Do people always have to pay you to do anything?

Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2023 08:41 am
My wife is on another one of her kicks right now. Here's the story.

30 some odd years ago I dated a girl when I finished college. We dated a few years then broke up and remained the best of friends. She went on to have several kids by several different guys and is now in a relationship with a woman for the past 10 or more years. They are engaged. I may see her a couple of times a year. Back story: Her first daughter's dad was shot and killed when she was around 2 maybe 3 so this little girl never really knew her dad. Given me and her mom were still really good friends I helped her raise the little girl and she grew up calling me daddy. She now has a few kids of her own and they call be granddaddy. Again, I may see my friend a few times a year when it comes to special events for the grandbabies.

Some 20 years ago I met my wife. Ever since then my wife seems to think I should have no other friends other than her. As I've mentioned here before my wife has zero friends. She has no one she calls to hang out with, go to lunch with, go shopping with. Nobody! Her sister lives a few miles from us and they've not spoken to each other since well before Thanksgiving of 2022. I literally am my wife's only friend.

This past Sunday my oldest granddaughter had a confirmation at her church so my daughter, as I so call her, invited us to come share in the event. Of course my friend was there and we hugged as usual and exchanged pleasantries as well as a few laughs. She then, int he presence of my wife, told me she had gotten a new car and the oil life was reading zero and she asked if I could come change her oil for her. As you all know I have some mechanical abilities so changing the oil is one step above putting gas in a car. Not much to it. I said yes and I'd do it the next day after I got off work.

Of course before we left the church parking lot my wife asked me was I going to buy the girl's oil for her too and I flat out told her no. She told me she already had the oil and filter and just needed me to change it. Later that night before we went to bed my wife turns to me and asks if she was going to pay me for doing it. I turned to my wife and probably put my foot in my mouth when I said this but I told her, "You don't pay me to change your oil so why should I expect payment from one of my best friends?" My wife immediately assumed one of two things. (1) I was downgrading her status to the level of my friend or (2) I was upgrading my friend's status to the level of my wife.

Monday comes and I go right after work to change my friend's oil. When I get there we shoot the bull for a little while catching up and things. Again, this is someone I've known for some 30 years or so. I change her oil after we finished talking then I go back in the house and again we talked for another half hour or so. My wife assumed I should have just gone there, changed the oil, then left. I had told her that changing the oil is really only a 30 minute job so that's the time she allotted for me to be gone. And again, my wife is of the impression that my friend only lives one or two streets over. She lives 10 miles away and with late afternoon traffic I can't just get there in a matter of a few minutes.

When I got back in my truck I had missed a call from my mom. She wanted me to swing by and get a letter she got from her insurance company. She recently totaled her car so I've been dealing with that with her insurance company since she doesn't know how. I text my wife that I was going to stop by my parent's house for a few. Again, my wife assumed I would just walk in, grab the letter, then walk right back out since I had already been gone from the house a couple of hours. Again, when I get to my parent's house we talk for a little while too.

By the time I got home around 9 my wife was fuming. I left home around 6.
She said I left her stranded and if something were to happen she couldn't do anything. Here's the thing. My wife's car is in the shop right now so she is without wheels and she hates it. If someone would have called her with an emergency, then she wouldn't have been able to help them in anyway. Remember, my wife has no friends and doesn't communicate with her family so now, all of a sudden, someone is going to call on her to come help them? But on the contrary, she can take a half a day off work to go get her hair done and stay gone for hours and if I don't call to check up on her she gets mad. You taking half a day off work means I'm still working so no, I'm not concerned you're taking several hours getting your hair done. I've still got a job to do. "A good husband would want to know where his wife is." Ok, you've told me so why do I need to just randomly call you to make sure you're okay or still at the beauty salon? Just like you knew where I was but because I didn't just rush right home then I'm looked at as being up to something. In her book, this was a girl I have slept with before so I could possibly sleep with again, but haven't in some 30 years or so since we broke up. And someone who now is happily involved with a woman, her fiance.

She then went off about me not getting paid for changing her oil, or did she pay me in some other way, wink, wink! I don't do things like this for payment. Friends just do thing for each other. If I needed something done that only she could do yes I'd ask and maybe I'd offer to pay but I'm sure my friend would have just done it out of the kindness of her heart and plus the fact that we have been friends for some 30 years.

I think the real reason my wife was upset was because we had our 2 year old granddaughter here so that kept my wife from being able to go lock herself in the bedroom and play Bingo with her fake Facebook friends. She is addicted to that game.

