Reader Don W. just left a comment on Husbands: How to Win Every Argument With Your Wife that read:
Can you please write something about us paying/not paying attention to our partners? I am mystified by this process at times. Don’t get me wrong, I lavish my sweetheart with attention. However, there are times when I don’t, but apparently should and don’t know it. For example, my wife sometimes reads books while we’re watching TV together. However, if I boot-up the laptop while we’re watching TV together, she starts staring at me, or trying to hold my hand or she might even start ASKING ME WHAT I’M DOING! Yikes. Apparently, there are different levels of preoccupation and distraction, some acceptable, some not so much, and they are based upon…. I DUNNO!!!! John, buddy, please tell us dummies the rules.
Don, Don, Don. There’s no need to call yourself a dummy. You’re married. Your wife can do that.
No, but seriously.
Okay, so if your wife reads a book while the two of you are watching TV, it doesn’t bother you. But if you boot-up your laptop while the two of you are watching TV, that does bother her.
Well, this is an easy one. Your wife is obviously jealous because you know how to type, and she doesn’t. Which means that back in high school your wife, instead of taking typing, signed up for shop.
Which, Dan, can mean only one thing: Your wife is a lesbian.
How could you not know that? Who are you, Ross?
Okay no, here’s my real answer: I would say that the reason your wife thinks it’s okay for her to read a book while you guys are watching TV is because reading a book is not about real-time relating; it’s not about active, live, person-to-person interaction. But going online is—or certainly can be—and that’s why she has a problem with you doing it.
I’m going to guess that she wouldn’t mind you reading a book beside her while she watched TV, because then there’s still only the two of you in that room. But if you’re staring into your laptop monitor, typing away, who knows who in the heck you might be chatting with—or what the two of you might be chatting about.
It’s like you’re sitting beside her whispering with someone else. No good.
It’s not that your wife wants you to pay attention only to her. It’s that she doesn’t want you paying attention to anyone else while she’s sitting right next to you.
Or she’s a lesbian. Either way, why aren’t you rubbing her feet?