I tell him something that bothers me. Like, um, say, for example, ”Next time you go camping, don’t take my best towel! Talk to me about it first because we have older towels you can take.” And, “When you come home with a wet towel, hang it up to dry. Don’t stuff it wet behind the laundry hamper because it will mold.”
But you see, it’s not okay for me to bring up anything that bothers me, so then the game begins.
I have to be told things I am doing wrong to compensate for me bringing up something that bothers me. Like, there are too many open bags of bread in the fridge. (I don’t eat bread, so this isn’t me.) He then proceeds to complain that it is wasteful and that he has to eat the ends. I told him that was his choice. Then he goes on about the tubs of ice-cream in the freezer. He complains about the ice cream he has to eat. (Well, no, he doesn’t have to eat the ice-cream; he chooses to eat the ice-cream.) He says to have so much bread and so much ice-cream is wasteful and he works too hard to waste money. I told him that none of it is being thrown away, that all of it is being eaten. He says, yeah, because he eats it. (So what exactly is the problem here???)
But this is not enough. Then he brings up the shoes that I haven’t returned yet. He can’t afford that. I, of course, already paid him back for the shoes that I kept. I just haven’t gotten these sent back yet. (Which, yes, I do need to get done.)
Does he bring these things up on his own? Nope. Only when he doesn’t like something I’ve said. It’s payback. And that is how the game is played.