When someone you love drives you nuts.

I remember telling my mom once when I was in my early twenties that I wanted a man who was an intelligent successful businessman, but was also outdoorsy rugged type in his off hours. I never was attracted to the totally dumb or lazy guys no matter how hot & dangerous they seemed – I wasn’t in to danger. I wanted to make sure I’d always have a roof over my head and a clean criminal record. I wasn’t a gold-digger either though and was comfortable dating in the middle of the scale. I was a smart girl in school and had big dreams and lots of potential. I was probably smarter, at least on paper, than most of my earlier boyfriends – but they had their strengths too: outdoors, mechanics, etc. and it wasn’t an issue. In the end, I married exactly what I had set out for – a college-educated accountant with mad wilderness survival skills. My husband can camp, fish, hunt, survive the end of civilization, and over pack enough to support three families every time we leave the house. He’s a very handy guy. He has every tool imaginable, can build furniture, and fix just about anything. He spends his down time watching the History Channel, Military Channel, DIY, American Chopper and Deadliest Catch type shows – never the silly light stuff like I like. If we need something done and it’s not in his repertoire, he gets online and learns how to do it. He is a very handy person.

So what’s the problem? The man drives me absolutely insane! He is way too smart for my own good. If I had to do it again, I would never marry someone smarter than me again. He is a total pain in the ass! I never win a freaking argument (even when I’m right). I never get away with anything. I never get out of anything. I am constantly critiqued on everything by someone who thinks he can do it better. It makes the old high-school boyfriend seem so easy to be around (oh wait, he was also a cheater because apparently he couldn’t say no to anything).

Now of course an intelligent husband is not a bad thing. It obviously has its good points. He’s responsible, has a stable good career with higher earning potential, and our children are freaking brilliant. After every Parent-Teacher Conference I thank God for their good genetics and learning abilities. I have never been bored in our conversations (as few & far between as they might be). These are all good things. But, at times, it also makes him a dickhead. I miss being the smart one. I hate always giving in and walking away from the argument because there is no getting through to him. I hate never getting my way, or not getting it without a big fight first. He is so stubborn. I cannot convince him of anything – I can tell him the exact truth about something – – anything — and he never has faith in what I say. He has to find proof for himself. He always assumes he knows more than I do, or that I’m getting the story wrong. He tells me, “You wouldn’t want a yes-man”. Oh really? Let me tell you what Mister, after eleven years of never hearing the words “yes dear, whatever you want dear” I certainly do want a freaking yes-man, maybe even a mute one.

So as you can see, the one area my smart husband is an idiot in is dealing with women. Even an illiterate loser convicted felon boyfriend could probably tell you that when you’re wife/girlfriend is upset, to say “Yes dear. You’re right dear.” Even if he doesn’t truly believe it. Eleven years of marriage, two years dating before that, and my husband still refuses that mindset. He still thinks being right is more important than being happy. And he still thinks being in control is better than having peace. My six-year-old has more sensitivity and empathy for people than he does.

We’re not bad people. I’m sure we’re not the worst relationship in the country. We are faithful to each other, come home to each other every night, no physical abuse, no lies, we are both active in raising our sons, we both have a good sense of right and wrong, and we both contribute income to the family. We just both have opinions and like being in control. We are both perfectly capable of getting along with other people. We just argue with each other A LOT. Why? Because he’s that way, and I’m not going to take shit from anyone, and we are stuck in the same house together ALL THE TIME! Sometimes its more joking banter and sometimes it causes real anger. I feel that he puts on a ‘better than thou’ air and acts as if I am a silly, ridiculous, airhead. And I don’t let him get away with it. When I feel I am being talked down to or he hurts my feelings, I lash out. I always come back with both barrels a blazing (verbally). I stand up for myself constantly and don’t let him get away with anything either. But the man is a freaking rock that I break against time and time again. And it is freaking exhausting!

That’s why everything is an argument. I am a strong independent minded woman and I don’t need someone telling me “that’s not the way I would have done it”, or that I made a bad decision, or that my hobbies, likes or dreams are a waste of time, or my thought process isn’t rational. I don’t agree. I have a brain of my own and I survived quite well on my own before him. I think everyone should have hobbies and dreams, otherwise life is no fun. And I am tired of someone standing in my way of things I want – even if it’s something as tiny as what color to paint the damn bedroom wall. I also think we made a mistake in taking down all filters once we lived together. I think a couple still needs to keep some filters up so you are as nice to each other as you are to strangers. So all this means nothing in my house ever seems easy and it wears me down constantly.  I am sure I have massive anger management issues that could take years of therapy to solve. (That’s why I write.)

And yet, am I ready to give up on my marriage because of an egotistical argumentative husband? No. I at least have not been pushed over that edge yet. I do value the sanctity of marriage and take divorce very seriously. I worry about effects of it on my children – both if we were to split and also if they are raised in a house of non-peace. I weigh it all the time in my head. I certainly don’t want my boys to grow up and treat their women how I feel I am treated. I want them to be more loving and doting. But you never know how people will turn out – I was raised in a very loving home, my parents showed lots of love and affection to each other and me. I also knew they fought too though. My parents never criticized me and look at me now – I can’t take criticism worth a shit now that I’m in the real world. Maybe my kids will be stronger. I don’t know. I have not come to a cut and dry answer or solution yet. I do love my husband and like the idea of keeping our family whole. But I also wonder if we could all be happier without the bickering. It’s not all bad though, we still have good times and good conversations. He’s a good man in more areas than he is not. And sometimes I think he is the only man strong enough to put up with me. Because let’s face it, I’ve become a total bitch too.

Do I wish I was telling my husband how sweet and handsome he is instead of calling him an asshole? Yes. Do I wish I spent more of my time singing his praises than rolling my eyes? Yes. Do I wish we loved each other so much we felt like we would die without the other one like when I was seventeen? Hell yes! But that just isn’t adult reality. Being a grown up in a marriage is not rainbows, hearts and make-out sessions. It is bills and arguing over whose night it is to cook or do the dishes, how to discipline the children, and the horrible man smells stinking up the bathroom. Do I wish my man appreciated my qualities, hobbies, talents and humor? Yes, so much so it hurts. And if I was to say that to him, he would tell me he does appreciate those things about me.  But if he has any idea how amazing I am, he never shows it. Any good self-esteem I have comes from my mom and my friends and my own heart … and my therapist who did tell me I was an amazing strong woman…and she’s a professional, she knows what she’s talking about.

 PS – after spending the afternoon writing this, my hubby called to remind me to pick the kids up from his parents house today instead of daycare, and you know what… I had forgotten that and probably would have driven to the wrong place had he not called. So maybe I am a total airhead that needs his reminders. What the hell do I know?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sally
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 13:55:46

    Great venting session Katy. I love it, love it…..and sorry we didn’t criticize you as a child, but you were always so sweet and sensitive, there was nothing to bitch about…….However you have always had your spark and the ability to go from spark to blaze in .02 seconds…….You married a rock of a man who will always be there for you and the boys, Maybe his opposition to your ideas is really the “wind beneath your wings” He keeps you fired up and that keeps you ready to take on the world… Just my thoughts


  2. im20nowwhat
    Apr 19, 2012 @ 00:01:20

    Thank you for sharing such a private moment of your life.


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