Saturday, April 25, 2009

Major meltdown

Last night. I had one.

I'm a little embarrassed by my behavior, but it turned out for the best- stuff got out in the open and I think we both feel better.

I discovered last night that I have this unconscious passive aggressive thing... a light, innocent conversation draws pointed questions from me that can turn into more heated discussions. Not an attractive quality.

Anyway, to explain the whole thing would be a very long post. And I'm long winded to start with! I'll try to pare it down.

We went to dinner last night at a place we enjoy when there is good weather. They have a patio so we can sit outside. We had to wait for a table because it was so nice out, but it was worth the wait. We got a corner one near the creek and flowers.

We were talking about dates we'd had before we met... III was telling me about this one girl and stuff she did that turned him off... which led to discussing our first dates... and from there I don't know how it veered into current issues.

It got tense when we started talking about chores around the house and I told III I felt like he noticed when I didn't do stuff more than when I did do stuff. I said "Have you even noticed that I've been trying to be better and doing the dishes every day before you come home?" He said yes, and I said "No, you haven't." He stated he'd rather not discuss this in public at dinner. I said going out to dinner is the only time we sit down and turn our full attention to each other.

In the car he said "I'm sorry if you feel like I don't notice what you do around the house, but it's frustrating for me. It's like a big joke that I'm cleaner than you, but then I'm always doing stuff around the house- picking up poop and straightening up messes-" This is where I burst into tears and had my meltdown.

"I do a lot around the house too, and it seems like that doesn't even count! Then you come home in a bad mood every day and I don't know if it's work related or something that I have done (or not done) and you don't tell me! I just feel like everything SUCKS right now! I hate my job, you're always in a bad mood, I'm NOT getting pregnant even though I'm sticking myself daily with needles, and you don't pay attention to me or even notice that I feel like shit! I feel like I'm a bad wife but I'm never going to be able to do things the way you want me to." Then with a sob I added: "And my dog is dying!"

That shut him up pretty quickly. I sobbed the whole way home. And after we got home. He came over and hugged me and then pulled me over to sit on the couch. I told him "Housework-wise, I will never be the wife you want me to be."

He told me he was sorry that he's crabby so much. He said that, growing up as an only child and then living by himself for so long, he didn't think about how his mood would affect mine. That when he comes home and is in a bad mood and crabby and moody, he didn't think about how that would make me feel. He said that he knows he's a little OCD and that a lot of the stuff he gets irritated about around the house are such little things. That he loves me and he knows I have a hard job too, and that I do stuff for us that is important. He said "In terms of the pregnancy stuff, it's frustrating but we're doing everything we can do at this point. What I have to do each month isn't a big deal, and a lot of it is out of our control." And again, that he is sorry. I apologized too, but he said "you don't have anything to apologize for..." I was so worn out at that point I couldn't even put into words what I was sorry for, so I just went to bed.

This morning I cuddled up to him on the couch and told him, as I said in the beginning of this post, that it seems I was unconsciously passive-aggressive in the way I approached the conversation. I told him it's little things at the time that they happen, and then they build up but I'm not sure how or when to bring it up. And that I was sorry for the way I did it, because that wasn't fair either. He said it was okay, that it was good that it came out, and that he needs to pay closer attention to how his actions affect our household.

So all-in-all I guess it turned out to be a good thing. He hates when I cry, so in some ways I guess it's good that I'm a crier. It de-escalates the situation more quickly than if we were just arguing. And it's my genuine response, so I don't feel like I'm manipulating him with my tears. Unfortunately, it also makes it more difficult to think straight and formulate my thoughts, and leaves me stuffy and swollen for the rest of the night...

III also told me last night that he's joining a softball league with one of his coworkers that plays on Sunday evenings. He and his coworker are the only LEOs on the team, and it's the next town over. While that is usually 'us' time, I'm glad. It will be a physical outlet for him, and also hopefully help him to meet some people outside of work. I hope that will help him, as it's something to focus on that's not us and not work. I think he really needs that and it hopefully it will help him to unwind.

1 comment:

michelle said...

My friend, I think you ARE me! I am atrocious about housework. I like things to be neat and tidy but I hate cleaning especially in the nice weathers. I am a crier of EPIC porportions; I definitely don't do it for attention or to get my way, it just happens when I am overwhelmed, angry etc. I don't do angry - I bottle it all up until I bust out and cry and everything comes pouring out of me.

My husband is absolutely great. He has been outstanding about the whole not being able to have a baby thing - the thing is at times I have no idea what he really feels about it. I am glad that your meltdown had a happy ending!