“I try to be nice”

What does “I try to be nice” actually mean?

Last night, I lost it.

I was crying and crying because I felt like I really couldn’t take it anymore.  He came in the kitchen and asked if he could do anything to help me.  I told him that I wanted him to go away and leave me alone.

He asked me what was wrong.  I yelled at him.  I told him that my daughters don’t have a daddy and that he cancelled my credit card.  I told him that I hated it that I had to ask him to leave the house just so my daughter would come out of her room.  I told him that every time I went shopping, it was like a wound that I was paying cash because he canceled my credit card.

I told him that I hated coming home every night, that every day I wished I didn’t have to come home.  I told him that I think of going to the doctor and getting medication for depression because I hate it here and I get suicidal and it scares me.

He said he understood.  (REALLY????)

He said that my daughters do have a daddy, they just don’t choose him.

He said he cancelled the credit card because he was scared.   He said he didn’t know what was going on when I went out to lunch with someone.

He said things didn’t have to be this way.  He said we could be loving towards each other.  He said he loved me very much.   He said he would get me another credit card.

He said that he tries to be nice.  He said that he has feelings, too, and that he was hurt when I got a massage and when I went out to lunch.

I told him it was just lunch and that it’s not like I went to a hotel with the guy.  I told him that maybe he should ask himself why I would even be tempted to go out with someone who seemed like they were interested in listening to me talk.

I told him I knew he had feelings and that was why all the years when I wanted him to be more involved with the family, when I wanted more from him, when I wanted him to have sex with me, I never said anything because I didn’t want to be a nagging, bitchy wife.

Oh, and the cars came into it again – how he resented it that I thought he should provide cars for our daughters to drive to college.   He said he was glad that I had a job and could provide things for my daughters.

This went on for awhile.  I really lost it.  I yelled and screamed at him.  He actually was pretty calm and listened and answered, but then he said he was going to go finish watching his movie.

At first I was mad that he just left and went back to the movie, but I guess there really was no way we were going to come to any kind of agreement anyhow.

And then I started thinking that I really am a terrible wife.

Maybe he really does love me. Maybe I should try harder to be more loving towards him and not expect anything at all.

Maybe I really am just a wretched, bitchy wife who went out to lunch with another man.

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

9 Responses to “I try to be nice”

  1. mourninglight says:

    While you think it all over, the absolute best thing is to plan some very specific and proactive nurturing things for just you. Throw some love your own direction, and see if it clears any fog.

    (my opinion… He was calm and went to finish his movie because the desired impact of you reacting and hurting was accomplished. I’d like to see his behavior if you were coming in happy, quiet, calm, and confident without any need of him whatsoever.)

    Dear You… please be kind and loving to yourself. Can you get another massage or a pedicure?

    (You inspired my blog this morning.)

  2. I remember having these kinds of interactions with my STBX. You’ve educated yourself about PA personalities, please remember that a PA has a lot of anger. He can’t express his anger, so he pushes your buttons until you blow a gasket. That’s how he gets his anger released: through your expression of anger.

    That’s how he can remain so calm and then go back to his movie. You just did all his anger work for him.

    Going to lunch with someone isn’t a sin (although I live in CA, so what do I know?!). He’s held that one lunch over your head for what —- 6 months? You weren’t unfaithful. You’re allowed to have friends and lunches. Please let go of your guilt about this.

    He did a great job of manipulating you back into the bitch corner. Please don’t let him keep you there.

  3. marsocmom says:

    I totally agree, you are SO allowed to have lunch with friends and treat yourself to a massage every so often. It is a necessity, actually, because since he is not there for you, you have to find normal people who can remind you that you are not a bitch, and that you are a person of value. He probably won’t follow through on anything he said, but you know, I was amazed at how easy it was to get a credit card in my own name even though my husband had the lion’s share of our family income. Maybe it’s time to push his buttons for a change (but only if he is not physically abusive!) And I’m glad you stood up to him and spoke your mind, even if he didn’t respond. Hopefully you gave him something to think about.

  4. Expat says:

    I have gone through PA hell twice. I am now sitting in a room almost empty. I have two more trips to unload things and then I am out of here. Even going through two PA experiences – first 13 years second 3 years it is still hard to not want to scream at this PA people.

    But that’s what they want. You already know this. They know how to push your buttons and punish you so that you explode into a rage. My EX DH used to do that all the time. I tried being the non complaining wife and always tried to do better, never worked. The best you can do is ignore him and continue to work on getting out of there. I know it’s hard – it’s hard not to want to shout and tell the abuser that you are mad they did x, y and z to you – the credit cards etc. I used to snap on occasion and it was like I was yelling at a wall – the blank looks, blame thrown back at me etc. But they will never care after all they do everything to hurt and punish. Hearing that the incidents bothered you gives them their jollies.

