Monthly Archives: December 2014

Winter Jam

Well there was one day, almost two of peace in the house. I never know what is going to set him off.

What started it last light…
Rewind to last summer when we went to a TobyMac and LaCrae concert. That was about the sixth time we had been to see TobyMac. Of the times that Matt has gone he has sat in the chair acting like he’s not having a good time. Last year when we went I remember specifically telling my coworkers how Matt would be at the concert… Sitting down, one leg crossed over the other knee and acting disengaged and uninterested. And my prediction was correct down to the body posture.

So Winter Jam is coming up and the kids of course want to go. And so do I. At dinner I said that for my high of the day (when we eat as a family we go around the table and say the ‘high’ or best part of our day and our ‘low’ the worst part of our day) was that I found out that Winter Jam is on a Saturday this year.

Later in the evening he asked what date Winter Jam was on. I was very slow to respond. And then he said, “I don’t get to go, do I?”

I responded by saying that I would rather he not because last time he did not participate and even left the show early to pull up the truck for us (underlying motive was to leave the concert early but makes it look like he’s doing us a favor).

Amongst all of the hateful things that were said over the course of two hours of badgering, he of course turned it around on me saying, “maybe I don’t have a good time because you’re no fun to be around.” Okay perfect! All the more reason not to go! I mean really, why would you want to be around someone who is a drag to be around, right?!

He just continued and continued and continued to make it out that I was the hateful one for not wanting him to go. He keeps going and going and going and going until I am completely worn down to absolutely nothing or so angry that I explode.

Even Ella told him last night to just stop it. She said, “look at you, your face is red, you’re yelling, your veins are pooping out. Just stop it, dad.”

As the saying goes, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. I tried to get him to understand that my actions are a result of his behavior..consequences for his actions. I asked “what would have happened if you would have been engaged and participated in the evening at the concerts in the past? We would not even be having this conversation?”.

I once again reiterated the divorce was inevitable because the behaviors have not changed in a decade. After he calmed down he finally did ask. How much time he had.

That was after I read some of the highlighted stuff from the Why Does He Do That book. He did ask to say a prayer with me last night (after asking me to put that hateful book down and let a prayer to God be the last thing that I have in my mind before going to bed….I refused) and in his prayer acknowledged that many of the things in the book are things that he was guilty of doing. However he still takes no responsibility. And asked God to deliver US from the situation WE’re in.

When I confront him about a grievance I have he says that he can’t take full responsibility for it and that I am to blame also and that he is not the only one that needs to change. I told him that for years I listened to the counsel of people at our old church to just pray more, work on myself and concentrate on me. Basically, let him steamroll me. I told him the days of me letting him run all over me are over and that I am going to bring up issues as they arise that I have let go on for far too long and that I am going to point out the techniques and methods that he does that I find manipulative or controlling. And it is exhausting being married to him because of it.

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Forest Gump

On a long drive home he turned on a DVD for the kids to watch. It was Forest Gump. Innocent enough, right? I happened to be sitting in the back with the kids and I said that the language was not appropriate for little kids.
His reply: They know they’re bad words. Kids, those are bad words…don’t say them.

So after our 7-year-old heard the term son of a bitch and asked what that was I again said that it was not appropriate for a kindergartner and first grader to be hearing. He argued with me that it was a great movie that won an Academy award and that it has a good story line. And that the kids know those are bad words.

I cannot believe I’m having to try and reason with the father of my kids, my husband, about this and that he is trying to justify watching something that is not age appropriate, nor wholesome, nor godly.

I am dumbfounded.

I say, “It doesn’t matter. It’s not a movie for little kids. There are plenty of good movies out there that are appropriate for little kids and this isn’t one of them.”

At about that time we stopped at Walgreens to get something so he got out of the car. As the movie turned off from the car being shut off I talked to the kids about guarding their hearts and guarding their eyes and ears with what they hear and see. I further went to explain that if they keep watching and listening to stuff like that, that eventually they’d become immune to it and would begin to accept that kind of thing as normal or OK.

