Kinda Curious

My husband and I had a heated discussion this week. He was upset with me and thinks it is wrong that I can justify littering 1-2x/year when I throw my apple core out my car window into a deep grassy ditch off the rural road we live near.

I told him that’s cool, he can think it’s wrong. I’m not trying to convince him to think it’s okay to do that, I understand the arguments against doing it. My argument was that any time we humans break a law/rule we have a justification for it that not everyone will agree with, but when I make a decision like that I try to think through whether I like my reason for doing so and be willing to face the consequences should any come. I suggested he does the same thing (justifies breaking a law/rule) when he speeds, the time he cheated in a game of golf, the times he’s thrown his litter in someone else’s dumpster (on private property), etc, etc. Our neighbors do it when they throw their compost in the open field across the street, or when they walk their dogs without leashes, etc. It’s part of what us humans do.

I also said “I’m with other people all the time who do the same thing.” (referring to throwing apple core out window)

He told me my style of arguing is annoying and defensive but that I guess he doesn’t have to like everything about me (I agreed; that goes both ways 🙂 ). He brought up at least 10 times the fact that I “lied” when I said “I’m with other people all the time who do the same thing”; why would I lie to get my point across?

I apologized and said I’ll continue to try to not impulsively say dramatic or untrue things in a heated discussion. I told him I often don’t even realize it as such immediately. I can’t promise I’ll never do that again but I do hope to correct myself when a light is shone on it (and I did about a minute after I said it in our discussion). I asked him why it bothered him so much and he kept bringing it up? He just kept saying b/c he didn’t understand why I would lie. I said we’ve spent so much time rehashing this same point that I “lied”, can’t we move on already?

He told me that’s quite self serving to want to move on from it b/c I want to move on. I agreed that it is, but we’re not getting anywhere with him just rehashing with no obvious point or purpose other than to keep calling me a liar, and additionally, most of what we want in our lives is probably self serving anyway.

When I said that he said wow, not sure I can trust you now and I look at you different, knowing that everything you do is self serving. I said through everything I’m learning in TLCS (I’m in coach certification program) it sure seems to be the way the world works (and I clarified that what we want/don’t want or like/don’t like in other people is because of how we think it makes us or will make us feel) and research coming out of Harvard suggests such as well. I don’t think that’s a bad or good thing, it’s just fascinating that seems to be how the brain works.

He then said all my “self help stuff” has gotten really annoying.

Fine, he doesn’t like “self help/self development” so any mention of feelings is super annoying to him. I get that and know that about him. I’ve by and large kept what I’ve learned to myself knowing this (in fact, what I said in this discussion may have been the first time I’ve referenced anything I’ve learned to him…)

But I’d love to know if he sees something in me that I’m not noticing. Something negative about me as I’m learning and growing that I don’t see.

I could be wrong on this, and he hasn’t said so, but I suspect my husband is scared. I think he sees me changing, and creating and having more purpose in my life. I think that triggers his self doubts about me and us. He’s still miffed I broke up with him twice while we were dating 15-16 years ago (we’ve been married 12 years, 11 months), and once several years ago I sat next to a famous professional football player on a plane ride home and had a kind of flirty/fun talk with him which I thought was hilarious and would be a great story to tell, knowing that I am secure/happy/confident in my marriage and had no true desire for this football player, but my husband saw it otherwise and was really hurt and I felt so bad for hurting him (and still do when I think about it).

At the same time, my husband is super smart, funny, hardworking, talented and giving. I truly respect his opinion and spent much of our married life trusting and valuing his opinion over mine. I’m no longer trusting him over myself (for the most part), but I’m kinda curious as to why he thinks my self help stuff has gotten “annoying” and want to ask, but at the same time, I’m pretty sure he just threw that out in the heat of the discussion and I doubt there’s anything “real” behind it. But if there is, I’d like to know. But I’m not sure it’s worth asking, now.

Played out in a model it might look like this:
C-Learning about self coaching/coaching others
T-I really like who I’m becoming through this process and am proud of myself, but what if I have blinders on to some glaring downsides to who I’m becoming?
A-Wonder but not ask if my husband has some helpful input
R-Like who I am/be proud of myself, but with a little lingering doubt in the background


C-Husband said “your self help stuff is getting annoying”
T-I’m curious as to what he means by that, but not sure I want to ask him b/c not sure I can trust his answer given he’s got his own stuff going on in his brain
A-type a question to Ask Brooke to get help 🙂
R-sit with some conflicting thoughts/feelings for the time being

After typing all this out, does this just come back to me not trusting myself after all? I see myself spending time in confusion over asking him if he thinks I and/or my “self help stuff” is annoying, when really, I could quickly choose not to ask him and just move on with my life and have to trust myself, OR I could choose to ask him and still have to trust myself that I can handle and sort through whatever his answer is.

Thank you for reading all this!