My Wife Decided to Pack up the Kids and go out for Supper. Help Needed - FAST

Awe jeez Frank. The new roll is always in reach, and I do just that. But how many times, over how many years, can you tell someone that “look! The roll is right there! Can you not just put it on yourself!” It’s not the roll anymore. It’s the fact that you obviously don’t care enough about the person with whom you live to even spend the ten fucking seconds doing something that you know is part of living in a fucking house with someone.

And that’s just it isn’t it. That’s what this all comes down to. If you’ve asked someone for 13 years to please do something so insignificant as changing the TP roll, or throwing out rotting food, and they can never, ever, ever, ever, ever, do this for you. Isn’t this the problem?

I’d capitulate if I hadn’t had to change my behaviour a thousand time over, but for fucks sake, if I’m going to be a fucking malleabe piece of clay then at least help me out, will ya?

Shoot, forgot to add…

Yes, I have two kids a little younger than yours, and my wife bolting off with them would be a shock to the system for me. The symbolism is not lost on me, at all, and I don’t label you the bad guy here. There’s more to this picture though, I think. I really do hope there is still something left from when you first got together. If there is, then there’s hope. Ultimately, this is about how much you two love each other (or don’t), not about toilet paper. IMO again, of course.

Good luck, again.

Why don’t you just go ahead and be the person you REALLY want to be, the person you’d be if you were divorced? Why not just do it anyway, still married, and see what happens?

It’s just funny that you’re pissed at her for being controlling, yet your complaints are that you can’t control her.

I obviously don’t know everything that’s going on, here, but if it’s really to the point where you’re seriously considering divorce, then it strikes me as perhaps imprudent to say so in a public forum where your words will be retained indefinitely. Talk to a friend, talk to a relative, talk to a professional counselor, talk to a random stranger at the barbershop if you don’t have anyone else, but don’t talk to everyone in the world who cares to read, including your wife’s lawyer.

They’re home.

Happiness abounds.

Stay tuned.

Unlike a person who feels the need to micromanage proper vegetable storage.

I wouldn’t want to have dinner with a man who thinks I’m a fucking bitch, cunt and idiot either.

I hope your divorce proceeds as smoothly as possible, and both of you keep you children’s interests in the forefront.

Wow.

If I’d been enjoying a nice day with the kids getting hair cuts, stopped and did some groceries, was minding my own business and my SO ‘confronted’ me about toilet paper and veggies I don’t think I’d want to eat dinner with him either.

Also, I’ve just asked him and he was appalled that you called your wife a ‘bitch-cunt-idiot’. She may not be much of a prize, but frankly you don’t sound like one either.

Leaffan may be saying that happiness is abounding in his house right now…but he just publically called his wife a bitch, a cunt, and an idiot.

I was thinking the same thing.

And consider his attempt to dictate how we use our “location” fields.

Leaffan: Nice straw man you put up with the gender bias accusation. Do you throw up straw men when trying to discuss things with your wife? Might that be part of the reason that she just wanted to get the hell out of there at the moment?

p.s. If anyone could provide a link for Leaffan’s comments on using intimidation with his children, I’d be muchly obliged.

I don’t know why you’re seeing your wife’s inability to replace the TP role as a symbol of her lack of respect for you. Unless this is happening on a much larger scale it’s hard for me to understand. This attitude reminds me of my mother. She used to freak the fuck out every time I got water on the floor while washing the dishes. In her eyes, I didn’t respect her and I was deliberately trying to do it to piss her off. Literally explosive screaming arguments about water on the floor.

I’m 25 fucking years old and I still can’t wash the dishes without getting water all over the floor. It’s who I am. I also hate cleaning the fridge and replace the TP roll 50% of the times I should be doing it. It doesn’t make me an unloving wife, it makes me a person who hates cleaning the fridge and replacing the TP roll. That’s it. End.

