My mom has a saying, and even with all her faults, I believe she was spot on:

Just because it is in your head doesn't mean you HAVE to say it out loud.

So yes, when you bit the bile and appreciated your wife....I think you did exactly the right thing.

I grew up in a "good but" house. "That was good, but..." "You did a good job. Next time why don't you...." "The was almost right." I know there was truth in the but, the next time, and the almost. But it hurt. Wasn't there a time when they could say, That was great. Period. No but. No negative.

I am all for sharing feelings and being "honest." But does my DH really have to know when he is already stressed that while I am glad he did the laundry, that isn't how I usually fold the towels? If I am having a crap day and wondering (just for a nanosecond) if maybe it was dumb to break my engagement to that other guy - which happened BEFORE we started dating - because they other guy seemed more attracted to me? I mean, really. It was a fleeting thought. I am sure that the other day when DH saw me trying valiantly to wear a pair of jeans that no longer fit, he had to have had a thought about my weight gain. I am glad he did not feel compelled by some supposed need for brutal honesty to say something....because I already felt like a fat failure.

So, if there is any objective truth in expressing a positive, I don't think it's always necessary to qualify it with a negative. Psychological studies out the wazoo tell us it takes 10-13 positive comments/expressions to balance out one negative. Yeah, we have to share the painful stuff too....but not every tiny thought that pops into our heads. There's a reason some kinds of honesty are called brutal.

MAN it felt good to type that.