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Question
Posted by: Gerhard | 2020/02/10

My wife isn't happy about the car I bought her

My wife mentioned recently that she is having difficulty with her small car (UP!) and the manual transmission driving to work in bad CBD traffic. I decided to purchase a new small SUV automatic for her to help her with space and changing gears. When I however handed her the keys to her new car she did not even smile or thanked me. I then enquired whether she does not like the car and asked her whether I should rather return it. Her response was: "it's your choice, do what you want to". We subsequently have had a big argument about the entire situation. Is it wrong of me to feel let down by her emotionless reaction? (PS: I did not incur any debt or took from household funds to purchase the vehicle)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2020/02/10

Hi Gerhard.
I wonder what other readers think might explain her odd response. I suppose one likely reason could be that she would have preferred you to have discussed the idea with her before buying anything ; she might have really wanted a different vehicle, or even a different non-vehicular solution to the problems.
It's understandable that you felt disappointed that she was so obviously not pleased by something you had done with the expectation that it would please her.  But if you read her concerns and desires inaccurately, it's understandable that she could have felt flat and disappointed.  As you've already discovered, and argument ( whoever started it, it took both of you to continue it ) solves nothing and pleases nobody.
Maybe apologize to her ( you don't know what upset her, but you didn't mean to have that effect ) and explain that it seemed like a good idea at the time, and you really want to understand why what you meant as a kind gesture caused her so much ill-feeling, and ask her to explain, so you can learn.

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