Husbands aren’t Mind Readers! The movie Inside Out has a scene that illustrates this truth in living color!
Dad, Mom and teenage daughter, Riley, are eating dinner together when her teenage hormones take over. Mom picks up on the nonverbal cues and tries to figure out what is really going on, while signaling Dad, who seems lost in thought, to pay attention and engage. Dad’s eyes grow big as he has no idea what she is trying to communicate with “the look” and scrambles to say something helpful.
Every woman I know resonated when the scene shifted to offer a glimpse into Mom’s inner world—mind, thought, and emotions central— a panel of women who were dumbfounded that Dad wasn’t getting the clear messages Mom was sending.
Dad and his central command men were oblivious at first, scrambled to figure out what “the look” meant, and were completely confused how they had missed the message. Meanwhile the teenager stomped away angry and upset.
If you haven’t seen the movie, this simple scene resonates with anyone who has ever given or gotten the look!
Husbands, the honest truth is that we want you to read our minds; it would be easier.
My husband, John, is relieved he can’t read my mind, especially given that I need a closet organizer just for my thoughts. John is grateful I have to filter my thoughts, ideas, feelings, and then share them in a coherent manner!
We had lived through that same scene, in 3D with our three teenagers, more times than I can count. During one tense discussion about curfews, I shot John “the look” that clearly said, Back me up here.” He didn’t read my mind. Instead he commented. “Well, I had a later curfew as a teen and I think you are being bit strict.”
As fireworks shot from my eyes, I cleared my throat hoping to get his attention and telepathically communicate that he was “supposed to” support the curfew I set up. (Even though we didn’t discuss it and I had jumped the gun.
Of course I was sorry, and if John had read my mind, he would know all this, and back me up.)
Mind reading is not a superpower our husbands possess and the sooner we learn that, the better.
Originally appeared in The Good Men Project