How to Be Less of a Controlling Assh*le

(Speaking from experience.)

The other morning, I woke up and started getting ready: washed my face, brushed my teeth. I walked back into the bedroom to get dressed, and John was still asleep. It was 7:30 on a Monday, so I woke him up thinking surely he needed to be doing something. I proceeded to make coffee and breakfast tacos, and then shouted to John from the kitchen that I’d made breakfast. No answer. I texted him a picture of the tacos in a stance of stubborn passive-aggression. No answer. After a few minutes, I was fuming at the thought of this breakfast I had so thoughtfully thrown together getting cold. I went to the bottom of the stairs and called his name.

“John? I made breakfast!” (How sweet of me.)

I could hear in his groggy reply that he had still been asleep, but he hopped out of bed and came downstairs. We talked a little about our days ahead, and I asked what his schedule was like. His first class was at 11-something, and then he had another class that afternoon and a group meeting.

“Are you gonna workout today?” I asked. He said yeah, probably, but it would most likely be that afternoon.

My mind started crafting this story about what he’d do as soon as I left for work in a few minutes. The fictional story went that he would¬†sit on the couch for a couple¬†hours until his class, watching golf, drinking coffee, scrolling social media — and suddenly I was so mad at him that I could hardly look at him as I said goodbye for the day. As we parted ways, I pushily, irritatedly suggested maybe he should just get his workout out of the way this morning. And he did. As soon as he acquiesced so easily and kindly, it clicked almost instantaneously that I have a problem.

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