Always shunted to third wheel, even second wheel?

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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 14 Jul 2021
Posts: 1

14 Jul 2021, 1:18 pm

A while back my wife had an intervention of sorts with me about interrupting her. Ever since, our conversation has been much more peaceful I’ll admit, but only because I now say nothing… I dunno what to do now, she’ll go on for and hour or two after I get home for the day and never offer me an opportunity to speak or ask me what I think (unless it’s clearly rhetorical). I feel like a garbage can for her thoughts. A place to dump things and not expect anything to come back out. It’s exactly how I feel in a group, when everyone is allowed to interrupt as soon as they have something to contribute except for me. Now it happens in the only group I spend any time in these days. A group of two…

Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 25 Oct 2020
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 97
Location: Europe

14 Jul 2021, 6:28 pm

Yeah actually I have the same issue with my man. He can go on for hours without rest and I have trouble taking so much in. Fortunately he doesn't seem to mind too much that I barely listen, it appears that it suits him. He just wants to get it out, he has this need, and he prefers to have this illusion that another human being is listening. In reality, he is talking to himself and I think deep down he knows that - and so does your wife, probably.

And you know what, it's nothing personal. You are not a garbage can, you are an "emotional support", or something of sorts. Your verbal reply isn't needed. Its the BEING there that counts. Dont underestimate this "being".

Now being shunted in group conversations is a completely different matter, it has more to do with our inability to quickly adapt to the flow of conversation and inject the right reaction at the right time. And in these situations, your "being" there doesn't matter to the group if you can't catch up with them. You could as well not exist.

Conclusion - don't compare being with wife to being with a group, these are totally different things and totally different level of contribution from your side.

If you want to check whether I am right, try an experiment: quietly leave in the middle of conversation and see if the group (or your wife) notices your disappearance.


User avatar

Joined: 2 Feb 2008
Age: 73
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,091
Location: Where the Great Plains meet the Northern Pines

15 Jul 2021, 5:14 pm

I once had a prospective business partner who thought he maybe talked 60% of the time. I used a stopwatch to prove it was close to 90%. Now, I keep an egg timer handy, and use it as a talking stick. When your sand runs out, I get to talk just as long.
When I was a boy, we had one neighbour who would only stop talking if you got out of earshot. Some people don't listen at all. If their lips are not moving, they are still composing their next remark.
"Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit."
- The Desiderata