'You can't un-ring the bell'

scarlett2001July 26, 2008

Harsh argument today - a lot of things were said. Is it better to "get it all out" and clear the air, with lingering hurt on both sides or to keep it to yourself and bear up under it? The things about him that drive me crazy are not things that are going to change.

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I don't know, I think at some point the rehashing just becomes mundane. I mean if he smokes and you keep harping on him to stop, it's probably not going to get you anywhere.

You need to ask yourself... can I accept this behavior, or can't I? Either learn to live with it, or leave... It's really that simple. I'm sure you can live with his dirty underwear never hitting the laundry basket, but may not be able to live with him having an affair with his secretary. The constant rehashing, nagging is just not going to get you anywhere. We're all human and are going to throw out things we don't like about our spouses at time to time, but it really doesn't help to keep mentioning things.

You say he's not going to change, so my advice to you is ...love him (as is) or leave him. Harping on him is not going to help anything. Life is too short to waste fighting when you know it's not going to get you anywhere.

I would argue though, that you probably can and do have the power to persuade him to change... but that would take some game playing and I'm not sure that's always the best route for relationships.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 5:35PM
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I think you have to ask yourself the reason for bringing it up? Are you doing it to get back at him, because you are angry and frustrated, or are you doing it because he is going to harm himself if he doesn't stop. These are rhetorical questions.

You have posted a few things here, Scarlett, and I was wondering how much you are willing to put up with in your marriage. How many annoying things will you put up with.

Do you think you would be better off without him ?

Try of think of some good traits about him.

Sorry things are so rough for you.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 6:34PM
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I find I have to pick and choose what I'm going to ignore, let bother me and not talk/debate, and let bother me and hash out... for example...

laundry dropped on the floor... Yes, it annoys me BUT I 100% ignore it.. I only wash what is in the laundry hampers, does this tend to annoy him sometimes, especially when he NEEDS clean laundry and it's not washed? Yes, but then he recognizes it's his fault for not picking up after himself and he has no leg to stand on to complain to me... This same concept works to a point for dirty dishes... but not quite as well so I will loudly complain about dishes left in the sink and make everyone in the house come back to the kitchen to put their dishes in the dishwasher... IF I catch them leaving them behind.... otherwise I bring it up over dinner....

The 'girl friend' I caught him with... oh yeah... I brought this one up... but I waited on my timing until he was wanting something from me and I was NOT being agreeable... and when he started in on what is my problem with not going along with such and such... I CALMLY stated I wasn't doing anything like he was suggesting... until I understood EXACTLY how the girl friend (used her name) fit into our total FAMILY plans... changed the whole course of discussion as you can imagine...

Not paying attention/forgetting... typically we're talking about calendar related things here... for example, I'll be at work on Wed when child needs to go somewhere, will you be able to do it and he agrees, and then all of a sudden he no longer can do that as he 'forgot' about his committment and has made other plans... I've taken to making him pull out his calendar and write down committments in front of me if at all possible.... depending on what the event/plan was, sometimes I will make HIM figure out now what will happen, sometimes we just 'skip' whatever it was and 'deal' with the fallout, and sometimes I push hard...

Since you haven't really given any indication of what your 'major' harsh topics were... I don't know how well these examples fit for you, but I think you can get the idea I'm going after here... you have to pick and choose when and what you 'debate' and HOW you debate it... straight forward, passively, etc... I tend not to argue, but to state facts... you agreed to do xyz, and now you are dropping the ball and expecting me to pick it up... do I have that right? You left your clothes on the floor knowing I only EVER wash what is in laundry hampers... do you not know where the hampers are in the house? Rudely, this approach tends to make him acknowledge some fault/shortcoming, and cuts the wind right out of his sails for coming after me.... yes, in some ways it 'belittles' him and makes him feel like he's being treated like a child... and then I point out that our children put their clothes in the hampers.. or they have punishments for not doing what they have agrees to or are suppose to do, and that gee since I'm not his mother maybe he should not expect me to act like it and pick up after him or get him out of jams he's gotten himself into.... again... it typcally stops him cold...

