Yes, Mo, I waffle.

Right now, I hate him.  This past Friday, I was thinking maybe I could just stick it out.  My job is nice enough; it lets me be around pleasant people.  I’ve got my house to take care of and my hobbies.  I’ve got my friends and my family and my blog.  Maybe I can muddle through this.

That was Friday.  But week-ends are always so hard for me, much harder than the week.  I’m around him more.  The emptiness and lack of connection is so much more apparent on the week-ends than during the weeks, when I am so busy.

I can’t stand how oblivious he is to my pain.  And, no, I don’t tell him about it all the time.  I don’t.  For a couple of reasons.  Number one: he already knows.  And how do I know that?  That leads me to number two:  any time I tell him about things that are bothering me, NOTHING happens, even though he says he knows how I feel and he wants things to be better.  So I just usually don’t say anything any more.  There is no point.  It’s like if you took your car to a mechanic and told him it was making a very loud, strange noise.  And the mechanic starts the car and hears the noise and says, oh, yeah, I hear the noise.  I want that fixed.  Leave the car here.  It’ll get fixed.  And you never hear from the mechanic again.  So would you call that mechanic the next time you had a problem with the car?

And let me give you an example of this obliviousness.  About three weeks ago, I took my younger daughter to the doctor.  Yesterday, my husband asked what the doctor said.  I told him that he thinks she doesn’t get enough sleep and is depressed.  And you know what my husband said?  The father of my daughter?  “Yeah, [friend’s name] is having a hard time sleeping, too.   And he’s working ten hours a day for [another friend’s name] and still can’t sleep at night.”  Period.  That was it!  That was all he said about our daughter suffering from depression.  Depression which I firmly believe is basically caused by not having a relationship with her DADDY!!!  And his next comment after that was about something that he saw on Facebook that had absolutely nothing to do with our daughter or sleep or depression or anything even remotely related.  Do you see why it is pointless to try to tell him anything?

But, back to the waffling.  I do waffle.  I have waffled ever since I realized he was p.a.  Actually, even before that.  Because even before I even knew about p.a. behavior, I would waver about leaving him when the girls were grown.

After I learned about p.a. behavior, I would go back and forth.  He can’t be.  I must be crazy.  No, he is.  I have to leave.  No, it’s just my imagination.  Wait, he really is.  This is driving me crazy.  I want to leave, but I shouldn’t because of my marriage vows.  Well, the past few days have gone well – maybe it’s going to be o.k.  I can do this.  I can’t do this.  No, I can do this; I’ll just forget that I want to make love.  I can’t do this.  I have to get out!!!  Maybe I should stay.  Maybe it’ll be o.k.  I have to leave now!

I think waffling is part of the result of two different things.

One of the traits of being co-dependent is doubting yourself.  You don’t trust yourself.  You don’t trust your judgement, your wisdom, your ability to make good decisions.  Healing from co-dependence will help combat the waffling.

And one of the characteristics of a passive aggressive man is to keep the other person guessing, to keep them off-balance, to keep them unsure.

So, DON’T doubt yourself!  Figure out what you need to do and do it!  Little bitty step by little bitty step.  Take care of yourself.

This entry was posted in covert abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, relationships and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Waffling

  1. mo says:

    Dear wp, Thank you so much for this post! And the others you’ve recently written that so beautifully answer my questions and affirm my instincts. It amazes me every time I read something here how my husband so perfectly fits into the pattern of p.a. It’s like there’s a secret P.A. Club out there somewhere; and all the p.a. guys get together and wear funny hats and recite a creed:

    “I ______, solemnly swear: to mess up the finances, to never do anything she asks of me, to never stand up for her in front of my family, to procrastinate, to reject her sexually, to shut her out, shut her down, and make her believe I am a wonderful, caring, and thoughtful man.”

    I am so sorry to hear about your daughter having signs of depression :-(. And even more sorry — as well as mad on your behalf — about your husband’s lack of concern for his little girl. That turns my stomach. I had a dad like that — he showed not one ounce of love or even interest in me. All I was to him was a nuisance, a bother. The one way he communicated with me was by yelling at me when I annoyed him. I always felt it was my fault — I was bad, I was in the way, I was a brat, I was a burden.

    I’ve seen many therapists through the years, but only recently did I start to see what went on in my home — it was all VERY SUBTLE. Everything looked perfect from the outside. Even on the inside everything seemed peachy. But I finally learned, after all these years, that I was a victim of covert emotional abuse and neglect. This type of abuse is insidious and brings it’s own set of additional traumas — no one can see the abuse (there are no bruises, no black eyes), so no one can step in and help. Even within the household the abuse goes unseen — by everyone, including the perpetrator and the victim. I had no idea I was a victim of abuse, so I didn’t know what kind of help I needed. Even the many therapists I’ve seen never really got it — they saw the lack of relationship with my dad as a problem, but they didn’t see the abuse part. Because that part is invisible.

