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Why do women expect men to be mind readers?

Tagged as: Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 April 2015) 12 Answers - (Newest, 3 May 2015)
A male United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Why do women expect men to be mind readers?

My wife has been grousing around lately. She finally erupted, "Just once I'd like to come home and find you made the salad for dinner!"

"You want a salad? Call/text/e-mail and it's yours!"

To which she replied those killer words, "I shouldn't have to!"

It's the same with gifts. She won't tell me what she wants except, "Jewelry is always nice," but she never wears the jewelry I buy her; it doesn't "go" with her outfits.

I know this is a Mars/Venus question, but we are well-educated, professional people. All I ask is that she tell me what she wants, and she expects me to read her mind. Only one of those is possible, so why can't she just tell me what she wants? I know it's a control issue, but if she really wants compromise, then she can't adhere to her impossible expectations. So, again, why do women expect men to be mind readers?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 May 2015):

no we don't expect you to be mind reader. we expect you to care about us and think about us and you show that you do by doing random thing that you know makes us happy. does your kids have to ask you for everything they need or do you have to be on top of it all the time because you love them and care about them? the same applies to your wife but it seems that you don't love your wife enough to care about what she might like or not like .

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A female reader, jls022 United Kingdom + , writes (2 May 2015):

Male anon - if your lawnmower needs to be fixed as frequently as dinner needs to be made, I'd suggest you invest in a new one!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 May 2015):

Come home one day, look exasperated at her and say, "Just ONCE, I wish you would take initiative and fix the lawnmower!"

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (1 May 2015):

Honeypie agony auntI don't think women (in general) expects the husbands to be mind readers, but WE do expect the husbands to PAY attention. To pitch in. To be an EQUAL partner.

If BOTH of you work full time, WHY is it her job to cook dinner EVERY night? Don't tell me, it's because you can't cook.. because that is BS. EVERYONE can cook. It may not be some fancy smanzy dinner, but you CAN find a recipe (online or a cook book)- then make a shopping list, buy the stuff on your way home and cook for the two of you. JUST once in a while.

If you KNOW she'd LOVE to OCCASIONALLY have a salad with her dinner, WHY not make one?

As for the jewelry... I'm like your wife (I think) I'm VERY VERY picky with what I like and what I'll wear. I have shown my husband MANY times what style/type/designs/stones I like, but he sees something shiny and thinks all jewelry is the same, it's not. For instance I like white gold, he thinks white gold is not as "pretty" and "shine" as golden/red gold. So he buys golden looking gold jewelry. NOT white gold, not silver (I'd actually prefer silver over a yellow/red gold). And while I say thanks you.... I rarely wear it. And I DO feel bad, because it sits in my jewelry box. But if bought him an UGLY purple shirt when he prefers blue or greens, do you think he'd wear it very often?

I have made an Amazon Wish list (years ago) and given my husband access to it. I will ADD things I like, so for my Birthday, Christmas - whenever... ALL he has to do is LOOK at the wish list and he can SEE JUST what I'd like.

Like Abella mentioned, I do think it would be a good idea for you to have her MAKE a little lookbook for future reference.

Your wife isn't ASKING you to READ her mind. She is ASKING you to PARTICIPATE, to PAY attention. Want to bet she knows what YOU like?

My parents were like you and your wife. My Mom WANTED my Dad to OCCASIONALLY get off his ASS and vacuum the floors or take out the trash, NOT just SIT around WAITING to be "given" an order or asked. Because let's face it, HE made JUST just as much dirt on the floors and trans for the trashcan. He HAD eyes and could SEE when it was full. WHY should my Mom have to ASK him to take it out? SEE what I mean?

PARTICIPATION - that is what she wants! To NOT feel like you take her for GRANTED - ( Oh, wifey will do that).....

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A male reader, BrownWolf Canada + , writes (30 April 2015):

BrownWolf agony aunt

Your wife is right...why??? You should know live in the same house. I bet you know what your friend like and don't like?

What do you do when you come home? Do you play games, watch TV, sit around, bring home your work?

You know your wife is coming home to make get home before do what???

I will call my wife and ask "Do you have plans to make something for dinner tonight?" She would say "No, I am too tired." I would say "Okay, I will pick some stuff to make dinner." Done.

