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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: Change

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Change


“A person either hates losing enough to change or he hates changing enough to lose. These are the two options available to anyone at anytime.”  -Orrin Woodward, author

You cannot change the person standing in front of you unless you are looking in a mirror.  That is the lesson of the day.  No one can make you want to change unless there is strong evidence that the change is needed.  If you are married to a Marine, that strong evidence is likely a gun to the head.  And even then, I’m pretty sure they would just shoot you first.

So, changes have to be made.  To move forward, to look at the past and appreciate it without resentment, things have to change.  I can’t change what has happened to me.  I can’t change the man who lives in my house, but I can change how I react to it.  I’ve been doing that for ages, but the changes have all still centered around him needing to change. So, a bigger change needs to happen.

Here’s the new big changes in my house:

I will no longer do his laundry.  I feel constantly taken for granted and taken advantage of.  Even when I ask for help, the imbalance in our relationship and how he views me have dictated that his time at work is harder than mine and that he deserves more downtime than I do.  He wins this battle because I need clean clothes and I might as well do all of our laundry at the same time. Well, that’s just not the case now. Neither is wandering around the house for 20 minutes on my days off looking for the random piles of clothing, dirty dishes and garbage he’s left all over.

I sat him down the other day and told him how I’ve been feeling.  Whether or not he loves me is NOT the issue.  Whether or not he respects me is.  So, I told him straight:  I do not feel like you respect me.  I do not feel like you value me or my time as equal to yours.  I will no longer clean up after you or do your laundry.  If you do not respect what I do around the house while still working 45 hours a week, then I feel no obligation to take care of those things for you.  You do not feel any obligation to help me when I ask you to and thus, I no longer feel the unspoken obligation you place on me to take care of everything is valid.

Harsh, I know.  But at some point, I need to be able to stand my ground, not feel heartbroken, and also figure out how to be heard.  The respect thing is something I have said more times than I can count.

How has this been going?  Well, I told him this last weekend.  A month ago, I told him if he was not going to help with the housework, then I would find someone who would… I hired a housekeeper to come twice a month (wink).  It has significantly decreased my desire to rip my hair out every week while struggling to find the time each day to clean, pick up after The Boy, take care of the dogs, run errands, make phone calls, pay bills and also work 40 hours or more.  This weekend, I laid down the new law of how things would run and informed him that the housekeepers were due to come on Wend and they do not fold laundry or pick up, they simply move stuff to clean under it and put it back, and they don’t always move stuff, sometimes they just clean around it.  If he wants to waste money on them coming because he leaves clothes and crap all over the house, then that is his business. 

I then did only my own laundry and only picked up after myself.

Last night, he informed me that he washed his work clothes.  He asked if I had only done my own laundry.  I told him I had. It was a rather rude awakening for him to realize that halfway through the week he had no clean work clothes and I did because I had done my own laundry. He learned this by having dug through my clean laundry and found none of his own.  He then did something miraculous:  He put MY laundry away and did his own. 

Who knows if he will see what I do each week while working full time without help.  But I know that without feeling like I have to pick up after him, my stress level is down.  This might very well be a VERY petty thing to do, but I have no choice at this point.  I have tried to explain verbally to him the lack of respect and the unequal footing we are on and that didn’t work.  I have tried asking for help and presenting a well thought out argument and it hasn’t worked, but I can absolutely change my attitude toward the imbalance in our marriage.  My new attitude is that he can learn by doing.  Maybe if he has to experience it, he will have a better appreciation.  Or maybe he won’t.  Time will tell.  But by changing my attitude, I’m a lot less pissed everyday that I’m picking up his crap again and finding random dirty dishes everywhere… And he has been putting his dishes in the dishwasher now.  So maybe it’s working.




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2 Comments:

Blogger Lyzz said...

Good luck hun. He is a grown up and needs to do his own laundry, it's the least he can do if he is doing nothing else.

I read your guest post over at aka the wife, and I'm so sorry to hear you going through these things.

I was on the verge of divorce myself for all different reasons.

I hope he can come back to you and truly appreciate, and respect you like he did before you were married.

xo.

May 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger ____j said...

I don't blame you one bit. They DO take us for granted! I'm glad you stood up for yourself.

May 26, 2012 at 7:54 PM  

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