Do you expect to be paid for everything you do for a friend?
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bobsal u1553115
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2023 09:43 pm
I don't think being paid for favors is the real issue here.

This has been going on for twenty years.

I do think joint counseling with your minister, or a marriage therapist is in order. I also think this could go on for another twenty years as your relationship shrivels and hardens.

BTW: oil changes at a service center is just about as cheap as doing it yourself. This simple thing might help your marriage.

Your call.

This is my own personal, non-professional opinion. I have no qualifications at all as an advisor.
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 04:43 am
@bobsal u1553115,
The thing with my wife is that when she gets something in her head no one can change her otherwise. We discussed it again last night and she feels that I should get paid to do stuff like this. I do not look at everything as a opportunity to get paid or make a few bucks. Plus it's not like I have a sign in our front yard saying "Free oil changes!" Nor am I changing 3 or 4 people's oil a week. I asked her last night, "how does this affect you in any way?" It doesn't. I took my truck, my tools, my time, my expertise and did what I like to do.

Let's just face facts, the real reason she acts this way is because it's the oil of an ex-girlfriend. Besides the fact that me and this girl haven't dated in some 30 years and also that she is now engaged to a woman how my wife sees it as this is someone I've slept with before and could possibly sleep with again. Well hell, that could be any woman you meet. The wife looks at it this way. "If she didn't pay you in money then how did she pay you."

But should I isolate people simply because of money? "Hey, can you help me move this weekend?" Sure, my rate is $$$. "Do you have time this weekend to come look at my ceiling fan? It's making a noise." No problem, that'll be $$$ up front then the balance once completed.

Here's what's going to happen. The minute her mom calls wanting me to come do something at their house and I submit and invoice so to speak then there's gonna be a problem. "I know you aren't charging my momma to do something!"
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 04:48 am
As Bob said the only issue here is you constantly complaining about your wife.

And if you don't act you'll end up how he predicted.
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 08:04 am
From Tristram Shandy.

"- cursed luck! said he, biting his lip as he **** the door,- for a man to be master of one of the finest chains of reasoning in nature,- and have a wife at the same time with such a head-piece that he cannot hang up a single inference withinside of it, to save his soul from destruction."
bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 08:46 am
You have fine literature background, my friend. I haven't thought of Tristam Shandy since English Lit class too many years ago. Heck if I can remember any quotes from it, let alone one that fits this situation. You must have a mind like a steel trap!
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 10:02 am
@bobsal u1553115,
I feel guilty for never reading it at college when I was supposed to.

I'm currently reading it.

The bit I quoted I'd only just read.

Thanks anyway.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 02:37 pm
It was a tough read in high school, but Miss Oeschner was an English Lit fanatic. We took almost six weeks on it, tearing it down. Took all the juice out of it. I remember very little of it past the pain. We did Tess d'Urbeville and the Mayor of Casterbridge, too. I did much better with those two.

I've started reading books I hated in HS and college. I found Ulysses and Remembrance of Things Past actually pretty entertaining. Gravity's Rainbow finally beat me when I got about halfway through. Infinite Jest (published after I was in college) was so good I just burned through it in a couple of weeks, after avoiding for years. Good book.
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 03:02 pm
Barry2021 wrote:
Let's just face facts, the real reason she acts this way is because...

Of the transactional style of your marriage. You have taught her there's nothing coming from you that's going to be freely given. There's always that expectation that in order for you do something, she must reciprocate in turn.

Now she looks at the way you treat others and it's not the same as you treat her. She has the viewpoint you've taught her, don't expect something for nothing. So when she sees you doing favors free of charge for others, it's out of the bounds you've set a long time ago.

Doing a favor for a friend doesn't necessarily mean a monetary reward. So, yeah, did this person even offer anything to repay a kindness? Did she offer a cold beverage, something to eat/snack or something else?
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 03:56 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Hardy, Joyce, and Proust – I think those would be my desert island choices!

(I loved Gravity's Rainbow but I don't think re-reading it is in the cards. I've avoided Infinite Jest for years as well...I may have to check it out.)
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 04:06 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
I tried Gravity's Rainbow twice, gave up at the same point.

I couldn't get into it at all, none of the characters interested me, and the bit about bananas was really irritating, like an old ITMA record.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2023 08:58 pm
The banana greenhouses were so out of place for me, too. the idea of eternal war sat with me, I loved One Hundred Years of Solitude and reread it a number of times, the In the Time of Cholera was beautiful, too.

There is a Nigerian author, Achebe, Things Fall Apart that really got me, too.
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