I've been noticing for weeks that something was off. We got in a huge fight about a month and a half ago that was never really resolved, mostly because we feel fundamentally different about the event that started and the underlying behavioral pattern. Basically: we went to an engagement party where I apparently swore a lot in front of people we'd just met. These people thought I was funny and charming and were not in the least annoyed (I don't just swear if I think it will offend people). Apparently D was mortified and basically gave me an ultimatum a few days later about swearing in front of his friends. He has mentioned before that he thinks I swear too much and he feels like those mentions were akin to requests to stop swearing that I ignored. I really never thought he could possibly be serious because I fundamentally disagree that a) my swearing is a problem, b) that I am a reflection of him that he gets to order around. I have also always, always had a filthy mouth. When we got in the fight I felt like there was this aspect of me that he used to find charming that he now finds abhorrent, which felt (excuse my language) shitty as hell. I felt nauseous that I would embarrass him but also annoyed that he would all of the sudden find fault with something that has always been a part of my personality. The fight basically ended with me
So, like I said: never resolved. We moved on but D has been short-tempered and snappy. I have been over-sensitive to this and tried to avoid being snapped at...which means I have basically ignored him when we were home together, except to nag about something I wished he'd done. We got in a lot of stupid fights when we made an effort to carve out time to see each other.
A few nights ago as yet another evening ended in an argument (that we thankfully nipped in the bud before it became full blown), I made D come sit with me as I went to bed. I said that something was off and I thought we needed to talk. He was noncommittal - now wasn't the time to talk, no real acknowledgement that he felt anything was wrong. I asked to try and think if there was something I was doing that was bothering him, and he said no.
Then, last night, it all came down again. I'm not sure how it happened, but I made a comment that sent him off. We brought up the swearing fight again (bad idea) and the real issues were brought to light. I've been nursing this wound that my husband is embarrassed by me but D doesn't want to hear it because he thinks that he can't make any criticism of me without me becoming vehemently defensive and turning my behavior back onto him. This, apparently, is a long-standing problem of D's (and mine, I suppose). We fought until we left the house to go on a walk (which makes my head want to explode with anger) and then went to sleep. We did cuddle, at least, but nothing was resolved and we both feel like shit today.
We are stuck. I don't want to be defensive as a knee-jerk reaction but I also don't want to take all the blame for issues in our relationship. I want to show that I can listen to him, take criticism, and make changes but I also don't want to sit down and be read a laundry list of my faults without the chance to speak up for myself. That is just really not how I roll. (He is not wrong that I am very defensive).
I also want to be able to talk about this and honestly agree that I need and will work on listening and changing faults, and then *poof!* have me be great again in his eyes. Unfortunately I know that he will need a lot of time to feel that he can bring things up to me and have me listen. My gut reaction to this is: a) fuck, I want this to be solved and b) crap, does this mean that things will be bad for even longer and c) what? does this mean that every time we have a fight I can't defend my position or feelings without it causing him to solidify his opinion that I refuse to admit fault? How do I get out of this without totally losing all power to speak up for myself in disagreements or to defend my feelings over whatever he thinks is fact? I know there are times when he has legitimate complaints, but what about if the complaints aren't legitimate? I don't want to be backed into a corner by his (angry and therefore maybe exaggerated) conception of my response to criticism.
Blech. This sucks. I want a lot of things right now. In the short term: not to have to go volunteer in a few hours. Not to have to meet some girlfriends for happy hour. I want D to come home and I want to work some of this out before we go work in my parents' yard all day tomorrow.