I have new pajamas

Dedicated to my daughters

Guess what?  Yesterday, I drove the hour it takes to get to a mall, actually went into three different stores, and bought some new things to wear. 

Before I tell the rest, I want to say that it wouldn’t have happened without my two youngest daughters.  The song linked above is for them. 

My husband, on the other hand, was more provocative than normal.  Yesterday morning, he asked me if he could get me anything.  I was at my computer reading and writing.  I said, “Really?  Sure, okay.  A piece of toast would be nice, thanks!” 

Awhile later, and no toast. 

After some time, he came out and I was still reading at the computer.  I absentmindedly said, “Did you leave the bread in the toaster?  If so, just leave it, and I’ll get it later.”

He said, “Oh, I forgot I said I’d make you some toast!”

I said, “No problem, I’ll make it later.”

He replied, “I’m sorry! I want to make it.  I’ll make it right now.”

Awhile later, still no toast.  Then my youngest son walked up to me, took a bite out of a piece of toast he was carrying on a plate and said, “Is this yours?  It was on the counter.”

I said, “Maybe, I’m not sure, but go ahead and eat it.”

He said, “Nah, I was just checking to see if it was still okay to eat.”  He grinned and walked away.

I took a bite out of a piece of toast drowning in butter. And couldn’t eat anymore of it. (I should have known better when a teenage boy turned it down.)

This was interesting because a few days ago my husband had offered to make a piece of toast, but I couldn’t eat it because it was dripping with butter.  I had thanked him and wasn’t upset, but apologized that I couldn’t eat it with that much butter.  He made more toast, and that time brought me three slices.  Three.  I gave two away, and thanked him for making it.

Yesterday morning when he asked if there was anything he could make or get for me while I was at the computer, and I said ‘toast’ etc., as he walked away there was a ping on my radar.  But how dangerous could a piece of toast be?

I let it go.  It’s just one of those grains of sand that drop in your shoe when you’re married to a passive aggressive man.  They all seem entirely innocuous on the surface, but when so many accumulate that you can’t get your foot into your shoe, you know something is wrong.  I’m mentioning it because people who don’t understand passive aggressive dynamics, don’t realize that you have to become aware of the small signals.

The next warning ping yesterday was when he just didn’t talk to me at all about the day.  This is really him in his natural habitat, but it was slightly more noticeable.  If I don’t push for communication, it usually doesn’t happen.  I was preoccupied, it was Saturday, and so there was no communication. 

But I was thinking and thinking and thinking about trying to get myself to a store.  Shopping.  The dreaded shopping.  The sweat pants were getting really hot and uncomfortable in the summer temps, and getting old to boot.

The pajama pants I’ve been wearing are really comfortable (too comfortable), but they’re… um, plaid.  They’re kind of noticeable.  I spent time online searching stores for a pair of plain working-out or yoga type pants that I could use instead to go walking (without being noticeable) or go to the grocery store (without being noticeable).  This is what I was doing when he offered to make the toast.  After figuring out which stores to potentially go to, I quietly debated…

To Go… or Not to Go… (yes, you can read that with a Shakespearean nuance)

I mentioned to my two youngest daughters that I was thinking of going To a Mall.   They were wildly encouraging, and thought it was a great idea.

I was hesitant and uncommitted.  This is when I finally decided to…

Broach a Communication.  With him.

Yeah.  That didn’t go so well.

It was about whether or not I’d try to go shopping for myself.  He seemed to indicate he might go, might combine it with Costco.

He seemed annoyed when I responded quietly that he tends to say one thing, then show me something different by his behaviors.  He seemed irritated when I told him that while he never really entirely feels like a safe person, he felt more unsafe at certain times than others, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to go with him.  I didn’t say yea or nay, just expressed quietly that he was not feeling safe to me. 

I saw what looked like his obligatory fake sad face, then he replied, “Aww…I’m sorry you feel that way.”

(and that was the end of that subject apparently)

Then he told me that he was leaving at 1:00 to go with our neighbor to the dump.  (When our ancient van quit working, he started riding with the neighbor on his trash run.)  Usually, the neighbor will call and say when he’s going and ask my husband if he wants to go with.  This time, my husband initiated the call and asked the neighbor.  That’s okay.  Except when you’re married?  I have this imaginary idea that married people talk to each other about their schedules and plans. ping ping on the radar again…

Then I asked him about the list for Costco, and the  who/when for that grocery trip.  I told him that since I’d gone the last two times, I was hoping he’d make the next Costco run.  He unenthusiastically agreed.  I told him I might leave to shop for myself while he was on his trash run with the neighbor, but I wasn’t sure.  I told him I would probably only try to shop for me, but got the list just in case. 

He said he might go to Costco on Sunday then.  (Really?)

He left for the trash run.

