As a newlywed, Terri stumbled across an aspect of marriage that she just couldn’t figure out. Well, actually, it was really her new husband Wade that she couldn’t figure out.
Terri is a curious person; she likes to ask questions and talk things through. Wade always seemed to love that about her. But a few months into marriage, he seemed to get more and more annoyed by it. When Terri would try to brainstorm lots of different options for the upcoming vacation he was planning, or talk through alternatives for a particular decision, he would shut down.
It came to a head when the transmission in their car died. They needed to decide whether to replace it or buy a new vehicle. A day later, Wade said, “I think there are years of life in the car; let’s replace it and keep going.” Terri said, “Okay, but let’s look at what the car guides say about whether a new transmission is worth it. And maybe you should ask Franklin (a friend from church who was a mechanic) what he thinks?”
“Fine, you do that. I’ll let you handle it from here.” Wade walked out of the room, his face tight.
“What did I say?” Terri thought. I was just trying to help! Then she started to get mad. Am I not allowed to provide input or ask questions when decisions need to be made, without him getting all upset? If he wants a doormat wife, he picked the wrong woman!
If you’ve ever seen your man shut down when you think you’re just asking questions or giving helpful advice, here’s some of what might be going on—and some ideas for what to do about it.