Gardening with a passive aggressive (part one)

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. (a couple hours earlier than normal) and couldn’t go back to sleep.  Spent a solid hour cleaning in the kitchen, and despite just having coffee, I still feel not fully awake. 

Last year, I really pushed for us to have a garden again.  We live where animals will clean your garden’s clock, so I needed help with fence repair.  It had been quite a few years since the last garden, so the garden area needed serious tilling.  I talked to my husband about it (multiple times), and his responses were what I typically get to almost anything (yes, almost anything). 

A brief hesitant look, staring through or past me somehow, as though he’s confused and puzzling something out, and then something negative or invalidating in response.  I’m so used to it after all these years. He’ll ask a question with a slight condescending tone, as though I don’t know what I’m talking about.  Sometimes he’ll just immediately negate what I said with not so subtle pomposity. (If that isn’t a word, it should be.)

I realized last year that he wasn’t exactly enthused or on board with the garden, but since we try to eat as much organic produce as possible, I made the argument that it would save us a bit of money.  I’d wait awhile, then broach the subject again.  I also said that most people used to know how to grow their own food in a garden, but nowadays most people are clueless.  We didn’t know nearly as much as we should, and I predicted a learning curve.  My last argument was that it was better to learn to garden now when we could afford to make mistakes, and not when our nutritional needs depended on it. 

Once our neighbor agreed to use his small tractor for the tilling, the fence repair slowly – sllllooowwwwlllyyy – got underway.  He argued about putting things in too early, he repeatedly argued, and then we got some stuff in too late.

This is still last year I’m writing about…

One thing I did to make a garden affordable was to start seeds indoors ahead of time.  I’d never done that before!  He helped by hanging up some lights above tables to help with germination and growth.  Once the plants germinated, I spent hours potting them up.  Then came the hardening off to get them ready to transplant in the garden etc.  It was a new venture for me, but I was pretty excited about it.

He helped keep things watered, and carrying flats of plants in and out to harden them.  I expressed daily appreciation.

I was really excited about the cosmos and lavender that I started from seed.  I hadn’t had flowers in my yard for years, because I could never afford to buy the plants from a nursery.  Even buying the seeds, pots, and soil to start veggies was tight for our budget, but I felt it was reasonable to add cosmos and lavender to the mix.  I potted them up with great excitement, thinking of where all I wanted to plant them.

Oh, he helped, but there was delay and last minute and getting things in late.  This meant bad timing with planting, losing leggy transplants and getting seeds in the ground late.  Despite all that, I managed to get kids involved with helping (at least some), and we had some wild success and some failure; in other words, the learning curve I expected.  The fresh corn was fantastic, the tomatoes were like a jungle disaster that never ripened, but the lettuce, kale, green peppers, and cucumbers gave the best salads ever.  We had zucchini mini pizzas, and we ate off the buttercup squash for a few months into fall and winter.  I considered it overall a success.

Except my poor flowers.  Last summer, I dislocated a bone in my foot while I was swimming.  Eventually I saw a doctor, and he said I had to keep it iced and elevated and stay off of it.  It took weeks to treat and heal.  This happened when only my flowers were left to get planted.  Can you guess what happened?  Yep, he let them all die.  About two flats of lavender, and two flats of cosmos.  He just didn’t bother with them at all, even though he knew how much I wanted them.  By the time I could hobble out there on my swollen, discolored foot, they were too withered to revive.  Except for two bitty lavenders, that actually survived through the entire winter in their bitty pots, and he thought it was so funny they survived that he stuck them in a bigger pot this spring.  Every time he jokes about those two lavender plants, I want to run at him and shake him. 


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10 Responses to Gardening with a passive aggressive (part one)

  1. Expat says:

    I never had room for really a garden before now so I missed the delights of this experience with my PA ex husband. However my PA/narc FIL had an entire front and backyard full of flowers he kept. Everything was from the nursery. I would imagine he had to have spent at least 5k on these flowers. His wife used to garden as well but for many years was disabled and unable to do any garden work.

    She did have a few house plants that were hers. She couldn’t water them herself so he would have to. Guess who’s plants were always half dead or dead? And when they died he’d simply just replace them with things he wanted instead of replacing the original plant.


    • Exodus says:

      Oh yeah, they never replace anything they destroy that belonged to anyone else. That’s a big no no because by doing so, they are admitting that they did something wrong. My grandmother was a very talented artist and potter. She made exquisite porcelain pottery. Shortly after my husband and I married, I woke up one morning to find several small pieces of my grandmother’s pottery shattered on the dining room floor. He had left for work without even picking them up off the floor and of course, never even came to me and apologized. When I confronted him about this, he got angry and told me that if I hadn’t kept them on the table, that the wouldn’t have broken them. I spent hours gluing the pieces back together. He also did the very same thing with one of my dog’s very old porcelain bowls. My husband isn’t a klutz, he’s just a very angry self centered man who frequently ‘ accidentally’ destroys things that I treasure dear to my heart.


