Controlling, selfish husband
I came here today to ask for an opinion on an issue I had today with my husband. In general he is what most would consider controlling. He does not like me to go out with friends, he is on my case if people are texting me, and we rarely do things separately. Not to say I have never gone out, but I receive so many comments if I do that I tend to decline invites from friends to aviod confrontations with him. Anyway, today I had to communicate via call with my coworker about a small item for tomorrow. It was not something that could wait until tomorrow morning and would take a total call time of about 1 minute max. This coworker (also female) he does not like. He asked me who I was calling and then after I hung up (didn't answer) he began to insult her as a person. I was irritated by that since in no way the call really affected him or our time together, but he started getting riled up and told me that I had better watch it because some day he might not be able to control what he says and when he sees her he will yell in her face all the things he hates about her. I told him he needed to grow up and that led to him telling me he is tired of me defending other people and that some day he will tire of it and leave me. It sounds so completely controlling and I let him know that I am a person and I have the right to make a phone call to whomever I choose and if he doesn't want to hear it he can walk to a different area. He feels that I should wait and make the call when he is not around because I know he hates this woman. Is there anyone who thinks that I am looking at this the wrong way?
I have a feeling he would have acted like this even if you were talking to your own mother.
This guy has anger problems. Is he depressed?
Can you go to couples counseling? If you want to stay with him, he's got to get this raging under control
It does not bother him that he hurts to one he's supposed to love.
PS - Do not argue with him, it only fuels his anger and makes him even more defensive.
You are spot on with that. If I fry to defend myself he gets worse. Usually I do but today I just couldn't hold it in. I got tired of being controlled. I don't care if it bothers you that I call this person. I have work to do and I'm not going to hide my calls to people he doesn't care for which is a very long list.
He sounds possessive. (He also sounds despairing.) But is that because he's greedy or because he's being somewhat starved?
Are you sure he even meant those things he said about your colleague or is he just a venter who has a lot of fast, hot steam to vent (during what sounded to me distinctly like a heated argument despite it got relayed as if it had been a calm, reasonable conversation)?
What were the two of you DOING when that call came in and had he had ample fill of having you all to himself *prior* to it coming in?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning the fact he feels he can wantonly puke hot air any time he feels like it without thought of what he's saying (which he might later regret or you might later be unable to put behind you), but I think possibly some of his behaviour is less abusive and more just a million miles away from how YOU tend to think, behave and deal with things. I don't know though, hence asking you whether, him possibly being the type who has a large togetherness appetite, you 'feed' him enough or whether you tend to have a lower threshold for being all lovey-dovey cosy? This clash of fundamental viewpoints and expectations and the behaviour it produces can become a never-ending cycle that escalates beyond what originally was intended, you see.
I can only assume he means what he says about my coworker since he has said it many times. He calls her a fat, lonely, has-no-life b***h. I get tired of the name calling. And it's because on occasion during non-work hours we need to co-ordinate something for the coming week. She is also a very pleasant person who has invited me to many things. I don't believe he has ever had to spend time with her. They may have been introduced once when he visited my work. That aside, thr call would have lasted less than 1 minute.
As to what we were doing, we were finishing lunch. He had actually gotten up to thtow away trash and that was the moment I made the call. I made the call, not her. And it did not even happen because she didn't answer. When I say we're together all the time, I mean pretty much any time I'm not at work, Im with him. We routinely share a car on the way to work and back, we go home and are together at home every week night. On the weekends, we spend all day together. Every weekend. The last time I went out with friends for a night was probably around 2 months ago. I am pretty sure I am feeding his "togetherness" appetite. Beyond that, we just passed our 3 year anniversary and I have been trying to get him to go do something. NOT something only I would enjoy, but really taking the time to think of something he would like. He is an avid salsa music fan and I suggested we go to the place we went after our wedding reception to dance salsa. I am not a great dancer and don't really like to dance in public but I knew he liked it and tried. He didn't want to.
I'd like to add the other thing that to me is highly hipocritical. He is constantly on his phone texting friends. I mean from the time he gets home until we are in bed and the messages ccontinue to arrive. I have no problem spending time together but those weeknights after work is him in front of the TV, texting with his friends. His response to that is that he is from another country so that's his only way of staying in contact with his friends. So I am not supposed to go out with or text/call my friends because it interrupts our together time but he can because his friends are in another country.
As I mentioned, the list of people he doesn't like is awfully long and seem to be the people I most interaxt with. The friends of minr he doesn't mind are people who live far away and lead busy lives so are thus unable to talk much.
Yes, I agree by his age he should have found a less unimpressive and destructive way of discharging sudden negative feelings.
"And it's because on occasion during non-work hours we need to co-ordinate something for the coming week. "
Define 'on occasion'?
"She is also a very pleasant person who has invited me to many things."
Invited YOU? Sorry, I thought you said you were one of a team ("husband")? What's she doing being so rude as to exclude him? Oh, wait. I'm beyting she's SINGLE. Correct?
"As to what we were doing, we were finishing lunch. "
What do you NORMALLY do right after finishing lunch (or what, maybe, did you USED to do that he would possibly like resumed)? Did you two ever used to warn the other you were about to make a phonecall?
"When I say we're together all the time, I mean pretty much any time I'm not at work, Im with him. We routinely share a car on the way to work and back, we go home and are together at home every week night. On the weekends, we spend all day together. Every weekend."
On the weekends MEANS every weekend. So that means you said it twice.
Sounds to me like you feel over-stuffed and wanting less Him on your plate. How long have you been feeling like this? Three years isn't a very long time to be together, is it? In fact, shouldn't you still be in Honeymoon Period ("I'm ..sticking with you (tra-la-la)...cos I'm ...made out of glue"). Or were you together a good few years before tying the knot? And for how long have you been trying to get him to do something?
"He is constantly on his phone texting friends. I mean from the time he gets home until we are in bed and the messages ccontinue to arrive. "
Has he always done this? And when exactly was it you began to actually complain out-loud about it? Or have you never?
"I have no problem spending time together but those weeknights after work is him in front of the TV, texting with his friends. His response to that is that he is from another country so that's his only way of staying in contact with his friends. So I am not supposed to go out with or text/call my friends because it interrupts our together time but he can because his friends are in another country."
Yes. Because HE isn't already guaranteed to be able to see and speak face-to-face with any of them during the week.
But I don't think this is ABOUT calls or outings. I think he's just using these events as his complaints conduit. I think you THINKk you're sating him, but you're not. And that's because you're not taking into account his lack of independence compared to you, courtesy of the fact he's cut off from his own culture, friends, interests...
You're his world, aren't you. And he's not very good at making new friends, is he. So not only are you his wife but you're literally his only source of social stimulation. Correct? If so, finally we're getting somewhere. RSvP.
On occasion means maybe once a month and involves a text or a quick call.
Sorry for the wording, she has invited US and ME depending on the event. He doesn't care to go to a spa party for women. The same goes for other coworkers singlw and married. He doesn't want to attend anything related to my work or friends. We have been invited to numerous events by many varied people and rarely can I get him to socialize with anyone. When we do, he'll complain about it in subsequent fights.
