This cycle is so unpredictably predictable.
Even after that ridiculous and nasty blowup a few days ago, the one where he was angry and yelling after I said he should take some free time, some time for himself, he’s still managing with record speed to become the victim.
Predictably, since this was a time when his hand was not only in the cookie jar, but part of the cookie was sticking out of his mouth, and crumbs were everywhere, he was sorry. Really, what else could someone who’s driven by image management think or say in the aftermath? I’m sorry was the only thing that a ‘nice guy’ could say and still stay ‘nice’.
Except when this kind of thing happens, the next part of the cycle after ‘I’m sorry’ is the need to move back into victim status for him. The subterranean and covert machinations seem to kick in. It’s usually little stuff, comments about being tired, not feeling well, needing a break, but just about any trail that leads to self-pity seems to suffice. From self-pity, it quickly launches into resentment.
Resentment. The old familiar and ever present hallmark of a passive aggressive is the never ending, seemingly bottomless well of resentment.
So, last night we watched a show with the kids. Sat together on the couch, both tired, at least getting along on the surface. Sometimes, I lean into those moments because I just want it to be true. I want that everything is okay right this moment so desperately.
However, it (the resentment) already seems to be starting. Almost every morning, he likes to have a homemade kind of fruity eggnog for breakfast. Organic eggs, raw milk, blueberries, cinnamon, a dollop of raw honey etc. He often makes extra for our sons. This morning, I was up and about before him, and got the fruity nog ready. All he had to do was turn on the blender.
I wasn’t sure I was going to have that for breakfast. I’m not feeling quite well, so I thought I might have something with oranges and carrots instead.
Then one of our sons walks into the room (aka audience).
Him: (super pleasant ‘nice’ demeanor and tone) Say, that’s quite a tasty nog you made, thank you!
(I wait for our son to leave the room.)
Me: Why couldn’t you just say thank you when I gave it to you?
Him: (instantaneous switch to resentful) You didn’t even ask me what I wanted this morning! You just decided for me!
I think he continued on a mini rant for a minute or so.
This is a familiar dynamic too. No matter what I try to do over the years, he has difficulty just saying a simple Thank you.
For example, if I bring him lunch, he’ll say something like: I’m not sure I’m ready for lunch. or I was planning to eat lunch a little later. or I was planning on having something else to eat.
But one of his past rare overt explosions was purportedly because I didn’t make him lunch.
I can’t win for losing.