What are you doing? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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What are you doing?

I know this is a silly complaint. I fully recognize that. I have been trying to get over it, but it's one of those things that has been irritating me for years and years.

When my wife greets me remotely, over the phone or from the other side of the house, she doesn't say "How are you doing?" but instead says "What are you doing?"

I believe her family was much closer than mine and loved to share all their activities all the time, so saying "What are you doing?" is her way of asking what is going on my life. That's all it is. Nothing sinister about it.

Unfortunately, my instinct is not to take it that way. To me it's an invasion of my privacy. I immediately feel pressured to report on whatever I'm doing, which might be something she feels is unproductive and therefore I will be judged on what I say.

Am I crazy to feel this way? Perhaps so. It's smaller than a small thing. It's very minor and not a huge deal. It just gets old after a while..

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:37 PM
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Cool Re: What are you doing?

My Dad did a mild derivation of that by always saying a friendly "Whatcha up to?"

Either way, no big deal!

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:57 PM
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Re: What are you doing?

Privacy?

It is your wife...

What is wrong with being truthful?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:10 PM
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Re: What are you doing?

Seriously?

It's just a variation on a greeting. I know lots of people who do it. It isn't an attempt to invade your privacy.

Every time she says it, just say "not much" and move on.

I had a boss once who would instantly fire people if they said "Not a problem" or something similar when someone said "thank you". The only thing acceptable to say was "you're welcome". Honestly, it can really be a regional thing. Where I'm from, unless it is a very professional serious relationship, "no problem" is not even just acceptable, but it's considered more personal.

I once asked him how long he would last if someone fired him the minute that he said 'y'all' instead of the less Southern variations - since most of our clients were in the northeast. I don't work there anymore.

Anyway OP, relax. If that's your biggest problem you are doing great.

Don't let people become a priority in your life when you're just an option in theirs.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What are you doing?

We are doing great. Not zero problems, but nothing major.

If it's a variation on a greeting, why doesn't anyone else ever ask me what I'm doing, unless they actually want to know what I'm doing?

I just find it an odd thing to say as a greeting.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What are you doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerging Buddhist View Post
Privacy?

It is your wife...

What is wrong with being truthful?

You are your best judge... don't give up that power!
Couples need to have some privacy from each other. Obviously much less than with others, but no privacy at all would be horrible. As for being truthful, always when it's important, but my partner doesn't need to know everything I do, and I don't want to know everything she does. A little bit of distance actually improves the time when you are together in my humble opinion.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:53 PM
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Re: What are you doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ooftah View Post
Couples need to have some privacy from each other. Obviously much less than with others, but no privacy at all would be horrible. As for being truthful, always when it's important, but my partner doesn't need to know everything I do, and I don't want to know everything she does. A little bit of distance actually improves the time when you are together in my humble opinion.
How would that be horrible?

Only truthful when it's important?

You do have me curious... but you did ask.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 05:56 AM
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Re: What are you doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ooftah View Post
I know this is a silly complaint. I fully recognize that. I have been trying to get over it, but it's one of those things that has been irritating me for years and years.

When my wife greets me remotely, over the phone or from the other side of the house, she doesn't say "How are you doing?" but instead says "What are you doing?"

I believe her family was much closer than mine and loved to share all their activities all the time, so saying "What are you doing?" is her way of asking what is going on my life. That's all it is. Nothing sinister about it.

Unfortunately, my instinct is not to take it that way. To me it's an invasion of my privacy. I immediately feel pressured to report on whatever I'm doing, which might be something she feels is unproductive and therefore I will be judged on what I say.

Am I crazy to feel this way? Perhaps so. It's smaller than a small thing. It's very minor and not a huge deal. It just gets old after a while..
Just reply: "What am I doing? Just loving you, honey!"

And it is small. It is smaller even than this.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 10:36 AM
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Re: What are you doing?

What was your wife's response when you mentioned your aversion to this phrase in a calm and reasonable tone and asked her to stop using it?

You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view. - Obi Wan Kenobi
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 11:46 AM
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Re: What are you doing?

My wife usually starts with that phrase since I'm usually at work and she doesn't want to bother me if I'm busy. But even when I'm not at work, she says it sometimes and I don't take it as "I want to know what you are doing right now" but rather just a general conversation opening.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:31 PM
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Re: What are you doing?

I'm thinking you're being a bit oversensitive.

Now if she says "What are you doing and who are you doing it with", well that's another matter entirely.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 04:54 PM
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Re: What are you doing?

Have you ever explored the reason that you find this question offensive? I think the key lies in you figuring out how to not take it so badly. You've done well to recognize and KNOW that it really ISN'T a big deal. Now get your heart to follow your brain, and make yourself FEEL that it isn't a big deal.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 06:25 PM
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Re: What are you doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
What was your wife's response when you mentioned your aversion to this phrase in a calm and reasonable tone and asked her to stop using it?
I was wondering the same thing.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 07:03 PM
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Re: What are you doing?

Just respond, "I'm masticating a myopic mollusk!"
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