The staus quo for finishing lunch is just that. Clean up and move on with the day. I have at times stated I was going to make a call before doing so but he does not and calls without mentioning when or who he is calling.
As for the texting, he has increased the time spent doimg that since he bagan doing less around the house. Before he would cook or clean on occasion and now that is expected of me. So he is texting and watching TV while I cook and then clean up. I actually enjoy spending time with my husband but I enjoy *quality* time when we're both disconnected. I do not take calls during the evenings when friends call for that reason.
As for seeing his friends, no he can't and I understand that's why he needs to talk with them via text. I have however asked for maybe one day a week for him to disconnect and for us to do something. Hasn't happened yet. I also would point out that I do not see my friends during the day either. This coworker is not someone I have much contact with at work. So I am not passing my time at work socializing, I am working. And as I said, I rarely see friends after work.
I also am fully aware that he has few other people to socialize with, but that does not warrant me giving up my life. He has refused to make any friends here and complains constantly about it after having lived here for over 3 years. I am sympathetic to his complaints about being in a new country since I went to live in his country for 2 years, not knowing a single soul. I too have been in a foreign country not speaking the language. I got out there and did things. I learned the language by putting myself in uncomfortable situations and I hung out with him and his friends without complaining.
As for time together, we were together for a year and a half before getting married. I think we should also be in the honeymoon phase too but actaually feel like we never were. We have gone to counseling that I asked for and the therapist said he needed to take more responsibility for his life here. When he heard that he refused to go again. It may sound like I am just whining and being selfish wanting time to communicate with friends but I have really tried to do everything I know to make it a happy relationship for both. This is of course much more involved than this one situation, but I do feel I have the right as a human to not be told that I can make a call after he leaves the room so he doesn't have to hear me conversing for less than a minute with someone he doesn't care for.
Sound like you're whining and being selfish? Who said that? Oh! You did.
I personally think the distinct opposite, Nautilus. I think you bent over backwards too much in the beginning, including failing to complain hard enough (to his level), and thereto set his expectations too high when it comes to what you have to deliver, and too low when it comes to what he has to. Exacerbating all of this is the fact he has 'special needs', by which I mean, he's now in your past position, but lacks your resourcefulness and independent-mindedness. So now he's caught in this vicious circle - can't adapt to new life = don't like new life = won't adapt to something I don't like.
Clearly, you have tried to introduce him to people, but they've not lit his candle. Did he feel they were too highbrow for him added to the fact he barely (barely or doesn't?) speaks the language?
Do any of your work colleagues speak his language or does he have to sit there hour after hour each time, like a speaking person with the TV set to mute?
But if he lost his patience the minute the counsellor said he needed to take more responsibility, could that possibly be because she over-focused on the surface symptom? Or is he simply a big baby who's used to everything being done FOR him via copious amounts of family-orientated relatives?
Was his family a very tight-knit one whose constant company he's now having to effectively mourn before he can get on with the business of rehabilitation? What country is he from, anyway? Do wives over there tend to live their lives through their husbands? And why did you both have to come live over- where? -are you in the US or Britain? - if originally it was decided you should live with him in his country?
What were all the qualities that attracted you to him to this degree in the first place?
"but I do feel I have the right as a human to not be told that I can make a call after he leaves the room so he doesn't have to hear me conversing for less than a minute with someone he doesn't care for"
Yes, you do. Unless you taught him otherwise via how you USED to behave around him. Did you?
Define 'together' [for a year-and-a-half]. As long-distancers?
You didn't answer me over whether this particular colleague is single. I'm going to assume she is. What proportion of her invitations are for single girlie things versus couple things?
I think in all you have written, yes, that is probably the big problem here. For a long time I have felt like I should have complained more or should have demanded more. I am not a person who enjoys confrontation and I didn't push things. Now, after having an outsider analyze all of that and hearing someone say that just makes me very sad. It's something he would say. It's my fault because I didn't _______. And I guess I will take the responsibility then.
I have introduced him to many friends, including those who speak his language. I at least held a candle hoping we could socialize with those people, but he lately has turned down those invites as well. I have a certain amount of sympathy for being in a group, not being able to contribute to the conversation - that was how it was at the time we lived in his country. I could only sit and listen. No one translated for me. I at least do that in the situations and although none of my friends are fluent, they try to use phrases they know and still ask him questions, trying to include him in the conversation.
As for family, he is not close with them. He has had many issues with his family as well and goes through periods where he doesn't speak to them. He has not spoken with his dad in about 2 years now. They were in no way a tight-knit family and did not really help each other out.
He is from Ecuador, and while I am sure many wives do have to do that, he always talked about how he couldn't stand those kinds of women who just stayed at home and didn't work. He always said that he could never be with someone like that and laughed at the public service announcements they had about machismo in the country. To him, he is in no way like that. I had originally wanted to stay in Ecuador a while longer to try out living together there, but he was the one who had a very strong opinion that we should live in the US. And yes, part of the time "together" was actually long distance when I came back to the US to find us a place to live and get a job here while doing immigration papers.
One of the qualities that attracted me to him in the first place was his social nature. We would go out all the time and hang out with his friends, occasionally mine. If he wanted "guy" time, I went out with my friends and it was no problem. He is a hard worker and disciplined on most things, having previously been a professional athlete. I have seen a decline in that discipline, especially when it comes to the English classes he signed up for. He started out strong and slowly began to skip class more. Now he just decided to not take it at all. I have offered every type of assistance in English I can think of.
My colleague is single. She invited us to painting, he did not want to go but told me I could go. I did and then he held that against me for the rest of our relationship. I have honestly never accepted another invitation from her to avoid this problem.
"I am not a person who enjoys confrontation "
Given a choice between [a] confronting at the time/nipping in the bud or [b] deluding yourself things will somehow correct themselves as only leads to having to confront later - yet bigger/longer - I'm sure your past penchant for trouble-evasion has newly paled in appeal, si? In other words, a rose tree has to be pruned whether we like it or not, but nipping little buds is far easier and less time- and energy-consuming than great big blooms, leaves and thorns. Prevention, when possible, is always better than cure.
If you're sure you're both still soundly glued underneath it all, irrespective of any typical clashing and arguing, then the only effective way to alter a dynamic to one more befitting of your upped self-confidence and -assertiveness is to do something drastic: [a] accept and be prepared to tolerate a period of however long of struggling and fighting until he has to accept his attempts to keep things how he's always liked them aren't going to work any more (united you stand, divided you fall), meaning he'd better get with the new programme; [b] insist on a wee separation until alienation kicks in whereupon all past habits (this case, bad) naturally fall by the wayside and you reapproach each other more formally and cautiously like semi-strangers (whereupon the improved habits get to take and replace the old).
