Last night, I made my “bed” in the living room and then took a shower. When I went back in the living room to get into “bed,” he was there waiting for me.
He told me that he wanted to talk to me.
He told me that he loved me and that he wanted to give me what I needed but that he needed my help.*
He told me that he knew that I was depressed and cried a lot when we were dating but he thought it would get better when we got married.
I told him that I had thought so, too. That I had thought that I wouldn’t be lonely anymore after I got married.
He told me that he wanted us to be able to work together on things.
I told him that was all I ever wanted for years and years and years. But that now I just didn’t care.
He said that we did do things together.
I told him that I remember being frustrated more often than happy.
He said we built the greenhouse together. **
He said that I didn’t know what I wanted so how could he give me what I wanted.
I told him that I did know what I wanted and that when I told him, he would either not do it or tell me that I was unrealistic.
He told me that he wasn’t superman, that he couldn’t do everything. That I expected him to be perfect.
Then he said, I’m not saying this to be mean or to blame you, but after reading ‘Love and Respect,’ I understand what has been wrong all these years.” He went on to say that my mom didn’t respect my dad *** and that I never respected him, my husband, that it is a generational thing.
He said that when we went to that real estate agent/preacher (see post) that man pointed out the truth about our marriage, that I didn’t respect him, and that then I didn’t want to counsel with that man any more.
He said that I should be going to church, that then I would have people to talk to who could help me.
He talked about two friends of ours who are now divorced and she is remarried. The man told my husband that his ex had said she wanted to apologize for her part in the break up of the marriage, that she realized that it was her fault as well as his fault. The man said he had already forgiven her and saw no reason to talk with her.
Then he started on about that his love language is touch and that I never touch him and that I go out of my way not to touch him.*****
Through this whole time, his voice was low and calm and controlled. It was horrible. I felt like I was being lashed and lashed and lashed.
I wish you could call the cops when you are being emotionally abused like you can when you are being physically abused.
Anyhow, I finally told him that I needed to go to sleep. Except for what I wrote about above, I didn’t answer anything back to him. It wouldn’t have mattered. It wouldn’t have made any difference. The conversation wasn’t about seeking to understand and be loving. There was nothing I could have said.
This whole thing left me feeling so crazy, so awful. It made me doubt all the years I tried so hard to be a good wife, to be a good mother, to build a good marriage and a good family. I felt so wretched. I cried a little and then went to sleep.
But it did answer one thing for me, as horrible as listening to all of that was.
I had written a couple of posts ago that he has been being more helpful. That he was trying to be more helpful around the house had started me wondering if maybe he really was changing, that maybe he really was trying to be more loving towards me, even if it didn’t feel loving.
But after this “conversation” last night, it seems pretty obvious that, no, nothing has changed. He just has a new tactic of covert abuse: a book called “Love and Respect.”
*Really? And how about the help I needed over all the years? I somehow managed to do the things I needed to do without his help although I so desperately wanted it.
** Twenty-seven years. One greenhouse.
***My mom was very respectful towards my dad. She went out of her way to always be sure she was very submissive to him.
****Although he didn’t say it, it seemed pretty clear from this that I should understand that it wasn’t my husband’s fault, that I should accept responsibility for the failing of the marriage. Yes, he said the ex apologized for her half of the problems in that marriage, but do you honestly think that my husband is going to admit that he has done anything wrong? This illustration was clearly that I needed to see that the fault was mine.
*****Yeah? And what about all those years that I was extremely affectionate and he was the one that wasn’t affectionate and it got me NOWHERE???