What time changes pt. 3

“I’m afraid of time… I mean, I’m afraid of not having enough time. Not enough time to understand people, how they really are, or to be understood myself. I’m afraid of the quick judgements or mistakes everybody makes. You can’t fix them without time. I’m afraid of seeing snapshots, not movies.”  Ann Brashares

Afraid of making mistakes.  (Yes, I was.) Wanting to do the right thing.  (Always.)  Not wanting to judge or be judgmental. (especially since that’s so easy to do without thoughtful restraint and mindful mercy)  Having the analytical and intuitive bent that sees the shades beyond black and white.  Innate empathy and compassion.  Always wanting to understand more in the search for truth.  Add to all that a large dose of human frailty, strong will, determination, and unhealthy blind spots.

Time changes things.  We’ve all heard that.  It’s true with many things, but not all.  Haven’t we learned the latter the hard way?  The Lord asks in Jeremiah 13:23 if the leopard can change his spots.  When turning to others for help and understanding, what most of us probably heard were admonitions to pray, to have faith and pray more, and have more faith.  As though we could reach this elusive measure of prayer or faith, and the lack of it on our part was preventing the change needed to stop the pain and bring about a happy marriage.  If it wasn’t prayer or faith, it was advice on being a more loving and supportive wife.  Yeah, that must be it then, if he had a properly loving and supportive wife, then he would be a better husband.

What an endless trap that creates.  Not to mention it entirely leaves out free will, and church discipline for an abusive husband.

I know there’s many here who have strong faith and believe in the power of prayer.  I’ve cried out in prayer and wondered if it was hitting the ceiling.  I’ve hugged the edge of the bed in silent tears, wondering if I’d been such a especially wicked child that this was my due punishment.  To live in the hell of ‘alone with someone’.  To be made to feel it was my fault somehow.  How else could he have been so impervious to my pain?  To try over and over again for years to be someone that was lovable, that wasn’t disgusting,  lazy,  stupid, or annoying, or selfish, or uncaring, or not thoughtful.  There had to be something if he treated me the way he so often did.  Definitely unattractive.  (It didn’t matter if other men acted like I was attractive.  (Obviously, the ‘real’ me must be repulsive or something, because I was so resistable to my own husband.) 

You name it, and I’ve probably run a checklist to try to fix it. After all, he wanted to marry me, so there must be some good stuff, if I could just manage to try harder with my bad stuff… right? 

Besides being a ‘better’ person,  there were the other things I could also try harder with.  Cleaner house? Check.  House too clean and can’t relax in it?  Check.  Cook differently?  Check.  Try to make him feel appreciated and honored?  Check.  Say too much and nag?  Check.  Say too little and be accused of withholding what I have to offer as a helpmate?  Check. 

Only as I said before, none of it worked.  None of it changed anything.

Well that’s not entirely true.  I was changing.  At times over the years, I felt stronger because I was stronger.  So determined, and still running on hope.  When hope waned and the battle with resignation began, I hit my knees more often, and challenged my own faith.  I focused on personal growth, giving, and still enjoying my life despite the emptiness in my marriage.  I purposefully built a support system of women friends, although at that time I didn’t let them past the last gates of my soul.  At the time I didn’t see the point, and also had never uttered the word abuse, even within my own thoughts.  Back then, I thought of it in terms of ‘unhappy marriage’.  I considered it to be ‘my’ problem, and my cross to live with.  As to the big picture impact on not only myself, but my kids, I really didn’t see.

I had strength and used it to pursue my interests in life. 

The strength doesn’t always last.  This is the reason that I’m writing this three part post.  You can overestimate your strength.

Lonelywife77, a poster here and also a blogger on passive aggressive, commented:

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!

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t have been able to imagine it.  Because that was just not me. 

It happened over time.  The me in the past would have scoffed at it happening to me

I knew a younger woman that danced on the street, jumped and danced on a bed, and while cleaning up after work, danced on a pool table with two co-workers.  I knew a younger woman that thought little of driving 1400 miles alone in two days and finding a house to rent.  I knew a younger woman that with a female friend founded a private school, and was an original board member.  I knew a younger woman that launched a drama program for teenagers. She sang in choirs.  Performed in a play. She fought and played and loved passionately.  I knew a younger woman that dressed in whatever fun quirky ways she felt like, and laughed when she walked in the rain.

She was strong.  She was sometimes shy, but outspoken when she felt truth was at stake.  She was brave.  She was full of love and hope and dreams. She stood up to the boy-man again and again for over three decades.  Fearlessly.  She wasn’t afraid of him.  But she overestimated her own strength.  She didn’t see the hidden quagmires ahead.

Some unexpected things happened.  She didn’t see those things coming.  She crashed.

She was me.

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!”

Yes.  It’s strange that Time can sweep by while you’re treading water.  It’s not the times you’re aware and reckoning, because then you can more or less accurately assess things.  It’s that Life can throw something at you that you didn’t see coming at all.  Accidents, illnesses, deaths, and other huge, formidable changes.  Especially if you have kids.  Or it could be that your health plummets unexpectedly.   When that happens, you get so focused on getting through it, that one day you look in the mirror and realize a year or two or three or ten flew by while you were navigating, coping, and surviving.  All the strategies you thought you had in place to maintain who you were had become secondary to just making it through. 

And the toll those unexpected life events take can be fierce and terrible.

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!”

We not only didn’t ask for it, we didn’t see it coming!  Wouldn’t we all have run?  Mirror, mirror on the wall, who was the blindest one of all?

I want to say that I agree that passive aggressive men don’t really change.  If someone is reading this and wondering about their own marriage, I want to tell you that whatever it is, will probably be what it will beWhat you have is what you’re going to get.  If that’s something you can live with, then do everything you can to love and take care of yourself. 

If what you have right now isn’t something you can live with, leave if you can, but find all the support you can.  Sometimes we just need to be built up faster than we’re being torn down.

Like some of you, I’m not sure of what I’m going to do, or how it will all play out.  I do know that I fully support those of you who have left, or are in the process of leaving.  My decisions are currently impacted greatly by health and finances, so I’m a dependent with dependents.  Meanwhile, I’m going to regain all the strength and health I can.  With eyes wide open.

I give you this to take with you:
Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can
begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.” Judith Minty

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60 Responses to What time changes pt. 3

  1. Exodus says:

    PJ’s, in regard to your comment about us running had we seen the signs , I did see the signs and I still married him and I stayed ( too long). I saw all sorts of blaze orange flags but at the time, they didn’t hold the same threatening value as they do today. I remember on my wedding day telling my best friend that we should get into the car and leave. I would have abandoned my wedding if she hadn’t said, ‘ Oh, you’re just nervous but he’s going to be fine once he’s married’. I am generally not an idiot but I do tend to become one when it’s easier to trust someone else rather than my own good sense.

    I know I’ve mentioned this before on this blog but I really am curious to know how everyone met their husbands and what little red flags they may have noticed before they married.


    • WritesinPJ's says:

      “I saw all sorts of blaze orange flags but at the time, they didn’t hold the same threatening value as they do today.”
      We don’t understand what we’re seeing, so it’s really like not seeing.


      • Exodus says:

        Sorta kinda like not ‘ seeing’ but truthfully, not in my case. I knew that in most instances, I was seeing bad character but I excused it. I had a very different cultural upbringing than my husband did and I had a tendency to be a bit more forgiving of others because I realized that not everyone grew up with the advantages and formalities that I did.
        I lived in a very liberal home but I had a very formal conservative upbringing and I’m not referring to politics. My grandfather was a VIP and so, I had to learn all the formalities that were required to live in his world and having good character and integrity was absolutely a requirement in our home. My family and my family’s friends were well educated and very worldly. I believe that because I grew up in this type of environment and lived in a very economically depressed agriculture-based county that I was always in a state of humbling myself. I always tried to diminish my presence because I didn’t want anyone to feel that they were less fortunate or less of anything around me. We were forbidden to be racist or judge any book by its cover and we were taught to respect everyone’s religion and be humanitarians. When I was in the 3rd grade they advanced me to the 6th grade which harmed me more than helped because I felt the need to diminish my skills in order to be with my own peer group.

        When I met my husband, he appeared to be very well educated and well-mannered and he associated with other guys from the elite ivy league crowd which helped him to manage that preppy image. The red flags that began to surface were related to his character . Like my mom always said, ‘ You can dress them up but you can’t take them out’.

        Before my husband and I even dated, we were working for the same firm. One day the owner was driving me around to look at several of his largest properties and we ran into my now, husband, who was standing at his truck. All the doors were open on the truck, even on the traffic side and the owner told him to close them since it was a traffic hazard. My husband just nodded and we drove off. We came back about a half hour later and the doors were STILL open. I remember that day so well and thinking how strange that it was that a grown man would do something that stupid and then not correct it when someone was nice enough to point out the potential hazard in his actions.

        Wanted to have sex on the first date and moved in without a proposal

        He was most always late for a date ( and still is) without calling me

        Never talked about his brother or sister and never knew the birth dates of anyone in his family or parents wedding anniversary

        When my stepfather was dying I was just so devastated and I called my husband at work and told him what was happening and my husband ignored everything I said and began rambling on about his day and what he and the guys were doing at work. I’ll never forget that. He never showed me an ounce of concern or compassion and G-d forbid he leave work and come home to comfort me.

        He never cleaned off or cleared the passenger seat in his car before taking me on a date and one time I had a stain on my white pants from a spilled drink and he didn’t even bother to tell me or apologize .

        When entering any establishment, he would force me to lead the way and once even pushed me out of the way when a waiter was seating me because he wanted that seat. If I needed something at the table, he would never call a waiter for me.

        He avoided acknowledging his mistakes and therefore, never apologized and never attempted to amend or rectify them. If he broke something he would leave it for me to clean up and explain that since he didn’t mean to do it, that he wasn’t responsible and even blame me for either having the item or putting it in the wrong place.

        He would conveniently forget everything whenever he was expected to defend anyone, including me ( pertaining to both business and personal) One of our contractors called me a bitch because I fired him for committing serious fraud on one of our gov’t contracts and my husband just sat there and allowed him to speak to me that way. The contractor even said, ‘ Hey man, I like working with you but your wife is a bitch’.

        He would quit a job where he and others were being treated unfairly instead of defending what was right or confronting the situation and even worse, go out of his way to kiss up to the owner/boss before he left AND remain friends with the owner/boss. Ironically, it was his owner/boss who warned me not to marry him. He said, ‘ He’s a nice man but he’s got a lot of really bad habits that don’t seem to change’. I think that was G-d speaking loud and clear.WARNING!!! Hazardous Material !!!

        The first time I met his parents, they asked my husband to move back home!!!!!! ( obviously they were afraid that he might screw up living on his own and lose his ‘ good catch’)

        His parents didn’t contribute one penny to our wedding. Thankfully my wonderful brother gracefully stepped in to save my husband from further humiliation and offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner as our gift. My husbands parents gave us bath towels that didn’t match for a wedding gift.

