Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Husband and I are stuck in a squabbling cycle. I can't seem to break loose. Every morning I vow to wake up and be nice. Every night I go to bed reflecting on just how many times I've broken that vow.
With Husband being out of work, all our routines, habits and roles are upside down and inside out. If he were out hitting the pavement hard, I wouldn't have expectations that he do much beside that. But he's content to sit home, work the minimal hours necessary to work off our daycare bill, and collect unemployment. Oh and do all things hunting-related. He says he doesn't foresee having a job before the holidays. I know that he won't - because that would mean working at a job without the seniority to take off as he wants for the holidays and for deer hunting. He won't admit that though.
I expected Husband to become the house-husband. It hasn't happened. I have bitten my tongue and have tried to realize that he won't always do things the way I do them. However, his priorities are entirely different than mine. I thought he might be apt to pick up Bugaboo early and keep him home some to spend time together (because that's what I would do). I thought he might plan some special outtings for Munchkin and he on the days she has half-days (because that's what I would do). I expected he might work hard to get the errands and housework done so we would have more family time on the weekends (because that's what I would do). I expected he might take over more of the night-time duties because he could nap during the day (because that's what I would do). I did not expect him to think that hiking with the dog was a priority.
Husband is having a massive problem prioritizing. He's always struggled in this area. When Bugaboo got sick, he asked me if I had any comp time. I said, "yes" in a puzzled tone. Husband said, "well the plumber is coming tomorrow." I was very confused. Surely Husband didn't expect me to take comp time off from work to take Bugaboo to the doctor just so Husband didn't have to reschedule a plumber coming out to the house to fix a faucet that has been leaking for months and is not an emergency.......yep he did. And when I questioned it, he saw nothing wrong with it.
I was talking in T about the arguing we are doing. Munchkin got upset the other day and said she doesn't like it when Husband and I yell. She was crying about it and said it made her tummy hurt. Which made me cry. I don't want her being upset about this. It really broke my heart and opened my eyes to my own actions. It's me who yells. Husband follows me around, laughing. He does the "well you did this....." and I just end up yelling in a shrill voice. I felt horrible when Munchkin told me this. I apologized to her and have been trying really hard to leave the arguing for after the kids are in bed.
Husband has been getting ugly and mean in our fights. Pre-therapy we fought differently - it was less personal. Now that we've opened up and discussed our arguments, we know what makes the other react. I try hard to avoid that. I'm not perfect but it's rare that I deliberately do it. Husband, on the other hand, knows what gets my goat and does it on purpose. Which makes me mad, which makes me yell. I've called him on this, he admits he does it, but continues to do it. He says that when he perceives he is losing a fight, he'll do all he can to win, even if it means fighting dirty.
The other key thing I've noticed is that Husband can not say "no" to Daughter or me when we ask nicely and calmly. So when he wants to say no, he pisses me off or teases Daughter into getting into a fit/temper. Then we get angry/disrespectful and now he can say No. This doesn't excuse our disrespect/yelling, but we need to learn to step out of that crazy cycle. The Lather, Rinse, Repeat cycle.
I talked to T about this and she suggested I calmly look at him and say "you're a better man than this" and walk away. This cuts short the cycle. I've not tried it yet. But I'm curious to see how it works. Something has to give, that's for sure.