If you can’t accept such a minor thing about your spouse that you don’t like, how do you expect to ever getting around to accepting the important stuff? There are things about your partner you will never be able to change. I will never be able to change the fact that my husband pinches every penny, always makes us leave the house late and takes way too fucking long to order at restaurants. I could freak the fuck out and assume this is because he doesn’t respect me enough to change, or I could accept that in relationships you have to pick your battles.

This is problematic. She shouldn’t be trying to make you change either. And I’m not down with her suddenly taking off with the kids–that’s hurtful, especially with no explanation. If she’d said, ‘‘I need some time to cool off,’’ it’d be totally different, but I know exactly the sort of huffy jump-in-the-car-and-leave bitch drama queen behavior you’re talking about and it’s not okay. She wanted you to hurt. You guys have some deep issues. I say ‘‘you guys’’ because obviously you can barely contain your rage about this. I’m sure your anger doesn’t make her more receptive to change either. You need therapy or a lawyer.

If there is love left there, try to see this as an obstacle you two have to surmount together. Think of yourselves as facing the challenge together. Think of the anger and the resentment as outside of you guys and part of something you have to overcome. If there need to be behavior changes to make the relationship work, they need to be made as equal partners, not adversaries. If you can reach each other on that level, there may be some hope yet.

I must agree; it’s not the roll. As long as you don’t have to duckwalk to it, I don’t see the problem. Which means it’s something deeper, which y’all must discuss; which none of us here are in a position to give you advice on.

Best wishes.

You guys don’t know me.

Some of you are making invalid presumptions on my personality and on my family life. I would have thought that the SDMB members would have contained themselves accordingly.

Being judgmental is what we do best! Half-serious.

Fully serious though, you’re not giving us much to go on. Care to explain how “happiness abounds?” Because it sounds like something abounds, but it’s not happiness.

Damn. Good words olives

Thanks. And a branch to you too.

Let’s see, my husband took 4 of 5 kids camping this weekend, but not me and one kid. He has never, in the past 5 years, replaced the toilet paper on the spindle. He has never, in his life, cleaned out the refrigerator (his ex-wife and mother and step-mother will back me on this point).

I’m guessing if I called him nasty names, he might think twice about coming home and putting up with me. Think about it: “That bastard didn’t throw out the wilted lettuce! I want a divorce!” or “That son-of-a-bitch didn’t replace the toilet paper! I’m calling an attorney!” Big-time over-reaction, there.

I’m fairly certain that you’re not this angry about the TP or the veggies, but there are other issues in your relationship that are bothering you. If you really are that angry about the TP, then professional help is needed, immediately.

Well, yeah. Of course. Crikies, where do I start?

Man, I’m afraid of laying down the real thoughts. Is there any way to anonymously post more anonymously than I am now? Cause I think I’ll need it…

The world is an amazing place, I had a very different impression of the situation at Chez Leaf (based of course, on nothing other than Leaffan’s postings on a message board, so that is to say, not much, but on the other hand, it is what we have to work with). From previous posts, I had gotten the idea that Leaffan routinely does more of the routine work around the house, the kind of work that simply has to be done, like getting the garbage together and taking it out. And I would be frustrated too.

With the household tasks mentioned here, it’s true that neither one is a big deal in and of itself, but if it’s all the time, and symptomatic of an imbalance of basic household chores, then it’s a bigger issue.

On the one hand, in every marriage there are things each person needs to let go of. Let me tell you about my husband and peanut butter. It would seem that the best peanut butter is at the bottom of the jar, even in a brand new jar. It is of distinctly higher quality than the peanut butter at the top of the jar, so he needs to dig his knife all the way down to the bottom, resulting in the entire knife blade and one half of the handle (the handle!) being covered in peanut butter. Which he does not scrape off on the side of the jar … no, once it is on the knife it is no longer pristine so it cannot touch the rest of the peanut butter, so the knife goes into the sink. With enough peanut butter on it to make an entirely new sandwich.

