Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Again. We're Doing it Again.

One of the repeated issues in our marriage came up... again.

I honestly don't know how to define the problem. Which is probably a big part of why we haven't figured out a solution, and therefore keep repeating the same behavior.

About once every couple of months, seemingly out of nowhere (for me), FireMan accuses me of being hateful (to put it nicely). He will tell me how nasty I have been to him and to FireGirl, how awful I have been treating them, etc, etc, etc.

And when I say "out of nowhere"... I mean it. Without fail, I never see this coming. I don't see this in myself. Even after he tells me this, I'll look back on the week or so prior, and I still cannot see what he's talking about.

On the rare instances that he provides me with specific examples (which is rare), I'll apologize, and let him know that it wasn't my intent to come off that way, I had no idea that's how I was coming off, etc. But the damage is done. He's hurt and he's angry and at this point I can't do anything right.

I've tried apologizing to the point of tears, I've tried arguing back that I didn't do anything wrong, I've tried ignoring it, I've tried asking him more details so I can analyze my behavior & figure out what I'm doing... all are met with the same response. I literally cannot do anything right at this point. Unless there's something I haven't thought of yet.

He angrily tells me that it usually occurs during my "time of the month" (indeed, it usually does), and that he knows it's my hormones, which is why he "lets it slide" until he can't take anymore.

I suppose this is a possibility.

But... well, first of all, I've never been a b****y PMSer. I'm a crier. The week before my period, I will cry at the drop of a hat. But in all my life I've never been legitimately accused of PMS making me nasty. Ever. By anyone.
Secondly, there's that whole, I have no idea what he's talking about thing. Not only do I not realize I'm doing it, no one around me seems affected, other than FireMan. Not even FireGirl, even though his rants usually include my horrible treatment of her as well.

There is another "monthly" possibility.

Let's just say... my old boss, when his wife was pregnant, well, the last few months of her pregnancy he made our lives a living hell. He was pissy, and nasty and just hard to be around. And he's normally a peach! Really! We finally concluded that he wasn't getting any. Sure 'nuff, a few weeks after baby was born, and he was back to normal.

So... there is one week a month where FireMan doesn't get any. And depending on how his shifts fall, it could be more than a week.

So I am currently working on a theory that maybe it's not my hormones at all, but his lack of sex that's making him nasty.

Or maybe it's a combination. Maybe my hormones make me a little off, and I could see where maybe I'm not as patient as normal, or as tolerant as normal or something, and maybe his not-gettin'-any self is on edge and irritable, and so you combine the two, and... WHAM!

I don't know. The problem we have is... well, it's not that I'm not willing to accept responsibility if I'm doing something wrong. If I'm being mean & hateful & nasty to my family I need to stop it. The problem is, I don't see it until he goes off on me, and then it's too late. Even then, I don't see what I've done. I honestly don't see it at all. So I can't stop it, I can't  make a change, if I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
So I've put it back on him, that he needs to (gently) tell me immediately if I act that way, that he can't expect me to change if he waits to blow up at me, etc.

But the thing is, he believes he's handling things the correct way, and honestly sees it as all on me. I'm the one behaving badly, so it's my responsibility to stop it. Him waiting to tell me, is his effort to be gracious to me.

So we end up with a situation where we both believe that we are completely innocent, that the problem is totally the other person's, but the other person doesn't see it at all, and in fact sees things in exactly the opposite manner.

And so, we repeat this scenario once every couple of months.

And I don't know what to do, or how to fix it.

I honestly don't know what I'm doing wrong. This time he gave me the instance when I "started" being nasty. And I was all like "What?!? Really? What are you talking about?" I disagreed with some unsolicited advice he gave me, but I don't see how what I said, or even how I said it, was mean, or nasty, or hateful, or anything. And he seemed unaffected at the moment, carried on as usual. It wasn't until the next morning, when I made another comment (which was said a little abruptly, because I was pretty sure he was gonna make FireGirl cry), and he went off on how pissy I had been lately. It snowballed from there.

Enter shock face.

And that's pretty much how it usually goes. We're having a conversation, or doing something together, minding our own business - twice in recent months I can remember specific instances where I recalled being happier than usual, in a better mood than usual, having a good time with him - when suddenly I am attacked out of the blue, no warning, feet knocked out from under me, good time immediately turned to bad.

I'm not telling you these stories to try to convince you of my innocence, but just to reiterate how much of a problem this is, that whatever is going on I am so oblivious to whatever I am doing that every. single. time. his accusations catch me by surprise. Because as far as I'm concerned, I'm just living my life, doing my thing as normal.
Oh goodness. Unless that's it. Maybe he just thinks I'm a b**** all the time? Lord, sometimes I wonder.