Not sure what to do with this list that I found.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Back in early 2003, just after DEX left, I wrote a list of things that I wanted for myself that I agreed I would never compromise again. Very basic things that, as a wife and mother and person, I deserved.

    Things like not having to choose between my roles as wife/mother/person. Living in my home without fear - like being able to talk to someone else in the room without fear of interrupting someone's precious tv. Spending time with someone with similar values and goals. Holding everyone, including yourself, to the same standards. We're not talking easth shattering stuff, here.

    Anyway, about 3 weeks ago, while cleaning out some junk on the old hard drive, I came across it. I'd pretty much forgotten it, otherwise. So I opened it and read it.

    Obviously, this was written after DEX left. There was LOTS broken in that relationship, and it was obviously written with him in mind.

    But there's a koi-load that applies to my current relationship, and its pretty much disturbing to me. I have compromised. Again.

    Not to say I'm ready to run out on husband. I realize there has to be a component to me/of me that is partially responsible for how these guys act/react to me. Perhaps my demand for independance? I don't really know. I just know husband didn't used to be so dang lazy...he used to help more.

    Now? I try to slip in conversations during commercial breaks - and if he's not parked in front of the tv, he's online playing checkers. Literally...hours a day. He was just off work for 10 days for the holidays. Other than me not getting wee difficult child up and ready for school, he has not picked up one additional chore while he's been home and I've been working.


    In fact, I come home to 2 or 3 skillets on the stove needing to be washed. And after finding this, its just getting my goat more and more.

    He's aware that I'm not happy about the way things are going and I have told him repeatedly that he needs to step up. His reply? "He unloaded the dishwasher. And scrubbed the bathtub last week." Which is great...but the dehydrater parts he used in November are still sitting on the table. The fish breader, that he used 2 weeks ago, is still in the sink, cause it has to be hand washed...The tools he used to put together wee's Christmas present are still piled on the tv. His plates and glasses from three days ago are on the endtable. Since I bought a hamper with a lid, he just makes piles on the floor.

    I should be thankful for what he does...he gave me a very thoughtful gift for Christmas to help me with difficult child's records (which also somewhat irritates me cause his folks loaned him part of the money to pay for it...I'm stuck just getting everyone what I can afford...)but particularly after finding this little list, I'm having a hard time with it.

    So, anyway, should I show it to him? And let him know it was written SEVEN YEARS AGO.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My suggestion is no, not to show it to him. BUT, do not throw it away either. I think you need to use it yourself to re-evaluate and prioritize what is important to you first. Then, decide on a couple of the most important things to deal with husband about first, but not all at once.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't show it to him. But I would talk to him about you and him and what you both want and what you think you may have let get away from you. You both deserve to have that conversation.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I wonder if that's a typical guy thing...conversation only during commercials? It was never that way with my husband in the beginning either, but these days...

    If you find a solution....let me know.

  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I wouldn't show him the list. That is for you. Keep it to remind yourself of what you want and deserve.

    Some of what's going on is due to husband reacting to you. That's normal. And we tend to fall back into old behavior if we're not careful. But it's also probably because that in any relationship, after a period of time we begin to take each other for granted, basically, we get lazy.

    I'd work on dropping old habits. And talk with husband about how you feel, see how he feels as well. Then come up with ways to make things better for you both.

  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thanks. I appreciate the input.

    Thing is, tho, I'vetalked to him. Repeatedly. And it's accomplished very little.

    Usually after we talk about it, he orders the kids around, making them do anything he sees that needs to be done. Which is ok, because they can help out, I don't have a problem with them doing things...I have a problem with them being ordered around while he sits in the chair and tells them what to do. And yelling at them to hang up their coats while three of his coats are in various locations in the living room...and its where he expects to keep them.

    Which is one of the things on the list...

    DF, the commercial/man thing is a classic battle that will exist thru the ages, I'm sure. The only solution I have found is not paying the dish bill. lol
  7. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    As usual, I'll be the dissenting vote.:tongue:

    I would take a commercial break and simply say, we need to talk and explain the context that this list was written. He knows the outcome of the list. Divorce and to move onto better things. Wanna go down that road again?