Then I got really squishy and anxious and undecided.  Back and forth went the debate in my mind, but I felt paralyzed.  Kept looking online.  Thought maybe I should just try ordering something and cross my fingers.  Realized I couldn’t use paypal to order from the store I wanted to. 

My hair was a mess.  What am I saying?  I was a mess.  Really.  (After surviving yesterday, I almost feel okay to say that.) 

He got home from the trash run with the neighbor, and I told him I wasn’t sure I was going after all.  He said okay, then he’d probably get ready and leave for Costco.

Then it slipped out in conversation that he’d ‘forgotten’ to tell me that a client emailed last Wednesday to say that a check was mailed.

I stared at him.  It was a client/invoice that I’d specifically asked him a few times about calling last week.   He finally did, but supposedly missed connecting.  He said it wasn’t actually the client, but the client’s son  that had emailed him to say a partial payment was in the mail. 

Well that would have been nice to know.

I said, “How could you forget, when I was asking you each day if you’d called him?  Each time I asked you would have been a reminder.”

Then he changed the day he got the email from Wednesday to Thursday.  I reminded him that I’d last asked him on Thursday. 

He said, “Oh.  I don’t know.  I just forgot.”

I asked him if there was anything else he’d ‘forgotten’ to tell me. 

He said, yes, that he’d forgotten to make a deposit for an auto deduct bill (that I’d reminded him to do when he went to town), and that there was an overdraft.

Okay.  Anything else?

Apparently nothing else, except he clearly looked angry with me. 

Don’t ask me to explain that one.  Except in Passive Aggressive World, that’s normal.  If a Passive Aggressive does anything wrong, innocently/accidentally or intentionally,  they get mad at YOU.  And then blame you. 

By now, I’m almost forgetting about trying to shop. At all.  Ever.

But then… I find a really encouraging email from Amanda.

I sit and just breathe and think and breathe and think. 

Maybe.  Should I?  Of course I should… but now?  Maybe…

Enter my daughters.  Only now they’re both dressed and ready to Go to the Mall.  I’m looking entirely horrible really, but they don’t seem to notice.  They just love on me, and hug me.  They tell me not to worry, and disappear into the bathroom together for their final touches on getting themselves ready. 

Enter my oldest son.  He sits quietly next to me to say he thinks I should go, and that I’ll be in good company, nods in the direction of his sisters.

Enter my husband.  He pulls up a chair near us and tells me that he agrees and thinks I should go.

I told him that he lost his part of the conversation of when/how I went shopping the day I practically begged him (three times) to support me and go together, and he decided it was more important to honor the Sabbath and not shop or work, then proceeded to work several hours outside.

Oops. He’s angry for sure now.   I don’t really care.

Oldest son wisely exits scene.

Husband went to full on escalation.

He accused me of having a bad attitude towards him from the time we woke up.  (Not true, both my daughters commented later that they didn’t observe that.)  He asked me what I wanted from him.  I said, “Really?  What I want isn’t realistic.  I want you to love me, and miraculously change.  I want you to stop being a person who lies and resents and sabotages.”

I asked him what he wanted from me.  He said he wanted a predictable schedule.  I said, “This is from the same man that doesn’t communicate or discuss his plans?”

He asked what he was supposed to do when I made it clear that I wanted nothing to do with him, and made it clear that I didn’t want him with when I went shopping. 

Huh?

And you know at that point?  He just kept raising his voice and saying things.  I have no idea anymore what they were.  I just looked at him at said, “I don’t have anything for you.  I have nothing to give you right now.” 

A little voice was saying, “Don’t think. Just go.” 

I avoided the mirror, grabbed my purse and some car keys, and went out the to the car with my daughters.

I think I’ve shopped for myself twice in the last several years.  So facing getting older and gaining weight was like a horror movie shock and awe to get in a dressing room.  Really depressing.  Like staring at a stranger.  Forcing myself to look in the mirror.  If a drug dealer had walked in, I would have given him five bucks and told him to hit me up.  And I don’t use drugs or even take Tylenol.  I was just so freaked out.  No make up.  Just getting older and fatter and  glazed horror to look at it. 

It was the moment of reckoning for the huge disconnect from myself.  And hey, I survived. (barely)  Then after the horror, I think I might have felt determination trickle into my being.  I think it’s there.

My daughters stuck to me like glue.  They chattered.  They hugged me.  They encouraged me.  They were calm and supportive and practical and steady.  They made me laugh through the absolute nightmare of trying to find new bras.  They sifted through many pairs of absolutely uninteresting pants to find something for me to try on.  They cheered (quietly) when I bought two bras.  And two plain black tank tops for walking.  They told me I was brave, and said they were proud of me.

Here is the funny part.  After finally choosing the least awful looking pair of black, lightweight athletic pants, I went to the men’s pajama section.  After all, my plaid pair was getting worn out.  I found a plain black pair, and another black pair that had little subtle prints on it.  Tried them on, they were cheaper, and didn’t even really look like pajama pants.  Got two of those for the price of the other one that I put back on the rack.

