“Your houseplants died because of me,” the stepfather creepily admits. Itia? Updated.

“Your houseplants died because of me,” the stepfather creepily admits.  Itia?  Updated.

When this woman was horrified by her husband’s strange confession, she asked on Reddit:

“My husband (31) (32) is messing with my plants. What should I do?”

I have many houseplants and even some were very expensive and were gifts from my sister. Over the past six months at least a third of my plants have died. I have grown houseplants my whole life because of my late mother’s love of houseplants and I know a lot about plants.

Plant death does not seem to be related to lack of light, irregular watering, lack of nutrients, or even root rot! They died very suddenly. I tried not to let it bother me too much because the plants are dying and they haven’t been an expensive plant yet.

My sister gave me a 5 leaf Monstera Albo plant for my birthday a couple of months ago. It was nice.

I was crying so hard this morning about this that I took it out of its pot and looked at the roots and I was looking hard at this plant and the roots to see if its death was related to pests and that’s when I noticed an odor.

I sniffed my potting mix and smelled bleach. The only other adult in my house who has unlimited, unsupervised access to my plants is my husband.

I couldn’t talk to him for several hours, but when I did I asked him very calmly but very directly if he had done something to my plants. He denied this at first. I said I smelled bleach in Albo’s potting mix that my sister got me and that the only person who could have put it there was him and he gave up.

He said he was putting small amounts of bleach into the water jugs for the fertilizer I was making. I started crying. So I asked him why, why are you doing this? You know I love these plants, so why destroy them? He didn’t really answer and didn’t really apologize.

The trust I had in him was completely gone. I think maybe counseling could help us, but he’s the one who did it, but I’m the one who’s going to have to set up the counseling. The angry part of me just wants this relationship to be over. I know this may seem extreme, since we are married with a child, but now I feel like I am not safe with my husband.

Triz He writes:

Be careful. This is abuse. It ruins something that makes you happy. It does this in a way that makes you self-aware as well, which is essentially a subtle form of physical illumination. This is done with the exclusive aim of making you less happy and weaker in general.

Your partner wants you to feel uncomfortable. If he gets any of that, it will inevitably escalate.

Press him for an answer and don’t let him evade you. Focus on the effect on you, the simple assumption: “The only possible outcome of those actions is hurting me.” So why would you choose to hurt me, your wife?

Since you chose to hurt me, what action can I take but leave since you seem like you want to pose a danger to me and my stuff?

com. winterblue He writes:

In my country, the intentional and malicious destruction of loved ones (secretly or otherwise) is part of how we define domestic violence. This is because it is a form of coercive control.

What he did here is an act of coercive control. People who don’t like something from their partners talk to them about it instead of calmly controlling the situation according to their desire by destroying property and emotionally hurting the other person. Initial denial is gaslighting too.

As others say, in most cases, this shit escalates. A man who relates to you through coercive control does not see you as a person, but as an object or property. This dehumanization takes many forms, and often results in death.

I highly recommend seeing an individual therapist and talking to support services to plan your way out of this relationship.

There is no point in counseling couples where active coercive control is occurring – it will actually only make things worse, and is a contraindication for your scenario, so don’t put yourself at further risk of emotional and psychological damage by engaging in it.

com. writergeek He writes:

This is changing the locks while at the annoying level of work. He intentionally killed many living beings you loved, which helped you feel more connected to your sister and to your mother’s memory.

There’s a deep, dark pit of evil where this man’s heart is supposed to be. If your child begins to show even the slightest signs of some kind of health problem, please take him to the pediatrician immediately. He’s already proven that he’s willing to kill something she loves.

the future He writes:

Your husband is evil. You need to fire him. Counseling is meaningless with someone so aggressive and deceitful.

I had a 13 year relationship with a guy like this. He put holes in my engine so I couldn’t drive. He was hiding my medications when I started getting better.

Half the time I didn’t even know he was crazy, he was preoccupied with my property and my life. Intentionally bleaching or throwing away my favorite clothes. You were the only person in his life who tolerated him and defended him.

I did everything for him and was so obvious and stupidly giving. Any time I tried to draw boundaries and stand up for myself, my health, our children, and human dignity – he would boil with rage and strange bad luck would begin.

com. educationpley He writes:

I don’t understand this situation why he would do such a thing. Is he just a cold person? Evil, sadistic? Does he hate plants? Did he get jealous because the plants were getting attention or something? Like I have a lot of questions I want answered lol.

