Thursday, January 05, 2012

No More Mrs. Nice Guy

Last night was really bad. You were so angry, really really angry. I just let you stew in the hopes you'd work through whatever you were upset about. You went and took a long nap and seemed okay when you came back down. You even leaned over and kissed me. I thought that was nice. Then you watched the WVU-Clemson game and used the laptop as well as IMing whoever was on Facebook chat. Suddenly, you were furious again. You stomped upstairs, leaving with a snide remark about me coming to bed whenever I was ready. Then you started texting me. Bombarding me with texts, in fact. I couldn't keep up with them but I tried. I'd be halfway through a text and receive one, then two from you while I was still typing. Eventually, my text inbox filled up and I couldn't receive any more texts at all, nor could I tell you that fact until I emptied some out.
I can't delete an entire chat text, just an individual text one at a time, once my inbox is full. So here I was, trying to delete each individual text and confirm each deletion so I could read the last two-three-four texts you'd sent, and you sent even more. Which backed up the queue even more and not only that, bounced me out of where I was and made me have to start over deleting. Needless to say, I was frustrated.
Then you came downstairs, complaining. I explained. You fumed, telling me you had chest pains and knew warning signs for a heart attack. I told you to take an aspirin, two times I said that. You asked me if I wanted to go to counseling when I shared the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse article by John Gottman. I said of course I did, that you were supposed to find us a counselor six months ago because you didn't want to go see anyone I chose. More noise. You reminded me that you want me to come to you when you're depressed/upset/angry and hold you and comfort you. You reminded me that you've told me this a zillion times. Yes, I know. And every time I've done that, you've either said in a mean tone that you don't want me to touch you, or you've coldly ignored me and not hugged back or relaxed or acknowledged my coming to you in any way.
I even read a lot of information about dealing with someone who has PTSD. It all says to leave you alone when you're withdrawing, to not press you to interact, to not chase you or follow you.
I've tried it both ways. Neither seems to work. You claim you want me to pursue you and comfort you, when really all you want to do is punish me for doing it. I refuse to leave myself open for abuse of that sort any more. I'm sorry you feel so upset, lonely, angry, frustrated, etc. I do, too. But you cannot take it out on me any more and have me just sit by and take it.
Then you said you don't believe I love you at all because I don't convince you that I do. I asked you what about the fact that the rest of the time, you say how I love you so much more than you love me? You told me that I just don't get it. You're right.
Then you started in on the house and why didn't I clean the house. I asked you why don't YOU clean the house? It's a valid point. I am not the housemaid here. I am a family member just like you are, and you are obviously the one who is having problems with the condition of the house -- not me. So you have to throw in my face how my house was when you met me. That's it; don't address anything I say. Insult me, degrade me, use your words to hurt me.
I finally was just shellshocked to the extent I could no longer talk. I refuse to say mean things. I am not going to lower myself to that level. So when there is nothing left to say but expressing frustration in a negative way, I choose not to talk at all. Eventually, I just wandered upstairs and went to bed about a quarter to two.
This morning you're all nice and sweet and apologetic. And I am just not interested in apologies right now. I feel beaten. You texted me that you wanted us to turn off all electronic devices as soon as you get home. Well, no. That's not okay. I am not ready to curl up and be intimate yet. I am still reeling from abuse, to be honest. And I feel contrary. I don't want you to decide when I turn off my "device" and be at your beck and call when you can't even have a conversation with me about anything deeper than who paid what bill when.
I think I have changed. I used to be free and easy and open and expressed myself easily. Then you complained and insulted me, chiding me about how rude I was, and how uncouth I was, etc. You even said the other day that nobody could "fucking stand" me because I am so mean to everyone. When I asked who, you named your sister and your aunt. I reminded you that I was always nice to your aunt until YOU told me what nasty things she said about me, which caused me not to like her. And I reminded you how mean your sister has always been to me and pointed out that I have been as pleasant to her as I could possibly be with the ONE exception of the comment I made that one time about her behavior in the military to get ahead being the equivalent of prostituting herself. And for that, I apologized and acknowledged that I was out of line for saying it.
Instead, I have spent the last (?) fifteen or so years stuffing my feelings and opinions and smiling and being pleasant to people. I have specifically avoided expressing opinions that were controversial or possibly debate-inducing. I listen to you express whatever opinions you have and I pay attention. I stopped being controversial. I became "nice." And now you complain that I'm not interesting. You describe how interesting M. is, how her ideas are so controversial and you love to argue with her. I'm not a bit jealous of M. Not at all. But I think I see how it is.
You want to argue. You want to debate. You want the conflict. You think you don't, you say you don't, but you do. You thrive on it. As long as you win. Because when I make points that are right, you ALWAYS change the subject and usually change it into a direct attack on me.
I am tired of being Mrs. Nice Guy. I don't give two shits about what your sister or aunt think about me. And you shouldn't either. You're my husband, I'm your wife. We're supposed to be a team. We're supposed to be on the same side, back-to-back, against the world. I don't know where your conflicts lie as far as your family is concerned, but I know this: I am tired of stuffing who I am with zero payoff.

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