on September 19, 2005


I pretty much agree with scarabic (though I do disagree with the "wired to murder and rape" bit and hope that scarabic is not a defense attorney or judge).

However, the "not speaking with me" thing is a strong indication of a passive aggressive personality and I suggest you begin reading up on how to deal with it. How long have you been married and/or known each other, by the way?
posted by spock at 6:47 AM on September 19, 2005


Very astute & erudite analysis, scarabic.
posted by Pressed Rat at 6:58 AM on September 19, 2005


Yeah, you made a mistake. Unlike above posters, I very much doubt your husband is homophobic or is simply using this as a means to get back to you. What you said is pretty offensive. Assuming your husband is not a macho-jerk and he's made conscious effort to be a caring, sensitive guy who treats you well and makes you feel comfortable with him. In one deft blow you have both indicated that not only have his attempts to be a good husband failed and you still consider him emotionally distant but that you also consider such attempts unmanly. So you've called him a bad husband and a homosexual. That's a pretty sharp insult. I'm not married, but I can certainly see where he's coming from.
posted by nixerman at 7:25 AM on September 19, 2005


It seems like you should apologize, because you did offend him even if unintentionally. And then you should point out that being a big drama queen with the silent treatment and "go ask any married man" instead of actually communicating about the problem like a grown up sane person? Well, if the tank top fits...
posted by Lyn Never at 7:30 AM on September 19, 2005


My husband's not speaking to me.

Is anything other than this part pertinent? People over the age of 7 are expected to behave better than this. Maybe what you did was horrid, maybe it just pushed a particular button, I don't see that it matters. If he just needs some time to stew before he talks about it, that's one thing. But to refuse to even tell you?

The darkly amusing thing about that in this situation is that if I did that to one of my guy friends they'd say "So if I don't know what I did wrong you won't tell me? Are you a fucking woman now?"

Tell him you're sorry he's upset and if he just needs to be upset for a while that's fine but when he's ready you'd like to talk about it. It also sounds to me that he knows the silent treatment bothers you and it's a way to "get back" at you. Quit playing along.
posted by phearlez at 7:30 AM on September 19, 2005


The darkly amusing thing about that in this situation is that if I did that to one of my guy friends they'd say "So if I don't know what I did wrong you won't tell me? Are you a fucking woman now?"

Um, not so much "darkly amusing" as it is "totally misogynistic," but you know...

[in 1950s voice] Scarabic -- you are so big and strong and smart!

Anon: it sounds to me like your husband took it the wrong way. And it sounds to me like he's insecure. The only way you guys can get past this is for him to stop with the silent treatment, tell you what's wounding him exactly, and let you explain what you meant (and how that differs from what he heard). It's the not talking part that's the real problem, not the backhanded compliment of your emotionally reserved husband seeming like Richard Simmons in comparison to your locked-down boss.
posted by youarejustalittleant at 8:41 AM on September 19, 2005


Am I the only one here who totally adores Richard Simmons? Really? Oh.
posted by tristeza at 8:47 AM on September 19, 2005


The claims that he's homophobic is as outrageous as his deciding not to talk to you.

1) Don't apologize if you're not sorry. Don't apologize if you don't think you said something wrong.

2) mikel, scarabic, etc. have put it perfectly. (Most) Women become incredibly upset when a man they love insults them. When a man is insulted, it shouldn't bother him at all?

I don't think he "has issues", "needs to get over it", isn't a "secure straight man" or is in any way "homophobic". I think he sees himself as your protector and you passively insulted him (which is much worse than if you had gotten upset at him and made the comment, since he wouldn't know if you meant it or were just angry).

The fact is that you're a prick with an ego. If you can't honestly understand why that's insulting, you need to reevaluate your ability to emphasize. You also need to never expect him to understand why he's hurt your feelings and instead to post questions on a public forum to try to make himself feel better.

Your husband has an image of what you need. Maybe he thinks you would be happy with the "George Clooney" type (as you so tellingly titled your post) and pictures himself of being his own type of George Clooney. I don't think this is about his own level of maniless at all, but rather the level of maniless he thinks you want and deserve.
posted by null terminated at 8:49 AM on September 19, 2005


Regardless of the analysis of the comment, his reaction to it (not speaking to you) is extremely childish.
posted by agregoli at 8:56 AM on September 19, 2005


I don't think I get annonymous's joke, but aside from the question of whether it was appropriate or not, from him to be "not speaking to her" is immature and stupid.

