The drama we step in

Yesterday morning, IF my husband hadn’t caused that drama, I imagine what would have happened would have been a normal conversation later, the kind of communication that seeks to avoid it happening again.  My best guess is that his getting reactive and creating that unnecessary destructive drama was a backlash over the kitchen mess conversation the night before (see yesterday’s post).  I gave a legitimate complaint over his not taking responsibility to communicate and delegate to keep the house in order while I was sick, and now he was jumping into over-reactive action.

The stuff that really mattered (keeping the house from disintegrating into a big mess while I was sick) was ignored, while the little thing of my feeling well enough and giving our son a ride was pounced on and blown up from nothing into a big nasty passive aggressive poo pile.

In my view?  I broke the passive aggressive commandments of ‘Thou shall not hold me accountable’, and  ‘Thou shall not make me deal with something I don’t want to deal with‘, and he found a way to hurt me for it.  It’s so predictable that it’s rotten.

Since then, he’s apologized to the kids, to me, and acknowledged he was the cause of the unnecessary drama.

If I wasn’t clear about this in past posts, I do speak up.  I didn’t always let my kids or close friends etc. know in past years, but for the last several years I have been outspoken.  I’m sure he thinks I speak up too much, lol.  He once said to me, “You have zero tolerance!”  (I replied, “Thanks!”)   There is no more taking something in silence, or trying to cover over it.  If something happens, I’ll often respond to it in the here and now, depending on whether or not wisdom dictates  to wait.

My kids absolutely know (and have known for a long time) that I feel passive aggressive behavior is abusive.   I don’t hesitate anymore to call it what it is.  My kids also know that I haven’t been well, am trying to get well, and unless they’re up the river of denial, they know that if I get well and become financially independent, life as we know it will change.

Now, does he feel sorrow for what he did,  or just say he’s sorry?  Is he the thief that’s sorry he stole, or sorry he got caught?  His words took responsibility for what he did. His behavior was a mixed bag.  He helped with dinner.  He wanted to spend time together, and we watched a silly show back on his office computer.  At the end, he said he had to let the dog out and would be right back.  I sat and browsed on netflix until I was drowsy.  I went in our room and folded laundry.  I needed him to move the noisy parrot and cage out of our room so I could sleep (the cage is moved for the sun during the day), and finally went out to look for him.  Among other things, I discovered that at one point he just sat down and started watching part of a movie that the kids were watching.

He was full of excuses as to why he just rudely let me sit there waiting, but beneath my feelings of ‘why does he have to be this way’ was a healthy dose of acceptance ‘because that’s who he really is’.

I don’t think you can avoid the unnecessary drama that comes with a passive aggressive man.  You can just tighten your boundaries, and try not to step in it.   If you have kids that get hurt or blame you,  you’ll cry.  This is the bitter darkness that you don’t see coming until it doubles you over with grief and you have to crawl through it.

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9 Responses to The drama we step in

  1. I’m not afraid to speak to my husband about issues that bother me. Because we live apart most of the time now, the occasions to speak in person almost always occur when one of our children is at home, because those are almost the only times when my husband and I are together. I am, however, careful to voice my comments to my husband about marital issues out of the presence of our children. My husband, in contrast, says things in front of our children. For example, several weeks ago, when our older daughter was at home and we were all going out to a gathering with my family in the car, my husband said, during a lull in the conversation about some current events, “Daughter, you can be mad at me if you want.” I was shocked into silence. Daughter eventually said something like, “Oh, now I’m afraid you’re going to say I’ve done something wrong.” Husband then said, “No, but everyone else is mad at me, so you can be, too.” “Everyone else” was clearly me; when we were at home earlier that day, I had said something to my husband, in private, about not feeling welcomed by his family (in contrast to my family, who includes my husband in gatherings such as this family dinner).


    • Exodus says:

      Pj’s Norman does the very same thing that you described when your husband left you sitting there ( in limbo) waiting for him to return. Drives me nuts – it’s rude, inconsiderate bad manners.

