index cards, part four

more abusive comments and instances, from my husband:

weight and food comments:

told me i looked pregnant when he knew i wasn’t

several times has bought me shirts in several sizes too small, and then when i can’t wear them, says “some day” they will fit

laughed at me when i said i was interested in joining an adult soccer league.

when i wanted (needed) to buy some new clothes, said “aren’t you trying to lose weight?”

when i was eating dinner one night, he made such a hurtful comment about it, that even my teenager told him to quit being mean to me.

we were at Costco, and when i said i wanted a hotdog, he kept saying “i don’t need anything, i’m not hungry” until finally i yelled at him that i wasn’t asking about him, i was asking about me!

he will go without eating at a restaurant (acting the martyr) and then ask me if he can have some of my food.

buys soda and keeps it in the garage then gets mad when i drink it.  he will count the cans and ask the kids who had some.  yet, he gave up soda like two years ago.

i was eating leftovers “eating AGAIN?”

constantly tells me how he doesn’t drink soda any more.  i know, already!

“didn’t you just eat?”

i tell him to stop buying junk food and he tells me to use my will power, then he will tell me to stop buying chips because he can’t help himself.

tells me to not let him eat junk food and to quit buying it, even then i’m not the one eating it.

brags about how he fasts during Lent every year

told me more than once he would buy me a new wardrobe if i would lose weight.

he tells me he is fat all the time (he is not) and that if i don’t talk with him about it, like tell him to keep track of his health, that should, because he is my husband.

dismissing my feelings:

i slept on the couch in the living room for three weeks with our newborn baby because the light at night bothered him when i nursed.  but then he complained that i was not in our bed.

i asked him three separate times to call the doctor to make a therapy appointment, but he just blew it off.  then when he finally did call, he didn’t tell me, and he didn’t make an appointment because they told him the file was closed and he needed me to open it.  but i couldn’t open it because he didn’t tell me he had called!

once, when i did flat out tell him to call the therapist, he didn’t even respond.  he just watched me cry until i got up and left the room.

he overstays his welcome when we go to a friend’s house, but when i try to steer him out of there, he resists.  i usually just leave, then he tells me i am a lightweight for not staying longer.

told him we should go when i could tell the neighbors were tired of us being there.  he said “you can go” and then stayed to drink more.  finally, they just had to tell him to go home.  this has happened twice with two different neighbors.

told me i could snap out of my depression

blows off my concerns of his drinking

doesn’t leave places when i want to go without telling everyone i am making him leave

rarely calls when he is running late.  to the point that we have to change plans because of his lateness.  then he gets defensive about it when i am angry.

used my nice white towels to wash his car once, and when i complained, he told me i shouldn’t be so caught up in “things”

i ask him if i can go somewhere without the kids and he will ask where i am going, why, etc, then say “i don’t care what you do”

i have told him for years that i want a book shelf, and he just flat out refuses.  yet he will spend hundreds of dollars on a new tv or video games, etc.

he will come into the room, change the channel of the show i am watching, without even asking, then he will leave the room.  i will leave the tv on that channel thinking he is coming back, until like a half hour goes by and i realize he is not coming back in.

tells me he will be home in a few minutes, then will stay like an hour or two later without answering my calls or texts.  more than once

doesn’t keep promises consistently.  like helping with bedtime or calling for counselling.

issues with the kids:

insists the kids come with us places, then gets mad when they fuss or complain about it taking so long.

yells at one particular child over every little thing, while favoring another child.

when my two year old fell off the swing, he got mad and told me i shouldn’t need to nurse him to comfort him

uses the kids to check on me and encourages them to tattle on me.

controls when and where we go as a family for vacations, etc, even if the kids don’t really want to do that thing.

makes fun of me in front of the kids all the time, then tells me i am being too sensitive.

undermines me in front of the kids.

makes jokes about how he is not their father.  he is “joking” but it hurts my feelings.

