“Why didn’t you just say that?” There have been several times when an hour-long discussion or argument ends with those words from my husband. I don’t mean to send mixed signals, but because men and women are wired differently, it’s inevitable.
I didn’t just make up the following list. It came from a real-life husband! But as I was looking at it, I made an observation. Each one of these mixed signals has a love language at its core. Acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, and gift-giving are all ways we show and prefer to receive love. If you know your love language, it can help answer the question, “What’s really at the core of this mixed signal?” Keep that in mind as you check out this list of 5 ways we confuse our guys.
We say, “I’ll make dinner. You go put your feet up.”
Are you really OK with his going to rest or do you want him nearby ready to jump in, just in case you need a hand? It’s great that you want to serve him, but he won’t be able to trust you if you get angry for doing something you told him he could do. Life for him will be like walking on eggshells.
So next time try, “I’ll cook dinner, but can you sit at the counter and chat in case I need you?”
We say, “This situation at work/the kids’ school is stressing me out.”
Most guys love solving problems. When you tell your husband what’s bothering you, he hears, “Give me a plan to fix this.” In reality, you just needed some affirming words or to vent so he knows why your mood might be off.
So next time try, “I don’t need you to fix this problem. Please just listen, tell me it’s going to be OK, and give me a hug.”
We say, “Will you go shopping for clothes with me?”
When I do this with my husband, it seems like a good idea at first. But I end up feeling rushed because I don’t want to make him stand around while I try stuff on. It rarely ends well. If what I really want is his opinion, next time I can tell him to stay home but be ready to get some photos and cast a vote for his favorite outfit (a vote which may or may not count). What’s more likely is that I really want to spend quality time with him.
So next time try, “I want to hang out together today. Let’s think of something we both would enjoy doing.”
We snuggle with him on the couch and put a hand on his thigh.
This is a classic mixed signal. What you really want is to feel secure and loved, but he thinks you want sex. Please don’t announce, “I’m putting my hand here, but don’t get the wrong idea!” That will completely deflate your husband. Instead, use words to explain why you want to touch him and be close.
Next time try, “It’s really nice to sit here with you. Touching you grounds me and helps me feel calm.”
We say, “I don’t need you to buy me anything.”
Do you do this? You say you don’t want a gift and then, when there’s no gift, you get upset. You don’t want your husband to spend a lot of money, but at the same time, a gift means he spent time thinking of you. When the day arrives and there’s no gift, you feel like he doesn’t care.
So next time, try agreeing on a budget and saying, “You don’t have to spend a lot, but something small would make me feel special.”
What are some mixed signals that lead to fights in your marriage?