Weird stuff happening . . . questions

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Weird stuff happening . . . questions
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Thu, 03-27-2003 - 11:12am
I'm just wondering if this new stuff is in response to my emotional distance and standing up to him. Those of you who have read my earlier posts may remember that we had it out about 1 1/2 weeks ago and he told me that we needed to "look into making arrangments" to separate. Then he came back later and took me to dinner and a movie and we talked, and he said that we needed to work on being nice to each other and get back to a good place again. I said fine, but there were ground rules -- like, no name calling, no topic changing when I try to discuss something, no turning things around on me, etc.

I also told him that I would continue to step in when I feel it's necessary between him and the girls. He hates that - is already reacting by telling me each time that he's not abusing them and that nothing bad was happening until I stepped into it. When he has said this, I just say to him, if that's how you want to remember it, that's fine with me, but I'm not going to stop. He was mad about it the other day, slammed down the syrup jar and stomped off to ride the bike and burn off the anger, I guess. But I stuck with it and followed him downstairs and told him that.

My new job has me working from 11 or so until 6:30 or so. I've been getting home between 6:30 and 7 with both girls - my 8yo is enrolled in my program and my 15yo works for me. The first couple of weeks, I put food in the crock pot so that he could just get it on the table, but he complained that my returning to work created more work for him. (Is there a universe somewhere where that SHOULDN'T be the case? LOL) But this week, he's been cooking dinner every night. I just make sure that there is something to cook, and he prepares it and puts it on the table and cleans up after himself - huge surprise!. When I wasn't working, he didn't get home until 5:30ish, but now, he's leaving work no later than 4:30, coming home and exercising, and then getting dinner on the table. Of course, he complains about what time I get home, but that isn't going to change.

When I got my first paycheck, it was just $25 less than his paycheck - take home. That was an interesting day. While he wants me to work because we need the money, he has a real hard time with me making a similar amount and with me being gone from the house. He really doesn't want me to work, and if I do work, he doesn't want me to be successful at it. He can work 60 hours a week without getting paid for that - he's a teacher - but if I work one minute over my allotted time, he wants to know how much extra they are paying me - I'm a salaried employee, not hourly. And this is something that he has always done. Of course, I was laid off for 11 months, and he talks about that as me *getting to take a year off*. Like I chose to be laid off for a year!

But he does some other weird stuff now. He's ultra competitive with me - we took an instructor's course together last fall and I scored higher than he did on both the practical and the written and he didn't talk to me for two days! - but at the same time, he'll track me down to get my help when he can't figure something out on his own. (We both are computer *experts*.) At the same time, he lectures me on how to run my program, like I'm not intelligent enough to know how to do my own job.

I had a homebased business for a short time - an MLM-type thing - and he hated it, kept asking when it was going to start bringing us money instead of costing us money. At the same time, he was emailing me home business ads that he got through email mailing lists. Just today he emailed me another one about processing rebates from Fedex, knowing full well that I have a job now.

After the dinner and movie thing, we *made up* and all was well with him for the next day or two. But he hasn't approached me since and I know that his *building up* phase is based mostly on lack of sex. What I mean by that is that if I bite the bullet while he's beginning to act like a jacka** and initiate sex, his building phase starts over so that there is more time before his next explosion. Does that make sense? His building and explosion stages seem to me to based solely on whether or not he's getting sex everyday or so. But we haven't had sex since the *make up* night, and so I'm beginning to see the building phase again. And it's actually pretty quick compared to the cycle in the past.

Maybe I should explain that last paragraph more. It doesn't make sense, I know. Here's the way it works. H expects sex at least every other day. However, like many of the abusive SOs here, he can actually go days without speaking directly to me, which means that we have no real contact - physical or verbal - unless I intiate it. He never physically touches me unless I touch him first - example: I'm walking into our bedroom while he is walking out, he will back up and let me pass rather than touch me as we walk past each other. Make sense? And so his way of letting me know he wants sex tonight is to either take me to dinner and/or a movie (in which case, he just expects sex to happen since we went on a date) or he offers me a massage before bed. He never actually touches me - intimate or otherwise. It makes it hard for me to initiate sex because he never talks to me - he only is able to talk AT me. There is no intimacy in the relationship whatsoever - for him sex is the intimacy. And it's expected as a result of his romantic gestures such as taking me out to dinner with no children. He doesn't hold my hand or talk to me about anything, just takes me to dinner or a movie. If we do have a conversation, it's like shooting the breeze with someone you just met at a cocktail party. Make sense?

