Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Burnout = divorce

During dinner last night, I was chatting with H and he was after me for my "flat, sarcastic delivery" about how much Christmas costs every year and how I'm trying to manage that down for this year.

I said that I didn't mean to be sarcastic, but I'm just tired and burned out.

He looks at me intently and says, "Well, we should just get a divorce." And he goes on from there about an attorney, selling the house, whatever....blah, blah, blah.

I said in a flat, tho', not sarcastic voice, "Well, if that's what you want." Truth be told, at least this would be one way out of this mess.

He flies into another tirade about something related to whatever, whereby I get up from the dining room table and walk away.

What's striking to me is that this is the same M.O. that his family has: whenever I raise my experience and my struggles with caring for H, I get the consistent comment, (sigh) "Well, I guess that means divorce then."

While I understand that no one in the family will take H, what I don't understand is how little empathy there is for my struggles caring for him.

Why is it that saying something is hard for me causes these folks to jump to divorce?

Perhaps this is all just their guilt, but I think that the motives are much more pedestrian: money. They all know that I support H and without me, who will or can? If it's labelled divorce, then maybe he or they get a settlement?

Later in the evening, H is all mopey and affectionate. After a bit of TV, I go off to bed in the guest room.

At this point, I have to confess that I don't care much anymore, really.


Greg said...

Sounds to me like a family that closes down difficult or painful conversations by saying something HUGE, countering ripples with a grenade. Helpful.

Anonymous said...

He is totally guilt-tripping you.