...I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, and I don't know any other words to this song.
Anyway, all of those apply. I've always been a sweet people-pleaser, but this month, I quit.
I quit answering the phone when my MIL calls.
I've quit taking crap from my husband.
I've quit being a peace-maker.
I've quit letting the risk of ticking off someone else keep me from doing what I want.
Last November, I told my husband I was done letting him blame me for everything that was wrong, and I've called him on it every time he did it. But this month, I've called him out on all his other crap.
Now he's miserable, too, and he's insisting something has to be done to fix it. He doesn't want to be a failure and have everyone know he couldn't keep his marriage together.
So, when he tells the kids it's rude to yell at other people from another room instead of going to them, then he yells at me from another room, our hollow walls magically transform into being super-insulated and I simply can't hear him.
When he tells me to go do something instead of asking politely, or when I'm working and he's sitting on his tookas but he wants me to go do something else too, I've said, "I'm in the middle of something, you can handle that."
When he said I shouldn't have a cup of coffee at 7pm so that I can go to bed with him, I said, "I might have to punch you in the face if you try and regulate my coffee intake." He stumbled backward and replied, "Wow! Talk about me over-reacting!" I smiled and said, "It's been a crappy day. I haven't had any caffeine. I don't like you telling me what to do. And I was joking - I won't punch you. But I needed to make all those points in a way that you got your attention." He muttered, "Oh," and left the room.
When he asks why I'm not sharing my opinion about something he thinks should be done, I say, "Because you won't like my thoughts, and I'd rather not get yelled at for having different thoughts than you."
Which of course sets him in a tail-spin death spiral of "I'M NOT GOING TO YELL! WHY WOULD YOU EVEN SAY THAT?"
And I went, "Uh huh. You're kinda failing at the not yelling thing. But if you want to hear my thoughts without having a tantrum, I'll be glad to share."
So then he had to cool off and listen in order to prove that he was right and I was wrong and he could listen without yelling at me. So he actually heard me and conceded that I had some valid points. Bazinga.
And when he got pissed when he found out that I opened a bank account without him on it, I told him the truth. I initially looked into opening it for our scout troop, then ended up merging with another troop without depositing any money. So I left it open in case I sold any art so that I could buy art supplies without going into our family budget. So far, it's still unfunded because all the art I sold has been cash sales. And every dollar is in my purse. But I have an account that he can't get to, and he won't make me close it since he doesn't want to waste money on my "stupid" hobbies when I should be cleaning.
When he finally noticed that the house has been clean for days on end, I said, "Yep, it's amazing what a little help can do." Meaning, of course, the iRobot Roomba that my mom gave me for Christmas. I'm in love with that thing. But I was still too tired for sex... to solve that problem, I would need a lot more help. So he loaded the dishwasher today. Bazinga again.
When my MIL was bitchy at the family Christmas get-together, I went outside and sat by myself in the freezing cold. My brother-in-law came out a few minutes later for the same reason, and asked why I wasn't in there faking it like usual. I said I was tired from staying up painting all these commissioned works, and I was to the point I either had to walk out or kick her in her false teeth. He laughed and said, "I'd pay to see that!" I asked if he'd be taking pickures, and he went, "Oh, no. I don't want there to be any evidence to find." Nice.
When my other brother-in-law with repulsive manners and an entitlement complex was eating at the table with my kids, I walked up next to him and said, "Okay, children, remember! Keep your elbows off the table, do NOT stuff too much in your mouth at one time, and absolutely do NOT pick up your meat and bite it off. Use your knife and cut into small pieces. Breaking those rulse is really gross and really rude, and NOBODY wants to see that." The children, by the way, were not breaking the rules to start with... that was how the 55 year old was eating. They laughed, because they saw him straighten up so I wouldn't fuss at him directly.
So this whole 'speaking my mind' thing seems to be working for me. Here's to a new year & hopefully a better one!