When we started settling up the bills for the wedding and monthly household stuff, Brad got very paranoid and controlling. He thought I was trying to ‘cheat’ him or something and had to come up with his own accounting and then decided he would pay all the bills from now on. He also insisted on putting his furniture and pictures wherever he wanted them in the house we bought together. He would ask my opinion and then not take it, because he thought I was trying to ‘take over’ with my stuff and get rid of his stuff. I am very easy going about things like this and am generally 'anti-conflict' at all costs. I would never have questioned what he wanted to do, since I was trying to keep the peace. The conflict and a little bit of paranoia were all in his mind.
On one occasion, he cooked dinner for his mother and my family, and when my mother complimented him on the food and when she asked him a specific question about it, he got extremely defensive and left the table visibly upset. I went to talk to him and he said that she was questioning his judgment and his cooking skills, that she was being condescending, how dare she, etc. It was very embarrassing to me. I found out later that his mother told my family “He does this sometimes, just leave him alone and he’ll get over it.” He also got mad at my mother for reading the Sunday paper before he did, he accused her of being selfish and she walked off in a huff. I can sort of laugh at this kind of thing now, because it’s just so ridiculous, but at the time it was not funny at all.Lastly, we were going to the hardware store together and I was driving. He gave me a driving suggestion that I ignored. I am not defending what I did, but I knew the area better than he did and I thought it would be quicker to go a slightly different way to get back on the highway than what he had suggested. He then proceeded to explain to me what a thoughtless, rude and terrible person I was for not at least acknowledging his suggestion , that I was being disrespectful, superior, and on and on. I tried apologizing, promising not to do it again, etc. to no avail. This argument lasted at least half an hour and he continued to bring this incident up periodically as an example of my ‘bad behavior’ throughout our entire marriage and at least once during the divorce process. “You never listen to me, you think you’re always right, this is just like the time you ignored me when I told you to take a left.” Beyond Infuriating – I think sometimes he said it deliberately knowing it would make me angry. His reaction was completely out of proportion to my ‘crime’. This would be an ongoing theme in our marriage.