Was This A **** Test? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Was This A **** Test?

Earlier today the girlfriend and I are queuing in a store. It was fairly long and moving slowly which meant that a lot of people, especially mothers with young kids, were all stood in close proximity together. Two young guys (early-twenties) joined the end of the line and both are expressing their dislike for having to wait with a lot of bad language and vulgar terms. Not directed at anyone in particular but not the sort of language you want around young kids either so I turn to them and simply say:

"Keep the language down in front of all the kids please lads"

And both immediately apologise, first to myself, then to the queue and begin talking in a more civilised manner. No harm done, no threats of violence and no fuss right? A couple of the mothers turn to thank me, as does the overworked cashier but my girlfriend? She then rolls her eyes and declares:

"Jesus you're like one of those old men who tell kids to watch their language!"

To which I respond that I was doing it for the kids, not for her and she quiets down and mumbles that I probably think she's a bad mother for swearing in front of her own kids. I say nothing. Later I leave the house to walk the dogs and this time she shouts "don't go shouting at people to mind their language!" but again I say nothing in response. It's clear that its still on her mind but here is what I'm curious about:

Was that a **** test?
How should I have responded?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 01:33 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

Was she upset with you for some reason before the grocery store incident? Or unhappy with herself for something she felt she failed at as a mother?

It sounds like she was a bit annoyed/jealous that the lads responded positively and the other mothers thanked you. I don't think it was a **** test. I think for whatever reason she's disappointed with herself as a mother and she's taking it out on you or she's mad at you for something that happened previously.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

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Originally Posted by Keke24 View Post
Was she upset with you for some reason before the grocery store incident? Or unhappy with herself for something she felt she failed at as a mother?
That's an interesting take on things, thank you. We did have a massive argument last week so that could be what is making her upset (even though we worked through it I'm expecting the fallout to last for months). She also thinks that I look down on her parenting style, even though I've never said such a thing, but she has used this 'assumed disapproval' to overly defend herself at times. Whenever we disagree in the past I've told her that I don't need her to be like me (as in we don't need to have the exact same opinion about everything all of the time) but this doesn't seem to help.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 01:58 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

@Celtic it does seem like she has a chip on her shoulders regarding her own parenting style. The disapproval she thinks you have of her style must be stemming from somewhere. Perhaps an incident or series of incidents that were trivial to you had a bigger impact on her. Or perhaps the kids respond better to you than they do to her. Or perhaps she initially questioned her own parenting capabilities and something happened to bring her insecurities to the surface.

I have no children but I imagine it must really hurt for a woman to feel, or be made to feel that her husband is a better parent than her. After all, mommies are supposed to know best.

Moving forward, you really need to continue to reassure her that she's an excellent mother because it's clear there's some underlying insecurity regarding her parenting style.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 02:16 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic View Post
Earlier today the girlfriend and I are queuing in a store. It was fairly long and moving slowly which meant that a lot of people, especially mothers with young kids, were all stood in close proximity together. Two young guys (early-twenties) joined the end of the line and both are expressing their dislike for having to wait with a lot of bad language and vulgar terms. Not directed at anyone in particular but not the sort of language you want around young kids either so I turn to them and simply say:

"Keep the language down in front of all the kids please lads"

And both immediately apologise, first to myself, then to the queue and begin talking in a more civilised manner. No harm done, no threats of violence and no fuss right? A couple of the mothers turn to thank me, as does the overworked cashier but my girlfriend? She then rolls her eyes and declares:

"Jesus you're like one of those old men who tell kids to watch their language!"

To which I respond that I was doing it for the kids, not for her and she quiets down and mumbles that I probably think she's a bad mother for swearing in front of her own kids. I say nothing. Later I leave the house to walk the dogs and this time she shouts "don't go shouting at people to mind their language!" but again I say nothing in response. It's clear that its still on her mind but here is what I'm curious about:

Was that a **** test?
How should I have responded?
**** you! is how I would have responded.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 02:23 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic View Post
"Jesus you're like one of those old men who tell kids to watch their language!"
Clearly a **** test. When the emotional reaction does not fit the situation, it is likely a **** test.

Your response was defensive when it should have been offensive (in both ways; on the offensive and offensive as in over-the-top).

"Yep! In the meantime, you need stay off my grass, too."

Surely there are more clever comebacks, but that is the gist; don't defend, but rather embrace and expand.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 02:25 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

It appears our GF has a problem. You don't. Stand your ground with your boundaries concerning swearing around children.

