husband and I - Long Long Vent

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, May 22, 2008.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    We had a horrible fight yesterday. The passive aggressive is just more than I can stand anymore. I have to point out that this is an issue we have worked non-stop on in therapy for over two years. Maybe three years. I've told him that I used to be in love with him, and now I love him.

    He works as a computer tech (sort of) at a major power company. He would never in a million years not finish a project or say it couldn't be done. He comes home and tells me all about how he helped someone outside the bounds of his job description, how he went the extra mile to make sure that every i was dotted and every t crossed, and then followed up with the person days later to be sure that what he had done was still working.

    That is not what he is at home. He can't do anything for me that I have asked him to do. I have to ask 20 or 30 times and maybe he does or maybe I give up. Sometimes he does an an incomplete job, or adds some sort of twist that forces me to go back and do it again. It is the worst when I have asked him to follow up with someone on a scheduling matter or anything that has to do with interacting with someone that I have set something up with for him. We have had some really heated arguments about it the past several weeks. He agrees that he would never do this at work. He is proud of what he does at work and doesn't feel that way about home.

    Actually "arguements" isn't the right word. I talk, he's silent. I ask questions, he's silent. I push harder, he's silent. I get angry and begin to yell at him that I am tired of the same thing going on for 25 years and only getting worse. He finally gets angry and storms at me "Fine! I'll never do anything for you again that's not exactly what you asked me to do!"

    Well, that's not reasonable either. When there is something we are working on together, and he is doing the physical part because I can't, and I am doing the planning, I don't think it is too much to ask that he talk with me for five minutes and understand how I came to the conclusions that I did, and voice any concerns to me then instead of agreeing with me and then doing something completely different.

    For example. We need a guy to come do some repairs to our drywall in the kitchen. It needs to be timed to just before a window install. husband and I met with the guy, and husband is going to do some of the work with him, as well as before and after he comes. We asked the drywall guy to come two weeks ago, as he is out of town this week returning next Monday. The window guy e-mails me to say the window won't come until June 3 - 4. I forward the e-mail to husband, asking him to contact the drywall guy and ask him to reschedule for when he's back in town next week. He doesn't do it for two days.

    So, I harangue him he calls the guy from home after hours. I hear him. He says "Our window is not coming in until June 3rd or 4th. So we'd like to reschedule for after you return from your trip." I immediately walk into the office and say, "Why did you tell him about the window? When that comes has nothing to do with him. He only needs to know when we want him. He's not going to schedule now until after June 4th!" Sulk, sulk, sulk. I never appreciate anything he does for me.

    So a week goes by, and we don't hear from the drywall guy to reschedule. I keep bugging husband and he doesn't call. I finally call the guy, and he tells me, "Oh, no, that's not what your husband told me. He told me that you were going to wait to schedule with me until after the window is in!" Yes, imagine that, I do actually know how a contractor thinks! I finagled and got him to schedule us for next week as needed.

    I gave in and bought two blackberries which are coming out of my budget. husband and I are going to have a calendar with tasks that we are going to coordinate. I tried making a printed list but he just kept shuffling it around on his desk. I gave him 5 phone calls to make that I have been asking him to deal with anywhere from 3 weeks to back in December. He had to take an entire day off yesterday to do that and to pick up some supplies for our project that I had already ordered and paid for.

    I sat with him the night before and in the morning and showed him the list of what we had bought, what we had paid for and what was on special order and still needed to be paid for, and told him that before he came home, he was to go over the list with the supplies to make sure we got everything and to call if he had any questions. He didn't. His excuse? They were already loading the stuff onto my friend's truck when he got there and he didn't want to make my friend wait 5 minutes while he checked. You got it. It wasn't all there. I got home and he was playing World of Warcraft and as soon as I walked in the door I could see that it wasn't all there. Fine. It's something small, I'll go get it myself another day.

    He had the whole day off, so when we were both at home, I said "Let's go pick out and buy the rest of what we need." He's doing the work, so he needs to know what we're doing and how. So, we talk in depth about it, and make a list. We agree that there is a specific question that must be asked before we purchase some of the supplies. We don't know if we're asking the right question, so I say "Let's look it up on the product web-site before we go." OK. So I sit down on the computer to look it up, and he makes himself a snack and sits down at the kitchen table. :furious: I tell him to come look. We talk it out and agree that's exactly what we need to know and that he is going to talk to the guy so that he understands the process when he walks out the door.