"Now, after having an outsider analyze all of that and hearing someone say that just makes me very sad. It's something he would say. It's my fault because I didn't _______. And I guess I will take the responsibility then. "
No, it's not your FAULT. It's BOTH your fault. But you're in a stronger position than him. *Somebody* has got to take the lead, here. So that somebody may as well be she who is more logical, clear-thinking and sensible (particularly when under fire). You're not taking the blame, you're taking your turn in applying your (in the context of you and he) unique skillset. I'm sure he has other skills you lack. So let him shine where he's most apt whilst you do the same. It's called teamwork. And teammates are what you sign up to be when you join lives with each other. And that's the problem - you two haven't been cooperating like a team.
THIS is the entity to blame: "I have a certain amount of sympathy for being in a group, not being able to contribute to the conversation - that was how it was at the time we lived in his country." Life. Life is to blame. Life in conjunction with the fact you have certain qualities that make you more adaptable in this specific type of landscape than he does. That's part and parcel of a union between two people from different land masses because normal compromise isn't possible what with nothing to set up camp on aside from a vast ocean (and you two not being dolphins, LOL).
Perhaps fate brought you two together deliberately to bring to the surface and highlight these, each of your certain inadequacies/potentials in interpersonal skills so that - courtesy of the glue (chemistry) as means you *have* to stay together to avoid major heartbreak - you'd both be forced to really pump and grow those muscles?....ready for something bigger but as yet unforeseeable looming on your farthest flung horizon?
"As for family, he is not close with them. He has had many issues with his family as well and goes through periods where he doesn't speak to them. He has not spoken with his dad in about 2 years now. They were in no way a tight-knit family and did not really help each other out. "
He sounds like he's having a bit of a mid life crisis as brings about these 'crunch' situations, socially. So there should lay his motivation for trying to ensure you and he don't go the same way. Plus - ref. "he was the one who had a very strong opinion that we should live in the US." Streets paved with gold, huh (only they're not) - suffering major disillusionment and disappointment.
" and laughed at the public service announcements they had about machismo in the country. To him, he is in no way like that."
Maybe not in SUNNY weather, hey! But when under duress, a body WILL lazily grab at attitudes past and prevalent that they genuinely thought they'd managed to rise above and surpass. Or maybe this is more to do with you being his be-all-and-end-all and that making him feel very insecure about losing you and grabbing at any 'rule' he can just to give him a sense of being anchored to something.
It's flattery, Jim, but not as we'd like it.
You should also stop and wonder whether you (and possibly he, too) might be being a bit too impatient, and failing to consider that these things take TIME? To know whether you should do something or continue doing very little (but meanwhile accept and embrace it!) to see if eventually settles down and knuckles down into his new life and home - try doing something first, see if it works. That's always the acid test.
I know it's hard on you because a part of you would have found the long-distance aspect appealing (as in space to be and please yourself), but you haven't exactly had all that much time to adapt to being part of a close-knit team, either, have you. This MIGHT be a case of 'gets worse before it gets better'...his final struggle...his dying swan act (before finally giving in and re-taking BL**DY ENGLISH LESSONS!).
Yep, he sounds typically gung-ho-blokily impatient and because he isn't used to not being able to wave his own magic wand, is having a reaction called falling into a self-pitying heap and somewhat taking it out on you. So don't pay any heed to this mere smoke-screen: "he did not want to go but told me I could go. I did and then he held that against me for the rest of our relationship. I have honestly never accepted another invitation from her to avoid this problem.", it's just him trying to make "Whaaaaaaah, mummay!!" sound more manly "urr", as in, "Tarzan NOT agitated because Tarzan scared and at a loss, it Jane p*ssing me off".)
He's scared, directionless, now a bit depressed. But it's just a normal reaction to discovering the reality of a situation doesn't fit the conception.
I'm sure it won't last, but as I say, you can help it along like the willing teammate you obviously (actions - taking this trouble) are. But the good news is, he obviously IS intrinsically sociable, meaning, that will inevitably start chomping at the bit to get through again. So just refuse to give in in the meantime, i.e. don't let him try to satisfy the very sociability deprivation he so badly needs by using you because sense of deprivation is the very mechanism that will pose as his motivator for finally being done with his little pity-party and taking the bull by the horns.
Sorry, just read that back and it could be simpler. Try this analogy:
He was basically a fudge eater (Equadorian toffee was softer than US toffee). Then he decided, because of you, to become a US toffee eater. Only his adult teeth had yet to come through. He tried a few bites of the toffee and, after a while to his surprise and disappointment, experienced too pain. He threw down the toffee in a toddler fit and commenced biting your ankles instead. Sure, chewing IS going to speed up the arrival of his adult teeth. But by the time it works you'll have no ankles left.
He's chewing out the pain and frustration (the process of adapting to the reality of the situation) on the wrong thing.
[a] foist the toffee back into his hands (and don't give in when he tries to throw it down again in preference of your ankles) OR
[b] [i] keep your ankles away from him OR [ii] numb them (by not taking his actings-out personally whereby they upset you).
Sooner or later he'll have to either WAIT (and you too) for his big teeth to finish coming in, or choose off his own bat to retrieve the toffee and try more patiently persevering with it.
(Tsk - TOOTH pain, not too pain)
Well, first off I have to say thank you for taking the time to respond to all of this. It has made me re-think a few things. I get frustrated after a while of him constantly throwing rude comments my way, so as much as I'd like to not let these things bother me, they still do. Especially in moments like yesterday when he tells me that he will eventually get sick of me and leave me. I really honestly feel like everyday I am trying my best to support him and play like a team, but no matter what I give, it never seems enough. The people he does not want me to communicate with is far beyond my coworkers. It includes closer friends and certain members of my family. I don't know if things will ever improve or if this will just go the other way and he does leave. He doesn't like change. That's for sure. He had a different expectation of what it was like here and has told me numerous times his opinion of my country, my culture, my friends and my family. It becomes quite a load. In all, I think I got tired and finally broke. We'll see in the coming days what happens. If he does decide to leave, I guess I will have to deal with it.
Stop trying so hard. If you don't rise to the bait, he'll have no choice but to deal with how he's feeling on his own. And quite right, too, since you've been the door opener whilst he the door dodger and slammer.
I know I've just said you're supposed to be a team. But that doesn't mean you persist past the point of reasonable (you ain't Joan of Arc). So if he says silly things like, he'll get sick of you and leave you, think: "Pow!" is just "Ow!" with P(retention) as its veneer.
You're MEANT to get upset because then you engage, in the process handing him your ankles. If you believe it's however much YOUR problem, you'll feel compelled to get in the ring with him, won't you. Make him feel silly. When he says that, say, 'Tsk, don't be daft, I'm GORGEOUS (and you're not an idiot)!'. Or say, 'Yeah, I know. That's why you married me and moved all the way here, isn't it - so you could bugger off more easily at the first hurdle'.
You may not FEEL this sassy, but if you can keep your control and just try the once rising above it, you'll be surprised at the sense of empowerment and an ability to find it utterly ridiculous, even amusing (don't grin, though). This is faking it to make it, how to fast-track yourself to that genuine mindset.
So he has a wart that's lately grown into a right stonker. But how is the light-to-dark ratio OVERALL? I'm talking how he's treated you and behaved towards you and the relationship since the day you met until now? 70:30? Higher? That's what you must always stay focused on.
"He doesn't like change. That's for sure."
