The bitchmakers

A couple of recent business projects/jobs have required enough time that I decided (happily) to forego the morning meetings for a few days.  A few small, new ones rolled in, so it was back to business.  Not long ago, we had a typical intense, time-sink ‘discussion’ (aka argument… aka a ‘fight’) on a change I wanted on the sheet for outstanding invoices.  In this business, some projects don’t become 100% billable until they’re either through plan check, and for some it’s not until construction is completed.  On the current sheet, he had a column marked Amount Owing, and even though it actually wasn’t paid 100% yet, he was leaving it at $0.00, because it was one of the jobs that needed to complete its journey through plan check or literally be finished in construction.  I asked him to change that. 

He stared, balked, and argued that it wasn’t ‘owed’ until it was through plan check or construction was finished.  I get it, I understand that, and I explained that.  Repeatedly.  I said I still wanted one sheet that showed every project that had an outstanding balance remaining no matter when it was due.  It went on and on ridiculously.  My insanity meter started to exceed the safety zone, and at some point, I’d reached the crazed eyes and head exploding point.  Finally, after responding to his semantics for the jillioneth time, he said he understood what I wanted, and would change it.   He said he understood, and that he’d change it…

This morning he handed me an expanded invoice sheet, and had added in about twenty more entries, mostly jobs that have a probable possibility of needing upcoming extra services or corrections, which belong in an entirely different category for Potential Work, but NO CHANGE to show the outstanding amounts owed. 

Gack!!!  I initially kept my voice calm, but as soon as I began to hear his responses to my questions, as soon as I heard his tone, and saw the look in his eyes, I realized I’d entered The Insanity Zone.  That’s when it happened.   I just by-stepped the first part of the ladder and jumped to the Beeyotch Zone.  No wonder they call passive aggressive men The B*tchmakers!  I couldn’t stand to listen to the convoluted, slippery, selective information, accusations, sabotaging rationalizations, gaslighting, and freaking idiotic excuses again! 

Brain –> asploded!

I cussed.  I said sh*t twice, and d*mn once.  In front of my daughter, no less.  And of course now I feel like a sh*t for doing that. 

I’m hanging this inglorious underwear out there, just in case there is some other poor soul who has experienced this temporary insanity and wondered not only Who am I?? but  What happened??   Just so you know, you’re not alone. 

Now he’s getting sarcastic, loud, and nasty.  Buttons pushed.  Passive aggressive mission accomplished.  So there I am, saying Stop it, stop it now!  And he’s winding up like a rattlesnake feeling vindicated to hiss, rattle, and bite in all his puffery indignation. 

He seethed “I feel like resigning!”

I responded “Would you please?”

I finally come out of the reactive anger coma, and come back from it almost as quickly as I entered it. This is crazy.  I don’t want to do it, so I by-stepped again, and said “I don’t want to do this anymore.  It’s too much.  I’d rather be poor and live in an apartment, and save my life.

And I meant it.  I mean it.

He came down from his usually drawn out dynamics so fast that my head spun again.

He was sorry.

He understood.

He’d change it. 

He loved me.

He didn’t want to give up.

He asked me not to give up.

Someone just shoot me now.

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9 Responses to The bitchmakers

  1. My head would have been exploding sooner than yours did! I read this post a little while after spending time in our basement, trying to take infinitesimal steps to deal with the junk there. Almost all of it is my husband’s. He rarely throws things away and he hoards tools, computer equipment, and random house- and garage-related stuff. I discovered a big patch of mold or mildew on a futon that has been lying folded up on the floor for years. Yes, one could say that this is my responsibility, too. But I’ve made clear to my husband for a long time that I’m so disgusted by the basement that I can barely stand to go down there, and I’ve also made clear that it’s so dirty and messy that I will not put anything down there that I want to have saved. When I bring up the issue of clutter, my husband whines that a lot of it isn’t his. Well, yeah, but the stuff growing mold or covered in mouse poop IS his. If he had been in the house, I would have screamed.

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  2. mel220 says:

    I went through this Every. Single. Day. I do NOT miss it at all.

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  3. Karen says:

    I had this happen Saturday and was so mad at myself for being drawn into it. I could see the happiness on his face that he got me to explode. He thoroughly enjoys it.

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  4. WritesinPJ's says:

    I almost hesitated to write this post, but the part of the insanity that’s me reacting is an integral part of my story.
    Thanks for sharing your stories with me. It means so much to me.

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  5. lonelywife07 says:

    Don’t you hate it?? I KNOW I can’t let him get me upset…I KNOW this!! But it’s hard, just so freaking HARD to not let it get to you!! I try to stay calm….I try to state what I need to say in a reasonable tone of voice….but when the excuses come, when the blaming everyone but himself happens….forget it! The missles are launched!! Sigh….

