So M got tired of seeing me mope around the house.
M: "O.K. What do you want. Tell me. What do you want that will make you happy."
Jen:"Nothing. I'm fine."
M: "No you're not."
Jen: "You said that it was a good idea to be self-sacrificing in order to keep the peace. I just need to learn how to be happy with it, so I haven't learned yet."
M: "I didn't mean with me. I don't think you should be self-sacrificing with me at all times, I meant with Piney. She is needier than you because she is a child."
Jen: "You can't just say I need to be compliant with her and not both of you. I am either a compliant person that quietly does what everyone else wants and serves everyone else, or I stand up and tell everyone what I want and what I don't want or what is making me unhappy or happy. I can't switch back and forth."
M: "Look, it is about compromise. We compromised on the motorcycle, didn't we? I can choose to get the motorcycle and you can get an allowance every month of a specific amount of money that you can choose whatever you want to spend it on."
Jen:"That's not a compromise. I am happy with that arrangement, but I should be able to choose equally where our money goes regardless of the motorcycle. If it were up to me, we would budget things very differently"
M: "O.K. You make up the budget you want. After we have budgeted for our fixed, recurrent and shared expenses we will divide the remaining money equally to use at our own discretion. I will transfer that amount monthly directly in to your account."
Jen: (thinking M has totally flipped out - he is giving me half of the money he earns when I haven't even asked for it, nor do I want to be responsible for it) "O.K. sure. Give me the money."
Several hours later when M is looking very grim over his proposal.
Jen: "You don't look very happy about your idea to give me half of the money."
M: "It's fine. I just have to get used to it" (He smiles looking sort of green).
Jen: "M. I don't even want to be responsible for all of that money. I would have to figure out what I needed to spend it on and how to invest it and really to be fair I would have to then give you half of the money I make at my photo business and I really don't want to. I appreciate you trying to make me happy, but it really isn't necessary."
Jen: "You were right anyway. I'm tired of moping around."
M: "Let's go out to dinner without the kids."
Jen: "Great. Let's go."