Archives for posts with tag: argument

My youngest daughter was unhappy the other day.  I asked her why and she told me that dad had been acting aggressively and she’d been scared.  I still don’t know the exact details but he had been drinking and apparently locked her in the back garden for 45 minutes because she spilt some sugar.  When my eldest daughter got in from work, he had face cream smeared on his face like tribal paint.

We we need to be out of this situation as soon as possible. The house sale and my new purchase are moving far too slowly, in fact no progress seems to be being made.  He has made offers on five properties and withdrawn all of them.  He’s on various medication and is drinking on top of that. Yesterday his drinking started at 10 o’clock in the morning.  It is evident to me that he is depressed.

I can’t have my daughter scared when he is with her but I need to go out to work. So I had no choice but to confront him. I asked him what had happened the day before. He got angry and warned me not to start. I pointed out that I wasn’t ‘starting’ but had simply asked him a question. I was calm. He wouldn’t tell me. I said that she had been scared and that was unacceptable and that he should consider the effect of his actions on and the feelings of his children.  He told me I was ‘high and mighty’ and that I had ‘put the events in motion’, that I was ‘to blame’ by filing for divorce.  At one time, I would have been enraged by this and fought back, but I no longer care. I know the truth. I’d made my point and I hoped that a little part of it would sink in and cause him to reconsider his behaviour.

Our elder daughter says she never wants to see him again. If he’s not careful, our younger daughter will take the same line.  And I think that’s sad because I might not want him as my husband but he is still their father.

Our younger daughter has said she would like me to meet someone else. She realises that this has not been a proper relationship, she says she thinks of me as single, feels I deserve more and, as she put it, she doesn’t want me ‘to die alone’!  I’m glad she recognises that the relationship is not ‘normal’.

Yesterday my my daughters went shopping together. They bought me a dress and a card with a lovely message of encouragement and support in it because they recognise that I have been feeling down. And they’re right: the days when I’m feeling low are becoming more and more frequent. But when I stayed at a friend’s place while they were on holiday, I quickly bounced back to my normal self so I know that this is only temporary. But I’m fed up with feeling tired and stressed when I’m in my own home.  It wasn’t until I was away that I realised how my body is in a permanent state of fight or flight and this can’t be any good for me.

The situation is driving me crazy.

But hopefully it won’t be long.

And in the meantime I can continue…

Dancing with another.

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He got physically abusive. Just over a week ago. This is what happened.

It was Saturday. I cooked dinner as my daughter was hungry. He wasn’t back from work.  I never know when he’s going to be back: it could be 4.00pm, it could be 10.00pm.  I prepared some for him and left it on the side – I still cook for him even though the decree nisi has come through, it seems petty not to.  We ate at about 5.30.

He got in at 7.00pm. I was getting ready to go out.  He stormed upstairs shouting that his dinner was ruined and he might as well cook his own dinner when he got in.  So I said that from now on I wouldn’t cook for him anymore and I didn’t want him to eat inferior food.  I was very calm because I’m done with all this. It will be over soon and he will be out of my life.  There was more salad and meat and potatoes so he could start cooking again from fresh and have the quality of meal he was demanding.

I started to walk downstairs. I don’t know whether it was to get away from the shouting or to do what I eventually ended up doing, but as I was walking downstairs, he shouted “Don’t throw it away!”  Did that give me the idea or was the idea already there?  Who knows?

I threw his dinner in the sink and dumped the plate on top of it.

And he lost it.  He grabbed me, shook me, shouted in my face, shoved me away, grabbed me again, shouted in my face again. My daughter was watching, screaming at him to stop, crying.  Eventually, he let go and I turned and walked away, which was when he pushed me from behind and sent me hurtling across the hall.

I walked upstairs.  My daughter got all my things together, hugged me, and I left, shaking.

My children went on holiday together the following day.  The younger one told the older one that she didn’t want to go because she was worried about me. I was scared to be in my own home with him. I never expected to feel scared and that in itself was frightening.  He hasn’t hurt me, and part of me thinks it’s not physical abuse unless you’re injured, and I kept telling myself that he wouldn’t actually hurt me but another voice inside me kept telling me that’s probably what all women think before they’re injured or worse.  And he hadn’t been drinking.  So I’m staying with a friend until my daughters get back.

I’ve learnt so much this past week.

I’ll tell you another time.

It happened again. It never seems to happen when I’m expecting it and am ready, strong.

Another argument.  I don’t even know what they’re about anymore.  They just go round and round in circles leaving me more and more confused.  The same things come up, the same things get said, the same accusations made, the same blame fired my way.

And each time, it takes me longer to get up, and sometimes I’ve only just struggled to my feet when I get knocked down again.  A bit like a boxer who’s taken one punch too many and is staggering round in a dazed confusion, unable to avoid the next blow.