told me he wants to be the fun dad so i can be the bad guy

very rarely helps the kids to get ready to go anywhere and then gets mad when i complain about it.

gets mad at them about things that they have no control over and tries to punish them for just doing kid things.  like when my four year old wanted to cuddle with me and not tell him goodnight, he told my son that “mom won’t let you cuddle with her any more if you don’t kiss me goodnight”, and then tells me not to cuddle with him.  HE’S FOUR!!

bugged me about weaning my son.  what does he care?  he’s not the one feeding him

issues with drinking:

gets mad at me when i tell him he has had too much to drink

hit on our neighbor when he was drunk telling her to make me jealous.  later he “walked in” on her in the bathroom

he gets mad when he sees me drink a soda, but never says a word when i drink alcohol

drove drunk with my son in the car, then fought with me about how much he had had to drink.

i had to bail him out of jail for DUI once

always assumes i will be the designated driver without ever offering once, and if i asked him to, he would say no

drives with open containers of alcohol all the time, and will drink one on the way home from work frequently, even after i have asked him not to.

always tries to get me to drink and just can’t take no for an answer when we go out somewhere.  is getting better about this, but he still does it sometimes.  yet he expects me to drive.




index cards, part three

and, as in my previous two posts, more index card instances of abusive behavior.

financial control:

letting my cell service lapse because he didn’t give me access to the password to pay the bill (three separate occasions)

tells me how we don’t have enough money, but doesn’t want me to work, because we have too many activities, he makes more money anyway, we wouldn’t qualify for as much financial aid if i worked.

when i did work, constantly complained when i asked for money “where is all your money at?”

i told him once that i think he uses money as a way to keep me around, and he admitted that was “probably true”.

told me he added me to our joint account, when he really hadn’t, then when he finally did, i asked for a debit card for the account, and he said “why would i do that?”  so i couldn’t get out any cash or buy anything without writing a check.

didn’t want me to get a gas card for a long time (he works at a gas station) and forced me to call him to tell the clerk his credit card number so i could get gas.

not on our Target card account, yet gets angry when i shop at Target because i would “save money” if i used the Red card.  then when he finally gave me his card, i couldn’t use it, because it’s a debit card, and i don’t have the pin.

told me in front of our children that we couldn’t buy a new house, because i had run up a credit card bill.  which, if i had had access to “our” money before, i wouldn’t have needed to charge anything in the first place.

every time we have a fight about money, he brings up my credit card balance, that he paid so that it “won’t hang between us”

gets angry when i withdraw cash, but then gets mad when i never have cash on me.

once i had an ear infection, and he made me pretend to be homeless, to get care at the shelter so that he didn’t have to pay for the bill, since we weren’t married, i was unemployed, pregnant, and yet not on his insurance.

told me i didn’t need depression meds, because it was “all in your head” and wouldn’t pay for them. (again, when i was unemployed)

refuses to pay for counselling.  if i can’t find it free, we can’t go.

for a long time, when i needed stuff, instead of giving me the money for it, he would tell me he would just get it himself.

once told me that i just wanted to return something to the store so i could have the cash.

when i did work, he made me pay for the childcare out of my own pocket, and he made me pay the whole week, even though he was off two of those days, so he could “run errands and stuff” on those days.  he would drop our daughter off at school on his days off for lunch and a nap so he could go play basketball at the gym.

our house was not originally in my name, but we refinanced, and only put my name on it because he had to.

none of the vehicles have had my name on them except for the most recent one we bought, around two years ago.

refuses to sit down and talk about a budget, yet wants me to save receipts so he can make sure i am not buying things we don’t need.

got mad when i hid some purchases from him that were just for me, and even though he knew i had bought them, he tried to catch me in a lie (which he did, because i knew he would be mad if i had bought them), and then told me that married people don’t lie to each other.

now he expects me to account for every penny, and save my receipts.

