quite a conversation

Last night, he asked me if our older daughter had found a job for the summer.

I told him that I didn’t care to discuss her with him.

He asked why not.

I said because he wasn’t a daddy to her.

He asked me what I thought he should do about that.

I told him that I thought he needed to go talk to a counselor about it.

He said he asked me what I thought he should do.

I told him that I thought he needed to go talk to a counselor about it.

He said he didn’t think a counselor would make any diffference.

I said that a man who has no relationship at all with his children has some serious issues that need to be addressed.

He was quiet for a minute and then asked me if I had read the book, Restoring Your Love Life. *

I said no.

He said it was the best marriage book he had ever read.

I asked him what kind of things it talks about.

He told me that it talked about the fact that the fairy-tale romance, knight in shining armor to rescue you is simply not true, that when you marry someone, you marry their faults and short comings too, and that you can’t expect them to be perfect.  (He went on about all of this for awhile ~ I could tell that he was pointing all of this at me.)  He said that that the book said that you have to work on changing the things you need to change.

So I asked him what things he was working on changing.

He said he was working on being a more loving father and a more loving husband and being more compasionate and a better listener.


“But no matter what I do I can’t do anything right.  I try to love you and be nice to you but no matter what it isn’t good enough.  I work hard to support the family but you think I don’t make enough money.**  I can’t do anything right for you.”

I asked him if he could give me an example.

He said he washed the dishes and he takes out the trash but it seems like I don’t appreciate it, that it doesn’t matter to me that he did those things and that he doesn’t even know why he does them.

I asked him why he does do them.

He said because he loves me and knows that I am tired when I come home from work.

Then he went back to to that he can’t do anything right and he wants to show me that he loves me, but I expect too much, yada,  yada, yada.

So I told him that he has to stop hurting me too.

He asked what I meant.

I told him that he doesn’t beat me physically, but he beats me emotionally.  I told him that it is nice when the dishes are washed, but it doesn’t balance out being beaten emotionally.  I explained to him that if he were beating me physically it wouldn’t matter in the least that the dishes were washed.  I told him it was like that emotionally.

He asked me when he beat me emotionally.  [Oh, there is SO much I could have said!]

I told him about texting him on Wednesday, telling him I needed to use the laptop, but when I came home, the desk and printer weren’t available to use and that I then said that that was why I had texted him, so I could just do what I needed when I got home.  And that when he just blew off what I said, that I felt emotionally beaten and that it sucks the life out of me.  [See post.]

He responded like he always does:  he started defending himself, telling me why I was at fault and excusing his behavior.

I told him that he had asked me when I felt beaten emotionally and I had told him and he could either understand what I said or he could defend himself, but that he couldn’t do both.

You know what comes next…

He said, I do understand what you said, but….

And then he went into it again, that I hadn’t actually said that I needed the printer, that I was impatient and didn’t wait for him to finish at the desk.  And it didn’t matter in the least that I reminded him that I had texted him so he could be aware of what I needed to do.  He went on saying that I was demanding, that I expected to much, that I set the bar too high, etc.  He went on and on.

Finally I said, you asked me for an example of feeling emotionally beaten and I gave you one.

Then he said he was sorry he made me feel that way.

He was quiet for a minute and then he said, the book also says that your spouse can’t read your mind.  (This, too, was pointed at me, but obviously he doesn’t like it when I express what is on my mind!)  I didn’t say anything.

Then I told him, I’m glad that the book is helpful for you.

And that was it.  He went to sleep and I eventually did, too.

[*The title of the book is actually “Rescue Your Love Life.”  Here’s the Amazon link.  A friend of mine gave the book to me and my husband found it on the bookshelf.  I have looked through it and it does indeed look like a very good book.  Over the years I have read SO many marriage books that when my friend gave me this one, I was just so burned out on my marriage and trying to do anything about it that I didn’t even read the book.  I’ve looked at it recently, though.  I feel like that at the moment, I am trying to work on me, addressing some of my emotional things that I need to address and I am working on speaking up when I need to speak up.  The authors do address both of those things in the book and that is where I am right now.  But I am not ready to jump into another marriage book at the moment!  But more power to him, if he rescues his love life!]

[** About money, well, let’s see…  I asked him if he had money to help me buy a laptop for our daughter and he said no.  So you tell me…  – see post.]

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

6 Responses to quite a conversation

  1. K says:

    He artfully shifted your conversation from his issues about fatherhood, to your need to read the book he’s clinging to that appears to defend him.
    I stopped engaging in these conversations until I could keep mine on track. So difficult to do.

  2. Sofia Leo says:

    Ditto what K said. He starts those conversations with the sole purpose of beating you emotionally. There is no other reason. My Narc did the same thing. Over and over and over. It’s a well-proven tactic and until you can distance yourself emotionally, it will continue to hurt. They don’t care. They never will. The only thing that matters to them is them. No book, I don’t care how “good,” will ever affect a person who doesn’t think they need to change. It will give them plenty of emotionally ammo to sling at you, though. Gaaaahhhhhhh!

  3. Yes my husband has the same kind of thinking too. He figures that because he works, takes out the trash, washes up the dishes and occasionally cooks, this should somehow show me that he loves me. Well yeah, its great that he does those things, but rightly or wrongly I would expect any partner of mine to help out around the house. I told him that some physical affection would be nice, maybe the occasional compliment perhaps? Then he just starts going on about the ipod touch he got me for Christmas… yada yada yada. I don’t understand how they can view necessary chores around the house in the same light as deeply felt spontaneous acts of love.

    *shakes head in disbelief*

    • Sofia Leo says:

      The difference is that they have a penis and that automatically makes anything they do worth at least double the “points” of its value if you do it yourself.

      He wakes up in the morning: 100 points.

      You wake up, shower, dress and get the kids downstairs for breakfast before he wakes, feed the animals and everyone else, clean the kitchen, make sure everyone has what they need as they head out the door, etc.: 50 points, but minus 75 points if he woke up wanting sex and you didn’t put out.

      Oh, I could go on and on because my Narc pulled the same shit on me, over and over and over. Once I started paying attention, I saw his game very clearly. Then I got pissed. You’ll get there, too, one day…

  4. Sofia Leo says:

    Gotcha! Why don’t we all band together and oust the Rich White Guys? I am cranky today and not in the mood for more of this Male Crap!

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