M left a couple of hours ago, en route to a marina several hours north of here for his yearly sailing trip. The last two weeks have been hell as he prepared for the journey, with daily nasty comments and throwing out bait in the hope that I’ll give him a chance to start an “argument” so he can vent a bit. Did not happen, and for that I am pretty proud.
One of these bait casting episodes consisted of him saying (quite out of context) “I support you, ya know…” I knew he meant financially, and I knew that any answer from me would result in a well-rehearsed lecture about all of the things that he has “done for me” over the years. In the interest of clearing the air (in my mind, at least) this is what really went down.
When M and I met I had quite a pile of debt*, about $5,000 worth. I did not tell him about this debt because it was my burden to bear and by the time it came up I knew he would have a lot of negative things to say about my sense of Financial Responsibility, and I was not looking forward to that.
After I left Ex#2 I started paying down my debt as fast as I could. I already posted about the car that M bought for me. I made monthly payments on that car until it was paid off. I hadn’t wanted to buy it in the first place, but he insisted. He loaned me money for bills when ends didn’t quite meet, which I paid back as soon as I was able, when he would let me. He likes having something to hang over my head, especially if it involves money.
So. I told him that my dream was to have a farm where I could raise a few sheep and keep my horse. He wanted to get out of the Big City and thought he could help me with that dream. We looked at places in the country and settled on a 5-acre mini-farm which turned into a disaster worthy of its own post. He put all the money down, paid for improvements and made my life a living hell for the next couple of years. To say it didn’t work out would be a tragic understatement.
While we lived there he paid off my debts. He spent about a month lecturing me on why he was doing it (it was an investment in his future – if I was debt-free he could count on me bringing in money to help support him so he could “retire”) and we worked out a payment plan for me to pay him back. Of course, the plan was to keep me behind for the rest of my life, but I didn’t see it that way then. I saw it as a generous move on his part to help me get back on my feet and start again without the cloud of debt hanging over my head. At that point it was just over $2,000 and he didn’t seem to have any trouble writing the checks.
When the situation became unbearable, we put the house up for sale. As we were packing up to move, he told me, “this is it! You have to find a place for you and H to live and you have to do it quick!” The way he said it made it very clear that he and I were over and I needed to get myself and my son out of his life.
I found a tiny, run-down duplex in the town where I worked and prepared to move. Once again, my decision (based on what he told me**) was selfish, as I had made no provision for him or his stuff. I chose a place that I could easily afford, in a neighborhood that wasn’t bad, close to work and school, and I was pretty happy with my choice, but of course it was all wrong.
The duplex did not live up to M’s expectations, so he began lobbying for us to buy a house to live in until H was out of school. It would be an investment, he said, a better place in a better neighborhood that we could sell for a profit after H flew the nest.
He put the money down, I paid the mortgage and property taxes and he told me we would be square. “If nothing else, you get cheap rent for a couple of years.” Three more years of him not being satisfied with the house, the neighborhood, the neighbors, my housekeeping and yard maintenance, etc, etc, etc.***
And then the economy crashed. We sold the house for what we paid for it and so began (in his mind at least) M’s decline into “poverty.”
Our current arrangement is that I pay him $600 per month to cover utilities and property taxes. I also shop for and buy all the groceries. I do 98% of the cooking, all of the gardening and much of the yard maintenance.
I work 6 (sometimes 7) days a week to bring in money and then he complains that I work too much and am too tired to do all the things I did before I started working all the time. He complained only last night that he has to spend more than 2 hours each day on housework when he has more important things to do. I guess laundry and vacuuming take a lot longer when he does them. What a load!
He said, before I found a job, that I would be surprised at how he would “have my back” and take care of things around the house if I was away working. He said that I had never had the kind of support he would give me, blah, blah, blah.
Sure doesn’t look very supportive where I sit. I get comments about everything I do or don’t do, same as always. The only difference is that I’m too tired to care.
Healthy relationships don’t look like this.
* Ex#1 demanded things, ordered things by mail that I would have to pay for on payment plans and ran up my bills to the very last penny of my salary.
Ex#2 kept a very strict (secret) eye on my checkbook and account statements. Whenever I had a few bucks in the bank, he would come up with an expense that was “my responsibility” or something that we simply “had to have” in order to keep my checking account as close to zero as possible. Yes, he admitted this at the end of our relationship.
** Turns out he had made his own provisions, buying a house 70 miles away which he rented out while he lived on his boat. That’s a post for another day.
*** As I write this, I’m wondering why the fuck I’m still with this asshole.