Yesterday there was an Event. One that I look forward to every year. Last year we went camping. I told M that this year I was going to attend my Event, and there was no way I wanted to go camping. Fine. I told him that some friends were going to be there and I would like to meet up with them and visit for awhile. I took a day off work. I talked about the Event for a month. At no time did he express any interest whatsoever except to whine that I was going to be gone all day.
The thing is, I did not invite him, and that hurt his feelings.
If I want to include M in any of my activities I have to issue a formal invitation. I have to say, “would you like to do X with me?” If he wants to join me, he will say so, and if he doesn’t, he will say so and I am not allowed to have hurt feelings no matter what he decides. If the formal invitation is not issued he will not respond until it’s time to go and whatever his response is it will be a blow-up of some kind, sure to kill my enthusiasm for whatever activity I had planned.
He will not invite me to join him for ANYTHING. Ever. He will mention a date (or have me look up a date if it happens to be coordinated online) and that is pretty much it. If I show any enthusiasm and am not rebuffed, I can go along, but I always feel like I’m inviting myself where I’m not wanted. He says that I have a Standing Invitation to join him whenever I like. He says that he invites me to do things with him “all the time,” but that is a lie. I have to make plans, take time off work, pack, cook, whatever, but he will not invite me. If I act like he’s going on his own, he acts hurt because I don’t want to join him.
So. I did not invite him because I really wanted to go alone and when he went with me two years ago it was a huge trial. You see, he had to combine the trip with buying a boat trailer – saving gas and all that, which is fine, but we had to go get the trailer first. We drove for 3 hours, picked up the trailer (with the obligatory male bullshit that attends all such missions) and then drive back towards home for half an hour to the Event location. By that time it was late afternoon and quite hot. Of course we had the dogs in the van (which had very poor dog ventilation) so we couldn’t stay long. And it was hot. And he was hungry but the lines at concessions were too long for him to stand and wait*, but he couldn’t walk around looking at stuff with me because that makes his foot swell – he will just go way over there and sit under that shady tree and wait for me. Sounds fine, right? Not at all. What he was really saying was that he was done and wanted to go home. For every minute that I “abandoned” him he would torture me for an hour. It is a common occurrence.
I rushed through the Event, bought some things that I really needed and headed back to him as fast as I could, hoping to avoid what I knew would come next – The Ride Home. If you’ve spent any time at all with one of these assholes you know exactly what I’m talking about. ‘Nuff said. It was awful.
To cut this ramble off before I start screaming, he made such a huge deal about hating everything about that day that I assumed he would not want to repeat the experience and would not be hurt. After all, he hadn’t shown any enthusiasm up to this point, so he must not want to go, right?
Sigh. Friday night he started a fight with me over my “not inviting” him to the Event. I was so angry after reading that his “old lover (who [he] still care[s] for)” is still in touch that it finally just came out. He was drilling me about not inviting him and then being mad that his feelings were hurt and I just couldn’t take it. I said, “You’re right – my anger is not about what you’re complaining about right now. My anger is over your lies and hypocrisy – you’re in contact with an old lover, you’re keeping it secret and I do believe I have the right to be angered by that.”
Deer in the headlights. I did not have my recorder, alas. His excuses, tears, denials, deflecting gaslighting, yelling and lying went on for hours. Until 3:00 AM in fact. I was wrung out, but I got to say what I had to say. When he asked if I wanted to leave, I told him no, because I don’t want to be living in my car. When he asked if I wanted him to leave, I said no, because I don’t want to start a war that I can’t win.
I drove, alone, 2.5 hours each way on three hours of sleep just to say that I did and to defy him. I told him that I had a great time and will work up a long, detailed blog post to prove it.
He offered to sell me the house again today. Just how is that supposed to work, I wonder?
There’s more, but I have to go for now…
* Again, I am not discounting his disabilities AT ALL, but I do think he uses them to his advantage whenever it suits him.