- 5 years ago
I don’t want this to come off wrong; my Fiance is the one for me, and treats me well. This is somewhat of a small issue, not a true case of verbal abuse or anything, but here’s my problem:
If you judge a man by his actions, my man is a superstar. If you judge him by what he says, he’s much more mediocre. Not in the usual way: he’s not the silent type who never expresses his feelings, but more in the way that women stereotypically have problems: he can be critical, negative, nagging.
I judge a man by his actions. He also is not verbally abusive. He isn’t calling me names or swearing at me. In the rare instance that ever happens, he sincerely apologizes for it. I’m very satisfied with him. But that doesn’t mean things couldn’t be a little better.
He learned this verbal behavior, I think, from his mom. However, it’s still very unpleasant. He’ll complain about something I do and be very judgemental about it, without just cause. He gets quite hurt and agitated if he gets similar criticism back.
For example, he used to complain that I would drop crumbs when feeding the pets. The pets actually do a very good job hoovering up every last microscopic speck, but he doesn’t think so, he would say I’m just asking for cockroaches. He would go on and on about how slovenly this really was, how slovenly I was. (He is, overall, neater than me, and neater than most people).
Well, today I cleaned up his kitchen counter area while he was out (he is the chef of the house). Guess what I found at the back of the counter? A massive archive of assorted food crumbs. If we would have had cockroaches, they would have had an absolute feast on this grime. Later he noticed I moved some bottles and so I mentioned what I had done, and I said, basically, considering what I found, you shouldn’t judge me on my crumbs, because this was much, much, more than any crumbs I’ve left anywhere. He got agitated, as he felt I was judging him on his crumbs.
I made it clear I was not judging him on his crumbs, he works and he cooks and it’s just natural and I didn’t mind cleaning them up, but I was just reminding him of how he criticized me at length for much less crumbs and that it was unkind, unloving and now also hypocritical. He totally missed the point and went on a long rant about how cockroaches would surely come as a result of how I used to feed the pets, it was on the floor by the door, etc. etc. etc. … very irritating! I repeated that my whole point was that he should stop saying things like that because they are hurtful (thinking in my head: trying to explain the principle of “judge not lest you be judged” without actually saying it), but he didn’t really seem to get it. He was calm again because we were now talking about MY past crumbs rather than HIS crumbs. He’s happily gone off to get more things done. I’m not feeling as happy, though.
This happens… a lot. I’m not getting through to him. It’s not about who has more crumbs, it’s about “going on and on about how slovenly (or other negative trait, but this is his favorite by far) I am is a bad way to ask me to change a behavior.” He just can’t seem to get it. Anyone have any advice?