I didn’t go out tonight to my ballroom and Latin lesson because I know he doesn’t like me going and it just causes problems.  So I stayed in and that wasn’t right either and that caused a problem.

He says he’s fed up with me not laughing and joking with him.  Really!  He expects me to laugh and joke when I am still reeling from the hurtful abuse hurled at me during the last argument, comments that I can’t even repeat to anyone because they’re so humiliating, but which he ‘can’t remember’.  And when I finally collapse with my arms over my head because I cant bear it any longer, he calmly says he’s not prepared to discuss – discuss? – it anymore and he’s going to bed.

He said I needed to get help – obviously because I’m the one with the problem.  He doesn’t know that I am seeing a counsellor.  I wish he would go and talk to someone because he needs to get his own thoughts straight.  He’s so contradictory and can’t answer when I ask things like ‘How do you want things to be?’  We just seem to go off on a tangent and end up on a completely different issue altogether, usually one which lumps the responsibility back on me. I honestly don’t think he knows what he wants.

I’m so worn down with it all.

I wish I’d gone dancing.

(Tomorrow I am :D)

Although I’ve been working extremely hard to be positive and lift my spirits, I realise that I am worn out and still suffering from the argument we had the night before our holiday.  I think it was the timing of the argument that increased its impact – a holiday is a time when, being away from the everyday, there is a chance to focus on yourselves.  However, what was said during the argument has left me with some very raw wounds.

I feel angry that he spoilt my holiday – although as he pointed out, it wasn’t my holiday, it was HIS holiday.  I couldn’t be myself.  I was frightened to do or say anything that might set him off because I can’t trust him not to explode in front of others as he seems to be losing some inhibitions.  Consequently, for three weeks now, I have been more or less silent in his presence; I rarely initiate a conversation with him; I am non-committal or neutral in my responses.  The bottom line is that I don’t want to be around him; I need space and plenty of it.

Tomorrow is our anniversary and he’s booked a restaurant table for the four of us.  Although it should only be the two of us, I’m relieved he’s included the girls.  I don’t know how or why he thinks I want to celebrate our anniversary at the current moment.  I’m totally confused about everything and quite tired from recent events.  I think it’s good I’ve got an appointment with the counsellor in a couple of days as I need to start making sense of my thoughts and feelings.

In a funny way, I think he’s realised he’s pushed me too far.  He never books restaurants or suggests a night out so this is out of character.  Our daughter says he’s being particularly nice to her, texting to ask how she is and talking to her, which is also out of character.  He keeps talking about booking a holiday for next year, although he had said that the last one would be the last one.  I feel bad (!) that I can’t respond when he is making an effort.

My mind is a muddle; my head is a mess; and I’m weary, weary, weary.

I’ll be glad when tomorrow’s over.

 

 

I just read my last post; I had to in order to remind myself of how positive and happy I was feeling, because tonight I feel battle-weary.

It’s been a tense week.  I’ve felt the atmosphere and have been waiting for the explosion.  I didn’t think it would happen until we got back from the ‘family’ holiday* we’re going on tomorrow.  I was wrong.  Every time I think we’re making some progress, he provokes an argument.  I’ve said it before; no doubt I’ll say it again.  Tonight I tried really, really hard to resist the provocation.  When he raised his voice, I left the room. I told him I was leaving the room because I wasn’t prepared to argue. He either followed me around goading me or shouted that I was doing what I always did, leaving him on his own and walking away.  So eventually, despite knowing I shouldn’t, I snapped.  When will I learn?

Some of the content tonight was:

  • I make him angry;
  • I have caused this situation because back in February I said I wasn’t happy;
  • I’ve made him extremely unhappy;
  • I should have taken him to a restaurant when I got back from our holiday home;
  • I listen to music (there’s a new one!);
  • I shouldn’t go out four nights a week;
  • I should give up dancing;
  • He’s read about women like me (although he didn’t elaborate on this);
  • It’s my fault he’s like he is because I’ve made him like that;
  • I’m to blame for the state of our relationship, it’s all my doing and we have no future.

The latter is a threat and destabilises me.  I suppose it’s fear of the unknown.  I read somewhere that change represents a loss, and that’s why it’s so difficult.

Then of course there was also the twisting of my words so that they became weapons used against me.

He was nasty to our eldest daughter in front of her boyfriend (what must he think?) making her cry so that eventually they left to stay at his place.  She’s not coming on holiday with us so I wanted to see her tonight and tomorrow morning.  Our youngest daughter was naturally upset as well.  When I go to comfort them, he accuses me of taking their side.

He says he wants our relationship to work but that I have to change.  If he wants it to work, why does he force an argument the evening before we go away when we potentially have the opportunity to create some kind of harmony?  How does he think that being argumentative and nasty and upsetting everyone is going to improve the situation?  It’s like trying to bully me into submission.

Although I’m aware that this is all textbook stuff, a small but significant part of me is feeling uneasy and that maybe I am to blame, that I’m making the situation worse.