LOL. State the bleedin' obvious, why doncha.
"If he does decide to leave, I guess I will have to deal with it."
I'll eat my hat if he does! Think about it: would it REALLY be that hard for him to do?...pack a suitcase, grab a flight..? Why hasn't he done it already? BECAUSE HE DOESN'T WANT TO. He's just venting his frustration. If he WEREN'T venting, THEN you'd have cause to worry.
I remember ex-husband after he'd had a hard day. He couldn't just come through the door and ask nicely for a cuddle. Why, that wouldn't have been MANLY! :-p Far easier to upset ME first (usually with some unfair comment) so that by contrast his own subsequent honest expression wouldn't seem so "big girl's blouse". In a practical sense, men can be very mature and capable, but in the emotional domain under upset, ego leading the proceedings? [smirk]
But you do need to retrain him by ensuring he never gets given those ankles. And then he'll finally see that little game of his is newly futile - fact - and try something else.
Let us know how it goes.
Oh, and I forgot to say (sorry, trying to do two things at once here): the attempt to make you cease socialising is just his silly side wanting to level the playing field (misery loves company and all that), wanting you to curl up into a depressed little ball under the duvet WITH him... because, again, then he won't look in such a bad shape to himself or to you...bit like if you're podgy, taking a podgy friend into the changing rooms to try on clothes right beside you. Now who's podgy? No-one. So if you gratify his attempts to demotivate you in that regard, you'll really not be doing him any favours at all. Just calmly say, 'No, I am going, stop being silly'. But meanwhile, keep trying to invite him places - just you and he. That way he can't claim you're going out with other people without him (when you could stay in with him, thinks he) because you're going off him. That's his deeper-most fear, you see... that he's proven himself to be a failure and thereby less attractive, in your eyes as well as his own.
Upping the sex works wonders, as well. It's the ultimate opinion, you see.
Oh, and so does giving them more manly projects, like DIY... something to really get his teeth and brain into. Anything YOU can't do but he can, basically. But you have to ask nicely or wish out-loud that your house featured this or that. He has to think it's his idea, him proving himself really invaluable and clever. Is he any good with his hands (ooer, matron)?
Also, try to time your texts and phonecalls exactly with his. "Who you texting?....Oooh, you've just reminded me I've got to text so-and-so (cheers)".
I'll try to think of more little tips to add.
Anything new to report, Nautilus?
Well lets see, turns out he was sick the last week when I took him to the doctor yesterday. That probably didn't have him in the best mood. We had just fallen into a mutual silence for the most part, other than talking about him being sick. He has stayed on the couch, watching TV most days. I go to the bedroom and read. I was still cooking for both of us and took care of the medication he needed and such. Anyway, this morning though, it seems he wanted some kind of interaction because he started to call me his "roommate." A.K.A. we just live together and their is no relationship. I told him simply that he was the one deciding to sleep on the couch and that I have never sent him out of the room ever. At first I started to get into it, but then I thought about what you'd been saying and I let him leave and go to work. After he left I texted him telling him that I can't change the country we're in and can't change all the people he doesn't like, so that's it. He responded that he COULD change it (again basically threatening to leave) and I just said "if you want to be here, you will. If not, you won't. I have not changed how I feel about the relationship, and that's it." And I stopped responding. He threw in a few more comments about how if he finds out that I have been in contact with my sister (another person he hates), that will be the end of things. She lives in the same city. It should all be very interesting when my parents come into town for a visit next week....
He really is being a total sulky twat, isn't he. But you didn't handle it quite right. You shouldn't have texted him with that serious message (in fact, shouldn't have texted AT ALL) because it was DRAMA FODDER - which he made full use of! Drama fodder is another word for YOUR ANKLES.
What does he cite as his reason/s for hating your sister? Or doesn't he have any, and that's merely the only ammo he has for throwing at you to provoke you into re-engaging in the argument?
I'm starting to suspect that he's identified and located your Achilles heel in that provocations regard (telling you not to see this or that person), and that - because he feels he has no other power in the relationship - uses complaints about these people as his litmus paper for testing how much you love and long-term want him.
It's really not a clever or reasonable litmus method (obviously) because you obviously you can't ever comply without seeing your lifestyle ruined as a result. But here's the rub: whether you still go out and see them or not, at least he gets a READING: if I can upset her, she still loves me; if I can't, she doesn't.
So that explains why he called you ROOMMATE. He doesn't realise that you still providing his meals, etc., is you showing you loath his behaviour but still love HIM. He must be used to women who still go through the duties motions despite secretly they can't stand their husbands.
Let me have a longer think about this and what you can do, and get back to you tomorrow (er, today).
I think either you need to sit him down for a serious talk to tell him that despite you of all people can appreciate the reasons for his current unhappiness - can he really not see how utterly unreasonable he's being, making these demands for total control over who you can and can't see? Especially your own family members for goodness' sake.
Or, as I said before, you need to just grit your teeth and ignore it until such time as he sees that this tack will not, cannot, work. And then, maybe the next tack will be one you can actually more easily deal with.
The CONTENT of your text was spot-on. But not the timing. I don't think it's wise to even TRY talking reasonably to him when he gets in that state...because look what you got back - you see your sister and that's it! - which is a million miles from reasonableness...were I to believe he even meant it. I mean, it's a bit like saying, 'If you love me, show me by chopping your big-toe off!', isn't it?
No, I stand by my above conclusion, that it's him *mainly trying to see, for sneaky and non-vulnerable reassurance's sake, whether he even CAN upset you still (and to what degree).
Setting up Camp Sulk on the sofa is incredibly childish. But it also holds a clue in how he wanted his sulking to be IN YOUR FACE. So this is just yet more/harder attempt to get a litmus reaction.
Have you ever seen Jo Frost's programmes about toddler training? In it, you see the toddler go mental at the new and more firmly enforced rules, rebelling against the new regime for all s/he's worth. It's to emotionally force the parents - by wearing them out - to drop the new rules and go back to the prior status quo (where the toddler got to run riot all day every day). Only once the toddler can see how his actings-out can't and won't work does he drop it and finally toe the line...whereupon he's much happier as well as his parents. They don't feel SAFE with loose rules, underneath all the surface self-gratification. Despite they fear change, the resultant greater discipline is like a more reassuring, tighter hug. Think swaddling. And when a body feels especially unanchored and insecure, it WILL revert to childish thinking and behaviour.
I do think it's obvious that he feels he lacks any "authoritah", hence trying too hard and too far to grab powers, in the process behaving like a despot. He's bound to meddle with things he has no right to control, given how he feels those things that ARE rightfully his aren't open to him.
Describe what power, responsibility and say-so he has in his relationship with you. For example, I take it this is your house?
Or if it's easier (due to the situation), describe what power/responsibilities and authority he DOESN'T/CAN'T have which normally any married man in his own home would routinely get to 'enjoy'.
I am glad you mentioned Jo Frost and toddler training. I do feel that way sometimes. I am a teacher and have 18 6-year-olds all day long. He tells me sometimes that I'm not his teacher and I shouldn't treat him like a child. But yes, he acts like it. I too feel as though something may need to be done like that. I did bend in the past and I have greatly reduced how much I see my family because again I wanted to avoid a fight. Stupid. Yes.