    We get to the store, a little mom and pop place. We walk up to the counter and hands me the list and says "You tell him what we want." :furious: Me - "No, you talk to him, you're the one doing the work and you need to understand it." "No, you do it." I can't read the list without my glasses which I have to dig out of my purse and the dad and son are sitting there staring and waiting. I'm trying to go from the top of my head, and the son is getting irritated because husband is going "Nuh uh!" Fine! You should do it! husband gives the big sigh and takes the list.

    So, I wander off looking at the displays. I can hear the conversation, and husband has finished one part of the 4 - 5 things we needed to do. He says "I guess that's about it, then." Me from across the store, "husband, what about the other things on the list?" Oh, yeah... So he starts asking questions that have nothing to do with what we agreed needed to be discussed. I walk over and say "Wait, let's back up a little and get to the first part of what we are doing before we start on the last thing we are doing. That way we have it right from start to finish." A Vinny Barbarino dimwitted "What?" Like he has never heard of this topic before. So, I try to get them back on track. Which turns into the father getting sore with me because I'm interrupting, and husband hugging me and telling me, "Don't worry honey, I will make it pretty for you." We were talking about substraights, for crying out loud!


    I hold it together and get what needs to be done taken care of. We get in the car, I'm driving, and I ask him why he didn't follow through on what we had discussed. "You're right, I forgot." Why did he try to make me do the talking when we had agreed that he needs to know what it is that he is doing before he starts on it? "I don't know."

    Then the silence begins. I'm asking how we can communicate better. Not yelling, just asking. Should I not ask open ended questions? Should I set everything up and micromanage him? Should I ask more specific questions? Should I make him take notes? What works for him at work that doesn't work with me at home? How can we fix it? Silence. I'm getting frustrated. It's coming through in my voice. I point out that since the people at the supplies place loaded our supplies, and my friends unloaded them, there was no reason for him to be there if he isn't able to do the one thing I asked him to, check the receipt and make sure that we got what we ordered. I have reminded him that it's not fair for him to be silent when I am trying to work things out. He can certainly say "no" to anything I ask but he says "yes" and then he doesn't follow through. We're by this time about a mile from home. He hasn't said a word in about 5 minutes. He finally screams at me "Would you just shut up?" We were stopped at a traffic light. I asked him which of us should get out of the car and walk home. He did.

    I kept driving. I drove to Mt. Hood, about 40 miles away. It was snowing. I stopped at a rest area and sat with my thoughts. I'm putting way more into this than he is, and no one is happy. I can't make him care. I can't change him. The only thing that I can change is me, so what can I change about me to make me less unhappy? I can stop caring. That's not anything I have ever wanted, because that to me is where a marriage ends, and this is also something we have discussed in therapy. I have to come to terms with the idea that he is just not capable of caring about anything I am interested in or that I need, and I shouldn't invest so much in it.

    I drive home, he follows me around for a bit, and says "Look, I think..." I said "I really don't want to discuss this right now, and honestly, I just don't care anymore." He says, "No, it will get done, you just need to care a little less about the details." I told him "You don't get to decide what I do and don't care about. I have thought about it and I am not ever going to make you change, and it's not anything I have the right to ask for if you don't want it. You have to want to change and you don't. The only person I can change is me and the only thing I can change about me is how much I care about what you do. It's making us both miserable, so I am going to stop caring. I'm willing to revisit the issue should things change, but this is my decision to make."

    I am tired of being angry and sad and I can't do it anymore. He can do what he wants. If this project takes him two years, it does. If it takes him the two or three weeks in the evenings it should, then great. If it's somewhere in between, that's fine too. He needs to figure out how he wants to handle it and what he will and won't do because I am done leading him around like a child.

    If being stuck in this project makes my life harder then I don't need to do his laundry or cook for him anymore. Maybe he will find someone at work where he is Mr. Wonderful who will appreciate him more than I do.