        He referred to me as THE girlfriend or THE wife and never commanded respect for me from others

        He didn’t have his wallet on our first date and didn’t seem the least bit concerned that he didn’t know where it was.

        He keeps loose change in piles all over his vehicle and drops it on the ground and leaves it.

        He was/still is very sneaky and would eavesdrop on my telephone conversations as well as leaving the bathroom door open when we had guests in the house just so he could hear what we were talking about in the living room.

        He would insult me in front of others in social gatherings when it appeared that I was having a good time. If I was talking to someone he make tacky comments like , ‘ why don’t you shut your trap and let someone else talk for change’ or if I was laughing, he would tell me to quit being so rude. My friends disappeared one by one.

        I asked him why he loved me and he never could tell me

        The first Christmas ( prior to our marriage) that we spent with his family we purchased his mother a beautiful old antique chair. She lived in a very old southern ‘mansion’ and loved collecting antiques- especially chairs for her antique dolls. My husband was excited to give her the chair and when he gave it to her, she didn’t say a word, pushed it aside with what appeared to be disgust and forced us to open her gifts- 2 blankets with her church logo on them and kept talking about them while ignoring our gifts. My husband was so hurt and humiliated and that hurt turned into anger but he never said a word to her.

        Anytime I had to buy something, he would have to buy something for himself. He never understood the difference between buying household goods vs personal treats. If I had to buy paper towels, he considered that an item for me, not us and would have to buy himself something to keep the score even.

        The second Christmas was the most hurtful because he deliberately didn’t get me what I wanted, got what HE thought I should have and lied to me about the thing I wanted not being available. I was terribly hurt but even worse, bashed for being so ungrateful and selfish. That was the last time he ever bought me a gift and he claims that he doesn’t buy me gifts because I hate everything he gives me.

        Anytime that things got really bad between us, he would say, ” I’m getting better, things will get better. It won’t happen overnight but things will get better”

        There were lots of other red flags and I didn’t want to marry my husband. I wasn’t as wise as I am today but I wasn’t a complete idiot in those days either. I married him because of my N mother who accused me of being spoiled and selfish for not wanting to marry him. you see, my husband told her that he wanted to marry me before he asked me and she called me and told me that he approached her. I told her that he was a nice enough man but not marriage material. She blew up and began screaming at me on the phone. She told me that I should be more caring like Jennie in Forrest Gump. She told me that I had lived a very privileged life and that it was time for me to give back and take care of others for a change. This was truly nonsense. I had taken care of everyone, including her, all my life.
        Compared to many, I did have many opportunities and financial security that others didn’t have but my nuclear family was quite poor and full of domestic abuse and violence. If it wasn’t for my grandparents and G-d parents, I would have lived just as poor and deprived as most people did in our town. We never owned a house. My mother was delusional and always imagined herself as a debutante and led us all to believe that we were wealthy aristocrats even though we happened to be living in a dilapidated tenant house on an estate. My mother was a spoiled brat that expected her parents to pay for her children while she lived the life of an irresponsible and defiant teenager. Granted, my grandparents did have money and a whole lot of class but they didn’t just hand it out to us for just anything and they were consumed with having to keep a roof over our head, food on our table and shoes on our feet so, I lived a very dual existence that was quite confusing. When my mother married my stepfather, I thought things would normalize. He was very successful and we finally got to live a house we owned and it was a beautiful historic landmark. It seemed that my image was now aligning with my upbringing and there was comfort in that but, it didn’t last long. My mother used him until she almost used him up and destroyed his finances. My step dad divorced my mother after 3 years when he was diagnosed with MS and I don’t blame him. At least he had the good sense to know that managing MS with her around would have been impossible. I miss him so much. He was my only rock and he tried so hard to protect me from my mother’s N grip.

        After being married to PAM, I’ve become an elitist and I know that social class does matter and even more- values! I will never associate with or marry anyone with a value system and character that I need to elevate and most of all, I will never allow anyone to convince me that my opinions are skewed and don’t matter!!!!

        Just hearing myself write this stuff is pissing me off!!!


        • No kidding, Exodus! Yuck! I am so glad that you are getting firm about what you are going to take and not take anymore. Same here.

          A few of my PA man’s red flags:

          He lied. I can’t stand lying. But he told me about lying to a friend when he was in a tight spot and would have been embarrassed about the truth and been accountable to someone to change his behavior. He will lie to get out of the most inconsequential situations. It’s cowardly. I remember thinking, he won’t lie to me, though. Why would he confess lying to someone else to me if he would ever lie to me? Naive, I know.

          He invited me to accompany him to a party his work was having. This was before we were even engaged. Then when we were around other friends, he said he didn’t know who he was going to invite to go along with him. Huh? I thought, didn’t he ask me?

          He and a friend of his were toying around with the idea of going abroad to travel around indefinitely (possibly a year) and visit a mutual friend (a girl) and he had told me they had finally abandoned that idea. Then I would catch him talking about it like they were still considering it. Huh? I thought he told me that idea was rejected. Oh, well.

          I remember before getting engaged him telling me point blank that he never missed anyone. Just like that. No one who had ever been in his life and left it was missed. I should have paid attention to that one.

          Well, I don’t have time for more, but I have another thing that I am wondering. I am starting to get the impression that these guys moved pretty fast. I read something once about narcissists trying to seal the deal quickly before the intended spouse figures out what is going on and gets away. I knew mine for two years, but it was about four months from even talking about the possibility of being more than friends to getting engaged, with the wedding a few months after. Less than a year before our engagement, I had actually been trying to shake him loose because was getting the impression that he wanted to be more than friends and I didn’t. It was not a great love story and there was some twisted spiritual teaching that he introduced to me that ended up bring us together.


          • Exodus says:

            Oh boy, isn’t it amazing how we justify their savage character?

            Yes, the cowardly spineless behavior! I know that my husband would sell me or any of his friends down the river to save his own bum. He has allowed me to believe that I was guilty of something when I wasn’t just because he didn’t want to admit doing it himself! He has also allowed me to take blame for things in our business when he was the one to blame.

            The friends thing……yep, that’s also an N characteristic. N’s can dump their friends with absolutely not a bit of remorse. The only time my husband ever acts like he cares about anyone, including family is at their funeral or if they are in the hospital and then it’s all about HIS friend and how sad HE is for his friend or loved one. The world revolves around them and they are opportunists that only use people to bring attention to themselves. My mother would only tend to me when I was sick IF other people showed pity on HER for having a sick daughter. I have a will and in that will it clearly states that if I die while I’m married to my husband he is not allowed to attend my funeral or partake in any of the arrangements.

            Seeing, I’m so glad that you’re gaining strength and courage and are planning to get out. You deserve so much and you can have it! Just knowing that you don’t have to go home to that creep is enough to change your physiology and begin to heal. Since I’ve been packing, my ovary hasn’t hurt once. Amazing!


            • Exodus, I am gaining courage and am fine-tuning my strategy with I’m here. Physically, I am not in good shape. I wish I could go into detail, but I have to keep anonymous. He has already tried to accuse me of something that could be used against me later, so I’m being very careful. I am getting better at keeping the boundaries up, and I am trying to be wise about planning for the future for the day things open up, but actually leaving is no where in sight. It’s such a mess.


              • Exodus says:

                Hang in there and don’t give up. Just keep moving forward toward freedom, even if it’s a phone call a day. Even if you have to go the ATM for a small amount cash every few days to hide away. Many of our health problems are driven by our emotional and mental state of mind. We can feel so much stronger when we advance toward freedom. It feeds us more positive healing energy. I’ve noticed positive changes in my health since I began packing even though it has also created a lot of other problems for me.


                • Thank you of this, Exodus. I know you are right. I know my health is very connected to my state of mind. I will be taking all the baby steps I can and do whatever I can to build confidence. Thank you for being here.


                  • Exodus says:

                    Seeing, this morning I received this daily inspiration from Chabad..org and thought I would post it to you since it reminded me of your name ( Seeing the Light) on this blog:

                    Melting Evil

                    “Evil is darkness, nothing more than an absence of light. It has no life of its own. It is powered entirely by our fear of it, by our considering it a “something” that demands our response.
                    Evil is a terrorist, nursed on every spoonful of worry, encouraged with every glance of trepidation, fortified with every concession we make from our lives to acknowledge its threat—until it has soaked from us sufficient energy to rise brazenly and attack us with our own instruments.
                    So it is with the evil in the world, so it is with the destructive forces within each of us: When we stoop to conquer the evil within ourselves, we end up rolling with it in its mud.
                    To truly banish evil, you must march on the clouds and never look down. You must climb higher until you attain a place of light that leaves no crevice for evil to hide.
                    Lifted to that place, evil melts in surrender. For now it has fulfilled its purpose of being: to squeeze out the inner light of the human soul, a light that knows no bounds.
                    Mission accomplished, evil vanishes in the light it has called forth.”

                    I really needed to read this today and thought it could provide some inspiration to you and everyone else as well.

                    I woke up and was in a fairly good mood, better than it should be given my current circumstances. Norman stays outside now for the most part when he’s home and this morning was no exception. He finally came in to make a veggie drink in the vitamixer and I walked into the kitchen with a few dishes to wash. Norman said, ‘ What’s wrong?”. Wrong? I was truly relaxed and sincerely pleasant but, obviously he was trying to bait me into negativity once again and eventually blurted something out about the boxes in a very angry tone. Yes, as usual it was he who was angry, not I and he was attempting to transfer his anger onto me. I got dressed and ready to go out and as I was about to leave, couldn’t find my car keys. I’ve only lost my keys once in my entire life but, I thought maybe I had misplaced them. I searched and searched for over a half hour and my husband pretended to be looking as well. I decided to look outside in my car and saw him standing next to my car doing nothing and had apparently been standing there for at least a 2 minutes. He asked if I had found them yet and I told him that I had not. Just as I opened up the back door to put some books on the seat, he opened up the front door and said, ‘ There they are”…on the driver’s seat. He drove the car last night and although he swore that he didn’t use my keys, he either did and left them sitting on the seat or he placed them there this morning. Either way, I’m absolutely certain that he knew the keys were there before I came outside to the car and he was just withholding to make me keep looking inside. Those keys are the only set that contain the house key, so there’s no way I left them on the seat and besides, he would have noticed sitting on them last night if I had. I tend to believe he ‘accidentally’ left them in the car last night because he’s angry that I will be taking the car with me when I leave and I use it daily to haul boxes. I know it’s just another one of his subconscious attempts to obstruct my progress ( hope the car gets stolen). So anyway, after finding the keys, he commented how strange it was that they were there and I just replied with, ‘ Not really’ and came back inside.

