If you know anything about my life, you know that my husband Patrick qualifies for sainthood. But I’m a little worried he is slipping in a few areas. Areas that could affect our marriage. And not in a good way.
He’s started to fabricate stories. Last week he said we were both in our cars ready to leave for work and after I left he had to go back in the house, turn off all the lights and shut my garage door. He then began a ranty sort of discourse about me rolling out the red carpet for burglars and vagabonds.
There are several discrepancies in his tall tale.
I know for a fact that not ‘all the lights’ were on. When we get ready for work we only have lights on in the bedroom, two bathrooms, kitchen, office, living room, and dining room.
He didn’t take any photos of these alleged burning bulbs or the gaping garage door. There is no jury that could convict me on the basis of these lame accusations. I should know. I was on jury duty last summer.
He’s lost his sense of humor. Last week I burst into the house at the end of my workday exclaiming, “Wait until you hear the funny thing that happened today!”
He raised an eyebrow. “Go on,” he intoned.
“I broke with routine and decided to go out to lunch with Lindsey and Brandi. As I was standing in line waiting to order I realized what I wanted wasn’t available. Not as an individual item or a value meal. I clutched Lindsey’s arm and said, ‘When did they take Whoppers off the menu? Isn’t that a staple?’ She said, ‘You do know we are at Wendy’s, right?’
His silence was deafening.
I chattered, “Isn’t that funny? I was in Wendy’s trying to order a Burger King menu item, get it? It’s funny, right? WHY AREN’T YOU LAUGHING?”
He’s decided to speak his mind. Patrick reminded me to take my computer to work as I was donning my LL Bean coat to dash out the door. Sometime between zipping my coat and fumbling for keys, I forgot the computer. And I was naïve enough to admit it that evening.
Instead of keeping his thoughts to himself he blurted, “You forgot your computer? Even when I reminded you as you were leaving? How could you do that?”
I had an excellent retort, “I have a lot on my mind.”
Apparently he didn’t recognize the lifeline I had thrown him, because instead of saying, “Of course, darling, I understand,” he hurled this frigid response, “So do I.”
He’s taken control of the money. A few months ago when his work was part-time, I relinquished bill paying and checkbook balancing to him. I must say he has done a stellar job but he’s a bit tight with the control. He hides the checkbook and questions every purchase I make with my credit card.
He knew I had a hair appointment and asked if I needed a check to which I replied, “I think I have cash so I should be okay.”
He was relentless.
“Can you check your wallet to see if you have enough cash?”
“I’m writing, can it wait?”
“No, I need to know now.”
“Okay, I’ll look. Yes, I have cash. But if I use it I’ll be broke. But I can get more at the ATM in that creepy little ‘store-that’s-frequently-robbed.’
“So do you need a check?”
“Yes, I need a check.”
He may me take for a fool, but I’ve learned my lesson. I’m not going to tell him I left the check on my desk.
I do have hope his game-changing behavior does not signify ‘game over.’ He’s been secretive lately, and I think he’s planning something special for me. By the looks of the brochures that have been arriving in the mail, it might be a new home.
In what ways has your spouse or partner changed the rules of behavior in your relationship? How did you cope?