If you’ve ever been in a verbally abusive relationship, you know exactly what I’m talking about – that space of time where he’s generous, complimentary, maybe even supportive. He’s once gain the guy you fell in love with. You know it won’t last, but these days are what you live for – the hope that this time he’s finally got the anger and need to control out of his system for good and you can go back to the halcyon days at the beginning of the relationship when all was rosy and bright.
You also begin to doubt yourself, especially if you haven’t been keeping a written record of his blow-ups.
Does he really say cruel things about my appearance? (He complimented me on my choice of wardrobe today, something he rarely does – according to him I have zero fashion sense and absolutely no style.)
Does he really criticize the way I vacuum? (I worked, so he vacuumed today with no protest.)
Does he really have negative words to say about everything that I do? (Not today – all talk was neutral or complimentary to me.)
Does he really hate any show I tune in on TV or Netflix? (Not today – he actually asked if we were going to watch a movie at the end of the day and had no derisive comments to make about my choice or the content.)
After his blow-up with his old friend he claimed to feel like a victim. He claimed to be confused about the cause of the argument, and unsure if his friendship would survive the harsh words. This makes me think that he caught a glimpse of himself that he didn’t like and is working to change the way he treats me. This gives me hope, but deep down I know that it’s all just a peaceful interlude made possible because of separation for a week and a houseguest for three days.
He will go back to being his usual abusive self. His regular blow-ups occur around the middle of the month, and he generally escalates his abuse in the week leading up to a blow-up, so any day now we will be back to business as usual. I hope to record his blow-up this month and post the file here for my readers to analyze. I’m tired of living this lie behind closed doors.