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Too_picky

who is the jerk, him or me?

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Just to give a little background, we've been married less than five years and we both are not our first spouses.

I feel that my husband and I are very compatible, we like the same things (for the most part). The thing I struggle with is that my husband is the epitome of my biggest pet peeve.  I have always lived with the philosophy of the golden rule, treat others as you would like to be treated.  My biggest pet peeve is when people don't follow that idea yet have certain expectations of others. For example, my husband asks for massages all the time (which I give), but gets bothered with me when I ask him for one. Questions bother him, but he can ask me 100 to my one. Probably the biggest challenge for me is that he will ask me all day to do things for him, like I'm his personal assistant, but I can't ask him for even one favor.  Its always been like this with everything, our children, housework, even in our intimate life.

I've tried to ignore it, but it builds up. I'm tired of it! I usually react poorly to these situations by snapping back, which causes huge arguments, or by staying away from him by giving him the silent treatment. I've talked to him about this but he always throws it back on me saying that it's my problem and not his, and claims I'm only being a jerk. We've tried going to counseling, but again, puts it on me saying that I'm not happy because of my depression, lack of self-esteem, and empty nest syndrome, which I do suffer from.

I knew what I was getting into when I married him, he was annoying to me even when we were first getting to know each other, but I thought we might be able to get past it because we have so much in common. I've considered divorce, but because it wouldn't be my first one, I want to make it work.

What can I do?

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On 7/17/2020 at 2:19 PM, Too_picky said:

Just to give a little background, we've been married less than five years and we both are not our first spouses.

I feel that my husband and I are very compatible, we like the same things (for the most part). The thing I struggle with is that my husband is the epitome of my biggest pet peeve.  I have always lived with the philosophy of the golden rule, treat others as you would like to be treated.  My biggest pet peeve is when people don't follow that idea yet have certain expectations of others. For example, my husband asks for massages all the time (which I give), but gets bothered with me when I ask him for one. Questions bother him, but he can ask me 100 to my one. Probably the biggest challenge for me is that he will ask me all day to do things for him, like I'm his personal assistant, but I can't ask him for even one favor.  Its always been like this with everything, our children, housework, even in our intimate life.

I've tried to ignore it, but it builds up. I'm tired of it! I usually react poorly to these situations by snapping back, which causes huge arguments, or by staying away from him by giving him the silent treatment. I've talked to him about this but he always throws it back on me saying that it's my problem and not his, and claims I'm only being a jerk. We've tried going to counseling, but again, puts it on me saying that I'm not happy because of my depression, lack of self-esteem, and empty nest syndrome, which I do suffer from.

I knew what I was getting into when I married him, he was annoying to me even when we were first getting to know each other, but I thought we might be able to get past it because we have so much in common. I've considered divorce, but because it wouldn't be my first one, I want to make it work.

What can I do?

It sounds like you're focusing on behavior rather than causes.

Take a look at what the causes are.  I believe you will find that even though you're "interested in the same things" you'll realize that you don't care about the same things.  You don't value the same things.  When you have a different set of values (i.e. what bothers you and what doesn't, what you are willing to sacrifice for and what you aren't) then you aren't all that compatible after all. 

If you can start talking about those values and 

1. Emphasize those things you commonly value.
2. Make compromises on those things you don't commonly value.

Then you have the potential to reach agreements on what your expectations should be.  If you can do that and be ok with those agreements, then you can make it work.

If not, you won't.

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who is the jerk, him or me?

Sounds to me like both of you are being jerks. It's very rare that the tensions in a relationship are the fault of one person (and when it is, it's usually an abusive situation). 

Every relationship deals with these conflicts.  Successful relationships talk about them, negotiate priorities, and come to compromises that minimize the tension for both parties.

From the sound of it, the two of you prefer to ratchet tensions higher in the face of conflict.  Start talking to each other more, and learn to say difficult things calmly and with compassion. Get hired help if struggle to do so (ie, marital therapy). 

 

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2 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

Sounds to me like both of you are being jerks. It's very rare that the tensions in a relationship are the fault of one person (and when it is, it's usually an abusive situation). 

Every relationship deals with these conflicts.  Successful relationships talk about them, negotiate priorities, and come to compromises that minimize the tension for both parties.

From the sound of it, the two of you prefer to ratchet tensions higher in the face of conflict.  Start talking to each other more, and learn to say difficult things calmly and with compassion. Get hired help if struggle to do so (ie, marital therapy). 

 

I agree with this. 

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On 7/17/2020 at 3:19 PM, Too_picky said:

What can I do?

Stop being a jerk. 

You can't control your spouse.  You can only control yourself.  So you can't stop him from being a jerk, you can only stop yourself from being a jerk.

Do things because you love your spouse.  Don't do things because you want your spouse to do it back to you.

If you want to rub your spouse's back, rub it.  If you don't want to rub your spouse's back, don't.  Don't do it because you expect him to rub yours right back and don't refuse to do it because you want to punish him for not rubbing your back.

Then, starting right now... get a notebook and pen and write down at least 3 things every single day that your spouse did that you appreciate.  Three things.  Every.  Single.  Day.

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On 7/17/2020 at 12:19 PM, Too_picky said:

I knew what I was getting into when I married him, he was annoying to me even when we were first getting to know each other, but I thought we might be able to get past it because we have so much in common.

Suck it up butter cup.  You knew what you were getting into, yet you have the temerity to complain about it?  Especially given your known hangups i.e.

 

On 7/17/2020 at 12:19 PM, Too_picky said:

I'm not happy because of my depression, lack of self-esteem, and empty nest syndrome, which I do suffer from.

I actually feel a little sorry for him.  You expect him to change?  You're previously married you should know better.  Tigers don't change their stripes.  You've received some good advice above r/e reciprocation and finding good qualities in  your husband.  I suggest you follow that advice.  

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