SO is mad at me- which one of us is the jerk?

My husband has had something going on with one if his ears for the last couple of weeks. It’s stopped up, he can’t hear out of it, but it doesn’t hurt. His GP has given him two different antibiotics, neither of which has helped. He has an appointment with an ENT doc tomorrow. He has always been a bit of a baby when he’s not feeling well. I have asked him several times a day if he’s any better, if there’s anything I can do for him, to the point that he’s snapped at me for it a couple of times.
My mom, who is 82 and lives 500 miles away, has had shingles for several weeks. I’ve been calling her every couple of days to see how she’s doing. I talked to her for about 1/2 hour last night (she’s much, much better)- typical talk with my mom. How is she, how are my sisters, when is my brother coming to visit, etc.

 I get off the phone, 

 Husband:  How's you Mom?
 Me:  Fine.  She's a lot better.
 H:  Everybody else OK?
 Me: Yeah.  (problem sister) is doing well, she's starting a new job next week.  
 H: Did you tell her about my ear?
 Me: Um, no.  I called her mainly to ask about her shingles.  
 H: But you talked about other stuff too, didn't you?
 Me: Yes, but your ear didn't come up.
 H:  (hostile silence)
 Me:  Oh, come on, you're not mad because I didn't tell Mom about your ear!
 H:  It just makes me think you don't care.  You talked to her for a half hour and didn't even mention it.  It's thoughtless.
 Me: (stunned) 

 He stayed pissy with me for the rest of the night, and is STILL annoyed with me this morning.

 Let me add that me mom is not a doctor nor does she have a miracle cure for stopped up ears.  

 I think my husband is being a jackass, and I told him so.  He thinks I owe him an apology for being "thoughtless".  

 Do I really owe him an apology for this crap?

Your husband is being unreasonable. It may be because he’s in pain, or scared because he doesn’t know what’s going on, but there was no reason to “burden” your mother with your husband’s ills when she’s dealing with her own health issues. You’ve been there for him, there’s no need to drag your mom into being there for him too.

I don’t know you, and I don’t know your husband, so I can’t tell you how to resolve this without more info. But based on what you’ve posted, you’re right, he’s wrong.

Well, you don’t owe him one, but don’t we usually apologize when someone’s feelings are hurt even if it was inadvertent?

He was miffed he didn’t get the Mom-sympathy by proxy, that’s all. He’s got a booboo and wants to know he’s Mister Number One Priority in your life, naturally you’d talk about MNOP’s booboo to your mother, particularly when chatting about the rest of the family.

So sure, IMO he’s being a giant baby but it’s hardly the worse crime in the world and seems easy enough to fix so I guess it’s a question of if you’d rather be right or get the jerkiness over with quicker.

ETA: Glad to hear your Mom’s recovering well, shingles are a bitch!

No you don’t owe him an apology. There is nothing more boring or life de-enhancing than uselessly talking about physical ailments.I am a big believer in Gordon Livingston’s statement The problems of the elderly are frequently serious but seldom interesting. I think the best thing we can do with our failing health is show others that it can be dealt with with dignity.

“Did you tell her about my ear?”

ha ha ha ha ha.

Yeah, I’d apologize if I were you. And then give him a bottle and burp him and tuck him in.

So you indulge his babyish behavior rather than making him accountable for his actions?

Sorry, I don’t agree. katie did nothing wrong. Her mom was ill, she was concerned about her mom, and it wasn’t the right time to bring up another health issue.

Of course she’s right, absolutely. I’m just saying we all indulge our partners sometimes, sometimes because we’re feeling all sappy and nurturing and loving and sometimes just to get the shit over with, even when it’s stupid and we’re right.

Me, I’d apologize and be sure to tell Mom in the next phone call, where he could overhear me telling her about it. Then I’d take the phone off to the porch or wherever, where he couldn’t hear Mom and I laughing about his whiny little fit.

Now when they’re being asses about it… that path leads to the Guilt Train. One of the Most Significant Moments in my relationship with my mother was the first time I refused to apologize for something that was Clearly Not My Fault and which she was harping about only to make me feel guilty.

Mothers aren’t the only ones who use feelings as weapons.

So you’ve never been peevish about something trivial? Yes, katie may be completely right, but where does that leave her… completely right with a pissed off partner. We’ve all been a “baby” over something trivial and she accidentally hurt his feelings. It’s appropriate for her to apologize and move on. You have to pick your battles and this one ain’t it.