OTOH, whether his dislike of the joke is rational or not is irrelevant. People aren't always rational. He didn't like it. So you shouldn't do it again. "Proving" that he's being irrational (if he is) by disliking the joke is beside the point and doesn't help at all.

THe point of addressing a conflict is generally to avoid that conflict in the future.Without that goal, trying to address who was right or wrong in the past isn't really useful (and trying to figure out who was right or wrong in the past is often not necessary to achieve the goal of avoiding the same conflict in the future).
posted by winston at 9:03 AM on September 19, 2005


...his reaction to it (not speaking to you) is extremely childish.

I'd be interested to hear, from those who've opined similarly, just why this response should be considered childish, and what the "mature" response would consist of. I would think yelling or slapping would be childish under almost any circumstances, but I can think of several factors that might make "the silent treatment" a perfectly rational response in this case. For instance, this may be the umpteenth time anon has "slipped" like this and husband may now be contemplating divorce but not ready to talk about it.

Anon, one thing you don't reveal in your account is whether or not this story was told in front of other people. I think your husband has a right to be offended even if this was a private conversation, for reasons already well rehearsed above, but if it you let this little gem slip in public...well, I think he deserves as much time as he needs to cool off, Little Miss Can't-Be-Wrong.
posted by bricoleur at 9:17 AM on September 19, 2005


   I can't believe how many people just lapped up scarabic's horrible drivel. There are so many other possibilities on what is going on here it's just ridiculous to be so freakin reductive and resort to quotes like this:

"Men are wired to kill each other and rape everything in sight.

   Um, I've never had a desire to kill any man ever. Maybe I'd like to stick politicians in a safe little room that would prevent them from doing more harm but never kill. And it's not like I'm some extreme non-macho version of a man. I play playground basketball here in New York City, I like physical contact, I'm just not into dominating people. And rape somebody... uh, I like girls, as in I actually like them, so therefore I don't want to do anything to make them dislike me.... uh, like rape them. And while I may not be the norm, i'm pretty sure there are lots of men like me.
I know I've met lots.

   It's just so fucked up to try to explain the difficulties that couples have in communicating to each other as simple laws of the jungle. For fuck's sake we left the jungle a long freakin time ago.

   Look, we have no freakin idea what context this joke has in their relationship. Maybe this couple argues every single day about him not being sensitive enough. In this context the joke wouldn't be so innocent, it would be a big ass red flag in front of a bull. I know i react badly when my SO makes a joke about an significant issue that isn't resolved between us, even if it really is meant as a in passing joke. I can't laugh because I feel the need to defend myself, and if it's not an ideal time for a real discussion I just get upset.

   Or maybe the guy is just a straight up bat shit insane homophobe who just heard and only heard Richard Simmons and flipped. Or even more likely that obiwanwasabi (thank you for being sane obiwanwasabi) is pretty close to the truth.

   Your discussion probably came across something like this: "Let me tell you about my day. My boss is a macho jerk. By the way, and I say this for no reason in particular, did I ever mention that you can be a macho jerk too? Well, you can. And that brings me to another point, which is that he's a bigger macho jerk than you. Now, back to my boss..." Thanks honey. Way to use me as a benchmark of emotional dysfunction.

   See? nice and simple, no me Tarzan, you Jane crap. People have trouble communicating because communicating is hard, not because men are stupid apes who wanta to beat people with a stick, whatever stick it may be. Half the reasons couples have trouble is there is much more that has to be communicated when two people share a life together, rather then just share beers and friendship together. Regardless of the sexes of the participants.

   One last thing though to anonymous, I have no idea how your relationship works. But as a partner in a relationship you deserve better than the silent treatment, no matter the context for your joke. If as a couple it is impossible for you to communicate what pisses you off about each other, I see lots of misery in your future. I hope I'm wrong.
posted by lips at 9:23 AM on September 19, 2005


And that was that. He's not speaking to me, and I swear I don't get it. I was trying to make a point about my boss, not him, and yes, it was an exaggeration, but I tend to those.

If you were trying to make a point about your boss, and not about your husband, then you shouldn't have mentioned your husband at all.