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― Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 02:30 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

Maybe just simply say ‘’we’ll have to agree to disagree.’’ If you have a gf who gives you crap about being a good man, you should a new find a new gf.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 02:42 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

Your GF responded much the same as my wife would have. Any deviation in my behavior to the norm is looked at as unacceptable behavior. Since nobody else did anything, speaking up would have been unacceptable. I'm not saying I agree with the way she acted, I'm just saying that I have seen it before. Personally I think it's awful behavior on her part, definitely not a **** test.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 02:42 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Deidre* View Post
Maybe just simply say ‘’we’ll have to agree to disagree.’’ If you have a gf who gives you crap about being a good man, you should a new find a new gf.
^^^^yep

That is why I posted to keep your boundaries concerning swearing. No one will ever fault you for it...with exception of your GF.

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

@Keke24 Thank you again for that; I don't actually have kids of my own (she has two teens from her first marriage) and is usually very protective of them to the point of rushing to defend them if I ask them to help me with chores or worrying when I give them guidance as opposed to doing things for them. I'm still new to being a step-parent so I have much to learn, perhaps you're right in that I may have done something in the past that she feels has made her look bad, even though that was never my intention.

@chillymorn69 I like it but I know my back will be hurting from sleeping on the sofa!

@farsidejunky Thank you for this; I wish something like that would have come to mind at the time but I like the idea of embrace and expand to show I'm not phased. That is a seriously good mindset to get into. She always tends to want to get the last word in so perhaps this approach would put a stop to that nonsense.

@Yeswecan Thank you. My father was the same and its a trait I enjoy possessing myself but that also highlights a big difference between her and I. She is extremely passive and laid back while I like doing the right thing. Not to the point where I'm busting a vein with stress, but I'll stand up for my beliefs while she is more...relaxed. Not sure that's the best word but it should get my point across. Again though I've told her so many times that she doesn't need to be me, she still sees any difference as a blip on the radar.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 02:55 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

Celtic, the idea is to get her to laugh at the absurdity of it all. That is the best way to handle a **** test.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 03:00 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

Quote:
Quote:
"Jesus you're like one of those old men who tell kids to watch their language!"
Quote:
Clearly a **** test. When the emotional reaction does not fit the situation, it is likely a **** test.

Your response was defensive when it should have been offensive (in both ways; on the offensive and offensive as in over-the-top).

"Yep! In the meantime, you need stay off my grass, too."

Surely there are more clever comebacks, but that is the gist; don't defend, but rather embrace and expand.
I could not agree more with @farsidejunky. When someone makes an emotional reaction like this, the way to take the wind out of their sails is not to defend yourself but rather to agree with their ridiculousness and make it clear just how ridiculous it is!!

So when she says something like "Jesus you're like one of those old men who tell kids to watch their language!" you could say "You're right! And I expect men to act like gentlemen and women to be ladylike too!" Or "You're right, how ridiculous is it of me to expect adults to be able to control themselves in public."

See what I mean? The first part is essentially saying 'You're right' (takes the wind out of their trying to start an argument) and the second part is turning their emotional response around on them and showing just how ludicrous it is. After all, some adult swear words really are inappropriate in front of a child,

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 03:01 PM
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

There is something fundamentally wrong when you have a difference of opinion and You end up sleeping on the couch.Do you not see she is punishing you for daring to argue with her,in fact she is trying to emasculate you and you are letting her.If she can't bear you beside her then let her sleep on the couch.
Or else leave for the night,either is good.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Was This A **** Test?

@*Deidre* Thank you. I do like the idea of keeping it simple like that but I think what's irked me was her need to bring it up a second time today, like she wanted that extra dig before I forgot about the whole thing.

@jb02157 My man, you nailed it, the whole 'don't rock the boat' mentality can be freaking exhausting sometimes. I know not to embarrass her by causing a huge scene but when it comes to ignoring bad behaviour, I can't be a passive sheep either. How do you cope with it from your wife?

@Affaircare Thank you for that, it makes sense in what you say and I can see how it would work. I do like the response "You're right! And I expect men to act like gentlemen and women to be ladylike too!" but just to come up with something nearly as effective (at the time) would be a huge benefit. I think that I tend to defend myself without realising so I need to change this mindset pronto. Just to be clear; am I to show her how ludicrous her response to my normal behaviour is or how ludicrous it is for me to react in the first place?

@Andy1001 I was just kidding with that one. She just wants us to be unnaturally alike while I don't fear us being different and sometimes I can sense that playing on her mind.

Last edited by Celtic; 04-12-2017 at 03:17 PM.
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