This is the phase where he punishes me for “making him blow-up.” It consists of stonewalling me except to say things like, “I’m just too evil to speak my mind so I won’t say anything, but that doesn’t work for me so maybe I should consider moving out” with many, many variations, followed by things like, “All I ever wanted was someone to love and support me and I never get it.”
This is pure bullshit. Last night is a prime example – I got home from work and went looking for him, as I always do. He came up the back yard with the dog, saying, “I set you up to be the hero, are you going to feed this dog?” To which I replied that I would feed the bunnies first, as I always do. “Fine!” he replied and went stomping into the house and back out again without the dog. Short answers and stomping are popular ways to punish me.
I went out to find him once more and ask how he felt about what I was planning to make for dinner. “Whatever you want – you know I never disagree with what you want. You are The Queen! You are The One! We all just wait for our marching orders!” It went on in this vein for awhile until I was so disgusted that I kissed him on the cheek and said, “Dinner will be ready in 20 minutes if you would like to join me.” “Oh?” he says, “I have a choice?” I walked away.
He came inside some time later, ignored my attempts at conversation, ate his dinner and sat on the couch. I went into the next room to check my e-mail (and his) and spent an hour browsing the ‘net. I know that we have a serious problem, but I refused to fall into the usual trap and beg him to go back to being his normal, abusive self, to tell me what I did wrong so I can be better in future. This, of course, enraged him.
He continued with the silent treatment. He went in and laid on the bed when I took the dogs out for their last walk of the evening. I showered and settled into bed next to him with a book. I rubbed his back in a soothing manner, but he continued to face away from me and be silent. After about an hour he undressed, got under the covers, turned away from me and went to sleep. Fine.
I did not sleep much (the alarm was set for 5:00AM so he could get up in time to meet a client who is coming over to talk about a project) and he made no effort to talk to or touch me. This is also part of the punishment. I am supposed to curl myself around him to soothe his jangled nerves and reassure him that I still love him, and I did not do that today.
His parting shot before leaving the house this morning was about packing up to leave, that he can’t just be silent, that he deserves love and support. He is quite fond of the parting shot and has, in the past, called me at work to bring up something so that I’ll be upset all day and come home in tears.
Now, what I want to know is this: how did I become the villain? Wasn’t it he who was “amusing himself on the internet” with another woman? Doesn’t he want me to express my emotions (in this case anger)? Aren’t I doing exactly what he asked me to do? I think I have every right to be angry for a good, solid week after discovering that he’s cheating* on me with an online “stalker.”
And what about the “old lover (that I still care about)”? Honesty, indeed!
* Cheating by his own definition, but it appears that his “rules” about communication with the opposite sex only apply to me.