    No advice needed, and I'll be surprised if many of you made it through to the end of this nonsense. It's just a very hard sad day.
  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Just so sorry.......
    I have found the type of personality your husband has to be the hardest of all of them to deal with in my personal life. It unravels me when someone does not talk it through with me when there is a problem.
    Like you said, no advice - I think you already know all you need to come to a conclusion that makes you happy - but many hugs - because I know how hard this all is.
    PS. My Hood sounds like a perfect place to go - and it is snowing there? Wish I could be there.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Hugs. I understand.

    husband and I got into it last night (again) about our plans for difficult child once school is out. We've had this same "discussion" word for word a few times. Only this time, husband finally tells me that he doesn't like confrontation and will agree with me or tell me what I want to hear just to shut me up. AND that my friends do it too. THAT felt good.

    Do what you have to do for yourself.
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry that you had such a hard sad day.
    As requested, no advice. I don't think I could possibly offer any advice that you haven't already thought of.

    What I can offer is many gentle hugs, an ear to listen, and strength, to do what you need to make you happy.

  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That was right thoughty of him.

    Do they ever figure out that if they would just contribute and let us know what they want that we might just shut up?
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Ha, Ha too funny Witz. Two marriages and 25 yrs and mine hasn't figured this out.:tongue:

    If I want something done I have to do it myself. Mine is a big talker who never delivers. I'm still waiting on a garden wall to surround our patio to keep the dirt from washing down onto it from the yard. Uh, huh. Been waiting for 5 long years. Been waiting on alot of other stuff too.

  7. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Witz, as you wish, no advice just more hugs from me. We all come to our own conclusions (what ever they are) when the time comes and the time is right for us. I wish you peace and serenity in the mean time if only in your mind is available.

    I guess that's why who ever wrote the book "Men are from Mars and Women are From Venus", I'd like to hit them over the head with it because actually, it doesn't help! LOL
  8. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Deep breath.

    Ok...a couple more deep breaths.

    No advice...just hugs. If you can't come to the end of the day with someone holding you or just grasping your hand...well, the writing is on the wall.

  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I hear you. And I am sorry for your hurt.

    You know, they really ARE from Mars.

  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Oh, he's terribly sorry. He's not playing World of Warcraft and is sitting with me. He is kissing and hugging whenever I am still or walking by and telling me how much he loves me. I know he does, and I love him. It doesn't change how disfunctional this is, though. I just can't fall for the "I'm so sorry, I will try harder" line forever.
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    No advice ~ gentle, positive thoughts coming your way.
  12. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Witz! You have GOT to be one of my favorite people! You spelled everything out soooo well.

    My favorite trick with my husband?

    We bought a "unique fixer-upper" that had been used as a rental with-option to buy for YEARS! The wiring in the house was still that cloth covered stuff. When we bought it, it was 82 years old.

    husband worked physical labor as a boat mechanic when we first bought it and I was a manager for a Communications company. His commute? 15 mins. My commute? 1.5 hours one way through New Jersey.

    We were newly weds and I STUPIDLY said that since he worked physical labor, I didn't mind doing the standard household stuff and some of the repairs.

    OMG! What a dope!

    Anyway, back to the story. We have a teeny-tiny 1/2 bath off the kitchen that backed up everytime it rained. I had pulled up all the tile floor, opened up the wall for the plumbing, removed the old toilet and waited, and waited and waited AND, you got it, waited for him to put humpty back together again. 4 mos. later, still nothing.

    One Saturday morning (it was 10:30 - I'd been up for hours!), I gave up on him doing it. So. I went got the Mapp gas (looks like a tiny blow torch) walked into the bedroom and whispered in his ear "if I turn off the main water to the house, will you have enough to flush when you get up?" He opened his eyes, looked very confused, saw the blow torch and asked "what are you doing?" I said "don't worry! I know you work soooo hard all week. I'm going to take the valves off, fit the sheetrock over the stems and solder them back on, I've watched you do it a hundred times, I know what I'm doing. Go back to sleep!" and started to walk out of the room (Mapp gas in hand!). "No! Look! I'm putting on my sweats, I'm doing that today! It was on my mind to get it done, don't worry, I've got it!".

    Once he got started, he finished and it's beautiful!

    I don't know, I think that explosive gas can motivate some people!