So I really am still wearing pajamas.  They just don’t look so much like it. 

I figured my guardian angel has a sense of humor about my writing this blog.

 

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35 Responses to I have new pajamas

  1. DotedOn says:

    I’m proud of you too!! The longest walk also starts with one step!! 🙂 And I bet your sense of humor also makes you smile. Keep writing, keep smiling… I promise, it’ll be better 🙂

    Like

  2. Amanda says:

    Yay – you did it! Despite all of the stuff happening – you still did it.

    I’m not sure if I should have laughed out loud about the drug dealer – but I couldn’t help it 🙂

    To the lady in black – bet you look gorgeous!

    A
    xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wornout says:

    Yay, way to go! And I just have to say, you are always so good at painting a picture and capturing what it’s like to live with a husband who is PA. And I’m still not sure I understand why they even offer to help us or do things for us when they must know that they either have no intention of doing it, or of if they do do it, doing it incorrectly or not finishing it. Do they offer just to ease their own conscience or is it just another way to screw with us

    Like

    • wornout, I think one of the reasons is that they do it to create an opportunity to disappoint us. If we don’t ask them to do anything, they can’t enjoy our frustration when they don’t do it. So they have to offer.

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      • wornout says:

        Seeing, thanks so much for the insight. Sadly, that totally makes sense with the skewed messed up way these guys think and operate.

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  4. wornout says:

    P.S. It sounds like you have some pretty great and special daughters. Good job raising them! 🙂

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  5. Jane D. says:

    Congratulations on your new clothes, PJs! Sometimes the hardest step for this kind of thing is just getting out of the door. . .

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  6. marsocmom says:

    You brought a tear to my eye when you said how loving your daughters were to you. And I bet they were thrilled that Mom was coming shopping with them. And when shopping, always leave men at home. Even at their best, they don’t know how to shop and are always waiting for you to finish so they can go home. I’m glad you had a great day!

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  7. Exodus says:

    So glad that you got some new clothing! It does help to have something fresh to put on. I hope you will make the effort more often ;D

    “He accused me of having a bad attitude towards him from the time we woke up”

    That comment really triggers me in the worst way because I hear that quite often. I don’t need to tell you how utterly inaccurate and truly evil the comment is. We both know that this is a common deliberate attempt to anger us but also to deliberately shift blame to us for making them angry and treat us badly.

    Here are few comments that I’ve been told by PAM in the last week:

    This is the nicest home you’ve ever lived in.

    If I had known what kind of woman you were when I married you, I wouldn’t have married you

    You wake up with bad attitude and do nothing but nag me all day

    You live in the past and always nag me about the same things over and over again

    All you care about is sex

    You are aggressive and abusive to me all the time

    Those are just a few examples of the truly delusional statements made the mad man that I married.
    .

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  8. lonelywife07 says:

    PJ so glad that you went out with your daughters….they sound like really nice, loving girls….your son also 🙂 It’s obvious that you’ve done a really good job raising them!
    But why do you stay? Why stay with a man who has so demoralized you that you have to MAKE yourself go shopping? Sorry…but I don’t understand. :/
    I realize after reading so many “stories” that I don’t have it so bad with PA Man…he’s so into making himself look great, that I can do whatever I want…shop, go to lunch with friends, get involved with community service, etc. because he can then brag about how he “spoils me”…and “encourages ” me to do these things…whatever!
    And I know that mentally he tells himself that he doesn’t need to be there for me emotionally because he never tells me no, and he “provides” for me…again, whatever!
    But I just can’t imagine living with a man that has me so demoralized that I’m afraid to go shopping…that is sooo unhealthy! You have to get out of that toxic poison!

    When I read your post today it made me so sad…I mean honestly, you sounded so down, almost hopeless…that is NOT a marriage nor is it honoring to God for you to be so emotionally beat up!

    I feel bad for all of us…we didn’t ask for this life…and even though I’m not ready for a divorce right now…I know eventually it’s going to come to that, because today showed me that PA Man is who he is…a hard hearted man who will never change…and I know I don’t want to live like this the rest of my life.
    But I do stand up for myself, and I tell PA Man to back off and leave me alone and I don’t play his sick games anymore!
    I read everything I can on PA behavior, educating myself everyday and he knows it! He knows I’m not so gullible anymore, not begging him for his “kibbles!”
    Your blog posts are so well written, and at times humorous…I KNOW that once you’re free of his poison….you would do REALLY well!! 🙂

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    • Exodus says:

      Lonely, you commented on how it’s truly sickening that we are so beat up that we don’t even want to go shopping. Your comment made me examine the reasons why this happened to me.. PJ’s and I may have slightly different reasons for not wanting to shop but in my case it’s a multitude of reasons all having to do with the joy of living being sucked right out of everything I used to do. I don’t want anyone to see me so broken. People notice. I think I wrote once on here about how a woman approached me in a parking lot once. She came up and gently put her hand on my arm as I was carrying groceries to my car and said, ‘Honey, I know that look. I’ve been there and I want to help you.” She shattered my very fragile facade and I broke down in the parking lot. If any of my old acquaintances saw me I would just die. I don’t have the energy to fake anything anymore and the woman that I am now is NOT me!! I can barely even smile anymore and until I met my husband, everyone told me that smile lit up the world. I used to have huge big brown eyes and now I look like a nodding heroin addict.

