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My “yes dear” relationship

Posted on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 in Advice, dating, Happiness, Honesty, love, Men, Relationships, Women

Sean and I were in my bed, naked, propped up by many pillows (not the frilly kinds), laptops on our laps (doh!), trying to coordinate custody schedules so we could figure out how we’d spend the few time slots in the upcoming weeks that we were both free.

“Mia asked us to join her and Rex for dinner on the 16th,” I said.

“Huh, that’s when that band I told you about is in town. I was hoping we’d see them.”

“Oh, baby, I really want to see them, but we haven’t been ‘social’ in, like, forever and I told her we’d love to join them but that I’d have to confirm with you, which pretty much means I told her we’d be there. I mean …”

Even as the words came out, I gagged. No wonder why guys don’t understand women — I can barely understand myself!

But Sean, verbiage trouper that he is, jumped right in, and for the next few minutes, we went back and forth — dinner, concert, dinner, concert.

Finally, he sighed and said, “Yes dear.”   

“Oh, no, no, no! You can’t pull that crap on me!”


“You said, ‘Yes dear!’ That is the worst thing you’ve ever said to me!”

“And, what’s wrong with ‘Yes dear’?”

“‘Yes dear’ is what unhappily married, hen-pecked men say so their bitchy nagging wives will shut up and leave them alone!”

He laughed. “Your theory has as many holes as a colander because, one, we’re not married, two, you’re not my wife and, three, I’m not unhappy or hen-pecked. However …”

Before he could get to whatever No. 4 was, I jumped on top of him and held his arms down, which made us both laugh, which somehow lead to me kissing his chest, which somehow lead to me kissing all sorts of places places as I slowly migrated south  …

… And, on the 16th, we dined with Mia and Rex.

Now, that’s the kind of surrendered “yes dear” man I can handle!

But, really — what to do about “yes, dear”? It’s as deadly a word combination as “We need to talk” or “I really like you … as a friend.”

Is “yes dear” a passive-aggressive way of checking out or is it the key to a happy relationship?

I guess it depends.

Even in the best relationships, there are always power struggles — he wants one thing, she wants another, now what? As someone famous once said — or maybe it was just someone’s father —  you’re either going to be happy or right; what do you want?

Wait — you mean I can’t have both?!?!

Compromise is part of being a couple; it’s part of life, actually — work, school, dating, friendships. You’re not going to get everything you want, so deal! It’s like parenting a teenager — pick your battles … carefully.

Still, if one person is “yes, dearing” more than the other, I’d say there’s a problem. I don’t always want to be the one who’s compromising; I’m totally OK with the compromising part — I probably do that too well —  but there’s a line between that and doormat.

I just hate those two words together. I’ve never wanted to be the “dear” part of that equation, never wanted to be the one who held the power to the point that the man I love would feel that he had to agree with me.

Even if it was obvious that I was right!

Sometimes, I’ve just wanted my guy to care as much as I do. But here’s one thing I’ve learned: Men don’t always care about the same things women care about, and even if they do, it’s not always in the same way.

They seem to have no problem with things that matter to us. I’ve seen The Kid wear dirty underwear or socks for an extra day —  or none at all — rather than do laundry. This is the beauty of having a son — it’s a petri dish of manhood! You get to see men as they form!

But, yes dear?

I’d rather jump on top of Sean, gently hold him down and start kissing …

What do you think about “yes dear”?

Bring on the comments

  1. KC says:

    Good morning Kat,
    OH NO!! YOU GOT THE “YES DEAR”…. it’s all down hill now!! Seriously, Yes dear to a man doesn’t mean the same thing it would to a woman. A “Yes Dear” is only a response by a man that knows, no matter what, that his woman is going to get her way and that no argument in the WORLD is going to get her to change her mind… so, why bother even talking about it! It’s a done deal… It’s not meant in a harmful way, it’s just a way of letting your S.O. know that you understand that they have made plans for “US” and that whatever “We” might have planned that day isn’t going to happen… now… if you said ” I’m not going to swallow” THOSE could be FIGHTING words ! LOL

  2. Kat Wilder says:

    KC — I would never say “I’m not going to swallow,” because I’d just be screwing myself. Hmm, did that come out OK? 😉

  3. Mike says:

    Like you said, you pick and choose your battles. The “yes dear” is the silent you win. Their has to be a balance of compromise or problems will soon be surfacing. I used to compromise all the time. I’ve gotten better with it. I have my sticking points which are important to me. Everything else falls under the heading of “yes dear” in whatever form I say it.

  4. Steve says:

    but that I’d have to confirm with you, which pretty much means I told her we’d be there.

    Except for that quote, I agree with your post 100%.

    If someone is being placated most of the time the relationship will not last or will not be happy.

  5. T
    Twitter: tsquest

    I hear you.

    I want to know my man gets as much of his way as I do mine. I don’t want to be placated. Sometimes I do… and I’m aware of it… but I do that to myself.

    Thankfully, I have a man who believes in fair.

  6. Kat Wilder says:

    The two worst words ever put together: yes dear.

  7. Hmm.. It can be a sign of a hen-pecked unhappy many who has not leared to be an equal in a relationship. It can also be a sign of a mature guy who realizes everyone is insane sometimes and it’s best not to fight over it.

  8. Kat Wilder says:

    Mike — So, what are your sticking points? Now we’re getting somewhere!

    Steve — I’m unsure why you’re not agreeing? Don’t you understand yes dear? 😉

    T — I sometimes wonder if we think the other person’s getting his/her way when secretly he/she has already decided to put on the game face to help us save face, you know?

    Woman With Kids — I love this, “everyone is insane sometimes.” Because we are; scary when we realize it, though. Scarier when we don’t!

  9. BigLittleWolf
    Twitter: BigLittleWolf

    Nothing worse than a “yes Dear” guy. But can’t say I like that trait in women in either.

  10. dadshouse
    Twitter: dadshouseblog

    One person “yes dearing” more than the other… Um, do women EVER say “yes dear” to men? The key to this whole conversation is your line here: “I told her we’d love to join them but that I’d have to confirm with you, which pretty much means I told her we’d be there.”

    Yes, dear.

  11. brian says:

    Well its better than “Huh?”

  12. Kat Wilder says:

    BLW — me neither, although women don’t actually say “yes dear.” We’re too manipulative to be so “straight forward.”

    Dads — How do you think all those big-screen HD TVs got in our house? Doh! Yes, women do say it but, as I say to BLW, not like that. We say “fine” (that’s always popular with men!) or, if we’re smart, we get our way by giving ’em a blowjob or screwing ’em. Men do cave …

    Brian — yes dear …

  13. VJ says:

    Geez, again what about ‘Yes sir & no ma’am’? Where does that fall here? But basically much ado about not much more than sematics. Cheers, ‘VJ’