I have tried to find ways for him to have very masculine, leadership roles in the marriage and yet it seems he always falls back on me because of insecurity in his own abilities. I make sure bills are paid (he contributes, but I manage it), I communicate with the bank and other businesses, I set up appointments, I have even done all the immigration paperwork since the beginning. I have tried to shift responsibility to him but he gets flustered and annoyed and snaps at me that since I already know how to do it all, I should just continue. Obviously I have tried in a very loving, patient way to teach him things like electronic bill pay and such, but like I said, he's not a fan of change. We have fallen into very traditional gender roles where I cook, clean, do laundry and he takes out garbage, washes cars, etc. I was raised in a family like that so it doesn't bother me completely, but like any June Cleaver, I'd like a break from dishes every once in awhile. Also, I am out of ideas on how to give him "manly" things. I am pretty easy going when it comes to decision making and have helped him purchase two cars. He has his expensive sports car and a truck, both of which he pays completely. I only pay the insurance on all our cars. His contribution to shared expenses covers our rent. I feel it's pretty even and he's allowed "masculine" control and traditional "providing."
It is actually not "my house". I was just graduating from university when I met him and had been living in Ecuador. Before I left the States I had sold my car and had few possessions. I returned to find a job, get an apartment, managed to get a car but little else by the time he got here. (looooong story) So when he got here, we went together and bought furniture and "house items" with both our money. It was more his actually so I don't think he feels it's "my place". Honestly, we've had another big fight after a short period of calm in this time we have been communicating here. He told me yesterday that really the only thing that is mine in the apartment is the mattress and little else.
The latest fit was because my parents came to visit VERY briefly. They were flying in from a vacation and had a few hours to spare. They came to see me at work, but then had to leave. It blew open his issues with my family and he started to tell me how they are hypocrites and that I come from a family where they never taught me respect. I need to "realize how uneducated" they are and leave them behind. I tried to let it go and continue with my day. I did at moments try calmly to defend myself (when he says I come from a family of rats) but gave up this morning. He left calling me a b***h. I am just getting super tired of the insults.
Apart from all this, I would like to say thank you again for taking the time to write. Also, your British humor is much appreciated. It makes it just that much more entertaining to read. Sorry it took awhile for me to respond. My computer at home has recently crashed and I try to write when I can at work. Have a lovely day/evening/morning!
(You're welcome. And you gotta laugh at men when they're behaving like this or else you'd cry.)
LOL, I beg to differ about your class size. You have *17*. But loads of women think like that. You ask them, how many kids?, and they go, 'Two little kids ...and one big one :-p'.
I suggest, since he indicates he already feels somewhat emasculated, that you don't draw up a list of any NEW rules. Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey.. you have years of unravelling to do; you can't go from little miss non-assertive to miss sassy in one fell swoop - UNLESS, as I say, you're prepared to grit your teeth and NOT LET his insults affect you. So just keep passively resisting all demands of HIS - "No, don't be silly, she's my sister and I'm going. You wouldn't let anyone tell YOU who you could and couldn't see from your own family or circle, would you, so why would I be any different?"
You say he lacks confidence in his abilities, but surely his disability actually boils down solely to his lingo barrier? Does he drive to and from work? Have you thought about giving him an audio teach-yourself-English CD? And do you think you could for a good while let him watch blokie films and programmes so that he learns better English that way? Obviously you'd have to make it clear you were giving him power over the remote control only until his English improved so that he didn't start taking over permanently, but...is that do-able?
Also, examine your silver linings: e.g. if he occasionally did the dishes that would mean you having to occasionally do the yucky blokie jobs like taking out the bins. I mean, you'd still have to do the dishes every night if you lived alone, wouldn't you?
You say 'truck'. Is he a contractor?
So if you feel he already HAS traditional masculine responsibilities and power, then we come back down to his feeling insecure through not being able to speak the lingo, therefore being unable to properly socialise, therefore you being his whole social world, therefore him presuming you could bore of him and how he holds you back, hence him trying to remove what is your drawing-a-CONTRAST mechanism between him and 'your other life'. In other words, he has formed or got the impression that you have more fun without him ergo if you're not having outings without him you'll cease being able to draw that comparison. Sense? So how's about, whenever you come back from whatever outings without him, you say something like, 'Nyeah, pretty boring, really, but, well, it has to be done'. Doable?
What made him bring up the fact of only the mattress being yours? What was that said in response to?
"that I come from a family where they never taught me respect. I need to "realize how uneducated" they are and leave them behind"
There it is, look. You need to leave them behind and go (as far away as possible) forwards WITH HIM. Berbom. He doesn't have a family, he doesn't have friends to socialise with, he wants you all to himself, hinting and asking nicely didn't work, so now it's trying to bully you into leaving them be. 'If I am a bitch, that means you chose and married a bitch, so what does that make YOU?'. That's what I would say (I call it pissing on their firework). I'd also say, 'Can you not see the hypocrisy in you saying my family taught me no respect whilst in the same breath calling your own wife a bitch?'. (Or do you call him a barstool?)
Assuming not, next time you can anticipate a fight coming, switch your mobile to record and get it all on tape. And then, once things have settled down again, PLAY IT TO HIM. He needs to hear himself; I don't think he is. I think he's that insecure he's too hell bent on trying to possess you completely and utterly and is losing cognisance the minute things get even a little heated. But now - question: does he DO things that are disrespectful and bullying to you, and does he argue ad hominem when things are calm, or is it all just hot air during heated conversations?
Have you actually TOLD him you're getting, quote, super-tired of all the insults? I'm thinking that would just exacerbate his fear of you calling this relationship quits, you see. You need to find that balance where you're giving him What For for his behaviour whilst simultaneously making it crystal-clear you don't intend to go ANYWHERE. That way, you can shout back as loud as you like without having to walk on eggshells. For example: 'Am I going to have to put up with this Chuckie Meets The Girl From The Exorcist nonsense until we're on our death beds?' Or if things get really bad, this: "Yes, Violet-Elizabeth, no, Violet-Elizabeth, whatever you say, Violet-Elizabeth", and when he asks who Violet-Elizabeth is, tell him to Go Google (and then you go and do whatever it is he's trying to stop you from doing anyway).
See what I'm trying to say? Be CLEVERER with your new-found self-defending stance and ensure each message says I DESPISE YOUR BEHAVIOUR, IN FACT YOU'RE ACTING LIKE A SPOILED LITTLE GIRL, BUT I STILL LOVE *YOU*.
I feel I should let you in on something at this point. Probably should have before this but, as an adviser I try not to make things about me-me-me. But I'm in exactly the same situation as you - only, years further up the path. I'm married to a half-French, half-Italian bloke, manual contractor (testosterone city) and your bloke and his/your situation sound EXACTLY like him until 2 years back. I'm talking carbon copy, including the traditional role-taking (we both like it that way), bitch part and 'she's not really your best friend, she just pretends', etc. (to which I replied, 'Well, then, she must be an effing good actress because she's had me convinced for 38 years straight!'). I repeat: carbon copy. So the advice I'm giving you here is precisely what I test-ran myself. I'm not under-assertive WHAT-SO-EVER, but I had never come up against such a Taz From Tasmania before.
