Dear Ask a man:
Both my husband and I work. He does help out around the house but I seem to be the one in charge of all our meals and our fridge is almost always empty. The problem is, when I ask him to run to the store to buy milk, he comes home with *just* milk. What gives?
- More Than Milk
I think rather than question why, it might be best to focus on the positive and just be grateful he came home with milk. You can always ask him to go back, but the best way I can answer this is by looking at the opposite side and imagining what would happen if you uttered this phrase:
“Hon, could you go get some milk, and anything else you think we might need?”
Maybe you’re thinking he’ll come home with milk and eggs and that organic minty foot scrub he knows you love, not to mention flowers and a greeting card that says how much he loves you.
But here’s another scenario: He comes home 3 hours later with milk and a Porter-Cable 3-nailer and Compressor Combo Kit cause he thought you might need it.
Of course, this is the most likely scenario: He comes home with milk, Doritos, beer, peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets, and Oreos.
My point is sometimes guys aren’t the best free-thinkers.
Here are a few reason why going to the store sometimes goes awry.
Reason 1: Some guys do stuff wrong on purpose
Certainly you’ve seen this on any number of sitcoms, like “According to Jim”. Usually the plot unfolds like this: The wife asks the husband to do some task he doesn’t want to do. He figures if I mess it up bad enough she’ll never ask me to do it again. It certainly seems far-fetched that a real-life guy would do this on purpose because it really does seem underhanded, but you never know.
Reason 2: He’s on a mission, and you never alter the plan
I don’t know if this come from playing too many video games or a pure caveman instinct. But if you send a guy out on a mission, his mind is on completing that mission. Rarely does a side mission come to mind. If prehistoric woman sent prehistoric man out to kill a mammoth he didn’t come back with a mammoth, some berries, and some seeds.
Reason 3: We’re afraid to do the wrong thing
This is meant to be read in the most friendly, non-cynical tone possible, but normally husbands/boyfriends aren’t rewarded for most of their free-thinking. It only needs to happen once for him to learn this lesson. Here’s what happened to me. I went to the store, I got what she wanted and some other things. I got grief for getting the wrong things. A LOT of grief, like the “CAN’T YOU DO ANYTHING RIGHT?” kind of grief. I can tell you it altered my brain and changed my behavior.
Reason 4: Most guys are blockheads
I don’t like bashing husbands and jumping on the “they need to be trained” bandwagon. But sometimes guys just don’t think, or they have a short attention span. He probably had intentions to get other stuff but then saw a buddy, talked about the game last night, and forgot.
OK, so what’s my insight? Here goes: guys WANT to help. They want to be your hero. You know the drill – ego, pride, grunting. I know it seems needy but sometimes guys are needy. Remember the last time he had a cold and turned into a giant baby? If you want him to be thoughtful sometimes you have to tell him how much you love it when he goes the extra mile. Tell him how much it means to you when he’s thoughtful. Reward him (OH NO, it IS like training). Tell him how big and strong he is. Whatever it is, he’ll be beaming inside and be WAY more likely to be thoughtful more often.
About the author:
Pete is one of the dads at http://www.dadand.com. Dadand.com is a mashup of all things dad-, and dude-related. DIY, repairs, cars, gadgets, whatever. His true loves are his daughter, nerdy stuff, little british cars, classic british comedy (Fawlty Towers, Black Adder, Jeeves and Wooster), motorcycles, and scooters.
Category: Ask a Man