                    I’m not going to respond to his evil and I’m going to use positive thoughts as my weapon. Yesterday while packing, I found one of those fat sage bundles used for snuffing out evil in the home…what’s that called? Oh yeah, ‘ smudging’. I remembered a particular winter a few years ago when I was so desperate to find some way to create peace and happiness that I purchased a pack of smudge sticks!!! It made me sad to realize how desperate I had become. Nonetheless, I chuckled and asked myself if I believed it in smudging and I answered, ‘ no’ but, I lit it again yesterday- anyway. hehehe I really hate the smell of burning sage. I can understand why some folks believe that it removes bad energy…..it probably removes good too! Stinky stinky!


                    • Exodus, thank you so much for sharing this quote. It is beautiful. It completely resonates with me and puts into words what I have been feeling more and more lately. It’s that looking toward the light, not the darkness. After I read that today, I just walked around with joy and found myself smiling without trying to! It was inspiring, as you hoped. Imagine if that could grow and become the norm.

                      Oh, that key business. It’s so typical. I’m so glad you responded the way that you did and that you are focusing on the positive. That is my goal, too. There is too much in life that is too wonderful to miss.

                      I’ve never tried the sage before. Maybe I should sprinkle some holy water on him when he is not looking. Hehehe. 🙂


    • newshoes says:

      PJ, this is worth a discussion blog…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Red flags before we got married: H encouraged me, a virgin, to have sex with him as soon as possible after we met. H suggested we move in together but never told his parents. H didn’t propose to me. Red flags after we were married, when I still could have gotten out with little harm done: H evaded income taxes. H spent a summer not being able to decide whether to move to another state or stay put in our home state; I was scheduled to start graduate school in the fall in one or the other of the states.
      Things have gotten much worse. I’ve endured and kept the family going but I feel old and tired and sick all the time, and I’m only in my early 50s. I resent my husband dumping all the adult responsibilities on me. I’m ready to end the marriage but seriously, I don’t know how much difference it will make, because I feel so yucky with him here or not here.


      • Exodus says:

        Married, I started crying reading your last sentence. I know how you feel. Is there any way that you can get a divorce and still live in the house with him in separate areas? I’m not advocating staying with him as much as I am seeking a first step to independence. I feel yucky all the time too but there is relief when we can find some way to establish our independence and I’m not talking about just ignoring each other in the house. I had a friend who divorced his wife but they continued to live in separate parts of the house and lead separate lives. They even had separate entrances to the house.


        • We are actually living apart now. And it’s definitely better living apart than living together. But some communication is necessary (at least I think some is) because we have children and we still are married and have shared property and finances. However, my husband rarely responds to my messages and never initiates communication (to the tune of living apart for almost a year now and he has called or sent an email on his own fewer than 5 times in that period). I consider that behavior to be extremely passive aggressive. A few people who know the situation say, “Well, your situation is OK. You don’t have to live with him and you don’t have to get a divorce.” But I don’t trust him. He doesn’t give me information (see above) and he is OK with breaking the law. It’s just that I’m so worn down now that it’s hard for me to muster the energy for getting a divorce and for dealing with whatever BS he’ll throw my way if I do so.


          • Exodus says:

            Listen to your commonsense ( which is something I had a habit of ignoring). If he is alright with breaking the law, then you obviously realize that his legal wife, you will be negatively impacted. Your credit and everything gets affected. Your husband may be a sociopath if he’s a PA willing to break the law. If he has broken the law before and you can show that, then you may have the advantage.

            One of the lawyers I consulted with told me that when anyone tries to divorce a PA person, they need to be prepared to do it quickly because negotiating anything will drag on and on since they never respond, never show up for meetings with their attorneys, etc.. I feel for you. I have a business with my PAM and I’m terrified as to what he’s going to do to sabotage it and as long as I’m married to him, I’ll be affected.

            I’m dealing with some very scary stuff at the moment relative to my leaving and I was so upset yesterday that I had slipped into complete silence. I can’t even speak. I’m mute.


            • Are you okay, Exodus? Can you share more about the “very scary stuff” or not? Do you need to just get out of there fast?


              • Exodus says:

                Yeah, I need to get out pretty fast. I called my friend yesterday and told her what my husband did. I was so freaked out and just crying like a baby to my friend. There’s only so much I can do at this point but I’m steadily working toward finding a place, a job, money and a truck and someone to help me. I have no money because I have a massive tax bill that I have to pay that is already late because I’ve been too afraid to pay anything in case I needed the money. At this point, guess who gets the money? They do.

                I will tell you what happened but know that I’m so humiliated to share this. He’s never done this before and it scared me. The day before yesterday I washed the shower curtain and the white rug in the bathroom and the towels, sink, tub, etc.. When I woke up yesterday morning and went into the bathroom, I must not have been paying much attention ( it’s mostly dark in the bathroom) because the next time I went into the bathroom a bit later that morning, I could not believe my eyes. There was shit/poop smeared into the freshly cleaned carpet and the shower curtain. There were blobs of toothpaste spit all over the sink, the sink basin and running down the sides of the cabinet and there was blood smeared all over the gray towel that he knows I cannot bleach. He smashed my tube of toothpaste and all the gunk was all over the counter. The blood apparently came from him shaving because there were also several cosmetic rounds, saturated in blood, just dropped all over the floor. He used up an entire bag of them as well.
                Something happened to me Seeing and I just went into complete denial and refused to even use the bathroom or even look at it. After a few hours, I called my friend and she managed to calm me a bit and instructed me to go photograph the bathroom while she stayed on the phone with me and I did but it was absolute torture Seeing. I almost lost it. I told my friend that I can’t go on like this. I can’t handle anymore demonic psycho shit. Sorry to curse but cursing seems to be the only effective way of managing my anxiety, anger and fear at this point. I need more boxes and I’ve got to go up to the goodwill and grocery stores after I finish this post to see if they have any they will give me since I can’t get to the ones that I already have. My husband still hasn’t gotten them down from the attics for me even though he was SO NICE and offered to help me in any way he could.
                I’m going to put most of my things in storage for now and pay for a few months in advance.
                When my husband came home yesterday evening, I forced myself to put on a happy face and be very pleasant. This makes me cry just thinking about doing that. You have no idea how hard that was!!! My friend advised not to say one word to him about the shit pit. I never even tried to clean up the bathroom. This morning, the sink was cleaned and the toothpaste blobs and cosmetic rounds were picked up. He didn’t clean the rug or the shower curtain because he didn’t have time before work but he never uttered a word.

                I’m going to start referring to my PAM as NORMAN in future posts.

                My friend has made me promise that I will call her every single day and leave a message that I’m ok. She told me that if I don’t call, she’s going to call the police and have them do a welfare check.


                • Exodus, I am so sorry. That is seriously sick! I don’t like wondering what else NORMAN is capable of and I just want you out of there. When things start ramping up and they do things that are unusual or further down the continuum of weird, that is not a good sign. Your friend is a wise woman and gave you some excellent counsel. I am glad she is there for you. I hope you will just go as soon as you find a place and let the job come after, if at all possible. I commented on an older post – not sure if you have seen it – that the business of him saying, “This is strange. This is so strange.” or something like that is disturbing. I am wondering if he is heading toward some kind of psychotic break with reality. I know you are doing the best you can. Are there any other resources? Organizations that help abused women, welfare, anything to help until you get back on your feet. I think your situation warrants extreme measures.


                  • Exodus says:

                    seeing, Don’t worry about sounding frantic. At least you sound normal and it means a lot that you care.I managed to get 3 more boxes packed. G-d help me if he notices.

                    I didn’t see your post about Norman and his ‘ It’s so strange’ comment. Do you know where it is? Anyway, I had the same thoughts as you about the psychotic break. It’s very bizarre observing him and it’s very sad actually. To see a live human being so desperate and saturated with fear that he buries himself in complete denial. But, this is what frightens me….how far into the depths of his mind can he go before he becomes psychotic and completely unaware of his actions? I think he and his mother both have detachment identity disorder issues. I have identity disorder but not the delusional detached variety.

                    I just purchased a jar of Brags herbs/spices and I picked it up the other night off the spice rack and it was completely empty!!! I confronted him of course and he admitted that he noticed it too and seemed to be shocked by it. I asked him why he would put it back on the shelf empty and not say something if he thought it was so weird. He didn’t say anything. This ‘ ghost’ that eats everything in our household has been around since Norman. A whole bottle of brand new herbs? What the hell did he eat it on? This is so strange and it tells me that his PA behavior is effecting everything and out of control.


                    • Exodus, I added a few comments to PJs’ July 7 post “What time changes (or why I have stayed with him) pt 1” after people had mostly moved on to more current posts. A few of those were in response to your comments. The one I mentioned about “strange” should have been “This is strange. This is so strange.” and is in the comments to that post. I looked and I guess I used the word “odd,” but I know I was thinking “disturbing” at the time. Even my PA man’s odd looks and behavior, including the contempt, make me wonder just what lurks inside the dark pathways of his mind and what he will eventually become.

                      On that same post I remarked about my thoughts in regard to feeling sad and sorry for them and how that relates to leaving. I will copy it here: “Exodus, you talk about feeling sorry for your PAM and feeling afraid for him when you are gone. Your heart is so very kind. I feel sorry for mine, too. His life seems so empty of anything real to me and that is so very sad. BUT – I have come to find a little extra peace with detaching myself (and eventually leaving) in the belief that I am the last person to be able to help him. The reason he chose me in the first place was because his pathology chose me. His dysfunction sought out someone like me. Whoever he really is – if there is anyone in there – probably wouldn’t have chosen me. I think I am probably one of the last women in the world to make him happy – even if he could ever be a functioning husband. Added to that is I believe that in some way we are their drug. The dance with us is their hit. Their abuse of us is what they need to feel good. Our presence is like leaving an open bottle of liquor on the coffee table in front of an alcoholic to pass every day – or cigarettes for a smoker – and so on.” Just my current perspective – subject to modification with more education. 🙂


                • Exodus, I didn’t mean for my comment above to sound panicky. I know you don’t need that right now. I just don’t trust these men and I really care about you. 🙂


                  • Exodus says:

                    Seeing, how old is your husband? ( I’m responding to your latest very beautiful and perceptive post re: Strange). My friend told me that her husband became extremely mean after 50 and my husband just turned 50. She called me today and I remarked that it just seemed to bizarre that Norman’s PA behaviors would intensify to such a degree almost immediately after turning 50. Is this what midlife crisis does to PA men?
                    There will always be a part of me that looks at my husband and sees the vulnerable, loving, caring innocent child that lives within him. But, unfortunately, that child is trapped inside of him – cloaked by the anger that protects him. It breaks my heart that I must make the choice to leave, that there can be no resolution. It breaks my heart to leave all I have worked so hard for behind. For the last 10 or so years everything I have purchased and built and added to our home was done so with the goal of creating a completed nest that we could sit back and enjoy.
                    I should tell you that my decision to leave was directly related to losing my dogs and suffering empty nest syndrome. After they died, there was nothing to buffer the abuse. I realized that our dogs were the glue that held us together- not so much in a healthy way but they were my distraction from my miserable marriage and they did bring immense joy, just like children, into the room. They also caused me to refrain from confrontation sometimes since I didn’t want to upset them. A couple of years ago, a friend and customer of mine committed suicide after her daughters left home. The crazy thing was that she was quite wealthy and could have left her husband but she didn’t. I don’t know all the details about their marriage but I know that he was not faithful to her and they had other issues with a troubled daughter. Anyway, just something to think about. I don’t know how many of the posters here have endured the empty nest while living with the PA spouse but I know for me, it was a RUDE awakening. A VERY rude awakening.


