Caught in brain spin

I’m not sure I can coherently write in the moment, but I want to try.  This is usually where I go into fog, so I’m going to try to write it all out.

There’s a job he’s working on.  It’s a school.  It has a president’s name (as so many do), but I’ll call it Franklin.  It’s a school, so anything to do with any kind of governmental pay source is slow.  This means you want to wrap it up neatly and.get.that.invoice.rolling.  Plus, it means you want to get it wrapped up so you can hurry up and move on to a commercial job that pays much more quickly, or you won’t have money to buy food and pay bills.  We are facing just such a pinch.

So, that job he’s working on.  For the last few days, his projected hours show up as either increasing or not decreasing. It’s like the hours are reproducing like dust bunnies.  It’s not the norm.

There are possible reasons for this:  He did a terrible job of calculating the budget and projecting hours.  He’s not working on it as much as he says he is.  There are legitimate unforeseen screws and twists that can plague certain jobs.  Any or all of those.

My problem is that I don’t trust him.  The reason I don’t trust him is because he’s lied to me about various and sundry, big, small, middling, important, and trivial things for all the years I’ve known him.  He can go a long stretch without lying, but then again, how would I actually know that’s true…  I know that he’s lied belligerently, repetitively, smoothly, earnestly, sneakily, cleverly, stupidly, and most important… he’s lied about lying.

This means when for any reason I pause to wonder if he’s lying, I have to consider that maybe he is lying.  It’s sensible in light of history, and I don’t mean ancient history.  I find it reasonable to have doubts and to ask questions.

He finds it insulting.  Apparently he finds it a reason to start shouting at me too.  Which he just recently did today.  This morning his projection showed (again!) 3 hours to finish Franklin. He was in a tizzy about starting the next school project.  I told him to wrap up Franklin (fercryinoutloud) so we could invoice, and that one particular small commercial job had to be finished today so we could get grocery money in fast.  I could see him balking, and we had a discussion about it, then finally he agreed and left to purportedly start finishing Franklin..

Fast forward to mid-afternoon.When I asked if he was finished with Franklin, he told me not yet.  Not yet?  It only showed a few hours this morning, and that was close to five hours ago?  Then he explained about his last few hours with some long stream of garbledygook job lingo that made me feel like I was being schmoozed and snookered somehow.  I asked if what he just described was part of finishing Franklin.  He looked irritated and started to go into the whole spiel again about how it was going to help with Franklin AND the upcoming schools.

I asked, “If I come back there and look in detail at what you did for the last three hours, will I see how it was moving Franklin to completion?”

That made him get more angry.  He seethed, “(version of my childhood nickname said with sneering tone) I just told you that it would be applied to both … [insert blah blah blah of repeat]”

I asked, “Then how many hours are left on Franklin?”

He says he’s not sure.

I asked again, “So if I come back and look in detail, will I see that the background preparation you did for future school, also helped you to get Franklin completed?”

“What do you mean by background,” he asked with his eyes squeezing together.  “What do you mean by background?  I need to know what you mean by that word, so I can give you the right answer!”

I said, “Anything that includes preparatory work, any organizing steps or stages to build on to complete a job.”

Momentary nasty glare, then yelling commences.  (I guess maybe he didn’t care what the answer to his question was after all.)

Now he’s yelling.  He’s sick of it.  He can’t take it anymore.   I should find someone to replace him at his job.

If only.  Oh… if only.  Don’t tempt me when your turd factor is at high stench levels.

He yells more.  I constantly accuse him of lying.  It’s so hard to live with my suspecting him.

I said, “You do realize that you are entirely responsible for creating this?  That if you would stop lying, and just tell the truth for a decent amount of time, that this would change?”

He snaps, “Would it?”

And then I realize I am not getting more upset.  I’m calm.  A sick small clench is buried somewhere inside, but I’m calm.  Like the eye of a storm, but I’m not feeling anything.  I just want him to go away.  I want to go away.  I want to be done.

I told him that his behavior has been getting worse.  That when he’s escalated in the past, it’s always left destruction and loss in his wake.  That when I said I’d attempt to work on things, but he had to cooperate when it came to work and money, I did NOT mean this stuff.  I told him that given his history and recent behaviors (lies included), that’s it’s entirely sane and reasonable for me to doubt and ask questions.

He said, “I try to answer earnestly, and you interrupt me!”

(I’m thinking… maybe it’s because you also can lie earnestly.)

I told him that when he’s yelling, and getting digs in, that it’s like guerrilla warfare, and I don’t want it.