He got back in the car and started it up, still not turning off the movie.

A few blocks down the road the scene came on when they were snorting cocaine in a bar.

Him: Those are drugs Ella (age 11).

Me: That’s it. Turn it off.

So the 7-year-old reached up and turned it off. Bless his little heart. I know he struggles with making good decisions and doing the right thing. He should have both parents helping him make good decisions, not one of them encouraging him to partake in worldly filth.

As the movie turned off, a Depeche Mode song came on.
Him: Oh so we go from that movie to listening to Depeche Mode. Let’s just let them listen to that. (Sarcastically)

Me: It’s your radio and your station presets.

Him: I don’t know how that got on there I listen to NPR or jazz.

Ella: That doesn’t make any sense. How did it get on that station then?

Me: Exactly.

Day After Christmas

8:30 am and I’m in the bathroom getting ready for after-Christmas shopping with Ella.
Him: Are you up?
Me: Yep.
Him: What time are you going to be home? Are you going to be gone all day?
Me: Probably.
Him: Why you do you have answer every question like you’re reading a script?
Me: I’m answering your questions. Why do you want me to say?
Him: Are you going to get me anything today?
Me: Probably not.
Him: Do you think I need anything?
Me: No.
Him: Are you going to ask me if I need anything?
Me: OK, Matt, do you need anything?
He pauses trying to think of something.
Me: the whole world does not revolve around you Matt. Everything does not have to center around you and your needs.
Him: Are you going to get anything for yourself?
Me: I doubt it.
Him: I’m going with you.
Me: No, Matt, no way.
Him: I’m not staying here all day and having you come home to be dissatisfied for getting nothing done around here.
Me: Oh, that is the real reason you want to go so that you don’t have to do anything around the house.
Him: I’m going with you.
Me: You don’t even like to shop. It’d be different if you enjoyed it but you’re just wanting to go out of spite. I’m not going to have you rushing me. Plus all you do is sit in the car or on the couches and wait, you don’t enjoy it at all.
Him: You’re going to spend OUR money so in going with you.
Me: (by now I’m sobbing) Nooooo, Matt, please. Ella and I want to have an enjoyable day and you’re trying to ruin it.
Him: I don’t want to go shopping. I want you to quit treating me like a dog.
Me: What? You started in on me! I didn’t do anything to start all this.
Him: I’m going!!
Ella: Dad, don’t go. Nobody wants to be around you when you’re acting like this.
He is scurrying to get his clothes on and I motion to Ella and we ran to the truck and leave. I fully expected him to be sitting at Macy’s when we got there.

This is one of those mornings where I’m left dumbfounded thinking where did I go so wrong?

And what may seem like semi-normal conversations in writing, are awful interactions because of his tone of voice. There is a hateful, spiteful, accusatory tone when speaking to me. I can sense a brutal badgering coming on by the tone in his voice.

About a half hour later he started calling. I was on the phone with mom so I didn’t click over. The third time he called I ended the call with mom and answered. He asked about how long the turkey had to thaw for our family get together on Saturday. I told him so he was going to go buy it.

The next time he called he asked me to look for a gray suit for him if I could find a good deal on one. Just like everything is normal.

So I knew I’d better show up with one.

Later he called to tell me he’d bought the turkey. I told him I got his suit. Apparently that wasn’t enough because them he said, “another thing I need is some white shirts that fit me”.

