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My wife gets mad at me when all I want to do is golf and have a few beers on a Saturday.

Please explain to me why women refuse to say what they mean, and why they can’t just be honest about what their expectations are.

My wife and I have been fighting for days over the fact that I went golfing this past weekend. I woke up in the morning, it was nice out, and my buddy called and asked if I wanted to go play. I asked my wife if she minded if I golfed. We didn’t have any concrete plans for the day. She said no, she didn’t mind, so I went.

Well, later when I got home, there was hell to pay. She was annoyed about a million little things that hadn’t bothered her the night before, was upset that her mother and sister dropped by and I wasn’t there to entertain them with her, and was being generally short-tempered and grouchy with me. Finally, after asking her repeatedly what the problem was, she confessed that she was mad that I golfed. Of course, we got into a fight. I wouldn’t have gone if I had known it would make her mad, but on the other hand, it’s not like I backed out on plans or left her with some difficult chores to do.

I feel like this whole fight could have been avoided had she just told me in the first place that it wasn’t a good day for me to golf. How can I get her to be honest with me, and how can I golf in peace on the weekends?

Listen, if you can’t figure it out for yourself, you’re just never going to get it even if I explain it to you! If you really knew me and loved me you would just know how I’m feeling! Why should I bother wasting my time answering your question if you’re just going to do what you want anyway?

Oh, wait. You’re not Mr. To Chea. Sorry.

You’re not going to want to hear this, but I’m afraid there’s no way to change your wife. Plus, I don’t think you wanted to hear what she had to say, anyway. I’m guessing you “asked” her if it were okay to golf purely as a formality. Like, if she had said no, would you have cheerfully gone about your day, happily drinking tea with her mother and replacing the screens with storm windows while you whistled a happy tune? No. You would have stewed, all day, thinking, I COULD BE GOLFING RIGHT NOW AND INSTEAD I’M PRETENDING I GIVE A SHIT ABOUT HER SISTER’S CAT.

You can be self-righteous and insist that your wife be up front with her feelings, or you can grease the wheels a little bit and golf without guilt. Imagine if, while you were out playing, she got a bouquet of flowers with a card that said. Let’s go to dinner tonight. I got a babysitter. Or what if you put off your game for a couple hours and insisted she go out and get her toes done first? Or made her breakfast? Or insisted she watch all the romantic parts of Love, Actually while you gave her a little back rub?

Not everything has to be Even Steven, quid pro quo, but when you’re asking for six hours of free time on a weekend, it would be nice to let her know that you realize she’s giving something up so you can do so.

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