Male Pattern Forgetfulness

I recently came to the realization that I haven’t laughed enough lately. And I thought, maybe you haven’t either. So, I decided to dust off a few of my older (and funnier) blog posts in the hopes that we could have a laugh together.

And so, without further ado, bring on the laughs.

Male Pattern Forgetfulness

My husband suffers from a condition called Male Pattern Forgetfulness. Perhaps yours does, too. I’ll use an example to illustrate the symptoms of this insidious disease for which there is no known cure.

Last night I reminded my husband (for the second time this week) that I was having dinner with my critique partner, just like I do every other Thursday night. So when I received an email at 4 o’clock in the afternoon asking me what we were doing for dinner, was I surprised? No, I was not.

When I got home from dinner, my husband was digging through his closet. “Whatcha doin?” I asked. As is customary when he is concentrating, he ignored me. A little while later (after I’d moved onto something else), he emerged from the closet triumphant, a shoe box in his hands.

He came into the bathroom where I was now brushing my teeth and readying for bed. Setting the box on the counter, he pulled out an old pair of running shoes. “My favorite pair of ASIC’s bit the dust today,” he said. “These are the shoes I wore in the CaliMan half ironman triathlon we did in 2004. Knowing they don’t make them anymore, I put them away for later and forgot about them until now.”

Male Pattern Forgetfulness wait_what

I stood before him, dumbfounded, and blinked. Twice. After spitting out the toothpaste and rinsing my mouth I said, “So, let me get this straight. After having reminded you not once but twice, you couldn’t remember that I was having dinner with Patricia tonight, but you can remember what shoes you wore in a triathlon NINE YEARS AGO??!!”

And then the realization that had been there before me for some twelve years (since I met him) finally found purchase. My darling husband does not suffer from Male Pattern Forgetfulness. He suffers from Selective Listening Disorder.

I was so relieved to learn this because, thankfully, there is a cure for Selective Listening Disorder. Here’s what you do. Stand in front of your husband without saying a word. It may take some time for him to realize you are there.

I should point out that you must be fully clothed. The goal is, after all, to get him to actually listen to you.

Once he makes eye contact (and do wait for the eye contact) tell him what you have to say. Then–and this is the key—have him repeat back to you what you just told him. It may take a few times for him to get it right, but be patient with him. He is learning a new (and quite possibly foreign) skill, after all.

Please understand that this is no way guarantees that he’ll actually remember what you say, but it does significantly increase the odds.

How about you? Does your man suffer from Selecting Listening Disorder? How have you dealt with this disturbing disorder?

44 comments on… “Male Pattern Forgetfulness”

  1. Oh my goodness, this is my husband all over. We have a rule that we don’t actually talk to each other unless there is eye contact, because otherwise he will forget I was even there ten minutes later. To be fair, it works both ways, but we’ve been together 18 years now, and he should know not to tell me anything important when I am very clearly READING A BOOK.

    Site looks great! Congrats on the launch.

    • Yes, or writing! Thanks for the feedback on the site. I do owe it to my husband who encouraged me to hire someone to make it “special, like you are.” Thanks for stopping by to support me on launch day, Lindsey!

  2. Too funny, Suzanne! My husband as the opposite disorder. He not only listens to everything I say, he REMEMBERS it. Where I was standing, where the sun was in relation to the windows, what I was wearing, what he was wearing – let me tell you, it’s VERY annoying. Especially when he remembers the stuff I never meant for him to hear in the first place.

    The blog looks great, honey! Cheers!

  3. HA! If I were in the habit of writing LOL, which I’m not, I would write that. HA! will have to do. Can I relate? Let’s just say that my husband remembers important dates, like anniversaries and birthdays, by going through a mental checklist of who won the men’s NCAA basketball championship that year.”Oh yes, it was Indiana–yeah, so, 1987. Right?” He always is, damn it.

    Blog looks GREAT–you’re on your way! That video clip, or whatever it is, really makes the post. Well done!

    • That is hilarious, Gretchen. I think that’s true of most men — that they remember important events in correlation to a sporting event. Like my husband remembering precisely when he bought those running shoes. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Melissa Lewicki

    Suzanne, this was great! You should be so proud of this very successful launch. I liked the post and I liked the design of the site and I LOVE the mini-video in the middle of the post. Best of luck with future postings–I have subscribed so I can see them without fail.

    • Thanks, Melissa! I remembered our WANA Mama telling us that Friday’s should be for fun, so I decided to throw my husband under the bus for the first post (good sport that he is). Thanks for subscribing.

  5. Great start my friend!! Keep it up.

    My hubby suffers from the malady. I’ve just come to expect that I’ll have to tell him over and over and then explain when I get home and he’s mad, that I did in fact tell him multiple times where I was going to be. Usually he gives me that look that says something akin to “oh yeah, duh.” I just smile, kiss him and ask him how his evening/day was.

    Good love them.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  6. Great site, Suzanne. Absolutely loved your post. I read most of it to my hubby who says he has Sometimers. You have hit this disease right on target. Thanks for the chuckles this morning.

