Am I right in being bothered by this?

A couple of incidents with my girlfriend have left me somewhat miffed, and she says I’m being totally out of line. I am soliciting opinions on whether I am being unreasonable with being annoyed here.

  1. A recent weekend, we had several errands to run. We were both preoccupied with other thoughts due to the fact that we are moving away soon. Anyway, we get in the car to go out to complete some errands. The plan is this: we are driving from Point A to Point B to pick up some paperwork, but are also going to Points C and D on the same drive. Points C and D are much further away from Point B, in another direction, and getting to Points C and D requires getting on a freeway. But we have to go to Point B first because it’s time sensitive. Point B is much closer, and we have gone near there many times, and we have never gotten there by going on the freeway. So I begin driving, and I drive in a direction that is not really the direction we would have taken to get to Point B. It’s not the complete opposite direction, but it’s definitely not the way anyone local would have taken to get to Point B. An impartial observer might notice that it’s the route we take to get on the freeway. In the car: there is silence. Suddenly, just as I get on the freeway, I realize that I’m headed to Point C. I ask my girlfriend, uh, why didn’t you say anything? Surely she would have noticed that I was headed towards the freeway, a route we’d never take to get to Point B, but that we’d definitely take to get to point C. She says, “I thought you knew what you were doing.” From my vantage point, it seems clear that I’m going in a direction that we have never taken to get to Point B. A normal person, I feel, would have immediately noticed that I was taking an extremely circuitous route, and would have brought it to my attention that something seemed wrong. This did not happen.

  2. Today in the Bay Area, there’s what is called a “Spare the Air Day.” Riding all public transit is free today. She had mentioned it earlier in the day, so we’d both been aware of it. However, as we entered the subway station, I headed over to the ticket machine. My girlfriend stood by silently as I fed my credit card in the machine. She watched as I carefully reduced the cost of my ticket to the cost of my fare. This took approximately 30 seconds. All the while she was standing there, saying nothing. Then as I approach the turnstile, I realize that they’re open, and there’s a sign that says “FREE-- SPARE THE AIR DAY.” I ask, uh, why didn’t you say anything? She says, “You knew it was free. We were just talking about it earlier.” I say, *#@#@* #@*#@$#!!! Obviously, I was acting out of force of habit! I didn’t need to buy the ticket today! Why did you just stand there and watch me put my money in without saying anything?

To her, these seem like minor incidents that I’m blowing completely out of proportion. However, I cannot deny that I feel an enormous amount of annoyance. It’s not the time or money that was wasted in these incidents. It’s the idea that she won’t say anything that could save me from making a mistake. If I saw her doing these things, I definitely would have reminded her, or pointed out these things, just to be on the safe side. If she was parallel parking on street sweeping day, should I just stand by and say nothing? Should I not say anything if she’s buying dinner and the entree she chooses has something she’s highly allergic to in it? Should I just say later that “I thought you knew” ?

I understand that I should take personal responsibility for my actions and all that, but come on… Isn’t it completely reasonable for me to expect her to say something when I’m obviously doing something wrong? She claims to have recognized oddity in my behavior both times, but stood by idly and said nothing. Am I right in being annoyed?

Nope. You’re an adult. You made itty-bitty little errors that any “normal person” would have just laughed off as brain farts or spacing out. And your loving girlfriend *didn’t * nag you incessantly about it. Why in the world would you be angry with her?

You are complaining that your girlfriend won’t be your mommy and hold your hand when you go outside and tell you when you’re doing things the wrong way? Yes, I think you’re being unreasonable.

I would be annoyed. I’m a bit of a space case so I’ve blanked out and did things out of order or wrongly and if I’m not corrected I feel pretty dumb. Maybe she thinks it will make you feel more stupid if she points it out? I’d tell her that is not true, and that it hurts you when she doesn’t say anything. Then again I am the kind of person who will obsess about itty-bitty mistakes, so everyone knows that it’s better to point them out when they happen.

Just expecting her to say “hey dude, remember, you don’t have to pay today” is being his mommy? I think it’s what any person would be expected to do for any other person, especially if they are friends.

In both instances, the two of you had discussed the matter, and then you went and did the stupid thing. Perhaps she lets you because she’s pissed that (she thinks) you’re clearly not listening when she speaks?

I think that’s somewhat annoying, yeah. Part of being partners is that your SO is supposed to have your back. Not saying anything while you make an easily preventable error is letting you down.

I find her behaviour a bit bizarre, actually. Is it possible that she’s been “trained” by a previous SO not to “nag”? (Reminding you that your ticket is free would be “nagging incessantly”? :confused: ) Or is she just a total space cadet, didn’t remember herself, but was too embarassed to admit it? It seems kind of pathologically passive not to say, “Hey, Cagey, weren’t we going to B first?” or “Wait, wait, don’t pay, it’s free today!”

How do you react when she does correct you? If this is a recent change–i.e., six weeks ago the same thing happened and she said something–I would look to see if maybe react in a negative fashion when you are corrected.

Otherwise, this isn’t a right or wrong thing, it’s a personality difference. You like to be corrected, she doesn’t. You are both treating each other the way you would like it–neither way is right, but you are irritating each other. You need to talk to each other in a time and space where you are irritated and work it out–make it clear that you DON’T mind being corrected (which she may have trouble understanding, if she is your polar opposite) and then ask her if you correct her too much–if it bugs her. Be open to the fact that it may, even if, in your worldview, that’s dumb. If so, you both need to do your best to adjust your behavior, and forgive each other for lapses, since you are both having to struggle with an attitude that seems counterintuitive.