                    • Exodus, in the interest of anonymity I will say that he is in his forties. I have no problem believing that it will get worse with age. I believe he will have a crisis when the children are grown and he has no one to play with, basically. He has already worsened as they have aged. From things he has said, I believe he would keep children around him indefinitely. It is who he is comfortable with and the level he operates on. I can just about imagine how things changed when your dogs were gone. I have already experienced over the years, even before I “saw the light,” the discomfort between us when we were at home alone without the kids. Thankfully, that has not happened very often, and the idea of living alone with him is not attractive. I do not intend to do it.


                • lonelywife07 says:

                  Oh my gosh! Exodus…that is SICK!!! Lady…you need to watch your back..and get out as fast as you can!!
                  That is SOOOO not normal!! I am praying for you!!!


      • Married, don’t give up on it making a difference to get away. Him being there or not while you still are married isn’t the same as knowing you don’t have to see him or engage him anymore. My guess is it would be much better than you can realize. When mine has had to leave town for a week for work, it is so much different than knowing he will be gone just for the day.


    • GainingStrength says:

      Early marriage red flags: public display of affections were cut off immediately, I was to get on my side of the bed – he needed his space, he stopped wearing his wedding ring, he rarely said my name, can’t forget that all our marital problems were my fault, and I contemplated suicide. That ladies happened in the first six months of my marriage.

      How I was raised has a lot to do with why I stayed. I didn’t want to be a failure, I didn’t want to admit to being a bad wife, I didn’t want to be looked down on, etc. so I smiled and had everyone fooled that our marriage was so great…see how happy we are? 😦 I know things happen for a reason and I am just grateful that I finally see that it wasn’t my fault, I am not a failure, I am capable of loving and being loved and I am on my way out of the cage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exodus says:

        Gaining, during the first 6 months of our marriage, I ended up in a doctor’s office having a nervous breakdown with uncontrollable sobbing. They told me that my husband had ADHD and put him on Adderall…….oh my gosh that turned him into the most demonic creature ever! They put me on xanax and tried to put me on paxil but I didn’t take it at that time. A year later I finally decided to take the Paxil and although I was only on it for 40 days, I gained 50 lbs and it took me a year and a half to recover from the withdrawals. I ended up so physically and neurologically damaged that I was unable to swallow, unable to do most anything other than sit in a chair and stare into space. I’ll never drug myself ever again to tolerate anyone or anything.


      • GainingStrenth, same here on the name thing. In two decades, my PA man almost never used my name – like less than once a year – and then only when he was talking down to me in a condescending tone. I also have a shortened form of my name that is more like a nickname that a handful of people in my life have called me. He never did – I guess because he and I were never that close. Whatever. The refusal to use someone’s name is part of the objectification. I have read on another blog (a pastor) that to the narcissist we are tools, toys, or obstacles. We are not real people.

        I smiled and kept being “the good wife,” too, so much so that one of my siblings thought we had the perfect marriage, perfect family, perfect life. Now that I have been sharing the truth the last few years, my sibling admitted that being around us was depressing because we were doing so well, while they were heading toward and even got divorced. All I could do was apologize and set the record straight. Sometimes I wonder what they thought was causing my health to go downhill and to crash and burn like I have. Oh, well.

        Still thrilled that you are on your way to freedom 🙂


        • GainingStrength says:

          Seeing, you wrote “I smiled and kept being “the good wife,” too, so much so that one of my siblings thought we had the perfect marriage, perfect family, perfect life.” I wonder if this is why they didn’t come and visit me at my house. I almost felt isolated from my siblings. I’d visit my parents a lot, but looking back I was probably trying to find connection and love.


  2. newshoes says:

    your comment: None of it changed anything.

    Nope. Except they (pa men) will adapt. They can be more subtle though such as being sneekier, better liars, better hiders, better sulkers, better arguers, better turn the tablers, better blamers, etc etc etc… anything that keeps us on the end of the carrot wondering if it’s not us the problem. Honestly I still doubt myself sometimes on how conversations end and start….

    Why do we stay… so many reasons. I’ve met women who say they had no other option, have come from a generation that do not divorce, some have stayed for family / children, some have stayed for potilical reasons (I know of a very prominent lady who sticks by her man regardless – wow!!), some are afraid, some are so co-dependent that the idea of not having someone even if it’s bad for them cannot leave, one of my very dearest friend cannot leave hers because she says that their finances is in such disaster that they will both be destitute if she leaves… Anyone of us can go on and on about why we end up staying. But the main main reason and it’s the one that had me stuck there for so long was the fact that mine would dangle the carrot of “I’ll change, really I’ll change this time, it will better”. But you are right PJ, no matter what, the will never truly change.

    I thought like you PJ and only because I come from that generation that leaving is not always the best option, I mean I was tought that if you married someone who stuck with them through thick and thin. And everyone has to make up their minds in the end of what it is they can accept and what they cannot. To me, abuse was not acceptable. I am broken enough, I am PTSD enough, I am more deserving of respect than I am getting at the moment, I have so much love to give that I cannot stay with someone who cannot truly love me back. does it mean I want someone else, oh boy NO…. I cannot trust myself to pick the right guy so forget it, but I know that I would rather love myself and my boys than stay with someone who consistently knowingly abuse me, if I stay then I tell him that “hey, it’s ok to abuse me” but if I leave then the message is clear. Enough is enough and I advise anyone who cannot accept to just leave, you will never be happy if you don’t.

    Great blog PJ, you have a way of starting a discussion. It’s opened my eyes too 🙂 Tks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exodus says:

      Newshoes, AMEN. Well said and I whole-heartedly agree with you and feel same way about the message we send to children when we stay in relationships that do not honor and respect us. You and your boys deserve the best that life has to offer and thank goodness they have you who so unselfishly wants the best for them. You have given them the greatest gift a mother could ever give her children- the gift of self respect. I’m so honored by your courage and it empowers me to keep moving forward with my packing and believe me, my financial situation is dire and is only going to get worse, MUCH worse. Nonetheless, I will not compromise any longer. The time has come to reclaim myself. Thank you New I needed to read your words this morning. I’m so proud of you. Know that I am thinking about you and the boys and I know that good things will come to you. Stay strong and keep believing.


      • newshoes123 says:

        Thank you Exodus – I must tell you that sometimes it’s hard, and it would be much easier to stay and just try again but I can’t stomach it anymore. What message would I send my boys? That it’s ok to treat women like dirt…. no thank you. I owe it to myself and to them if only to give them a better chance at love that I had.
        Keep going girl, no matter what, we all deserve better 🙂 God knows that and he’s ok with it.


        • Exodus says:

          There’s two little boys across the street that have grown up in a very abusive home with a mother that has just put them through hell with all her marriage drama. The father, a nice enough guy, left thank goodness but the boys are still here having to endure all her self absorbed nonsense and a river of men in and out the door. She uses her children to get financial assistance and as a way to guilt men and even neighbors into giving her things and doing things for her. All I can think about is how the boys will grow up to despise women. That’s another reason I’m leaving..I can’t stand being around all this abuse and negativity. It’s so depressing- especially when you have live with an abuser!! I feel as though I’m living in the bowels of hell.

          Your grit reminds me of my first husband’s mother. She married when she was very young because she got pregnant. Her husband was trying to go for pro-baseball and engineering school and had to abandon both goals in order to marry and take care of his family. You can only imagine the resentment that followed through the years. Her husband wasn’t a ‘ bad’ man but he was so bitter and boring and did some pretty hurtful things to his son ( my husband) and his wife. Anyway, to make a long story short, one day, my then boyfriend and I came into his house after classes and discovered that without any warning, his mother had literally packed up and moved out and left a note to her kids with her address. My husband was shocked but there was a very endearing smile on his face. He kept saying, ‘Wow, she finally did it!” I knew he was so proud of her doing that even though he was also worried about his dad living alone after being coddled all those years. Next semester, his mother enrolled in the same uni we were attending and she got her degree in English Lit or something along those lines right next to her son, same graduation! She was a writer and worked for a newspaper. My husband’s younger sister was not quite as happy as my husband at first but that’s fairly normal given her age at the time and how she was innately closer to her father than her mother. Nonetheless, My husband and his sister were given the option to live wherever they wanted to and they opted to stay with dad until he got his bearings and a crock pot ;D The mother didn’t move far away so it was easy for them to float back and forth as they felt the need.

          Waiting on more boxes to be delivered today ;D


  3. PJs, I’ll chime in later on the red flags, but your post has almost left me speechless. This is heartbreaking. That younger woman you described was beautiful. And she still is. I wish we had known each other then. I’m glad to know you now.


  4. DotedOn says:

    Beautiful post PJ.
    My red flag appeared when his mom visited us for the first time. We invited her to come on Sunday because on Saturday I had a party that I was not going to miss for anything in the world . But his mom wanted to come on Saturday. I said I was going to the party anyway but her son agreed that it was ok if she wanted to come on Saturday.” Are you sure?” ” Yes.” “OK.” Next morning, the mother told me how dared I going to the party when I knew she was visiting. I said we had invited her the next day and that she didn’t listen and did what she wanted (she kept doing what she wanted for 16 years). While we were fighting, I asked the man who still shares the house with me (that will change soon), if he agreed with me and he stood there quiet, not taking my side.
    That was the beginning of the end. We were together for less than one year.


  5. Karen says:

    I had breakfast with my best friend a week ago. She asked me if I thought that my soon to be ex-husbands new girlfriend would maybe have a better way of handling him than I did and that he would be happier and treat her differently than he did me. My brain wants to say no. It is only a matter of time before he stops being so charming and starts acting PA with her. But the hurt part of me wonders if now he will be with her the way I always hoped he would be with me. The most hurtful part is my best friend thinks I could have changed the way he acted. In the early years when I thought he could do no wrong and worshipped him he treated me badly. Is it possible he will be different with someone new now? It is so hard to find anyone who really understands what this is like and that he isn’t the wonderful charming person he pretends to be. I am so hurt by my friends comments and lack of understanding.


    • GainingStrength says:

      Karen, I understand. If your soon to be ex treats his new woman like a queen, then others will see the failed marriage as 100% your fault. Right? Isn’t that what’s worrying you? And then you’ll over think it and start to believe it was your fault. Am I right? I’ve had these thoughts (mine doesn’t have another woman…yet). I try to let them go and tell myself it doesn’t matter what others think, I know the truth and just wish him well. It’s just words, no one really knows how they will act until it happens. Just remember it wasn’t your fault, you tried and tried to make the marriage work. It’s so aggravating the mind games these abusers use. The residue stays in our heads and it’s hard to get it out.

