Saturday, July 27, 2013

Help! I'm an Asshole!

I'm about to make myself look like a big selfish jerk. 

But that's because sometimes I am a big selfish jerk.  Be warned: there might be more honesty in this post than you can handle.  A commenter here on the blog once called me "scary honest."


Earlier this week, I tweeted that my girlfriend cancelled our plans because she'd slipped down the stairs and hurt her butt.  I faked sympathy, but yeah... I wasn't feeling it.  Why?  Because we've been together five years and in that time she's cancelled plans on more than five occasions because... "I slipped down the stairs and now my butt hurts."

That's in addition to "I walked into a bookshelf and now my foot hurts" (also this week), "The door blew closed on my hand and now my finger hurts," and a whole host of other "I did something dumb and now some random body part hurts" excuses.

I shouldn't say "excuses"... but it's pretty telling that that's the word I chose.  Almost makes it sound like I don't believe her.  I DO believe her, but I'm not sympathetic.

I feel guilty.  I feel like an asshole.  I feel like a selfish jerk.  She's in pain and instead of reacting like, "Oh, my poor sweetheart!  Let me take care of your poor injured ass," all I can think is: "Are you fucking kidding me?  Again?  Seriously? AGAIN?"

A better person would abandon all sense of self and just be compassionate.  One of my aspirations is to constantly evolve into a more compassionate person, and it's going really well... except where Sweet's concerned.  Because every time she cancels plans (and, honestly, it happens a lot), I tell myself to be concerned about her well-being first and foremost, but... I don't know what's wrong with me... all I can think about is myself. 

I'm not getting what I want, and now I'm a petulant child.  We were supposed to go to the art show, the jazz festival--here, there and everywhere--and we've had these plans for MONTHS and now you're cancelling on me?  Again?  AGAIN?

I don't want to act like a jerk, but I do.  Every. Fucking. Time.

And I can feel it coming when she's about to cancel plans.  I've even started having precognitive dreams (for the first time in my life) about Sweet cancelling plans.  So I know it's coming, and I tell myself, "Don't do it, Giselle.  Don't be an asshole.  Not this time."  But knowing in advance doesn't seem to make a difference.  Every time, I feel hurt and rejected and I react unsympathetically.

Every time.

I'm not even going to try to redeem myself, here.  I'm an asshole.  I'm a jerk.  What I need from you is HELP.  Help!  I want to be a supportive, sympathetic, compassionate partner.  How do I stop being such a jerk?

Thanks and hugs,


  1. Dear Giselle *hugs back* (I so love French names),
    It is 5:45am as I write. Fifteen minutes ago my cat woke me up crying to be let in in that persistent way cats do.
    So I'm, bleary eyed, tired and not in a great mood.
    I switch on Twitter and the first post I see is "I'm an Asshole!". It is most unusual for me to burst out laughing in such a state.
    I love your sense of humour and I feel compelled to comment.
    I'm afraid there's no cure. I know this. I know this from long hard experience. I myself suffer from this unfortunate affliction. I call it my own personal variation of borderline Aspergers.
    To mitigate the inevitable consequences of Assholiness I have come up with a strategy that has at least permitted my survival and the continued (eventual) tolerance of my loved one to my existence.
    It's called grovelling. Often accompanied by the protracted chanting of the litany "I'm sorry" and "I'm really, really sorry." At some point your Sweets will relent and you will be allowed in from the doghouse.
    But there's no cure.
    The only comfort I can offer is that you are not alone in suffering from Assholiness and out there in the world there are millions of sufferers this very minute, each experiencing that same moment of revelation as they understand that they are an Asshole.
    And in the big scheme of things everyone can be an Asshole. Even little angels. So don't be too hard on yourself.


    1. Oh Livilla, you don't know what this means to me. You're as good as a support group.

      I'll have to gear myself up for some hardcore grovelling. Usually, that's accompanied by gifts... although buying her nice things is getting harder and harder now that I'm dirt poor. And she doesn't fall for it, anyway. She says, "Thank you. I appreciate the gifts and the apologies, but what I really want is for this to never happen again."

      "It won't, it won't..."

      It will, it will... *sigh*

    2. Livilla SandersMonday, July 29, 2013

      Glad I was able to help a little.
      To save your pocket and get some brownie points, instead of buying your way out of jail, why not bake a cake?
      It's cheap.
      It takes time, thought and effort to do.
      Sweets will know this. It's hard to stay angry with someone when they do something lovely for you.
      You can even ice the top with 'I'm really, really sorry' or something.
      And you get to eat it together (assuming she doesn't pie you with it first).
      Cake, two forks, bottle of wine, nice music, log fire (optional). Rug on floor. (I'll leave the rest to your imagination ;-) )

      Best of luck

      Livilla mwah x

  2. Hugs from me as well! It's hard for me to be sympathetic to someone else's feelings when I'm having no sympathy for my own. She's hurt herself, but you're disappointed. Both of you need and deserve compassion. I bet an interlude of letting yourself feel upset without feeling guilty about it (which can be done on your own so you don't have to take it out on her) would get you into a place of compassion, and from there you can take care of both of you.

    And whenever I give thoughts like this, I always wonder, "Who the hell do I think I am, and why would Giselle want to hear from me?" What I said above is based on what I try to do these days, because in my first (failed) marriage, I tried to suppress this sort of disappointment and just wound up being angry all the time, with no compassion available for anyone.

    Wishing you all the best!

    1. Annabeth, I was just thinking about you because I made another Kiva loan and realized you and I are on the same Coming Together team.

      Why would I want to hear from you? Because I asked the internet for help and you've got great advice. I realized a few years ago that I need to process my anger on my own before I can have a sensible conversation with her. The problem is... well, even when I see disappointment coming, even when I try to work through it on my own, I always end up behaving like an asshole. Gah!

    2. :) Love our Kiva team! And so glad to be of help. Hope all goes as well as possible. Thanks so much for the kind words, too!