We still haven't spoken.
She's in the living room watching tv. I'm in the kitchen on the laptop typing this.
Our fight on Friday started with a phone call from her while I was at my dad's house building a shed.
We've been doing a bathroom remodel. It's been 6 weeks and overdue from the original 3 week schedule.
It's supposed to be her dream bathroom. She's been the primary contact for the contractor. I'm indifferent to the aesthetics. I just want it to work.
We ordered a custom mirror and he broke it during delivery, thus pushing out the completion date even further. Last week was the beginning of her pre-monthly cycle. As with every month, I'm usually bracing for some kind of conflict. The timing couldn't have been worse.
She called... said that I haven't been involved enough with communicating urgency to the contractor and she's tired of being the one to do it. I understood and agreed. Offered to take over communications with the contractor.
She continued... now with a raised voice. Saying that she's been working from home to help oversee his work and that she's worried that her boss will get upset. I've been doing the same, but that seems to have gone unnoticed. In fact, while I'm supposed to be working, I'm making trips all across the city to pick up additional tiles, faucets and hardwood.
Our connection was getting bad, but before ending the call, I told her that it didn't make sense for her to be angry at me and that we'd continue talking when I got home.
She was ready to pick up where she left off when I got home. But now, it was no longer about the bathroom reno. It's about me lacking Easter values because I spent Good Friday with the kids and my dad while she was at home sleeping. And it's about me "not caring" about our 14 yr old possibly being gay (based on text messages we found on her phone). And me not "supporting her" and that she doesn't count
- Making the kids breakfast/lunch daily before school
- Garbage Disposal
- Car Maintenance
- Shoveling (Winter) & Mowing (Summer)
... because those are for the house/kids and have nothing to do with her. She doesn't consider this "supporting her"
Maybe she's right. My parents still married, but they're traditional. I do more than my dad did (and still does) mistakenly thinking that these would be appreciated. But I've concluded that she just doesn't appreciate me in that way.
And the support... I think she needs to woman-up (is that a term?). She rejects traditional gender roles... but feels that anything challenging that she undertakes on her own (and doesn't have me there to take it off her hands) is a sign of me abandoning and not supporting her.
And that's when I hit her with the "I know who I am and I know my value" line. Her saying that my contributions mean nothing doesn't make it true.
I was the one that brought our daughter's phone messages to her attention. But I assumed the conversations were with a boy. Prior to noticing the phone messages, we saw that she's been really withdrawn lately, in a way that I suspect is usual for a teenager. There have been instances of her not handing in assignments at school. I've sat and spoken to her. She feels intimidated by her mom's tone when she tries to speak to her. I brought up trying to get a counselor that she can open up to and discuss things with.
When I gave my wife the phone and she read deeper into the messages, she recognized the girl as a classmate and friend of hers.
My response was that we need to be careful with our approach. If this isn't a phase or an experiment, then we don't want her feeling like she can't come to us. But as for my "feelings", I didn't indicate one way or another. Because I honestly don't know. She wants more from me in terms of a response... though she hasn't given me any more than I've given her. But apparently she brought it up to one of her friends (who I believe to be either gay or bisexual) and told her that I had NOTHING to say on the matter.
So that's a summary of what went down on Friday, which is why I'm now being faced with a request to separate.