Last night when I got home from a very long day at work, my husband approached me to assist him in the installation of a screen door. I agreed with a dark sense of foreboding that I should have heeded. Dh gets very frustrated when installing things. Then, being Dh, he lashes out at whoever is nearest. Which of course would be me.
I began assisting. He criticized my power drill ability (I think that was the second time I'd ever even held a power drill), he criticized my estimating ability, he criticized, he criticized, he criticized. And he used the tone that I HATE. Finally I had had enough. It had been a hellish day at work, it was nearly 8 o'clock and I hadn't eaten dinner yet. I told him to stop talking to me like he that or I was going to stop helping. He told me he didn't need my d**n help, and I responded that I didn't need his d**n attitude. Then I went inside to make myself a taco.
He came inside and told me that if I didn't help him right then, he couldn't install the door. I responded that it was nearly 8 o'clock and I was going to have some dinner. He then said if I didn't help him right then he would "never ever buy me anything again, ever." I couldn't help it. I started laughing. Ever, ever again?!?! Oh, no! Never, ever?! I knew I shouldn't, that it might push him over the edge, but I honestly could not stop myself. He stormed out of the house, and I settled down to my taco. Which was delicious, by the way, and not just because I was on the brink of starvation.
When I had finished my taco, I went outside and started helping him again. He had managed to do quite a lot without me. We pretended not to talk for a while, then both gave it up. We made some real progress, but then he started on the latch and handles, and there was nothing I could do to help, so I went back inside.
He came in about 45-60 minutes later, and said, "Do you want the good news or the bad news?" I requested the bad news. The screen door was too far to the left, and did not bolt shut. He was going to have to take the whole thing off again. (Something had told me he wasn't measuring often enough while installing, but being of sound mind I had kept my mouth shut. Dh has to learn these things on his own - he doesn't accept criticism gracefully.) The good news was he was done for the night. He then asked me what I wanted him to get me. I looked at him quizzically. "I told you I would never get you anything ever again, and I have to prove myself wrong." So he bought me some Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie and I made him some tacos. We shared the ice cream as we watched a movie.
And thus another fight with Dh refused to last longer than two hours.