Around 3:00 he called to tell me that his friend needed him to take his trailer out to his mom’s house and he picked up a huge load of stuff that’ve had to take out to his house. At some point he did go to urgent care. After coughing and hacking for eight weeks, plus testing positive for influenza A the week of Thanksgiving, he finally went to the doctor yesterday and has pneumonia/bronchitis. Now the “I’m sick” mode is really kicking in. I’ve asked him to go to the doctor for weeks and he wouldn’t do it. One day I gave him some medicine for the coughing and he asked if that was for him or really for me. It took me a bit to get it. But then we had a laugh about it. Then in counseling he brought it up and accused me of always having a notice behind things I did. Well. That is sure going to squelch my random kindness, what little I had left anyway. Today leaving for a family get together he took a huge swig of NyQuil out of the bottle. I’m so disgusted by things like this There is DayQuil upstairs I tell him. His reply is that is the only thing that helps his cough. I tell him it is going to make him tired and we’re going to a family get together. We’ve driven am hour and a half and he has coughed the whole way. Lot of good the NyQuil did.

Today he will be decent until we get home.

I want off the roller coaster.

Christmas

9:15pm – It’s Christmas Eve night and Matt is in bed.
Not a single present had been wrapped. The tree had not been decorated. He did put it in the stand. While I was in the shower, Carson, who is eight, tried to put the lights on and there were no lights on the top 3 feet of the tree. Matt must’ve already gone to bed by then. So bless his heart for trying but we had to removed the tangled mess from the tree and start over.

Disengaged. Every year at Christmas I go through this frustration. I used to ask him to go shopping with me. Matt doesn’t do that and has no clue what the kids got until Christmas morning when they open their stuff. I think there was one year he helped me wrap on Christmas eve night. I can’t remember but maybe last year since I was moving out after Christmas and he was on his best behavior.

My mom went to church with us and is staying the night. My aunt called around 8:30 and her family had already gone home so she came over and is staying the night too. We put some Christmas music on and decorated the tree with the kids in our pajamas. Everybody had red pajamas on except for me so I started searching to see if I had a pair of red ones. Matt woke from his slumber and asked if we were all going to be taking a picture together and if I bought him some red pajamas. Ella was helping me look for mine because they were boxed up and in my room. I was rather short with my responses to Matt. As he kept asking questions is Ella finally said, “quit being so paranoid”.
When an 11-year-old observes and picks up on that you know it’s bad.

I was up until 3:30 wrapping and setting out Santa stuff. Christmas morning the kids woke up at 6:30 and we opened gifts. I prepared stockings for everyone, myself included. Mom and my aunt left after I packed overnight bags for the younger three. By 9:00 he was asleep again. In the meantime I wrapped the gifts to take for the afternoon Christmas, made a side dish, and hauled the mattress and box springs out to the trailer. At 11:45 he woke up and said that he guessed he’d better get up since it was almost noon.

Tis the Season

Left at 7:00 for work this am. Matt was still in bed.
Got home at 2:00. He was taking a nap. Yesterday he picked up a mattress and box springs for my sister that a friend of mine was giving away. It was still on the trailer. Being rained on. I asked him to help me get it inside and he told me that the kids could help me. He did get a few things put away today but not nearly everything that he said he would. He is notorious for pulling everything out to ‘sort’ through it and then leaving a bigger mess than what he began with. Instead of unpacking a little at a time. He thinks that picking up everything off the floor and piling it on the table is helping. Drives me freaking insane.
Vent over.

No it’s not… One more thing. He always complains that I come home grouchy. Today I came in and cheerfully said, ‘it’s looking more like a house in here!’
And I still got treated like that.
I am just going to grit my teeth and hold my tongue for now.

Doing a substandard job knowing I’ll be disappointed and then telling me I am dissatisfied. Wow. That is spot on.
Hmph. Moving. Yep. That sounds familiar. My mom and aunt came over to help clean windows and help this summer and they commented that they didn’t know what Matt did all day. They never came back after that.

At my old church when I would talk to my pastor’s wife about this kind of thing she would tell me to ‘tell on him to God’. Never a word about how he needs to step up to the plate or fulfill his responsibilities.

