Ellen has known Jack since they were teenagers, so she's completely aware of how stressed he is since he began working in his new position. As the weeks pass, she waits for Jack to open up and tell her more about his situation but her inquiries are only met with silence. Finally, she can't take it anymore, and one night after dinner, she broaches the subject:
"Jack, I know you're having a hard time with the new job, and I've been thinking of some things that might help. My cousin Bill works in a big company with a similar corporate structure, and I remember when he first started it was hell for him. Maybe if you called and spoke to Bill you'd feel supported and calmer about the way things have been going. I was also thinking that if I took over driving the boys to soccer practice on the weekends, you'd have more time to work at home."
Ellen's heart is hurting for her husband, and all she wants to do is help make things better, so she is surprised at his response:
"Jeez, Ellen, can't you just leave things alone?" Jack says angrily. "Do you have to be in charge of everything, including how I do my job? You want to control my every move, don't you?"
What's happening here? Jack is misinterpreting Ellen's desire to contribute something valuable to his situation and to be included in his process as an attempt to control him.
- Men get to feel like they're accomplishing things on their own.
One of the most common complaints I receive from women about men is that too often they leave their partner out of the decision-making process.