She is not the only one in your relationship. Do your part, and things will be awesome. Don't wait for her to do something all the time, or for her to tell you things to do. Then she is looking after a child...not a husband.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (29 April 2015):

Tisha-1 agony auntP.S. Make the salad tonight. Before she asks. Set the table. Don't pour the dressing on the salad until it's time to serve it, though.

Kiss her when she gets home and say "I love you."

Tomorrow, mention to her that you have noticed she doesn't wear the jewelry you bought her and have decided that maybe it's time to trade it in for things she does like. That you really do want her to like the jewelry you may buy for her and want a little tutorial on her tastes. Ask her to put together a "lookbook" for you so you have a clear idea of what she does like. (Don't worry, she'll know what that means.)

Remind her that you love her and you want to feel that your contributions to the marriage are valued and appreciated, just as she would want her contributions to the marriage to be valued and appreciated by you as well.

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A female reader, Abella United States +, writes (29 April 2015):

Abella agony auntWhat a beautiful question.

Not everyone feels this way.

Though you are correct that a lot of ladys DO expect this level of mind reading and that is not fair. It causes great resentment and can result in the guy choosing to stop buying any present. Though that drastic outcome will not make things any better.

There are better solutions to this problem once you work out the 'why'

Is she disgruntled and is taking it out on you. That's unfair to you.

If she is deliberately over-critical of you then that's not fair on you.

If she is persistently ungrateful then do discuss it as that is not a very nice trait to suffer.

But if you don't know her likes and her dislikes well enough then it is not so difficult to learn more about the things that are her ''favourite things''

Even if given a daisy chain of living flowers I know some super sentimental caring girls who would wear it to the ball and be so proud because he picked the daisies and he fashioned it into a necklace made with love and so of course she chooses to wear it and will then probably press the flowers to preserve them for all time to show the grandchildren and tell them about the time their grandpa made her a necklace.

But I don't think your lady is quite like that.

Then their are the girls who are very specific such that nothing but XYZ purchased from ABC - and model number 123 - will do. They are closer to the control freaks. Not much joy there.

I don't think your lady is quite as rigid about control as that.

However you do need to help her to be less vague. And guide her to more assertive about her wants.

''Jewellery would be nice'' is a firm request for jewellery but it is too vague.

I do think your lady likes surprises. But surprises to her taste.

The jewellery languishing in a drawer unworn? I am very sorry about that.

But it does indicate that you don't know enough about her specific tastes.

I do hope her reluctance to not wear was only about the style of the piece and not about the price.

If it was about the price then that's a no-win situation. Such a woman can never be fully satisfied.

What you could do next time is get some catalogues. Ask her to circle anything she especially likes as a style guide to help you choose better next time.

Another option is to ask her to three to five examples and you'll get one of them, not showing her which one until she opens it.

So I said I'd like a book on landscaping.

Then I provided a list of three books I'd especially picked out as perfect. Asked him not to tell me which one on the list was chosen.

I was thrilled.

But I'd also suggest that if you've bought jewellery that she does not wear, that you may not know her taste as well as you need to know her taste.

So please start a note book on ''These are the most favourite things''

You'll need a page each for each example. Make space for pictures to stick on the relevant page.

Page topics could be

''Favourite colours''

use her words when describing a color just as she describes it

''pink'' is not enough

Thus is it ''shocking pink'' ?

Or '' shell pink''

Favorite ''flowers''

Obviously the words flowers is not enough.

Paeony - 'Sarah Bernhart' would be better

And ''scarves''

Under which it might say

Long ones

Or fine wool ones.

Then you marry up the sections.

Thus you get her a long scarf in pink colors with Paeony flowers on the scarf.

A favourite things journal takes the guessing out of getting to know your lady.

Or alternatively you could point out that a little more Grace and Appreciation would go a long way - and help you to address her very exacting taste.

Of course she should find a piece of clothing to match the jewellery you did choose.

Or she could educate you on what she regards as jewellery she really loves.

All guys should know their lady's favourite colors, flowers, styles, particular things, scent, subjects.

of course she too should know your favorite things too.

