For the Birds

I fed the birds this morning.  Filled the suet holders, checked the humming bird nectar levels, filled the cup with grape jelly for the orioles, put seed in the main feeder.

Then my spouse went and refilled the main feeder.

When I asked him, "Didn't you see that I already filled the bird-feeders?"  

He said, "There wasn't enough seed in the bird-feeder."

If I do a job, I don't like it when he follows up and 'adjusts' what I did.  It was filling up a bird-feeder for cripes sake!

I asked him if realized he almost always goes over EVERYHTHING I do.  I said after 20+ years, it drives me crazy. It makes me feel like he doesn;t think I do things correctly.  Ugh.  He micro-manages/controls everything.

He went on his usual verbage tirade, telling me how I was wrong, my feeling were wrong, and what does it matter if he adds a bit more seed to the feeder.

I asked him if he can just acknowledge my feelings, and say he was sorry.

He said, "Ok. I can say I am sorry, even though there is nothing for me to be sorry for."  

It is so much work to deal with all this mind strangling things.

The value of a relationship is determined by how it fills the needs of both parties. 

My feelings are stomped on, ignored and devalued.

Blech.

 

I'm sorry

I am sorry- it is no fun when you are in a place where you are hurt and he is in the "I am not doing anything wrong--what is your problem?" place. I think I lived in that land for years, except mine would verbally criticize and correct me. Even in near divorce with me doing 90% of the parenting, he can't help it. Last week I heard for the 10th time that the reason the kids prefer to be with me is because I let them play video games and he doesn't. There are two things here: denial that maybe they are just more comfortable with me, which I would never say and is not a big deal, and also, the implication that he is above letting them play video games (he has criticized me for it many times in the past). 

At this point, I can just laugh and shake my head and realize I don't care what he thinks and I don't think he is right, lol. But in the past? Boy that hurt when I would tell him that I perceived his constant comments about my driving as criticism, and he would just tell me that I was too sensitive or that he was trying to help. Ugh. His defensiveness overrode my feelings every time. Nothing like getting hurt and then having that person tell you that you are too sensitive.

I am sorry and I wish I could help. Maybe it's not that your spouse doesn't care but that he can't get past the perception that you are upset? Mine always told me he DID care about my feelings, but the issue was that he did not act like he did in a way that made sense to me. Another person would have found it very rude to be so blunt and critical all the time, and most people I know when told that he hurt someone's feelings would feel and show compassion, not defensiveness. Anyone out there have a suggestion? Melissa?

I'm So Exhausted's picture

Not an isolated incident

lynninny,

The great thing about posting here is that other's know my frustration.  If this were an isolated incident, it would seem nit-picky.  

I have had many a snide retort from family or friends along the lines of : give they guy a break. . . or . . . everyone loses their keys . . . or . . . . Geez, everyone is late . . . . or. . . So what's the big deal of a little bit of messiness. . .or. . .  .if you don;t like the mess, why don't you just clean it up. 

They have no clue.  Being controlled with anger, and being micromanaged is the pits.  I have had enough already.

My real issue in this is boundaries.  How exactly do I set one,  and how to I enforce it?  Do I literally say, "I do not like being treated in that manner.  Little things add up.  If you can't acknowledge my feelings, I will have to leave?"  Or, I will not engage in this?   Or, what. . . . . . . 

I am fully aware I can't make him do anything, nor act any way, nor stop any behavior.  But I can decide what I want to live with, or put up with, or be around.  The "how" is the tough thing for me to figure out.  

 

Tough

I'm so, this is a tough one. I wish I had known earlier how to let things go, but frankly, having the person I was married to criticize me and be unkind 99% of the time was too much. We were poorly matched, plain and simple, and the situation went so far and got so painful that it was impossible to fix. He was hyper focused in the beginning and I seriously didn't pick up on most of this until after we were married. By the end, when he kept telling me that it was my problem, I did not love him any more. I did give him an ultimatum, and did offer to work on my issues as well, but he refused. At that point I was relieved, and I left with the kids. I tried very hard but mine did not have the tools to let go of being defensive even if it meant losing his wife.

I wish I knew better how to set boundaries. Now if he gets this way or is unkind or angry, I just quietly say, "I can't talk to you right now, we'll have to talk later when it calms down," and I walk away or hang up. I don't let it get to me, not to get along better, but for my own peace. I would not want to have to be this disassociated from him if we were still married, though. Is yours this way with everyone, or mostly you? I realized that mine was not this angry with colleagues at work or this rude to his mother on the phone, and that he had become so angry with me that he gave himself permission to treat me this way. So it was us. 

Maybe you can appeal to yours? Tell him nicely and calmly that you need to work on a few things together or you just won't be able to do this? Not as a threat, but as an unfortunate consequence? Will he go to counseling with you?

And screw everyone else asking you to give him a break. They do not live your life and they are not married to him. You choose whom you are married to. The bird feeder thing is not a big deal out of context, but when your spouse is always angry and not kind to you, it is a different story. It is not a big deal that your spouse forgets to pick you up, once, but if he has been nasty to you for two days, it feels different. Mine would always complain that I did not want to hang out with him, forgetting that the evening before he had gotten mad and told me I was a terrible mother. He thought he was just blowing off steam and told me to "get over it." Well,  I am over it now.

My best to you.