I have discovered that I henpeck my husband. I never thought of it in those terms before, but a reference in a book I am reading caught my attention. I have decided to make a very real effort to stop doing it. This will have to be another thing that is done one day at a time. I have tackled other issues in that manner. Sometimes my online spending gets a bit out of control. I try to curtail it, and at the end of each day I am either proud that I went the whole day without placing any orders….or I’m not so proud. A similar thing occasionally comes up involving alcohol, but that’s another post entirely. So the henpecking will be something that I will try to cease doing one day at a time. It accomplishes nothing and I’m sure it’s annoying.
To my credit, I have noticed when I do it that I am invariably right. He pays no attention whatsoever–in fact, my pointing out his mistakes probably only compels him to double his efforts in that direction. Ultimately I end up/will end up having a right to say “I told you so,” but when the damage is done, that’s small recompense and I never say it. He gets up most nights at about 3:00 and takes ibuprofen (on an empty stomach) and goes back to bed. I point out that if he continues to do that, he will destroy his stomach lining and end up bleeding from both ends, as happened to my father. Yes, I’m right….but it falls on deaf ears and after pointing it out once, I should quit. To continue to point it out qualifies as henpecking. He spends a fair amount of time in a terrible reclining chair that puts a strain on his back. When he reads in bed, he is so slouched down that his head is at my shoulder level when I sit next to him (he is a foot taller than I am when standing), and he is not only slouched, he is canted so far to one side as to almost be able to lean on an elbow, but not quite. And then he walks around unable to easily bend down to get things from a lower shelf of the refrigerator because his back hurts. I should have quit after just once making the observation that that is not a surprise, given the chair he sits in and his slumping posture while reading in bed. Again, falls on deaf ears, if in fact he doesn’t make a point of slouching even more. His father was also an idiot; between that and being a man, he comes by this naturally.
My husband is a very timid creature, and as such he is unable to directly express his feelings and reactions. As do most timid sorts, he has become adept at the art of passive aggression. Rather than simply telling me to lay off, he hears me but he will do as he pleases (a directness that I would appreciate and heed), he expresses his displeasure with my nitpicking by doing small things to make my life more difficult. This is, of course, the blueprint for many, if not most, longstanding marriages. The wife henpecks, the husband retaliates with childish annoying pranks. Since women like to talk things out and men don’t, this is an endless conundrum.
Therefore, not only will my stopping the henpecking improve the quality of his life, I should, within a period of a few weeks, start to see an improvement in the quality of mine, assuming that his anger and resentment toward me is not so massive that it will have no effect. There are other forces at work here aside from the henpecking. And I’m not sure at this point how long I can go without saying something about the daily acts of idiocy that I observe. This post is just shaving enough ice off the top of the marital iceberg to make one cube. But I thought I would bring this up. So far this blog is at the bottom of a very deep, dark well, and nobody knows it’s here. I’m just talking to myself, and since I am privy to the whole story, it’s ok to be somewhat superficial.
Today is Day One of this new pecking-free period. We’ll see how it goes.