Your favorite things might have headings like

Sport - team sports, outstanding players

places -




The trouble is that if she's not specific enough it sets you up for failure. And makes you more reluctant to do anything next time.

She likes salads? What kind of salad, what kind of dressing, if any?

Salad in a bowl or salad in a wrap?

Perhaps she's taking her frustration about other things, on you?

Look her in the eyes and ask her to tell you, ''What is really bothering you, ........(her name).

Then listen to her in earnest without trying to butt in with suggestions while she talks about how to fix each bump on the road.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (29 April 2015):

Tisha-1 agony auntIf you both work, what your wife is saying to you is that she shouldn't have to always be the one in charge of dinner. She doesn't want to always be the one in charge of doling out the chores. In other words, she doesn't want to be your mother. She wants you to make dinner without having to be directed by her.

As for the jewelry thing, well, have you noticed what she does wear? Or where she buys the jewelry she likes? Go to that jeweler and ask them to start a 'wish list' of things she's tried on but decided not to buy because it's too expensive. A quality jeweler will do this for you.

There's a book out there called "The 5 Love Languages." Read it.

Perhaps after reading it, you'll rethink the question you asked. "Why do women expect men to be mind readers?" You may realize your wife is asking "Why does my dear husband expect me to be in charge of making dinner every night?" or "Why does my DH pay no attention to the jewelry I actually do wear and continues to buy what his mother used to wear?"

Read that book. Then talk to your wife. Then get back to us. Good luck.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 April 2015):

I'm a woman and I do believe that we should tell our partners what we'd like them to do... but... take a look at what she does for you (not just you personally, but you as a couple) and you'll get a clue.

If she's the one doing all the cooking, believe me that doesn't mean that she likes it. If it's mostly her who does the laundry, shopping etc. It's easy... don't offer to help her (this would mean that it's somehow her job to do it and you're being nice by giving her a hand), do it yourself.

Take a look at the jewlery she wears and you'll know what she likes.

I know that it would be easier if she just told you, but being with someone is actually SEEING that person for what she/he really is. So, it's not about mind reading, but noticing. When you notice things, it means that you care, as simple as that. And I know that you can care without showing it in this way.

However, there are people (not just women, but probably more women than men), who can be too demanding and really expect you to read there minds, bend yourself backwards and prove that you care over and over again. I have a friend who makes a fuss when she feels that I didn't think of enough birthday wishes (good health, lucky in love...) for her (yes it'sa her). This salad story tells me that your wife is not one of them.

Just watch her and you'llknow :)

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A female reader, jls022 United Kingdom + , writes (29 April 2015):

She wants you to take the initiative and do something for her without being asked. It sounds like you got in first that day, yet you waited for her to get home so she could make the dinner. Presumably you are more than capable of doing this once in a while, without set instructions? You are a grown man after all.

Quite a few of the men I know struggle with this, so I'll tell you what I tell them. It's not hard. You just need to be a bit more observant and pay attention to the things she likes/doesn't like, then do something for her that proves you know her well and are willing to make the effort to show you care. You know, 'hi honey, I got home first so I thought I'd whip you up a salad. It's got that dressing you like and extra tomatoes because I know you love them' or something like that.

She shouldn't be huffing around, so when things are a bit calmer I'd suggest having a discussion about how you communicate. But I really think that pitching in and picking up some of the chores or even doing something nice for her just to show you care will really go a long way to help diffuse this type of thing, as it sounds like she's feeling more like a mother figure than an equal partner right now.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 April 2015):

We don't expect you to be mind readers. We expect you to act like adults. When you get in from work, why don't you look around yourself and see what needs doing? Like making dinner. Or does she have to text you with every little thing that needs doing, like she's your Mummy? No, she shouldn't have to!

Do you have to text her to ask her to make dinner or whatever else, or does she just get on with it?

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (29 April 2015):

Sageoldguy1465 agony auntIt'll go on the rest of your life, so get used to it!!!!

Meanwhile,.... READ "Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus" AGAIN (Had you, previously? .. or, were you simply familiar with the title?).... AND, AGAIN, AND, AGAIN.....

You won't learn much more (from all that reading)... BUT, at least you will have stayed out of her way for several hours!

Good luck....

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