    I know that H and I had a yelling match at 3am this morning as he couldn't find his clothes for work. (He's working with me now.:anxious:) I said, well...maybe they're in the laundry room as I DID LAUNDRY yesterday after working all day while he sat home. He starts yelling and says, if they're on the floor, they don't need to be washed!! If they're in the hamper, they need to be washed. If they're on the floor in the bathroom or living room, they do not need to be washed. THEY'RE ON THE FLOOR!! Don't you get it? My response? Not a problem. I'll do MY laundry and you can do yours. Good luck. He hasn't done laundry in 18 years. Not one load.

    Now, I'm a fairly even tempered person, but when you push my buttons I tend to be a tad vicious. I also said, and you can take care of YOUR dishes that you snack on during the night and just leave in every room in the house. We have no dishwasher which has always meant that *I* wash them. Not anymore.

    Fortunately it was only a 3 minute silent car ride to work.:mad:

  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Maybe I don't get it...

    I've only been married 15 years, but frankly, I could not see my relationship ending over housework and television.

    DaisyLover had a point about couples taking each other for granted...and that's not always a bad thing. husband takes for granted that I will do certain things for him. I take for granted that he will do certain things for me.

    Sometimes we get our wires crossed and mis-understand each other's needs. Sometimes he doesn't see why certain things might be very important to me if they are not important to him and vice-versa (like talking instead of TV)

    So Shari...

    Is it really the television and the chores that are bothering you? Perhaps you are "saying" you want husband to do more chores, but what you really want is more respect, or more time...and all he is hearing is that things weren't picked up or that you didn't want him watching the game on Sunday.

    The "gist" of your list is the respect you intended to demand for yourself--isn't it?

    Maybe that's the conversation to have....that you are feeling a little "too" taken for granted.

    I'll bet husband will understand that and be willing to make a few changes.


    by the way--I haven't tried the "not paying the bill" trick...I may have to give it a try! LOL!
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It sounds as though you are "talking about it" (airing grievances) but not coming up with a plan. (He orders the kids to do work.)

    I agree that the kids should do some things, but it should be a pre-arranged set of things for everyone. Not to say my marriage is perfect. husband does the dishes after dinner. And when I say that, I mean that's all he does. Doesn't clear the table, doesn't wipe the counter tops. Doesn't put anything away. Doesn't recycle or do trash. It's been this way for 24 years. I have hissy fits and he doesn't change. In the long run, we agreed that I get to tell him what to do when I need help (being disabled gives me a freebie a lot), and he doesn't get to think it means that I hate him. It just means that I mean help.

    I hope that you will consider talking again, with an agenda to come up with a plan.It's incumbent upon you to make changes to old patterns just as it is incumbent upon him.
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    DF that's exactly it. The list is riddled with the word "respect". And like I said, I know the man loves me. There is not nearly as much wrong with this picture as there was with DEX.

    And no, housework and tv isn't enough to split over. I agree. But there's more to it than that.