      In all abuse, victims isolate or they are forced to isolate. The give up hobbies, their habits change, they avoid social activities- especially with their partner and they will avoid or disconnect from family. This is one of the ways that therapists can tell if someone is being abused. The isolation begins slowly and innocently enough but eventually, we become completely isolated. In my case, it was a very slow progression that began simply because I was so worn out and stressed all the time that I didn’t have the energy or the desire to get dressed, fix my hair, put on makeup and leave the house. Everything I did became an enormous task whether it was doing one load of laundry or preparing a can of soup or going to the bank because I knew that everything I did would eventually be stained by my husband’s negativity whether it was him spilling stuff on a freshly mopped floor or wasting money that I just deposited. I used to go the post office daily. Now, I go every 7-10 days and that’s only because I must. I often feel as though someone drugged me and my mind is foggy all the time. I know now that these are symptoms of adrenal fatigue and when women hit middle-age when the adrenal glands are trying to compensate for loss of ovarian function, the symptoms are exponentially worse. Stress is a killer in women and I mean that literally.

      It’s so important for anyone who is being abused to maintain a network of loyal friends that their abuser is unaware of. Generally, I’m not a secretive person at all but years ago a crisis center told me that I MUST never ever let my husband know about my intentions regarding anything, never let him know about hobbies or going to school or even the library. No matter what I do, he will interfere in some way and make everything more difficult. I hate drama and chaos so I really do keep most of what I do a secret – not that I do much of anything but, I can’t even play my violin and leave it out where he would notice that I played that day. I make sure that my screensaver is set to 1 minute so that when my husband looks at my computer, it appears that I haven’t been on it in a while. I hate this because I know I’m not doing anything wrong and yet I have to behave like a secretive person who is!

      Liked by 1 person

      • lonelywife07 says:

        But Exodus…WHY??? Why let him do this to you? I say with ALL honesty…before I let PA Man suck me dry, I will live in my freaking car if I have to!!
        Life is too short!! Life is too precious!! Nothing is worth feeling so empty, or joyless!
        A friend just posted on her FB that a good friend didn’t wake up Saturday morning…only 63 and died in his sleep! Again….life is meant to be LIVED, to be JOYFUL, to be LOVED!
        And yes, I KNOW I live with a PA…but he is nothing like what I’ve read on these blogs!
        If I ever feel that he’s sucking the life and joy out of me…he’s gone!
        But I’ve always been a strong, independent woman….and I don’t back down to PA Man! I stand toe to toe with him….defiantly staring him in the face!

        But I do understand where you’re coming from….after his affair came out, I was so weak then, begging him to love me, crying and clinging on to him every chance I got, etc….I HATED what I had become!! And I hated him for doing that to me and I told myself, “Never again!!”
        So now I’m independent, and I do my own thing…if he doesn’t like it. He can leave.
        NO MAN will reduce me to a weak, confused, scared woman again!

        I lean on God to help me get through some rough days, like yesterday….PA Man was being a jerk and very angry…I told him to walk away and leave me alone, that I CHOOSE to NOT be around him when he’s acting that way!
        Again….reading The Emotionally Destructive Marriage has helped me lose the guilt that always seemed to be surrounding me..I have NOTHING to feel guilty about! I have felt so much better about myself and PA Man can’t “guilt me” like he use to, he used MY good conscience against me….while he has no conscience at all!!

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        • Exodus says:

          Lonely,
          Knowing when to leave a PA abuser is probably the most difficult decision of any form of abuse because it’s subtle and covert. There never is any obvious intent to harm about any single incident of abusive behavior. Victims are always wondering if their partner’s behavior is just a bad habit or just a ‘ dumb guy thing’, an innocent lapse in judgment or good character or perhaps they are just tired, stressed or over-worked. It’s not easy to accept that the person you married ‘needs’ to harm you in order to feel better about themselves so, like any devoted spouse, we search for solutions to end the pain and suffering. If my husband cheated on me or hit me, I would have dumped him in a heartbeat and never looked back. I did that once before with a man who cheated on me and I didn’t have one doubt in my mind whether I should dump him or not. It’s was very clear to me what happened and I didn’t need to know why because it was a deal breaker for me. But, PA abuse isn’t transparent has many faces that all appear to be so unintentional and to prove malice can’t be done. It’s only until behaviors become repetitive, used in conjunction with other negative behaviors and noticeably predictable and destructive that the victims begin questioning their partner’s behavior and their own perception and sanity. By then, the abuse has caused so much confusion, uncertainty in the victim and so much damage that the victim wakes up one day and realizes that they are in over their head in emotional, physical and financial damage. There are always the ‘practical’ reasons for staying in these relationships as well. I stayed because I have a business with my husband ( an ingenious trap perpetrated by many PA abusers) and was forced to stay in order to oversee day to day business operations that he would otherwise, sabotage which would harm me and keep me further trapped and dependent on him. I also stayed because after a few weeks of severe abuse, he would pretend to make an effort to be a wonderful husband. Life would be good for a week until he felt it was necessary to punish me for ‘forcing’ him to be a good husband. And so, the saga repeats. Regardless of how increasingly intolerant I was becoming, the more worn down I became with each episode until I woke up one day unable to even imagine a way out.

          I don’t consider having an affair (by itself) passive-aggressive unless it is being used as gaslighting. What I mean is that a man who has an affair that makes every effort to conceal it isn’t being passive-aggressive ( he’s either in love with someone else or he’s just a selfish and narcissistic jerk) but a man who has an affair and leaves little hints like lipstick on his collar, comes home late not hungry and wants to shower and go to bed without any communication, or an earring or panties on the front seat of the car or gifts or cards on his dresser or leaves his phone on the table with recent calls to ” anonymous cutie pie” , KY Jelly in his briefcase or leaves a blank email open on his desktop addressed to a strange female, etc.., is definitely being PA because he is deliberately attempting to ‘ tell you’ about his infidelity without being direct, open and honest and manipulate you into feeling threatened, demoralized and insecure. The latter being extremely cruel in that the spouse is forced to prove that their spouse is committing adultery and then confront him only to be accused of being paranoid, unstable, distrusting and even abusive which caused him to have an affair. PA’s are always leaving it up to their victims to manage their character by forcing them to confront THEM and, par for the PA abuser, they play the victim role by using one of their many excuses that shifts the blame to the victim……’ why were you snooping at MY card on the dresser?’ ‘ If you were not such a paranoid wife, I would respect you and wouldn’t want other women.’

          If my husband had a lot of money and we were not self employed, trust me, I would have dumped him years ago. But, my PAM made sure that we never had a lot of money and he kept me just comfortable enough on his roller coaster that I was never certain that my fate as an abused wife was set in stone. That’s kind of the way they like to do things- keeping us dependent on them,, hopeless and frustrated as heck. Your husband has money that he obviously allows you to have access to and use as you will and you have decided that’s enough to keep you happy but that’s a very sad and demoralizing codependent relationship, you know? Essentially, he’s paying you to put up with him and you’re comfortable accepting it. Money wouldn’t be enough to keep me happy but it would help buy my freedom. As it is, my friend is sending me money to squirrel-away for a moving truck and to hire someone to help me move and she’s living on disability income!

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          • lonelywife07 says:

            You are right..it is a co-dependent relationship, and I realized that when I was in therapy last year… but for right now, it suits me since I still have a younger son at home.
            But I’m happy…In spite of the stupid things PA Man does…I have several great friends, my older boys see what’s going on and are very supportive…and I have a ministry to the poor that I’m involved in…I feel content with my life, other than PA Man shutting me out.

            I’m sorry if you or PJ feel I’m judging you….I’m not! But it makes me so sad to read how this is affecting your physical and mental health!
            I have a friend who just found out a few weeks ago that he has cancer….and has weeks to live…so maybe that is why I’m reading about all of your and PJs pain and it makes me want to say, “Run!! Get away!! Go! Enjoy your life before it’s over!!” 😦

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            • WritesinPJ's says:

              lonelywife, you have legitimate questions and feelings. In fact, if someone who’s experienced passive aggressive abuse wonders and asks, then it’s even more important to try to answer.

              People here only know bits and pieces of me and my life, and I’ll do my best to give an overview for more perspective. I’m still pondering and taking time to open more discussion because it may not only force me to keep vigilant accountability to myself, but it may also help someone out there who’s struggling alone without support.

              So all in all, my feeling is that your honest thoughts opening this up is a good thing! Hopefully I’ll be able to coherently pursue it tomorrow morning.