      My family are shocked at what I tell them about him. He was so nice I would never have thought…etc. Yep, not only could he fool people, but I could, too. I acted like everything was great because I didn’t want to be seen as a failure. I believed him that everything was my fault and I didn’t want my family to know how horrible I was at being a wife. I stayed way to long, but I am in the process of a divorce. Just remember, it was not your fault. He is the abuser not you. Your friend needs to really listen to what you are saying and not just listen to herself talk. 🙂 Sometimes others sympathy can hurt.


      • Karen says:

        I did blame myself for years. It really wasn’t until I started looking on the internet and typing in some of the things he did that I discovered there was a name for it. It was shocking to discover. I know everybody isn’t going to “get” it but I wish my best friend did. I have heard that when you get divorced you also loose a lot of friends. I just didn’t think she would be one of them. I don’t think we wont be friends anymore but I don’t really feel like she is my best friend anymore. And yes I do still wonder if it was me and if with another woman he will act normal and not be passive aggressive. I guess I want someone to tell me he will be that way with her too. It doesn’t make me a very big person but I am tired of being the bigger person. I guess I am just tired right now.


        • GainingStrength says:

          Karen, I think one of the painful things about divorcing these abusers is that you will never get closure. There will never be an acknowledgement of their fault and an apology. We will be left with that little, bitty voice that will creep into out thoughts whispering quietly “is it possible it was me?” I can’t wait for that voice to be silenced.

          Sometimes I sit and don’t know what to do, I draw a blank. I am in a sort of limbo waiting for the house to sell and waiting (seems forever) for the divorce to move forward. He doesn’t think I’m worth alimony. So waiting for a court date. He moved out and left all the responsibility of selling the house to me. He signed the papers and left. He’s probably doing fine because in his mind it is ALL my fault and he’s the victim. Since he moved to be near his family (can you say mother?) he’ll play the victim for all it’s worth and I’ll be categorized as the crazy mean woman he’s lucky to get away from. 🙂

          It’s hard, I have no friends and I don’t want to call my family too much or they will be checking their caller ID saying “it’s her, don’t answer it!” 😀 These blogs are a place I don’t feel judged and I DO feel understood. It’s so hard dealing with the abuser when we were together and it’s hard dealing with my thoughts about him and the divorce (they are reducing in number). I haven’t heard his voice since he left, it’s peaceful not hearing or seeing him.


          • GainingStrength, it’s easy to rejoice for you that you don’t have to live with him anymore, but this comment was a reminder that you still bear the scars. It’s like coming home from war alive, but physically injured and mentally and emotionally traumatized with a journey of healing ahead. May you find healing a smooth road and may it be yours without delay. (By the way, you ARE worth the alimony and much more).


            • GainingStrength says:

              Seeing the Light, thank you for your understanding and caring. You are right, it is like coming home from war, I never thought of it that way. I truly hope you get out soon and hopefully we all can recover from our hidden scars from these abusers.


          • Karen says:

            Oh my goodness. That sounds like my life and my thoughts. He walked away and has left me with everything to do to clean up after 27 years of marriage. He barely has even taken any of his stuff. I am doing everything to get the house ready to be put on the market and get the divorce moving forward. And I feel like that about calling family and most friends because they will say oh it’s her again. He did try to tell me that his family and friends all think I am crazy. Thank you for understanding.


            • GainingStrength says:

              Karen, it is the understanding that is so helpful. This blog is a blessing connecting all the dots to help us know it is not us…it’s them. 😀


    • Exodus says:

      Karen, the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If other people’s opinions really mattered, then we would be all be living a satisfied life. Maybe there is a woman out there who would be perfectly happy with my husband but that doesn’t mean that I should have been. I did my best, I never neglected him or his needs, never neglected my responsibilities, always made our home a palace for him, always tried to elevate his values and standard of living and I’m not talking about material things. I haven’t done anything wrong other than not believing in myself and hence, chose the wrong partner.

      Your friend sounds like a very shallow and immature person. Tell her how it hurt your feelings and forgive her. If it continues, realize she’s not a friend and seek to find true friends that prefer to empower instead of hurt.


      • Karen says:

        Exodus you are right. What other people think doesn’t matter. It’s just hurtful to not be understood by your best friend. I guess she isn’t the friend I need her to be right now. It is the reason I love reading these blogs. I don’t feel so all alone.


    • Karen, I understand how much it hurts to want friends and family to enter in and understand what has happened and is happening to you. I wish I could tell you they will get it, but it is unlikely. My own experience is that only those that have gone through it understand it. I had built my husband up to my family over the years because I believed that is what a good Christian wife does and because I had blamed myself for things and made excuses for his behaviors for so many years and I was blind to much of what was happening. As I have revealed things to them over the past few years, the ones who have been in bad relationships believe me. They are very shocked and it has taken some time and more examples of his behavior, but they believe me. Even then, there are moments they still want to give him the benefit of the doubt. They don’t like having the image he created and I supported shattered. I have one sibling who I have to be very careful with when we speak. There is a lot of invalidation coming from this sibling and a lot of compassion for him and very little for me. So I am on guard with what I say with this person. It’s the same with non-family members. Very few people will truly understand unless they have gone through it. Maybe you can look at your friend as someone who has been very fortunate not to have gone through this sort of abuse and therefore, can’t relate. You will have to lower your expectations of her and look for understanding elsewhere.

      I also think your friend is so very wrong about her approach to your situation. First of all, it is not your job to “handle him” or to “change the way he acted.” That’s fine if all you are trying to do is manage him and his dysfunction like those of us out here who are struggling with getting out of our relationships for other reasons: finances, health, kids, etc. But doing those things would never have created a real relationship with mutual caring and reciprocity. Please disregard what she said along these lines.

      It also sounds like there is still a part of you that wants to believe who you used to think he was or could have been. It sounds like you had one of the very charming ones. That’s a tough one. I know how hard it is to accept that it is was all just an illusion. I have a PA man of my own that I can’t get away from yet and that’s a whole story in itself, but I also had another relationship – a friendship – that taught me a lot and opened my eyes to users and abusers. I thought I had found the most loyal, soul-mate type of a friend any person could hope for – a very charming person who “understood” my difficulties with my PA man. But I ended up getting snowed and used and practically discarded. But I wasn’t totally discarded. I was supposed to be willing to be kept hanging on the shelf in case I was needed to be a boost or an upper or if life got slow. It’s a long, icky story. I share this so that I can tell you I understand wanting the illusion to be real, wondering if something I could have said or done differently would have made it real – in my marriage or the friendship. I could wonder that for the rest of my life, but I don’t want to and I don’t care. The truth is I am supposed to be able to be myself. Not a jerk or mean, just a kind, caring, real person – but myself – not some manager.

      You said: “My brain wants to say no. It is only a matter of time before he stops being so charming and starts acting PA with her.” I think you are right. You probably know this man better than anyone else. Trust your intuition about him. He may act differently toward her just because you and she are not identical so the dynamics may be a little different, but they will still be PA dynamics. She may actually get it worse than you did, and you will probably never know the truth of how it turns out. Leave him in your past.

      Just a side note: please be careful in your future relationships – romantic and friendships. Get educated. Get strong. We have a tendency to repeat this thing and attract these types until we get those boundaries up.

      The women out here communicating on this blog (thanks to PJs 🙂 ) get it. They know. You will find understanding here.


      • Karen says:

        Seeing the Light that is exactly how I feel. Everyone believes the nice guy image. It feels like I have to be so careful what I say or I just sound whiny. And it does seem only people who have experienced this type of person understands. How sweet and wonderful they can seem to the outside world and how different they can be to you.
        I understand how it can happen with a friend too. I think I have attracted this type of relationship my whole life. I am 54 now and feel like I have just woken up and finally understand. My walls may up a little too high right now. Men in general scare the heck out of me. I am so comfortable with that type of person and find myself drawn to them so I am being very careful.
        I wish like I have seen some of the women write that we could be real friends for each other. It is so nice to be understood. I wish none of us had to go through this but I am grateful for the internet and the chance to ‘”talk” with all of you about it. It keeps me sane and moving forward.


    • Christine says:

      I only have maybe 10 minutes to post right now- but PJ- my heart broke reading this post- but again I felt like you were one step ahead in my own life- and somehow I was getting to read the next chapter of my story ahead of living it.
      When you brought up the girl who dared to drive 1400 miles alone-
      Dance on top of a table- dance on the bed… I literally started crying- really I had to take myself into the other room while on vacation and had a good Hard CRY! I cried for what I let go and the girl I had forgotten about as well… But then- being as if you gave me the next chapter first- I had time to consider that nothing but me is stopping me from reclaiming her-
      I let my PA stuff her into the closet or really stuff her underneath that rug where everything else in this life with him gets hidden under…
      I’m digging her back out thanks to this blog- it might take a little bit to readjust to the light of day being kept locked up
      so long-
      But it’s gonna happen- even if by one small action or one small thing I do each day that she would have done; until it becomes instinct again.
      I too use to dance on the bed- blare my music, found joy in adventure and laughed hard about something random every day- now the worry- all the responsibility I have to shoulder alone and having to be viewed as the party pooper for no better word has turned me into someone that seems brittle and always about to crack. Probably because carrying this man through out the years, while his habits and issues became heavier with each passing year until the point HE is so heavy that I do feel I will crack at times from the pressure.
      Later when I have time I want to join the discussion on here regarding red flags but I think it was Karen who mentioned something about wondering how he will be with new partner. I think I can safely answer that one to some degree.
      My mother in law is PA to the point that nothing I’ve read anywhere can even touch- the showing up on days when we have something planned is child play to her- she did this regularly for 25 years- but age has made her worse as well- her antics go as far as placing herself in what I still think was a deliberate auto accident after her sons had avoided her and then while on a stretcher saying to the first one on the scene “maybe now that I’ve almost died you will realize how you have done me and start spending time with me again…”
      I explain this because my father in law left her after 25 years of marriage. She was 43 and that was the magical age her husband could not deal with her PA behavior any longer- but I also think after watching my own husband become MUCH worse after turning 40 that something does get worse in this time frame.
      Anyway- when he left her- she played the victim to no end- he moved on- fell madly in love with a wonderful older woman in her late 40s and the next 20 years he was happy- and deserved that happiness. But he was the bad guy as far as the kids went, their mutual friends dropped him and when he left his PA wife after 25 years of marriage- he “lost” his kids, friends, house, furnishings, truck.
      He lost in the divorce everything he had worked a lifetime for and seemed to gladly walk away. I now know he wasn’t the asshole he made out to be- but the real victim escaping and it didn’t matter what it cost him- my in laws are in there early 70s now. He is happy- he finally spent his later years loving and enjoying life.
      My mother in law played the victim until so many years passed by that she too lost the friends she won in the divorce- they got tired of hearing about it 20 years later.
      She lost her kids- they all avoid her- but being so much like her-
      They (mom, my husband and his siblings) are all PA personalities. They all manipulate each other with guilt trips until it’s sickening.
      BUT- while father in law moved on with life and has had an amazing time in his golden years
      The PA mother in law has not. She did find someone else very fast after the divorce- she was attentive, loving and treated the new man in a way she never treated her ex husband- so I feel safe in saying your ex won’t treat the new woman the way he did you. He will be everything she needs him to be…. Until.
      It only took the new man I her life a short year to bail on my mother in law.
      Her next relationship went much the same way, and the next. The thing is this- an irony I can’t stop thinking about with my own issues with her PA son.
      My father in law was a good man- good provider and took care of everything- he had too- much like all of us in our relationships.
      The man she found after the divorce was good- but no where near as together as my father in law.
      The next man she found was a borderline bum himself- he used her and then hit the road- each man she dated or was with after her marriage was a lower class of person than the man she had spent 25 years married too. One day I understood her problems were so deep that it took finding men with issies bigger than hers to hide her own ugly.
      As each left her- she had a reserve of there faults to pull from to blame the break up on so she never once had to admit that her 25 year marriage ended because of HER issues- and so did every relationship after that- but because she dated bums- the fault was theirs. Finally 10 years after the divorce- she slid into her final state of PA behavior- she hasn’t dated anyone in well over 15 years- she is HUGE and unhealthy- hardly ever leaves her chair or cuts off her TV- she watches it non stop. Her joy in life is playing the lottery and eating- she over indulges in
      While my father in law who took the blame for ending the marriage, spent 20 plus years in a happy, healthy relationship- travels- exercises- is hardly ever still and still looks younger to me now than he did back in his 40s when he left her- he aged in reverse

