Post # 1
I understand it’s in most men’s nature to help solve problems but we have gotten to the point where we get on stupid fights because DH is overly helpful.
I was raised to be independent and I would ask for help when I needed it. My job (and schooling) as an engineer encourages thinking through a problem and trying multiple solutions before asking questions. Therefore, I am not used to someone trying to take over the situation unless I ask for help.
There have been many instances, but last night was the first time I truly confronted him about it. I was filling out an application online to get some more copies of my birth certificate and it said they couldn’t verify my identity. Not a big deal because we just moved and I just changed my name so I printed out the form that I had to fill out to prove my identity. While I was doing this he asked why I was printing something and I told him they couldn’t verify my identity and that I was taking care of it. In response he asked to see my computer, asked what I did wrong, and told me to give him the sheet and he would fill it out. I explained it was easy and I could handle it.
At this point he got very angry because “I must have done something wrong or it would have worked.” I explained why it might not have worked and that oI didn’t necessarily do anything wrong. At this point I told him again I didn’t need his help and he kept insisting. Finally, I asked why he was so eager to help when moments before he wanted to go to bed. I told him I don’t always need help and that I will ask for it when I need it and to stop jumping in all the time. He told me that on most instances he just wants to do things himself so that he knows they are right. I told him I am just as capable and would like to be treated as an equal.
His mom is very dependent on him to help her out with easy things so I know he grew up having someone depend on him but I am not like that. When I explained that (again) he told me that he just wants to make sure everything is right and that he doesn’t trust other people to do things. What else can I say beyond “don’t treat me like a child?” Or should I just appreciate that he wants to help? If I’m being ridiculous and should just appreciate that he’s a helpful guy please let me know and I’ll work on that. Currently, I just feel like we should both be equals in our house and I would like him to not be so quick to take away something I am working on just because he thinks he can do it better/faster.
Also, I can’t imagine that he actually wants to do everything that he tries to take control of. I wanted control of everything for the wedding but I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it all and I would have to trust others if I wanted everything to get done. It almost feels like the situation is reversed now.
Post # 3
the first question i need to ask is, was he able to get it to validate?
if he did, maybe you did mistype something. from a software development perscpetive, seeing the same code over and over again, sometimes I need a second pair of eyes to catch the mistake.
however, i completely understand where you are coming from. it was something that you were doing and handling on your own. it sounds like he overstepped a little.
it also sounds like he was trying to be helpful, just in a controlling way.
has he always been like this? or just since you have been married?
Post # 4
@MrsBeck: Have you tried explaining to him that his helping techniques make you feel like he’s undermining your intellect and ability to conduct normal grownup activities?
If I were you I wouldn’t just “appreciate that he’s a helpful guy”, as you said, because help should come when it’s needed.
I don’t really know what else to say other than to actually sit down with him and calmly explain this to him.
Post # 5
@MrsBeck: Men…at their nuts and bolts, are problems solving get er done machines…if presented with a problem, its their nature to want to fix it…especially for people they care about. The problem with this is its irritating as hell and just a little insulting, when you consider that as gallant as the gesture seems, the underlying tone seems to be some backhanded insult about you being unable to handle even the most menial task on your own.
Mr. 99 used to do this a lot, but what he would do, was bark some command at me about how to do something, where to put something, how to fold his stupid socks…I believe it all came to a head in the laundry room, I was folding a load of clothes and he happened to walk by, he casually looked at his pile of clothes and said,
“You’re doing that wrong, fold the shirts in half again and make sure my socks are entirely bundled up, I hate the loose ends hanging out in the drawer.”
Not please, no thanks for doing this, could you try?
Just a barked order in MY direction…and that was the end of that…
I picked up his clothes, threw them in the yard, turned on the sprinklers and locked him outside…when I finally let my waterlogged husband back in the house, I told him I don’t need to be told what to do…ever again.
Now….he at least prefaces a statement with, “I’m not telling you what to do, but you might have better luck if you….”
so to me, it’s progress.
Post # 6
Yep, I’ve had that fight a couple times myself! What you need to do is sit him down and make him watch this episode of Modern Family (which is the best show ever, by the way) http://gawker.com/5775032/modern-family-phils-day-at-the-spa
Post # 7
@ajillity81: It was too late to go back and type anything. Since I just changed my name on my social security card Friday I realized after the fact (and told him) that there was probably just some confusion in the system because of that. I had to mail in some proof of identity so that should sort everything out.
I didn’t notice it until we were married but we did live together for a year before that. I’m not sure what changed but perhaps I’ll have to ask him that.
@Mimoza: I have. He tells me I should have more self confidence because he isn’t trying to make me feel stupid. I’ll try explaining this to him calmly though. We only ever talk about it after I’m already upset. Thanks.
