I am the king! đź‘‘

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My son has taken interest in guitar. It started with a ukulele and then an acoustic guitar. He’s been playing those for a few months and is self taught. His musical skill impresses me; especially because I have none. Lol

I love when he comes out of his room just to sit with me and show off what he has learned. He’s always asking me, “what song is this?” It’s pretty comical how bad I am at recognizing songs, and it’s not at all a reflection of his talent.

Today, we were doing just this. We had gone down to the local guitar place that we’d never been to and I bought him some new picks. (sp?) We looked at some inexpensive electric guitars they had for sale as he’s been talking about how much he wants one. He’s especially interested in learned bass guitar. They also offer lessons there. It they’re kind of pricey. You get four 1/2 hour lessons a month for $90. Maybe that’s just my thriftiness showing through. He said he’d really like a bass guitar for Christmas but I told him, if he finds a decent used one that I can afford, he wouldn’t need to wait until Christmas. They had a brand new one there for $199. That’s a pretty good deal but a little above my price range. I told him that if he could get his dad to pay half, we could probably do it.

So, we’re sitting in the living room and he’s playing his guitar and ukulele when his dad got home. His dad walks passed us and does a little chuckle as he’s walking by us. There was nothing to laugh at. Then, he comes out of the bathroom a couple minutes later and goes in the kitchen. My son tells him, “Hey dad, you what I want? A bass guitar.” He was trying to get a dialogue going with his dad. He’s told me before, that is how he gets his dad to EVEN CONSIDER buying him something that he (his dad) is not really interested in as a hobby of his own.

His dad looks at him and says, “No.”

Then he looks over to me and says, “See how I did that?”, with a smirk on his face. Then he went back to going through his papers he has scattered around the counter.

I just ignored him. Grey rock. I was fuming inside.

Then he follows up by saying, “You know what I want?”

I couldn’t hold my tongue. I laughed and said, “Nothing? Because you buy everything you want?”

He ignored me and said, “Someone to clean up the dog poop.”

I could feel the heat rising up in me and caught myself and held my tongue. Grey rock.

Let me say, he does NOTHING around the house! If anything, he could AT LEAST take out the trash and clean up the dog poop. Heaven knows he doesn’t do anything but wash his own laundry. Which, I’ll add, is in a huge heap in our garage, by his own choosing! He barely ever even puts his dirty dishes in the sink, let alone rinse them off! Or hell, even throw his damn trash away! I don’t even GO IN that room because it makes me so angry!

I look over at my son and he hasn’t even moved since he last spoke. I can see the wheels turning in his mind as he stares off at nothing. I know what he’s feeling. I’ve been there. He’s blaming himself; he’s wondering what he said wrong; he’s asking himself if he asks for too much; he’s thinking he just blew his chance of getting that guitar before Christmas. It breaks my heart.

The only thing I could think to say was, “Well, I think it’d be cool if you had one.”

My husband then says, “You know what else I want? …someone to put a trash bag back in the trash can when they take the trash out.” To which I replied, “Oh, that was me.” My son said something like, “Ha! It wasn’t me.” His dad responded with, “Well just blame (our daughter) since she’s not in here.” (Like now he’s light hearted and joking around)

I wanted to yell so badly! I wanted to say one of the hundred responses I had running through my mind.

~”Because why would you have to do anything to help around here?!”

~”Way to crush a kids’ spirit!”

~”Wow!”

I can’t even remember everything I was thinking in that moment. It was all I could do to ignore it. Grey rock.

I’m going to talk to my son when his dad’s not around and ask what he was thinking when his dad responded like that. Try and make sure he’s not feeling like he said something wrong.

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No win situation 

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I met my husband when I was 14. I had had other boyfriends but nothing really long term. He was my first really serious relationship.We’ve broken up a couple times but we were always back together within a month. 
I remember always talking with my friends, sharing stories about our boyfriends and our good times and our bad times. What I notice though, when I look back, is that any time there was a conflict between my boyfriend and I and I would share the stories with my friend they’d offer helpful advice on possible solutions. The thing is, I’d always already tried their solutions and failed at resolving anything. Every time they’d say try this or try that I’d say but I have and this is how he’d respond. They said well try this then I’d say I have and this  is how he’d respond. 

In other words, there was no resolution because anything I’d try was never going to be the right answer. I tried changing my behavior. I tried changing my attitude.  I tried changing the way I spoke, my appearance, you name it.  I tried changing pretty much everything about myself to try and make him happy, to try and figure out a solution or compromise to try and fix whatever problem we’ve been having. I was in love with him and just wanted to make him happy. 

It took me a lot of years, a really long time, to finally draw line and decide that I was done changing myself to try to make him happy. The problem with that was I no longer knew who I was. I had to learn who I was all over again. In truth, I’m still figuring out who I am. See even though I decided to stop changing myself for other people I’m still the people pleaser.  I still avoid conflict and I still like everybody to be happy.

I’m not sure quite what emotion I feel when I look back at all the years I’ve changed and just done whatever I could to make him happy and realize that he never really did the same. Anger? Sadness? Confusion? Sure, you know lives changed.  We got married, became parents, got better jobs and we moved in and out of houses. Those life events changed us but personality traits and behavior? That stuff never really changed for him. 

Why are we where we are then? When I was young, I thought it was just normal ups and downs of a relationship. It wasn’t until after we were married with children and after a bout with depression that I considered the idea that there was no making him happy. That the problem wasn’t me.