About the silent treatment, some people are really, really good at being cruel when they are super pissed-off. An attempt to have a discussion with them while they are in this state will lead to button pushing and name calling that has nothing to do with the situation at hand, and nothing will get resolved, and everything will get worse. I won't give people the silent treatment, but I'll give them the "one word response" treatment until I can calm down enough to have a discussion, or even a fight about the situation at hand.

It depends on how long it's gone on for, but the silent treatment is not some kind of warning sign that your relationship is doomed.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:55 AM on September 19, 2005


Man, am I glad that I don't date most of you. But I'm gonna pick on bricoleur for one second.

I'd be interested to hear, from those who've opined similarly, just why this response [the silent treatment] should be considered childish, and what the "mature" response would consist of.

1. Saying, "Geez, thanks hon," when confronted with what seems a light, inadvertent insult.*

2. If you are really so furious, saying, "I can't talk about this right now. I will when I've processed it more," and then going on with your life, incuding talking to your wife about other things.

3. Saying, "I am really angry/bothered/whatever, and I need to go for a walk/sleep on the couch/not talk to you for the next few hours." But that state can really only last a few hours before you are just being childish by refusing to speak.

I would think yelling or slapping would be childish under almost any circumstances,

Here may be part of the difference. I think refusing to speak is way worse than yelling--assuming you are not just yelling invective. At least yelling is trying to communicate. Slapping is
beyond childish--it is never, ever acceptable.

I think he deserves as much time as he needs to cool off, Little Miss Can't-Be-Wrong.

What the hell? That is neither appropriate for AskMe (and I got low standards) nor do you know the poster well enough to assume she can never be wrong. Not cool.


* And if you can't see your SO mentioning your own little flaws as light, then you either have problems with this whole "masculinity" crap or are just terribly insecure. The analogues mentioned above (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, been around a bit) wouldn't bother me much beyond a "hey, thanks" because I have no issues about my freakin' feminity or whether my boy loves me.
posted by dame at 10:14 AM on September 19, 2005


Could both of you be a bit lacking in the communication department perhaps? Wife (involuntarily, unconsciously, etc.) offends husband with an offhand remark intended as harmless joke, but clearly he didn't take it as such, and perhaps if wife already knows husband's character well she could have guessed it wouldn't go down that well (then again such things can be hard to predict, and the nature of the remark doesn't really make it sound like it'd be a big deal anyway); husband then sulks like a schoolboy instead of going "hey what do you mean by that!" and just having a proper argument on the spot, or laughing it off, or acting offended and actually explain why, or anything that might be less annoying and over the top than holding a grudge for such a silly remark.

To add a bit more drama, husband then challenges wife to ask the opinion of other members of the Tribe of Married (Straight) Men, because the Tribe is supposed to have one voice and that voice is supposed to be more helpful and accurate than face to face communication. And wife takes that suggestion, perhaps hoping for some vindication, instead of just telling him, "no I'm asking you, not 'any married men'". Tsk... You validated his search for external authority as a substitute for him just saying what's on his own mind. Bad move! Now he's no longer just your husband sulking for some reason he refuses to explain, he's the archetype of all husbands so deeply hurt by the careless words of insensitive wives! The whole posse is behind him! you're outnumbered and therefore wrong! See, that's what the "ask any married men" is all about. Shame on you for taking it literally ;)

but seriously, phearlez above sad it already: don't play along. Ask him patiently to explain what bothered him so much, very matter of fact, straight to your face, and talk it out properly right there one to one. No reason for him to be afraid of direct confrontation over something so silly. For your part try and explain exactly what you meant by your remark, tell him you didn't mean to offend or disparage him, and if he's not a jerk he'll admit he overreacted a wee bit. Of course only you know your situation, so if there is something else underneath, something unspoken from your side or his or both, it's better if it comes out honestly; and if there isn't anything else to it, he'll just learn to be a bit less childish and you'll learn to be a bit more tactful. And you'll live happily ever after. Or, at least, until the next misunderstanding / communication breakdown.

But if they're all over small things like these, I'd say you two get along rather well...
posted by funambulist at 10:31 AM on September 19, 2005


I'd be interested to hear, from those who've opined similarly, just why this response should be considered childish, and what the "mature" response would consist of.