sexual abuse:

makes vulgar comments to me all the time in front of the kids.

used porn ON MY PHONE then lied about it.

used porn on the computer, and blamed it on the kids and their friends

wants to have sex in places where there are others around (like his parents house) and it makes me uncomfortable but then he makes fun of me

sulks when we don’t have sex, but i rarely refuse his advances.

when i wanted to use birth control, he refused.

tried to have sex multiple times while i was nursing our baby

basically told me that a married woman can’t refuse her husband.

holds my hands over my head when we have sex, and once i said i wanted my arms back, and he refused at first.  it scared me!

when i am folding clothes by the side of the bed, he will just come up behind me and lie down on me.  i basically just have to lie there until he gets up again.  when i complain, he says he is just “hugging” me.

many more times than i can remember he has started to have sex with me, waking me up from a sound sleep.  when i tell him to wait until morning, he says he wakes up with a “woody and just can’t wait”

complains all the time about how often we have sex, or makes comments about sex in front of the kids.  like “is that new poster for above the bed, or are we getting a mirror, haha”

when he admitted that he had cheated on me (five years later), he love bombed me so much, it was weird and uncomfortable, but when i would complain, he sulked and pouted.

any time we have a big discussion about our relationship, he gets super touchy feely, when normally, he is only touchy feely in the few days leading up to sex.

when i tell him to stop tickling, he doesn’t always, and then tells me to lighten up when i get mad

once when i initiated sex on our anniversary, he watched tv the whole time.

other physical issues:

wakes me up all the time, just to tell me things that could easily wait.

puts his fingers in my armpit, which he knows i hate, and tells me he wasn’t trying to tickle me.

tickled my feet, then when i jerked my feet away, told me he was just trying to scratch them for me.

put a pillow over my face and pushed down, then told me he was just pretending and joking when i pushed it off.

when i yawned, he would put his finger in my mouth.  so many times i can’t count.  he finally has stopped doing this.

he used to sneeze on me whenever we would drive somewhere, because he didn’t want to get the steering wheel or window dirty.  only quit doing it when the kids told him it was disgusting (not after me telling him to stop every single time he did it)

squishes my fat rolls even after me telling him i hate that.  he just says he is “hugging” me

has told me that his ex girlfriend accused him of hitting her with a vcr but that she was “crazy”

threw a pile of pictures at me when he felt i had paid too much for them

steps in front of me randomly so i have no choice but to go around him

has come up behind me and put his hands on my neck “jokingly”

more to come in the next post…


legal process, step 2, call with the lawyer

talked to a lawyer today.  it was a very reassuring, yet terrifying conversation.  he asked several of the questions I had told the paralegal that i talked to at legal aid, and clarified a few things.  he told me he would take my case!  while i am hugely relieved, i got off the phone and just sobbed.  gut-wrenching, killer sobs.  i just thank God that my 2 year old was sleeping, or he would have thought his mommy was off her rocker.

we discussed child support, alimony, whether or not i had a place to go and if i would be safe if he got served with papers and i was still in the home.  also, what my prospects and goals for the future are, going forward.  we left it that i will meet with him in a week, and then after that until after the holidays, i will think and decide for sure if i want to proceed.

i know he will be scary angry when he gets served, but i plan to be halfway to my sister’s house when he does.

either way, i can’t stay stagnant.  i have been an overweight, bored, fun-loving-but-stifled, stay home mom for 12 years.  every time i tried to grow or change, or just try something new, i was discouraged, put down, and belittled.  told we can’t afford school, but i can’t get a job because then we wouldn’t qualify for all the financial aid programs that we qualify for if i stay home.  told that he can work because he gets paid cash for his second job, so we don’t have to claim it.  he can go out and coach, and serve on the sports association, and be gone all day and half the evenings all week, but i can’t work part time, because how would the kids get to all their activities?  and who would watch them while my daughter is working and he is off at the bar having a meeting with his sports association pals?

