Married With Benefits™

6: Why Does He Insist on Carrying All the Groceries in One Trip?

with Shaunti Feldhahn | April 29, 2019
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Does your husband always try to carry the groceries in a single trip? You may be surprised when you learn why he does that. Shaunti Feldhahn and Brian Goins crack open the mystery and explain why he risks breaking all those eggs.

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Does your husband always try to carry the groceries in a single trip? You may be surprised when you learn why he does that. Shaunti Feldhahn and Brian Goins crack open the mystery and explain why he risks breaking all those eggs.

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6: Why Does He Insist on Carrying All the Groceries in One Trip?

With Shaunti Feldhahn
April 29, 2019

Brian: From the FamilyLife Podcast Network this is Married With Benefits. I’m Brian Goins and I’m on a relentless pursuit to tackle some of the toughest issues in marriage so I can help you love the one you are with and experience the real benefits of saying, “I do.”

This season has been great. We’ve been taking on many questions that every wife is asking. And I can’t believe this one comes up in the mind of many wives. “Why does my husband feel the need to grab all of the grocery bags in one trip?”

As always, I’m here with Shaunti Feldhahn. Think about the efficiency–why would I want to make multiple trips from the garage or from the carport–wherever you park your car into the kitchen–especially if you’re going upstairs to your apartment! Let’s get them all! Why waste time?

Shaunti: Yes, so here’s what guys have actually told me; alright? Because this is a thing–this is something that women are like, “Yes! I never even thought of that but it drives me bananas!” Or when it’s really clear–we’re driving around the city and I’m like, “Just turn on your GPS to find the directions.”

Brian: Right?

Shaunti: He’s like, “No. I can figure it out.”

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: “I looked at a map before I left. I can figure this out.” We’re like, “Just ask for directions!”

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: “Just pull up the GPS! Just whatever.”

Brian: Do you doubt me? That’s what your husband is saying. Do you doubt me?

Shaunti: That is certainly what he’s saying, however, this is what one guy said–this is–this is from an interview some time ago that I pulled back up recently. Here’s actually, what he said; right? “This is the most efficient way of doing this.”

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: Even if it is pain for the short-term–I’m willing to endure some levels of discomfort–short-term, to prove to myself, “I can do this!”

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: It’s sort of a competition against yourself–

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: –and proving you can do it. Now, here’s to me the kicker–he said, “It’s also in an environment–even if my spouse is there–it’s still a safer environment than if there were a bunch of guys around where I tried something, who could see me fail. I may not try these sorts of things, in any environment, when there are other men around because if I fail”–for example and, you know, the bags fall apart or the boxes all drop or I can’t figure my way around, or whatever–“I’m going to feel stupid. But when I’m on my own or if it’s just my spouse, I like to take risks. I can’t climb Everest. I can’t bring home the mastodon.”


Brian: They’re extinct.

Shaunti: –anymore. “I can’t go out–I didn’t join the military–I’m not fighting in Afghanistan, but I still like the idea–

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: –that I can push myself and take risks. I have limited opportunities to take the risks and push the envelope a little bit, where the cost of failure is low.”

Brian: I can’t believe that this guy thought that much about this question. That’s impressive to me.

Shaunti: Believe it or not, there are men who are like really, kind of excited about this topic–

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: –because it’s like a–this is best as I can translate “male”–

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: –and you’re going to have to help me on this–the answer to the woman’s question of “Why does my husband do this?”–is that guys like to push themselves, but they’re afraid of failure. So this is a way that they can do it–

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: –where the cost of failure is low.

Brian: Now that you’ve explained it that way, this feels really sad to me–that we have [Laughter] degenerated. I don’t have a mountain to climb. I don’t have the military to join. I’m not and America Ninja Warrior. I will take the groceries. I will do that–that’s my challenge for the day.

Shaunti: Well, it is though.

Brian: But it’s what I do! I mean, I do the same thing! I can’t believe that–it’s funny to me that women are going, “This is an issue.” Yet, I asked our audio engineer, CJ3, and Ryan in the back, I’m like, “Do you guys do this?” and they’re like, “Absolutely!”

Shaunti: Oh sure! Absolutely!

Brian: “Of course we take all the groceries in one trip.”

Shaunti: And it drives their wives nuts!

Brian: Why? Why does it drive you crazy?

Shaunti: Okay, because we–our brains–go to all the ways this could go horribly wrong.

