In this post I will be making some sweeping generalizations, but they are based on my observations - which are not at all scientific.
Yesterday Steve and I both accompanied Soph to the dentist and while Soph was getting her teeth cleaned, I was telling the hygienist how we try to get the tartar off Soph's teeth, but it still built up despite our very concerned parental efforts. Steve jumped in with, "She's worried you'll think we're bad parents." I was about to snicker and deny that, when the hygienist very kindly said she didn't think we were bad parents. Wow - how easy was that? My fear laid right out there, by my hubby, and then vanquished!
This is not the first time I have been in awe of my husband's blatant honesty and the results it brings. While he was in graduate school he came home very late (common occurrence at that time) and told me of a falling out he had with his colleague/very good friend. I listened in shock as he relayed the language they used in communicating their frustrations and when he was done, I simply responded, "Wow, you guys have been so close. How sad." Without missing a beat, Steve said, "We'll be fine," and they were. They put it all on the table in very colorful language and then moved past it.
My observation is that women tend to lean away from the uncomfortable, even when it is obvious. The result from this seems to be unnecessary anguish and a whole lot of talking behind others' backs.
I've been watching reruns of Sex & The City lately and if you followed that show you may remember the episode in which Berger tells Miranda that a guy who did not call her the next day is just not that into her and how freeing she found his honesty. Her girlfriends were trying to comfort her by giving her a myriad of reasons for the guy's behavior - none being that he might not have liked her.