      So yes he will treat her better- but your husbands new girl will either run away from him in a year or she has to have deeper issues than he does so he can blame those issues on her when she leaves him.
      He won’t be for anyone what he wasn’t for you because he can’t- he will just find other reasons to blame the next break ups on until he is alone and simply gorging in life on what he finds comfort in- TV- Food- Porn- or whatever his addictions may be.
      I’ve watched my PA become his mother- there is no doubt unchecked he will end up in his 70s just like her.
      My father in laws story is what gives me in site as to why it is best to leave when you can- his finances were bad- he lost it all- but even at 50 he made a. New Start-
      And his ending- his finish- when over will be 100 times better than hers!


      • Exodus says:

        Wow Christine, that’s such a sad but encouraging story about your father in law. My brother married a PA woman and she made his life a living hell and they have two young daughters. My brother spent years trying to paint that perfect family image and the thought of divorce just wasn’t in his family values. He was adamant about keeping his family together.
        He called me up one day and was telling me that he and his wife were having troubles and one of the problems was that she didn’t know how to balance a checkbook and that they were losing hundreds of dollars a month in overdrafts. He told me that they had started going to therapy through his work and that the therapist suggested that they sit down each evening and work together to balance the checkbook and he went on to say that since he has showed her how to do this, things have improved. I was speechless and knew something was seriously wrong that the therapist was overlooking because his wife was a very successful CPA that managed Wall St.accounts!!! I had to gently awaken my brother to reality and get him to pull his head of the sand and take a realistic look at what he was dealing with. I explained to him that her inability to balance a checkbook had nothing to do with her lack of knowledge or skill and that it was a symptom of a much greater problem. No, no, he assured me that things were improving. I couldn’t even get him to be the reasonable and logical person that he always is!
        More PA games continued and it was one thing after the other every day…..she ran over her cell phones in the driveway anytime she wanted a new one and she would destroy property accidentally and do all sorts of lunatic things with her girls like shop every day and spend thousands of dollars on junk. My brother’s health went to hell and he ended up with all sorts of immune problems, stress related problems. Both of his daughters began showing signs of stress and one of them developed severe asthma and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He immediately filed for divorce and custody after 13 years of dealing with the crazy-making.
        After the divorce, he quit his regular job to become a teacher ( a LOT less money) so he could be at home more with the girls. No more asthma, no more misery, no more bad health and no more stress.
        I was so proud of him. But, guess what? Even though he knows about much of things I have dealt with, he simply doesn’t want to believe it and won’t acknowledge how bad it is for me and how difficult it is for me to leave. So, even though I love him, I can’t depend on him for support. C’est la vie in the dysfunctional family.


        • Exodus, can I ask you a question? Did he win custody? That’s my biggest obstacle.

          I am so sorry he can’t offer you support after all he has been through. That stinks.


          • Exodus says:

            He settled for joint custody and here’s why: His wife really never wanted kids and only had them because her friends were having kids and she didn’t want to be left out. I always knew that about her because she’s very image oriented and superficial and during the very difficult divorce negotiations, I advised my brother to go for joint to speed up the process and lessen the conflict for his sake and his children’s sake because his wife was being very difficult and using the girls as pawns in the divorce. His wife was one terribly ugly bitter and vengeful monster. I told my brother not to worry about the joint custody because I believed that it wouldn’t be long before she got sick of being a single mother in a big huge house with a huge yard and would basically give him full custody and I was right. You see, my brother did everything in the household including the childcare. He did all the cleaning, all the cooking, all the yard work, taking them to ballet and swimming, etc.. and worked a full time job as a VP of a bank. So, even though she has legal joint custody, she rarely keeps the girls at the house with her and they live with my brother most of the time now. His ex wife sunk him financially as well…she took the house, half of his retirement and gets child support AND alimony and she’s a CPA!
            I wish I could find the marriage manual that my attorney gave me…it’s for abused women. I’ll see if I can find it for ( it’s a pdf) you. I sent a copy to my brother and I may still have it on my computer. I’ll let you know if I can find it.

            You need to find an attorney that specifically advocates for women in divorce…find the most aggressive one you can and start interviewing them now. Also consult with a CPA if you have assets, retirement accts, etc.. and learn what rights you have. Don’t wait until you are so desperate that you have to leave. You need time to strategically plan your exit and you need an attorney that you trust and feel completely confident in. The other thing is that your husband could just throw you out and file and you need to be the first one. Don’t give him that opportunity. That’s what happened to my only friend..her PA husband threw her out – physically- once he found out that she was considering divorce. He closed their bank account the next day. Don’t panic but don’t waste any valuable time. Knowledge is power and that’s what you need right now. Pay cash to the lawyers and anything else that you buy for yourself.
            I have to run……..I’m dealing with a nightmare today and I’ll have to explain later.


    • lonelywife07 says:

      Karen…he won’t change….Passive Aggressive’s DO NOT change…It’s a personality defect, it’s in his brain….he is who he is!!!
      Sure, he’s charming NOW…he has to be…he can’t be alone, so he has to reel so someone else in…and who cares what others think…YOU know the truth!!
      So now you are FREE…embrace it and feel sorry for the next “wife”….she’s starting a life of hell!!


  6. marsocmom says:

    PJs, I am behind you all the way while you regain your health and strength, and wishing excellent things for you to make up for all you have suffered. Sometimes we can get so angry at God for allowing things to happen — why do bad things happen to His own people, too? But you are speaking out and helping life make sense to so many people! I thought of this when I read your post: http://www.biblestudytools.com/2-corinthians/1-4-compare.html When people need help, who can He send to help them? I hope this helps YOU…Bless you, PJs!


  7. Christine says:

    “She was strong. She was sometimes shy, but outspoken when she felt truth was at stake. She was brave. She was full of love and hope and dreams. She stood up to the boy-man again and again for over three decades. Fearlessly. She wasn’t afraid of him. But she overestimated her own strength. She didn’t see the hidden quagmires ahead

    These words are some of the truest and the closest description that I know of to explain how it happens- how the strong and together woman stays in this until she is so caught up in the tornado that just staying sane and mentally “safe” takes the place of getting out or running for cover.
    I can agree and even relate so deeply to your words that “she over estimated” her own strength.” I can remember a time that while he did things that drove me nuts and things I could not rationalize at all, I really thought I strong enough to hold me together, him together, the family unit together and deal with his behavior without it effecting me.
    I was so very wrong. It just took years to see the hidden land mines as I call them. I feel like a person who has scars no one can see and fresh cuts that never have time to heal and anger over the fact that this man- my husband can not only ignore the deep wounds he caused, but continue to hurt by what can for years appear as simple thoughtlessness or selfishness- then at some point you start to question the ugly possibility that it he may and then accept he DID cause most of the pain on purpose.
    It’s a sly game you don’t know your playing in- a way of life you didn’t agree too- but somehow ended up in.
    And it’s the SOMEHOW that drove me nuts- trying to rationalize HOW I got here- how did I allow this to go on so long- how did I make it 27 years in this marriage-how do I make it one more day?
    Your blog has shed so much light for me on the answers as to how.
    No book I know of has managed to shed that light for me.

    Red flags for me- they were everywhere- I saw them while dating but blamed his mom and allowed him to be the victim. He forgot so many things- important things- but everything was an accident and he was always so sorry verbally that I was made to be the problem for not just accepting his apologies.
    I should have seen the writing on the walk when he forgot or now I know purposely forgot our 1st anniversary and honestly- he forgot, picked a fight or pulled something crazy on every following anniversary!
    Every birthday- and Christmas he pulled something and I had to either shut my mouth and let it slide or spend the entire day arguing with him while he pouted and acted like a child.
    He expected to get Christmas gifts just like the kids- he never once purchased one for me. He would do me exactly the way his mother did him- sit there and open his gifts while pretending to feel so guilty he was taking them back because some how I was to blame for him not having me anything because either- he thought I said don’t buy me anything- or he didn’t know what to get me so he figured I would buy myself what I wanted- the best was 10 years or so ago when he told me several times I needed to pick up another non stick cooking pan- I hardly use it- I love my cast iron pans… Anyway he got me a non stick pan (he wanted it) and put it under the tree… Then proceeded to buy a new one every year at Christmas for “me” and now jokes about it being a tradition to get me a new non stick pan at Christmas…. Insane.
    Red flags- he refused to touch me when I was pregnant- made me feel ugly and huge- I look back at pictures and I was such a tiny pregnant- nothing like he had convinced me by his actions that I looked like
    He allowed me or really made me the buffer between him and his PA mom. He would refuse to answer her calls- from the invention of caller ID he screened her calls. When she would finally get ahold of me- he would literally be mouthing the words for me not to say that he knew she had been trying to call…. I would tell her that I would tell him to call her…. He wouldn’t. So she would pop by and her first words for all 27 years of my marriage would be “son- I told her I needed to talk to you; I know she didn’t tell you!”
    He would simply lie and say no-
    I didn’t know you had been calling.
    So crazy mom got to blame me while he didnt have to be honest and say he had avoided her!
    It wasn’t until over a year ago that I had enough of all the double PA tactics from him and his mother and I blurted out “HE knows you’ve been calling, just like he has known it every time you have ever called- he didn’t answer and I Did tell him you asked me to tell him to call you- he didn’t! Y’all’s phone calls are no longer about me on any level!”
    My husband was furious! He privately told his mama that what I said wasn’t true! When I said it- neither opened their mouths- away from me- they both blamed me.
    Most recent warning flag that his pa tendacies were in overdrive- his mother made him feel really guilty about a year ago-
    When they tried to involve and place the blame on me- I did something so wrong but it felt so right. I confronted them again at the same time- that got me no where- then I literally went on Facebook (both mother in law and husband are very appearance only matters) anyway- I publicly posted their drama and the entire situation on their walls- I’m not sure who almost had the heart attack first.
    She expected him to make me take it down- he expected her to deal with me for him- they got mad at each other because neither one wanted to own up to anything- and neither one wanted to have a conformation with me.
    They ended up having to talk about the issues from his childhood for all of 20
    Minutes before she tried to excuse her lack of love and mothering and he was guilted into telling her she did nothing wrong!
    But he pulled out of her driveway and never went back- won’t call- she is pouting and won’t call him- they have been in a no speaking standoff for one year!
    One full year and not a single word has been said between them- but honestly- I think he has shut her out because he sees himself in her actions and he can’t admit it so not being around her keeps the mirror out of his face- these men can look away from anything- they been looking away from their own reflection so long they have no clue how really far away they are from who they think they are and who they truly are


    • Exodus says:

      Gulp. Get out Christine. You’re right that our PAMs are out of touch with themselves. They really are so emotionally damaged that they lack insight.