      We must accept that that our husbands are not capable of being what we want and need them to be. In business, I don’t throw the baby out with the bath water when an employee doesn’t perform well but I have to put them in a different position that they enjoy and do well. For me to put someone lacking leadership skills into a management position and expect them to perform well is just plain unreasonable. I don’t blame them, I blame myself. To expect Norman to become a concerned and thoughtful man is unreasonable. He’s not a concerned and thoughtful man and he’s always been that way. For some reason, I thought he would change for me. If people could change that easily, then there would be no need to ‘choose’ a mate since anyone could morph into being a suitable match. I guess what i’m saying is that we need to just accept the truth about these men and find some way to get along with them for everyone’s peace of mind until we leave. It’s not easy but it’s the most civilized way to live.

      Last weekend I stayed in a hotel just up the road j so I could have peace of mind and breakfast prepared for me. At first I felt very annoyed that I had to spend money for a hotel room but then I realized that the peace of mind and the ‘happy’ experience I had with other hotel guests was priceless and so worth every penny. I had dinner with a nice young man who was an English teacher and then I had breakfast with a motley crew from TN who were just the most interesting and friendly folks I’ve met in ages. I had dinner with another family and their two dogs from SC and then I met a wonderful woman who had escaped an abusive marriage and was working three jobs. She’s older and I’m now helping her get her cleaning business off the ground.

      When I came home, Norman had not done one thing around the house. There were dirty dishes that were over three days old in the sink, mold in the coffee pot and other nasties. I cleaned everything up and I didn’t even resent doing so for some reason. I think it was because I felt proud of myself for always doing the right thing despite Norman’s deliberate negligence, undermining and constant desire to play tit for tat. I don’t feel so foolish anymore for always being a good wife, a good homemaker, a good business partner. I felt used and stupid and foolish for far too long. We should all be proud that we continued to hold true to our values and not allow them to turn us into bitter and resentful women. I don’t want to stoop to Norman’s character.

      Oh and by the way, I noticed that while I was gone he had the stereo full blast on old 70’s and 80’s rock and spent hours on FB and attended 4 yoga classes. A child he is. Too young for me anyway.


      • Newshoes says:

        I never thought about that way Exodus about holding true to our values! You are so right and I am proud of myself. In spite of my pah, I did my darn best to take care of my family and raise my children with the best that I could with a pa patrner u know how difficult that can be!


        • Exodus says:

          You should be very proud!! and know that you are a strong, courageous and resilient woman who is a victor and survivor who endured with grace and didn’t allow this horrible adversity to defeat you. That’s a lot to be proud of!

          I’ll be honest, my brother is my role model for good character. You may remember that I wrote about how he was married to a PA woman and he lived for many years in the same hell we all do. He has two beautiful daughters and although his wife was always undermining everything and behaving like a manic toddler most of the time, he never once lowered himself to her level. I honestly don’t know how he did it. His daughters welfare and happiness was his priority and while he absolutely hated his wife, he never ever bad-mouthed her to the kids and he still won’t. She on the other hand always bad-mouthed him to the kids. He came home from work every day and bathed them, cooked their dinner, cleaned the house and took them to all their swim meets, ballet, etc.. He did what he had to do for them and then he filed for divorce, quit his career job and became a teacher so that he could be more available to the kids. Actions speak louder than words and his daughters always knew who they could depend on and trust.

          Living with abusive spouses requires such immense self control and maturity. That’s where I fell short many times ( until now). I was too reactive because I was just so insecure about myself and needed Norman to be normal so that I could feel better about myself. My brother didn’t need that from his wife. My brother was a self-made man, very confident and successful in his career which provided a lot of confidence that I didn’t have to help me feel worthy and capable of anything better.

          I’m a late bloomer but one day I WILL bloom and you will too!

