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What to Never Ask Your Husband

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I learned this the hard way.

momlogic's Jenny:
I've been married almost six years, together with my husband over nine. I should have known better. I should have known that asking my husband (who is generally so fantastic and generous with compliments) whether I look like I've gained weight, was a bad idea. Why would I set him up to fail? When he paused, and smiled and said, "Uhhh, I'm not going to answer this," I knew I was doomed. If he had replied, "Nooooooooo, honey, you look great," I would have known he was full of sh*t. If he had replied, "As a matter of fact, yes, your muffin top is out of control," I would have been crushed.

No matter what, it's a no-win situation for anyone and in the end, both parties are kind of pissed. So what the hell was I thinking? I know I'm a few pounds off from my pre-pregnancy weight and a personal trainer, chef, and possible surgery off from my coveted wedding weight, so why would I make my husband the bearer of bad news?

Woman in weighing scale and a man looking confused

Well, we've all done it. And we never seem to learn our lesson. Here's what some of our staffers had to say about this relationship no-no:

"If I think I look really pretty and he doesn't say anything, I'll ask 'Don't I look pretty?" I always feel like an idiot asking for a compliment but it's like: Come on, how hard is it to give a compliment, damn it?!"

"This is one department where, I'm happy to say, my husband does very well. Even when I'm having a fat day -- my husband manages to authentically compliment my hair, some accessory or makeup that always manages to makes me feel better. It's my kids who can be startling humbling: 'Mom, those pants make your butt look square,' for example."

"I think being my hubby's second wife works in my favor. If I ask something like that, he says things like: "I love the way that black skirt (blue top, whatever the item is) looks on you." Sometimes even that bugs, but I appreciate his attempt at disregarding the question without disregarding me. That being said ... one time, the words 'Don't be my mother' slipped out. Ouch."

"My husband is very careful not to say anything about my weight because he is very conscious of his own so we tip-toe around the issue. But if he says he's 'not a fan' of a certain outfit, I know he doesn't think it's flattering! It's like our code."

"One time, I asked my husband if I looked fat and he said 'yep.' Not the response I was hoping for, especially because I had just lost 15 pounds."

"I'll ask to these jeans look okay and he'll say they just look too saggy in the butt, but he'd never criticized me. He grew up with sisters. I think that makes a difference. "

"I know he's said things that have made me very mad. But, I can't think of anything. Of course, I've probably blocked it out."

What's the worst or dumbest thing your husband has ever said? Tell us in our momlogic community!

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12 comments so far | Post a comment now
ame i. January 22, 2009, 9:27 AM

I’ve only been married to my current husband for 15 months, but my late-husband said more dumb and insulting things than I can/should list.
#1 would have to be “What have you been doing all day?” because I hadn’t folded and put away his jeans. I had a 6 week old and a 2 year old at the time.
He snored so badly I couldn’t sleep, so I would go upstairs and sleep with my older daughter. He would get angry with me for leaving. So, #2 is “I don’t see why you can’t give up a night of sleep for me!” I was nursing our younger daughter every 2 hours.

Pamela Kramer January 22, 2009, 11:06 AM

I would never ask my husband a loaded question like “do I look fat?” A woman knows what she looks like.

Jenny January 22, 2009, 1:08 PM

When I feel like I’m gaining weight I do ask my husband and I expect an honest answer. If he says yes I don’t get my undies in a wad, it doesn’t hurt my feelings and I appreciate the honesty. But if you know before hand that you will have hurt feelings then follow my mothers golden advice “Don’t ask the question if you aren’t ready to hear the answer.”

Rufus January 23, 2009, 7:47 AM

I’ve been married for 24 years and I quit complimenting my wife. Why? Because she can’t accept one.

If I said her hair looked good, she would say it was too long. If I told her the slacks she had on were nice, she would complain she needed a belt. If I said she looked cute today, she would say her face showed wrinkles. After a while, that really gets tiresome.

The compliments were genuine and spontaneous with no expectation of any in return. (I know how much I weigh and I know what muscles I don’t ripple.. I leave that alone..)

Being set up for failure is no fun but neither is not knowing how to accept a compliment. Just say “Thank you.” Don’t screw that up for yourself or you will become one of these women who complain your husband never notices you. And that also gets tiresome.

Jenny January 23, 2009, 4:42 PM

Well said Rufus. I think a lot of women need a thicker skin (not that I don’t get my feelings hurt sometimes).

Jessica January 27, 2009, 3:20 PM

If I ask my husband the “fat question,” I am expecting an honest answer. I have asked it before and he has been completely honest with me. His answers do not hurt my feelings and it shouldn’t. If you can’t take the truth then you shouldn’t ask. I ask my husband all the time how my cloths fit. It gives me another critical eye. I wouldn’t have any other way. I don’t want to go out looking like a slob.

Cassandra March 4, 2009, 8:45 PM

I have been married to my husband for 6 and a half years and I have learned my lesson about asking him these types of questions. If I were to ask him if I am getting fat he would without a doubt say yes and when I get pissed about it he would say ask stupid questions, you get stupid answers.

Cristina October 5, 2009, 10:26 PM

I agree with Jenny. I like my husband to be honest as well. Sometimes we may just be looking for a compliment to make us feel better, and some men will compliment, because they really do think you look very good, even if you may not think so yourself, but sometimes they will be honest and say the same thing you were thinking yourself. No reason to get mad about it. He is still with you, so there is something about you he likes. It is not always about looks.

Anonymous March 1, 2010, 6:45 PM

I only ask if he thinks I look good…when I am pretty damn sure I do. I get plenty of attention without saying a word from other men…but on occasion.. without asking…it would be nice for him to say…DAMN YOU LOOK HOT TONIGHT! I know there are plenty of men out there that say these things to their wives all the time… I think after a while …they just think ya know it…Not fair! Beautiful women…time to revolt! He should be embarrassed if another man notices more than he does..22 years in or not!

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