Back when I was single, I had several misconceptions about the institution of marriage. On that long list, which included things like “Husbands are required to call or text wives back within 3.5 minutes” and “I will always have someone to rub my back when it hurts,” I had this insane idea that we were going to be open and honest about everything.
While my husband doesn’t exactly lie, on occasion he tends to “omit the truth.” After discussing the topic with several of my friends, I have learned that this is a totally normal trait for humans with penises between their legs. The most common explanation for this behavior: us humans without penises tend to overreact and take everything way too personally. Their best thinking advises them that the truth will create more drama than it is worth, and harmless little white lies will make everyone a whole lot happier.
This would be all well and good, however not only are many men terrible liars, but often, in a moment of weakness, they can’t help but confess some version of the truth.
Here are five things my husband, and probably yours, isn’t totally honest about …
1. When he needs alone time or doesn’t feel like talking
My husband works long hours during the week where he is forced to talk to people nonstop. I spend Monday through Friday communicating with a 2-and-a-half-year-old that talks about choo choo trains almost exclusively and listening to a 4-month-old make sounds like a dying Pterodactyl, with a few hours jammed in between where I have an internal conversation with myself while I’m writing.
So needless to say, when my husband gets home from work and the kids are finally asleep, I’m usually starved for adult conversation. He, on the other hand, is looking forward to a little quiet time of playing solitaire and watching bad reality television. The weekends are not dissimilar.
But instead of telling me that he wants alone time and escaping somewhere away from the chaos of our household, he will passive-aggressively ignore me. And that makes me really, really mad. Eventually it erupts into an argument and he finally confesses to me that he needs alone time or silence or whatever it is. I can never understand why he doesn’t just say so to begin with, but then I remember: he’s a male.
2. When he’s wondering what the heck I’m wearing
According to my husband, there are certain items of clothing that make husbands question their wife’s taste as well as their sanity, but they keep their mouths shut because they just don’t want to go there.
“Examples, please,” I order him.
“Those ugly bell-bottom leggings in that pattern that looks like an old lady’s couch, those other snake print leggings, and those morbid animal print sneakers you wear all the time,” he matter-of-factly informs me. “Oh yeah, and that huge, green bra you wore every single day of your pregnancy. I wanted to burn it.”
I immediately get defensive and list every article of his clothing that I despise, starting with his nylon cargo yoga pants (he has never been inside a yoga studio in his life but swears they are the male equivalent of black leggings). Then, I defend my animal print sneakers by telling him about the totally hip teenage guy at the gym who stopped me to tell me how cool they were, and it’s just that he doesn’t get urban style.
And then it becomes clear to me why my husband usually just doesn’t say anything …
3. When he’s not really on my side
I seriously dreamed of being married my entire life, if only because there would be another human being forced to listen to my every rant, rave, argument, and opinion — and then nod and say the three golden words: “You are right.” However, this isn’t always the case.
“I’m your husband, so I should always be on your side,” he explains to me about this one, “but sometimes you are wrong.”
But once again, while I am going on and on about so-and-so doing such-and-such and “Can you believe she actually said that to me?” — it is easier for him to nod or neutrally respond “uh-huh” than to share his true viewpoint, mostly because he just doesn’t want to draw the boring and monotonous conversation out any longer than I am willing to take it.
4. When he doesn’t like what I cook
My husband is usually very sweet when it comes to my cooking. I will toot my horn by saying that 85 percent of the time I’m an awesome cook, but of that number, 35 percent of what I whip up in the kitchen is healthy, California-inspired cuisine he cannot even begin to categorize (“Is that a grain, or uh …”) and likens the taste to dirt and ashes. While he may not care for whatever is on the menu that night, he will still smile and say, “Yeah, it’s good!” or just remain silent to appease me. However, weeks later when I ask him if he wants that same dish again, he will spit out his true feelings.
“Please don’t ever make that quinoa crap again,” he will beg me.
“But you liked it,” I will protest.
“No I didn’t. It tasted like garbage.”
This used to confuse me, but now it just annoys me.
5. When he wants me to stop obsessing
I have written before about my tendency to emotionally overindulge myself in just about everything imaginable. I don’t deny my obsessive behavior, but sometimes, in the midst of one of my binges, I don’t usually realize that I am having an “episode.”
Whether it is researching baby gear, stalking a former friend in the deep blue sea of the Internet, or trying to cut away at a pesky hangnail, there is something about my intensity that gnaws away at the man I married. He knows that if he tells me to “stop obsessing,” that I will be totally offended and it will inevitably result in some sort of an argument. Instead, he will make some half-hearted joke or comment that only semi-upsets me.More On