But I digress. The point is that I have had to let go of this because it’s NOT going to change NOR do I think it’s part of a larger campaign to make me crazy (as far as I know) or show disrespect. There are plenty of other areas where I’m sure he picks up MY slack. So despite the absolute dumbassedness of the peanut butter knife, at the end of the day I don’t feel any big disparity in the efforts we are making to live in a house together like two civilized adults.

But on the other hand, little things do make a difference. If the TP and garbage are making** Leaffan** unhappy, I think he has a reasonable expectation that if he talks to his wife about them (and to be honest, I’m assuming it’s a larger issue of keeping on top of a house with two adults and two children), she should respond in a way that shows she takes his concerns seriously. That day probably wasn’t today… perhaps neither of them were unemotional about the incidents, but at some point, in a calm conversation that is more distanced from an actual incident.

And it’s possible her response will be to point out other areas where she DOES contribute things to their home life that perhaps he was not noticing or appreciating, or maybe she says this and he still thinks he’s juggling 90% of the work … and then there’s a serious situation that they need to figure out if their relationship has a future (well, it obviously has a future as they have two kids, but what kind of future it will be remains to be seen). But it’s not going to be fixed by “Dude, get over the TP already.”

And grabbing the kids to go out to dinner is a bit of a dick move, that’s for sure. He was already making dinner, it’s not as if he stormed out, leaving the kids to forage for nuts and berries in the backyard. It IS a good idea sometimes for one person to take a walk or take a drive to cool down, but I don’t feel like you necessarily have to bring the children along with you. That’s a little too “in your face” for my tastes.

So anyway Leaffan, I’m sorry you had a bad day and I hope it continues to improve and I hope you and your wife come to a better resolution of these issues.

Now that you mention the housework issue, delphica, it reminds me of how many people have told me that getting a housekeeper saved their marriage.

Food for thought.

I love my SO and he loves me. I also put up with my SO and he’s a saint for putting up with me too. We are always working on understand each others’ strengths and deficiencies and then filling those voids if we can. He is a packrat and not a very neat one, instead of getting upset about the mess that used to bother me, I now organize his stuff and we both benefit. Would it be nice if he weren’t a packrat? Hell yeah. But I am not in the relationship to change him. (And I’d be beating my head against the wall if I tried).

So, suck it up. If you want this relationship to work, understand her shortcomings (the TP and veggies) and do them yourself.

The issue of her taking the kids is something you’re going to need to resolve as that’s not a shortcoming. That’s a huge communication issue.

This argument reminds me of my ex-boss, who would come into work quite frequently furious over various things her husband had done incorrectly, including leaving the milk out of the fridge one day.

They are divorced now, and she seems much happier these days. I don’t know how her ex-husband feels, but if I were him, I’d be happier, too.

Here’s my question (which I may regret asking): How do you know it was your wife who forgot to replace the TP and not one of the kids?

Leaffan, I know how those tiny, insignificant momentary annoyances can blow up into Mount Everest. I once screamed at my ex for leaving the filing cabinet drawer open. But it wasn’t really the filing cabinet drawer… it was the fact that I’d closed the damn thing every single day for years, and it tended to stick so I had to really shove to get it to close, and despite being asked politely if he could close it so the cats didn’t get in it he never did, and it was yet another thing that he ignored, and I was beginning to feel as though I was a ghost or something because no matter what I said, asked or did, he never paid the slightest bit of attention and then he did some other random petty minor thing that annoyed me and as I turned around I saw the goddamn drawer open AGAIN and I absolutely lost it and I screamed at him so hard that I hurt my throat. And seeing him looking at me as though I was insane didn’t help any. But it wasn’t about the drawer. It was about being ignored day after day after day on more than just this one petty issue, and feeling like I was powerless to change any of the things he was doing that made my life miserable.

And maybe I am insane and now the whole Dope knows it and can click their tongues and shake their heads and say “No wonder her husband left her”, but the filing cabinet drawer was really just the tip of the iceberg. Or the straw that broke the camel’s back. Choose whichever cliché you prefer. My point is… when other things are wrong, these small things can build up.