IF your mother asked about your husband’s health and IF you said he was okay, then MAYBE he might be miffed. IF your mother didn’t mention your husband, you had no reason to introduce his ear problems into the conversation. If he raises the issue again, tell him you didn’t mention his ear problem nor did you mention that he is a pain in the ass; offer to call your mother again to discuss both issues. He owes you an apology for being a PITA.

You’re right, he’s wrong. However, if this is out of character for him, in your shoes I might overlook it and chalk it up to discomfort/peevishness (the stopped up ear thing is annoying even if it’s not painful). I might even allude to the fact that I wanted to wait to tell Mom until after the EMT visit so that there would be more information to share.

Ha, maybe you could have also just said “I did tell her, but you must have NOT HEARD me, with your bum ear and all!”

As an aside, I have had the ear thing too. Doctor diagnosed Meniere’s syndrome. Which is a cop out that means, you can’t hear out of your ear but we don’t know why really and there is no real treatment.

Of course I have, but that doesn’t give me an excuse to be a bitch to my husband.

Katie should not have to apologize because her husband has unreasonably hurt feelings. If she had truly hurt his feelings, then yes. But in this case, he hurt his own feelings and is blaming his wife.

I can see where he’s coming from, not that it excuses bad behavior but it can feel very isolating to be persistently sick. As an SO, it’s very hard not to be solicitous at first and then pretty perfunctory with our attentions, leaving the sick person feeling small. Especially when it’s something that seems minor from the outside, like a stuffed up ear.

So, I would say something like, “I didn’t want to burden my mom with this, but you need to know that it really is very important to me that you feel better.”

And I don’t think either of you are jerks.

Chalk it up to his not feeling well and move on. No apology needed, but if you’re feeling charitable ask him how his ear’s doing.

I’d say neither of you is the jerk. I think you’re husband is quite right in pointing out that you failed to mention to your mother in a half-an-hour conversation the single most important (immediate) thing in the world for him right now - that his ears hurt. I would apologise, not that I think it’s a big deal, but because I know that’s what he would like to hear to be put at ease. One of those “doesn’t mean much, but it’s absense sure means a lot” things.

Of course, if you want to be pedantic (wrong word… but I can’t think of a better one) about it and stay the ground, he should realise it doesn’t mean you don’t care about his pain. But why bother… just go and assure him his pain is your pain, too. Then you can move on to yummier things.

I’ve had that same ear issue, too…and it’s incredibly annoying.

It could be ear wax buildup, in which case there are drops you can buy (or the Dr. can flush it out). In my case, the Dr. gave me some decongestant samples that managed to solve the problem.

Oh, and your husband was being a whiny li’l bitch. I don’t think you need to confuse/encumber an 82 year old woman, dealing with shingles, by reporting that hubby’s ear is clogged. It’s sort of like making it a point to tell a person with a broken leg that you stubbed your toe the other day; not exactly relevant to what they’re dealing with.

And, if your husband continues to complain, you could just repeat what my mom always told me: “too far from your heart to die.”

Why my heart was my only vital organ, I never figured out.

Oh just one more thing about him being pissed in the morning part…

What a baby!

I don’t think there’s any question here that you’re the one in the right. Assuming, as someone else said, that this is out of character for him to act this way, I might try a gentle reminder: “Honey, I definitely care about how you’re feeling; I’ve asked you about it constantly, to the point of annoying you about it. I just didn’t think it appropriate to burden my mom with it, but you should know there’s no question I’m concerned about you.”

Not an apology, but something verging on sympathy for his situation. Although I hope that after he’s had some time to think about your exchange, he’ll realize on his own that he was wrong.

On first thought, he’s a big baby.

On second thought, he’s got a point. His ear doesn’t hurt, but it also doesn’t work right anymore. Maybe it’s a bunch of earwax, maybe the ear will never work again. Maybe he’ll need surgery, an implant, a hearing aid, who knows? Right now, it’s a medical mystery, and medical uncertainties are very frightening.

You don’t consider it very frightening, or very serious, you think his ear is stopped up and it’ll be fixed in short order. He is (maybe) worried that it’s serious, his hearing is at risk, and you are treating it like a bad cold.