It worked and got him back to the sweet, respectful, nigh-on reverential angel he was when we were long-distance dating. In fact, better. Don't get me wrong, he's STILL a prat when (rarely now - phew!) we have a big barnie. But nowadays I refuse to take his venting nonsense seriously and get upset in the slightest. I just dance around him doing gorilla impressions ("Hoo-hoo-hoo-HAA-HAA!") or say this: "Mleugh!....Mleugh-mleugh-mleugh-mleugh-MLEUGH!" to absolutely everything silly he says. And, yes, call him Voilet-Elizabeth or Fifi-Trixibell. He ends up either sighing and shutting up (realisation) or sits in his study sulking for an hour before then coming out, putting on his little-boy I'm So Cute & Amusing grin and going, 'Sar-eeeee I be stoopeed again', (seriously, I feel like his MUM when he does that!) and giving me a kiss and cuddle before we THEN have an adult-to-adult conversation about whatever's irking. Oh, and thanks to Pawn Stars and the like on Sky TV, and me correcting his crap grammar, vocab and tenses sneakily all the time ("Oh, you mean blah and blah-ED - got it!"), his English AND HIS TENDENCY TO GET FRUSTRATED has improved *majorly*. We're now back in permanent Honeymoon.
BUT NOW NOTE: he still pays for it. I go COOL. Subtly but noticably. And once, I chucked him out and back to France (for 6 weeks). My mottos are:  No work? NO PERK :-p, and  your sh*t, you have it back (whereby acting up always ends up not worth HIS while). He can't stand losing my attention and admiration, hence is now back to his old self.
If you don't want to call it quits (and no WAY did I, given how heavenly the relationship was at all other, majority times), you just have to persevere and keep saying this to yourself: 'This too shall pass'.
We've been together over 4 years now, and that maladaption/teething-trouble period of his (as I call it) lasted, on and off, a year and 3 months. (Contractors: great with hands, crap with emotional pressure, that's why they're contractors, INNIT, LOL.)
Does that make you feel better, more hopeful and reinspired?
(Tsk. Wish there was an edit feature on here. I meant, nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-NINE-teen (kids).)
I'm glad you let me know about your experience. It makes me feel a little bit better that someone else has had this problem. I have talked with a few friends and family about it, but I get similar responses. I have actually had most people tell me I should get a divorce. I have tried so many of the things, including things you have said.
First, what you say about the remote - it's his anyway. I don't watch tv because he always has it. He only watches programs in Spanish. I have tried to help him in English in so many ways. My mom (who he's decided he also hates) even bought him the very expensive Rosetta Stone program. He never used it. He used to take classes but has dropped out. I can't get him to do anything at all with English. I tried a positive way, sneaking it in here and there, I have been naggy, I have tried being nice. Nothing. He's at a point now where he refuses. He says he has no interest in learning English.
As for the mattress thing, he said the he feels like just a roommate and that even though most of the stuff is his, he's relinquished to just the couch and part of the spare room where his clothes are (his choices of course) he set up camp pout of the couch and when we moved insisted that I use the closets in the bedroom for my clothes.
Since then we've had even more fights. I figured out that the other day when my parents were passing through (he said he did NOT want to see them before they got here)they only had time to stop briefly at my work and had to drive home 6 hours and he is upset by it. Why? Because he didn't see them. The whole thing had been very unorganized because their plane had come in late, they had been calling me trying to coordinate and the plans had changed, which I had communicated to him. He feels as though they made plans to see us and then changed them. I try to do the humor thing, but it makes him really mad. Usually make him throw more insults. I try the "I still love you anyway" and he just brushes it off telling me he's sure that I don't.
I try to not get into it with him, but he just spews hate. He has now let me know that he will save money until he can return to Ecuador and that I am "garbage" like my family and that I am the cause of all his problems. I KNOW it's all crap, but it is very hard to hear.
We have been together for almost 5 years and we've had these problems most of that time. There are calm periods, but it always comes back.
Oh, and he also works in construction.
Please excuse my various typos as well. Reading it back after really is disappointing.
Snap! My sister told me to end the relationship. I said, 'Why on EARTH would I do that when the overall light-to-dark ratio is 95:5? [we were newly arguing only once every 2 months] - what am I - stupid? I may be a perfectionist but not I'm unrealistic or downright deluded. You don't throw away an entire otherwise delicious salad just because one single leaf has become rotten. You pluck out off your plate, throw it in the bin and then carry on eating'. Well, she might (she's got all the patience and tolerance of a mouse-trap!). But the reason she said that was, I suspect, because she felt defeated by the problem yet couldn't stand not being able to come up with something that sounded like a solution.
Plus, trying to adapt to living in a strange country is NOT toddler blocks for some people like it is for others, there are bound to be huge difficulties. Now add the inability to speak the lingo and it's 10 times more difficult.
HOWEVER, saying all of that, my situation featured key differences: my fella *did* speak a little English when he moved here. Not enough to be understood all that well by anyone besides myself, granted, meaning he couldn't actually converse (asides from basics like 'You like a drink?'), but he *was* willing to let me coach and correct him constantly every time we spoke, without getting a cob on, and to watch English-speaking programmes, so now he's nigh-on fluent, has friends he can socialise with without me as well as with, is now consistently earning good money (we started our own biz together which he's getting increasingly confident at), and, as I say, is back to his happy, sweet, loving self with disagreements happening rarely and remaining mild.
Ov awll the barsh in awll the woyld, I - whose past situation almost mirrors your own - had to woik into yoiys. Why? Does Fate want me to inspire you to 'just keep swimming'? Or am I mean to provide an unflattering contrast so that you decide your situation's hopeless? That's why I basically asked you whether the relationship aside from this obstacle was good and worth fighting for - which I note you've not really answered aside from yet more faults and transgressions of his.
Well, you can't do the fighting of TWO people, that's for sure. So if he's
 refusing to learn English (which is the No. 1 KEY to his being able to embrace this marriage and new life with you so that it can succeed),
 putting you in lose-lose situations like on the one hand telling you he refuses to see your parents yet on the other hand *sulking* once that's exactly how things pan out,
 prepared to risk getting right royally fired with that comment about sticking around only until he's saved up enough to afford to leave,
 apart from still going to work, has increasingly been opting out of contributing to the nesting (- actions!!),
 you don't even feel inclined to expound on his *good* points whenever prompted, and
 your light-to-dark ratio is somewhere around only 20:80 ("We have been together for almost 5 years and we've had these problems *MOST OF THAT TIME*") then...
...I have to be honest and say, things do not look good. They look distinctly the opposite.
FYI, a comment like this would definitely be a dealbreaker to me: "He has now let me know that he will save money until he can return to Ecuador and that I am "garbage" like my family and that I am the cause of all his problems. I KNOW it's all crap, but it is very hard to hear."