  7. LOL! GREAT post, Suzanne! And welcome to the blog-o-sphere. Congrats on a lovely site.

    Alas, my DH suffers from both these maladies. My son does, too. I’ve never heard of a cure and treatments are only sporadically effective. 😛 I maintain it is their defective “Y” chromosome.

    Congrats again on launching your blog!


  8. Hi Suzanne. I love your website and that was a wonderful post for kicking off your blog. As far as I’m concerned your post should be required reading for all potential newlyweds. Although I might disagree on one topic. The guys definitely pay attention if you’re nude!

    • Hi Cindy! Thanks for coming by. You’re right, you’ll surely get their attention but remember, the point is to get them to actually listen 🙂

  9. Great blog. My husband has selective hearing especially when he sleeps. If I whisper, I wake him up but if the dog barks right beside him he doesn’t. Go figure.

    Your website looks great too. Nice job.

  10. Patti Vince

    Suz, this sounds like fun and someone I can commiserate with. Good luck!

    Since our husbands are related, I know exactly what you are talking about, but, I will take it one step further. When he can’t find his, wallet, keys, shoes, etc., his first comment is “what did YOU do with my (fill in the blank). I continually ask him, why would I do anything with any of those things when they are of no use to me?

    • Patti – my sides hurt from laughing! That is DEFINITELY a Vince family trait. That and a few other unmentionables 🙂 Thanks for visiting. Hope to see you again here, and I hope you are well. *hugs*

  11. I can SO relate to the scenarios you described, Suzanne! My hubby and I share an office, and a couple of businesses, and a ranch. You can imagine the kinds of miscommunications that can occur when so much is going on!

    We have our little trick. When one wants to ask something or interrupt, we ask, “May I speak?” That’s the cue that you either need to a) say not now, or b) focus and concentrate. With some training, it’s worked quite well for us! Of course, there are still numerous times when one – or the other – only tunes in halfway through a sentence!

  12. Happy Launch Day, Suzanne! Your site looks awesome, and what a great post! My hubby has this disease, too. He gets payback when he talks to me and I’m working on my laptop or like Lindsey mentioned, when I’m reading a book! Oh, and sometimes when we’re in the car and I’m daydreaming, plotting out a scene for a book, I’m as guilty as he is with the Selective Listening! Heehee! Yep, it really does work both ways in our case!

  13. I was going to say, short term memory loss, but your explaination makes more sense. You’re hilarious Suzanne. I love that you haven’t lost your sense of humor because I think this just comes with the territory, as in, men in general. Great suggestions. And they do work, well that is, most of the time. Selective hearing is a gene most men inherit. Some are worse than others. Mine has it really bad. And your right. If you’re going to stand before them in order to get their attention, be fully clothed. lol. I really loved your post and I look forward to more! 🙂

  14. Nancy J

    Your website it terrific, Suzanne. Congrats! As for your post, I can definitely relate. My special blend of male pattern forgetfulness includes my dear husband’s inability to locate an item right in front of his nose. My favorite example is having him call me at work to ask “Where is the mustard?” as if I have magic, x-ray vision from my desk at work. Of course, I told him it was in the door, 3 tiers down, next to the ranch dressing. That’s my problem. I usually know where this stuff is!… I’ll look forward to your posts, Suzanne. I’ve always enjoyed your take on life!

  15. Very funny, Suzanne, and beautifully written, too! I think SLD is genetically programmed, back from when the guys were the hunters and the women the gatherers. They had to focus on those wildebeasts, to the exclusion of the delicious smell of the wildflowers, the soft breeze on their loins (they were wearing only scraps of leather, after all), and the voice behind them calling “Don’t forget the bread and milk, too!”

    • It’s all starting to make sense now. Thanks for the insight. And happy travels! I’ll be following your website!

  16. The site looks great, love the header! On the mobile device, the search bar pops up right where the words “all things are possible” so it looked liked it read: In love…Suzanne, made me wonder if it was a romance blog or something. 😉

    I don’t know if I would call what my hubby has selective hearing, still trying to figure him out. ha!

  17. Great blog and wonderful post – I absolutely relate. I will definitely give eye contact a better go!!

  18. This is so hilarious, and I would love to tell you the stories of conversations my DH and I have had. Or not. Then he might decide to post funny things about me on Facebook. So at this time I will remain silent. Silent and laughing inside. 🙂

    Your new site looks fabulous, dahling!

  19. Every husband in the world right there… Except mine might forget about the shoes, too…

  20. Too funny! But oddly enough, I’m like your hubby. For example, I’m very good at remembering plots and story detail whether it be from a book, movie, or TV show. My hubby, who is quite impatient and usually ends up falling asleep anyway, always asks me, “So what happens next?” or “Why did that happen?” lol, it’s only annoying if I haven’t seen it yet and his question distracts my attention from the action on the screen. My short term memory for dates and events is horrible. It’s especially worse if I’m sick from accidentally eating gluten. It drives him crazy. 😀

  21. Roxanne Junio-Moody

    Absolutely hilarious and I can so relate to this disease. This describes my husband perfectly. Great job on the blog, Suzanne. I’m enjoying this a lot and look forward to more.

  22. Suz, Quite simply damn funny. Glad to read the repeat! Worth it! Not to mention true ha ha.

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