The Simplest Things
Today is hubby's day to travel 90kms one way to the Italian class he's been going to for 11 years. He won't find another class close by. It's been three and a half years since we moved house. He is very slow to make any changes.
On those mornings he's always stressed when he gets out of bed...he says he's excited. I know the difference between excitement and stress. I avoid talking to him deliberately.
Yesterday he re-potted a special plant I was going to divide to give away to other people who asked for cuttings. I'd told him that a couple of times. He just put the big plant messily and lazily in a bigger pot as he usually does.
I came home late last night and so went straight to bed. This morning I noticed the kitchen sink was covered with potting mix.
I asked, "How did potting mix get all over the sink?"
He barked back in that aggressive way he does, "I wiped the sink down."
I said to him, "I'm just here, you don't need to shout."
He replied, "I'm not shouting. SORRRRYYYY!!!!!!!" With his fists pumping and face contorted angrily.
I knew it was time to cut his circling, manipulative, avoidance conversation so I repeated, "I simply asked how did potting mix get on the sink? Did you re-pot the plant in the sink?"
He barked again, "I wiped the sink down."
Knowing I was getting nowhere I said, "Don't speak to me like that, it's unacceptable. Most people would come to check and see what I was talking about. They'd come and look at what was on the sink. Keep your voice down. There's no need to shout."
Shucks, I can't help trying to train him. Experts say eventually they'll get it. After 26 years, I'd put him in the very slow learner category.
"You're shouting," he said again.
"Do I sound like I'm shouting?" I replied.
"Sorrrryyy”, he said again.
I said, "No you're not, because you keep doing it."
Giving up, I cleaned the sink and told him to get the hell out to his class.
He knew there was a mess on the sink by his first statement. He knew I'd be upset he was using the kitchen sink to re-pot plants. Who does that? It's unhygienic and dangerous.
Nothing ever gets resolved. The micro-aggression is constant. These are the moments of our lives that wear us down. They take their toll. He wins always when there's nothing to win. I'm dismissed and wrong and he never takes responsibility. There's never a normal exchange, like "Oooops. I forgot to clean the sink. I'll do it now. Very sorry." Not hard at all really. Everybody is happy, peace reigns and no resentment remains.
For me the real answer should be that people don't re-pot plants in the kitchen sink. That's a job for the back yard. Interestingly if I'd been home he would not have even used the sink.
Some counsellors continue to tell us this can be fixed. I bet them a million dollars it will never be fixed!!!!
He can't fix himself!!!!!
Oh, BUT I'm the one who can fix it:
ignore him, clean up after him, treat him like the very special person he believes he is, not badger him, delight in his idiosyncrasies, let him treat me like a piece of dirt. Oh sorry, that's the current recommended procedure isn't it, ho hum.
It’s death by a thousand mosquito bites.
JM 2015 ©