Means it or not, frustrated or not - that comment up there is taking things TOO far, and you shouldn't stand for it. We've established quite clearly how he's not even TRYING to help you to help him (whereas my fella did), so, short of a magic wand, I see no way forward for you.
Nautilus, you cannot be the only person rowing in your little rowboat-for-two or it'll just forever more go round and round in the same damn circles. Which, at this point in the 'investigation', it sounds like it increasingly is, with NOTHING you try even remotely working. So with that the current situation deterioration - were it me hearing that childishly defeatist, emotionally-nasty and bullying comment, I would say this: '
In that case, considering you refuse point-blank to meet me halfway over my helping you get to a position where you can be happy to continue living here and behaving towards me accordingly, and are now saying you're just biding your time before upping and leaving me and this relationship, the only thing stopping you being *lack of money*? - I AM NO-ONE'S LEAVING-ME FACILITATOR, LEAST OF ALL YOURS! So if that's how you *truly* feel, I'm going to immediately this week start looking for my own rental, meaning you can find a NEW "housemate" to put up with your constant bile whilst you continue saving to go home. If you change your mind and decide you're ready to finally knuckle down LIKE THE TEAMMATE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE, you'd better let me know pretty damn quick.'
And then, with a view to DOING what I'd just said I'd start doing, I'd walk out of the room and not say another word on the matter (and stick as much as possible to my own room). I also would cease communicating other than the bare bones, such as a neutral nod of the head to say hello or goodbye or a formal 'thank you' if he, say, passed me something (trying to wheedle round me). I wouldn't cook for him, clean for him, I'd go about my own business whilst behaving as if we were OVER, with him no longer entitled to a single damn thing from me, least of all the courtesies of an amicable housemate-ship (got to *behave* like one to get treated like one, big fat eh).
Even better, I'd arrange to stay with a friend or relative whilst looking for a new place of my own.
This overly immature little child wants it that way? He can bloody have it. *ALL* of it! Let's see how he likes THEM apples, shall we?
You? All YOU'VE done is complied with his wishes. HIS wishes.
Aww, didn't he mean it? Shouldn't have bloody said it then!
And if THAT doesn't pose as a massive reality slap to his silly face to bring him up sharp, begging you to stay/come back and promising GENUINELY to behave more respectfully to his supposed soulmate from then on and forevermore, and to finally do what it takes to be in a happy life and relationship, then NOTHING will, meaning you've simply removed a ruddy great thorn from your side, finally (despite it'll still pain you whilst the injury heals).
As for the ratio, it's probably 40:60. Guess I avoided putting a number on it. I think on a different day it might be closer to 50:50, but still not the best.
I have in the past done just what you said. I got sick of it and decided I was done. The first time was when we were in Ecuador. I was recovering from surgery and was staying at his place. I had to take insurance papers to the hospital and we had planned to go after he returned from work. I was very tired, on no pain meds and I had still been lying on the bed when he returned. It set him off and he said he was through with someone so irresponsible. In that state, I felt so offended that that moment I said fine I will leave. He quickly said he would still take me to the hospital but I assured him I could take a taxi and take care of myself. He insisted that he take me, which he did, then he dropped me at my apartment. Later on, I had no idea he was thinking I had agreed to the original plan that had included getting more clothes from my place, so he had been waiting downstairs for me. I thought it was over so I stayed in my apartment. Eventually we worked it out.
The next time was when I came to the US (when I was having some reverse culture shock issues having just returned.)He said I was weak and he couldn't come here and depend on a weak person. That was a response to me telling him about the unusual breakdowns I would have at odd times (in the grocery store). I thought I was sharing my intimate problems with someone who cared, and that was the response. He was done because I was weak and he couldn't rely on me. After the shock of a response like that, I got over it and decided I would be done. I didn't respond to his e-mails or calls. Within days he was groveling. I took him back.
Days after he arrived in the States I received a message from a girl over there saying that he was her boyfriend and that they had been together for months.(we were apart about a year) He had lied to her saying he was going to the US on a scholarship to study. He groveled. I took him back.
After being here awhile, and many issues later, including those with my sister, I had spent about 2 or 3 weeks straight listening to his insults and one day after work I just couldn't bear to go home. So I went out to eat with friends. When I didn't show up, I promptly received various hurtful remarks via text message. I did not respond, but eventually I got calls from my mom and sister, asking where I was. He had called them both trying to find me. I ignored the comments the best I could but my friends noticed a tear and offered for me to stay at their place. I spent the night at a friends. I continued the next day to receive more insults via text and felt I couldn't stay at this friend's place forever so I went to my sisters. He eventually started to grovel again. I went back a day or so later to get my clothes, but he was so pathetic and cried and told me I was all he had. I broke and took him back again.
Since then I have never tried again. He held the last on against me in so many fights. He throws it in my face whenever we have an argument. "Why don't you go live with your bitch of a sister like you did." He has also assured me he will never grovel again. The next time, he will be done.
It all seems very dismal and it is. I am not sure what to do about separating if that really happens. We have only recently signed a new lease on an apartment. My name is on both of the cars he owns. Financially it would be hard for either of us to be on our own. Between the cars and the apartment, he couldn't afford it if I left. If payment on anything isn't made, it will affect me too. I have been thinking about this possibility for some time, but I'm not sure how it will work.
My problem is I love the man. That is why I have put up with so much. I feel bad because he came from a rough family life and I thought that he would figure out how to be in a healthy relationship if I loved him despite the bad behavior. So cliché.
"As for the ratio, it's probably 40:60. Guess I avoided putting a number on it. I think on a different day it might be closer to 50:50, but still not the best."
Sorry, but if that truly is as good as the overall ratio gets, and you're not just in a negative state of mind right now as could have you exaggerating, that's sh*t and a case of, case closed. I think not (exaggerating) because Fifty-fifty isn't even good, let alone 'not the best'. So I hear minimising going on, and that comes from feeling trapped and having to kid yourself things aren't so bad when they are.
And now you've revealed that he ISN'T just like this because he's in a foreign country without the main tool for coping in it, because you're saying you got sick of it and decided you were done WHEN YOU WERE IN EQUADOR. What was his excuse THEN? Inability to speak Spanish? Pff. Clearly it wouldn't make any difference WHAT country he was in or WHAT tongue were the native one. The problem is HIM. To wit:
"I was very tired, on no pain meds and I had still been lying on the bed when he returned. It set him off and he said he was through with someone so irresponsible. In that state, I felt so offended that that moment I said fine I will leave. He quickly said he would still take me to the hospital but I assured him I could take a taxi and take care of myself."
That was not him relenting based on suddenly waking up to himself and his unfair, unkind attitude. It was him having tested out how far he could push you with his bullying ways and, seeing he'd knocked into a boundary of yours, quickly back-tracking.
"Eventually we worked it out." Define worked it out? Do you mean promises-promises?...
"The next time was when I came to the US (when I was having some reverse culture shock issues having just returned.)He said I was weak and he couldn't come here and depend on a weak person. That was a response to me telling him about the unusual breakdowns I would have at odd times (in the grocery store). I thought I was sharing my intimate problems with someone who cared, and that was the response. He was done because I was weak and he couldn't rely on me. After the shock of a response like that, I got over it and decided I would be done. I didn't respond to his e-mails or calls. Within days he was groveling. I took him back."