      You’ve got to quit reacting to the drama and chaos and realize that you don’t need to prove that they are dysfunctional and insane. I completely understand why you feel the need to validate the insanity but your reacting in ways that can later harm you……like Facebook. Thankfully, I’ve never had a FB page. That was one of the handful of intelligent things I did in my life. Immersing ourselves in constant chaos and drama will cause us to build a tolerance for it and that’s mainly why most of us stay in these relationships longer than we should. With every incident, you learn to adapt by creating more coping behaviors while your tolerance threshold for this crazy-making increases. Then, one day you wake up and realize that if it were not for all the drama, misery and chaos, you would have no life at all. That’s where I am today and I now have to find a new life, new friends, a new job, new home and new community that will support a healthy and well adjusted life style and will bear with me while I adapt. I feel like a feral unsocialized animal that needs to be trained to function in a civilized world.

      I just remembered that the first time my husband came into my house ( our first date) the first thing he said was, ‘ My mom will love you. You have so much in common with her’ and Christine, even though I knew that could be a redflag ( because I was already aware of toxic mothering to boys), I didn’t want to jump to judgment and assume that she was a bad mom and he was a psycho. In truth, I’m nothing like his mother. I don’t share the same taste as she does, I don’t cook the same things, we don’t like the same colors, I’m brunette and she’s blonde, etc.. But, it’s now clear that what my husband saw in me was an adult woman/parent figure that had a nice home and he could use me to impress his mother- indicative of a need to please her and not receiving the right kind of love and nurturing from her that he needed throughout his life.

      Christmas ’05, I threw my husband out so that I could spend the holiday alone with my dogs and not have to deal with any misery. I had 2 or 3 gifts under the tree from other people and as usual none from him. The last time he gave me a gift was probably 1999. I decided to take his gifts back to the stores after the holidays and keep the money for myself. I packed up his gifts in trash bags and hauled them to the garage for safe-keeping. He called and needed to come home to pick up some clothes and when he noticed that there were no gifts under the tree for him, he blew up and told me that since he couldn’t have his gifts that I couldn’t have mine ( the ones under the tree from OTHER people) and tried to take them from me. It’s moments like this that solidify my opinion that he has a serious pathological brain or personality disorder……frontal lobe damage, narcissism, sociopathy, Borderline, PA, or all of the above.

      My PAM quit talking to his parents for a few years after we got married mainly because they were just plain rude and inconsiderate compared to my family who was always so respectful of him and his family. After we got married, his family never had any consideration for me and my family or our own nuclear family and would invite us to holiday gatherings 2 days before the holiday and because we couldn’t come on such short notice, my PAMs mother would get so furious and ignore us. We told her that we need more notice since we have two families to deal with so the following years she gave us 3 days instead of 2. Finally, she got so fed up with us that she quit asking altogether and we didn’t care.
      Three years ago on Christmas, my husband’s brother got engaged. They never set a date, never discussed any plans to marry and everyone was left wondering when and if it was going to happen. Then In May of 2012 my in laws told us that they had set a date in August and where it was going to be ( outdoors ) at a country club. Oh my gosh, the hottest month of the year outside? This meant I had to buy something to wear and I was freaking because heat and southern coastal humidity and me just don’t jive. Throw in the lack of internal thermostat thanks to menopause and I was stressing about the whole shindig. So, from May until July, I shopped every day desperately trying to find an outfit that I would feel comfortable in AND a wedding present for them, scheduled a hair appt., etc.. I’m sure that PJ’s can identify very well with my stress throughout this ordeal. During this time, never heard a peep out of my in laws or my husband’s brother. As the wedding day approached, I kept asking my husband to call his parents and my husband would say, ‘ Oh we have plenty of time, the wedding is months away, the wedding is weeks away, etc..” and finally with only a few days to spare before the wedding, he called his dad and asked, ‘ So what’s the deal with the wedding?’ and his father said in a very matter-of-fact way, “well, don’t you look at Facebook? The wedding is going to be Dec 25″. They announced their wedding on FB and no one called to notify us of the change in plans? Christmas day? Bible thumping Christians are getting married on Christmas day/night at 8pm? How much more narcissistic could anyone be? I was livid!! No one bothered to call us or even ask if that would be a day that we could attend and we would have to travel 1.5 hours there and back on Christmas night. Additionally, my husband was working for a large international company at the time in addition to our own business so he needed a lot of notice to plan his schedule. Since it’s considered sacrilegious to choose to celebrate something in competition with a sacred holiday ( DUH!!) they could not find a minister ( even at their own Church!) so the bride’s brother got a minister’s license for 25 dollars and the wedding is in their tiny living room. At this point I was wondering if the Hatfields and the McCoys were the only ones fortunate enough to receive an invite. I had to return my clothing that I purchased and I was just boiling mad about the whole thing. All that stress and planning for nothing! My husband and his very warped sense of time suggests that we just calm down and wait it out since we have several months and those months flew by and Thanksgiving was upon us. No mention of the wedding since, no invitation, nothing. Out of the blue my PAM’s parents show up at our house one evening and they are carrying all sorts of genealogy info about the family and hand it to me. I am a researcher and I enjoy it but that’s why they drove all that way? Nah, I knew something was up. They play games ( ALL OF THEM are PA) and I can’t stand people who are so secretive and manipulating. Finally, his mother blurts out that she just wanted to let me know that the wedding is informal and that she’s going to wear a pants suit. Ah ha! I knew they were lying about why they came to visit. My husband blows up and starts lecturing them about how sacrilegious it is and selfish of them to expect people to attend their wedding that late at night on Christmas and no invitation? He also mentioned that his brother has never once called him. His mother of course made excuses for that and then told my husband that he should have called his brother. I was stunned because it’s not like my husband to confront anyone. I guess he was full of anger because I had been so frustrated with how no one calls and no one was considerate enough to even sent an invite given the busy rush of the holidays. My mother in law says something like, ” well, well, let’s all be happy for them. The invitations will get mailed soon.” Soon? When? Christmas is only 2 weeks away. We finally received an invitation the week before the wedding and they were even civil enough to require an RSVP that had prepaid postage! hahaha I just laughed and tossed it aside. Christmas morning arrives and my father in law called to invite my husband for a breakfast that he ‘ planned’ for his son Christmas morning? At this point I’m just shaking my head and sipping my coffee and frankly, just happy to spend the morning alone with my dogs.
      My husband is thrilled with the breakfast option and sees it as a way out of attending the wedding that night. My husband’s brother arrives to breakfast an hour and half late ( really grateful and respectful behavior, eh?)!! which means that by the time my PAM gets back home, more than 3/4 of Christmas day is spent driving and eating breakfast. My husband tells them he’s not attending the wedding and that he has to work the next morning and it’s just too late in the evening, too much driving, etc.. on a holiday. His brother seemed to be very disappointed. Really? I mean really?! the guy never called, never made one attempt to make sure that his only ‘dear’ brother was going to attend but he’s disappointed? I’m tellin ya, these people are just so over the top self-absorbed. They wouldn’t know how to show anyone love or respect even if their life depended on it. They are robots that follow ritual without any feeling and I think a lot of that has to do with their religious habits/rituals. They are good at memorializing everything and showing up for funerals and Church functions but the spiritual substance is lacking. I have many times excused their behavior as just ignorant hick etiquette but I have grown up around so called hicks all my life who never behaved like they do. I don’t feel one ounce of guilt or remorse about the decision not to attend. My husband on the other hand…he does but that’s par for him to align with people who disrespect him and especially his family because he’s still a little boy that is always trying to prove that he’s good by doing what they expect him to do even though they have treated him so badly all his life.
      I’ll be so glad when I never have to hear their name mentioned in my home ever again!!!!


  8. lost7658 says:

    Red flags I noticed were he was controlling from the get go. Would make comments about what I was doing with my friends and then tell me not to hang out with him.

    He would say he could pick me up from work and then consistently show up a half an hour late. He also banned from having guy friends but then kept all of his friends that were girls and would sneak around to see them. He also would become enraged if I talked to my ex boyfriends but he was friends with his ex- girlfriends, even fixed their cars behind my back.

    He would also disappear for hours at a time and not answer his phone. The biggest one was he actually had no license while we were dating and was driving around for a whole year with a revoked license. He also was living at his mom’s condo that he claimed he was paying for. One day she showed up there and that is how I found out he was not paying her for anything nor did he have a license. I also saw him treat her the same way he would eventually treat me. Ignoring phone calls, disappearing , and just utter disrespect. His favorite saying that I have come to despise is ” quit making noise” . His mom actually kicked him out and that was a whole sob story. When in reality he had ruined her carpet and was living there for free spending all of his money of himself and dates with me. I mean the cable, electricity, and internet were in her name.

    Apparently she had been calling for weeks to discuss the issue and he just didn’t answer the phone so he shut the cable off to get his attention. I could see way he uses the TV as a way to ignore you and put you in your place. I once knocked over the TV when were arguing because he kept turning up the TV because I asked him why he didn’t do the dishes.

    I would say the biggest red flag off them all was that throughout our whole year of dating he was dating two other girls and lying about it the whole time. When I found out a month after we married he blamed it on me and was never remorseful. The cheating led me down a path of anger and resentfulness that has never really gone away.