    So the other night — the night of the huge fight with my husband where the blinders were ripped off of my eyes and I could see so clearly that something was VERY WRONG — that night I had a revelation. After the yelling and pleading and anguish and hysteria, I managed to wobble my way down the dark stairway. I had to sit down before I got to the end because I was shaking so badly. And then, like a beacon on that dark staircase, came this realization:

    I am living my childhood all over again.

    Everything is subtle, covert, unseen, invisible. I feel invisible. I feel I don’t matter. Just like I did as a child — and my entire life. Until now.

    Your daughter is so blessed to have you as her mom. My mom is quite narcissistic and only cares about appearances. I never had any support from her. If I ever complained about being hurt, she’d snap back, “You are SO SENSITIVE!” Like I was a leper or something. She is another story — a long story of invalidating my feelings and experiences and my very self. But your daughter has a mom who LOVES her, and is HERE for her! Your daughter has a mom who HEARS her and believes her! Your support and love for your daughter is so very evident and clear. She will be okay because of you. I can feel that in my heart right now — my heart is burning with a deep knowing; I have this “soaring” feeling in my chest, an assurance that your daughter will pull through this and be stronger because of it. She will thrive in this life — because she has you.

    — (sorry if that sounded kind of weird, but I truly felt all that! I still do).

    My very best to you and your daughter — I am sending you my prayers and wishes for comfort, healing, and all good things to come your way. You SO deserve it!
    <3, mo

    p.s. darn, i wrote another novel :-(. I really intended on making this a quick comment. But there is always so much to say! Thanks for putting up with me.

    • Hey, Mo, Write a novel any time you like! :) Your creed is GREAT! It hits the nail on the head! :)
      You are right: you are reliving your childhood. However painful it was, it is what you are familiar with, it is what you are “comfortable” in. We have a tendancy to do that! I read an amazing book about it; it’s called, Why Do I Keep Doing That? Why Do I Keep Doing That? We do it because it is what we know.
      Thank you for the sweet things you said about my daughter and me. :) I, too, believe that she will pull through. It’s rough now, but she will be ok.
      Take care of yourself!! :)

  2. “After I learned about p.a. behavior, I would go back and forth. He can’t be. I must be crazy. No, he is. I have to leave. No, it’s just my imagination. Wait, he really is. This is driving me crazy. I want to leave, but I shouldn’t because of my marriage vows. Well, the past few days have gone well – maybe it’s going to be o.k. I can do this. I can’t do this. No, I can do this; I’ll just forget that I want to make love. I can’t do this. I have to get out!!! Maybe I should stay. Maybe it’ll be o.k. I have to leave now!”

    4 1/2 years of dating and marriage to a Passive Aggressive man, and I have never heard it put more plainly than this paragraph. It was my constant mental dialogue and lead to 8 breakups and separations. Now, I find it hard to believe I allowed myself to live like that, but in some ways, it seemed so reasonable at the time. I thought it was normal and my fault that I couldn’t just be happy. I listened to him whever he told me the problem was me. I wouldn’t allow myself to believe he wanted to control me and blame me for everything. Codependency sucks. :)

    • Thanks, free to be! “Constant mental dialogue” – it drives me crazy! I, too, thought his behavior was “normal” and it was my fault that I wanted more, that I saw things differently. I still do. Even the conversation last night, which I plan to write about in just a minute, left me doubting and wondering and depressed again. Thanks for stopping by! :)

    • tt says:

      I am interested to hear about your Exodus iamfreetobewhoiam. I am new to this blog, but it sounds like you have made your out of captivity.

  3. woman friend says:

    I may have another opportunity to get out get real get moving move on grow up: but will I act on this opportunity? decisively, without hesitation? Or stay for another round of same-o same-o ??? Will I find fault(s) with the opportunity: it’s not perfect enough? It’s not secure enough? It’s tooooo scary … and then stay with this misearble person who only pretends to be happy and well adjusted and where I am the crazy landy nag hag bag; OMGosh what is it going to take for me to pack my shit and go? I am a grown woman, do I really need someone to hold my hand? I can hold my own hand right? So yeah, good post sister friend, I waffle too waffles with butter, waffle with strawberries with syrup, etc etc. Keep writing, you’re expressing our collective deep deep angst and pain: giving voice to our silence.

    • “Will I find fault with the opportunity?” What a wise insight!
      Hold your own hand. Take care of yourself. Do what you need to do. Love and respect yourself enough to get yourself into a healthier situation. And thank you very much for your comment.

  4. Karen says:

    I’m a waffler, too. 25 years into the marriage, the light went off. It wasn’t me. I still wasn’t sure. My kids told me it was HIM, not me. I asked him to get counseling. He didn’t. This is year 30. He’s in counseling after an ultimatum. It doesn’t work. When I let my guard down, I get whacked again.
    I’m so sorry your daughter is suffering with this, too. Girls and their dads have a bond, and your husband is missing the connection. My kids just tell my husband like it is. They have sports as a bond. I’m detached until I can make more money and get him out.

    • I think the absolute hardest thing for me in all of this, so hard that I can’t even think about it – literally, is what it has done to my daughters. :( They are wonderful girls, and I hate the pain that has been inflicted on them. :(
      I am glad that you are detached and working towards getting out. Good for you!

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