If I ask my passive aggressive husband for help or to do something for me, he’ll usually do it, but often at a hidden price or sometimes behavior that is probably meant to teach me not to ask. I often unconsciously weigh the cost, almost like an inner reckoning that runs on auto pilot by now.
Last night when I was cleaning up the kitchen, my youngest daughter wasn’t feeling well, and asked me to help with her bedding because her cat spit up a furball on it. My husband walked by while I was washing dishes, so I asked him to please strip her bed and put the bedding in the washing machine. I was tired, and it seemed a small and reasonable request.
The next thing I knew, I heard the loud roar of the old shop vacuum, which caused my other daughter and her brother to have to stop the television program they were watching together. I motioned to my husband who first ignored me, then finally shut it off. He loudly said that he was just doing what I asked him to, and that he was almost done, and turned the noisy beast back on. The television program watchers gave up the episode ghost and went to other rooms and activities.
Huh? He managed to aggravate and disturb two other people, and somehow it was because I asked him to? Later when I reminded him that I’d only asked him to strip a bed and put it in the washer, he replied, “Oh no, that made a huge mess over here, and I had to vacuum it up before it got tracked all over.”
I tell ya, I didn’t even follow up on that one or try to figure it out. Just hear the echoes of the Frozen song, “Let it gooooo, let it goooo….”