Some pseudo-friends from our old church dropped by last night to give us a gift and I let us know they’ve been thinking about us. Very thoughtful. She have me an ornament engraved with all of our names. It was very nice. And they gave Matt the book from the Courageous movie. Anyway, it was around 8:00 and Matt woke from his slumber and said to come in and that he needed to get up anyway. He asked what he was doing asleep at this time of night anyway… And then asked if he was working third shift somewhere. Ha!

Whew! That was a good one.

After the emotionally exhausting arguments on Sunday and Monday there were a couple of comments that stood out to me. At the end of the day on Sunday after things calmed down a bit Matt told me, “whew, that was a good one I think that was one of the worst that we’ve ever had.”

What does he think this is a competition to see how brutal he can be?

And then on Sunday, he had laryngitis, and had lost her voice, he said that he may not have a voice but he could still be passionate about what he was saying.

You’re Dead Wrong

I regrettably answered the phone at 8:00 so that he could ask a non-urgent question. At that point it was the 11th time he called me. Then after having attempted to call me 14 times at work and 27 times on my cell, I answered once again. He said he needed Brock’s number because he texted him about a post he saw on FB. I explained that I commented on his post and already deleted it.

Him: Was there anything wrong with that post? That was a sweet post from me to you. Only you were supposed to see that. I couldn’t figure out how everybody else was liking it. So do you see anything wrong with it?

Me: I sure do. After the episode last night and on Sunday.

Matt: You’re wrong. You’re dead wrong. It’s the wrong side of the bed and you got up on it. One of these days you’re going to get up on the right side of the bed. One of these days you’ll figure it out. But, for now, you’re wrong.

He called and told me this while I was at work. My heart started to race and my chest was pounding. I wanted to yell at him. But I remained silent.

He continued on:
Are we going to see our counselor on Thursday? Maybe she can sort things out for us and figure out what is going on here. But you’ll see…you’re wrong.

I mean it is IMPOSSIBLE to even have one single conversation with him.

Laundry

It’s 9:30 and I hear the washing machine clunking in the laundry room behind the wall where our bed is.
I ask,”Are you doing laundry?” But then restated my question before he could answer because what what I rally wanted to know was,”Do you have a full load in the washer?”.

That one question started an avalanche of insults and put-downs:

Him: “I have two pair of jeans and a sweater and a few other things. Is that enough for a load?”

The washer was just finished with the cycle so he brought the load of wet clothing onto the bed and said is that enough for a load of laundry?

With honesty I replied no. It takes electricity and hot water, which we have to pay for, so it would be wise to wait until there is a full load to wash clothing.

Then it started:

“I am not going to feel guilty for washing my own clothes and having clean clothes to wear.

When things get back to normal and I can have a closet with all of my clothes and it then I will wait until I have a full load of laundry to do but for now I need clean clothes to wear every day.” (Which is not entirely true because he has a place to hang his clothes, he just chooses not to.)

“It’s petty. If you want to grind on somebody then go grind on somebody else but I’m not going to take this.

You’d probably like for me to wear dirty clothes. Your disgusting-ass bus driver husband, that you’re not proud of, walking around with dirty, filthy clothes.

Go upstairs to sleep.

It’s petty. And I don’t have time to write down every petty thing that you do to me to show a third party how horrible I am.

And to think that I was going to ask you to make love to me tonight.”

There were other things that were said but I cannot recall it all. I lay in silence holding back the tears.

Then after a few moments of pause, I leaned up and looked at him and said that this is the problem. I cannot say hardly anything without him becoming defensive.

He repeated his stance in that if he wanted to do laundry every night then he was going to do laundry every night so that he could have clean clothes.

I say nothing.

I thought it was over but then after a few moments he gets up and starts stomping around the room saying how he cannot believe I would say something like that to him. And then went on to repeat himself again about how he was not going to feel guilty and be made to feel like crap for washing his own clothes.

I had been playing Words with Friends in bed while he was watching TV. I put my phone down and rolled over so that I could cry silently and go to sleep.

He said good night in a condescending tone and then forcefully gave me a kiss.

