When my Wife is Mad at me and I Don’t Know Why

tim chan —  May 16, 2012 — 2 Comments

The April Fool’s Day prank I played on my wife backfired. She was super mad at me. And I didn’t know why. Here’s the story.

I like playing pranks. And since Olive lives with me, she is usually the victim of my creativity (what a lucky girl). The weeks leading up to April Fool’s Day, I started brainstorming ideas of pranks to play on her (read my post on the best pranks I’ve seen). Then I thought of the perfect prank. It was so good that every time I imagined it, I started laughing. Olive would be shocked at first, but later would see the humour in it. This was going to be one of those memorable moments in our marriage that we would look back at and just laugh and laugh and laugh.

So I thought.

At 9:21am on April 1st this year, I pulled the prank. I won’t tell you what exactly I did, to prevent you from taking sides (or viewing me as a complete douchbag). What’s important was my wife’s response.

I started laughing. Olive pouted and said that it wasn’t funny. She looked mad. Really mad. I couldn’t tell if she was truly mad or not. So I stopped laughing, but then couldn’t help it and laughed more (because I truly thought it was very funny). She gave me a look that made me a bit scared. I stopped laughing. Then she said, “The fact that you did this prank makes me wonder if you really love me.”

That was a serious statement she made. I felt terrible.

But the real problem was that I had no idea why she was so mad.

We continued our day, and got ready to go to church. All day in the back of my mind I kept on wondering if my wife was okay. We didn’t talk about it anymore. I didn’t want to bring it up because I was afraid she might get mad again. I wasn’t really sure what to say. I felt guilty so making her angry, but part of me was clueless to the reason.

After two days I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt unsettled and wanted to make sure Olive wasn’t still mad. But I also wanted to figure out why she was so mad. So I finally mustered up the courage to ask Olive about the elephant in the room.

We were having breakfast together, and I waited, and waited, and finally brought up the conversation.

Tim: So I want to talk to you about something.
Olive: Okay.
Tim: Remember the prank I played on you?
Olive: How could I forget?
Tim: Are you still mad at me?
Olive: Well… yes.
Tim: I want to apologize, but I’m also not sure why you are so mad. That day you said that you weren’t sure if I loved you. That’s a pretty serious statement. Did you really mean it?
Olive: (thinks a bit) I was very mad, and yes, I really did mean it. Because (went on to explain)
Tim: I’m sorry that my prank made you feel that way.

My wife and I see the world differently. I thought the prank was funny. She thought it was offensive. This experience showed that after three years of marriage, there are still things I don’t understand about my wife. Our conflict that day was the direct result of me not understanding my wife. And that’s okay.

We both know that marriage is a learning process. Though my wife got hurt and angry through this experience, it was also an opportunity for our marriage to grow and strengthen.

It was important that I apologized for hurting my wife, but that I also took the time to understand her point of view (i.e. why she was so mad) and she took the time to understand mine (i.e. why the prank was so funny).

I’m thankful that my wife does not expect me to be perfect. It allows us room in our marriage to make mistakes, make each other mad, extend grace, and forgive each other. (Here’s more about how to fight fairly in marriage).

photo credit: tomazstolfa via photo pin cc