Anyway, the point is that his behavior is escalating in some ways, but he is also doing some of the things he thinks I want him to do in order for me to want to stay. I guess I already know that this is probably *normal* for someone who is beginning to panic about the possibility of my leaving. He's never hit me or reacted to me in any way to suggest physical violence - except once 9 years ago (he didn't actually hit me, just grabbed me and pulled his fist back like he was going to hit me and I kneed him in the groin) and he doesn't remember it. Nothing remotely like that before or since. Should I feel concerned that it might happen? Or is it more likely that he'll continue the same kinds of behaviors that he's exhibited throughout our marriage, but continue escalating them?

Another question (different topic) is this: when discussing the possibility of financial help to get my own place, my mother suggested that I should not leave the house but should figure out a way to make him leave. I explained to her that it didn't work that way in my marriage - if we fight, he will not sleep on the sofa, it's his bed, he paid for it, he's sleeping in it. I'm sure he looks at this house the same way. Am I giving up my right to property if I physically leave that property? I know, read the legal stuff. I did. And it isn't clear. How can I fix it so that he will be the one to physically leave without jeopardizing safety? Ideas?

I know this has been a mish mash of stuff and some doesn't make any sense. I'm having that kind of morning. And now, I have to go to work. So any ideas, help, suggestions are welcome. I'm usually much more coherent than this - I'm just as confused as I sound! Thanks!

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 1:59pm
I'm really not sure about you staying at the house. I kinda thought if you filed for divorce and custody of the kids, whoever has custody gets to stay in the house, at least until everything is settled. I'm not sure about that, and I guess that all depends on the state laws, etc., too. Sorry I can't help more with that.

I do completely understand what you mean about the sex and intimacy thing. My H is very much like that. There is conversation between us; however it's only about what he wants to talk about which is usually his work and what he did. If I try to talk about something that interests me he makes a joke of it and brushes it off and then starts talking about himself again. Sex is totally when he's not mad or I've been 'good' to him as he says (as in treating him like I should!). To be honest, I can't stand for him to touch me anymore.

Hugs and best to you,

Jackie

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Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 2:05pm
First, the easier answers:

If you're on the mortgage or the house/property was purchased during the mortgage, it's both of yours if it's a community property state. Your lawyer (when you talk to one if you haven't already) will be able to better explain and give you more information. I know the Nerfherder isn't expecting to have something of his attacked. He has stock, in an account started during the marriage to eventually be used as a down payment for a house, that is in his name only (employee stock purchase). That's the only asset either of us have (save the cars). Guess what? It's community property because it started during the marriage. I'm entitled to half. (I am technically also responsible for half of the debt on his CCs accrued during the marriage, as he is for mine. I have chose not to make that an issue - I don't want his help. I don't need it.) He'll throw a holy fit, but that's what he does when his socks blow out, too.

As far as him whining about the work/pay situation...CONTROL IS BEING LOST AND HE DOESN'T LIKE IT. He will ALWAYS bitch. The Nerfherder did this all the time, too. They're just not happy people. Unless he's the king of the mountain, he will be constantly on your back. It's not "new" - it's changed to a new form. You also may be starting to notice it more. The not so subtle syrup tantrum is just another way of acting out. And he wants you to work from home because that way you're always there to take care of whatever he thinks is necessary. Yes, you're right. He doesn't want you to be successful. He wants you to depend solely on him and make him feel like "big, important man".

They'll never admit they're abusing. I told the Nerfherder (before I started posting) that cussing and yelling at me over the cellphone was verbally abusive and I was not going to allow him to speak at me that way. His response? "I'm not being abusive! I'm just talking!". That conversation lasted about two more minutes before I hung up on him and turned the cellphone and pager off. You are doing what you have to do as a mother. He doesn't like it because you're "challenging his control" over your kids. Riding the bike...mine liked to go for drives.