But seriously, it works and I’m glad you’re aware of how effective it is. He killed the living plants, your living plants, on purpose, knowing you would be upset about it. Then deny it!

And then the final kick was when you were clear and understandable, according to you, he never apologized or explained himself! this is sick. If it was wrong in some way or there was remorse, perhaps there would be some forgiveness, but that is clearly not the case.

I would feel anxious about what this man was doing and I would not feel confident or safe with him anymore. I’m going to divorce and get custody of the child, and try to get him to go to therapy because he clearly needs it.

Something’s not all the way there. Try to think about whether this is sudden or if there were strange and abnormal signs or behavior before this, as this may shed some light on the mental issues or disorder this man is suffering from. I’m so sorry about your plants and I wish you and the baby the best of luck.

com. mrlizardbiz He writes:

Well, I’m not a forensic psychologist, but I’d say either he’s jealous of your plants and feels threatened by the way you love and care for them, or he just wanted to destroy something you love and watch you suffer for his entertainment.

Either way, this is not good, OP. Yes, they are “just plants” but by no means are you overreacting. If anything I think you’re under-reacting, honestly.

He destroyed something you loved, something you nourished and cared for, something that had emotional weight and meaning to you… just, accidentally. No reason was given, not even a plausible lie he could come up with.

WTF…. Like, if it were anything else I’d say the same thing – you don’t destroy photos of an artist, fan group, or instrument. Don’t mess with someone’s pets, plants, or car.

When you love something enough, it becomes a piece of you. When your partner disrespects her, or worse, mistreats her, he is casually showing you how little he cares about you.

Banana leaf He writes:

The only reason I can imagine someone would do this is because the soil attracts and reproduces insects. Has he ever complained to you about this before and perhaps you ignored or did not address his concerns?

I say that because we have a small citrus tree that has been infested with spider mites for many years. I was terrified that the infection would spread to my other houseplants.

I was just going to throw it away but it’s my husband’s favorite tree. I must add that I am a true plant lover in the relationship and fought it to have any plants in the house at all.

After getting a company to come and treat it failed, I tried every dye I could on that stupid tree, from vinegar, neem tree oil, dish soap, and wind. She started by treating the leaves and branches, but when the critters returned each year, she began “soil treatment,” also known as pouring harsh chemicals and soap into their pots.

I admit it got intense towards the end but something worked!! Today is fine and healthy, thank God. There have been no injuries over the past two years. It is currently bearing fruit. I would also like to point out that I did not try to kill the plant at all. But I’ll admit, I was at my wits end with the damn thing.

Do you think he was trying to do something similar and is too worried about your reaction to fully acknowledge it?

Slipnip He writes:

Devils are defending here. This is obviously very strange behavior and could be a sign of incredibly toxic/childish feelings from your spouse.

but! You seem to get a lot of plants as gifts. Obviously buy your own as well. Instead of measuring by number (i.e. saying “at least two of my plants”), say “one-third.” You talk about how they bonded with your mother because of her love for them. You seem to have a lot of plants. Like a lot, a lot.

Is the house filled with plants? Does the average person think you have too much?

And more importantly – has your husband ever tried to express that he doesn’t like your numbers, to which you responded by feeling emotionally guilty – playing on the relationship with your late mother, etc? Is there any chance that this is him at his wits’ end?

OP responds with this update:

I thank everyone for the advice. The house we live in belongs to me and my sister, and is inherited from my mother. My husband has an office/room/playroom which is his personal space and there are no plants there.

There are also no plants in the kitchen. I’m not a plant hoarder. Like it has its own room, I also have a sunroom where the concentration of plants lives. He has no reason to go there.

No access to our backyard or anything. I’ve seen some people say that maybe they’re tired of the bugs, but I don’t have a fungus gnat problem. I saw someone ask why I didn’t smell bleach when I was watering?

And I can just tell that my nose wasn’t there maybe? I also usually use a natural system in my fertilizer water called sns-209 which smells a lot like rosemary, but I ran out last month and haven’t replaced it yet.

After our meeting yesterday I needed space. He went to his office and I spent the night in my daughter’s room on a folding bed. I’m going to text my husband today. He usually communicates easier and opens up more via text, rather than face-to-face. I’ll ask why and see what he says.

What do you think about the OP’s dilemma? Should she leave her husband or is their relationship repairable?

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