When I’m mad at my husband over something big or small, he shuts down. Or rather, he won’t shut up. But not about the issue at hand. He’ll talk about everything EXCEPT the issue that actually needs to be talked out.
Here’s an example: When our friends were in town a few weekends ago, his buddy who is a car guy convinced my husband he needed to spend hundred of dollars RIGHT NOW on new tires for his 1970 cadillac. In all reality, he probably does need new tires, so we don’t get stranded at our favorite karaoke bar again. But he doesn’t need them all at once. And not immediately. I tell him exactly this and convince him not to buy the tires before I go to bed.
And he either misunderstood or didn’t care because I got this text today.
“I have bad news. I ordered $1100 worth of tires today. No presents for Dan Peat for a year.”
This infuriated me for two reasons.
1) Our 1-year anniversary is coming up and he just sucked all the joy right out of me giving him the awesome present I had planned on. Now it will not only pale in comparison to the whitewall tires that he bought HIMSELF, but it also will look like an unnecessary expense, because he explicitly said, “No presents for Dan Peat for a year.” TOO BAD. YOU’RE GETTING A PRESENT. AND YOU WILL LIKE IT.
2) We share finances, but we don’t usually okay purchases with each other first. If I go shopping and I spend $200, I’ll let him know as a courtesy, but I don’t ask how much I can spend before I spend it. I just know not to go overboard and spend an unreasonable amount of money without having a discussion first. To me, this was going overboard. This was something that deserved a “Heads up, honey.”
So I replied, “We should have discussed it first.” And he seemed SHOCKED! In his eyes, we had. And I was mad for no reason! So instead of talking to me about the situation, I started getting what I call “change-the-subject-so-she’ll-forget-she’s-mad” texts, including:
“Would I look good with a bald head?”
The answer is no. And my statement remains. We should have discussed it.
“Man, short hair really shows off my weird ears.” (Hmm, self-deprecation. Good tactic, but it’s not going to distract me. On a sidenote: They’re not weird. They’re just really small and cute.)
Then he starts going on a diatribe about how much our condo fees are each month and what we pay in taxes a year. And how much we would have to rent it out for to make money on it. All of this when we haven’t even lived in our condo for a year and we’re not planning on renting it out for at least another 5. Thanks for planning ahead, I guess?
And all the while I’m just getting more annoyed because he still hasn’t said, “You’re right. We should have talked about this before, and I mean really talked about it when I wasn’t drunk.” Or “I’m sorry I didn’t let you know I was making this big purchase and that I took the sheer happiness out of you giving me heartfelt gifts by saying I didn’t want any for the next year.”
He’ll bring up the weather. What he had for lunch today (which was a five dollar foot long if you’re wondering), ask me a follow up to something I mentioned months ago to show that he was listening way back then and that he’s still interested in the outcome, but he won’t talk about the freaking tires. Or the fact that he was wrong. Or the fact that I’m mad at him. He hates arguing and will do just about anything to avoid it, except for not doing the thing that caused it.
The way I see it, I now have two options to end this fight that he probably doesn’t even realize we’re still in. I can:
A) Force him to talk about it with me when we both get home. Which will be like pulling teeth as he looks around the room and finds things to randomly comment on instead of talking about the tires. “Your plants look thirsty! I’ll water them!” “Is your owl on the wall a little crooked? I should fix that for you!” Thanks, Mr. Suddenly-so-helpful.
B) Buy myself a Kate Spade bag that I’ve been eyeing.
If you see me walking around St. Joe with the cutest bag ever and a huge smile on my face because it was 75% off in the Ebay sale going on today, then you’ll know which one I chose.
P.S. Can you help me pick out my retail-iation? I can’t decide! They’re all too cute.
The Southport Ave Bag
What about you? How do you resolve issues, big or small? Do you talk it out? Avoid it altogether? Or scream at each other like the Italian couple in the gelato commercial?