He said, “Digs? What kind of digs?  Give me an example of a dig I made today!  I don’t make digs at you!  All I did was try to explain, but then I have to deal with your cross-examination!”

And actually… he went on for a few more sentences, so I guess he also didn’t want an example of a dig.  As if using the word ‘cross-examination’ isn’t its own little dig.

I ended by telling him that he could either stop it, or I’m ready to do whatever I need to, including going to a homeless shelter if I need to.  I said, “You know how excited I was that a couple kids might be coming home to visit this summer. You know how much I care about the flowers and garden.  About working with our youngest with education.  But I’ll do it if I have to.”  I said that I knew there would be fallout, and some people would be hurt, but I was prepared to accept it as part of the cost to protect myself.  I said I was going to call someone so we could meet and I could explain (with some documentation) why I don’t trust him, and that he could explain to that person why he felt it was reasonable to be angry about my doubt and questions.

I said, “You have stolen so much of my life already.  I won’t willingly let you take anymore of it.”

He said he needed to take a break.  I said I needed to make that call.

And I tried.  I kept the number in a fb message, and guess what wouldn’t load for me?  I just said a prayer and let it go for now.  I’m guessing he’ll wind down.  I hope he does.  I’d rather keep making my progress towards independence without landing in a shelter.  But I’m still strangely calm, no matter which way it goes.


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12 Responses to Caught in brain spin

  1. Exodus says:

    Oh PJ’s. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. Know that I feel and relate to every emotion in your words. I know you are so drained. Every time these conflicts occur, it just takes the breath out of me. I literally feel so tired sometimes that I must lie down. The adrenaline surges are killing me. Our experiences are not just similar, we share the same exact experiences relating to our husbands in business. What you are dealing with is what I deal with anytime I get involved and behave like a responsible conscientious business owner. Our husbands should not be in business with anyone, certainly not ‘the wife’. They will always perceive us as being controlling, keeping them on a leash, and doing nothing except eating bon bons all day and spending their hard-earned money on ourselves. They don’t realize that we are are/were their most supportive cheerleaders.

    I walked away from the business back in 05 and since then, I’ve only performed the most basic duties. I can’t work with my husband at all. PJ’s I went to GW Uni and got my certification in Sustainable Landscape Design and I can’t even use it because of my A-hole SOB husband. I spent all that money and all those grueling hours for that certification – not to mention, all the expense of having to take the exams, the state licenses, etc.. and it would kill my husband to allow me to design anything. Even more disturbing is that he tells our customers that I am a great designer but then won’t allow me to work with them! Even worse, I had my own freelance design business before I met my husband and I gave that up to start this business AND I made him president so that he would feel important ( advice from my mother). I feel like such a loser dumbass.

    The blue-collar mentality of working hard but not smart. They work hard like mindless factory machines but don’t seem to be concerned about how much money they are actually earning because they equate earnings with self worth. This is very counter-intuitive because if they can’t acknowledge mistakes, weaknesses and strengths, then nothing will improve. They are too emotional and not objective businessmen.

    The lies and betrayals of trust just get perpetuated over and over again by our husbands. They are the ones who don’t want to rectify their mistakes and work to earn our love, trust and respect. I’ve thought a lot about how I would treat my husband if I ever betrayed him or caused him to lose his faith and trust in me as his wife and I can tell you that I would be making every effort that I could to let him know that he’s my priority. I would call him during the day, I would let him know when I was coming home, I would stay connected. I have no clue what my husband does and I guess in some ways, I don’t even care to know. I mean, as far as business is concerned, I sort of want to know but I also know that I’ll never get a straight truthful picture of what my husband does unless I go out to a job with him and stay by his side. As we all know, that would just create more PA abuse. As far as his personal life, I don’t give a shit what my husband does as long as he is not doing anything that could harm our company in some way. If he had an affair, I wouldn’t care at all as long as he meets our business obligations. It’s not as if I depend on him for anything except income. Maybe he would be happier and nicer to me if he had someone else???


    • lonelywife07 says:

      Exodus…trust me, when they have an affair, they get meaner, not nicer! The OW is telling him how wonderful he is, how he deserves to be treated better, how you don’t appreciate him….and it ALL goes to his head and he starts to believe it!
      It totally sucks!!! It makes a bad situation even worse….and if you don’t trust him now…believe me, after he’s lied and betrayed you and turned to another woman to get his “fun”, when you’ve been struggling to just put one foot in front of the other in managing this relationship… you are soooo angry!!
      And that makes living with a PA even more difficult!!