Computer lectures - I work at a computer. I've had so much technical knowledge rammed down my throat the last thing I wanted was to get another tech lecture at home from the Microsoft Certified Professional (and that means squat to me now - I know more commands in Word than he does. Go fig.). He tried to tell me after we separated how to get into the website for our bank. I got yelled at for defrag-ing the computer, too. Here I am, able to get my work machine to do exactly what I want it to do, and he tells me I know bubkus because his computer gets "screwed up" when it defrags so that's why he's never done it and I should know better.

The physical contact thing - the Nerfherder ALWAYS wanted me to take the lead. I am not good like that (so he told me that I had "problems" in the bedroom. Have you ever heard of "positive reinforcement"?), so a lot of the time there was NO sex. He told me that an ex had always pressured him for sex, even when he was exhausted, or sick or whatever, so I didn't push, knowing he was tired, or wasn't feeling well, or whatever. His response back was "You always say you're tired, so I just stopped trying." (I may be tired, but just pulling my underwear off isn't my idea of good bedroom tactics. For about a year and a half, he didn't even want to see my top half. Romance? What romance!)

You're not going nuts. I'd just get all your ducks in a row. I'm also very glad to hear you're working again.

Gabby

Avatar for buffphone
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 7:33pm
Glad to hear you're working again! Sorry to hear that he's pulling out the stops on trying to keep you confused.

As far as the house finances go, I'm sure you're probably due some, but I would not worry about that right now. Your lawyer will know the your state's laws on what is yours. I hope you find a way out soon, as I'm worried what he will try next since being nice isn't working.

Please be careful on how you are confronting him. Abusers have limits, you won't know where they are, but they will adjust the limits to their needs. I'm not saying lay down and do everything he says, but also know when not to say things that he sees as attacking him. Which soon will probably be every other word. I don't want to see you physically injured or the kids.

Quietly find your way out to a better life, don't let him know what your exact plans include. Your's and your childrens safety is far more valuable than material objects like the house. You can let your lawyers fight over it after you're safe.

Be safe, be strong

Avatar for bama1gal
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 8:38pm
Wow, Jackie. Mine sounds just like yours. That's exactly how communication and sex work in our house. Actually, any intimacy. And I agree, I'm not upset at all that things have cooled off. It's hard to feel good about being intimate with someone when you realize that you don't want to be around them anymore.

I don't know the answer to the house thing - it's rented anyway. I'm more concerned with my stuff inside it - just want to make sure that walking away doesn't mean losing rights to stuff. Thanks!

Cheryl

Avatar for bama1gal
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 8:47pm
Thanks for the reply . . . and the laughs, Gabby. Sounds like our guys are pretty similar. The instructor course I mentioned was for Cisco IT Essentials - prep for the A+ Computer Repair certification exam. He's the one who teaches Cisco Computer Networking - I'm just a lowly After School Director! So it's funny to hear your H handled that kind of thing similarly!

I think you're right - the loss of control IS the biggest issue for him. Control over everything, not just me. I've just got to remember that as I deal with it. The interesting thing is what you said about "I'm just talking." My H actually says to me that he's not yelling, he's totally in control! What a laugh!

Thanks!!

Cheryl

Avatar for bama1gal
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 8:55pm
Thanks, Buff. You're right on about not worrying about the material things. I'm actually not so worried about stuff as I am worried about a few family things that mean a lot to me. I'm afraid that if I choose to leave, he will destroy those items out of anger. He's not been one to do that in the past, and I never really thought much about it until so many people here mentioned that their SOs did that kind of thing. If he gets that angry about losing control and me leaving he certainly would destroy those items that mean so much to me. We rent the house - the only real property we own is our cars and some family jewelry - a few antiques from my family as well. That's it, so I'm not too worried about the $$ amounts, just my sentimental stuff.

I am becoming more and more aware of his physical presense when he is upset or angry and I always know what it will take to get to an exit. I never worried about that until his behavior started escalating. But the weird thing is that I HAVE become aware of it now. That scares me more than the chance that he might become violent. The fact that I have to be aware of that bothers me more than almost anything else right now. Thanks for the reminder!

Cheryl

Avatar for cl_mizlizzy
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Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:44am
Hi Bamagal. Some more thoughts, and suggestions........................

