Panning for Gold

My paradigm of the Chain of Events:

1.  My spouse is in the dining room, backing-up (walking).  I don't remember why he was walking backward.

2.  My son is walking forward, carrying a bowl of 'right-off-the-stove' Ramen Noodle Soup.

3.  I am standing near the stove.

4.  A collision of the 2 men happens.  

5.  I cry out my spouse's name.

6.  Both men are splashed with boiling hot soup.

7.  I am YELLED at by my spouse, because I chastised him.  He wants to know how I could yell at him?  He was the one who got burned with the soup.  He was walking backward, so it was my son's fault because he was walking forward.  

I try to discern this . . .  but it is un-discernable.  

I KNOW i was not chastising my spouse.

I KNOW I was not accusing him of being in the wrong.

I KNOW the only word out of my mouth was my spouse's  name.

I KNOW it was in response to seeing the wetness on his sleeve from the boiling hot liquid.

I just refused to rehash/replay/fight-a-losing battle. So the only thing I say is that my out-cry was a response of compassion to seeing the hot soup splash on him.

Then I went upstairs.  Did some paperwork.  Then went to bed.

8.  This AM my spouse walks into the room, and says,"I want to say again, I am sorry."  (He never had said he was sorry in the first place.)

So I only can listen.  Grrr.  He just justified that he had already said he was sorry.  It feels as though he is re-writing history.  This is maddening.  

It it so-o-o-o-o hard to glean his acknowledgement out of this.  However, I think it would be the right thing to do.  I am losing my ever-lovin'-mind. . . . . . . . . 




I'm So Exhausted's picture

the ol' cliche'

"I am only responsible for what I say.  You are responsible for how you interpret it."

It has been suggested in counseling that my spouse tends to filter all my words through the opinion of his father and a specific nun - both who were very critical of my spouse in his childhood.  

It was suggested that my spouse verbalize out-loud, "I am speaking with my wife.  You two are not invited in this conversation."  

Or, that we develop some sort of signal so I can call attention to the fact that I feel my spouse is not hearing what I am actually saying.  Like, gently lying my hand on his arm right above his elbow.  Or simply pretending to brush a speck of something off my shoulder. 

He did agree to try the 'signal.'  It just ticked him off.

I can only do my part.  I am so frustrated that his misinterprets my words.

I have just completely shut

I have just completely shut down with mine since I can't win either way. I just got finished fixing the dog ramp. It looks great, cost $10, and was easy to do. I am actually done asking him to do ANYTHING and done talking to him about me. Of course I'll still be here if he needs to talk, but I'm done otherwise. It is a calming feeling when he's not home, but the tension is thick and the anxiety high when he's home. I'm thinking of asking him to give me the gift of his absence for Mom's day. Just me and my son all day, chilling at home. 

Another planet

I'm so, your story is uncanny. My spouse was incapable of not being defensive, and if I raised my voice in alarm like you just did, he would do the same thing: freak out that I was yelling at him (happened a lot when he was driving-- I would see a threat, cry out, and he would freak out that I was yelling at him when in fact I was just scared and saw a car coming toward us!)

He could not separate himself from worry over being blamed, and this and unfortunately, it made everything all about him, each and every time. It can do a number on you, can't it? I am sorry that yours (and mine) were so damaged that they developed this as a form of protection. I think it was almost pathological--it was just so draining and I would think, am I talking to a Martian? 

Hang in there and take care of yourself. 

Hmm, mine is getting like

Hmm, mine is getting like this and it has only been a few months of me nagging and looking for change. The habit is easily picked up for some personalities. I can say anything and he will direct it at himself negatively and get defensive. Once, after thinking my remarks about the dog were about him, he says, "oh, well I'm just used to it". Really? His main problem is just not listening or being in the moment. He can think what he thinks, but I know I was never very harsh with him and certainly not often or long term. I vent here, but I leave much of it alone or break problems to him quite gently. 

The Martian comment rings true for me. I shake my head a lot. He just blows my mind with some of the stuff he says or does.