When it comes to matters of the heart, women tend to be better at expressing themselves than men.
That might sound like a cliché, but the evidence bears it out with one 2017 study even finding men gain more emotional satisfaction from their friendships with other males than they do romantic relationships with women.
For family therapist Terry Real, the struggle for many men centers on the issue of intimacy and the apparent “disconnect” between a woman desire for emotional closeness and the traditional view of masculinity. As Real explained it in an interview with Goop: “Most women want more emotional intimacy from men than we traditionally raise boys and men to deliver.”
For some, this can manifest itself in a struggle to effectively articulate emotions using words. A poor turn of phrase can sometimes take a well-intended compliment and turn it into something flat or incomprehensible. However, for one woman taking to social media, her husband’s choice of words was not just ill-advised, it was borderline offensive.
In a post shared to Mumsnet under the handle Glittersparkle76, the married mother of one explained that while her husband was away on a recent work trip, she awoke early one morning to find he had sent her what she initially thought was a “lovely” message . “I still and always want to love you with all my heart, let’s get this straight from the start,” the message began. “I only wish you were here for me to prove it to you.”
Though she was initially taken by the sweet message, she said she became dismayed when she read on. “With you, I have never loved anyone more, who I’ve ended up with, although I’ve loved others more,” it read. “I may have never said this, but that’s coz honesty hurts, and I definitely did not want to hurt you.”
Later the message continued: “That is definitely not a put down on your part, as everyone has completely fell in love with someone else, to get no return.”
Though he concluded the long message by insisting he wanted them to spend their “twilight years” together, his wife has been left stunned by the message and the claim he loved others more. “Why would you even need to say that to me?” she wrote. “Some things best left unsaid.”
The comment has left her questioning everything about their marriage. “I feel like I’m second, third or even fourth best now and do not think I will ever be able to get that comment out of my head,” she said. “Even if I felt in my past I had loved others more than I do him, I would never say that to him as I do not feel it needs to be said.”
Confused and angry at the messages, she turned to social media for support, with the vast majority agreeing that the comments were baffling and offensive. RhiRhi1996 said: “That would not make me feel very good to be honest. Kind of like ‘the girls I liked / loved more, did not want me so you’re the best I got.’ Very strange. “
MerryClaire went further, writing: “If I received that message I would most likely end the relationship. How bizarre.” Hollowtalk said it was an “awful message in so many ways” with Antarcticant commenting: “It’s self-indulgent, poorly-written nonsense. I wouldn’t want a relationship with someone who came out with this kind of rubbish.”
User280905 said “I would assume he was drunk. What a weird message.” PetersRabbitt said: “The more I read it the more I cringe.” The woman said she plans on speaking to him about the message when he returns.
Newsweek has contacted Glittersparkle76 for comment.