It all started innocently enough. I had just put a load of laundry in the washer and wiped down the refrigerator while B was cleaning the counters in the kitchen. Then he moved to vacuuming the downstairs and I took the sheets he had folded into the upstairs closet. When I came downstairs I just casually mentioned that I would love to have another shelf in the linen closet because it would help keep things organized. This is something I have mentioned here and there for the past three years. And that is when the trouble began.
B immediately launched into an attack. “I already put in a new garbage disposal this weekend. You should be happy with that.”
“II am but you do have household responsibilities around here and you don’t just get to keep saying that you aren’t going to do them like you have been saying constantly for the past several years. You seem to have no trouble telling me what I need to do and I am still going to tell you what I would like to see done that I can’t do myself.”
Then B says that I needed to do home repairs like my BFF. “She does 90% of what needs to be done around the house. You should be able to do that too!”
OH NO….you really didn’t go THERE did you? Because if that is the way it goes…I lose…every time. You will always find someone more talented, competent, better with power tools, skinnier, funnier, prettier than me. There are millions of awesome women out there.
I then proceeded to say I shouldn’t have to do all those home repairs and that he has been neglecting this area including the bathroom light that he broke three years ago and has still not replaced.
“Well, you should have gotten the globe.”
“I did and it didn’t fit. Frankly, if you broke it it should be up to you to fix it not me!”
B then proceeded to tell me how he had vacuumed the downstairs this morning and did the dishes.
And then we went to church. And I seethed throughout the service and asked for clarity and forgiveness which just didn’t happen. Because here is the thing:
- Treat me like you would your new wife. If she asked you for a new shelf it would be done within the first hour. Treating me with all the love, kindness, respect and compassion you would show your new wife is the least you can and should do.
- Stop bringing up what you just did around the house. If you truly don’t resent it like you claim, then you would just do whatever it is you have chosen to do without me having to make a big deal about it. Stop making me feel like I have to bow down to you and be eternally grateful. Frankly, you chose to do our kid’s jobs and that was your choice so don’t be upset about it.
- Stop comparing me to other women. I have NEVER, EVER, NOT ONCE in our 29 years of marriage compared you to another man. Research shows that making comparisons like that help to kill a marriage. Please stop. It is a game I will NEVER be able to win.
Later B walked in the door with a new light. I cried because I was so happy that he actually listened to me and was thoughtful enough to do something that would make me happy.
And then he opened his mouth and said,”Well, I am doing this because you ordered me to.”
No, I only mentioned that you had not replaced the light in three years. I didn’t order you do to anything.
Later when we could talk rationally, I was amazed at the truly different versions of this story each of us believed. How could two people in the same room have such dramatically opposed impressions of the same event? I have no clue. But I do know this…I love B and he loves me and somehow (I don’t know how) we will make it through this. We have 29 years behind us and 6 kids depending on it.