    • Exodus says:

      One of the red flag warnings that we should heed in any relationship is a pervasive aura of ‘ distrust’. When anyone is paranoid, defensive and distrustful of others, it’s because they are doing things that they know are unethical or immoral. People that are honest and sincere don’t walk around paranoid that someone is deceiving them. That’s one of the reasons we have a difficult time accepting that our ‘ Normans’ could be such deceptive, sneaky, controlling shysters. People generally expect other people to operate much like themselves ( healthy narcissism). One of the most unappealing characteristics of my ” Norman’ is his sneaky demeanor. It’s creeps me out. He either reminds me of a snooping old lady or a dark stalker type. When he comes into the house, he comes in very quietly to spy on me and sometimes he’s right on me before I even know he’s around! You never hear ‘ Honey, I’m home ” in this house. That’s a huge red flag! He also stares at neighbors, eavesdrops on conversations and come to think of it, the first time we met, he was spying on me in my office by peeking around a wall. What a CREEP!

      I took the Meyer’s- Briggs once for job and I was so honest that the company thought I was lying. They called my current boss to find out if I had stolen anything from them and my boss told them I was the most honest person she had ever known and would never do such a thing. They offered me the job and I declined and told them that I simply didn’t want to work for a company that was going to be constantly wondering if I was stealing from them. I found out through the years from other employees that the company was extremely greedy, used deceptive marketing and sales practices and deliberately kept employees dumbed-down. I’ve even worked with people who had previously worked with them for years and I noticed how they seemed to have little knowledge or skills relative to their work experience. Figgers.

      Heed the warnings!!!


  9. newshoes123 says:

    Just piping in here about the type of women these pa men choose – they need a strong woman. The cannot function with someone who is just like them. And of course, it’s a challenge for their ego to “break” a strong woman to their will. I was always a strong independant fiesty woman, I did what I wanted, when I wanted, got myself through a lot of crap alone and made it out great and alive. After a few years with this pah, boy did I find myself a broken, not able to express myself dumb woman. I lost my identity only to please him. Because if I said a different opinion that he had, or if I stated something I knew was true or if I appeared smarter or more successful, it was a challenge for him to discredit, to dismiss, tell me that it was dumb what I was saying, or tell me I was wrong that in the end instead of fighting I would just give up and give in. He hated that too because he knew I wasn’t willingly giving up but he got what he wanted, and either way I would end up paying.
    I’m now working on becoming the strong independant woman that I was once and will continue to work on it. I see little bits and pieces of her now and then and it makes me hopeful for the future 🙂
    I wish you all the same ladies!!


  10. christine says:

    writesinpjs—I wanted to take a moment and share how this blog has helped me so much in just a short amount of time. I have fought the ghost as you so well described it for years, tried to rationalize and make sense of things that made no logical sense, battled hard and long with all that I had until I felt my own heath suffer and truly questioned my sanity a time or two. It was a therapist that I went to see, trying to get to the bottom of why I felt the way that I did, who first mentioned the “passive aggressive” factor to me. It took someone on the outside listening to even nudge me to see that perhaps my menopause, or expectations were not the problem and perhaps, just perhaps he wasn’t the “good guy” that he claimed to be. I can look back and admit that she sensed I wasn’t open to hearing that HE may be the problem. This man was the good one, the one who didn’t loose his temper or go berserk…that person was me. lol

    She did however suggest several books for me to read when or if I ever got to the point of wanting to understand what was going on. I think she truly understood that I was there in her office and paying top dollar for only one reason, I was talking to her, confiding in her in order for her to help me find yet another way to once again change something about me, or change my expectations in order to somehow “make him treat me better”

    That is the problem with growing up in a family that allows you to fix things from an early age, you are literally conditioned to think you have some control over others actions and that nothing is above being your fault.

    Example. My mom shoplifted something one time, but had made me carry her purse around the store- I had no idea, being maybe 7 years old at the time what she was actually doing, when I got tired of carrying the purse, I started complaining and trying to give it back to her, she yanked me up by the arm, threatened to beat me right then and there if I didn’t shut up and hang on to her purse.
    I was small, I was tired, it was heavy. It was that simple. But when the store security stopped her once out the door and took the purse from me and escorted her into the back room with the numerous items one by one taken from her purse. My mother simply blamed me, acted innocent and said she had no idea that I had put those things into her purse which I had asked to carry for her????
    I was old enough to know the lie, but being abused by this woman enough to know the punishment if I disagreed with her. They had watched her place the things in the purse, knew she did it, and yet somehow after she was allowed to leave without the police being called, I was blamed for the fit I threw over carrying her purse as to what caused her to get in trouble. So blame over insane things is also something we learn sometimes to accept way back in our childhood.
    I grew up to be nothing like my mother, and instead was the “mother” I had always wanted to have. I put my everything into my family and I don’t regret that for one moment, regardless of the issues I now face, I would not un-do one year I spent in my life raising my children and blessing them with the foundation that all children need.

    I went to therapy because I couldn’t comprehend the spiral taking place in my marriage, I was out of options or direction on what else about myself I needed to change. Being from a home where I had the best childhood and the worst childhood going on at the same time, I was use to confusion, I was programmed from an early age to take the blame, and do better, act better, be more pleasing in order to please a mother that there was no possible way to please. The fact that I also had the most amazing childhood thanks to extended family, grandparents, aunts and uncles who stepped in to raise me and love me and honestly treated me as a daughter and loved me unconditionally, I had two worlds, abuse from my mom, but then those who rescued me from that and stood up for me and taught me a better way to live.

    But the hold of childhood demons that tell us we can change and therefore effect the way others treat us if we change, still had a hold on me to some point.

    The therapist told me on my last visit that “I had some of the best coping skills she had ever seen, the problem was that my kids had grown up enough that my passive aggressive husband (whom she had never met nor had I even verbally acknowledged that this may be the root of the problem)
    was basically in the middle of a temper fit that I couldn’t change enough to fix. She told me that as my kids had each grown older and became self sufficient, the less he benefited from all the “mothering” I was use to doing on a daily basis. The not cooking for just two of us or picking up after him, or expecting him to grow up as well was the root of his issues and unless I planned on being his mother long after all the kids had left the coop, things were not going to get better regardless of how much I changed.

    I didn’t go back again to see her, but a good while later, after much more turmoil in my marriage, I did read the books she had suggested and I had to admit this PA behavior was the problem. It was this blog that gave me some insight as to how to deal with it, or at least keep my sanity until I am free of it.

    Reading your blog and the post from others; was as if someone was literally describing things in my life that seemed so absurd to me, that I honestly thought there was no way another human being could understand it much less be experiencing it.
    I mean what kind of grown man truly refuses to hug or show affection because you didn’t cook supper one night? What adult walks away from a big problem and pretends the conversation never came up, what adult changes the topic in an argument so many times you have to be the mad-hatter to keep up and there is no way possible to stay focused. What type of husband uses the very basis of “love” to punish? I can say there is not one behavior on your blog or any comment that I have read, and so far I have made my way through them like crazy, reading each word, and each instance is something that I have questioned, experienced, dealt with and became confused by numerous times over the years.

    Looking back now, with the new information, I can safely say that things did escalate once the kids became older and more self sufficient. The therapist was right. It was easy to pick up his shoes and other things left around the house while I was already bent over picking up toys and puzzles the kids had left out.

    It was easier to fix his plate and call him to dinner when I was herding kids to the table and getting them ready to eat. It was 2nd nature for me to grab his clothes and wash and dry them when i had so much laundry to do from small kids. It was nothing for me to “tell my husband” what to do while I was also instructing the kids, It was easier to leave him parked in front of the TV and out of the way in the evening when I had all the kids in bed and needed that moment of ME TIME.
    I was mothering him always and because I was a mother, and a good one, I didn’t see that I was doing it alone until I asked for help, and when those things I asked for were either done wrong, not done at all, forgotten about or excuses given, it was easier back then to just do them myself and accept his excuse of being tired, forgetting or not meaning to do one thing he ever did.
    I learned to NOT ASK, and somewhere let go of expecting a mate who HELPED.

    The PA behavior came out with a bang when I stopped doing the things he had allowed me to do for most of our marriage. When the kids became responsible for their own laundry, he pouted over his clothes being the only ones dirty in the house. I had not checked, not purposely, but being as how I wasn’t washing clothes around the clock any longer, his piled up.Not that he asked me to wash them, or even let me know that all his pants or shirts were dirty- I would just notice him stomping by me with a basket of clothes and then he didn’t speak for days on end. He pouted and punished. I stopped cooking every night if it was just the two of us home, when I asked how sandwiches or a salad sounded to him, or grabbing a bite to eat, he may have said “THAT’S FINE” but I know now it wasn’t, and I was made to pay for that.

    When I began filling my free time with things that did not revolve around household duties or mother type behavior- the beast in him was unleashed. I was punished for years and did nothing but spin in circles trying to change things about me to make it stop, nothing I changed helped, because unless I went back to being his mother, without him admitting that he needed me to care for him like an infant or that he expected me to mother him for the rest of his life while pretending that I am doing these things without him asking for it, life will be nothing but a series of withholding punishments without rhyme or reason meant to shadow what he really wants and never having to hear himself say “YOU WILL BE MY MOTHER, YOU WILL TAKE CARE OF MY EVERY NEED, YOU WILL DO EVERYTHING FOR ME, AND I WILL NEVER HAVE TO ASK OR ADMIT THAT I WANT AND NEED YOU TO DO IT”
    Unless I am willing to play by those rules, then this is my life and his will be a never ending circle of confusion attempting to get the very things he refuses to directly ask for. If he ask me a thousand confusing questions, which he does these days until I am almost crazy from them, this blog and reading the post has helped me to see that each question is truly meant to point me in a direction of a need he has that i should SEE and somehow pick up on the clues or read his mind and meet that need without him ever having to directly ask me too.

    Every helpless thing he has pretended to mess up or do wrong was nothing but a way to rebel like a child against the mother in me that said “please do this” Every argument he walked away from from was a blanked pulled over his face that allowed him to hide in the dark from life and refuse his responsibility for anything. Everything he didn’t face, everything he blamed me for, everything he messed up or gave excuses for is what allowed him to never have to grow up or deal with his biggest problem–which is himself and the effects of being raised by someone just like him. His mother.
    There is truly nothing that I can do except see it for what it is and respond in ways that are productive and best for me and this situation that I thought was foreign to everyone else. This blog and those very ideas that others shared, helped me to deal so much better in such a short amount of time that its mind blowing.
    I stopped spinning in circles and stood still.

    This blog was a sanity booster in my life for certain.
    I took the advice and for the most part much of what others said worked for them, worked for me as well. I cant say that I have seen him in such a state of over drive with his actions, but the reaction or response he still has not received from me has him spinning in circles all alone right now. For once, I am not the one dizzy.

    I dont know if these men ever have a wake up call, I would think other than surrendering their will to God, it would be impossible and their will is so stubbornly fixed in the victim spectrum, that I am not sure if that is possible or how it happens.

    This blog helped me out of the fog. Thank you so very much.


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