The shift (part one)

We’re in a lull right now.  It’s when silently inside of myself, a wordless plea is saying Why can’t it stay this way?  (Granted, it’s much fainter these days, more like a resigned inner comment.)

This means I’m waiting for the shift.  If you’re reading this as the partner of (or former partner of) a passive aggressive, you know which moment I’m talking about.  You’ve been close, or he’s actually been there for you somehow.  You feel hopeful.  If you’re young or in the early days and years, the hope can feel like a kind of sweet madness, like a conquering, relieving, euphoric drug in your veins.

Then suddenly, something shifts in a moment.  You sense it, and you feel taken aback, unsure of what you just felt.  Why should something be wrong?  You can’t think of any reason.  You talk yourself out of it, but wait… there it is.  And now, you can observe subtle changes in his tone, his look, and his body language.  Something has to be wrong.  But what??

In the very beginning, when that moment came, I’d feel disoriented, confused, puzzled, and I’d ask him, “Are you mad?  Are you upset with me about something?”

He’d say “No.” 

But he wouldn’t answer that in a confused or puzzled ‘why are you asking’ kind of way.  It was clipped, cool, and with veiled irritation that I could sense and feel.  I remember the grotesque confusion I felt as a newlywed bride.

So yeah, that moment, the one where you know something is wrong, but he doesn’t acknowledge anything is wrong.  You’re just staring across a canyon at the man who, seemingly a moment before, had loved and adored you.

Only now, he seems to just tolerate you.

Run, little hamster, run harder!  But it never helps.  In fact, it makes it worse.


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3 Responses to The shift (part one)

  1. chosetobehappy says:

    Boy do I know those moments… it used to ice my veins… now it’s more like a dull tug in my stomach. That feeling where I know something is about to hit the fan or the silent treatment for no good reason. Except now I know those moments and I “try” not to take them personally. I know it’s not me, it’s him. I leave him alone until the tide either explode onshore or get taken away by the waves.


  2. Bronze says:

    I had a type of epiphany tonight. I have recently had opportunity and necessity to spend time across the road at my neighbours house in which a lovely lesbian elderly couple live. I have spoken to both singularly. They are both retired (one a school teacher, one a nurse). They have both been married to men in their youth. The way they just bring each other up in conversation – just normal stuff – it is so OBVIOUS the respect, love and admiration they have for each other. I have never heard talking like this from any other elderly couple. My own stepmother who I always believed to be happy even though I know my father is PA and a big reason why my mother divorced him, told me of some of her discontent and I can’t say I was surprised. I actually wondered how long it would take for her to be unhappy. Back to my epiphany – on top of being PA my ex was narcissistic and quite abusive. When he wasn’t using covert aggression he was resorting to overt scary aggression. The heartbreak I have endured seemed to come to an end tonight. I am a forthright, strongly spoken smart woman and many of my friends were surprised with what I put up with behind closed doors. (So am I, now). Tonight, I had perchance to use that forthrightness for something I will defend to my dying day and never back down and I thought to myself – here I am, I am back and I am never going to be with somebody who doesn’t speak about me or think about me the way those two ladies across the road do to each other, ever again. I will not shrink and be embarrassed by emotional outbursts if I mean what I say and I know I’m on the right side the way I spent my marriage. From now on – my acceptance of myself and all my myriad of flaws is paramount. I was made to feel flawed, terrible and WRONG. For some reason, listening to these ladies and sticking up for the underdog today has made me accept myself more for who I am. I don’t know why but I’m digging it. And maybe one day I will have a love like theirs. If I don’t I will definitely love myself. Part of that epiphany was knowing I could never go back to living with a PA abusive man. I’m over it, finally, I think and that is a relief from the mourning.


  3. Bronze says:

    I hope you have that relief someday.


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