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  6. chosetobehappy says:

    I hate the fact that he knows that it sets me off when he acts that way and he does it anyways. I think that’s the worse for me, and he knows that when I do lose it, I hate myself afterwards because I don’t feel like myself and I don’t like US that way. And yet, these things still happen. This weekend, I almost exploded except he caught himself. It was a good thing but it’s still there ready to happen. Grrrrrrrrrrr. Tottaly understand what all of you are going through. One of my sons is like that too, drives me up the Gosh Darn Wall. Breathe in, breathe out and hope for the best.

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  7. Exodus says:

    Oh my gosh PJ’s. If being married to a PA man isn’t bad enough, a business too? I didn’t know that you were in business with your husband like I am with mine and it sounds like we are both in the same business. We’ve been in business for 18 years and he still can’t provide a completed work order or legible notations and God forbid I ask him for man hours..especially HIS man hours! I have NOT once, ever, been able to do our monthly invoicing without some sort of issue and guess what? it’s that time of the month again and I’m dreading it. I get so stressed out just thinking about it. A couple of years ago, I quit doing anything for the business and hired a young woman to take over my duties. I thought that if a stranger was in my position, he might be more conscientious and feel less controlled and threatened. One day she asked me why my husband doesn’t value his time and want to get paid for his hours and why he doesn’t feel compelled to provide accurate details or daily receipts for his book keeping. I just shook my head and told her that was the reason I hired her and I handed her the phone to call him. He would not answer his phone as usual so she sat here all day, earning ten dollars an hour doing nothing and I didn’t care. The very nice young lady quit the job and didn’t even turn in her final time sheet. She told me that she just couldn’t handle feeling so unproductive and inefficient all the time. Poor thing. I hope she didn’t need therapy after working for us.

    Re: money. When we had our seed money to start our business, we had it in cash and I was on the way to purchase equipment for our business but had to stop at a store on the way. I asked him to please put the pouch under the mat in the car and lock the doors and I ran into the store. He came in shortly after I did and then we proceeded back to the car. I noticed something blowing all over the parking lot and it was our cash. He deliberately left the money in a pile on the front seat with the windows down. I completely freaked and began running all over the parking lot trying to grab every bill. I thought he was doing the same but no, as I turned around I noticed that he was just calmly walking behind me, watching me run for the money. ” What are you so upset for, I didn’t mean to, it was an accident” This happened early in our relationship and although I thought it was very strange, I just couldn’t imagine a person doing something like that on purpose. What would be the point? In those days I wondered if he was intellectually challenged. Today, I know he’s just cruel and will do whatever it takes to upset me, instill fear and cause panic.

    He will offer to take the deposit to the bank but whenever he does, he usually accidentally loses one of the checks ( usually the one with the largest amount) and I won’t know until I receive a notice from the bank a few days later that the check is missing from the deposit. He will also deliberately lose smaller checks that people pay him on the spot and I wasn’t even aware that they were missing since he never provided a work order. One day a customer called me complaining that none of her checks had been deposited in 8 months and it was screwing up her checkbook. I couldn’t think of anything to say to her that would make sense and I wasn’t about to ask her to send me a new check for the total amount due. She fired us because she said that she didn’t want to do business with a company that operated that way. C’est la vie. I just told her that I was very sorry and that I didn’t blame her one bit. When I confronted my husband about this he said, ‘ She’s just a bitch anyway, I don’t want to work for her. I’m glad that she fired us.”

    This is truly a nightmare. My accountant told me a few years ago that he had another customer whose husband would do the same things to her and he warned me that this is dangerous and that my future and security could be completely destroyed if he ever felt threatened and desperate enough to do something truly destructive. He advised me to keep all credit cards, debit cards and checks locked up and only issue them as needed with a signature and to make sure that I have plenty of insurance and plenty of money of my own that he cannot gain access to. It’s truly shameful that I must treat my husband this way. No wonder he accuses me of being a control freak bitch who treats him like a child!! Of course our customers think he’s Mr. Great and they envy me no doubt.

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  8. Exodus says:

    I searched for a more appropriate topic to post the following question but did not find one so please forgive me for changing the subject on your post. Yesterday I was reading, once again, the description of PA abuse and how PA people tend to objectify others.

    Have any of you ever noticed how your husband addresses you or refers to you in emails to others or in conversations? Not long ago I was reading an email from my husband to one of his friends and he referred to me as ‘ the wife’. He never refers to me by name or ‘ my wife’..just, ‘ the wife’. I thought at first that maybe this was just his usual unsophisticated etiquette but then it dawned on me that my mother always refers to my brother and I by the town we live in , not by our names. She would ask me ‘ have you heard from Richmond, did you call Richmond’. I once read that sociopaths and narcissists often display this same behavior because it helps them to dehumanize others.

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  9. Pingback: A rose by any other name? | my life in pajamas

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