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: So we’re like, “Instead of trying to carry three giant bags–and the eggs are going to fall and you’re going to have to go back to the store and get them. Just be safe!” And you know what? The male heart isn’t wired–

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: –to be safe.

Brian: No, we’re not. We’re dangerous with groceries. [Laughter] This is so funny to me.

Shaunti: That drives women a little bit nuts because, it is different from our way of doing it and it is honestly, one of those things–this is going to sound so stupid, but I’m just going to say it. Trying to put those kind of restraints on your husband and make him do things in a way that is a little more comfortable for you when he wants to push himself a little bit–

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: –is one of those things that weirdly shuts a man down.

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: It weirdly makes him withdraw. Like, “Okay, I’ll push myself on the golf course, I guess.” Or playing tackle football with the guys or–

Brian: Or video games.

Shaunti: –or video games. It sounds funny. I was talking to one of your producers here yesterday–

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: –we were talking about this question. He’s like, “Just cheer me on! Like, that’s all I want.”

Brian: Right!

Shaunti: “I want you to go, ‘You’re awesome!’” [Laughter] “It was awesome how you found your way–across the neighborhood!”

Brian: It’s amazing.

Shaunti: “It was awesome how you brought in all the groceries at once! Good job!”

Brian: I know, I’m just sitting at a conference now, like we can do a marriage

conference and I could just see us setting up a grocery competition–where we see how many bags guys can–

Shaunti: Ooohh! I like that–I like it!

Brian: Of course what I hear you saying is they only want to do it for an audience of one.

Shaunti: Or none! Or none, yes.

Brian: One or none. They don’t–with other guys around–because you know the guys are going to be jeering and probably throwing other stuff on the guy as he’s going and trying to trip him–

Shaunti: Yes–because you guys do that–which is the weirdest thing.

Brian: But all–all we want for our wife is to go, “Okay, let’s see if you can do this, big guy.” Right?

Shaunti: Yes. That’s pretty much it.

Brian: So, when the wife looks down at that–what I hear you saying is, “Ladies, don’t look down at that–cheer for him!” Like, don’t worry about if–so what if he drops the eggs?

Shaunti: Seriously! Let’s think about it. So what? This like, gives him a little bit of joy. This pushing himself is fun for him! For you it’s uncomfortable.


Brian: Right.

Shaunti: It’s like this “Ahhh!” kind of feeling. So–you don’t realize that for him it’s actually fun. This is the way guys describe it. It’s an adventure. I’m like, “You’re just bringing in groceries,” but it’s an adventure to find your way across town–for us it’s biting our nails because we’re worried we’re going to be late to the movie.

Brian: I was thinking if people still worry about this that with all the GPS and everything that’s on your phone–again, talking to different guys, they’re like, “No, I still try to find my way.”

Shaunti: Well, this has happened just–even in the last couple weeks–it’s happened multiple times for me and Jeff and you know, we’re speaking at a marriage conference, we’re in an unfamiliar city, we’ve got a rental car. We had done the GPS to an area–we thought we knew where we were, and now–wait, no–the hotel isn’t there. And Jeff, he’s like, “No, I can find it.” And I’m like, “No, no, no! Just put it on the GPS!” And he looks at me–“Right! Right!”


Take my own advice. Yes!

Brian: Did you write For Women Only? Was that you that wrote that book?

Shaunti: There’s this book. [Laughter] It was hard! I’m like, “I need time at the hotel to get ready.” I’m thinking of all this stuff that’s going to happen. He’s like, “Just–it’s an adventure!” I’m like, “It’s torture!” But for him, it’s an adventure. And you know what? Guys get so little opportunity today to do that.

Brian: Yes. Ryan is back there in back–he’s one of our producers. He said, “For guys, doing the hard thing is the path to greatness.”

Shaunti: Ooohh! I like that!

Brian: Which is so true; right?

Shaunti: It’s true.

Brian: The definition of greatness for the modern man has changed. Like, it used to be going to the North Pole.

Shaunti: Now it’s carrying–

Brian: Now it’s carrying all the groceries.

Shaunti: –all the groceries at once.

Brian: Are there other things that guys want to prove themselves in? We talked about the map, we talked about groceries–do you find that ladies are going, “He’s trying to prove himself in this area or this area.”

Shaunti: Okay, so this is a silly one. I hear this a lot–and this is from the guys.

