This weekened, my wife wanted our daughter to help around the and told her, "You're not going to play all day."
Our daughter started yelling repeatedly, "I don't want to play!" After a little while, both my wife and I said, "OK, you don't want to play." Nonetheless, she kept yelling, "I don't want to play." Eventually, she said that my wife should apologize for "lying" about her wanting to play all afternoon.
This reminded me SOOOOO much of fights I have had with my wife. "Stop reading that Simpsons comic to her. It is inappropriate." "OK, I stopped." "We have to be on the same page. That was really inappropraite." "OK, I am sorry." Followed by at least an hour of her yelling at me in front of both kids that it was inappropriate--without me once saying, "No, I don't agree." (Keep in mind, also that she had chosen to show our daughter the Simpsons movie the night before. It was MUCH more innappropriate than the comic book. She objected to the comic book talking about Barney's 12-step program.)
hmmm. Sounds familiar. My
Submitted by vabeachgal on
hmmm. Sounds familiar. My husband and I were talking about financial matters relating to fixing up our house to sell. I told him that the whole situation caused me such pain and distress. He said what he would "do". I told him that those words weren't very meaningful since we had such history of unfulfilled promises. I told him that what I wanted wasn't action or a game plan, just a simple acknowledgement that the situation caused me distress - a little validation of my experience. He looked at me and said "Do you really think that would make you feel better if I said it right now, after you just asked for it?" My answer: "yes."
Crickets. He spent an hour telling me that it wouldn't be helpful to me, even though it was what I just asked for.
I'm at fault for not being specific about what I need and at fault for being specific. At fault for not saying what I need and expecting him to read social cues and at fault for saying directly what I need.
.... lying about wanting to play all afternoon.... I'd laugh if it wasn't such an example of how these conversations go down.
This reminds me...
Submitted by CaliforniaGirl on
... of some situations I was in with my ex.
His house was, and probably still is, in complete stasis. Nothing has really changed since his wife left in 2009 and the kids moved out around that time as well... (except that he has acquired more stuff that he doesn't take care of). He continually said he wanted to move forward with me, live together, clean up and remodel the house... etc.. So, as we became more serious, I began to speak with him about clearing out old things... old clothing, broken electronics, worn out furniture, etc.... so we could start working towards that goal. He constantly said he would or wanted to, but had loads of excuses about why he just didn't have time "right now"... so eventually I said, well can you at least take down the photos of your wife that are in the living room? It makes me uncomfortable. (there was a collage of old family photos with one or two that included her)
He refused and proceeded to lecture me about how the photos were there for his kids and he wasn't going to remove it because it wouldn't help me feel better anyway. I was like... A) The kids are grown adults, they have moved out and they know that your marriage is over. Their mother lives in another city and has a boyfriend. You and I are now in a relationship. They rarely even come over here. and B) I'm telling you that it makes me uncomfortable and I feel like there is no space for me here. You have told me that you want to make room for me. If you don't have time to do anything else, can you just do this one small thing to help me feel a little better? He just absolutely would not and insisted it wouldn't help anything. He literally said "Well, I would if I thought it would help but it won't." ... um... but I'm actually telling you it would help.
It eventually resulted in him screaming at me that there was no way in hell he was going to let me come between him and his kids. I was like, what are you talking about? You get visibly agitated if she even shows up at a family function. You are angry when your sisters invite her. You have told me that you don't want anything to do with her. Your kids and I are friends. I love them. I love you. You love me. I'm not trying to come between anyone or erase her. I'd just prefer if it wasn't staring at me every time I come over. But he wasn't having it... it was just resist, resist, resist and trying to convince me that it wouldn't help me feel better. Even though I was telling him it would. He accused me of having a problem with her. I was like, no.. I don't have a problem with her. I've sat next to her at family functions. She and I are fine. I just want to make a space that is ours. You say you want the same thing. I don't understand. Either way, he still refused.
He did similar things in our couples counseling. Anytime something was brought up that he could say or do that would help me feel more comfortable or acknowledge my distress over something he would just argue with both me and the therapist that it wouldn't help make anything better.
Yet at the same time he was always telling me that he wanted me to communicate with him and that he was concerned for my needs and that he wanted to do things to take care of me and make a life for us. I was like, oh my god this makes NO sense. None. You tell me that you want me to communicate with you and then when I do, and I express what I need or expect, you do nothing but argue with me about why it won't work. Then the next week you're back to telling me that I should talk to you and tell you what I want. It was crazy making.
After a while I just started to tell him "I don't want anything" and he would argue that too. "Yes you do. Just tell me what you want. I want to hear you. I love you. I want to take care of you. " I was like, no you really don't.. cause the same thing happens every time. I tell you and then you reject it, either verbally running me in circles about it or by never taking action anyway. He did this right to the bitter end... spending three months arguing with me over why he hadn't done anything for 5 years regarding the divorce/house because he had decided that it wouldn't fix anything between us anyway.
