What brings up all this anger and rage?
Let me give you some personal examples, based on the letter I found. What letter you may ask? A letter I kept because I thought (foolishly) at the time because I felt bad when I read it and thought I would keep it to help me “improve”. Now after re-reading it, I’m just filled with rage. I can’t believe the entitlement in this letter – that he actually put down exactly how he guilt tripped me and made me feel responsible for his happiness. How the guilt allowed him to keep me unbalanced and constantly seeking his approval – approval he refused to give. It’s like he kept moving the tape so that I would never reach the finish line.
The utter gall of some people… the main point of the first part of his letter said that he couldn’t believe I would go out and have fun with my friends while he was stuck at home, working. Because I made him feel bad and depressed for not wanting to spend time with him, while he was telecommuting from home. Because you know you can spend quality time with a person while they are on a conference call. Because basically I should not want to spend time outside of the house without him. He went on and on how he didn’t feel wanted – because basically I’m a bad person for not wanting sex. Because it’s really sexy when you feel constant pressure for not performing – especially when you feel guilty about being a bad wife for wanting to go out to lunch with friends, or in this instance go skiing with friends from work. Because we can just ignore all the times I made suggestions for movies, museums, exploring the new place we moved to and they all got shot down. Every time I suggested something he didn’t “feel” like it. So I got invited out by work friends – and this makes me a terrible person.
You know what the kicker is? I never went out with friends. It was more rare than a blue moon I went out to lunch or shopping with friends. The only people I went out with were always mutual friends, never friends of mine from school or work. What makes this even more amazing is he really felt that entitled to all of my time – even while I was being yelled at for not keeping the house clean. Remember, if I couldn’t go out with friends while he was working from home, what do you think happens when I stay home? I get stuck in the office with him all day, which means I don’t actually do any housework. But it’s my fault for not wanting to be bitched at so I put off laundry/vacuuming/dishes/sweeping.
The second example is actually a combination of 2 separate events, sharing one thing in common: picking me up from someplace…in one instant work, the other from the hospital. The common theme for both is I got screamed at because he got lost. I didn’t give him good enough directions, so it was my fault he got lost. Picking me up from the hospital I wasn’t allowed more than a few phone calls so I never actually gave him directions but it was still my fault he got lost. He screamed at me until I got upset and gave the phone to a nurse and he yelled at her too. During the blizzard in the winter of 2010 he screamed at me until I was crying, waiting with my friend to be picked up. I remember her trying to comfort me, and me feeling mortified that she had to witness that. She could actually hear him scream at me through the phone.
Instead of just acknowledging he got lost and just asking for directions he decided to guilt trip me once again for getting him lost. It was my fault for making him angry because he got lost, and he needed to scream at me for it so I wouldn’t get him lost.
Why did I stay so long? Why not? I was pretty well isolated by those examples. I was embarrassed by his treatment of me, I didn’t want other people to be subject to his outbursts that were never actually over anything that serious. Except putting me in my place, erroding my self esteem and having me not spend time with friends or family – and putting me on an allowance. Yeah… financial abuse right at the tail end of the marriage. I think this whole shit show of a relationship hit all the emotional abuse highlights over the course of 9 years. Nine very long years.
I never had the words to describe what I was feeling. It took therapy and a lot of soul searching, and writing for me to have gotten to this point. I wanted to help ensure I wouldn’t pick another asshole in the future.
I have trouble forgiving myself for staying. For allowing myself to be subjected to this for too long… why? I didn’t want to throw away a relationship with all that history. At the time I still believed the best of him, even with the constant examples that he was NEVER going to change or change how he treated me.
Just because you have history with someone doesn’t mean you are obligated to stay. Hopefully you will realize that your partner doesn’t have your best interests at heart and realize that you need to protect yourself; they won’t. The likelihood of the changing is pretty slim… the only person you can change is you – and how you respond/react to that person.
I cut him out. We do not talk. Except for a birthday wish he sent in 2014 which I refused to respond to. I knew he did it to try to get back into my life to control and manipulate me again. That’s his m.o – he finds women who he believes he can control and conform into what he wants: a maid/mom who will put out and be okay with being disrespected.
Writing this all out is cathartic. I also hope that this helps anyone else men and women who may find themselves in a similarly abusive relationship, to see the person they are attached to and hopefully leave. There is definitely someone better out there for you.