During the middle of the night I woke to find him groping my crotch. This has been a repetitive behavior also – initiating sex in the middle of the night when I’m fast asleep. I do not like it and he knows it. I woke from my slumber and asked what is going on here? And then pushed him away.

Does he really think that after he has spoken to me like he did, and especially after yesterday, that I want to have sex with him? I feel used and trashy when I do give in and I just can’t continue tondo that to myself.

Gaslighting

Today, not even out of the church parking lot, he asks, “do you get anything at all out of this (church)?” I do not answer because from the tone he used, I knew there was more to come. Then he proceeds to tell me that I am just a shell. I withhold. I don’t contribute.

What did I do? Turns out my irritation and comment about the kids eating donuts at church brought out the assumption that I just don’t get anything at all out of church.

Uh. Ok?

I have no idea how that formulation could occur, but it certainly did.

My exact comment as the kids were trying to rip open the box of donuts on the church kitchen like they’d never eaten before was, “this drives me crazy…every week they come in here eating donuts like a bunch of ravenous animals”.

Then, about a block away he asks if we can go to Schnuck’s to get some lunch meat and some juice…but then goes on to say that he doesn’t want to go do that if he doesn’t have my blessing to do so. I respond that we have leftover pasta to eat. He says he’d like to go get some lunch meat and juice to supplement the pasta to make lunch more enjoyable.
Sure, fine. Do what you want I tell him.
No, that answer is not good enough. “I want your blessing to go to Schnuck’s if you say no, then we won’t go.” Once again I say that we have no money and have food at home so that is my stance. If he prefers to go to Schnuck’s then that is fine but I do not want to go.

He insists that my answer is not what he wanted to hear.

I begin to argue that I don’t have to agree with him. I think we should eat the leftovers but if he wants to get something different then that is his choice.

He continues to use the verbiage that he wants my blessing and permission to go to the grocery store. And that he wants to make a mutual decision. I stood firm in my thought that it was not necessary to mutually agree about lunch. I told him that any time I disagree with him or anyone disagrees with him for that matter then he gets angry and insists on changing the other person’s mind.

Where is this all coming from? Oh yeah, it’s Sunday. And virtually every Sunday after church is like World War III. Constant arguing and bickering.

As we got home, I asked what it was that he promised my sister that we were going to get her for Christmas? I heard him say something yesterday about it to her but I didn’t catch what it was. It was a washer and dryer.

Really? We don’t have money to go to the grocery store and yet he is promising to buy her a washer and dryer without consulting me about it?

That is when it really started getting ugly. Words started flying. I began to feel confused. I was not able to think clearly. I told him I was not going to engage in the conversation and I left the room. He followed me, continuing the badgering.

And then I had a moment of clarity from all the books I’ve read. Gaslighting.
I told him that what he was doing was gaslighting and to stop talking.
http://www.thehotline.org/2014/05/what-is-gaslighting/
“Gaslighting? I don’t even know what that is. The only person that is letting your gas is yourself”.

Nobody ended up eating lunch.

He continued to speak to me. I continued to try and defend myself and combat the words.

There wish nothing wrong with my question today. The reason you don’t like my question is because it’s the truth and you don’t get anything out of church.

Here are some of the things that I keep replaying in my mind and questioning, “Why? Why, Lord, why?”

Him: Can I have a hug?
Me: No.
Him: Then leave. If you can’t do that then you need to leave.

Him: you are not happy. You have no joy.
Me: I am happy. The only time I am not is when I’m around you.
Him: All you have is me, the kids and this house. So what, you’re happy at work?

Him: You’re ready to call it quits over a trip to the store for some lunch meat and some juice?
(Tactic: trivializing)
Me: This is not about just some juice. This is about years of you treating me badly. It’s about the constant revolving door of jobs over the years. It’s about not taking initiative or being proactive.

Him: What are you typing?
Me: what you’re saying.
Him: Oh, so you can have documentation for a divorce attorney?