I finally figured it out....
I've been on my own and in the road a quite bit the last two weeks, so have had some time to think. I have been really bummed with Mike about his priorities, and we had not taken time to talk the issue through.
I have been grossly unhappy, and was at a loss to get him to see why. All of a sudden, somewhere on the road on Tuesday, it came to me...it was like a true epiphany. That night, after supper and while we were both in a relaxed mood, I asked him the following question:
"Do you honestly feel that everything you have to do is more important than anything I have to do?"
He stopped and thought for a minute, and then said, "I am sorry. I can easily see why it feels that way to you."
That is EXACTLY how it feels to me...and thinking back, it is how it felt to me when I was alone at home with three tiny kids, years ago. It is how I feel whenever I get that impatient huff, when I ask for his help with something.
I asked him how he thought having felt this way for nearly fifty years had affected our relationship, and how it makes me feel as a human being. I could tell it was really sinking in.
I don't think he meant me harm...he was just clueless. Of all the things I have been able to verbalize in that time, I had somehow failed to synopsize this one quite so succinctly before. Maybe I was clueless, too.
He's been very different since this conversation. I am feeling not as frustrated. Our days are pretty much the same, but there is a different undercurrent to them.
He had been making noises like I was going to be keeping Winn tomorrow, and trying to clean out the store for the tenants. This is right on the busy state highway, with a kid who is a Houdini when it comes to locks..not to mention that it is a place full of sharp tools and some dangerous chemicals.
All of this and more need to be loaded, along with things like a potter's wheel with a very heavy concrete kickwheel, a drill press, etc. Not exactly lightweight loading...but, somehow, I was going to get it done and keep Winn safe at the same time.
Last night, I finally told him I thought he was expecting too much, and I was not willing to compromise Winn's safety. He agreed and said, "Don't worry, I will be there."
Why didn't I think of this in about 1975?
Re: I finally figured it out....
Kay, I think alot of us feel that way! What a break through. I don't want to feel "needed or appreciated" ONLY in a crisis or at mealtimes. Been mowing alot of lawn and the only appreciation I get is from the old ladies that I mow the farms for. I would like it if my husband said just once that his mom's place looked nice after I mowed it or took care of the flower beds. I have tried to show my appreciation to others more often lately, like a you look nice, you did a nice job etc. Maybe what goes around comes around and I will get my appreciation at home soon. (I get ALOT of appreciation from my immediate co-workers, actually more than I expect so I get my feel good endorphines at work).
Re: I finally figured it out....
This was what's been eating at me since I was probably 21, and now I am knocking on 61's door. It is actually how we ended up being farmers...even though he SAID he didn't want to be one when we got married. It is how we ended up doing almost everything we have done together...because it was what he wanted at the time.
It is as much my fault as his...I never really realized that before, either. Mike - I think all guys for the most part - is on one track, is unable to empathize as well as maybe I wish he could. I think it really shook him when I aksed him this question the way I did, when I did.
Anyway, he spent 2.5 hours helping me move stuff out of the store and loading it today for the trip to the workshop up here. He headed up to VA, and I hung back and met with the tenant. Very different frame of attitude...not rushing, not so impatient.
I had a message after the meeting, that a flower I had custom ordered was ready at the greenhouse up here. I wasn't going to make it here before they closed for the long weekend, and wouldn't be here Tuesday, since hay is on tap down south.
I hated to make them wait, and so called his cell. He was nice about running there when he got here, and had loaded the rosebushes UPS brought yesterday, which I told him I had to turn around and go back for, because I was rushed by the tenant meeting at the store...he had them almost here.
Felt like he really was looking out for me today. That is a wonderful change...it is more than being appreciated, it is having someone care as much about some of my big ( for me) jobs and small passions. It made me feel so loved.
Re: I finally figured it out....
I really would not have ever consciously thought he controls me; which is why I think this revelation was so important to me. Over nearly five decades, we have fallen into a very bad habit, where he says he will help me do something, puts his entire to - do list first, and then I get bitter about it.
Angry words ensue...no one should have to pitch a fit to get someone to pitch in. It isn't that he means to let me down, I am sure. He just does what we all do: overplans a day, runs short of time, and puts off whatever is at the bottom of the list. If everything on his list is more important to him than anything on mine, that means my requests come below the bottom, so never get done.
For my part, I have to make the really important needs known, and work to fit them into the action. This morning, we both got up around six, and he headed out to mow the last quadrant of hay. I am puttering around, getting supper plans figured out, doing my morning routine. He said to text him and he will come back, to help me get the workshop and trailer/ truck unload going. I work on that until time to start raking the hay he cut earlier on the week.
We have the chance to do the same again tomorrow. I leave tomorrow evening, to be in place to watch out for Winn on Monday. He and SIL have decided to finish baling for them in NC on Tuesday, so he will probably stay here and bale on Monday.
This is just a cleanup pass on these pastures. Any hay we save is just a bonus here. Getting all this new-to-us equipment going, bugs worked out, etc. We also have the rest of the store contents to load and bring back.
I woukd really love to work that in Monday...it wouldn't take long to lad and cinch down,for him to haul ut back here. Have to lay the thought out there, and see if he bites. Not going to push it. We can easily do it later next week. Maybe I shouldn't push my luck.
My point is that he had to finish with all of his boxes, before getting anywhere near my circuitry. That is changing...it had to!