We have three vehicles: my husband’s truck, my van, and a Saturn that my older daughter, K, uses.
K is ready to own her own car. She’s been looking around for one, but she really likes the Saturn, which she’s driven for about the past three years.
A few months ago, I asked my husband if we could give K the Saturn. Kinda like a graduation present. He said, no, because then we would have to give J, our other daughter a car.
(I’ve always taught my daughters that just because one of them received something, it did not mean that the other one would.)
One of my co-workers has a car for sale. Yesterday morning, I asked my husband if we could sell K the Saturn and use the money to buy my co-workers car so J, and my husband, when he wants to, would have a car to use. He said he couldn’t afford to buy a car because he just bought a tractor. I repeated that we would use the money from selling the car to K to pay for the “new” car. I asked him to just think about it; he didn’t have to make a decision right then.
This morning, he told me that he wasn’t going to sell the Saturn to K because he liked it and because K never did what he told her to. She didn’t pay him the insurance for it, she didn’t pay him her half of the car repairs, she didn’t mow the lawn, and she didn’t keep the kitchen clean. He said that she wasn’t responsible. At first I wasn’t going to say anything, but then I decided to. I said, so you are punishing her by not selling her the car. [This is so, so, so passive aggressive.] He was quiet for a few seconds and then said, yes, I guess so. I told him that she was treating him exactly the way he treats her. I told him that he doesn’t step up to his responsibilities towards her: he doesn’t keep the lawn mower fixed so she can mow the lawn, he hasn’t repaired/replaced the broken parking brake in the Saturn, he’s not a daddy to her. So, he thinks she isn’t stepping up to her responsibilities and she feels that he isn’t stepping up to his responsibilities. I told him that he can’t just plant a tomato plant in the ground and come back and find the tomato plant twisted and misshapen and not bearing the fruit he expected and then curse the tomato plant if he didn’t cultivate and take care of the tomato plant. I told him he hadn’t cultivated a relationship with her. He said that he tries to talk to her but she won’t really answer him. He asked, am I some kind of ogre? I said, what do you think? What kind of man is it whose children won’t even speak to him? Does he ever think about that. He said that he did every day. I told him that ever since we moved here well over seven years ago, he has basically ignored her. He said that she should have a job, that they both should have jobs. He said that she was lazy. I asked him if he realized how well she had done in college. He said yes. He said that she doesn’t do anything all day long and that when he and I were in college that we had jobs and that she should, too. I told him that our children are a mirror of us. I told him about the time when K was probably about three or four and her room was a mess. Clothes were on the floor, the bed wasn’t made, the dresser drawers weren’t closed, etc. I “lectured” her about keeping her room clean, going on and on. Then, frustrated, I went into my own room. My clothes were piled on the floor, my bed wasn’t made, my dresser drawers weren’t closed. She followed my example. I told him that when we first moved here, it frustrated me so much that he didn’t get a job for months and months and months. And he didn’t even have the excuse of being a high school student or a college student. He was a grown man with a family to take care of.
I said all of this very kindly and patiently. But then I had to go take a shower so I could go to work because I was already late.
Anyhow, I haven’t heard from him all day. It’s now after 10:00 p.m. and he’s still not home. He hasn’t even texted me. I guess I’m getting the silent treatment.
As I sit here proof-reading, he has come home. He is very chipper (as always). I asked him why he is home so late. He said he went to the bee-keepers’ meeting. !!!!! He hasn’t been to a bee-keepers’ meeting in months and he didn’t tell me that he was planning to go. So maybe this still sorta was a passive aggressive “silent treatment”?
I am just so tired of all of this insanity.