  2. Exodus says:

    And, as the lavenders flourish he will constantly remind you how beautiful they look – better than anything else in the garden! Thank goodness HE saved them from their demise!


  3. Expat says:

    So he broke them then left it there with no apology, blaming you for why they got broke and let you clean it up without offering to help you reglue them? These men are a real piece of work aren’t they?


    • Exodus says:

      Expat, it’s just as well that I glued them myself because if I assassinate his bad character by making him feel guilty and ‘ force’ him to help me fix anything that he’s broken, he will play super dumb and screw things up even worse. He keeps score and the paybacks are often worse than his initial screwup. If he had offered to glue those items back together, he would have deliberately glued the wrong pieces together or made it really super sloppy and ugly. He has absolutely not a grain of good character. His own therapist told me that he has no conscience and they don’t even want to see him anymore because they said it was a waste of time since he doesn’t really believe that he needs help.

      If he offers to help me clean the bathroom, he will deliberately take hours to do this and he will not even completely clean anything…he’ll leave the dirty sink undone or forget the toilet or the shelves in the shower or leave a towel balled up behind the toilet or accidentally spray bleach on the colored towels. He never completes anything. Watching him vacuum would be funny if I didn’t know he was deliberately trying to piss me off by lying on the floor while slowly moving the hose around. Of course he’ll tell me that he’s just trying to take his time and be sure to get all the dirt. I have to get involved in everything he does OR I have to do it myself which is what he always tells me I should have done to begin with.

      The grocery store is a nightmare…he can’t do that at all without wasting tons of money on things we don’t need. He knows I’m trying to lose weight and so..he will refuse to buy what I ask him to get ( usually just 3 or 4 simple things) and he will come home with the most expensive junk like 5 bags of cookies, a cake, a case of coke and a 10 dollar jar of organic coconut oil ( he tells me that’s the good stuff as if I’m going to eat spoonfuls of it for meals?) and forget everything on the list that he accidentally left in the car. I have gone through stages where I would plot retaliation like feeding him dogfood but now I very calmly tell him that he needs to return the items and guess what? It takes on average about 3 trips back and forth before he finally gets it right. He doesn’t mind wasting time and gas because he loves annoying me so much. When I do anything without asking him to get involved ( which is most everything most of the time) he always says, ‘ Why did you do that? you didn’t need to do that. I was going to do that in a few minutes.” Yeah, right.
      PJ’s talked about feeling like she was in the movie Groundhog Day and I know what she means. I also feel like I’m on a really bad LSD trip some days…Alice in Wonderland???
      SOS, SOS!!!!


      • Expat says:

        Sounds soo much like my Narc/PA ex husband. I’ve gone through the same thing with the cleaning and I know what you mean about he would have glued the wrong pieces together. I never fed my ex anything bad but I did dump a bottle of water on his car seat one night while he was in the house and I was stuck in the car in the parking lot for about 4 hours unwelcome in our apartment. The next day he sat down and gave this odd look but then ignored it. Then I found a few days later my seat was wet as well. Guess it got me back. And yeah, I guess you are right, upon thinking of it, everyday is groundhog day with these men isn’t it? Not exactly the same but the same basic plot.


        • Exodus says:

          I feel for ya. My husband does have NPD and he’s also borderline and he’s PA. There is no hope for me/us. The ‘ tit for tat’ game that they play is just so childish and evil. I’d have more respect for my husband if he had the balls the just speak his ugly thoughts and quit pretending to be a good little boy.. I walk on eggshells all the time because I know that he will perceive most of anything that I say as a reason to retaliate. If I do anything then that also gives him reason to retaliate. If he comes home and notices that I cleaned the bathroom, he will deliberately squeeze toothpaste all over the sink in blobs and leave it for me or he’ll wear his muddy boots and leave footprints all over the carpet. Everything I say gets used against me and everything I do gets undone. EVERYTHING!!! I live in a war zone where my enemy is my husband and he’s all about secret sneaky defensive attacks.


  4. lonelywife07 says:

    PJs….I want to try gardening with pallets…something I saw on Pinterest…anyway, a friend from church brings me pallets when he has extras so right now I have, hmmm, probably about 10-12 under our back deck…and you would think I’m storing the freaking Titanic under there!!

    PA Man has to say something about those pallets EVERYTIME he comes inside from the back yard…I finally had enough and told him “Look, when YOU clean up your messy garage, THEN you can complain to me about the pallets that are NEATLY stacked under the deck!!”
    He shut up for awhile….but still says something every now and then! UGH!!!!

    I do the gardening, I wish he’d just leave me alone and let me do my thing!!


    • Exodus says:

      I want to know more about gardening with pallets. Sounds interesting, how do you use them? I’ve got a few pallets sitting around doing nothing ( must be a girl know women love their pallets..heheheh)


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