    Please please continue working on leaving there. I know it is not easy but please do it for yourself.

  5. Karen says:

    You are not a terrible wife. I don’t remember if I already told this story but here goes. Probably 15 years ago I was at church and the pastor told a story about a woman who wanted a divorce. She went to a lawyer and told the lawyer she really wanted to stick it to her husband with this divorce. Make him feel the pain. He told her to go home and for the next 3 months be as sweet and loving towards him as possible. That way when she served him with the divorce papers it would really hurt. So that is what she did. But what happened was that he became sweet and loving towards her and after 3 months she no longer wanted a divorce. I wasn’t considering divorce at the time but I was very unhappy and lonely. I thought I will try this and maybe it will fix what is wrong with us. I didn’t know about passive aggressive behavior at that time. And I already was doing more than my share and being a very good wife. Looking back I think any normal woman wouldn’t have even been with him. I tried to be as loving and attentive to his needs as I could. After several months he was sick. I was squeezing fresh oranges by hand to make juice for him. He was so ungrateful and I can’t remember what he said but I realized through all my efforts it didn’t change the way he treated me at all. He just expected me to bend over backwards to please him and didn’t give anything back at all. Now it is all these years later and I am going through the divorce process. Once the kids where no longer in the house he no longer wants to be married. Not that he had a relationship with either of them. He hasn’t even told me he left but has been gone for 2 weeks. He has had multiple girlfriends (I use the term loosely) this year but seems to have settled into one who he stays with 4 days a week and stays in my daughters trailer the other nights. She is working out of town. He is vague about all of this. But I wasted all those years being lonely and unhappy thinking there was something wrong with me that I could fix and then we would be happy. I am 54 and have been a stay at home wife for most of our marriage. I managed to get a job at Rite Aid this past year and I love being there but it’s not the job I would have had if I had a better job history.
    You can’t change that he is passive aggressive. He was probably upset about the massage and the lunch because he is worried he is losing his grip on you and needs to make you feel guilty to get it back. About loving you. He probably does in his way. I have come to say that my husband loved the way I loved him and the way I made him feel. He always said he loved me. I don’t think he actually loved ME. He never even took the time to know me. He just loved the way I made him feel. Now that he has moved on he seems completely detached. I can’t believe if you really loved someone that you have been with for 30 years you would be over it so easily but he is. Anyway you will never be able to do enough. Save yourself. Before you know it your daughter will be out of the house too and then it will just be you with him and that is going to be even lonelier. Believe me. I know.

  6. chosetobehappy says:

    hold on a minute here… just a bitchy wife, are you kidding me?? He’s done everything under the darn sun to make your life miserably whether or not he will acknowledge it is another story, of course he won’t ever agree that he’s at fault. If your daughters don’t have a dad, it’s because HE HASN’T BEEN THERE for them or YOU…. you are not a bitchy wife, you are the product of a pa relationship: confused, hurt, lonely, in need of love and affection and understanding which does not come with this type of relationship. Don’t you ever for one second think that this is your fault… it’s not. Period.

  7. lonelywife07 says:

    I think it’s them being so calm….so mild…and when we lose it, we look at ourselves and think, “I AM a bitch, because he’s so calm, and I’m the one yelling like a crazy person!!” And then they walk away…like nothing has even happened, while we are in tears, hating them AND ourselves!
    It’s a no win situation for us.
    I lost it with my PA Man on Saturday….as in pounding my fists on the car door lost it, as he drove down the road!! He looked at me like I was crazy…and I was!
    Passive Aggressives aren’t called the Crazy Makers for nothing! ;)
    After that crazy episode….we didn’t speak to each other for hours, went home, and he acted like nothing had ever happened. Like always. We never talk about my anger, my outburst…never. Ignore it, ignore it, ignore it…that’s HIS motto!

  8. Whatever you do won’t make a difference. I spent years trying to be the perfect wife, meeting his every need, ignoring my own, searching, searching, searching for that elusive, magical ingredient that would make it all right. But then I realised I was never going to find it, it didn’t exist. It takes two to have a relationship. You can’t do it on your own. Please don’t beat yourself up. Look after yourself, focus on yourself, remember you are entitled. Take care x

  9. I missed quite a bit it seems… but HE CANCELLED YOUR CREDIT CARD!? He had no right. No right whatsoever. GAH! I just had to say this. I’ll read your previous posts and possibly write something more coherent after that, but seriously. What he did totally crosses the line from passive-agressive to controlling-abusive. Wow. I mean, just wow. He saw you were gaining a bit of freedom and immediately considered it a threat to his life of lazing-around-making-people-miserable. Your husband deserves to have his dick cut off with a box cutter.
    You are a saint for staying with him, and he does not deserve you. My opinion is still that you should get out asap and start living a jerkass-free life though.

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