It's like no matter what, it's an argument. I thought I was going to lose my mind.
Melissa, what to do about defiance?
Submitted by jennalemone on
This reminds me of my H. He has "read" my mind for over 40 years, telling me what I think, what I want, why I am doing something etc. etc. He says things that don't make sense that seems to be made up in his mind. It is confusing and crazy-making trying to hold on to my own mind while being partnered with someone who does not partner but who is defiant and argumentative without reason. H has been like a child playing "King on the Hill" and I am his only enemy.
The vision of H being a child is helpful to me. If he rages....I no longwer see an adult with a reason for anger. I think "The child is having a tantrum." I go away..out of the house and let him rage by himself and settle himself down. When he argues in circles without making sense and distracts us from the original issue, I bring him back to the issue or original question over and over. He starts to cloud an issue by accusing me of things I have not done of being a way that I am not. When I keep referring to the original question or issue, it makes him angry. I no longer permit his distractablity/manipulation (not sure what it is) to frustrate me. Very often I never get an answer or a response from him that is pertinent to the original issue. But, like dealing with a defiant child, I have to accept that he is like a child and I want to be an adult. When I remind him of a schedule, he screams to me, "Stop trying to organize my time for me!!" Yesterday, I said to him as he was messily eating a grilled cheese sandwich in the upholstered chair in the living room with the grandchildren, "I told the kids they had to eat their grilled cheese sandwiches at the kitchen counter." He looked at me with venom in his eyes and stormed out of the room brushing past me pushing my shoulder (in front of the grandchildren). Sometimes I am at a loss about how to respond to his childish behavior and comments when family is around. I want to go away and let him steam by himself, but then I am not teaching my children or granddaughters HOW to respond and deal with things by ignoring childish behavior. Also, how do I have dignity and my own integrity letting this just go and not actively responding?
Anyone have a book of responses to bad behavior? That is what I am in the market for. Suggestions on how to actively respond rather than letting it go and ignoring bad behavior. How to Teach People How to Treat You would be the name of the book I am looking for. I think I shall Google that right now.
Just to add, after reading what I wrote here, it may seem like I have been a bossy, mothering spouse. Believe me, for over 40 years, I was the compromising servant girl in this partnership. I have a soft voice and have been trying to understand and work WITH H on our marriage. It is now that I am realizing that I must be different, that I am realizing that without my constant compromising and enabling, H is angry and rude and fighting.
For what it's worth...
Submitted by CaliforniaGirl on
You didn't sound bossy at all. At least not to me.
I also found that whenever I did not just give in to whatever my ex wanted I too was met with anger. He just wants to do whatever he wants to do whenever he wants to do it (or not do something, as the case may be). Any question, request, or suggestion otherwise and he turned into a petulant child. Fussing, whining, being snappish, arguing... Any attempt at reasoning or discussion after that turned into a full blown fit of yelling and storming out or hanging up the phone. I saw him react that way at times to his dad, his sisters and others as well. If he did concede to the unwanted request, he was bitter about it the entire time. I didn't even matter how nicely the question/request/suggestion was posed at times. :-/
I also got hit with a lot of "You just don't like me!!!" ...when it was absolutely nothing of the sort.
So, I totally get where you're coming from.
Are you in therapy? Either both of you or just you? I tried couples therapy and my ex eventually threw a fit and stormed out of there too... but I have my own therapist and have for years. Neither my therapist or I knew he might have ADHD...I didn't realize it until after we split up... but nevertheless it was and is incredibly helpful for me to do my own therapy work.
Bowlofpetunias, the "command" comments
Submitted by dedelight4 on
I've heard many of these "command" comments that my husband has said. He will think up stuff for me (and the girls when they were young) to do, without talking about it ahead of time. Then get angry if his "commands" weren't followed through. When the girls were young, every Saturday morning he would get up and go outside and start "working. Then after about 10 minutes would come in, angry and all in a huff yelling at us. " You guys have to get up and help me out here, I can't do this all by myself". We would drag ourselves out of bed, after a long HARD week, needing to sleep, but not wanting to hear him yelling at us. Then, we'd all get outside, and then he would immediately go in the house, and STAY there. We would be left to clean up the yard, while he was on his computer.
Talk about total manipulation. Now when I think about it, it makes me angry that I even LET him get away with that. He had only spent a total of 5 to 10 minutes outside, and did nothing, but then would take credit for how good the yard looked. After I had done most of the work. Grrrrr. It makes me boil now. He doesn't even remember this now, but it went on for years. He found a bullying way to get us to do things for him. But I know he would NEVER admit that this was a bullying tactic. They need to be called on this.