          Liked by 1 person

          • newshoes123 says:

            Yes I remember about your brother. That’s an awesome gift that he has given to his daughters, they will grow to be strong like him. For my part, I made a mess of my kids by staying so long and letting my ex pah dictate rules and discipline when I knew full well he was wrong, and don’t get me wrong I would step in when needed but it only made things worse and I think it confused the kids.
            I think in my case, because I knew my self worth (most of the time and when I took a step back and looked at the events) and because I questioned his nasty behaviours towards me all the time, it meant that we came head to head often which the kids saw as well and they got “used” to the confrontations, they don’t know what a normal relationship with normal calm discussions and negotiations, compromises, bona fide apologies and amends, etc might even look like. They are iffy with other potential or even real relationships, finding faults with everyone and not looking within themselves. I feel terrible for putting them through this and I can’t fix it anymore. It’s done. My only hope is that they eventually see what a normal relationship is and hope that they learn from it.
            Don’t worry about late bloomind Exodus, better late than never they say 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

      • Bronze says:

        Exodus – you wrote”To expect Norman to become a concerned and thoughtful man is unreasonable. He’s not a concerned and thoughtful man and he’s always been that way. For some reason, I thought he would change for me.” I understand that when they show you who they are you should believe them the first time.(I didn’t) I guess, the trap I was lured into was that he presented himself as a concerned and thoughtful man – just after he met me he drove from his home to comfort me when I had a bag stolen out of my car!! I was actually non-plussed by this action and asked him why he did it (I was fine) and he answered that the felt he should be there for me. So you see, he was setting up expectations in me, that he had NO intention of continuing once he had a ring on my finger. I feel he pulled a bait and switch on me. BTW, that was the last time he stopped anything he was doing to come and comfort me. When he started showing me who he was, while at the same time telling me that it wasn’t the way I was seeing it, he didn’t mean it, it was a mistake, my feelings about it were wrong etc. etc. He managed to ensnare my mind in a confusing maze of riddles, where he continued to INSIST he was a concerned and thoughtful man, but acted in ways that showed he had little regard for me or my feelings. Also, the fact he remained a concerned and thoughtful man for everybody else ensured I blamed myself for the change in his character. I totally agree with you now – that he is who he is – however he spends a lot of time denying this true nature and therein lay the mindgames.


        • Exodus says:

          Gaining, Oh I had a good laugh at your bait and switch comment. Thank you! It surely does indeed seem that way doesn’t it? I suppose in reality it is a bait and switch although I doubt it’s intentional most of the time.
          Yes, they always insist they love us, care for us, want the best for us, etc… blah, blah blah and the worn out broken record continues. What a bunch of malarkey. But, we need to realize that their reality is completely different than our reality. Seriously. These are very broken people who have two people living inside of them:
          the angry frustrated child that fears being hurt and deprives himself from investing in people who genuninely love him and the grown man that knows what to say to make up for what is lacking in action. They are in a battle with each other all the time and they find a way to comfortably live with each other. You’re right, they are very good to other people but keep in mind that those other people are no threat to them. This is one of the ways that the adult man can act out what he so desperately wants to and needs to. These are people who cannot hurt them. I would comfortably bet that should your husband get involved with another woman, it will turn out the same way as soon as your ex begins to feel emotionally attached. Instead of basking in that good feeling, they turn off and shut down to protect themselves.

          Perception is everything and it’s an illusion much of the time. What we saw in these men in the beginning seemed normal but we were not able to see their behavior in the context that it was given. At the time your ex was being thoughtful, you were still in the ‘ safe’ category and he was glad to do what he did and really wanted to but once you became his wife and children’s mother…..oh my how cruel toxic emotions can be.


  2. marsocmom says:

    You wrote, “…they know that if I get well and become financially independent, life as we know it will change.”
    WHEN you get well and become financially independent. And you have amazing and smart kids, PJs, who will figure this all out soon enough if they haven’t already. And they know they have at least one parent they can depend on.


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