Ok, so my ever-shrinking bladder wakes me up at 2 am. While in a most delicate position I see THIS:
crawling up my bathroom wall. Much screaming ensues and it eventually pulls my husband out of bed. After I run screaming from the bathroom with my hands over my ears he smooches it(I hear the crunch anyway). He then gets angry with me for flipping out and waking him up. I must confess that I've pulled him out of bed numerous other times to kill (admittedly less terrifying) bugs.
I don't have many gender-based expectations for relationships however I must admit that I've always kind of assumed that having girl parts entitles me to a knight in shining armour with boy parts to kill bugs. Sexism aside, there was no possible way for me to kill this bug. I honestly would not have been able to do it with a gun to my head. I also could have never slept knowing this thing lived. As it is I've had to pull my hair back because it blowing in my face was making me scream and swat.
So basically, my question is if one person in a relationship is truly terrified of something, is it unreasonable to expect the partner to come to their rescue (no matter what the hour) or should the other person somehow buck up and handle the situation themselves?
*The photo is wiki... I didn't stop and grab a camera.
edit: on my laptop this pic is pretty much actual size... just to give an indication...
It's the non phobic partner's job to deal with things the partner has a phobia of. And it's extremely common, hardwired,self-preserving instinct to be phobic of things that appear to be related to things which may be poisonous: spiders, snakes, centipedes. I'm not quite sure why many people also shun things which are unclean -- mice, rats, and roaches-- but there's some sense in not wanting to get too near them. All of which explains why an awful lot of people have your visceral reaction to creepy crawlies.
I suspect there's a cultural component as well. The instincts are there for many, but boys are teased as "sissies" if they express those feelings, while girls get reinforcement that it's normal to express them loudly and dramatically. As a tomboy, I was vaguely disgusted with other girls for screaming -- I was NOT going to be a screaming female as portrayed in classic Dr Who when something draped in a bedsheet lurched into view -- and by golly, those things really do not scare me. So It's my job to remove bugs and spiders and snakes when others of either gender freak out. But I now know that either I never had the instinct, which could've got me killed in a more primitive era when it was harder to keep poisonous bugs out of the dwelling -- or I trained it out of myself, and I had no good reason to be scornful of those girls. It varies by person, instinctively, then gets reinforced by peer behavior.
I rescue spiders from would-be bug killers, but I do smooch silverfish. They eat books!
I would think it was likely culturally encouraged as well, but my case I'm gonna go with completely primal instincts. What is odd with me is that bees and wasps (which could actually kill me, I'm allergic) don't bother me. I love snakes and think mice are pretty cute. It seems to be related to 1. The number of legs and 2. the "skittering".
When dealing with the death of my son, my shrink actually touched on the phobia and asked if I wanted treatment. I said ok but after two sessions where she brought in a caged spider that she progressively moved closer to me, we discovered that I will actually faint if forced into close contact.
I do wish there was something I could do about it because I hate the "girly" response myself. It makes me feel slightly better that I can handle the removal of snakes and mice, but it doesn't really come up that much. The bug thing, especially in spring and fall, is almost weekly.
It is the unafraid partners responsibility and duty to protect us from whatever it might be - whether that is the man or woman.
However, murdering innocent bugs is more of a question ! There it is, minding its own business climbing the wall when you half undress and 'moon' the poor thing, scream at it and then get it murdered just for being there! surely I am not the only one who catches them and drops them out of the window ?
What is that insect, some type of earwig? We don't have too many large creepy crawlies here in the UK, which is just as well as I always seem to be the designated bug remover. I don't think it's a man's responsibility, as I know just as many insect squeamish men as I do women.
Its natural to jump when something unexpectedly moves or runs across the floor, but if you don't have an insect phobia its hard to comprehend that when it has been identified as a harmless spider why the terror continues. Having said that, I do think some of the people I know are just bunging it on so that I will do the never-pleasant insect mashing duties!
We don't kill bugs if they're harmless. I catch them in a tissue and place them outside. Otherwise, hubby is the chief bug-killer - except in the case of spiders. He's scared of spiders!
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