Since you rent your home, the "home" itself isn't an issue, but if it was, there would be legal steps you could take.

I completely understand you worrying about certain things being destroyed by your husband, and there are some things you will need from the home. You don't "just lose your rights" to ANYthing if you leave, and you can recover things legally, BUT, since he does have the potential to destroy things, you can make this part of your plans.

You can begin sorting through things now, making a list (make a mental list if you cannot insure that he wouldn't find a written one) with the important things you need to think of when leaving. The safety plans have an outline of certain things--like important documents you will need, that is an excellent guide, but you can add other important items to this list.

As you can, you can begin organizing what you want to take/will need, so you can grab it in a hurry if you must leave in a hurry. If you can create time in your plan to get out, where you have a bit more time, you can be prepared to take the things you want and need, WHEN you leave, not waiting for further legal orders. You can clean out and sort out clothes, jewelry, etc, as if you are "Spring Cleaning" or just organizing things, but have it together as much as possible, so it's easier to move when the time comes. If you need help moving certain items, you can include that in your plans, having a time and people to help lined up, so you can get yourself, your kids, and your things out, as quickly as possible. If you don't have time to do this, then it will be sorted out in court, and technically, legally, he will have to either give you certain things awarded to you. IF he destroys or disposes of anything, that will be handled in court too.

If you can take an inventory of the household (again, mentally if written can't be kept safe), now, instead of trying to remember things later, this can help so much. If you have any photographs of items, your home, etc--even in the background of "other pics" this can help prove what is there. If you can gather these photos, that can help. I took video and 35mm pics of our entire house, contents, etc. for our homeowner's insurance, and used this in my case. If you have time to take pictures when you leave, showing what you left, and the condition it was left in, this can help too. It really doesn't take that long, and can save you grief later.

There are so many things you can take care of as you wait for the "time to get out", that will make it much easier once you do get out. Planning in advance for just what you want/need to take will make it so much easier in the long run. If there are things you can move out in advance, without his knowledge, that will help too.

You have as much right to anything in that house as he does, so please don't think that you leaving means you leave everything behind. If safety requires that you have to, that's ok--you can handle it legally, but, again, you can cover this in your planning.

I know it's a very confusing time right now, but if you can take advantage of this "calm" period, quietly and carefully getting things in order, the whole process will be much easier. Taking care of practical matters helps with the emotional aspects also.

There are tons of related links in our archives, with tips, plans, and other's stories, that can help too. The Safety Plans are great guides to use as well.

HUGS!!

Avatar for bama1gal
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:00am
Thanks, mizlizzy. That's very good advice. I had started doing some of that *spring cleaning* and so things like my jewelry box, my dresser and my closet have been taken care of. I'm working on my office now - slow process, it's a mess! And then will move toward the garage, where my antique china and my craft stuff is stored. And I do heavy duty cleaning and organizing every spring, so it's not unexpected or weird for me to be doing that. In fact, I just wake up sometimes and decide to clean some room, and get the trash bags and baskets out for cleaning and organizing every couple of months or so. It's good to be reminded of these things, though, and I appreciate it.

I feel like I'm getting closer to the point where I'm just going to have to leave, whether my plan is complete or not. Of course, that may change, but today I'm feeling down and like I just can't take it anymore. Tomorrow may be better, so who knows what will happen? I'm trying to get financially healthy to make my move much less stressful. I'm working in a positive direction and my goal is in sight. Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I am so glad sweetdreams brought me here!!

Cheryl

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Registered: 05-27-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:10am
The first thing I would do is call and get a free consultation with an attorney so you can put your mind to ease concerning a lot of these questions. I did that when I was contemplating leaving and it helped me more than I can tell you. It enabled me to know exactly what to expect, what the costs might be, what I was entitled to, and it gave me sort of an outline to go by in order to prepare to leave. I can tell you that it doesn't matter that he *thinks* everything is his, it isn't. You are married and everything you own is joint property, no matter what he thinks.

Hugs!

Avatar for bama1gal
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:56pm
Thanks, jeepgirl! That's really good advice. I was waiting until I was ready to leave to talk to an attorney, but I think you're right. I should contact one now and find out what I should be doing and how to stay above board so that when we do get to court, I am totally prepared! Thanks!

Cheryl

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