    All I can say Witz, is after all the years (almost 15) of doing this place room by room, window by window, catastrophy after catastrophy, I guess I realized he and I march to 2 different drummers. I DID however learn to not sweat the small stuff and in the end it's all small stuff. And he learned to hide the blow torch!! :laughing:

    I feel for you!

    Happy Memorial Day!

  13. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Many, many, many {{{hugs}}} coming your way!
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    He sounds like my b-i-l. She has given up, too. Problem is, he ignored the divorce papers that were served. Even that is incomplete. Sigh.
    by the way, it does sound like he loves you. His problems seem to go beyond his feelings for you. If he's dysfunctional, he's dysfunctional. You have to decide if it's something you can live with.
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The Beatles were wrong when they said, "All you need is love"...dead wrong.

    Your H loves you; you love your H - but that's not enough. It's frustrating to always be the organized one, the one who wants to understand and make clear from A to Z what the plan is and how to go about getting it done.

    You must be married to my H...he's a God on the job...gets things done, knows exactly how to build a house from bottom to top, perfectly. At home, he either won't do a project he says he will or he won't finish it or he won't do it according to my specification (ie, the way I ASKED for it to be done).

    My H built a second floor on our home. It's basically a shell with windows. The roof is on, the siding is on, the windows are in. But there are no walls framed, no plumbing installed, no electrical wires, not even stairs so we can go up and plan and dream about what it may look like in about 8 million years. He started this project last July and said we would be living up there by end of this summer. The other day he said he hopes to have the walls sheetrocked and the electrical in by October of this year. I just sort of looked at him with mouth agape. Every time I want to discuss the bathroom, closet layouts, window seats, anything at all, he clams up. When he wants to talk about it, he won't shut up. We're never on the same page.

    I have a flat garden out front. This year I wanted him to make some raised boxes for it so I could get it started early. We discussed this back in March. Then H fell into this funk and self pitying poor me thing and basically slumps on the couch when he's home - too exhausted to do anything. I was prodding him every week until finally I just stopped. Now it's Memorial Day weekend, the official weekend that I put my plants in and the garden is raw - nothing is laid out, not one scrap of wood has been bought. I'm tilling it tomorrow and buying my plants and putting them in, without the boxes. H will get really really mad at me and probably yell a little that it's somehow my fault it never was organized or something - hogwash.

    Anyway, didn't mean to write a book, but your post sounded so similar. Just wanted you to know, you're certainly not alone (which you likely already know) and send along some hugs.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all. Yes we love each other. Enough for me to want to change my expectations so that I won't feel disappointed all the time. been there done that with the blow torch - except it would be a pry bar or a hammer. He is dysfunctional, but not always. Only at home. Maybe that is why I'm so impatient. I know he can apply himself and get things done if he wants, but he doesn't want to do it for me. I think he feels safe enough that he doesn't have to try at home. He shouldn't.

    My biggest problem is my physical health. My legs are so weak now I should really be using a power chair. But I don't. Mostly vanity, but also because I would be too low to the ground to get anything done in the house, and I'd have to be standing up out of the chair all of the time to reach anything no matter where I went. Standing up and sitting down is killer for me. But in my head, I remember how to do woodwork and tile. I can see a kitchen design in my head and I don't see the finished product, I see the studs and framing and trim and how to get from studs to trim in a logical order. But I can't do that. He doesn't see that at all, but he can do it.
  17. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen's all clear now. He's playing World of Warcraft?:thumbsdown: There are multiple websites out there for wives of husbands who play that fact, my husband is playing it right now. (I can hear him across the house cussing). I get grumblings when I interrupt a battle.'s JUST A GAME!!:smashcomputer:

  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    He has a character he created and set aside for me with weapons and coins for when I want to play with him. He told me that about a year ago. When dogs fly!
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    This was the way it was with my ex. As big a jerk as the man was, he loved me as much as he was capable. He is, afterall, a giant difficult child. Without kids, I maybe could have held it together. With kids, it was much, much more than I was capable of.

    I'm sorry, Witz. Sending many hugs. I hope your issues are more changeable/fixable/tolerable.
  20. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I hope so too. I realize that this puts the entire onus of change on me. I keep reminding myself that "I can't change him, I can only change me." Now it's my turn to do the hard work.