Isn't that fairly obvious? Mature adults communicate and talk through the problem, they don't refuse to speak to the offender, especially when that offender is their spouse. The silent treatment is something we all should have outgrown in childhood.
posted by agregoli at 10:38 AM on September 19, 2005


At work recently, two separate people compared me to Anne Widdecombe.

What they meant was that I am forthright and have no trouble in putting across my point.

But what I heard was "you are a frumpy, fat, reactionary, right-wing old maid". I am none of those things, btw, but I was so upset at the comparison that that's the only way I could see it for days afterwards.

So I understand - completely- how your husband misinterpreted what you were saying to him.

In the end I had to tell the two people involved how upset I had been at the comparison and that I felt I was nothing like Anne Widdecombe at all. It was only at that point that the people involved realised how much their comments had upset me and explained that they thought comparing me with her was, er, a good thing.
posted by essexjan at 10:39 AM on September 19, 2005


"Reading over the previous responses, I see three interpretations of your comment:

1. "Hey, husband, you are as (gay, girly, silly, whatever) as Richard Simmons."
2. "Hey, husband, my boss is a silent, unexpressive block of concrete, and you are almost as bad."
3. "Hey, husband, my boss is a tough, macho guy, but you are slightly less macho than he is."

Interpretation 1, of course, is a logical misunderstanding of what you were saying--but as far as I can tell, #2 is exactly what you meant, and it's pretty insulting.
"

Huh? How about #4: "You are more emotionally reserved than the average person, but my boss is as far beyond you in the unexpressive direction as Richard Simmons is beyond the average person in the opposite direction." It doesn't seem at all confusing or insulting to me. I've been perceived as emotionally reserved by some people in the past, and it wouldn't offend me at all if someone had made the exact same comment to me.

Of course, as some folks have said, communication is hard. Of the commenters who think anon was insulting, some seem to think she was accusing her husband of being too macho, while others seem to think she was accusing him of being not macho enough. Given that discrepancy, it's probably impossible for us to know what the husband in question thought, especially since we don't know anything about the context, history,or tone of voice involved.

I will add my voice to those who say that the silent treatment is just about never apporpriate.
posted by tdismukes at 10:44 AM on September 19, 2005


If my wife said that to me, the caveman module in my mind would translate that statement into "My boss could easily kick your a**". And being a descendant of an ancient warrior class, I wouldn't like hearing that. I think it comes down to evolutionary psychology if you believe in that school of thought. I think every guy, even those who say they are intellectualy above it, are in some way inspired or intimidated by another male who exhibits greater masculine strength, power, or charisma. To use emotional mathematics, we don't like seeing 'Other Guy > Me'. We either like 'Other Guy = Me' or 'Other Guy < me'. br>
Have you ever seen 'Legends of the Fall? "Compared to Tristan, your like Alfred?" Even though Alfred is masculine, good looking, and intelligent, I am sure he wouldn't want to be compared to Tristan, especially by a woman.
posted by jasondigitized at 10:50 AM on September 19, 2005


As for the "men are wired to kill each other and rape everything in sight", I just hope it was meant as cleverly ironic ... if it wasn't, nevermind.

I would think yelling or slapping would be childish

Really? slapping your partner, "childish"? wasn't the definition you were looking for "violent"? "thuggish", perhaps? Not to be a pedant really, but a lot of words come to mind to describe that kind of reaction, "childish" is not really one of them.

The analogy would be me saying about a female colleage, "man she has great tits and an awesome ass and you can just tell she would be great to screw! Compared to her, you're Barbara Walters!"

I don't get this. She is referring to her boss specifically as a macho jerk who never wants to show emotion. Now I'm sure some men see those things as true virtues of the manly man, yay, but seems she didn't, otherwise, I guess, she wouldn't have used the word "jerk". So that analogy seems completely wrong.

What an enlightening thread!
posted by funambulist at 10:53 AM on September 19, 2005


tdismukes,

Anonymous is doing both, and that's the problem, I think. She is saying her husband is emotionally reserved and--and here where's the interpretation kicks in--she's likening his attempts to not come off as emotionally reserved can be likened to Richard Simmons. No husband--who makes any effort at all to be sensitive to his wife's needs--wants to be told he's both unmanly and insensitive. Of course, this is all rampant speculation.