    Its allowing his daughter to lie to us and being the only person to scold her. Its allowing his parents to walk all over me for the past 4 years (that's getting better - at least a tiny bit). Its realizing that a laptop would be great for keeping wee's records in, but having a house with literally no place to set an 8.5x11 piece of paper down on a flat surface - let alone a place to keep a laptop safe and usable. Its me doing the mechanic work on the vehicles and he repeatedly inoring problems until they become huge instead of easily fixed...and then while I drop everything to replace broken tie rod ends, he sits on his **** and watches the boobtube instead of doing what I would have been doing had we been a normal family that had the $ to take the car to the shop. Its his "one" winter job to feed and water the livestock most of the time, and I go out and he's left the hoses on the hydrants and the water lines are now frozen and I have to deal with it while he starts a fire in the wood stove in a barn with no doors that no one is going to be in. Its me saying a friend is going to stop by and he begins the flight of the bumblebee and throws EVERYTHING onto our bed to make the house look presentable, and then when its bedtime? Rakes it on the floor. But any effort to work on that pile on a daily basis? No. Its him spending, weekly, on gas, chew, breakfast, lunch, and lottery tickets what I spend to provide clothes, vehicles, groceries, and medical care for a family of four. And he's the one that gripes about not having money. It boils down to respect. His time is apparently far more valuable than mine. Its knowing that I am highly allerigic to the welding rods he uses at work, but ignoring that fact when he comes home after welding, and waiting til 11 or 12 to take a shower - sitting in his chair or at the kitchen table - dumping the coveralls (also coated in the residue) in the living room for me to remove or deal with - while I spend the night eating Benadryl and sucking on an inhaler to breathe. Its complaining that I never tell him anything that's going on yet being angry at me if I ask him to acknowledge he heard me after telling him something. Its having these talks repeatedly and getting no reply. Its he and I having the same small socket set, and he uses mine to replace what's missing out of his, then locks his in a cabinet in the shop that no one else has keys to cause he doesn't like someone to take off with his stuff and then he can't find it. And then when I need my battery charger because my truck is dead, he's taken it to his mom and dad's and not brought it home, and I have no way to get out there or get into the shop where its locked up. Its being angry at easy child 1 for locking up his tools to keep others out of them...even tho that's exactly what husband does. Its letting my mom come down and spend 3 days doing housework around him while he watches tv and still offers nothing. Its "supporting" me at mounted shooting practice, and then geting on the horse that I've been riding for 6 months and running a pattern on him, then proclaiming to the group that "see? he didn't need all that practice". Its bragging that his daughter bit everyone but him because he was the better parent, albeit NOT the one that dealt with her day in and day out...Koi like that. Koi that builds up and makes me angry about things that normally aren't even on the radar...

    Things are getting minutely better with his parents. Minutely. After I told him he either stood up to them and stopped it, or I would not be a part of that part of his life anymore. He did make his daughter apologize for using him as a scapegoat when she didn't go in to make up her work - but it was a poor apology. He wouldn't have accepted what she gave from anyone else, I can promise you that. And since I bought this other car (after he blew up the old one and his truck is still sitting without a transmission) I have been taking part of his paycheck to help pay for the car and other expenses. He's not happy about it, but too bad. I'm not happy that I am having to provide a vehicle for him. He's 40+ years old, for crying out loud. But he's at least not taking the money back and thus is contributing.

    We'll talk. Again.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    One more thing to consider...tho you probably already know it.

    Men and women view these things so vastly differently.

    A man will wash the dishes because they are dirty.
    A woman will wash the dishes because she loves you.

    I'm betting that your husband is viewing NONE of his actions in terms of emotion. He loves you (one category). Chores need doing (different category). Relatives are visiting (yet another category).

    Maybe that's the conversation...? The fact that he doesn't realize that you are viewing his action or inaction in terms of his feelings for you.

    There is a joke about women getting turned on at the sight of their husband holding a mop. I know that there is definitely some truth to it...

    There is nothing sexier than a man scrubbing the tub! (tell your husband...see if he believes you.)

    I hope things get better for you guys!

  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I wish I had a magic answer for you, Shari, because then I might have one for myself. Hubby and I got into it several days ago, and I totally lost it and told him he was "stealing my joy." I'm so tired of...insert Shari's letter here.

    Many, many hugs, and lots of strength.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I know, it seems so...stupid to even gripe about it. Age old debate with no answers, I'm sure.

    Except that I wrote down 7 years ago what crossed the line and what I would and would not tolerate, and here I am...
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    No--not stupid at all!

    Although if your husband thinks you are only talking about trivial things like housework, then he may not see the importance of what you are saying.

    When my husband and I were taking parenting classes, the instructor recommended a book called "The Five Love Languages". He explained that it could help improve family relationships if each family member understood each other's love "language".

    In other words, you may be a person who views Acts of Service (eg chores or favors) as a sign of love--your spouse may not. He may be a person who recognizes Touch as a sign of love, instead.

    I did not read the book myself, but the theory makes a ton of sense. If your husband is not speaking your "Love Language", then your relationship will suffer because you will be looking for him to show love in YOUR language instead of his and vice versa...

    Hope this helps!

