Dear Amy: This has been an ongoing problem between my husband and me:

If I ask a question like, “Is it OK if I turn this program off, or are you listening to it?” he will answer “yes” or “no,” and these one-word answers do not make his meaning clear to me.

He says it is my fault for asking two questions, but I maintain that even a two-word answer would make his meaning clear.

He thinks I’m being unreasonable and should limit myself to one question.

I think my way of asking is only polite.

Am I wrong?


Dear MS: If you want a straightforward answer, ask a simple question.

I agree with your husband that your habit of asking two potentially opposing questions (“Is it OK if I turn this off, or are you listening to it?”) forces him to issue more than a one-word response.

I agree with you that your way of asking is polite.

And I hope that you will both agree with me that spouses should always do their best to be generous in all of their communications.

Dear Amy: I am a woman in a long-term relationship with a man. We have a good relationship, talking through issues and agreeing on most things. When we disagree, we communicate, clear the air, and move on.

The other night, my partner woke up in the middle of the night and performed a sex act with me that I did not enjoy and would never consent to, had I been asked.


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