As for the "silent treatment"--eh, people are people. There's nothing immature about it. Some people handle being hurt by somebody they love by withdrawing and behaving immaturely. Chastising them isn't going to accomplish anything. Accept it, and figure out how to patch things up.

Additionally: for the people in this thread insulting anon, please go away. AskMe is here for you to help--not insult posters and feel superior.
posted by nixerman at 11:13 AM on September 19, 2005


There's nothing immature about it. Some people handle being hurt by somebody they love by withdrawing and behaving immaturely.

There's nothing immature about behaving immaturely? News to me.
posted by agregoli at 11:14 AM on September 19, 2005


Anyway, my only point was communication is desperately needed here - he needs to communicate why her remark hurt him so that she can understand exactly what the offense was and apologize.
posted by agregoli at 11:18 AM on September 19, 2005


I think every guy, even those who say they are intellectualy above it, are in some way inspired or intimidated by another male who exhibits greater masculine strength, power, or charisma.

But that is jealousy and it happens for both sexes and both partners in any couple, straight or gay, and it has nothing to do with cavemen and testosterone and evolutionary psychobabble. If partner x implies to partner y that person z is sooo much more attractive, charismatic, strong, powerful, sexy, intelligent and charming than them, then partner y will be jealous. That's totally obvious.

Doesn't sound like what happened here at all though. If I have to guess why the husband here was offended, I'd reckon what obiwanwasabi said makes a lot more sense. From what anonymous is saying, it's at least clear that she wasn't paying a compliment to the boss, she was specifically talking of what she doesn't like about him, and implied her husband is at least better than that, which sounds as if it was said jokingly, but that may have been what offended him, that he took the remark literally. A lot depends on tone and context and the people in question, their relationship, their degree of ease with that kind of mockery of each other's flaws if you like. But I just cannot imagine that the husband was jealous, that what he took offense at was being seen as less of a macho jerk than the boss, unless the husband thinks being a macho jerk is a good thing... weird how many people seem to think so here.
posted by funambulist at 11:18 AM on September 19, 2005


I think you're being a bit disingenuous, anonymous. You say that this was just about your boss, but that's obviously not true because your actual remark was about your husband. I think the point of your remark was to suggest that your husband is much more emotionally expressive than your boss, but you phrased it in an unnecessarily negative way. I think your husband would have been pleased if you'd said, "You're so much more emotionally intelligent than he is," or something like that.
posted by clockzero at 11:26 AM on September 19, 2005


I think the danger in using these kind of comparisons is that you assume the person (the husband in this case) sees the exact same characteristics and thus understands the point of your comparison. Yes, anon did say it was about showing emotion, but it's likely the husband saw the comparison on a very different aspect.

I'm guilty of the silent treatment over certain slights, perceived or otherwise. It usually resolves itself in a day or so. I hope it does in this situation too, and the reason the comparison was so hurtful revealed.
posted by tommasz at 11:27 AM on September 19, 2005


Folks, tell any living human being that they're like Richard Simmons, and they'll be insulted. Black, white, gay, straight, macho, wimpy, male, female -- doesn't matter: Richard Simmons is unholy freaky, and no one wants to be compared to him.

It's got nothing to do with his genital proclivities, and everything to do wih R.S. as a package: annoying, squeaky, freaky, bouncy, weird little bugger who may, in fact, be some sort of alien space creature.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:37 PM on September 19, 2005


Saying, "Geez, thanks hon," when confronted with what seems a light, inadvertent insult.

Dame, your perception is that this was a "light, inadvertent insult." And it may have been. None of us really has much to go on here; we're all reading a lot into a little sketch. But the fact that her husband reacted the way he did tips my interpretation in the direction of not-so-light and not-so-inadvertent. And I think others have listed many other good reasons for this interpretation.

If you are really so furious, saying, "I can't talk about this right now. I will when I've processed it more," and then going on with your life, including talking to your wife about other things.

Well, maybe. But I may as well admit that I've been in this position a few times—the butt of a "light, inadvertent insult." Or so it was made it out to be. But, as it happens, I am both insecure and highly sensitive. I read a lot into a remark. So I feel like I'm on very familiar ground here. If I were anon's husband, I might not actually be giving her the silent treatment, though it might seem like it to her. I might, instead, be caught on the horns of a dilemma, wondering is she (a) really clueless about why this offends me or (b) really intending to hurt me but trying to pass it off as insignificant. Neither horn looks good: either she's a dim bulb or she doesn't respect my feelings or she's a...a...Little Miss Can't-Be-Wrong (which by the way is a popular music reference and not meant as venomous—a light enough though not inadvertent insult). Either horn bodes poorly for the relationship. So I might be simply keeping my own counsel while considering my options, not actually trying to apply the silent treatment per se.