Post # 8
@MrsBeck: Hah yeah. FH gets like this too sometimes, and I keep hearing myself say “I GOT IT!” 😛
Post # 9
@Nona99: Lol I wish we had a sprinkler system! I try to keep it in my mind that men are problem solvers when he does this to me. It just gets annoying having him tell me how to cook and automatically assuming he can do something faster. I’ll have to suggest to DH that he starts out his suggestions with that phrase. Or if it’s something that won’t affect us to not comment at all.
@daynalenore: I don’t think I’ve watched that show but I’ll turn that episode on tonight! Thanks!
Post # 10
@MrsBeck: Sounds like your guy has a bit of a white night syndrome and you’re just a bit too capable for him. XD You didn’t do anything wrong. He has a bit of a condescending attitude towards you and your ability to accomplish (normal, everyday, andybody might encounter this) problems. He has to learn to relinquish control- especially when it has nothing to do with him.
A lot of guys do exhibit this behavior. “You’re putting oil in your car? let me look under the hood. You’re installing an update to your computer? Let me see the mouse. You’re putting togetehr ikea furniture? Hand me the screwdriver” Etc etc. This behavior is instilled into guys at a young age. Doesn’t make it right, and doesn’t stop it from being pushy and just a wee it misogynistic. Just keep doing what you’re doing. handle your business, ask for help when you need it, and call him out on his macho man act when he gets annoying.
Post # 11
@MrsBeck: Sounds like an anal control freak. I couldn’t handle this personally. He needs a serious attitude adjustment if he feels he needs to be in control all the time and can’t trust anyone, including you to do things correctly. Getting angry at omething as little as you not getting something to automatically work the way he thinks it should is not normal or acceptable behavior.
Post # 12
Yeah, do hunt down that episode, for real! It addresses this very issue…. That men try to “help”, but this is not really what we need. I always make my fiance review it when he forgets about this, since it demonstrates really well how to just acknowledge a woman’s feelings.
Post # 13
@MrsBeck: ps- this actually happens to me all the time while I’m cooking. I’ve called him out enough times that he knows when he’s being a bit toolish. XD But he will always ALWAYS come into the kitchen and stire whatever is on the stove. I just look at him and go “you jsut couldn’t resist. Huh. I stired that two minutes ago, don’t mess with it” He looks hseepish, and leaves. It’s not a huge deal anymore, because I know he’s like a baby who has to put stuff in his mouth to understand a thing. It’s an inpulse. He can’t resist it. If he were doing it because he doesn’t think I can handle it or that I would forget (this is not the case), I would beat him out of the kitchen with my wooden spoon. On the other hand, if he dares to try to flip anything (especially when I’m grilling) I will bite his head off. You don’t turn another man or woman’s meat. You just don’t.
Post # 14
This sort of over helpful “help” would do my head in. There’s a difference between offering assistance when it is needed and taking over and from what you describe, this was the latter. It doesn’t really come across as help either, more as a form of control.
I have to say I laughed at the idea of men being genetically programmed to help by fixing things though because clearly, my DH must have been at the back of the queue when this conditioning was being handed out. He’s chronically incapable of fixing things and the disasters that occur when he tries are hilarious.
Post # 15
“While I was doing this he asked why I was printing something and I told him they couldn’t verify my identity and that I was taking care of it. In response he asked to see my computer, asked what I did wrong, and told me to give him the sheet and he would fill it out. I explained it was easy and I could handle it.”
^Yeah, that would have made me angry too. My DH can do this a little bit sometimes, but he never phrases it so rudely, saying “what did you do wrong?” but he would probably say “can I see it?” because he would, of course, think that he could fix it faster than me, haha. Sometimes he can, sometimes he can’t. He is a little bit competitive that way.
@Asia: My DH is definitely a better cook than me, which I freely admit, but what I do know how to cook, I do well. However, on nights that I am cooking, he just CANNOT resist coming into the kitchen to check out the progress, ask me if I should adjust heat, ask me if I’m trying to burn something (he tends to slightly undercook things, while I tend to slightly overcook them), or asking if I need help. To which I respond, “NO! Get out of the kitchen!” unless I want him to help chop veggies or something. I NEVER bother him in the kitchen unless he outright asks for my help.
Post # 16
@MsBlackberry: I’m with you. I’d ask him to chop veggies or grate cheese (I sometimes do) but the thing I need chopped most is onion, and he seriously cannot handle it. XD I think I’m going to get him some onion goggles… but, yeah. You don’t just jump in while someone else is cooking (and we’re to the easy part instead of the prep work)
The best part is, Fi doesn’t really cook. He can make spaghetti (it’s his favorite dish so I taught him how) and maybe a couple of other things. So why he feels the need to show up and stir stuff is beyond me. Still, I take the oportunity to let him look at what I’m doing, and throw in a tiny bit of cooking lesson while he’s in there. He’s gotten to the point where he normally only shows up when he smells the food (when it’s done) or when he hears me getting out plates (when it’s done) That rest of the time he’s playing with his computer.