I also tend not to agrue back... which tends to really annoy him... why don't you say something back? to which I'll say I have nothing to say that you want to hear right now.... interestingly enough when you don't fight back with workds it stops the arguement pretty quickly... one sided debates don't last long...

Yes, I can be a pretty cut and dry person... don't know if this helps you or not...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Inasmuch as it's mostly "out" already, maybe get it all out and done and take a shot at starting over. Sounds to me like everyone's already unhappy and thinking about it. You know you'll go 'round again before long anyway. Would "once and with gusto" give you both a new place to build again or would it just nail the coffin-lid shut?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 1:50PM
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I just don't know - it's been a very uncomfortable few days since we argued. I have a very big mouth when I get mad, and I admit that.

I only wish it were something as easy as laundry, etc. What triggered this one was the way he constantly speaks to me a really rude voice, as if I'm completely dumb or something. I don't accept being talked down to by ANYBODY. I have explained to him before that that irritates me but he denies doing it. Other people have noticed and remarked, so I'm not imagining it or making it up.

So that was the opening pitch but things got heated and I told him in a not very nice way how his laziness is messing up things for us financially and in our home and the other property. The exact words I used were: "You are the laziest man God ever created". Harsh, but in fact, pretty true, unless you count some guy in a come somewhere. I'm so tired of trying to finish everything myself while he dozes all day in front of TV. - like tileing the bathroom, I don't even know how to do it and he won't consider calling in a tile person so I am taking a shower around half finished tiles since before Christmas. Right now, counting both houses, we have 13 major unfinished projects.

Am I better off with him or without him? I'm really evaluating that right now. Can and SHOULD this marriage be saved??

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 4:39PM
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One life, babe. How do you want to live it? In the end, that's what it always comes down to.

What are the other considerations....kids?.....money? How much else is in the mix?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:09PM
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Kids are grown, I have a fairly good job, no co-mingled bank accounts. We've only been married not quite two years so no really deep roots in the mix.

When I was younger, I would do all kinds of things to keep a man happy - act like sitting at a stockcar race all evening was a big thrill, etc. now I guess I do feel that life is short and I'm just at the stage where I'm not so sweet and accomodating anymore. I'm a bit older but not "old" yet and I want to enjoy my life, without this aggravation. Then I think he will not do well without me, but- here again I have become a bit hard-hearted - that's his problem.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:13AM
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Well, the "big mouth" you described is probably something you should work on anyway. Sounds like a bad thing regardless of circumstance and really messes up would should be a dialogue. From your description, however, it does seem beside the point in the greater scheme.

I you'd like to straighten it out and if it can be straightened out, by all means take a shot. However, if it can't be, I know what I would do. Living in a state of constant aggravation is a bad plan. I don't see that your idea about being "hard-hearted" has any validity in your considerations.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 12:34PM
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"Sometimes it seems to me that we (women) spend the first half of our lives doing everything we can to attract men and then the next half trying to deal with the fish that we caught. I'm thinking today how would it really be if I just cut the damn line and threw him back?"

I think you have solved your own dilemma, Scarlett !

How old are you Scarlett, late 40's perhaps ?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:23PM
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Oh, somewhere in that area...but if you are thinking this is a hormone thing, no, it's not.

Yes, my "big mouth" engages when I get angry - boy, does it. I have to really watch out because the mouth will write checks the brain can't cash, or however that goes.

This is the third marriage for both of us. I was widowed once and divorced once, he was divorced once, married on the rebound but it ended in less than a year, she had mental health problems. We both spent many years single after our last marriages ended. We both had numerous relationships during that time, so what I'm saying is we have been around the block, not new to relationships and their challenges.

I just want this one to work, because frankly it could be my last chance. I'm kind of eyeing the price tag on that success, I guess. Some days it looks pretty steep. It helps to vent here, this is what keeps me from shooting off my unfortunate mouth elsewhere. This forum can be a real safety valve, and I am grateful to all of you who have listened and given advice!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Keep venting...we're listening, Scarlett.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:03PM
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