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            • Exodus says:

              Lonely, I totally get where you’re coming from and I didn’t feel that you are judging me at all. I feel the same way as you do when I’m witnessing someone else’s abuse. I do know that PA abuse is very different than any other from of abuse and it’s hard enough for me to understand so I don’t expect others to understand which is why I can’t talk to just anyone about it. You may find this hard to believe ( given where I am right now in my life) but back in 1990, two women and myself opened a center/home for female victims of rape and domestic violence and at the time, it never occurred to me that I would become one of those women!! I was feisty and the one who was determined to change the world. I was aware of the obvious and common effects of rape and domestic abuse but I had no idea about PA abuse or the long term damage associated with Narcissistic partners and parenting. I didn’t know what passive aggressive was or what it looked like until 2000. Even then, after I was told that my husband was PA the therapist never told me how damaging it could be. She just sort of blew it off and said, ‘ Oh, yes, your husband is PA.” No biggie, right? WRONG!!! Anyway, my point was that I was just like you! I was desperately trying to get women to wake up and get the heck out of Dodge and never look back. They had our help finding jobs and housing and I couldn’t understand why so many of them returned to their abusive spouses and honestly, it ticked me off that we invested all that time and money in helping these women and their children and they quit trying to better their circumstances.
              I know you are satisfied with your life and our circumstances are different, but no matter how different we perceive our circumstances to be, we’re all prostituting ourselves when we stay with people that cause us to become someone that we are not and cause us to make choices that don’t align with our values.

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              • lonelywife07 says:

                Exodus…wow, that’s amazing what you did for those ladies! I hope you can get some of that fiestyness back!! 🙂
                I don’t agree about the prostituing ourselves…we are all in a bad situation, and we are making the best of it! Some are worse off than others, and hopefully they will get the courage to leave one day soon.
                As for me….I feel I’ve earned the right to a happy life, and I am happy for the most part.
                PA Man isn’t a bully, he’s not verbally abusive, he travels a lot for work…which makes me VERY happy, LOL, but he is emotionally absent and yes, that does hurt me…and I’d LOVE to be in a relationship where I feel safe and cherished…but it’s not to be.
                I am not at all interested in dating OR remarrying…so as long as PA Man doesn’t cheat, or become abusive, verbally or physically…I’m ok.
                Yes he really can push my buttons, and I want to run out the door and NEVER come back….but that’s not as often now that I’m setting boundaries, and doing things MY way!
                I HAD changed into a very impatient, stressed woman…and it was affecting my relationship with my boys….I was becoming the mean, impatient, angry mom….and I didn’t like it one bit!
                But that has changed….I have changed! I had to decide who is wanted to be and I chose to be the REAL me…not the woman married to a PA!!
                I now listen to praise music all day, I’ve joined a ladies online bible study on FB…and I’ve opened up to a few friends and told them the truth of my marriage and have asked them to pray for me.
                BTW, I told PA Man that I had decided to confide in a few friends about our relationship and he didn’t like it one bit….Oh well! Too bad..so sad! LOL
                I am making positive changes in my life….and I feel so much better…lighter…more free.

                Today I took a meal to a friend who had just adopted a sweet little girl from overseas…and PA Man was supposed to go with me (he took a day off today since he’s been traveling so much) ..but he got pissed when I wouldn’t agree to a “sexual” encounter and I told him the reason why….he downed a couple of Tylenol and headed upstairs, leaving me to finish the dinner for my friend AND my family…and I’ll admit when I got in the car I was steamed!
                My friend lives 35 mins away and it would have been nice to have his help with the driving while I made sure the food was ok… plus we were supposed to go shopping afterwards for some big items that I needed his help with!
                Anyway, as soon as I got in the car, I started having a convo with God telling him how mad I was and how it’s not fair that PA Man acts this way….and a song came on the radio….Overcomer by Mandisa!!
                Well!! I had tears flooding my eyes, and I started singing really loud and I felt so much better! It was like God was saying to me, “Hey, I’ve got your back…it’s going to be ok!”

                And as soon as that song was over another song that I love came on, Blessings by Laura story! Wow! Two of my faves, right on a row!

                I do believe that God sees what is going on, and He loves and cares for me….and I just wait to see how He is going to work. 🙂

                Like

                • Exodus says:

                  Lonely, yes, we’re all making the best of it but that doesn’t dismiss the truth that I am compromising too much of myself in order to live with my husband and even worse, the things I compromised are priceless. These are the things that should sustain me through everything else- honesty, love, self respect, morality, ethics, spirituality and spiritual practice, my work ethic was compromised and I had to diminish my talents and my passions in order to survive. I had to become tolerant of things that I didn’t approve of and I had to make sacrifices that I shouldn’t have in order to survive with this man. But, it’s not like being a member of the Donner Party where choices had to be made in order to prevent death even though I sometimes felt that desperate! I allowed my time to be filled with the worry and stress of having to manage my husband’s self destructive, lewd and demoralizing behavior and when that happens, we are depriving ourselves of the life we were meant to live. For me, that is wrong and I believe it is a sin. I found myself saying things like ‘ well, it’s ok if I harm myself as long as I don’t harm anyone else’ or ” I can handle this but I won’t allow him to harm my dogs or others”. I won’t even get another dog because of my husband and that alone tells me that something is very very wrong with this relationship. I re-adjusted my boundaries and limits to such a degree that it’s shameful and the way I did that was by making excuses and I know that good character makes no excuses. There are people who will smoke outside in order to avoid harming their kids or others and there are people who will drink excessive alcohol and think that’s ok as long as they don’t drive or they will eat unhealthy food today as long as they don’t tomorrow. Sounds noble but it’s really just a way for us to justify choosing a path with the least resistance. That’s how my thinking evolved and until I met my husband, I never compromised my values. After marrying him, my thinking was always in compromise mode. Then one day it occurred to me that harm is harm no matter how I try to spin it and rank it and that G-d doesn’t believe that it’s ok to harm ourselves and deprive ourselves just because it appears to be the lesser of evils at the moment. What if the woman who didn’t smoke around her children, didn’t have children? I really took time to look at myself objectively and notice who I had become and how I was harming myself even though I had convinced myself that I was just doing the best I could do under the circumstances as if there was no possibility of ever amending the consequences of my previous choices.

                  PJ’s wrote about sharing a picture of herself from the past and her comment really saddened me because I know exactly how she feels. I have a very difficult time even recognizing the woman in pictures of myself before my husband and I married. That woman is someone that I don’t even know anymore. I’m going to find her though and I know that PJ’s will too. Surely, these women are still in us but, perhaps dormant.

                  Lonely, as long as you stay in the house, you’re playing a game that will only lead to further frustrations and resentments that will result in arguments that everyone in the house must endure. I have been doing this for years. By staying, we’re sending the message to them that we want the benefits of being their wives but we don’t want to have to behave like a wife. I’m not defending your husband but who the heck wouldn’t resent that? I realized that this is just as deceptive as my husband telling me that he loves me but never shows it. This is another reason why I am leaving. For years I never wanted sex with my husband- not because he was unfaithful but because having sex with someone who was using and abusing me every day simply didn’t appeal to me in the least bit. But instead of living true to my values and staying honest, I stayed and not only deprived myself of true love all these years but also lied to the world ( and myself) about my marriage by making excuses to diminish the truth. I went through periods just like you where I thought..ok, I’ll take care of myself, screw him but, ” I’m not going to compromise my dignity by allowing him to have his way with my body.” This is no way to live.

                  Like

          • Exodus, wow. I always think your comments are insightful, but this one really described the covert abuse and manipulation and its effect so well. I just kept thinking – exactly – the whole time.

            I am so glad you have someone to help, even a little. I really believe that things will come together for you when you get out. I am convinced there is a demonic presence in your whole situation and getting out from under it will make such a difference.

            Like

            • Exodus says:

              I want you to get out too. That would mean as much to me as my own freedom. You are very special and very kind and sensitive and you deserve so much more than living a life serving an empty well. We’re not alone. There are so many of us out here and my door is always open ( once I find a door to open ..hahahha) to anyone who wants to escape.

              Like

  9. RockyRoad says:

    What a blessing that you have the full support and unconditional love of your daughters (and son)!! It’s obvious that you created a strong emotional connection with them when they were young. That alone tells that you are a warm and loving woman trapped in a sad situation that you didn’t create. THEY are the validation that you’re not crazy. It’s so sad these men just don’t understand what they are missing out on by continuing to treat us as the enemy. We could be lavishing that warm loving connection on THEM if they didn’t act like such an a$$. And they are also missing out on that connection with their children. I always thought WE live a sad, lonely life…but I think they are the ones that are sad and lonely… they just don’t know it.

    Like

    • wornout says:

      RockyRoad, great comment. Well said. I totally agree. They are missing out on so much. The sadest of all (especially for the children) is the connection with the chidren. These guys are complete idiots to throw away the love that has been offered to them. But, like you said, they don’t even realize what they could have, or the lives they have damaged. It’s all so sad.

      Like

    • marsocmom says:

      They are missing out for sure. My PAH is happy enough to know that his children are out there somewhere and he can tell people about what they are doing (in vague, general terms like “she’s at college, he’s in the Marines”), but he doesn’t want to expend the emotional energy necessary to actually participate in their lives. Last night he asked me where youngest daughter was. I was surprised that he noticed she was gone, and I told him she’d left for camp earlier in the afternoon. “Oh,” he said. He knew this. It had been written on the calendar for two months. If I am his only connection to the real world, he’s in trouble, because I stopped telling him things years ago, because it was like talking to a Martian.

      Like

      • Exodus says:

        Do you think that your husband doesn’t relate to the kids because he is too immature and jealous of that bond that you have with the kids vs him? I’m just curious. Maybe the kids represent a part of himself that he doesn’t want to get in touch with? Maybe he’s just indifferent and cold toward everyone in general?

