Wednesday, 6 April 2011

How I was emotionally abusive to him.

Continuing on from the emails in the previous post, my husband today replied with his information about how I was emotionally abusive to him during our 15 year relationship:

I dont think i will be telling you anything i havent said before but the things i am having difficulty in distinguishing between abuse and whatever you want to call it are:

15 yrs of being made to feel guilty if i have gone out. When i gave the example of playing football I was trying to justify for you why you should have acted so negatively about me just playing football. I can understand with the P (ex -girlfriend that he still took out when we were living together) thing why you would feel anxious about me doing anything with R (P's brother), but apart from that i can only  think of 1 thing i have done to make you 'react' in an abusive way (regarding me socialising). The other is maintaining a friendship with E (a female friend that was in love with him)  for longer than i should, from my point of view I really liked her as a friend and thought that if i broke up our friendship because i had a girlfriend it would belittle the friendship we had and suggest there was more than friendship, from her side there was and you helped me see that it was therefor inappropriate to continue a friendship with her. I dont think you have reacted or been abusive regarding this though.

Right from the beginning of our relationship you didnt like to be left at home, not that we never went out together but yes sometimes once or twice a week i would go to pub with R (his best friend) and get drunk. I dont think it was as infrequent as i would like to remember, neither was it as frequent as you would. But it was normal for a 19 - 30 yr old to do. Should i have been more understanding that you sometimes couldnt go out because of A (my eldest daughter from a previous marriage)? If I had been every other night out on the town then yes, but the frequency i was going out no, not at all. Yes when we had E  then F (two of our children) there probably were times that I should have not gone out, so when you reacted to this i put it down to your nature of wanting to control my limited social life.
This did not suddenly just stop, over the years we have both matured and that sort of thing isnt as much of an issue, R (his best friend) wedding year was pretty heavy granted.

Last year when I went to 3 peaks my phone ran out of battery and you replied to the pictures i sent you from B's phone, You sent a message brimming with support and love, B read it out to everyone on the coach and it was really nice to hear such words of love that contrasted with everything else that you had sent to my phone and conversations we had had up until a few hours before that generally revolving around 'i dont know why you had to go up the day before/ this is just another excuse for a piss up/how much money have you spent blah blah blah. Being the abusive cynic i am i assume you wanted to portray some kind of loving and supportive wife wishing your husband well. maybe you just meant it as a joke, whatever motivated you to write that stuff it was really nice and would have been nicer if the only bit of moral support you sent was when other people werent watching. Why am i banging on about this and remebering such a small and insignificant detail that as usual i am sure you have forgot because you dont hang on to things like i do. Because i think it shows you know you behave inappropriatly but in front of people like to give a different more positive image. Is it reaction to how i am with you? i dont think so, it reminds me of someone who can scold someone then turn on a sugary smile for all to see, i wonder where i'm getting that reference from.
(reference to my mum)

So in general ,years of ongoing critisism of me going out, not a few isolated occassions but constantly and gradually subsiding as the years have gone on.

We have discussed this already many times and i asume your stance is still that I should have only gone out the number of times in a year that you find acceptable. This wasnt something that grew into a bigger problem as my abusiveness became more prevaillant but started right from the beginning. From when i went to that rave, we just remember from our own perspective. Looking back now i dont see why I should have gone with you, I never asked you to go, you hated the music, you hated the scene, i didnt want you there and assumed you would not want to be there. You had your own assumptions that i think were if A goes out then I go out with him.

I know it is futile and you see me as raking up the past, but when you tell me that you were not being at best clingy and at worst controlling, but reacting to my abusiveness, I do not think that that part was abusive, and it did affect our relationship right from the start for years and years.

Another part i hate thinking about is that i feel you bullied me into having kids. I dont think you can ever be ready to have a family, but you can be ready to want one. I wanted to wait. J (relate) counsellor brushed this aside when I brought it up, I will talk in [abuse programme] about it. I love my children with all my heart and i dont like to bring it up but i feel you bulldozed your agenda, and it was such a big thing.

Disagreements on jobs/where to live/ houses/ how to spend money/decorating/ raising kids etc etc.

When you said you feel you had contributed about 50/50 to our problems in the relationship I did get the wrong end of the stick. The things you have listed with the exception of money have been i think fairly healthy debates where you have had a point of view and we possibly argued and we have ended up doing what you suggested in the first place, and with hind sight your plans/objectives have served us well on those things and they were good decisions. 

I thought you may have been admitting to bringing some kind of negative feelings ( generally associated with abuse) like jealousy, control, blaming etc. All you have referenced are things that good and positive decisions have come out of. So the only things you feel you have contributed 50/50 on are positive things. You do not feel you have done anything detrimental in our relationship for the whole 15+ years except in reaction to me. Maybe you could clarify what you are thinking of when you say you have done 'stupid' and 'idiotic' things, or were you just saying that but not meaning anything at all?

This email irritated me so much, for so many reasons.  My reply:

