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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

When your partner is being what you consider to be unreasonable how do you decide to give in or hold your ground?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (34620 points ) December 1st, 2012

Your partner is pushing you to do something, and you’re really not up for it. Treat this completely as wide open as you want, because this could apply to so many situations. In my case I told my partner 5 times I didn’t want to do something. She insisted on trying to do it herself, and couldn’t do it and got pissed at me. God I feel like I’m in jr high. Your thoughts? As always humor greatly appreciated.

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39 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m trying to think of a situation to relate to the question…hmmm…I’ve got nothing. I’ve got a good husband. Really. I think he could answer this though. LOL

Dsg's avatar

Hi @Adirondackwannabe. Sorry, but I had to smile! I’m not sure what your partner wants you to do, but I am very similar in that if I can’t get someone to do something I really want done; I will do it myself. I usually have luck in doing whatever it is because I am a determined to get it done. I know patience is also important and that is something I am working on and working on it a lot! Remember relationships are “give and take” and if you need to eat some crow every now and then, so be it!

Dsg's avatar

Sorry if I am being cynical, I don’t mean to be. Its just that I am not in a relationship anymore and when I look back….I would make some changes and I wish my S/O felt the same. I believe relationships are hard work and can be nerving at times, but they are so worth it! Both people have to do some give and take and be willing to do that. Sometimes you have to give in to things you don’t feel you should have to, but when you think about it….it’s not that big of a deal if the relationship is worth it. When you have found that special someone who completes you, you need to nourish it; keep it growing.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Daisygurl In this case it was the Christmas tree. I’m under the weather a bit and said I wanted to wait until tomorrow. Absolute meltdown. 12 or so hours is going to make a difference?

Dsg's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe In that case; yes it can wait! Sorry you are feeling under the weather. Feel better soon. Your S/O should be drawing you a bath and making a hot toddy for you! My instances were referring to hanging things on the wall, fixing a lock, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe if it is like your Christmas Tree story it annoys the hell out of me. Why must it be done right now?! My husband is very much a work before pleasure and plans must be followed. He has relaxed a little bit after 20 years of marriage, and might give in to a change in plans if I get really aggravated, but typically it goes like this, or this is what his personality really is at his core:

If he planned on doing the tree today, then dammit, it has to get it done today! If I am under the weather then fine he will do it, because he can’t waiver, can’t adjust. If something goes wrong and he is up two hours past his bed time he still won’t stop. He will make himself exhausted, weaken himself, catch my cold because of it, and have to be miserable for a week. This behavior drives me crazy.

Probably once things start going wrong I would give him a lecture, drag myself out of bed and help him.

Like I said, sometimes he will listen to me. He will delay if something unexpected comes up if I can show him some reason that makes sense to him. But, more often then not he is determined to do things as planned. I think it works best if it isn’t me trying to tell him what to do, so he feels it was his decision in a way. Like, if it were a tree, I would say I was really looking forward to doing it together and to give me a day or two when I feel better.

This sort of disagreement is basically the ongoing annoying fight in our relationship. His tendency to be inflexible on plans. One that might come up for us is he plans on washing his cars, and out of the blue friends call to have lunch out. He likes them, wants to see them, but they want to go to lunch the time he was planning to wash the cars. He will say no. No. It just stuns me. Wash the flipping cars a different day or two hours later.

gailcalled's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe: Feeling ill trumps anything but a real emergency, particularly 24 days before Christmas. Hold your ground, do it from your sick bed and groan a lot. You are also entitled to one extra day of recuperation after you get out of bed.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Well, that wasn’t the reception I got. Thanks, everyone. Think about this stuff with your S/O.

JLeslie's avatar

Think about what? Your SO is being ridiculous.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Think about what you are doing to your S/O. We’re both miserable because she got hell bent to do something. Is that Christmas?

