A Husband Abuser's Epiphany

Here's something that I think will strike pretty close to home for a lot of people in “21st Century Relationships”, as Instapundit puts it.

A women writes about her “Aha Moment” when she realizes she's been abusing her husband for years, recounting how it came to be, and just how easy it is to become an abuser.

My “Aha Moment” happened because of a package of hamburger meat. I asked my husband to stop by the store to pick up a few things for dinner, and when he got home, he plopped the bag on the counter. I started pulling things out of the bag, and realized he’d gotten the 70/30 hamburger meat – which means it’s 70% lean and 30% fat.

That’s how it started. I launched into him. I berated him for not being smarter. Why would he not get the more healthy option? Did he even read the labels? Why can’t I trust him? Do I need to spell out every little thing for him in minute detail so he gets it right? Also, and the thing I was probably most offended by, why wasn’t he more observant? How could he not have noticed over the years what I always get? Does he not pay attention to anything I do?

As he sat there, bearing the brunt of my righteous indignation and muttering responses like, “I never noticed,” “I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” and “I’ll get it right next time,” I saw his face gradually take on an expression that I’d seen on him a lot in recent years. It was a combination of resignation and demoralization. He looked eerily like our son does when he gets chastised. That’s when it hit me. “Why am I doing this? I’m not his mom.”

I suddenly felt terrible. And embarrassed for myself. He was right. It really wasn’t anything to get bent out of shape over. And there I was doing just that. Over a silly package of hamburger meat that he dutifully picked up from the grocery store just like I asked. If I had specific requirements, I should have been clearer. I didn’t know how to gracefully extract myself from the conversation without coming across like I have some kind of split personality, so I just mumbled something like, “Yeah. I guess we’ll make do with this. I’m going to start dinner.”

And then I sat there and thought long and hard about what I’d just done. And what I’d been doing to him for years, probably. The “hamburger meat moment,” as I’ve come to call it, certainly wasn’t the first time I scolded him for not doing something the way I thought it should be done.

There's the crux of the matter – scolding her husband for not doing something her way, as if it was automatically better her way and not his. What's worse her realization came over something that, in the bigger scheme of things, really wasn't important. It was trivial. It was minutia. It was petty.

How many relationships, how many marriages ended because of something that, in real life, should have been inconsequential but was blown way out of proportion? How many men gave up when they realized there would be no pleasing their spouse no matter what they did?

I would have posted this a couple of days ago, but I was curious to see the response in the comments. For the most part comments by both sexes agreed with this woman's sudden awakening to what she'd been doing. Only a few women blasted her for “come to Jesus” moment, all but calling her a traitor to the Third Wave Feminist ideology.