Ugh… Thursday again. Time to break out my riding vacuum cleaner. I’m kidding, of course. I don’t own a riding vacuum cleaner. I wish I did. Maybe I should buy a couple of robots to do the vacuuming, as that is one of my least favorite jobs, ever. I need a nice slim one, that can get under the bed!
Before I get to my most hated household chore, I want to write a blog post about a couple of relationship fails I’ve read about this week. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but Am I The Asshole has become one of social media’s hottest trends. It seems like a lot of formerly awesome content providers, like God, have resorted to sharing AITA posts from Reddit. It’s pretty tiresome, although sometimes they do share some thought provoking doozies. That’s what I’m going to write about today, because I don’t feel like writing about politics or religion.
Both of the AITA posts I’m going to address have “hands” in common. Hands are a powerful means of action. They can be used for so many good and useful things, from doing work to communicating. They can even be read by palm readers, seeking to tell the future. But hands– particularly the palm part of them– can also be used as weapons, either through physical contact, or by spreading disease, as my discussion of these two posts will demonstrate.
Post number one…
I’d like to know what redeeming qualities this guy has that his girlfriend hasn’t dumped him yet. Basic hygiene is something most of us learn at very early ages. It’s especially important nowadays, in the wake of the pandemic. And yet, here’s this apparently grown woman writing to Reddit about her boyfriend, who doesn’t bother to wash his hands after taking a dump. She thinks his refusal to wash his hands properly is why she keeps getting urinary tract infections.
Now… there is something to be said about washing too much. Some people really are germaphobes. Overuse of antibacterial soaps is also not good for a person’s health, since it can lead to antibiotic resistance. However– basic handwashing is essential for preventing the spread of disease. Moreover, it’s just super gross not to wash your hands after going to the bathroom. Even if you haven’t pooped, other people probably have, and their fecal residue is everywhere. When you flush the toilet, that shit literally flies everywhere. So yes, you need to wash your hands with soap. If you don’t do it for your own health, you should do it for the continued good health of the people you love.
Secondly, it really says something when your partner says they will honor what the people on Reddit say, rather than what you, as their significant other, say. It sounds like this guy has no respect for his girlfriend on even the most basic level. He has no self-respect, either. I can only think of one reasonable explanation for his reluctance to wash his hands… and that is that maybe he subscribes to the George Carlin theory on hygiene.
If this guy actually was a George Carlin devotee, I would hope he’d have more self-regard than just doing whatever people on Reddit tell him to do. I like to think of most George Carlin fans as higher evolved beings. Anyway, this situation would be a hard pass for me. I’d be ditching this guy ASAP and finding someone a little less dangerous. Asking your partner to wash their hands, especially after shitting, is a small request that should be honored, for everyone’s health and well-being.
Post number two…
In this second post, we read about a man who managed to escape a physically abusive relationship with a woman and decided that he would never again tolerate being hit by a romantic partner. He was engaged to his girlfriend and they got into a fight. She slapped him hard across the face. They were both sober at the time, which doesn’t really matter. Drunk or sober, putting hands on someone else in violence is a no go.
The guy who wrote the above letter explains that after his girlfriend slapped him, he wisely decided to call off their wedding. He is obviously a considerate type, as he writes that he said he’d continue to pay his portion of the rent of their shared apartment until the lease ends. However, he doesn’t want to marry her anymore.
She’s claiming that he’s an asshole, because he’s getting so upset over “just a slap”. She says that he’s overreacting. Most telling is that when he told her she’d crossed a boundary, her response wasn’t contrition. Instead, she got very angry and berated him, then basically said he was being ridiculous for establishing a boundary. That’s a huge red flag. He’s right to be concerned about her instinct to strike out physically when there’s a disagreement. And her reaction isn’t to take his concerns seriously, apologize, and address them calmly. It’s to discount and gaslight him into accepting that behavior.
Those of you who have been reading my blog may know that my husband, Bill, endured years of abuse at the hands (and mind) of his ex wife. She gave off many warning signs before they married. In fact, the day of their wedding, they had a fight. However, because Bill didn’t want to make a fuss or disappoint anyone, he went through with the wedding… even though the warning bells were chiming loudly on their wedding day!
That was a huge mistake…
Almost ten years later, Bill emerged from that relationship in serious financial trouble, with literal physical scars, and figurative mental and emotional scars. He was estranged from both of his daughters for many years, and remains estranged from his older adult child. That relationship was terrible enough for him, but it also had ripple effects on many of his loved ones: his mom, his dad, his stepmother, his sister, his children, and me… as well as anyone who has had to listen to or read my rantings about his ex wife’s latest bullshit.
Divorce is messy and expensive, and it’s a sure bet that if this fellow marries his girlfriend, there WILL eventually be a divorce. The only way there wouldn’t be is if one of them died, or if they went through some very reformative relationship counseling. Moreover, if the guy did call the police after being physically abused– which he should be able to do without any fear— odds are, he would be the one in handcuffs.
I think the letter writer is smart to break up with his girlfriend over “just a slap”. Men absolutely can be abused by women. I’ve seen it up close and personal, and it’s not good. So no, he’s NOT the asshole for breaking up with that woman. Hopefully, she will get some therapy and deal with her issues before someone else marries her.
Bill and I are very fortunate. We get along extremely well and barely ever fight, let alone hit each other. There was only one time in over twenty years of marriage when I did put my hands on his neck, but it wasn’t meant to be an act of violence. It was not an angry action directed at him, and he wasn’t hurt in any way. He did automatically react to it, which immediately made me feel terrible. I even offered to sleep in the guest room, and he said it wasn’t necessary. I also apologized profusely, and it has never happened again. But even in that incident, I wasn’t fighting with him, nor was I even angry with him. I just reacted in the moment, not realizing that he would automatically be triggered in the way he was. The fact that he did react in that way is very telling.
Unfortunately, our culture promotes the idea that only women can be victims of abuse. Although most people are sensible enough to realize that anyone can be abused, some people– like Ex– take advantage of the idea that women are always the victims of domestic violence. When Bill and I were first married, he told me that he knew he could hurt his ex wife, yet he was telling me stories that were clearly indicative that he was a DV victim. When I gently pointed out to Bill that his ex wife was a domestic abuser, he was shocked and horrified. But then he agreed, had the roles been reversed, and Ex had been treated by Bill the way she’d treated him, he wouldn’t have questioned it. Even younger daughter knew Bill was abused by Ex; she probably saw #3 being abused, too. She went as far as sending him an article on male victims of domestic violence.
So no… the letter writer in the second post is NOT an asshole at all. He’s being smart. It’s better to be alone than have to live with someone like that and then get divorced. I endured physical abuse from my father, and it made me decide that anyone who hits me had better kill me. That doesn’t mean I would respond with violence; it simply means that they might really regret their actions afterwards. As I’ve mentioned before, I am NOT a people pleaser.
Anyway… there are more ways your palms can tell the future than just through a palm reading. If you’re with someone who refuses to wash their palms properly, especially after a bowel movement, you might want to move on. Likewise, if you’re with someone whose palm ever meets your face with force, it’s time to flush that turd of a relationship and find someone more respectful… and respectable.
So ends today’s post… Now, I’m off to tend to the chores of the day. It’s a holiday in Germany, so it’s probably going to be a boring afternoon.