Saying, "I am really angry/bothered/whatever, and I need to go for a walk/sleep on the couch/not talk to you for the next few hours." But that state can really only last a few hours before you are just being childish by refusing to speak.

Not so, if you are still on the horns of the dilemma days later.

I think refusing to speak is way worse than yelling--assuming you are not just yelling invective. At least yelling is trying to communicate.

You are making two assumptions here. First, you simply—as has everyone else who has pushed this point—assume your conclusion. You think that refusing to speak is worse than yelling. I think yelling is worse than refusing to speak. I thought maybe you, or someone, could give me a reason to change my mind.

Second, you are assuming that communication is possible; i. e., that anon will hear what her husband has to say, that is to say, will take him seriously, that is to say, actually gives a shit about his feelings. My impression, based on no more evidence than has been given, is that whatever her intentions might be in this regard, his perception is that she doesn't give a shit, so why should he bare his soul to her. We could assume that his perception is incorrect, but based on the scant but telling presentation she's given us, I for one am inclined to give the husband the benefit of the doubt.

In other words, it isn't really the silent treatment if it's a brick wall you're refusing to talk to.

Slapping is beyond childish--it is never, ever acceptable.

Granted, that was sloppy of me. I did not intend to too faintly condemn domestic violence. I should have thought more and come up with an appropriate example for "childish."

Lastly, I'll say what I should have said firstly: Anon, it's one thing to condemn a casual acquaintance for taking offense too easily. Yes, it's bad manners to be too thin-skinned with people you don't know well, and we all have to make allowances for light, inadvertent insults in our social lives. But it's quite another thing to plead ignorance when you hurt people you love. You should know why what you said hurt your husband. Not knowing insults him a second time, because it makes it clear that you don't care enough to know.

OK, I'm done projecting my life onto this little scrap of narrative.
posted by bricoleur at 1:11 PM on September 19, 2005


Erm, I admit I had no clue who this Richard Simmons was and now that evil google has presented me with the first image results in his name, I must say five fresh fish's occam razor style theory seems to be the most sensible...

*gasp*

But really, it only makes anonymous wife's "compared to him" remark a lot more hilarious. The poor husband hit by the power of such a full-on cliché... here's to hoping it ends in a good laugh as it should...
posted by funambulist at 1:27 PM on September 19, 2005


Bricoleur:

I started writing a big, long, judgemental response, but I realized this isn't the place. I do want to address a few things:

You think that refusing to speak is worse than yelling. I think yelling is worse than refusing to speak. I thought maybe you, or someone, could give me a reason to change my mind.

Nice selective quoting. Did you miss where I pointed out that this is the difference? And the reason that it is worse is because it is refusing to communicate--because it is not even trying to make things better. Now you can come up with all sorts of reasons as to why that isn't a good enough answer for you, but that is why, to me, it seems less than mature.

As to the rest of your comment, I can see why I won't convince you--we are just coming to intimate communnication from different ends.
posted by dame at 1:33 PM on September 19, 2005


"I mean, compared to him, you're practically Richard Simmons."

Oh god.

I can see it or at least I can see what I think you meant. If I thought you meant it literally it would be bad, just about as bad as could be said. Especially if you said it in an off hand manner. But if it was just hyperbole, I wouldn't think much of it.

As is obvious now, never compare any guy you like to Richard Simmons.
posted by 517 at 2:03 PM on September 19, 2005


I think Zed (waaayyy up there) cut to the heart of it: context is all. If this is an isolated incident, your husband is probably being childish and oversensitive. But if your husband is not usually childish and oversensitive, consider the possibility that from his perspective this is not an isolated incident.

