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NaturalMineralWater's avatar

How do I explain to my wife that I just don't like talking a long time on the phone without offending her?

Asked by NaturalMineralWater (11295points) January 19th, 2009

I love my wife dearly but I don’t know how to make her understand that I can’t sit for long periods of time on the phone.. I just lose interest and then lo and behold I don’t sound interested so she gets upset. I can’t fake interest.. what do I do? I’ve told her how I feel but I can tell she really just wants me to be completely, totally interested in every word she says.

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23 Answers

asmonet's avatar

Maybe she’s feeling underappreciated. Instead of phone conversations, maybe you could make more face to face time and begin using the phone only for short information only conversations. Leave the rest to a dinner for two.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Yeah man I had the exact same problem with a long distance relationship (im assuming your wife is long distance too) with one of my ex girl friends. Every night almost atleast an hour on the phone. Ugh. I honestly couldn’t find a way to tell her either. She just didn’t get it. Asmonet is right, she probably just feels underappreciated and probably she talks so much because she misses you and feels like you don’t miss her as much because you don’t want to talk. This stuff gets complicated. Maybe you could just link her to this question :) And she will not only see how you really feel about it but also how other guys and gals see it

cak's avatar

Has she always been this way?

Snoopy's avatar

I would rather have your undivided attention for brief periods of time… opposed to feigned interest/distinterest most of the time.

See if you can work harder at a compromise….

loser's avatar

I had that problem with a girlfriend. I just told her that I’m not really into the phone. She understood.
Of course, we did break up shortly after that…

cookieman's avatar

Had the same problem years ago with my wife. I’m just not a phone person. It actually gives me a headache.

She was initially skeptical and miffed, but I made a point of having long conversations with her in person as much as possible. This was no problem as she is great to talk to and we enjoy our conversations.

She eventually got the hint (with some gentle prodding). Now we rarely talk on the phone for more than 2 minutes but still enjoy great 1-on-1 time.

Jeruba's avatar

I hate talking on the phone and used to struggle to sit through long conversations with my long-distance beloved, even when I doted on the very sound of his voice, but they were important to him. He would tell me about every detail of his day. I would file my nails, apply nail polish, etc. This was when phones were tied to the wall.

Now I would probably put on a headset and wander around doing little chores, or press mute and type at the keyboard, but it’s no longer a problem. He sits about 15 feet away in the next room.

Or maybe I would just say, “Sweetheart, it’s not good for our relationship when my short attention span wears out before our conversations end. Wouldn’t it be better to leave me wanting more?”

psyla's avatar

Put it on speakerphone & do something else while you’re talking.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Tell her you have a hard time focusing on the phone, and need to see faces when you talk. If you’re both on e-mail, send her short messages during the day to let her know you’re thinking of her.

psyla's avatar

Get a Bluetooth headset so you can go about your daily routine while talking to her. It would be handy when she brings up a boring subject because you could tell her what you’re doing, whenever you want to change the subject.

augustlan's avatar

When and under what circumstances are these long calls taking place? During the day while you’re at work? At the end of the day while you’re away on a business trip? If you see her every day, make time to talk in person when you are both at home. Work is not the appropriate place/time to take long personal calls anyway. If it is because you are away, suck it up and talk to her…she misses you :)

nocountry2's avatar

Why can’t you just tell her, honey, I have to be honest with you – talking on the phone for a long time is something I’m just not very good at. But I love you, and I know it’s really important to you, is there a way we can compromise by (insert preferred suggestion) so your needs are met? She will love that you’re concerned about her needs, trust me

psyla's avatar

To effeminately tell her that you don’t like talking to her on the phone will be the greatest insult she’s ever had. Get the bluetooth headset.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Ah one more thing, which I just remembered. I did successfully bring the phone time with my, at the time, girl friend down from over an hour pushing two sometimes to under an hour. I explained to her it isn’t because I don’t like talking to her, I just don’t like spending a lot of my free time on the phone at night. Guys and girls are wired a little differently, where I saw it as spending my entire night on the phone, she saw it as spending the time with me, talking on the phone. Guys prefer to do things that are considered activities as opposed to sitting on a phone. This is why you talk to your buddies for a couple minutes to figure out what your doing for the night and then you spend the rest of the night hanging out with them. Girls are content with doing nothing, but chatting with a friend for a couple hours. So Anyways, I guess things kinda worked out into a compromise, we talked for about 40 ish minutes until she could tell I was losing my patience with being on the phone and we both wrapped it up for the night. But, what I said earlier still applied, I knew she was talking to me because she missed me and you have to be careful to make them feel like its mutual, and in my girl friends mind that was done by me talking back all night.

asmonet's avatar

You’ve got a lot of very broad generalizations in your quip.

psyla's avatar

LKidKyle1985 has got it figured out. At Girl Parties, you eat & talk. At Guy Parties, you drink & talk. Girl Parties are for the Dining Room. Guy Parties are at a bar. Guys do not do well talking for long periods unless they’re drunk.

asmonet's avatar

All my girl parties consist of liquor, Foosball, and a Wii. So…nope.

psyla's avatar

Mixed drinks or shots?

cyndyh's avatar

Um, yeah, my guy and I like the same kind of parties. You folks are generalizing broadly.

To the original question: When you tell her you’d rather spend time in person and that the phone doesn’t work so well for you and you prefer to see her face when you’re spending time talking -or however you end up saying it – don’t say it over the phone. :^>

jessturtle23's avatar

I don’t like talking on the phone either so we talk once a day for about five minutes. I did have this problem with family members and I just told them I don’t like talking on the phone. Tell her if she doesn’t ask you to talk on the phone so long you won’t ask her to do something she really doesn’t like to do.

galileogirl's avatar

Give it up! Always carry something with you that needs to be done but doesn’t take too much attention. Balance your checkbook, clean your nails, write a note to your mother and it won’t be a complete waste of time.

asmonet's avatar

Shots. Sometimes there’s Guinness.

maybe_KB's avatar

Thats easy!
Tell her, “Baby, I just don’t like talking for long periods of time over the phone.”

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