So tiny it doesn't matter ... except it does. - 06/14/21 11:00 PM
Anyone else struggle with a relationship in which the negative moments are so small it would absurd to make issues out of them, and in any event you simply can't 'win' or get any acknowledgement of your point, but taken grain by grain, they make up a 100 pound sack of salt on your back?
That, seen as an ongoing pattern and not individual nitpicking events, they do matter?
I have a husband who Does Not Want to get into anything. Ever. And so he makes up for "quality" (sorry, I mean big abuses, not that I think they're quality events) with quantity. He'd never hit me, but he would physically pick me up and move me over in a store if he felt someone else wanted to get by, even if they're 10 feet away, instead of telling me his perception so I could decide / engage. Even if I tell him I hate that, he'll say, "I was just being polite". And any criticism whatsoever that it's not his place to be polite to strangers about My body would be met with scowls, snarls and "fine, I just won't help you any more", followed by silence until I either apologize or change the subject. If I try to object, calmly, that I don't see this as "helping me", rinse and repeat.
He would warn me about a physical danger you'd have to be four years old not to be aware of. "watch out for the car door" when I'm standing three feet away from it, like I might rush up and stick my hand in there. Again, he's just being nice. He agrees vigorously with any comment I make about myself that implies I'm clumsy, even though he wouldn't make a direct insult out of clear blue. This time he's making a joke, as I clearly did.
I think you can see from the examples, especially the last two, I'm being ridiculously over-sensitive. There are similar strange incidents with my mother in my childhood (offhand I can remember her talking on the sidewalk with a neighbor when I was about 12, casually turning to me, and squeezing a zit on my face (!) )
This always makes me wonder if I'm just inappropriately triggered by his behaviors. But the bottom line that I always come to is, maybe that's true, that I get really upset about certain very small things. But if I feel these behaviors disrespect my self-authority, it really shouldn't be a question of whether I'm right or not. This isn't an essential behavior, it's a choice. I mean, if you tell me you hate mushrooms, I'm not going to put them on your pizza "because mushrooms are perfectly fine".
Now I know, the bottom line issue here is that I'm dealing with someone who refuses to engage. I want to work on issues that bother me, but there's just no starting a convo with Mr. Teflon. I have some understanding of why, but that hasn't helped me get any traction whatsoever.
So I'm left with the crazy making thoughts. Really? I'm thinking of leaving this marriage of 15 years because he takes keys off my keyring when he needs them without asking, and then doesn't put them back? Seriously, I'm contemplating a separation because he insists on running the fan when I'm cold, because he isn't? Oh come On, I'm going to start an argument about whether it's appropriate to warn me to use a potholder when I'm the only one who ever cooks?