The “So Close” Conundrum – When Words Cut Deeper Than Intention

Husband and wife arguing, pointing fingers at each other while looking at the camera. Couple. Fight.

In the world of social media, where people share their joys, frustrations, and relationship dilemmas, one recent post has ignited a debate about the impact of words within a partnership. This is the story of a 33-year-old man, his 27-year-old wife, and a phrase that’s causing some serious relationship turbulence. Let’s dive into the details.

The original poster (OP) begins by sharing his struggle with a familiar phrase that has permeated his marriage. He confides that his wife has always been someone who likes things done her way, believing it’s the only right way. This control freak tendency has been a constant presence in their relationship, even though it’s not a dealbreaker for OP.

Almost There But Not Quite

The focal point of the matter revolves around a single recurring phrase: “You were so close.” Whenever OP engages in any activity, whether it’s completing a household chore, taking a photograph, or working on a project, his wife consistently employs this expression in a demeaning manner. OP shares that it echoes like a stuck record, serving as a perpetual reminder that he always falls just short of perfection.

For instance, if he does the dishes and dries them differently than she prefers, it’s “You were so close. Next time do it like this.” Even taking a simple photo of her isn’t spared from the critique: “You were so close, angle the camera this way.” And when he finishes a work project and shows her the results, the familiar refrain echoes again: “You were so close. Next time, do it this way.”

Fast forward to the crux of the story: the wife’s dream job. Over the past two months, she has been immersed in a rigorous hiring process within her specialized field. Given the rarity of job opportunities in her expertise, she was thrilled about this chance. OP shares that she made it to the final round, pitted against her college roommate. However, the crushing blow came when she received “the call” informing her that she didn’t secure the job.

In her moment of vulnerability, OP blurted out, “You were so close.” OP meant it as an attempt to console her, acknowledging that she almost had the job. However, it didn’t land as he intended. The wife was hurt and confused and asked him to explain. OP clarified that she was very close to getting the job but missed it by a small margin.

Instead of accepting his words as comforting, she walked out to stay with a friend. Later, she texted OP, calling him a “huge jerk.”

Now, OP is grappling with whether his comment was unnecessarily hurtful in this situation, and he turns to the online community for guidance on where he stands.

When Words Uncover Deeper Issues

The responses from fellow internet users offer a range of perspectives.

Traditional-Tune-302 believes that the issue is not with OP’s “so close” comment but with his wife’s behavior all along. The user argues that OP’s wife’s reaction indicates a guilty conscience, as she likely realized how hurtful her own condescension had been.

Mmmmkay23 emphasizes that OP’s comment might have shown the wife the true impact of her words.

“You just confirmed that every time she’s thrown that line at you, it was never meant as a compliment. She got a taste of her crappy medicine and didn’t like it. It’s too bad she didn’t get the job, but maybe she’ll realize how awful it sounds to say [:“You were so close].”

By experiencing the same phrase she often used on OP, she could have gained insight into how hurtful it can be.

Prize_Fox_9163 takes a firmer stance, suggesting that OP’s wife deserved the comment. The user admires OP for his patience, implying that they would never have married someone with such behavior. This perspective highlights the long-standing impact of OP’s wife’s actions on their relationship.

Penpapercats offers a balanced view, emphasizing the importance of discussing the issue. The commenter suggests that regardless of the wife’s intentions, the phrase “so close” implies “not good enough.” This user argues that it’s time for both partners to sit down and address this hurtful pattern.

Lastly, Peppermint_Mononoke also rallied behind OP with their comment, stating,

“If she says it’s a compliment, she should’ve [taken] it as one. OP tested her definition and got the truth.”

This user highlights the need for honest communication and consistency in the interpretation of words.

The Verdict

In the tale of OP and the responses from online commenters, it’s evident that communication in relationships is a delicate dance. OP’s seemingly well-intentioned “You were so close” remark, born out of his wife’s history of condescension, unleashed a wave of emotions. While some believe it highlighted her own behavior, others see it as an opportunity for her to recognize the hurtful impact of her words.

This story is a stark reminder that words can be double-edged swords, revealing deeper issues in relationships that require thoughtful dialogue and understanding to resolve. It also underscores the vital importance of open, respectful communication within partnerships.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?

Featured Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi /

This article was originally published on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.