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An effective punishment -- for my partner

(66 Posts)
TheMidnightHour Sun 06-Jan-13 22:34:39

Perhaps I'm being unreasonable (go ahead and say so if I am) or maybe he's unusually clumsy, but my partner seems to manage to break, damage or ruin a surprisingly large number of my precioussssssss things. Most things I'm fairly laid back about (he can smash all the glassware he likes), but there are a few things I'd like to keep nice (souvenir tea towel first ever use to wipe out half-washed fry-up pan). Or functioning (saved-for knitting needle set sat on and snapped). Or intact (my sanity, severely frayed by events I'm about to relate).

Today, ferinstance, I was blocking a lace shawl (for those who don't knit, this represents perhaps a hundred hours work and blocking is the very last stage of making it beautiful. Imagine a delicate cashemere sweater if that helps you wince properly in a minute) and asked for a little help. In a cock up of slapstick proportions, he managed to drag an angry cat across the lace.

So the shawl is in time out, as I'm not sure it can be fixed without undoing and redoing a quarter of it (so, 25 hours work to redo, plus the border, plus careful undoing of at least another couple hours) and I'm not going to bed as I'm still mad at him.

The thing that bugs me about this is that he screws up, says 'Oops, I'm sorry, it was an accident' and gets to wander off while I fix it. Honestly, I really want to throw it in his face (it's got about 50 dressmaker's pins in it at the moment, if I was feeling kinder I'd take those out first) and scream. And maybe smash a few of his preciousssssssssss things for a change.

But that doesn't seem very reasonable. Still, the idea of some sort of punishment is awfully tempting - I'd love to be able to drive home exactly how pissed off and upset I am without actually screaming loud enough to wake the rest of the household up. And ideally without resorting to the pettier thoughts going through my mind, like dragging an angry cat across him, to see how he likes it...

Any help??

ChaosTrulyReigns Sun 06-Jan-13 22:36:59

grin at souvenir teatowel.

nutellaontoast Sun 06-Jan-13 22:38:35

Sounds like you're being a leeetle too reasonable. Do you often feel like he hasn't got much respect for you? <curious>

SpiderManMum Sun 06-Jan-13 22:39:17

Sorry, nothing constructive to add but you've just given me the first good laugh I've had in ages! grin

MikeLitoris Sun 06-Jan-13 22:40:07

yeah, I'm struggling to get past the tea towel tbh.

wtf is it a souvenir of?

<misses point of thread>

MagicHouse Sun 06-Jan-13 22:40:24

Surely you knew you were asking for trouble asking him to help you with the lace??!!

Seabright Sun 06-Jan-13 22:40:48

Does he break other peoples stuff? His own stuff? General household stuff? Or just yours?

If just yours, are you untidy, leave things in daft places, or does he go out of his way to have an accident with your belongings?

PepsiCoco Sun 06-Jan-13 22:44:19

I'm a knitter. I would have a major melt down if DP did this. Well done for staying calm enough to serve revenge cold!

Helltotheno Sun 06-Jan-13 22:54:03

I'd say burst all his tyres and tell him you fell (four times in four different places) while carrying said needles, and ....oops... they went into the tyres shock
Alternatively pee in the bed and say the cat got so angry, it peed itself make sure spare bed made up.. for you
There's always a way OP, just find something he likes and make sure it comes to 'accidental' harm smile

Doha Sun 06-Jan-13 22:54:04


(castrate the bastard) smile

RedTinsel Sun 06-Jan-13 22:54:07

I'm with you on the tea towel, I got one with DCs handprints on from school. DH used it to wipe up paint. Apart from the fact that it was a keepsake from DCs reception year, it cost 15 sodding quid

I'd be annoyed that he's careless with stuff that's special to you.

AbigailAdams Sun 06-Jan-13 22:56:54

What Seabright said.

Tortington Sun 06-Jan-13 22:59:08

if he is as notorious as you say he is, i am afraid to say that this is your own fault!

that is not to say, that you shouldn't be pissed off - of course you should.

However an accident is an accident.

I have an accident prone 19 YO daughter, who today broke a window. - i mean for fucks sake. but i just rolled my eyes and got her to clean up the glass - an accident is an accident

Rindercella Sun 06-Jan-13 23:00:02


HTH grin

PurplePidjin Sun 06-Jan-13 23:07:34

He needs to spend 25 hours making it up to you, by doing something you normally would around the house... Hoovering, cleaning, grocery shopping, that kind of boring shite.

