So what’s your “favorite” manipulation or crazy-making incident or outrageous behavior you’d like to enter for the records?
This isn’t my favorite, but it is a biggie for me, the anger of which has taken longer for me to heal. It’s not the lies or the cheating or even the “run of the mill” verbal and emotional abuse.
It’s being set up.
Do you know what I mean?
It goes like this…
You go to him…after making sure it’s the right time, the right place, he’s in a good mood (but not too good, because you don’t want to ruin it), he’s not in a bad mood (because how can you burden him with another negative thing?), it’s the right season, temperature, day of the week and all the stars are lined up just so, and of course, there’s nothing else more important happening like a night out with the guys, a card game or his night to clip his toe nails.
You get the picture.
And so you approach him and ask him about something that is bothering you, because of signs, or what you might have heard, in this case his infidelity, and you don’t accuse him (you make sure he understands it’s just for clarification) and you make sure you use all “I” sentences, and the tone of your voice is soft with no edge, and you might preface it with how wonderful he’s been and how happy you are…but at any rate, you finally get the words out and…
He’s actually nice about it!
He answers your inquiry, and tells you, in fact, that he’s glad…yes, glad that you came to him, because he got to straighten it out, and what’s more, he wants you to come to him again if you ever hear anything else, so he can have the opportunity to straighten out any misunderstanding.
And you are SO relieved, not only that your worst fears were laid to rest, but GOD, do you have the best boyfriend/lover/husband in the world or what?!?!
So life is perfect, until things start to not quite add up gain, or maybe another rumor comes to you, but you have Mr. Wonderful in your life, and he said he wanted you to come to him if you ever heard anything again or had any doubts.
And so like a stupid idiot…no, like a good and trusting soul, you do…just as he asked you to, and before you even know what hits you, your guts are splayed all across the wall, because he’s so tired of you bringing this shit up, and why do you keep putting him through the wringer??? And does he have to hear about this for the rest of his life???
And he’s saying this to you in an outrage, and his face is red and he’s screaming, and you’re crying, and confused and hurt and angry, but mostly confused and totally disoriented.
And you try to figure out what you did wrong or how he might misunderstand your intentions. You can’t imagine he’s totally manipulating and consciously choosing to abuse you for doing what he knows he asked you to do, because you can’t comprehend that kind of narcissism nor can you see the personality disorder behind what you and he need you to see.
If it was just cheating, it would barely be a memory these days. I haven’t given a rat’s ass about that in ages. But it’s not about the cheating. It’s about the set up, and the punishment that followed.
And that’s the barbed wire the flesh of my being is still hung on.