i plan to speak with him one more time about the therapy he promised six months ago and didn’t go to.  and the fact that i want more out of my life than the same tired yearly vacation, the same routine, the living room furniture arrangement that we’ve had for 17 years.  part of me feels i owe him one last shot at redemption, though i know it will not go my way.  the attorney asked if i was past the point of no return, and in my heart, i know i am.  i am just afraid of conflict and i know the next 1-2 years of my life will be a huge upheaval.

i want to learn, and grow and not be told i am selfish for wanting more out of life…of being told by his actions, if not his words, that everything in our life is more important than me.  it will be worth it in the end.

the legal process

so, it begins.

i called the paralegal at the women’s center yesterday.  i filled out an application for legal services over the phone, discussing such wonderful things as:  how many bank accounts do we have(3), how many cars(3), do we have a mortgage(no), etc.  now it all goes to the lawyer to see if he can take my case for legal aid.

she was very nice, we politely discussed my years of emotional and financial abuse, and had a chuckle over how men “just don’t know their own strength, sometimes”.

and so it begins.

it sounds like i have a good case to get a good chunk of, if not half of our house, cars, savings, 401k and stocks.  it’s very important now, though, to not let on to him, or i know he will start to try to hide assets.

there are so many things i want and need to start doing, but at the same time, i feel paralyzed with fear.  not so much of what he will do to me.  but because i know that this man, who claims to love me, and is the father of my children, a coach, a loving son, will turn on me.  he will turn like a bad apple, and i worry about the rest of the barrel.  i know in my heart that my kids will understand (maybe not right away, but eventually), and will be mostly on my side, i just know he will do his best to turn them against me, and blame me for the break up of our marriage.  he will never accept full blame.  he will say he accepts part of the blame, but that will only be to garner sympathy.  he won’t actually feel the full force of what he has done to me.

that’s for me to feel.

but i am already feeling a taste of what freedom will be like.  decorating my own house, eating whatever i want to eat without getting grief.  being able to sleep the whole night without being woken up by the light and his talk that can wait until morning, but he won’t let it.  staying on the couch all weekend if i want and not feeling like i have to clean because he keeps making comments about what a pit the house is.  i can wait for the legal crap.  but i know the sweet feeling of freedom will be worth all the other stuff we will have to go through in between.

what was your biggest fear of leaving?  or of being on your own?

why do i feel like i’ve been here before?

because i have.  it’s called the cycle of abuse.

another way to put it:

it begins with hearts and flowers.  you are in love, he treats you like a queen, showering you with gifts and little love notes, and fantastic sex.  he calls, texts, and emails you all the time, but in a good way.  you begin to trust him.

then it really begins.  tensions building.  little quirks.  like if you get a text from someone and chuckle, then put your phone down.  he will walk over to it and look at your texts.  then he will tell you that you shouldn’t hang out with this person or that person because they “aren’t good for you”.  then he will start telling you that you look better with colored hair and should color it, even when you have repeatedly told him you don’t want to.  finally, you agree just to get him to shut up about it.

then, you begin to feel smothered.  trapped.  the fighting begins.  this is finally him acting out, and showing you his true self.  you tell him you don’t want to do something, but he tells you that if you truly loved him, you would do it anyway.  yet when you ask something just as important to you of him, he refuses.  he has incredible double standards, and is stubborn to the point of hostile.  you start to wonder what you may have gotten into.

finally, it happens.  the big one.  the incident.  it’s a slap, or a horrible screaming match, or a hard grip on your arm followed by a threat.  it may only be a snotty comment followed by derisive laughter.  but you have reached your breaking point.  you threaten to leave.

but wait!  he’s sorry!  he can never forgive himself for the terrible things he has put you through.  he promises to love and protect and cherish you all over again.  you reconcile, and begin your life together anew.  he may even send you flowers with a mooshy love note.

sound familiar?