JLeslie's avatar

Has she apologized yet? Maybe ask her why it was so important to do it today? If you can show some understanding for her, maybe then she will come around. Even though I think she is dead wrong; you don’t feel well. For whatever reason she can’t care about what you want and need right now, because I guess she is focused on her own need. Whatever need it is to get the Christmas tree done today. Some childhood memory of her mom not putting together the tree because she was sick and being dissappointed? Who knows. Could be any underlying irrational thing.

Or, maybe she just wanted it done and was happy to do it herself.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have no idea. I haven’t got a word since the big blow up.

JLeslie's avatar

Did the tree get put up? Or, are you waiting? Who got their way?

gailcalled's avatar

OTOH you sound extremely frisky on the rough sex thread; maybe I need to reconsider my completely unilateral support. Do I?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Oh god, I want it up so so bad.:) Sorry I so fucked up. I’ll put it up tomorrow. But christ, what about me?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Sorry about that guys.

JLeslie's avatar

I wanted to add that I try to never hold my ground just to be contrary with my husband. Generally, if something means a lot to him and it is not that big of a deal to me I just let him do whatever he wants, even if I think it is ridiculous. Of course when we both want something really badly that is when the conflict might happen, which isn’t often. Isn’t often we both really have to have our way and it bends the other person really out of shape. I will say this though, my husband will not do something he doesn’t want to do. I probably wind up frustrated more often having to go along with what he wants than he me. He might say the same though. LOL.

Dsg's avatar

I have to say just because I do a lot of things on my own, I still understand when someone is under the weather and I can respect that. I mainly get in the mode to do it myself when someone is simply being lazy…like isn’t doing anything and won’t help. That’s what gets me. If someone has other obligations to do, I can respect that. I still will probably try to do it on my own. I’m just independent that way, not necessarily impatient. And just because I would go and do something that wasn’t getting done, doesn’t mean I’d be a bitch about it. I would be proud that I did it myself and I wouldn’t rub it in. That’s just me. As someone once told me, I am just independent with a little bit of spice!

cookieman's avatar

My wife will occasionally awake with a start in the middle of the night convinced that “something is wrong” either in the basement or outside. She’ll wake me up and insist I “go check it out”.

Clearly she’s being unreasonable. I tell her she’s insane. However, as much as I hate being woken up, I love my wife more. So I go check it out.

In the dozens of times I’ve done this over the years, I’ve never once found a problem. But, I’ll occasionally find a cookie in the kitchen and she sleeps better knowing everything is okay. So it’s a win win.

JLeslie's avatar

@Daisygurl Sometimes people are not being lazy, just have a different schedule. If your partner knows you think they are lazy, then when you have to do it on your schedule, maybe before your SO is ready to do it or wants to do it, they will feel that you judge them or think little of them. I don’t mean you personally, it’s just an example of the dynamic. A lot of times the supposed “nonlazy” person is very controlling or needs control.

Dsg's avatar

You are absolutely right @JLeslie. After I sent that, I thought that same thing. Some people have different schedules for getting things done. That’s what makes us all different. I stand corrected. I admit I was wrong in my statement. Thanks for pointing that out.

Bellatrix's avatar

Let her put it up herself. Sounds a little passive aggressive unless you consistently put things off. You said you don’t want to do it and would do it tomorrow. She didn’t want to wait and so she has decided to do it herself. Let her. If she can’t fix it up, fix it up tomorrow.

augustlan's avatar

I try to figure out who the outcome is more important to, and if it’s him, I give in. If it’s me, I stand my ground. If I were your partner @Adirondackwannabe, I’d have waited to put that stupid tree up.

rooeytoo's avatar

If I really wanted it up today, I would do it myself. If I couldn’t do it myself, and your reason for postponing was legit then I wouldn’t get pissed, I would wait.