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: This is–and this is–it’s part of, sort of, the make-up for them to literally want to beat something. So a man will literally create competition where it doesn’t exist.

Brian: Oh, yes! Trick shots.

Shaunti: Okay? So, for example, we’re on a road trip–

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: –and Jeff has been driving for a couple hours and I say, “Do you mind if we pull off here? We need to get gas and I need to use the restroom.” He gets this look on his face. I’m like, “What?” And he’s like, “I just spent the last two hours passing all those people [Laughter] on the highway and now, when we pull off, they’re going to pass me again.”

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: “And I’m going to lose.” I’m like, “Okay, you are so weird.”

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: But, this is–it’s another guy thing!

Brian: You don’t think ladies think about this–at all–like, create competitions?

Shaunti: Oohh! No! I mean, now–sure, some women do–like my daughter.

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: Super competitive. She is an athlete–she is a volleyball player, like your daughter is. Super-super competitive when she’s on the volleyball court. Super competitive when she’s playing card games. No! When she’s driving, she’s not like, “Who can I pass?!” you know?

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: She’s not trying to come up with competition where it doesn’t exist.

Brian: Oh yes! That’s how you get through road trips–is that you’re going, “How can I–How can I…have a higher gas miles per gallon? How can I get that up a little bit longer? How can I get to the, you know–not stop for “x” amount of hours on this one tank of gas.” I mean, that’s the goal!

Shaunti: You guys are so–it’s so funny! There are women now–I know there are women listening to this who are like that because there’s always exceptions–

Brian: Sure.

Shaunti: –but for the most part–we women, we’re more efficiency oriented; right? Like, for me–

Brian: Except with groceries.

Shaunti: –well, no!

Brian: You want to take 85 trips.

Shaunti: Well, no–it’s efficiency to not worry about having to go back to the grocery store–

Brian: Okay.

Shaunti: –and get the eggs.

Brian: That’s true.

Shaunti: Right? Because that’s what’s going to happen–we all know.

Brian: But trust us. We’re not going to break the eggs.

Shaunti: Well, that’s the problem–because we don’t sometimes. [Laughter] And yet we have to say, which is the worse problem? Is the worst problem the broken eggs?

Brian: Right.

Shaunti: Or is the worst problem me not giving my husband this little bit of joy that he really enjoys–and, frankly, shows him that I am cheering him on.

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: “You go big guy!” You know?

Brian: Yes. What a simple way, when you think about it–what a simple way to show respect, honor and love for your spouse in such a dumb thing–but yet, it is amazing how it does hurt the ego a little bit. A little cut of the ego to go, “Come–you’re an idiot–why are you doing this?” That phrase–

Shaunti: Even if you don’t say it out loud. That’s the impression.

Brian: Yes. That is the impression. That’s what a guy feels–for sure.

Shaunti: How about your son? I think this applies for a lot of us as moms with a son.

My son is 15. You have a 15 year old son.

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: He’s like–when I come back from a trip–and I have several boxes of books that need to go back into the house and back into storage–and he’s like trying to carry three towering boxes and I–without thinking–can go, “Oh don’t! No, no, no. Just carry–”

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: It’s true. Jeff has had to take me aside and say, “Did you see his face?” Like, he wants to push it. Okay! It could drop–it’s not going to kill him!

Brian: Yes.

Shaunti: It’s going to be fine. Okay, so it’s your grandfather’s antique clock–okay. Fine. We will make sure that doesn’t get dropped, but the eggs or the books–they’ll be fine.

Brian: That’s good. That’s a great distinction–good reminder for moms as well. So what I hear you saying is, “Ladies, let them have the groceries. Let them have that challenge.”

Shaunti: And cheer them on! Don’t just let them–cheer them on.

Brian: Yes. Alright. Thank you Shaunti.

Here at FamilyLife we are passionate about helping you love the one that you’re with. And if you need more help and hope for your marriage and family you can find it at You may not know this but this podcast is listener supported so if you would like to help join that tribe to make it more available for others you can go to And click “donate.”

I’d love to give a special thanks to our audio producer, CJ3 and our project coordinator, Page Johnson for helping to pull this off. We couldn’t do it without their help.

Well, on the next episode of Married With Benefits we are going to tackle a question that has been nagging wives for centuries. And that is, “why does it take such nagging to get my husband to do stuff around the home?” I have no idea what they are talking about there but we will tackle that question. We will see you next time.


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