I’d be annoyed, just because it seems so scatterbrained and illogical of her to just sit there idly, acknowledging and realizing what you’re doing but not saying anything.

I suppose it depends what you’ve acted like in the past if she’s pointed out minor things.

When my Ex was going to make some minor screw up I’d mention it and he’d get all snotty and condescending “Yes, I KNOW I’m supposed to go south on 10th.”

So now I say nothing. When he asks me why I tell him that in the past when I’ve mentioned stuff he’s acted like a shithead, so now he’s on his own. Really, it’s a good, good thing that we’re not dating anymore.

That being said, with the new beau, I would probably mention stuff, and would expect that he would mention stuff too. However, if he didn’t I sure wouldn’t get my shirt in a knot.

It sounds pretty passive-agressive to me.

Or maybe she just worries about being bossy, which is something I have struggled with from time to time. Explain to her that you appreciate her help in staying focussed on what you’re doing, and that a gentle “Hon, are you sure that’s what you want to do?” doesn’t count as nagging or harrassment.

Bottom line: if it’s bothering you, it’s a problem, whether you have a “right” to be bothered by it or not.

She’s right. The correct response would be to say something like “Next time, please tell me if you see me doing something forgetful” and then laugh it off. Life’s too short to get bent out of shape over learning how to interact with each otehr.

It would have annoyed me, but only when it happened. If you’re still annoyed by minor things like this that’s your issue not hers.

I have to agree with her on this one. I think a better reaction from you would have been, “Aw, shoot. I can’t believe I did that! Hey, the next time you see me doing something stupid like this, please let me know.” Getting angry with her about it would indicate, to me, that you’re blowing it way out of proportion.

I can see that opinions on this are going almost straight down gender lines, which I find a bit odd and troubling. This is not about gender-relations and power-dynamics. It’s strictly about whether you’d expect someone you know and love to step in and say something at the moment they notice something odd. I don’t really see how it’s “being someone’s mommy.” You could make the argument that you should never help anyone lest you run the risk of “being their mommy.”

And I’m pretty sure that her behavior is not a consequence of me getting upset in the past. I wouldn’t get upset if someone pointed out that I was about to make a mistake. If I really knew what I was doing, I might say, “Yeah, I know what I’m doing, don’t worry” but I wouldn’t get upset by it one way or the other. What upsets me is that she noticed I was doing something wrong, and chose not to say anything.

It also seems odd to me to blame her for his mistake. He’s going on about how any damn fool would know these things – why is he holding her to a higher standard than himself? The second incident is more questionable than the first, with the “you knew it was free”, but that could just mean that it didn’t occur to her either until it was too late, but that it wasn’t her responsibility to tell him anyway because it was his own responsibility to know.

What most of the others said.
In both cases, you are the one who fucked up.
If I were pissed about either, it would be the 2d because it unnecessarily cost you . And I think "partners" should generally help each other avoid wasting . Even so - what is it, a buck or 2?
IME, it is far preferable to have a passenger be silent while you take a wrong route, then having them constantly tell you the “turn here/park there/slow down/change lanes” etc. IMO, unless the driver asks for assistance, he/she is responsible for getting to the intended location.
In both cases, I think the fact that you are still pissed about these minor situations is a lot more significant than anything she may have done wrong.

Yeah, maybe a little annoying. But not so annoying that it’s worth writing a Pit thread about or anything.

I could see myself being your girlfriend (um…I don’t mean it that way). I don’t “enter” other people’s heads and try to second guess them. I figure people know what they are doing, just as I usually know what I’m doing, so why question what they are doing? I hate when people do that to do me, so I wouldn’t do it to someone else.

Exactly. Particularly in the first case, as some people (including myself) get really irritated by backseat driving). Even if you haven’t ever been pissy with this girl, she may have had experiences with a person in the past that would make her less prone to speak up. For instance, it could be a family thing, maybe her mother tries to correct her dad and he gets angry. OR maybe her mom nags constantly and she doesn’t want to be that.

I think the thing to do is if you want the corrections, make sure you make her aware of that you would welcome a heads-up.


I admit that I am a total scatterbrain, since I have ADD (Yay! Finally, the doctor gave me my meds, for those following that one! Biatch!). Obviously, I have no idea how her mind works, but I do the same thing with my husband. I either don’t think about what I’m looking at (lost in my own thoughts) or if it does flicker onto my inner brain screen, it blips back off with the reasoning that “he knows what he’s doing, whatever it is.” Once in a great while, we’ll go the opposite direction, get halfway to nowhere, and my husband will smack his forehead and say, “Gah! What was I doing? Did you notice we were going the wrong way?” I’ll snap out of my own thoughts and say, “I thought something didn’t feel right…” But you know, he’s never blamed me. We always laugh about it and move on with our lives, never dwelling on it or even thinking about it again, until someone brings up “Man, there was this one time I was going the wrong way…” And then me and him elbow each other under the table, giggling like schoolchildren.

Really, though, it may be trite, but it’s damn good advice: Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff, by the sounds of it.