Whatever message pushed his button in the Simmons comparison -- he's too macho, he's not macho enough, he's excessively fond of aerobics, whatever -- may be a message he feels that he's been getting from you for a while. Obviously, you're both better off if he'll open up enough to tell you what the deal is, but if he won't, I'd suggest considering what your last several fights were about and looking for a common thread that ties in with one of the possible intepretations of the remark suggested in this thread.
posted by bac at 2:08 PM on September 19, 2005


As a married man, I'd think that comment was hilarious, and probably award a coveted high FIIIIVE for it. But if your husband doesn't, all the opinions on this site ain't worth a hill of beans - even though he's acting like a big baby about it, his feelings got hurt.
posted by sluggo at 8:03 PM on September 19, 2005


O! I'd love to be there the next time dame's boy slights her and then tells her to just get over herself.

If you've never wounded anyone by saying the wrong thing inadvertently, you've either never been in a relationship (at least not one worth being in). And if your method for managing this is to just laugh your partners emotions under the rug, then I have a feeling we'll be seeing you on the market soon!

I have a feeling the perception of this "silent treatment" is overblown. It's clear he was miffed. It's clear he said he was miffed and then huffed off. It's not clear that, 7 days later, he's still totally unresponsive to direct questions. Come on. My guess is that this thread could just as easily have been framed as "I said something that upset my man and he doesn't want to tell me why." Hint: men aren't supposed to have feelings (much evidence of this rule in this thread), so telling someone why they hurt you is generally humiliating, and seen as burdening others with your shameful blubbering. If he's clammed up about why he's miffed, maybe he... I dunno.. dated women like dame too often?
posted by scarabic at 10:17 PM on September 19, 2005


Wow scarabic,

Lovely of you to pretty up the ask me thread with personal insults. Read the guidelines much?

Anonymous, I would once again recomend you ignore the ridiculous writing in this thread by scarabic.

Hint: men aren't supposed to have feelings

Of course we aren't supposed to have feelings because:

Men are wired to kill each other and rape everything in sight. It's part of how the gene pool is filtered and successful genes spread, just like any other animal in the jungle. Sometimes it's not easy being male.

I'm sorry, a comment like this in a thread pretty much makes the rest of that person's comments pretty much valueless.

Please move on, nothing to see here.
posted by lips at 7:44 AM on September 20, 2005


scarabic, that's way over the line, for chrissakes
posted by matteo at 9:16 AM on September 20, 2005


O.K., MetaTalk
posted by matteo at 10:22 AM on September 20, 2005


Goodness. The last fading embers of my meficrush on scarabic have just died out.
posted by scody at 10:38 AM on September 20, 2005


I'm available scody.

*flexes biceps in an intelligent and emotionally mature manner*
posted by sciurus at 10:55 AM on September 20, 2005


ooh!
posted by scody at 11:18 AM on September 20, 2005


[This should be common sense, but bears repeating...]
Folks, tell any living human being that they're like Richard Simmons, and they'll be insulted. Black, white, gay, straight, macho, wimpy, male, female -- doesn't matter: Richard Simmons is unholy freaky, and no one wants to be compared to him.

It's got nothing to do with his genital proclivities, and everything to do wih R.S. as a package: annoying, squeaky, freaky, bouncy, weird little bugger who may, in fact, be some sort of alien space creature.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:37 PM PST on September 19 [!]
And there is no way to get some kind of trial by AskMe jury about marital issues with only one party's comments. Talk to him instead of MetaFilter. (Or work on listening moreso than talking?)
posted by MightyNez at 11:37 AM on September 20, 2005


Something that I want to re-emphisize that 23 Skidoo menitoned is that one reason why I sometimes give my girlfriend "the silent treatment" is when she's touched upon something that really upsets me and I don't want to retaliate by really hurting her. I recognize that I have a pretty deep cruel streak and am pretty good at finding people's weaknesses in verbal sparring to the point where I know that if I'm too angry, I can say something that will end a friendship immediately.
Further, few things upset me more than when someone whom I have a relationship with says something hurtful and then acts as if they're the aggrieved party when I take offense. That earns a big ol' "Fuck you, bitch. I assumed that we had a fundamental level of communication, so that I wouldn't have to explain why this hurts me. If you want to come back and pick at it before I'm over it, you're asking for a fight. And a mean fight at that."
And certainly, anyone that I marry should have a fairly good perception of what sets me off before we go down that aisle.
posted by klangklangston at 12:50 PM on September 20, 2005


It's not wise to compare your mate to a stranger with the same emotional perspective.
posted by semmi at 11:10 PM on September 20, 2005


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