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Old 12-01-2004, 05:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why do women play games?

Here's the story (abridged version):

My wife just rang me at work to ask if I want to go to a party this weekend. I said not particularly, to which she immediately replied that she was going anyway. Stunned by the aggressiveness of her response, I say nothing until she asks me if I was ever going to ask her if she wanted to go and complains that I always have to be in control of everything. I say that I was never given the opportunity to ask her as straight after I answered her question I was told that she was going regardless. She then said that it didn't matter as she didn't want to go anyway as she'd be too tired (we're spending the whole day at the community fair that day).

So why did she ask me if I wanted to go? We spent about 10 minutes arguing over a hypothetical situation that wasn't even important to her. I feel like she phoned me in order to set me up and start a fight over nothing.

Why do women feel the need to play mind games like this?
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Old 12-01-2004, 07:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you tried talking to her, in my experience the mind games start when there is something bugging them - something which while plainly obvious to her you have overlooked due to your male oriented brain type, i'm not trying to be sexist here, as I say this is in my experience only
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Really? It's for the same reason that men play mind games like that.

This kind of question perpetuates the myth that there is some big secret between the male and female mind ... in reality there's not much difference at the cognitive level. Human beings all have the ability to be manipulative. The big secret between the sexes is this: <i>book sales</i>.

Maybe she feels that you have not been paying attention to her lately. This is her way of saying that you should ask HER to do something. I'm sure you've been manipulative of her in the past.
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not diputing that men play mind games too (I knew someone would jump on this) and I agree that men and women are the same at a cognitive level but "generally" we respond to emotional issues in different ways be it through our sexuality or society, men and women are different.
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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d*d: Yes. I agree with you. I was addressing the question that was the subject of the thread.

<i>edited for clarification.</i>
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like the party is just a surface issue she's using to work out a bigger problem she perceives in your relationship. Without knowing more details, I can't say what that is, but usually something like this arises when some concern or complaint been festering and it just comes out in a random way. Best way to deal with it is to ask gently what's really bothering her and do your best to keep things as non-adversarial as possible. This isn't a woman issue, it's an issue that people have when they don't know how to communicate about what's bothering them.
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanblah
d*d: Yes. I agree with you. I was addressing the question that was the subject of the thread.

<i>edited for clarification.</i>
Apologies vanblah I think I just expected someone to pull me up on my post
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I will have to agree with lurkette on this one. There is more going on here than a this phone call. If you don't know what it is, then you better talk to your wife before this becomes a bigger issue. If you were shocked by her aggressive response, then you are obviously telling us that this type of response is unusual for her. That is a very big sign that she is very upset about something.

Its well documented that women tend to use verbal and physical cues to let you know something is wrong rather than just come out and tell you (and a number of guys do the same). While guys, for the most part, are horrible at reading the cues and asking what is wrong, I don't think this cue is very hard to see.

Talk to her.
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Old 12-02-2004, 02:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I was stunned by the aggressiveness, but it's not the first time this sort of thing has happened. This morning, she came and asked me if I would rub Deep Heat on her shoulder as she slept funny on it. I said yes and asked her to sit next to me on the couch so that I could. She replied with, "No, you stand up and do it, for fuck's sake, Jesus Christ!" I then asked her why she was in a bad mood and she said that she wasn't, but that I was.

I'm more stunned by the seemingly innocuous situations that cause her to get aggressive than by the actual aggressiveness.
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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OK, the woman is clearly feeling put upon for some reason, and is having a hard time expressing it in any other way besides anger and aggression. Some questions for you: Do you support her in her life, doing work around the house? Do you have kids? Does she have a job? How old is she? How long have you been married? Could this have anything to do with hormones? (They don't create feelings per se, they just amplify the ones that are there and that could have something to do with the intensity of the response you're getting.) Do you guys communicate well?
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Happy
Why do women feel the need to play mind games like this?
To prevent life from being a boring video game.
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Old 12-02-2004, 08:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
She replied with, "No, you stand up and do it, for fuck's sake, Jesus Christ!" I then asked her why she was in a bad mood and she said that she wasn't, but that I was.
If this was indeed her true response and you weren't instigating it in any way then I think you should talk to her about counseling. It sounds like there is something going on that is way deeper than you're revealing here. You may not even be aware of it. It could be external to the relationship.

A lot of people (and I do mean a LOT of people) react angrily to the smallest things when they are depressed. She needs to get control of that now (and not necessarily with drugs).