      • Exodus says:

        Good points Lonely. I can certainly see how the OW would stroke his ego and lead to even more arrogance and abuse. I can also see how any guilt they may have might cause them to become meaner since they would always be baiting us into conflict to support their belief that we’re horrible wives.

        If I found out that my husband was having an affair, I wouldn’t be upset about the affair as much as I would be about him enjoying himself with our money and neglecting his responsibilities which is really what I deal with now anyway whether he’s with a woman or not. My husband never calls the office during the day, never answers his phone when I call him ( which is rare since I know he won’t answer). I’ve been so frustrated with this behavior that I finally gave up trying to work with him on any level. My husband will finally call me from his truck when he’s sitting in the driveway to let me know that he’s home. Seems to me that he’s already having an affair with his anger.


    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Adrenaline surges are horrible, and I sympathize with all my heart. It was adrenaline surges going out of control that sent me to a doctor years ago.
      I’m only as involved as I have to be in his work, and even that doesn’t help if he sabotages actually completing a job in a timely way etc. What a nightmare.


  2. Exodus says:

    D-Day Inspiration

    It’s June 6 but I’m not referring to WWII. I received a daily inspiration today called ‘ The power of Disengagement’ and thought it was an appropriate D-day inspiration that I would share with everyone.

    Life should not be lived through a series of mind games, but from truth and looking deep within.

    For better or worse, many people have been raised to believe that communicating in an honest and open way will not get them what they want. They have learned, instead, to play mind games or go on power trips in the service of their ego’s agenda. People stuck in this outmoded and inefficient style of communication can be trying at best and downright destructive at worst. We may get caught up in thinking we have to play the same games in order to defend ourselves, but that will only lead us deeper into confusion and conflict. The best way to handle people like this is to be clear and honest with them

    As with all relationships and situations in our lives, we must look within for both the source of our difficulties and the solution. Reacting to the situation by getting upset will only entrench us more deeply in the undesirable relationship. Only by disengaging can we begin to see what has hooked us into the mess in the first place. We will most likely find unprocessed emotions that we can finally fully feel and release into the stillness we find in meditation. The more we are able to do this, the less we will be bothered by the other person’s dramas and the more we will be free to respond in a new way. In the light of our new awareness, the situation will untangle itself and we will slowly break free.

    Whenever people come into our lives, they have come for a reason, to show us something about ourselves that we have not been able to see. When unhealthy people try to hook us into their patterns with mind games and power trips, we can remind ourselves that we have something to learn here and that a part of us is calling out for healing. This takes the focus off the troubling individual and puts it back on us, giving us the opportunity to change the situation from the inside out.

    M. Taylor


  3. RockyRoad says:

    PJ I applaud your ability to find some peaceful calm in spite of the uproar your pah tried to create. I know how maddening it is to try to nail jello to the wall. If they could only see you’re not fighting against them…you’re on the same team! It’s almost like they are trying to shoot themselves in the head with a loaded gun and you are trying to take the gun to remove the bullets, but they believe you are trying to take the gun outta their hands and shoot them yourself!! I know some of my analogies are a little crazy but I DO live in Crazyville! 😉 Have you ever been tempted to set up a tape recorder to capture the crazy conversations just so you can listen to the interaction word for word later rather than trying to sort it out in your head? When we used to get into those round-and-around conversations that seem to go nowhere, I wanted to say “Let’s push ‘record’ and see if any of this makes any sense later”.

    PJ & Exodus – I feel your pain as I’ve been operating a small business with my pah for our entire marriage of 20 yrs. It has always given him something to blame our issues on, which relieves him of focusing on anything personal. Most of our time in therapy was spent with him deflecting our problems on our business. Over a year ago, we finally hired a full time office assistant who deals directly with him on preparing proposals and invoicing residential customers – which was always the source of some of our biggest fights and my worst frustration. It has made my life a lot more bearable. That left me with contract billing (that is cut and dry), A/P and payroll. He always blamed our issues on working together… I always believed the core of our problems are personal issues that spill over to our business.


    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Rocky Road, yes, I have been tempted to tape record, and have said as much to him. If I ever get a small recording device, I’m pretty sure I’d try it.
      I wish I could afford to hire someone to manage him! Details are not my strength really; I’m more the big picture analysis thinker, and what he actually does is details, details, details. So sadly, we could extremely complement each other if we were on the same team. I’ve also grieved because the concept of ‘same team’ seems to elude him.
      Nailing jello to a wall is a perfect description, and one I’ve said before to him.


    • Exodus says:

      Rocky and PJ’s……I HAVE taped our conservations and I’ve even videotaped them. It’s very easy to do with your smartphone and although I don’t know much about using any other function on the durn thing, I do know how to use my video recorder and voice memo functions.

