It’s all the little things…

17 Sep

…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?” 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.


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9 responses to “It’s all the little things…

  1. Awana

    September 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

    I could say a lot of things, but knitting is not “rude”–multitasking is usually celebrated…you are so done in this relationship. It may hurt, but you have to moveon–don’t waste any more time!!! He will find some other woman to take his garbage–they always do….

  2. Melanie

    September 18, 2012 at 6:30 am

    My ex-husband used to do the same thing with meals. Never a thanks and always a suggestion for improvement. I got mad as hell about one night, I was pregnant with my first child, and I chopped a big ripe habinero pepper, mixed it with the ground beef and cooked them together. Talk about a fire. He didn’t even notice, just said it was probably better to add the pepper after browning the meat.

  3. lookingforward2012

    September 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Mine wouldn’t give a thanks either. He’d eat some, Tell me what was wrong with it (but would he ever cook himself? yah, right.) then he’d decide he wanted pizza. So, after I’d made dinner and the kids were done eating, he’d order a pizza.Then I’d have to go pick it up. Because if I didn’t then he wouldn’t. He knew I didn’t want the local pizza place to hate us for ordering and not showing up…man, what was I thinking?!

    • iwonttakeit

      September 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      That really sucks! Probably gave him a hard-on to know that you would do it every time, too. Asshole. The way we turn ourselves into slaves for men is just so sad.

      • Awana

        September 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm

        That’s what we are taught. It has to be learned behavior, somehow–some subtle cues. I think it is just our animalistic behavior–it takes a real person to rise above it and not give in to the pleasures of schadenfreude. If you try to reprimand your husband, you might as well be disciplining a child; and that dynamic shouldn’t last a split second. But of course, it drags on and on, this dysfunctional coupling.

  4. meinventing

    September 19, 2012 at 8:43 am

    You deserve more. My ex emotionally abused me for 22 years. It turned out he was cheating on me all along. He consistantly would put down anything I liked. When my dad died he told me off all the way to my dad’s funeral just because I asked him to turn down the radio (he loved screaming music) my girls were crying in the back seat begging him to stop because their grandpa had just died. I constantly tried to be perfect. Any imperfections were magnified and thrown in my face. I now have a relationship with a man who cherishes me, goes out of his way to do kind things for me. I can’t believe I denied myself this kind of love for so many years. Love yourself enough to say more to that man.

    • iwonttakeit

      September 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      BTDT. Not once, but three times now! What is wrong with me? I tell ya what – when I am shot of this man there will be no more! I obviously have “dumbass” written on my forehead and these assholes can see me coming a mile away. I will find a cat to join me and my dog and my knitting and play the fiddle all night long with the TV on and toast and tea for supper and all the Narcs in the world can find some other victim to destroy.

      • Awana

        September 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm

        I have to agree it’s the little things that make your life happy, too; the day-to-day rituals that make up our personal religions. You are NOT a dumbass.You are doing what a lot of women need to do and examine closely why they choose the men/situations they do–it’s different for everybody due to the way we are raised and other influences; as well as the stimuli that makes our neurons fire and then desensitize. There is no support in our society for women to live alone; but it is the second best -kept secret to happiness after widowhood. Or being an activist nun.Peace in our lifetimes!

  5. El Guapo

    January 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Honestly, I can’t imagine acting like that towards my wife.

    Except for the music thing. When she doesn’t like my songs, she’s a communist. Of course, when I don’t like hers, I’m “Yes dear”, so I guess it balances out…


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