You've got to ask yourself if this is regular behavior or if there is a pattern to it. As lurkette pointed out it could be hormonal. But what you described seems a little over-reactive for PMS. Unless your real name is Jesus Christ and your wife just uses the word fuck a lot.
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Old 12-02-2004, 11:08 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Because humans are insecure animals. We play out our insecurities as much as women, just in different ways.
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Old 12-02-2004, 11:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Happy
Why do women feel the need to play mind games like this?
I'd love to see this one figured out. 'Cause I have no frickin' idea. Powerplay issues, I would wager.
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Old 12-02-2004, 08:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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it sounds like your wife has some issues: either she\'s under a lot of stress and/or has a lot of built-up anger so she has to vent it out, or she is specifically mad at you for something you did that you didn\'t realize, and that\'s why she\'s just trying to pick a bone with you. have you always tried to control her? have you ignored her needs? have you made her feel that you always put yourself on the priority list? or was she so bored in the marriage that she just felt so frustrated? i\'m not suggesting that it is you who did something wrong at all; it could well be her that needs some counseling to control her mood, but those are just some questions that might help you figure out the underlying issue. and also, it\'s not just women who act this way, so next time you might want to consider using a title like \"why does my wife play games\".
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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As I often do I'll recall something similar that happened to me to try to address your situation. My then soon to be wife and I were invited to one of her friends home for a birthday party for that persons child. Personally I didn't want to go. I would know hardly anyone there, I'm not a big fan of kids and on my one day off from work I wanted to hang out by the pool and relax. I tend to get nervous and feel quite out of sorts when surrounded by groups of strangers and as the time to go to the party approached she noticed a change in my mood. I told her, "You know how I am, I just don't do well at these things and I'm getting nervous and am not crazy about going." She says "Fine don't go then." I say "Oh no, I'll go with you" (I'd been burned by that line before!) She then says "No if you don't want to go then I'd rather you didn't." Anyhoo this went on for a bit and I finally said "OK, I'll just stay home." She went and I stayed and enjoyed myself by the pool with the nagging sense that I was in trouble. She came back from the party and was fairly cold to me. A couple of days went by with her giving me the cold shoulder when she finally erupted in a fit of emotion wanting to know what was wrong with me, did I not want to be with her, and telling me I needed to be sure about the relationship or If I wasn't happy maybe we should break up! Okay...... I had thought she was just mad about the party. I guess I'm simple. To me not going to the party was just not going to the party. Thats it, end of story. To her not going was indicitive of not wanting to participate in her life, not wanting to be around her, and not being commited to the relationship. It was really a culmination of other things that I'd done and the party was the final straw. I'd been complaining about my new commute to work, griping about some things around the house and just generally being mopey. Plus we weren't going out as much and our sex life had lagged a bit. I'd been working a lot and had quite a bit of stress so I hadn't noticed how some of my actions were effecting her. The party thing was really just a catalyst for her to express her own frustrations and fears about my behavior and her perceptions of my behavior. So I guess what I mean by that lengthy (sorry) story is that she's probably not playing a game, she just has some issue she hasn't addressed yet. My wife didn't care about the party as such either. She just wanted me to want to go with her and when she offered me an out it was only so I wouldn't take it and "show my devotion" by accompanying her. Kind of fucked up in my mind, but then it was also fucked up that I didn't go when deep down I knew she wanted me there. I've since told her if she wants me to do something she KNOWS I don't want to do then don't offer me an out. Our communication has gotten better but there will be many more bumps on the road. I assure you my friend, there are many layers to this onion. Perhaps you should try to talk with her about it. She may just give the pat answer "No, nothings wrong" (GRRR... I hate that!) but when she's ready she'll let you know. Good luck and hold on tight.
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I feel ya StephenSA. If my girl would only tell me what she's thinking and feeling instead of making me guess all the damn time we'd be much happier. But no, that'd be too simple and might lead to something akin to relationship bliss! Not cool to expect me to be psychic. Ahem, sorry there. But for real, why do these women not just communicate with us? Women always state that men don't communicate enough, but the women I know don't communicate what's important. They just fill the air with mostly meaningless shite that basically turns a guy's brain off. Bleah, sorry about the threadjack. Guess we'll never know the why to these questions.
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Old 12-04-2004, 01:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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To answer some of the other questions on here, we have an 18 month old daughter. I usually get home from work at about 7pm and I will then either look after the baby or make dinner. My wife has never complained about not being supported in the house and her appreciation for what I do seems to grow when her friends complain about what their husbands do (or rather, what they don't do).

Actually StephenSA, it turns out that the real problem was quite similar to the one you had, but it did annoy me that she couldn't just come out and say it and we had to go through 3 days of volatility in order to discover exactly what the problem was.

Thanks for all the advice and concern everyone.
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