Ok.  I have taken all the bumph out of my list and whittled it down to bullet points (as you know).  Then I've printed it out and kept it so I can remind myself of the abusive incidents and everything.  Maybe you'll find it helpful to do the same?
  • 15 yrs of being made to feel guilty if i have gone out.
  • you bullied me into having kids
I've read through a couple of times but I think that's the whole list?
Yes, I know I'm being flippant/sarcastic but the whole self-righteous tone of your email just brings it out.  When you compare how abusive you have been to these two points I don't know how you've got the front to harp on about this stuff.  I really don't.
I will say again.  In a relationship where I received snarky remarks and constant disapproval for doing *anything* that wasn't cleaning/cooking/with the kids (reading blogs, being online, reading a book etc) then in my opinion, it would be a natural reaction for *most* people to then be resentful when that same person goes off regularly (every 2-3 months would have been extremely frequent compared to how often I did) overnight or for longer. 
We 'remember that differently' re: you going off and leaving me.  I'm sure I said something like that I didn't have anywhere to go and maybe I could come along to see what kind of thing you like to go to, and you said 'whatever but you won't like it' kind of thing.  I reassured that I would.  I got ready, you told me the car was full and left.  So no, you didn't invite me and maybe I shouldn't have 'invited myself'?  Maybe I didn't trust you because you had sworn you weren't doing drugs any longer (which I insisted due to us moving in together with Alyssa), maybe that's why you didn't want me to come - as you said a couple of emails ago 'I didn't want you to see me off my face'.  So you obviously still were.
Again, with the four peaks.  I did ask you how come a 24 hour walk was turning into a 3-4 day jolly.  This was not me being unsupportive and not wanting you to go out anywhere as you say.  It was due to the fact that last year you were away for about 2 weeks altogether (not including the 4 peaks) without your family while we went nowhere.  So, I did think you had some front and not a lot of sensitivity to be then choosing to go off for another jolly, and yes that irritated me.  Again, most people would probably think that I reacted quite normally.  But my memory was that during the whole time you were away (while you had your phone battery on) I was supportive.  I was supportive before too and I was proud of you afterwards and think I showed it.  But it is again, the context of my reactions.  In the context of the times you went away last year and my total lack of freedom to do anything - it was actually probably quite restrained.  So, if you think I'm taking this 'you were totally unsupportive and then only nice in public' thing to heart you can think again.  Stop playing the Victim.
As far as forcing you to have kids.. I don't know what to say about that.  Yes, I did put a lot of pressure on you about this and I shouldn't have done that.  I think I've apologised in the past about that and can say 100% that I will never do that again.  Like you say, it's difficult to discuss because we both love our kids and are happy to have them.
I have to laugh when you imply that I bulldoze you into doing everything that I want.  I believe that is a totally unrealistic portrayal of our life together.  Totally.  There have been a few things that have been really important to me that I've not allowed you to bulldoze me on (specifically certain things to do with the kids, home ed, moving here to K). 
You ask what are the stupid and idiotic things that I was referring to and probably the only one is in the list at the top.  I shouldn't have been so insistent about having children and 'bulldozed' you as you say.
As far as my attitude to you going out, well - that was created in my opinion by the way you have treated me.
And so where does that leave the idea that I'm emotionally abusive?  All I see here are distractions away from the main issue (your abusiveness), trying to shift as much blame as possible from you to me, and attempts to justify your behaviour.  
I got a reply to my email pretty quickly and it was at this point that I decided to pull the plug on this ridiculous exchange that was certainly not good for my mental health or anything, really for that matter.  I know already that I can never present information or argument that would every change his mind, no matter what it is, so I may as well stand and bash my head against a brick wall than sit down and expend time and energy on this sort of exchange.  He doesn't want to, and never will, ever concede my point of view.

Your sarcastic comments you start with? would you find it more validating if i gave you more than 2 things i am not happy with? I dont see this as a contest of who can score more points against the other. I realise that the whole part of this discussion is sidetracking from looking at me as an abuser so have looked at things that I find particularly important to me, if that means there are only 2 points then that is that! Since looking at abuse as the problem I fairly quickly came to agree that yes i have been abusive on many different levels, I dont think you are an abusive person but i do think that the 2 points i have raised use abusive techniques.
Why are you not listening to what i am saying, is it because I then wouldnt fit into your pigeonholed profiling. I can understand over time how you would have started reacting to me being abusive which is why i am looking far back to the start when you were even more controlling, considering as time has gone on we have had kids and more responsiblities your controlling nature has mellowed rather than gotten worse.
You have any right to tell me how to live my life or spend my time, in any way
It would be totally hypocritical to treat me as you have over the years as well as expecting the above,  now you have become less controlling to non-existant and think you have always been like that? or that anything you have done is in reaction to me despite you being like that from the very start. you have the gaul to call me self righteous.
Your recollection of what happened when i went clubbing is wrong. It was about 2 weeks in to our relationship, you were still living at <ex-husband's>, at that time you made no demands regarding drugs. AS (friend) and her bloke were going into london and you had assumed we could both go with them or both go to a rave. I just wanted to go without you raving (sad i know) but its what i wanted. We discussed what to do, you tried to make me feel bad by saying stuff like 'when people are together they go clubbing together, thats what 'normal' couples do' and that 'i wouldnt like it if you wanted to go clubbing without me' and you were right i wouldnt have liked it, but that would have been my abusive side trying to stop you doing stuff. You will probably say i am harping on again, my main point is that this was 2 weeks into our relationship, very early, I would be open to the suggestion that you were 'reacting' to something I did, but you were speaking from your own beliefs, it happened to soon in our relationship for it to be reaction to me.
4 peaks stuff - while i was away we spoke and texted, you were frosty to the point of just pissed off with me, i accept it probably was partly in reaction to me. But the text to Bs phone was so contrasting that when i got my phone working I showed him the conversations we had been having, it made your nicey nicey one just laughable. If you dont want to look at why you would be like that then fine. Yes you emailed round to help get money and wished me well, but the text to Bs phone was from another person. If i am playing the victim so what if you cant look at yourself.
You misunderstand bulldozing, i was only talking about having kids.
Moving to <present house>? as soon as i saw the house i was signing on the dotted line. My only point was that it would drive us further into debt, which it did.
So just to confirm your 50/50  negative part you had in our entire 15yr plus relationship was bulldozing your wish to have kids? And that is it. I need to know for when i discuss in <abuser program>

<sigh> why do I let myself be drawn in?  Total waste of time and energy.  No longer - I will be strong!

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I appreciate all your comments, advice and support.