Have you seen He’s Just Not That Into You? If not, you can skip it. You can also skip the book, I know because I’ve read it, because 2 of my friends got it for me in college. Fine I was a little boy crazy my freshman year, MESSAGE RECEIVED!
Anyway. If you have seen it, you probably remember a scene where Jennifer Aniston tells Ben Affleck (Her long term live in boyfriend who is not interested in marriage) something to the effect of, “I need you to stop being so nice to me if you’re not going to marry me.” And his response is classic
“This feels like a trick”
The Guns and I LOVE this line. And we use it on a regular basis. Here’s why.
My husband would never say anything to test me. If he thinks something, he’s going to tell me. Yes, he might tread lightly, but he’s going to tell me. And if he wants to do something or wants me to do something… again, he’s going to tell me. And if he’s confused by something I do… he’ll just ask or deal with it and move on. That’s how he works. Also, he rarely even tells me stuff like this because it’s so crazy rare that he gets bothered by much of anything.
I, on the other hand, am always overthinking and analyzing situations. I’m always trying to figure out what he’s thinking, why he did that thing when it seems pretty obvious that he should have been able to figure out what I wanted him to do instead. And I’m always trying to figure out how to tell him things that bother me, ummm, shall we say “creatively”… often stewing in my anger until he learns how to read my mind. Because that’s creative, right?
Sound familiar? I would guess that most husbands and wives have similar MO’s… or maybe it’s flip flopped and your husband is more like me. Either way… it gets sticky, because you’ve got one person who is clueless that something is wrong, or maybe has a clue, but isn’t sure what that something is, while the other person is getting more and more angry and just wants to be understood… and let’s be honest they also probably want to make the clueless person feel bad for being, well, clueless, in addition for feeling bad about what they did (or didn’t do… or say) in the first place.
You still with me? Good, because I’m lost.
Oh, yeah, and a lot of times this leads to what Ben is trying to say which is, “I’m pretty sure you said that because you want me to fail.”
I like to mess with The Guns. I like to say things like “are you saying I’m fat/not fun/not as pretty as a movie star” and then flip it on him when he insists that I am by complaining that he’s lying to me. Yes, I’m mean, but it’s fun to watch him squirm, and I can’t wait to hear him say the only thing that will get me to let up which is, “This feels like a trick.” It always makes me laugh, and we have a fun time sparring back and forth like that.
And occasionally, when he can tell I’m frustrated with him, and I say something that he can’t respond to without looking like a jerk, he’ll say it. “This feels like a trick.” It will annoy me a little in the moment, but in the end I have to laugh, because he’s usually right. He reminds me that I don’t have to trick him… that I can just say what I’m upset about, and then explain why I’m also upset that he didn’t realize I was upset… that I’m allowed to feel those things, but that doesn’t mean I get to paint him in a corner and force him to hang a white flag because he has fallen into a hidden pit.
By recognizing that there’s a trick, you really ruin the trick.
What do you think of “this feels like a trick” ?