Act like an adult? How?

Act like an adult? How?

 

I don’t know how to complain about the shithead husband any more. I have started this post several times and had to go back and re-write it. Maybe it’s because I am just getting sick of the way he acts and I have no time or energy for it any more. Plus, talking about it makes me so angry and lately I have been trying too hard to maintain a peaceful happiness. Maybe I am just not willing to let him fuck that up.

The husband is acting like a butt-hurt teenage girl again. Frankly, I am totally sick of it! I don’t understand how a 43-year-old man can justify acting like that… Slamming doors, sulking, responding to anything with one-syllable grunts, stomping and storming through the apartment until someone asks him what’s wrong so then he can grunt and slam some more.

It all started Sunday afternoon. I was watching a program on TV with Thing #2. It was Virgin Diaries and there was this dude on there wearing a shirt that said “Virginity Rocks!” and his mom was his “Wing-mom” (she wore a t-shirt, too!). His mom would pick out girls for him to talk to and he would approach them. It was hilarious and I HAD to share this with Thing #1. So, I got her and told her to come and watch this show with us so she would know what kind of guy to avoid completely.

As we’re sitting there laughing our pretty little arses off, Mr. Gloom-n-Doom comes in to say, “So, Thing #1, are you planning on ignoring me and the dishes all day again today?” (this seems to be his preferred way of starting conversations with Thing #1 and myself. It wasn’t said in a playful way either — it was said like fightin’ words.)

Thing #1: That’s how you’re going to ask me to do the dishes?

Mr. Gloom-n-Doom: If you’re going to keep disrespecting me and my wishes I will ask you however I want.

Thing #1 attempted to say something else about how she would do it, but Mr. Gloom-n-Doom just kept talking over her and not listening.

This is where I interrupted and stopped him because I can’t stand the way he talks to her. “I am sorry, but I asked her to come up here and watch this stupid show with me. I didn’t know you wanted her to do the dishes. As soon as this is over I will have her go down and do the dishes.”

Mr. Gloom-n-Doom: but I am sick of her ignoring me.

Me: Do you think it could be because of the way you keep talking to her?

He stood there in front of me huffing and puffing in his butt-hurt little way for about 20 seconds and then stormed off and slammed his bedroom door. I do know that what I did was wrong. Parents are not supposed to contradict the other when the children are present, but I am SO SICK of the way he condescends to her while Thing #2 gets all the sunshine and roses. I had to call him out on his behavior. (But, also, I am pretty sure that parents aren’t supposed to huff-n-puff, storm off and slam a door. Is that how you want your daughters to act when they’re angry or hurt or feeling defensive???)

She did the dishes.

He completely antagonizes our oldest daughter to the point where she doesn’t even want to be in the same room as him. And then goes on to favor the other daughter to the utmost extreme. AND HE THINKS THAT THEY DON’T NOTICE IT. Well, I do! That’s for sure. And so does Thing #1!

Just last night she was complaining to me that when she came home from school and tried to start a conversation with him he grunted at her then left the room. How is that supposed to make her feel?

I couldn’t see them before, but I’m starting to see similarities between my husband and my father: the coldness, the distance, the not-being-good-enough. He doesn’t hug her or tell her he loves her — she brought that up to me later Sunday. My 17-year-old baby is afraid to grow up but even more she’s afraid that her father doesn’t love her.

Last night I told him that Thing #1 thinks that she’s not good enough for her father to love her. That she constantly sees him talking and laughing with Thing #2, but she feels left out.

Mr. Gloom-n-Doom defended himself, saying that he wouldn’t talk to her like that if she would just do as he says. I tried to remind him that she is a teenager soon to be an adult. I pointed out to him that she will be moving away soon — out of his life. And if he continues to treat her like he is, she’s not going to want to have anything more to do with him after she’s moved out. I asked him to look at my relationship with my father (my father won’t speak to me. He’s butt-hurt about my choice for a husband to the point where he won’t even talk to his two grand-daughters – what an asshole! I guess Mr. Gloom-n-D00m is turning out to be more like my dad than I thought when I picked him. Who knew I could see into the future to what an asshole my husband would be to HIS daughter?). Does he want his relationship with his daughter to be strained and uncomfortable?

His response was sad. He defended his actions again stating that if she would be nicer to him, he would be nicer to her. At this point, it took everything in my power NOT to roll my eyes. Was he serious? These words were coming out of a 43-year-old-man’s mouth! Can you believe it? I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Negativity begets negativity and it has to stop somewhere. Why can’t YOU be the adult here and make things better?”

He just stared blankly at me, grunted, brushed past me and went to his room.

How do I get him to take responsibility for the way he treats his daughters (or people, for that matter)? How do I show him that he is favoring one daughter over the other – to the extreme? I don’t think it’s fair that he treats his oldest daughter like shit because she reminds him of me. How do I convince him that he is 50% of every relationship he has? How do I get him to understand that 43-year-olds don’t say “I will if she will”?

 

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