The Con Job and The Priority Trap | theremustbeawayout's Blog
A few years ago I developed a freakish, serious, time-limited medical condition. Happily, that is now far in my past never to recur again. During the recuperation time after the hospital, H. was an amazing trouper: maintaining his job, keeping the offspring going, keeping the house up, in short, doing a wonderful job of stepping up to the plate and doing it all, with the assistance of my friends.
Doing everything, that is, except spending any time with me.
At the end of that period, I was convinced he hated me. The clincher was his attitude when I was back on my feet. He was so thrilled to chuck responsibility for offspring, house, and anything else that fell under the category of "Our Life Together" back into my lap as he went back to his ridiculous work hours.
It is happening again with another, temporary but planned, medical thing that has me off my feet for a while. I've got many things arranged and work-arounds in place. We still do need H to make it all work. But Instead of using the paper & plastic I set up for food, he is using the regular stuff, which requires more kitchen time. Instead of letting the offspring sink or swim with a test, he spends the late part of the evening forcing the offspring to study, even though the offspring is organized to be done with all things school related past a certain time of day. And the resentment is pouring off of him when I dare to ask for anything while he is tending to offspring, kitchen, electronic devices. . . I cannot do for myself late in the day at the moment. Yet I am the last priority.
H: I'm taking time off from work to take you to appointments! You want me to be involved in the offspring's school work! I'm doing the best I can! I get frustrated trying to serve two masters at once (meaning me & offspring)!
Yes. All true.
As part of the planning, did I really need to sit H down and tell him that I expect to be the first priority when he comes home, to find out what I need, get me set up, and then deal with the rest of life? Is it unreasonable of me to have assumed this? Am I wrong to think that getting me a glass of water is a higher priority than cleaning the kitchen? I have been attempting to group my needs so that I am not issuing a constant stream of unending requests, which I know from sad personal experience is the road to hell.
I discussed this with H. To his credit, he did engage with the discussion and expressed his frustration. We now have a plan.
But in a temporary medically depleted situation, why am I at the bottom of the priority list?
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