Dp knows better than to even breathe near my crochet unless specifically invited and isn't a disrespectful, clumsy oaf in the first place

bestsonever Sun 06-Jan-13 23:08:55

If he sat on the needles then I guess they were laid on a chair - not really the place for it tbh. Same with something spent hour working on, as you know what he's like, don't leave it to fate and store it away if not working on it at the time. I think some personal responsibility is required here too. Having said that, I have a cat and would not drag it anywhere :-0. Seem a bit odd that

TheMidnightHour Sun 06-Jan-13 23:11:19

re: tea towel, oh god, I know it's stupid. perhaps 'souvenir' is the wrong word in English? anyway, I bought one with a saying, trying to turn a really shit day at work around. Which worked, for a while! sad, I know!

@nutella no, heaps of respect both ways. He's just got a strong negative reaction to anything approaching a raised voice, whereas in my family shouting is how you say hello. I try not to poke the phobia but do struggle to find other ways to express upset without sounding like a robot. "I am dis-plea-sed with the cu-rent sit-u-a-tion. Plea-se change it."

@Spider happy to help, I think ;)

@Sea he breaks plenty of stuff, his too. Doesn't go out of his way to have an 'accident'. I'm the neater one of the two, not a neat freak but we don't have much stuff and I tend to leave stuff in the same places (e.g. knitting will usually be on the sofa if I am). He just doesn't usually care much about the stuff of his he breaks, he's usually got money to throw at it if it's household stuff or a dent in the car.

@Pepsi yeah, I'm in the middle of knitting him gloves (gloves! with fingers! argh! did I mention I hate weaving in ends?) for his birthday and am seriously tempted to do something terrible to them. But I have my (knitterly) pride.

ImperialBlether Sun 06-Jan-13 23:12:09

I would find a place for those knitting needles, put it that way.

TheMidnightHour Sun 06-Jan-13 23:16:46

@Purple tempting suggestion! May try it, no laundry 'til May...

@best knitting needles, like books/laptops/etc are frequently on chairs/sofas as that's where they're often used. If you live with a knitter, you learn to look down. (He's just lucky he didn't sit on the metal spikes I call 'sock needles')

He was actually trying to get the cat away from the knitting eyeroll He's really not bad hearted, just foolish and possibly ferociously unlucky. As am I, and the cat is certainly feeling put upon as has been banished to garage (don't worry, has cat flap plus food).

Anyway, thank you all for responding - you've cheered me up enough to go talk to him again.

Nyx Sun 06-Jan-13 23:24:00

I think that he is obviously clumsy/careless, and as this is the case, there is not much you can do in general except try to damage control - keep things you don't want broken or spoiled out of his way (like the special dishtowel!).

However, in the case of your knitting (I knit too but I am not as good as you yet - haven't been able to keep track of a lace pattern!) - he needs to understand just how disastrous this accident really was. He needs to be really sorry. He needs to feel guilty and actually try to make it up to you, not just wander off angry. If I were you I would start crying. Heart rending sobs. Or quiet, exhausted, I-can't-take-this-anymore sobs. And if he doesn't apologise big time, I would go nuclear.

Sorry about the shawl, hope you can sort it.

Growlithe Sun 06-Jan-13 23:39:05

Why was the cat so angry?

PurplePidjin Mon 07-Jan-13 04:09:44

You don't express anger because he doesn't like shouting? hmm

HollyBerryBush Mon 07-Jan-13 06:58:24

It's an accident. He didn't do it on purpose. Stop infanalising him.

You don't express anger because he doesn't like shouting?

Switch roles - man shouts at woman for breaking something - and everyone would be playing the 'EA' card.

PurplePidjin Mon 07-Jan-13 07:47:17

How exactly do you manage to go through life without getting cross occasionally?! The op is suppressing her natural feelings and reactions because he doesn't like it; that's not healthy.

Once is an accident. Several times is careless and disrespectful and he should have learned by ny now!

HellonHeels Mon 07-Jan-13 07:47:28

It's not the cat's fault! Why the hell is it being punished?

What was his reaction to all of these misadventures? Does he know you're upset?

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