...Clearly you do, yes. And CRYSTAL CLEARLY, what HE deems weak is someone who won't provide his 50% portion of strength FOR him! So clearly HE is the weakling and parasite, not you!
So your weakness as landed you FURTHER *IN* this fine mess, Stanley, is you can't resist a man who goes 'blah, mwa-mwa!, blah, boo-hoo, mew-mew, blah'. Correct?
He ain't been doing any mwa-mwa-ing and mew-mewing lately, has he. Not for a long time. Funny, that.
He's gained the idea through how you've responded to what should have been deal-breakers - including his having cheated on you the minute you were busy setting up a home for he and you - that he can behave and do whatever he damn well likes and you wouldn't EVER be able to bring yourself to actually *do* "I AIN'T 'AVIN' THIS!!!". He's formed the idea that you love him far more than you love yourself. LIKE MUMMY.
Well, this is NOT a mother-child, unconditional relationship. The pairbond relationship between non-genetically linked individuals - aside from the chemistry (glue) that compels you to try-try again rather than too quickly and easily split as could leave the the chances of survival of children all over the globe too low - is TIT FOR TAT. *Not* getting Tit For Tat eats away at the glue. As you now know.
"He has also assured me he will never grovel again. The next time, he will be done."
Oh, if only we could believe him and his blah-blah-blahs! :-p
"It all seems very dismal and it is."
Nautilus, there is no "seems" about it. It is dismal.
It is dismal.
It is dismal.
It is dismal.
It is dismal.
It is dismal.
Why did you elect to accept the advances and then keep around a hair shirt on legs? Do you feel you've finally been punished *enough*, now, for whatever crime it is you felt you once committed? Are you ready to turn that punishment into lemonade?
- "We have only recently signed a new lease on an apartment."
Then he can get someone to take over your lease (or you can). Not difficult, happens every day.
- "My name is on both of the cars he owns."
Excellent. Then legally they're yours and if he wants to keep them he'll have to buy them off you - unless he's actually paid back his half of their total cost in full since then? If he has, then he can pay you YOUR half share, whereupon you transfer them into his name. Or you get a loan from the bank to pay him back. Or he takes one vehicle, you take the other (with paperwork updated accordingly). Simples! Again, people do this every day.
- "Financially it would be hard for either of us to be on our own."
So what are you saying? That next time you're in tears thanks to him, you at least can blot them with a $ bill and that will make everything alright again?
- "Between the cars and the apartment, he couldn't afford it if I left."
Then you'd think he would have thought of that and behaved accordingly, not to mention more befittingly like a man who claimed to love you and DESERVES that financial support, wouldn't you! That he didn't, proves he doesn't give two hoots about his financial position OR proves that he thinks you're too weak to ever get him, an emotional abuser (to the degree of 50% of the time), out of your life.
You don't HAVE to be on your own, either. You can find yourself a flat/house-share set-up. Same for him, although who gives one for his welfare when your welfare clearly means despicably little to him!
You've got a bullet to bite. BUT, REMEMBER- you managed it before. So you can do it again. All that stood in the way of you making it permanent was his wholly insincere violin playing. Well, now you know for a fact it was just an act that solicited the assistance of your false hopes and self-kidding, don't you. So THIS time, you won't hear Tchaikovsky's Dying Swan. All you should hear is this: URRCH, UURCH, UUUURCH, URRRRCH!
Yes, you're going to have to do a bit of work to extricate yourself properly from that relationship. But a short, sharp burst of extra work and duress is NOTHING compared to yet ANOTHER year of abuse followed by ANOTHER year of abuse followed by ANOTHER year of abuse followed by....getting the picture?
ALSO... I'm not saying he is, I'm just saying he wouldn't be the first bloke in this situation (using a woman before deliberately losing her) to do so: do you know for a FACT that the people he's constantly texting are his friends from Equador?
"My problem is I love the man. That is why I have put up with so much. I feel bad because he came from a rough family life and I thought that he would figure out how to be in a healthy relationship if I loved him despite the bad behavior. So cliché."
Some do, some don't. You got a 'don't.
Well, I guess my work is cut out for me. I have come to this point a few times. I can't say why I have let it get this far. I think I've learned more about myself in these 5 years than I have about keeping a marriage together.
Well, that's the way round it's supposed to be anyway. I mean, how can you pick someone whose intrinsic self is going to suit your intrinsic self for an entire lifetime (whereby no amount of unexpected circumstances can pull you apart) if you haven't even finished getting to know your intrinsic self? So it's all good, there's no waste involved.
I appreciate it's hard at the time, though.
Shame we don't have a crystal ball, eh. On the other hand, if we did, if we could see straight into the future to ourselves with our perfect partner however many years ahead - the irony would be we'd never become FIT enough for a life-lasting union because we'd want to get straight to seeking out the real deal, rather than spend time in the 'gym', limbering up (on an idiot).
You just wait, Nautilus. Your ideal relationship will feature some or other skill/strength that you wouldn't have possessed were it not for sulky chops here. Take me as a prime example: my ex (the rebounder following my divorce) would sulk for on average two to three whole bloody weeks at a time, I kid you not. I didn't do enough about it at the time...thought that was because I'd already long made up my mind he wasn't keeper material but sufficed for regular sex whilst I was busy adapting to my new lifestyle. But now (because his sudden marathon sulks were still upsetting and discombobulating when in the thick of them), I believe he was Fate-sent as my muscle-building mechanism. Because, hey-ho-whaddaya-know: not too long after I dump him, 'in walks' Frenchie, a man whom I had to be long-distance with for the first year (albeit we couldn't know it'd be only a year, thought it would be longer). And guess how many tortuous weeks apart from him I had to endure between visits? Yup - TWO TO THREE!
WHAT WERE THE CHANCES! That amazing 'coinkydinky' hit me like a thunderbolt, I can tell you! Because without that limbering up courtesy of the ex, I don't think I'd have coped seeing as how being forcibly deprived to that extent and intensity by circumstance wasn't something I'd ever had to endure in my marriage (couldn't ever get rid of the bugger, LOL, not even for a day, never mind 2-3 weeks at a time). I reckon I would have found it too hard on my heart and psyche and ended it in preference of finding someone closer to home (- perish the thought!!!). So would hubby, because...the extra spooky thing? Hubby's rebound was a female carbon-copy of my ex...right down to HER having taken herself away without warning for 2-3 sulky weeks at a time (AND the letter her name began with!), meaning so was hubby able to cope where he might otherwise not have been.
WHAT WERE THE CHANCES!
So now, every anniversary, we raise a glass in gratitude to the silly but very vital exes...who at one point FELT like the real deal, but weren't. They were just work-out stepping stones on the way to the final prize.
It's all good, it's all part of the grand plan. Keep your eyes on the end prize, no matter that you can't see it yet, and meanwhile keep the faith.
Meantime, keep me posted on how it all goes.