I stuck to my guns yesterday – no b-day greeting, no gift, no acknowledgement in any way that it was M’s Special Day.
I left for work and he went to the next town over to help a friend move a boat. While there he invited said friend and others over to his boat for a little celebratory b-day drink. He called me at 7:35 to let me know he was on his way home. He was slurring his words and I asked if he was okay to drive.* He said of course, “I can remember what it’s like to drive sober, so I just have to do what I know how to do,” which I’ve heard before. I’ll probably go to hell for thinking it, but my very first thought was, “if he wraps that truck around a bridge abutment my problems will be over…”** Just don’t let him take out anyone else…***
Of course he brought up my “forgetting” his Special Day. I asked him if he remembered my last b-day, which of course he did not. The next two hours traveled along our usual track – I am a selfish, self-centered bitch who obviously “did something” to cause his harsh words on my last b-day, but since I couldn’t remember exactly what I had done, I had no right to be angry 6 months later. I am a vengeful bitch for “seeking revenge” and hurting him this way. I got what I deserved. He is the injured party, blah, blah, blah. If I would be nicer to him, he would be nicer to me, I have to give before I get anything, and on and on. He has only ever acted in my best interests, unselfishly, totally giving in to me, letting me take the lead, blah, blah.
I finally said that I understand perfectly that my behavior has landed us here****. Big nods of his head as if I’m saying what he believes to be true. I said that I had made mistakes and that I truly regret them now.
I said that I think he likes the idea of me, but has no interest or liking for the person that I actually am, and that is not Love. He insists that I accept him just as he is, but I don’t get the same consideration or respect. I said that he wouldn’t speak to another woman the way he speaks to me – he would never talk to a female friend or co-worker the way he speaks to me, and that I find that significant and telling.
And then I said this – “The only solution here is for me to move out so that you can sell this house and go live your Dream.”
Whoa! He did such a quick about-face that his head almost snapped off! It was something to see.
All of a sudden it’s his aggressive behavior (that he just can’t control, sob, sob) that has damaged our relationship. He knows that he’s over the top sometimes (but isn’t that in my “best interest?” – which conversation were we having again?) and needs me to be understanding. I’ve been so patient and loving to him, so tolerant, so willing to love him in spite of his faults and now I just want to chuck it all out the window?
And the next second he was back to pointing out my faults and demanding that I “take responsibility” for my part in the breakdown of our relationship. And then back to begging for mercy. Then pissed off and making up the futon couch in the back room while yelling at me that he’s “being kicked out of my own home for the THIRD time” since we’ve been together.
It was back and forth until almost 2:00 AM. Fun times!
This morning he crawled into the bedroom and said that he finally had some clarity about “our situation.” Seems that when I say something that he doesn’t agree with, he gets angry and aggressive and has to “go to war” over the subject and his views – he just can’t help it. (Ya think?) But now he recognizes the pattern and wants to try to change. He is ashamed of how he treats me and how he talks to me. I am his All, his Life, and if I left him he would be devastated.
He can’t afford to keep the house if I leave and take my job with me. The house won’t sell in the current market, at least not this Winter, so he needs me to keep things afloat. He is willing to live on his boat if I feel we are Over and I can rent the house from him, or buy it on contract if I wish. He would be very unhappy if he knew I took “something substandard because that’s all [I] could afford.” He would, of course, still need access to the house until he could “clean up [his] mess.”
Seems that I have his attention. Now what?
* I had no intention of going to pick him up – I was going to suggest he sleep on the boat – that’s his Dream, after all, right?
** By the time, “shit! I could just call him in as a drunk driver and that would be something he wouldn’t soon forget!” ran through my mind he was almost home. That won’t happen again.
*** I have a real problem with people who drive while impaired. I don’t drive after even one drink and I don’t ride with anyone who has been drinking. I think it’s an evil thing to do and there is no way I will ever change my mind about it. Aggressive, drunk men are also a trigger for me, so even before he arrived home I was very nervous and apprehensive.
**** If I hadn’t been such a doormat in the first place I would have dumped him four months into our relationship and had a torrid affair with a guy at work who made it very clear that people who have expectations about how others should feel are not good for relationships. He was hot, too. Really hot. But I said no. Idiot!