It's not your rug.

I sometimes wonder how I got into this situation with H.  How did I eventually let my guard down so much that I daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, decadely permit myself to be regretful and confused?  

I am deconstructing our conversations to find clues and here is one. This just happened:

Me: With a positive tone, "I like to stand on this rug"...(it is nubbly textured on stocking feet).

H:  With an argumentative tone, "You can't stand on that rug.  It isn't your rug."

I walk away. flummoxed. again.  OK, let's give H a benefit of the doubt that what he said was said to be cute and sassy rather than to really want to throw verbal darts at me.  Over decades of his little sassy "put-downs" it has worn on my own knee-jerk reactions to make it feel like another tiny gut-punch. So, I am trying to positively change my self.  How could I have responded?  I DO NOT want to have the relationship with H that is filled with sassy comebacks and jovial sparring constantly like it seems he wants our relationship to be.  To me that is not an intimate relationship but is sophomoric. His humor is baser than mine and is mostly sarcasm and inane teasing rather than witty repertoire ....and I really don't know if he was joking anyway.  Let's see some different scenarios than me walking away feeling gut-punched....

Me:  "I like to stand on this rug"

H:  "You can't stand on that rug. It isn't your rug."

Me: "What do you mean, it isn't my rug?"

This would start a verbal argument about where the rug came from. Why it isn't my rug to stand on.  Me saying I have a right to stand on all the rugs in the house...yada, yada.  Another verbal sparring that H seemed to want to have and I fell for it.

Me:  "I like to stand on this rug."

H:  You can't stand on that rug. It isn't your rug."

Me:  Picking up the scatter rug, rolling it in a ball and throwing it at him, "Shut up!" walking away.  

Hmm....I wonder.  That is what I do in my own head.  Maybe I should really "act out" rather than stuff my emotions and feel like I have been bullied.  This response so far feels like a better way to respond than just walking away feeling confused and sniped at.  Because I have to respond differently than I have been.


Me:  "I like to stand on this rug."

H:  You can't stand on that rug. It isn't your rug."

Me: "Hmmmmm?" Slowing looking at him.  Watching him.  What is his face saying to me?  Wait for more words to follow.

H:  (I will have to guess from previous similar occasions) Not looking at me. Walking out of the room with a gait of "Heh. Got her!"

Me:  following him.  "Yikes! Don't sit on that chair. It's not your chair!"

This would either start another fight or laughter depending on the mood HE is in.  My joining in on his "verbal darts" game does not guarantee a playful game.

Here is the conclusion for me.  We are not comfortably, emotionally intimate so it is not safe for either of us to speak with vulnerability.  He has constantly bullied me (always with a ha ha at the end).  All I can do is IN MY OWN HEAD accept that this is the way he is.  My come back is to walk away and say to MYSELF, "We are two cranky people here. Acceptance.  But I don't have to be cranky anymore.  I am going to take myself and the dog to Starbucks and see some friendly people's faces."

Anybody have some thoughts on "how to respond differently"?  How to adjust our own emotions and perspectives so that we can have these little conversations without disgust or self pity?  I am trying to change my responses.  Until I feel trust with someone who I can be interdependent with, I must respond as an independent.