  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Obviously I'm no expert on this but from what I've read and heard, men just don't get the same meaning from saying things like "I need more romance" or "I don't feel respected" that women get. Maybe this is way too simplistic but would it help to tell husband that you want him to find time and do speicifically ABC and XYZ four times a week, and that you really would feel better if he did them, then if he watches tv outside of that, it's no big deal?
  16. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Probably one of the best books I've ever read is "Men are from Mars, Women from Venus." It didn't help my relationship much but I have a better understanding about how most men think. There are exceptions, of course.

  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yup, read the mars/venus book and realize the sexes don't communicate the same. I promise I do. He's a physical person and I am not. (and let me tell ya, nothing makes you feel the love quite like picking up a weeks worth of underwear and socks (which you have to crawl under the computer desk to get to) and a few plates and curdled glasses of milk off the book shelves) I have said that I can not keep going, have explained that I find it desrespectful to me, etc. I rarely get any response from him. If I push for a response, A) he gets angry, he heard me, that should be sufficient. B) I get the "I'll work on it", and he might make an effort to put the dishes in the dishwasher the next day, but that will be it.

    He readily admits he doesn't like routine maintenance and he doesn't know how to do it, and in his mind, that's reason enough not to. His mom and dad's place is a stye. He grew up in it and it just doesn't phase him much. And he's never had to take care of himself, which I get. But it bothers him enough that he tries to hide it from our friends.

    Somehow I need to get thru his head that total disregard in the vast majority if the routine facets in our lives will lead to complete burnout, and while housework isn't enough to split over, repeatedly driving vehicles that you don't pay for into the ground might be.

    Don't take out the trash cause it stinks. Fine. But don't leave glasses of milk to curdle in the book shelf and raw meat in the sink all weekend! Pretend you don't know where the sheets are stored when its time to change them. Fine! But don't "check the oil" in the car by waiting til the low oil light comes on! Don't contribute to the family's budget. That's fine. But don't complain to me how broke you are when you just turn up the heat while leaving the windows and doors open and expect me to just "pay the bill"... And for God's sakes, don't whine to me that your truck doesn't have a transmission after you pull out onto the highway in mine, low on transmission fluid, which you are AWARE OF, and just repeatedly rev it up to red line to try to make it go so you don't have to mess with adding fluid... I mean, come on already... I'm not asking for the world here.

    The "new" car I bought? Has not checked the oil or trans fluid in it one time. Not once. And HE went to mechanic school!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That bad! I'd go into shut down then until and unless he commits to marriage counseling and shows signs of change. Of course....I'm not married.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    What he needs is for me to disappear for 6 months to a year. Too long for takeout, too long to borrow someone else's vehicle, too long to just "pay the extra" to turn up the heat and leave the windows open... But that's not likely gonna happen any time real soon.
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I was going to suggest the same book as Daisy Face did. The Five Love Languages. It literally changed my life/perspective on how I got along not only with DF but with others in my life period. It's a very VERY introspective book. Don't dismiss it because it's a faith based book -please. It's more than that - LOADS more and you can learn so so much from it about the people in your life. GREAT CALL DAISY.

    As far as the list? Ah.....well I have that same list. My advice to you is to prioritize the list and see what you have accomplished and cross those things off. The important things. Lots of us make lists of things we would like to have happen in our lives. These are not set in stone. These are also things that we could change, they aren't things that won't happen. They are also things that are give and take. Have you ever considered what your husband's list would have looked like? I really never considered what DF's list would have looked like after his divorce, but I'm SURE it never included taking care of difficult child Dude and all his glory. So, there is compromise, re-evaluation and agreement.

    As far as the fish fryer and the dryer? That's easy. I would walk through and say "Honey - If you want to keep the XX and the XX either you're going to have to clean them by XX or I'm putting them in the barn and you can clean them the next time you want to use them." and then DO IT. If he wants them clean? He'll clean them. If not? They'll be in the barn and he can see how much fun they are to clean in eight months (not much) and maybe then when you say "Honey If you want to keep this clean it by XX." he'll get up off his checker hopping hiney and move his junk."

    Just keep in mind....this will be used against you ----so you had better be on your best clean up mode too, and ready to pick up stuff HE deems in HIS way.

    Re-evaluate the list, cross off what you've accomplished and go from there. I'm with Abbey. I'd talk to him about your goals, maybe not necessarily show him that list per se, write a new one - but I would tell him what your dreams were and how you feel.