Is it me or him?
September 21, 2007 8:24 PM Subscribe
Am I being unreasonable in asking to be treated politely? Is he being too hard on me by basically refusing? Am _I_ the asshole like he says?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
To start off with - I know I don't come off looking very smart here but I really could use some help and I've gotten to the point where I just don't have anyone who can give me an objective viewpoint.
I was married to my ex-husband for 20 years before I divorced him over issues similar to the ones that I'm bringing up here. We have 3 kids - 2 teenage boys and a 10 year old girl. He moved across the country after our divorce, then returned and wanted to get back together. This came at a particularly vulnerable time in my life when I was dealing with serious financial concerns and working 60+ hours per week so I agreed to try against my better judgement. There have been many ups and downs over the last year that I won't go into here, but the big thing for me right now is that I can say something to him in what I believe to be is a perfectly normal tone of voice and he will often (at least a few times a day) respond to me with varying degrees of anger ranging from snapping at me to something more extreme.
I find myself more and more just trying not to say things because I don't want to deal with the possible unpleasant exchange that will result. I can't really say that what is occuring is really verbal abuse, just more like living with a fast food worker who isn't giving you the service you'd like. I told him recently that every exchange with him was like getting a tiny paper cut and at the end of the day, I had a 100 paper cuts. His reply was, "Really? 100? Is it really 100? Aren't you exagerating?" So you can see that he doesn't really see or appreciate how much pain this is causing me, nor does he really care and I can't seem to convey this to him.
This morning, he told my son to get out of the shower and then went back 4 minutes later and told him to get out again. When I said, "You know, it's only been 4 minutes since you told him to get out the first time." he said something and I don't even remember what it really was, just that it made me feel bad. When I said that I didn't think he needed to be rude about a simple remark, he told me that I was always rude to our son and then called our son in the room and was trying to get him to say which of us was the rudest before I put a stop to that. Now he says he's tired of my shit and he's spending the night at a friend's house. All I wanted was for him to be polite to me?
The thing is - my oldest son is starting to treat me like his dad does and I don't know if it's because it is me who's so awful or if it's because he's mad at me because he's doing bad in all his classes and I keep taking away privileges from him until he improves his grades. So basically, I feel like I'm getting it on all sounds and I'm wondering if I'm the victim or the jerk. If I'm the jerk, then I want to change and if I'm living in a situation that isn't right, then I want to change the situation because this is killing me. Your home should be your sanctuary from the world - not just another lane on the freeway.
I grew up with this guy - he was my friend and we used to laugh and have great conversations. I miss my friend and I don't seem to have the words that will bring him back or make him care that he's hurting me.