And another part of me thinks that in the future maybe everything could be all right and that if I do change in the way he wants, it will be OK and we’ll return to how we used to be.

But another part of me thinks I’d be better off without him.

I think I might need to talk to a counsellor when I get back.

 

* This is a holiday that husband likes – we all like it – but it is a holiday that allows an illusion of togetherness whilst we all do our own thing.  He said that he thought it best if I didn’t come, which would break daughter’s heart, and I know that he would be furious if I said “OK, I won’t”.  Again, it’s a veiled threat.  I’m finding these ‘games’ so tedious and exhausting.

As I’ve said before, I don’t want to feel like I do about my marriage, about husband.

I want something to happen to change my feelings.

Every time I feel that we are taking some small steps towards each other, husband throws up the barriers and starts an argument.  For me, it’s just one more nail in the coffin.

For example, on our weekend away, we had a really pleasant evening in a lovely restaurant.  Afterwards we went to a bar.  We walked in.  Husband stopped.  “Go on”, I said.  “You don’t want to be here”, he said, and turned and walked out fast, leaving me struggling to catch up in high heels on cobbled streets – a funny scene in a rom-com, except there’s no rom and not a lot of com and quite probably no happy ending.

Then a couple of nights ago, he came in and started an argument over the fact that he had been festering for three days that my sister had been round and the final straw was that I looked at somebody’s Facebook status and laughed.  I’d booked some theatre tickets for us and felt quite warm towards him but, like I say, a force-field appears and it’s curtains for the good mood.

So when I have a small glimmer of hope, it’s not long before it’s extinguished.

Sad but true.

 

What a blessing I was feeling so strong.  Tonight it kicked off.

He provoked an argument, blaming me for all sorts of things, especially the fact that he feels excluded from the family.  I get so frustrated: he withdrew from us and now we have given up trying to include him, the reality is hitting home.

The more I think about it, the more I realise what has happened.

It was OK for him to sit back and have us, metaphorically, go running to him, cajoling and pandering to him to encourage him to join in.  However, there’s only so long you can continue when you’re being rejected.  Finally, we gave up.  We got on with it.  We stopped our efforts.  And that’s when it hit him, so he felt like we were excluding him, when in reality we’d just got fed up with trying to include someone who refused to be included.

Anyway, the unfairness of the accusations led to my exploding.  And then of course the situation went from bad to worse, with more and more issues and recriminations being thrown into the ring.  And I know I was wrong to get angry, and I know I should have exercised self-control, and I know I shouldn’t have bitten back, but…

I feel so angry that the blame and responsibility is always shifted to me.  I accept some blame, some responsibility, but not all of it.

I feel so angry that he won’t listen and try to understand.  I have spent months reading different books and websites to try and understand not only how I am feeling, but also to gain insight into what’s going on with him.

If we could only sit and talk quietly and respectfully, and more importantly listen quietly and respectfully, maybe we could gain a better understanding and perhaps even work things out.

But the anger and the blame shifting kill communication.  He attacks and in defence I attack and it’s a full-on battle that nobody can win.

I told him I wasn’t prepared to live in a loveless, sexless marriage, where we don’t do anything together.  He admits he shows me no love and affection but says I don’t show him any.  I don’t now, but I used to – and I used to be constantly rejected.  I used to suggest we go out – but I was rejected.  One day, earlier this year, I gave up trying because there’s only so much rejection you can take before you feel humiliated and stop.  I can see now that this was a shock to him and it probably shifted the balance of power.  He no longer had the power to reject me: I had taken control of the situation.  He is seeing my decision earlier this year as THE moment when everything went wrong and so it’s my fault.  I was trying to communicate this to him long before that day, probably for about three or four years, but it fell on deaf ears.

Anyway, the result is that he’s going to give me until the end of my holiday, ie six weeks, to make a decision about what I want to do, so again the responsibility is being shifted to me.

I have two choices:

1.  We break up.  I don’t want to take full responsibility for breaking up the family.  This would be a really hard decision for me to make and there’s no doubt my life would become very difficult.  I wouldn’t want to be apart from my children.  I couldn’t afford a place for three of us to live.  I’d have to give up my business and find a secure, well-paid job.  There’s a fear of the unknown, although deep down I know I have the strength to survive somehow.

2.  We stay together.  Things are bad and I’m not getting what a wife/woman needs from a husband, but couldn’t I pretend that I’m OK whilst continuing to get on with my own life?  I’ve been harbouring so much resentment recently that at times can’t be bothered to make conversation, but couldn’t I change that so that everything appears OK, I suppose like it used to seem before that fateful day earlier this year?

It’s just typical that the decision is being forced upon me.  It’s sad that there’s not a third option where husband actually makes an effort to meet some of my needs and takes some responsibility.

But I suppose if this third option had been feasible, we wouldn’t have ended up where we are.