…that show how little he cares for me.
There are a hundred little things I do for M every day that go unremarked. Things like hang up his bath towel on the rod so it dries out, folding and putting away the laundry, vacuuming the house, making his breakfast tea just the way he likes it and bringing it to his computer so he doesn’t have to get up, keeping the kitchen counters clear, agreeing with him that his music is so much better than mine, cooking meals that he especially likes or has asked for, doing the shopping (which he hates) and buying the products he prefers, even if they cost a little more or are not what I particularly like, watching TV only when he’s in the mood, and only shows that he approves of. You know, all those things that make up the constant daily battle that is living with another person.
We don’t have a lot of money, so I do these little things for him because I feel that they are important everyday reminders that you care for your partner. He would probably prefer gifts, but you all know how I feel about that!
In return, he leaves my bath towel on the peg – where it never dries without smelling musty.
He runs the washing machine and dryer – filling both too full, resulting in dingy, damp clothes that have to be dealt with by someone. Not him, obviously.
He claims (after 11 years of watching me) that he has no idea how to make me a cup of tea and doesn’t even try. Not after a long week of work, not as a special treat, not ever. Ever.
Any time I play music, whether it’s recorded or on my violin, he complains endlessly about the quality of my speakers, the content, the artist, the genre, the inferiority of the recording, etc, etc, etc. When I play he brings up YouTube videos of famous fiddlers and asks why I can’t “play like her.” The answer is that “she” studied at Julliard and has been playing for over 30 years. Duh. Never a kind word or comment on my improvement. Well, occasionally I do get a backhanded compliment, but that hardly counts, right?
He never (and I do mean never) says Thank You after he has eaten a meal that I’ve prepared.* He does critique it, letting me know how I can improve it next time, which is probably, in his twisted mind, the same thing. Or even better.
He never helps me unload the groceries from the car and put them away. In fact, he never comes to greet me when I come home, but I am expected to run out to his truck and ask if I can carry anything inside for him. He’s tired, after all.
If I dare to watch a favorite show on TV he keeps up a very loud running commentary, “You would think the writers could come up with better lines! You call that acting! What is this show supposed to be about, anyway?” From.the.next.room. It doesn’t stop until I turn the TV off. Oh, and knitting while watching TV is not allowed as the “nervous fiddling” is distracting and “rude.”
I’ve been noticing these little things more and more in recent months and can’t help reflecting that it says a lot about the health of a relationship.
* He once told me (sorry if I’ve mentioned this before, but it really sticks in my craw) that he is very careful to dole out compliments and thanks to people who work for him so that they will treasure them and work harder to get more. He said it with a gleam in his eye that I should have taken more notice of. He will say something nice about my cooking if we have company for the meal, and he never hesitates to say something if a conversation with friends veers off into cooking. But that’s all about his Image, isn’t it? Asshole.