        My husband was very jealous of the connection I always had with my dogs and I now know that this was the reason why he ignored them and even put them in harm’s way at times. Every so often he will get angry and make some comment about how I don’t know how to love anything except animals.

        Like

        • marsocmom says:

          If he is jealous, I don’t really think that is the main reason and I haven’t noticed that happening. Immature, though, for sure. I think there might be two main reasons he won’t interact with them now.

          He was a great dad when the kids were little and responded to him well, but as they got older and developed their own minds he withdrew from them. I think that besides selfishly not wanting to do anything that isn’t his idea, he also has a really low self-esteem, and I think this is his main problem. He craves approval and wants everyone to like him all the time. Since this is never possible, he avoids any kind of conflict and won’t engage in any kind of activity that might result in someone not liking him. I think that’s why he won’t spend time with his kids. They know him too well and he can’t deal with the fact that they might not think he is the greatest dad in the world. His withdrawal does exactly the opposite – it confirms to them that he isn’t much of a dad at all.

          I was always the one who disciplined the kids. I think that’s also why he depends on me so much. He’s very hesitant to try something new for fear he might fail and lose face. He craves leadership at church but when it was offered he sabotaged himself by changing his work schedule so he was unavailable. It’s really hard to respect a man like that, but at the risk of mothering him I have to encourage him to stand up for himself. When I ask him to do things around the house, I have to wait patiently for him to follow through. It’s hard!

          Like

          • Exodus says:

            How sad for all of you.

            I understand now about him being the child and the ‘ avoider’. My husband is a big time avoider. He either abandons, ignores or changes the subject. It’s so obvious what he’s doing but he does it anyway. His mother is the same way. My husband does it for the same reasons.
            Has your husband ever been to therapy? It seems like he could benefit from some sort of intensive confidence- building??? Maybe he should try something very challenging like sky-diving. I’m being serious. I used to do things like that to help build confidence. I don’t think my heart could handle anything quite that scary anymore but it really does help.

            Like

        • This reminds me of my PA man. He did well when they were very young because he loved to play like a child. I have watched him over the years getting into whatever they are playing at like he is on their level. I think it starts to fall apart around 12-14 years old because they are exceeding his maturity level. This is especially hard on my son because I think he feels the tension of being more mature than his father and it is starting to stunt his own growth. Other than the workplace, where my PA man excels, I believe his maturity and ability to have relationships is stuck at about 12 to 14 years of age, though he is the consummate actor and can fool people for quite a while. Fooled me.

          Like

          • Thank you for this post. I noticed that my husband began quietly but very noticeably (to me) withdrawing as a parent when our daughters were tweens. My theory is that he was scared by the demands of being a good parent as our children’s needs changed from mainly physical to almost totally psychological/emotional.

            Like

    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Rocky Road, I’ve often wondered why he misses the obvious that you pointed out. The love that would be lavished on him. It’s sad.

      Like

  10. Expat says:

    I’m so happy to hear that you made it to the store and got some new clothing! 😀 You are so lucky to have such loving and supportive daughters!

    Like

  11. christine says:

    I read your blogs in reverse I think, each one relating to my life on one level or another, I think the day to day living in this takes so much from the one married to this type of man we don’t see the effects it has on us until we don’t recognize our own reflections one day. I remember the years I didnt buy a single thing to wear for me, scared to death to hit the dressing room and jogging pants and mens pjs were my comfort zone. 3 years ago I had the first nudge to FIGHT for me, instead of changing anything else about me, I started walking–slowly. It helped me not only to begin the process of loosing the weight, but on days he drove me nuts it became my escape, I could walk and be left alone, or burn off the urge to throttle him by exercising. I got out of the habit and noticed how hard it is for me to fight for what is good for me in the midst of what I deal with from him in the cycle of behaviors and moods that try as hard as I want to, somehow get to me more times than not. I pray you can find the courage and strength to do more and more things JUST for you. I decided that with or without him, I was stuck with me and it was time I got back to liking myself, I can say the more I grew and the bolder I became, the harder life has been with him, this blog has helped me to understand that as well. I have managed more for me in the past two years than I did for myself during the past 20 something years. The sad part is the better I feel on the inside, the harder life gets with him and more difficult it is to pull off any pretense on the outside.

    Like

    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Christine, what you share is validating and encouraging!
      I’ve also experienced getting better myself, which means my life is getting better, and then it gets worse with him. For anyone staying in the relationship, I think we unconsciously can sabotage ourselves, or neglect ourselves in order to also protect ourselves.

      I have a re-occurring injury with a bone that dislocates in my foot now. It’s made walking a really unpredictable thing. I’m able to swim with it, so thankful it’s warm enough for me to enjoy that right now.

      I’m hoping for it to somehow get fixed, load up a cheap Mp3 with walking music, and walk my way to more health and energy. All prayers appreciated about this specific thing!

      Like

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