How the game is played

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.

This entry was posted in covert abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to How the game is played

  1. EnglishRose says:

    Hi! Yes this is a crazy making illogical thought process based on a skewed sense of ‘hypocrisy’ Like ‘you can’t call me on that cos you did this’ (usually an unrelated thing) He thinks you’re being a hypocrite cos you’re not perfect. So what gives you the right to criticise him? Crazy logic! But mostly it’ll put you in the position of defending yourself and nearly directs the attention from him and something you called him on. Simple but clever. Solution – say we’re not talking about me or what I do. We can but not now cos that’s a new and separate conversation. Right now we’re talking about this issue. If he persists calmly walk away. Always easier said than done lol! And I’m sure you know all this stuff anyway but I hear you and empathise :)

    • He does tend to take the “conversations” away from the main point! I will try your suggestion in the future, to help keep things on track. Although, I really think these conversations are absolutely pointless, except for me learning to be better at saying what I need to say!

  2. Laura says:

    Wow, you just described a conversation with my ex but you articulated the “crazy” much more clearly than I have ever been able to do. Thank you for that. Somehow, reading it how you described it brings it into sharper focus. If I requested that he put his dish in the dishwasher, I would be subjected to a litany of examples where I did things incorrectly or times when I failed to do the dishes (I can count on one hand the times I did not do the dishes – I cannot go to bed at night with dirty dishes in the sink – it’s just one of my quirks). It was exhausting and got to the point where I stopped asking him to do things, of course the reverse never held true. He never stopped critiquing me and requiring me to do things a “certain way.” It was very one sided and depressing and I felt like I didn’t have a partner because we didn’t do things as a team. He would demand and require, and I learned to just keep my mouth shut because it was easier to do things myself than ask for help or ask for something to be done or not done a certain way. If I even made the simplest request he would somehow be able to turn the tables and it would become his opportunity to begin a diatribe highlighting my failings. Once I even made the grave mistake of requesting that he drive me to a surgical appointment. He said he would, then the night prior he told me he wouldn’t drive me unless I stopped at the store and purchased him some orange juice. I had a million things I was trying to get done prior to being off my feet for a couple of weeks, and stopping at the store was not on my list. Yet I had no one else to drive me on such short notice and I could not postpone the surgery and he knew it, so I was stuck. He seemed to love being in that position. All of his favors had strings, but you never knew what they were, and the favor could be retracted at a moment’s notice if you did not comply with said strings, which I soon learned. I was more alone in that marriage than I ever was when I was single. The day I left him I felt as though the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders.

    The crazymaking behavior had me blaming myself until I was finally able to find my way out of the fog of my own confusion. I actually started my own blog to try and help me make sense of things, which I believe is what you are doing here as well; yes? Keep it up. It will help. At the very least, it is great therapy, but at best it is a record of what you’ve been through that will help you evaluate your situation and make some necessary decisions. I forgot a lot of what transpired with my ex, there was some new form of crazy every day and it was hard to keep things straight, but being able to go back reflect on my blog posts proved to be a tremendous help in gaining some clarity.

    • “I stopped asking him to do things…” Yes! I did/do that, too. Years ago, like within the first few years of marriage, I learned that it is just easier and better if I go ahead and do it myself. It just wasn’t worth the hassle of trying to deal with him! Just today I posted a post about asking him for money to help buy a laptop for my (our) daughter. Of course, he wouldn’t, so I am not sure why I even bothered to ask! It is SO crazymaking. I’m really glad that you left. Yes, I blog as therapy, and as a record. I’m also learning more about myself as I blog! Thank you for your comment!!!

  3. Zoe says:

    Oh my gosh the bread ends! hubby just told my sis-in-law in great detail about how he always HAS to eat the ends at our house. Huh? I’ve never once served him an end! He chooses them when he makes his sandwich or whatever. (cuz no one else will eat them). Well no one said he had to either!

  4. hisimage13 says:

    Ah ha. Understand. Completely understand this whole story. Bring something up that bothers you, (towels) and suddenly, he will bring everything up that has been bothering him.
    I’ve taken to telling my dear: “oh, did I say something to hurt your feelings? Because it really wasn’t personal”. That is ONLY if I remember not to take the bait.
    Be well,

  5. stillmixedemotions says:

    they can never be the ones at fault… isn’t that obvious…. cheech!! i can list off a whole slew of things that are wrong because HE has to finish them all off (bread, cereal, chips, crackers, cookies, milk bag (God Forbid he would have to put in another bag of milk and open it), peanut butter jar, and this one is a big one, the TOILET PAPER ROLL!! now why would any normal grown man be subjected to doing that? AH!

    • Oh, the toilet paper thing! One time I got a LECTURE because I left an empty tolet paper tube on the roller and he actually had to put a new roll on. And just the other day, he left two sheets, LITERALLY, two sheets on the roll! Talk about not using up something!!! :}

      • LOL! My husband did/does the same thing with the two sheets. I actually asked him about it recently and of course he is either unaware of his behavior/motivations or he won’t admit to it. Either way, I’m not buying it.


      • stillmixedemotions says:

        awh yes the two sheet thing…. I had forgotten about that until this weekend…

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