It started as a simple question. "Could you load the dishwasher?" I didn't think I'd made an unrealistic request. But, apparently, FI-ance thought differently. There was some under-breath grumbling of "OK" which I heard, disliked and decided to say something about.
"What's the problem? I unloaded and I asked you nicely to load. Why is it that every time I ask you to do something around the house you give me attitude about it?"
I was yelling from the living room, but I could hear more grumbling in response. And, I got really, seriously pissed. I put down my laptop, muted Access Hollywood on tv and went into the kitchen. I stood in the doorway.
"I don't understand. Don't you live in this house too? I would appreciate not getting attitude from you whenever I ask you to do something. You mow the lawn once every two weeks, but I do all the mopping, sweeping, dusting, laundry, vacuuming, straightening and bathroom cleaning. Guess what? You fucking dirty dishes too. I clean your dirty drawers. You take showers and walk on the floor and shit in the toilet too. How about fucking helping out a little bit?"
He protested a bit, and was obviously angry, but I think I scare him when I'm mad, so he didn't get too many words in. I walked away, sat back down at my laptop and continued with my trash tv.
We did not speak for an hour.
Then he started to put away his clean clothes (something I'd asked him to do the day before, by the way), as if to head off another attack. He was actually getting angrier. I went into the office to put my laptop away and start getting ready for bed. FI-ance was in there folding clothes. I was mostly ok now, so I opened the lines of communication.
"So, you still mad at me?"
"Well, I don't know."
"That sounds like a yes to me."
"Well, I really didn't like the way you talked to me. I don't ever want to fucking be talked to like that."
See? That right there got me angry all over again. He doesn't like how I spoke to him? A burst of fury shot through my body so great that it actually made me laugh out loud at the idea.
"Really? The only reason I talked to you like that is because I'd been disrespected. So, I responded in kind. If a child had spoken to you the way you answered me, you would have been equally as upset."
FI-ance gritted his teeth. But he was still folding...
"I worked fucking 12 hour days last week! What about that? You "got attitude" from me, whatever. It got done. I did it. I said I was sorry. What difference does it make?"
He threw a sock and started yelling. This is getting good.
"Don't even pull that. Before you came close to working all that overtime you gave me the same bullshit attitude when I asked you to do stuff. I do four fucking loads of laundry, running up and down the stairs, and when I ask you to put ONLY YOUR CLOTHES away you get bitchy about it. I expect you to care about this fucking house because you live here too. And the fact that I have to even ask you to do this shit is fucking ridiculous. That's the difference it makes. And, if you say you're sorry then act in the same fucked up way time and again, sorry don't mean shit."
I felt it coming on. Yeah, there it goes. I'm crying.
"You didn't like how I talked to you? I didn't like how you responded to me. I don't like being disrespected. I don't like being diminished. I don't like what I do here being ignored. How about that?"
I walked out and started getting ready for bed.
We didn't talk for another half hour.
Then, I was in the bathroom and sneezed. I heard a "Bless you" come from the bedroom. Wow, look who's not so fucking fired up anymore.
I got into bed and we talked by the light of Scrubs reruns on my little purple tv. I made him feel like a child. He's never been good at chores. His mom got on him about the same things. His grumbled response earlier was him holding back because he knew he was becoming irrationally angry at being asked to help out. He's knows he was a jerk wad. He's realized that I do pretty much everything around the house. He's sorry. He'll try to do better.
He talked about work again and how tired it makes him. I mentioned that it's not 1890 and I go to work too and still somehow manage to get things done at home.
FI-ance begged me not to gloat. I said I had no plans to. He said he couldn't promise he wouldn't slip up. I promised to try to remind him gently, but I also told him that the more attitude I get from him about this crap the more he needs to expect in return. I don't ever plan to let that shit go.
We kissed and said goodnight and, basically, made up.