Monday, March 1, 2010

On Men


DH and I have been together this March for 15 years. Let me say that again.
15 YEARS!!!
We have been married for 9 (10 in October) years, but I can't believe we've been with each other for that long. It blows my mind.
That being said, I still do not get men. I guess I never will. Our relationship is pretty static, but there are still things we're working on. Things I still question when they happen, and I guess maybe that lasts forever??? I don't know.
I try very hard to not be like my mother. And I see little bits of her in me all the time. She took her relationship with my father for granted, I think. This is not to say that I blame her for the dissolution of their marriage, because I don't. That is another topic, but long story short, both parties are to blame there.
I just think that from my point of view as a child, I only saw my mother "being mean to my dad". Ok, I should explain that better. Keep in mind, this is the POV of a child. She constantly criticized him, and harped and nagged on him, and shrugged off his affections. That part, the affections part, I remember the most. And that is the part that I catch myself doing from time to time, and internally chastise myself about. I don't want to be like that.
Of course, now, as an adult, a wife, and a working mother of two, I can TOTALLY see where she was coming from with the nagging and the berating. It's hard to be all these things, and still be a positive person! A wife, a lover, a partner, a best friend, a mother, a nurse, a chauffeur, a cook, a cleaner, and a career person (in my case, babysitter of other's children.) Those are so many hats to wear in a day. And let's not forget that we are constantly being told by magazines, professionals, talk shows, etc, that we need to take time for ourselves and just be ourselves somewhere in there as well. I don't think men understand how much pressure we women are under to be so many things, and to be good at them! And some guys do get it, for the lucky women that have them, like my two BIL's. God, my sisters are lucky to have them!
But just a little help once in a while, without having to ask would be nice. But so many men don't understand that, and when we do ask, we get told we're nagging. Now I will be the first to admit that we don't always ask in the nicest ways. But really, should we have to?? At the point when we have to ask our DH's for help, we're usually at the end of our rope, and we have no more patience or "niceness" left in us. And it's because we bottle it up, bottle it up, bottle it up, for fear that we are labelled as the nagging wife. Then the bottle can't hold anymore, and the cork pops. I feel like we shouldn't have to ask, men should just know. So guys, take a hint when the eyes start rolling, and the huffing or the sighing begins. Those are the signs that the cork is going to pop!
Now back to the original purpose of this blog entry. This morning, I was annoyed because DH had left the gas fireplace on ALL NIGHT! Not only is this a waste of gas, but it also makes the rest of the house damn cold, especially when the thermostat is set lower for nighttime. I also happened to ask him if he had put gravy on the leftover dinners he prepared last night, to which the answer was no.
Ok, he knows I like gravy. He knows I believe it is practically a sin to waste gravy. He must know that, we've been together for 15 effing years now! And we've also had this "argument" before. So why would he neglect to use up the leftover gravy by putting it onto the leftover meat? To me, it just seems thoughtless and selfish. He totally was not thinking of me AT ALL.
I know it's such a small thing, but it just irks me so, because I know that D (my BIL) would NEVER EVER do that to my sister N. She is always in his thoughts. He is always thinking of her.
But really all that was said regarding that situation was "Did you...." and "Why not?" That is it. I didn't go on afterwards like I could have (and did in this blog), I left it at that. I didn't even huff. So really in all fairness, was I complaining there or nagging? I don't think so.
Then I brought up the fireplace because again, I thought it needed to be brought to his attention, and it's careless yet again. He knows, as I've told him before, that when he has the fire on at night (while staying up all hours watching tv) that it makes the upstairs frigid.
So that, I did complain about. And he didn't like it. Not one bit. He hates when I complain about things (who doesn't really?) and he gets SOOOOOO DEFENSIVE!! And I only said one thing, but he considered it two. That in turn makes me mad. I mean, why shouldn't I be allowed once in a while to complain about something, point out something that is bothering me?
And here is where I get into a quandry. I try so hard not to be like my mother, complaining and nagging all the time, but on the other hand, I feel that we should be allowed to express our dissatisfaction about things. I really bottle a lot of things up. There are SOOOOO many things that I could complain about, and I don't, because I don't want to be a nagging wife. But then when am I allowed to say something. Should I just allow myself to be walked on? Are my concerns not relevant? So what exactly am I allowed to complain about, is what I want to know.
Here is another point of contention.
On the weekend, we helped my sis, S, move. This weekend also happened to be the start of DH's March break from school. So he has plans that he is going to paint my oldest's room. He was somewhat disgruntled on Saturday because I had told my mother and sister N that after we helped S, we would go over to their's for dinner. He "didn't expect to be gone all day, and had wanted to get started on R's room."
Well, too bad. I don't get to see my family as often as I like, and I'm not going to rush home and not see them just because he had plans he failed to mention to me. And I am sure that he wouldn't have carried those plans out anyway for a couple of reasons.
A) We ended up staying at N and D's later than normal because he couldn't tear himself away from the tv set and the gold medal curling game, so why would he have been stripping R's room if he was wanting to watch that?
B) He is currently upstairs playing the Wii. It is now 10:30 Monday morning, and he hasn't set foot in R's room.
So what was the big rush? I think he just didn't want to hang out with my family (why I don't know) and to that I say tough sh*t and if I have to hang out with his, then it goes both ways!! Never mind that the past few times I've been over to their place, he hasn't come.
So here we are again. Me, bottling it up. I could go upstairs and point out that he was so eager to get going on the room on Sat. and so what happened? I could even go up there and point out that he is being a lazy ass and to go get a job. But that's just getting a little bitchy, don'tcha think? (And yeah, I'm sitting here blogging, so that'd be a little like the pot calling the kettle black.)
But I won't.
Because again, I don't want to be labelled as a nagger.
So now I have to come up with a creative way to point out what he should be doing. Perhaps I will ask him if I should help him to start cleaning up in there, or moving furniture, or something of that nature.
See, woman also have to be creative and manipulative too.


  1. Many excellent points. And, no, I can't tell that you're avoiding chocolate ... not at all ;)

    My DH does some great things, but he also does (or doesn't) do other things that make me wonder. For example, it took years (years!) of me going out some Saturday nights to play DnD (Dungeons & Dragons) and then telling him the next day that having the porch light on when I came home - as well as one main floor light on - would have been nice. Is it nice to come home to a completely dark house with no outside lights on? Finally, he's learned. Did I nag? Perhaps.

    Nagging is such a fine line. One mention could be considered nagging by some, yet others think five mentions = nagging. Perhaps it depends on the topic (putting away your shoes when you get home vs remembering to start the dishwasher if you're the last one coming up to bed).

    Everyone has these issues. EVERYONE! Yet I agree that women shoulder the guilt. Why? I have no idea.

    One thing you said got me though. About seeing no physical affection between your parents. I don't know what my kids see (and I do shrug my DH off sometimes), but your comment made me think of my parents. I don't recall seeing them being affectionate - hugs when one comes home, a gentle pat when walking by, sitting close to each other on the sofa. It made me think ... it must be a learned thing, even if not intentionally learnt. Which means I'm passing it on to my kids.

    Oh dear ... this has become quite the essay! Time to reheat dinner and give you a break from my rambling (LOL)!

  2. Men. I understand your pain exactly. They have no idea what nagging really means.