She’s Tired Of Being Mansplained To
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I think this goes both ways. We are both condescending to each other sometimes- man and woman that is. Sometimes there is a legitimate reason for having to explain things to each other. For example, how a catalytic converter works, the confusing ending to that weird avante garde film we just watched, lack of scientific evidence to prove ghosts are real, and Facebook privacy setting. And, couples can easily explain things to each other without coming across as superior in intellect, condescending, or just plain mean.
This guy doesn’t sound mean or condescending, at least how she describes him. He just seems like he has a bad memory and possibly his reason for not finishing the yard is because something more important was weighing on his mind. Even a sports game on TV might take precedence over finishing weed-eating the yard. Is that selfish to put the yard on hold for other reasons? This guy and his wife might also have different standards for what constitutes a “s**t yard.” What looks fine to him might look like s**t to her. Either way, they need to communicate with each other about this issue and at the very least, hire a landscaping company to come over and do the job.
I think part of the problem is societal. As men, we were somehow ingrained with the idea that we must always have the answers and explain things to those we care for. At one point in time, only men could attend universities, be on juries, vote in elections and probably other things I’m forgetting to mention. For a large chunk of history, “mansplaining” was just a husband and a father teaching his wife and children how the world works. I’m not saying that’s right, I’m just saying that’s the way it was, and perhaps some of us got the notion from our own fathers, and now that’s just the way it is.
I think things are pretty equal today as far as education and perseverance goes for men and women. For every genius man, there’s a genius woman. For every ditzy girl, there’s an even dumber boy. For every dude who “mansplains”, there’s a chick who nags. We annoy the heck out of each other, but strangely enough, I’ve been to enough funerals to know that all these things that we find annoying about the people we love seem to find there way into eulogies; and what is presently causing us frustration and clenched fists, turns out to be one of those “little things” that we end up missing when suddenly they are gone.
This story makes me chuckle. It’s good that she sees that they have two different personalities or “opposite ends of the spectrum” as she says, and that he’s still a good guy. I believe so too. There are cases when people do do things to condescend or bait people (as shown in our post of Baiting A Pregnant Woman?!). In these cases the relationship is toxic and hard to recover from (if at all), but in this case she knows that he’s not purposely talking down to her or purposely ignoring her intelligence. She’s just frustrated that it’s happening and is hoping that someone will be able to relate with her.
Well, I do understand what she is saying. Brent doesn’t do this, but I have had this happen by two people in my life that I can think of specifically, and I know that these people were NOT talking down to me when this happened. It definitely was frustrating, because they would repeat exactly what I said right after I said it as if they had just came up with the idea on their own. I know though that these people care for me. I remember telling myself in the moment that their intentions are not to make me feel bad or stupid, it’s just that they didn’t realize what they did.
I’m not fully sure what is going on in their minds when they do this. I wish I could. Oh, I wish I could. It would make life so much easier to know what others intentions are, right? So, when I can’t figure out what someone else is thinking when they may or may not have inadvertently hurt my feelings, I:
1. Gauge the situation: I try to understand what may have happened. I keep an open mind to give the other person the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t intentionally try to hurt my feelings, which it sounds like she is doing here. Great!
2. Ask myself, “Is this worth it?”: If the person only did it once and I only see this person every so often then I just let it pass, telling myself that this person does care for me and what they did wasn’t intentional. In this case she can’t really ignore it, because he is her husband and it keeps happening.
3. Bring it to their attention: If it continues to happen and it really bothers me I speak up and tell them. If they really don’t know that they are doing it then how are they to know and possibly correct it, right? After you have pointed it out, if they really care for you, then they will make an effort to come together and compromise on a way to correct it.
It’s surprising how much people appreciate when you are open and honest with them. They may actually end up saying, “Oh, I didn’t realize that I was doing that,” or “Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot. I didn’t mean to ignore what you said.”
Example Two: Weed Eating
If you talk it through and realize that they tend to forget or maybe get busy or stressed at times and don’t hear what you are saying then I would suggest that it be put in writing, either on a post-it, white board, or text message. In the example of forgetting to mow the lawn to get rid of the fleas I would try using this strategy.
Example One: Realtor Inspection
In the example of the realtor inspection she did have it in writing, she sent him text messages. This one baffles me. I’m going to say that he got caught up in his work and just completely missed the fact that she was the one that sent him the messages about the house. He may have quickly checked his phone and thought that he had been given the message from the realtor. In this case you can’t fault him. First, he was working. That’s understandable. I think we all tend to check our phones quickly when we are busy at work, and we miss details because of this. We may even glance at a message and then quickly get distracted. A lot of jobs don’t allow use of personal phones so he may not have wanted to get caught checking his phone and completely missed who sent him the message. I mean, he did stop using the weed eater halfway through the yard work that needed to be done so this may also be a sign that he gets distracted easily. Second, he was at least communicating what he knew. If he thought that he had gotten the message directly from the realtor instead of from his wife then from his perspective he was being helpful, and staying in communication with his wife. That’s a good thing. So bringing it to his attention in this case would have helped her feel better because they would have figured out that it was just a mistake. He may be a little embarrassed with the mix up, but at least her mind would have been at ease knowing that he wasn’t trying to be condescending.
Example Three: Questions About Child From Family And Friends
In the third example she explains that he repeats what she has said to him about their child to family and friends. She also says that family and friends will ask him questions instead of to her about their child. In this case I’m going to guess that the friends and family are closer to him than they are to her so they naturally feel more comfortable with or are used to asking him questions. They may not realize that they are doing this as well.
I have to admit that it would bother me somewhat too if family and friends only asked my husband about our daughter when I have given more hours of time at home with her since birth. I understand where the frustration is coming from. Again, to this I would say to talk it through with him. Maybe he can step back for a second when someone asks a question so that she can have the opportunity to answer. Then as they see her answering they will start to feel more comfortable in asking her instead of him all of the time.
In conclusion, all three examples were able to be explained in some way as I’ve done here. I think a lot of times when we think that a loved one is trying to hurt us it turns out to be an honest misunderstanding. All we have to do is remember to give them the benefit of the doubt and courtesy of knowing how we feel in order to come up with a solution to correct the situation, weather it be writing it down, bringing it to their attention as soon as it happens to determine if there was a mistake, or allowing them to take a different course of action.