Originally Posted by kib
So ... maybe I should just throw the mushrooms, and say, "please don't take my keys off the ring", and "it's ok, I knew you were opening the door". Maybe addressing the little stuff one silly superficial thing at a time really would make a sea change in my underlying perception, or in his general behavior. ... but would it?

Addressing the little silly stuff one silly superficial thing at a time is a very effective way of identifying the offending behaviour and seeking change. Tackling each thing as it happens does not mutual exclude getting it taken seriously. What you're really suggesting is tackling each offence at the time it happens. Complaining calmly but firmly each time he does something annoying could be very effective. Complaining angrily or emotionally would make the entire exchange unpleasant, which you should try to avoid.

So: don't joke about the mushrooms as if the whole thing were funny, since it isn't, but take them off and repeat that you do not like them and you do not want him to put them on a pizza for you. Ask him not to take you keys off the ring every time he does it. Explain that you were not going to do something dangerous each time he implies that you were. Ask him to stop doing those things. Ask repeatedly.

But don't do this in the hope that you can change your perception of the problem. There is nothing wrong with your perception of the problem; the problem is that the behaviours affect your feelings for him. Your perceptions will not change, but his behaviour can easily change.

Dr Harley would never suggest trying to change your feelings about annoying habits and behaviours. You might as well try to stop the tide.


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.