      PJ’s……the adrenaline rushes are doing something to my pelvic organs ie..uterus and ovaries. Every time I get those rushes, I end up with menstrual cramps and horrible ovarian pain that just sends me into a different world. I’m menopausal now and have been for 4 years. I also have days when I feel so truly exhausted that I can barely even function at all.

      Before I started our current business, one of my customers from my own business warned me about going into business with my husband. He tried and tried to convince me to keep my own business and allow my husband to have his own if that is what he wanted. I didn’t listen obviously. Oh no, I believed that we were the perfect team. Once we were the perfect team, that’s when my husband became my enemy.

      My husband also blames our business for ruining our marriage but he only says that when he’s short on other excuses. His number one excuse is that he was too tired to think. He’s tired? I wonder how tired he would be if had married someone like himself? If he and I had worked well together, we would be extremely successful but he has an aversion to success and a love for misery.


  4. Exodus says:

    On trust……..No, I don’t trust my husband at all. I don’t even put him down on medical forms as an emergency contact. Seriously. Aside from Dr’s never using that info when there is an emergency, the fact is that my husband wouldn’t answer his phone or check his messages anyway.

    I had a really annoying and rather ironic experience today regarding trusting my husband. I received a call from the landlord of our office. The way the woman approached the conversation was very strange and left me feeling like she was lying about something. here’s what she wanted. She and my husband have the same birthdays and her daughter planned a party on a local pier for tomorrow night. She kept rambling on about this party with all sorts of scattered and disconnected sentences. ok???? I kept waiting for her to explain the reason for the call. Apparently, she invited my husband to the party earlier this morning but my husband told her that he wasn’t sure if I had any plans for Sat. night. AH!! Redflag. First of all, my husband would never give me or my plans an ounce of consideration….never has and never will UNLESS he’s expecting something from me like gifts. Secondly, because the woman was being so vague and ambiguous, I realized that she must have some other hidden agenda. She’s not having an affair with my husband. However, this woman is fairly tight with him and they have a very codependent relationship. I like the woman as a landlord but I don’t trust her anymore than I trust my husband. I’ve seen in her action and she plays games with people all the time. I don’t like that. She said, ” I didn’t want a party at all but my daughter is relentless. Why do I need a party when I’m turning 61..that’s nothing special”…REDFLAG2- you see, my husband is turning the big 50 and she was trying to remind me of this by playing coy or rather, passive headgames. I finally just asked her if my husband told her to call me for some reason. I mean, she never calls me for anything else and I’ve been renting from her for almost 20 years. She said, ‘ Oh no, he was busy this morning and just told me that he wasn’t sure if I had other plans and oh, he asked me if my little grandson was coming”. ???????????grandson???? Oh please…she was trying to use her grandson as a way to tug on my heartstrings by eluding to some relationship between my husband and the boy??? OR is it that she wants someone to babysit her grandson while she and her daughter get drunk. Lovely grandma, eh? I’m opposed to adults drinking around kids I wouldn’t want to attend a party like that. I finally said, ‘ Look, I can’t help but notice how awkward this call is for you and it’s obvious that you’re not telling me the whole truth about something but, I just want to tell you that although I appreciate your invite, I have no intention of attending any function with my husband – especially for his birthday and especially given that he’s never done anything for me for my birthdays, for christmas or any other special day and frankly, I’m surprised that you would even ask me to attend a party for him given that you know that. For years he has lied to her about all the extravagant plans that he made for my birthdays when in fact, he never did a damn thing for me. Every year she asks me how my birthday was and I have told her every single year that whatever he told her was a lie and that he never did anything for me. Apparently, she didn’t believe me???? Figgers right? So, for her to call me and expect me to attend this shingdig to celebrate his 50th is really like putting a knife in my back. Anyway, I told her that it was obvious that she and my husband conspired this morning to have her call me to try and convince me to attend the party. I told her that I don’t keep tabs on my husband and don’t care what he does and the last thing that I want to do is attend a party with him where alcohol is being served because then I end up being my husband’s chaperon.
    PJ’s it’s bad enough when our husbands lie and play games with us but when they find PA allies to work their game for them???? How disgusting. I”m not going to say a word this evening when my husband gets home. Not a mention of that phone call today.


  5. Exodus says:

    Today is my husband’s birthday and guess what gals? I haven’t lifted a finger in celebration. I haven’t said a word. NADA NADA NADA! The best part of this is that I don’t feel any guilt. I really don’t feel anything because I don’t care! Hey, I’ve become my husband! I guess this is the Golden Rule in action.


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