But really putting up a tree is not rocket science, I would just do it myself! I lived alone and ran a business alone for a lot of years so there really isn’t much of anything I can’t do for myself. Unclogging the toilet is one I know how to do, but no way, call the plumber!

bkcunningham's avatar

Under the weather? Yeah, right. I bet you’ve felt a lot worse and done a lot more feeling “under the weather.” Especially if it is something YOU want to do for anyone but your wife. Big baby. Suck it up and do what your wife asked you to do. Remember, happy wife, happy life. Now, get to work. ~

bkcunningham's avatar

PS I am @JLeslie‘s husband’s female counterpart.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham The plus side is it makes him really good at his job, he can be extremely focused, good at meeting deadlines, does not procrastinate, and is willing to do parts of jobs that he does not like without much if any complaining.

jca's avatar

I am wondering why your wife felt it so important to put up the tree on that particular day. Was it that she was going to be extremely busy on the next day and all weekends after until Christmas, and this was the only free day? Was it that there was company coming the next day that she wanted the tree up for? Not saying this justfies her behavior. I am wondering if your schedules or plans often conflict, and she is thinking (and I know nobody can guess what she’s thinking) that you often are not helpful? Not that it should compel you to try to help her despite being sick,and I’m definitely not saying that you are often not helpful, I am just assuming that normally she is a reasonable person and I am thinking that she (hopefully) had some compelling reason for her anger.

hearkat's avatar

In parenting advice, I was taught: “Choose your battles,” meaning that some things are worth fighting over, but many things are irrelevant in the grand scheme of life, so you can let them fall by the wayside. Similar to the concept of, “Don’t sweat the small stuff (it’s all small stuff)”. So I consider the long-term implications of the practical issue at hand. I also try to look deeper at the cause of the conflict – because most petty arguments have deeper roots. From experience with several bad relationships, I discussed with my fiancĂ© the importance of forthright communication before we decided to become a romantic couple, in the hopes of preventing control issues and resentments from forming. It definitely helps that we are both very laid back about the business of life – finances, chores, etc. In fact, this is the first time when I am the more high-strung of the pair!

So we maintain consistent communication about what is happening and what needs to be done. We had previously divvied up the household tasks, but we offer to help each other out. And when something out of the routine turns up, we discuss ways to approach the problem. I’ve found that in more urgent situations, I am quicker to respond and to know what to do to stop the bleeding (metaphorically and literally).

In the situation you describe, I imagine that the one requesting help would have approached the ailing one and asked if they felt up to performing the task. If they said, “not now,” we might discuss if they thought they might get to it later today or not until another day. If the requesting partner didn’t want to wait, they might ask the other to offer advice on how they might tackle the problem themselves. In the unlikely chance that I were in your position, I would tell him that I was sorry that I wasn’t feeling up to helping out, but I will gladly help when I am feeling stronger. If he were very insistent, I’d probably ask him to explain his urgency and why it can’t wait until next weekend, and calmly listen to his explanation, then look for a way to ease his mind that I will be sure to take care of it, and even set a reminder in my phone to do the task.

gailcalled's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe: Are we not entitled to hear the dénoument of this story? It is like ripping out the last chapter of the murder mystery.

What happened? Is your silence evidence of foul play? Rap twice if yes, once if no.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@gailcalled Hey if they can’t find the body they don’t have as much of a case. We didn’t have anything planned for Sunday so I put the tree up and helped her decorate it. Psycho tree decorator went away and my s/o came back. I give up on understanding women.

bkcunningham's avatar

“I give up on understanding women.” Now we are getting somewhere.

bkcunningham's avatar

You know I love ya’ NY. tee hee

jca's avatar

I’m still curious why she felt such a psychotic urgency (LOL) to have tree put up Saturday.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jca I asked that Sunday, she didn’t have an answer.

Bellatrix's avatar

Perhaps Christmas makes her emotional. People visiting, so much to do, wanting everything to be perfect. Enough to make anyone a bit psycho.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Bellatrix That may be part of it. She goes all out for Christmas.

blueiiznh's avatar

This sounds like an inability to balance priorities.
Life just gets in the way sometimes. Things happen all the time that are cause for change of plans.
Some people simply do not have the ability to balance or reschedule. There is no reason in my mind that the tree should be a priority over someone who is sick and needs the rest. The stress caused by the demand was not helpful to getting better.
Flexibility is an important part of a good relationship.

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