On Sunday, we spent the morning visiting a Holocaust museum (an event organized by the synagogue.) When that was over, my wife leaves to see a musical that one of her friends is in. While she was gone, I
- Took our son for his COVID booster
- Took our son to pick up his prescriptions
- Stopped by the liquor store to get stuff for both my wife and me, including something she specifically requested
- Packed up empty home brew bottles in the basement and moved them to the garage so I could get wine that we recently bottled off the basement floor and put it on top of the refrigerator.
- Worked on dishes
- Worked on garbage
- Worked on putting away my laundry
- Attempted to clean the guinea pig cage, but was unable to do so because we had run out of litter
For at least a week, my wife had said that we would take our son our for dinner on Sunday night in a late celebration of his birthday. I asked him about it and he said he had something at 8, so he wanted to get take out. He also suggested getting it from a specific restaurant. I want to make sure my wife was OK with spending that much, so I called her. She became flustered and said we could talk about dinner WHEN SHE GOT HOME.
Our teenager had been on me with their never ending "I am hungry and there is nothing to eat in this house." So I was feeling pressure to get dinner resolved. I also wanted to have enough time to place the order, pick it up, and eat before our son had his thing at 8.
When my wife got home, the teenager started in with her about "nothing to eat." (Extremely picky vegetarian who goes to the store with us, picks things out, and then wastes a lot of the food) Seeing this, I did not immediately press my wife about what were were doing about dinner. As time went on, however, I wanted to make sure that we could eat before 8. All I wanted was to know what my wife wanted to order so that I could place the order for everyone and then go pick it up. She blew up at me because she said that the interruptions were preventing her from getting out a play submission. Naturally, it did not occur to her that if the play submission was so important and on such a tight deadline she probably should have skipped the musical. Instead, it was my fault for daring to ask her what she wanted for dinner. The restaurant turned out being closed. Everyone else wanted sushi (including vegetarian sushi.) I hate seafood of ANY kind, RAW fish? Finally, I agreed to get a pork gyoza appitizer and vegetarian sushi. It was definitely not a meal I enjoyed.
A former colleague at work had a sign that read "Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."
During our couples session last night, I asked if I should have just guessed what she wanted at the other restaurant we planned to order from. Of course not! I should ask her! That is, of course, exactly what she yelled at me about!
I used to tell her if she wanted to get theater stuff done, she would have to give up something. I meant things like television programs. It has turned out that she has made room for theater by giving up housework. The place is getting worse and worse, with an infestation of fruit flies that lasted several weeks because she forgot about an onion she had put on a shelf we don't usually look at. On Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to get the leaves done because I don't know how much longer the town will be collecting them. She said she was going to the store for an hour or two and would help me rake when she got back. It was also OK because our teenager would help rake in exchange for pay. The teenager spent lots of time indoors or lying down in the yard. They would not bag the leaves because they said it hurt. With all of these obstacles, I finished the leaves mostly on my own in four hours. She got back just when I was finishing!
She also brow beat me about how I should talk to our son AGAIN about how he speaks to her. I had done so, and I also apologized for not finding time to do so again. Our son spends almost 24 hours a day in the attic and has little interaction with us. Despite my repeatedly apologizing, she kept browbeating me about it. Over and over. For the record, this browbeating after someone has already agreed with her is a large part of what gets the kids angry with her. The clear message is that no matter how much you give, she is going to continue punishing you. So why bother if you're going to get harped on anyway? BTW, out couples therapist told her that now that our son is an adult, it does not make sense for me to be going to him and arguing on her behalf. Yes, I should say something when I witness it (which I did!) But she is responsible for improving her relationship with our son. She also pointed out that our son must know by now that it is not OK to talk to her like that and therefore questioned why my wife thought that me saying it again would make any difference. He knows it, he just doesn't care. I also notice that their ADHD feeds into each other's anger. He knows that the best way to get her off topic is to start cursing because she will shift her focus on to arguing about the cursing rather than the original point of the argument. She then gets angrier, which makes him angrier and more defensive. So, in a clearly counterproductive manner, he responds with more of the cursing. He hardly curses at me because he knows I will just brush it off. ("Cursing at me is not going to get you anywhere.")