“Do you think it would be a good idea to change the bed linen?” Lady Barton St Mary asked me this morning.
“No,” I nearly answered,” I think they could see out another week. Just shake them out.”
Of course, in a relationship, as most of you know, what your partner says and what it actually means can be two completely different things. If you are not aware of this, you are either single or very soon to be so.
Let me give you a few examples of how this works in my marriage to a highly intelligent, aristocratic business woman. I’ll take you through a few phases that she uses and try my best to define what they mean. Of course, being a man, my interpretations can be inaccurate. After all, a wise person once stated:
“If a married man says something alone in the middle of the forest, is he still wrong?”
Here we go, then:
A particularly interesting one. In the first full blush of our romance, when the love of your life wants to please you as much as possible, she would say ‘maybe’ when she really meant ‘perhaps you should rethink that one’. For example:
“Would you like to watch the football with me?” or
“Would you come back to my place and let me use my chocolate body paint on you? “
‘Maybe’ in a long term marriage means ‘I have to consider all the options and probably revise your intentions so that they can suit my personal preference.’
It’s up to you.
It’s never up to you. It’s up to her, but she’s giving you the option of making the right decision.
Can I just say something?
She means, ‘You’re making a complete balls up of something, but I’m being diplomatic.’
I’m tired of making decisions. I want you to make a decision.
She’s saying, ‘I’m a bit undecided but if I hear what sort of terrible decision you would make it would help me.’
I don’t mind.
I do mind. It’s just that you have to find out what I don’t mind.
Somebody’s left a coffee mug in the living room.
Go and get the cup and tidy up the living room.
I’ve been thinking.
The most dreaded statement ever to be heard in a relationship, indicating imminent hard work and drudgery. For example:
“I’ve been thinking. How long is it since we decorated the bedroom?”
Notice the clever use of ‘we’ in this sentence.
Impending hardship may be exacerbated by ‘You’re not going to like this…’
Easy. It means no. Not ever.