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Meeting the Producer’s new girlfriend…

pitythefool

In my last blog post I was pissed at the Producer and hurt and had no intention of continuing anything with him.  I finally calmed down a bit and thought, okay, maybe I can do this.  Maybe, if he is really wanting to continue seeing me, like he was saying he had insisted to the other woman, and would be willing to keep treating me the same way he has been, then it wouldn’t be so bad.  I mean, isn’t that what “open relationships” are supposed to be about?

He was, at this point, in Amsterdam, so still couldn’t talk to me until I unblocked him from Whatsapp.  I decided to do so and told him that maybe I had overreacted.  He was very happy.  He said that I meant a lot to him and he couldn’t just turn relationships off and on like a light switch, that he isn’t that kind of guy.  According to him he’d been telling this woman how hurt he was that I wouldn’t talk with him and that he felt like he was losing our friendship.

From there things moved very quickly.  He had said he would like to take me out and talk about things over dinner when he came back, and I thought we could do that.  Then he brought up a swinger party that was going on here in town this weekend.  It was Halloween themed and did sound like a lot of fun.  He thought that would be a great environment for me and the new woman to meet, saying he knew we’d really like each other. 

I was a little concerned that we wouldn’t have a chance to have our talk FIRST, before jumping into the whole party scene, but it did sound like a good time.  Plus it would be a more easygoing way to meet her.  I agreed, since he was overseas, to reserve the hotel room (he said he would pay and normally wouldn’t ask me, but since he was so far away, I didn’t put it on a credit card or anything) for the three of us.  I also notified the hosts of the party that I would be bringing two people and reassured them they would be cool.

Since it was a Halloween party and only a few days away, there was also the concern of figuring out costumes.  I have a really cute little French Maid getup that I was thinking of wearing.  I said maybe somehow the three of us could coordinate.  He asked her and she said she had a ton of costumes, that maybe she could let me wear one of them.  Before I knew it she was offering to come by and show them to me. 

I was a little surprised that she would be willing to drive so far just to do that, and said it wasn’t a big deal if we matched or not, but agreed to let him give her my number so we could figure something out.  She lives about an hour and a half away, closer to where he stays when he comes down here (he had decided recently not to get the apartment near me, even though he’d already put down a deposit, and now I think it’s pretty obvious why).  She seemed really eager to meet me immediately.  In fact, she drove down that night.

He had sent me a few pictures of her, body parts first.  I was like, can I see her face please?  LOL  Men, sheesh,  how can I tell anything about a person from random body parts?  From the pictures she looked cute, not super pretty but average.  She was in fairly good shape, though heavier than I am.

He had already told me she was super bi and into women and that she and her ex used to play sometimes with other men because he was bisexual.  I didn’t really feel like getting fixed up or anything to see her though, so I didn’t. She had commented that she was getting her hair done beforehand, but I didn’t want to seem over competitive and spent more time on housecleaning than anything because my kids had made a mess and spilled popcorn everywhere.  I also had to get them to their dads and had a big ordeal with my oldest son that made us run pretty late. 

When she got in town she texted to ask if I had eaten and I hadn’t so she offered to buy me some Taco Bell and if I wanted to meet her there first.  So I drove around the corner to Taco Bell.  There weren’t many people inside and I knew right away which one she was.  She had asked what I wanted over text and was just bringing it over to the table when I walked in.

In person she looked older than I expected.  I guessed her to be in her early to mid 40’s and she had a few wrinkle lines on her face.  She was skinnier than she looked in the pictures but still had a bit of a tummy on her.  Her accent was pure country and she said she was originally from Nashville.  She was dressed up in a fancy blouse and big earrings.  It looked like she was trying hard to impress.   

I was a little bewildered that the Producer would be so into this woman.  At first sight she seemed nothing like his type.  His ex wife was a gorgeous Brazillian woman with a perfect butt.  There is another girl he has played with occasionally in my town and she is 20 years old and blonde and really pretty.  The other women he has shown me that he talks to or plays with have all been more attractive than this one.  I mean, she was still cute, but like I said, closer to average than gorgeous. Turns out she is the same age as I am, I was kind of surprised.

I was having a hard time imagining myself playing with her.  Not due so much to her looks as her kind of uptight seeming attitude.  I can be reserved at times too but my personality is more laid back. Her body language was tight and reserved and a bit schoolmarmish.  I thanked her for the food and sat down to eat and talk. 

She started in with the questions and came across a bit like an interviewer, asking me about my education and seeming to look down on me a bit when I said I only had a Bachelor’s degree.  She works in an optometrist’s office.  Her three kids are teenagers and she and her daughter don’t get along so the daughter has moved in with her father and they hadn’t talked for 6 months until recently.  I wondered how a parent could go that long without so much as talking to their child, even in the worst of circumstances, but kept my mouth shut.  After all, I have a difficult teenager too and I talked about him.

I was listening and slowly forming my opinions, wondering how on earth she and the Producer could ever get together.  They seemed to me to have absolutely nothing in common.  She’d been married twice, both times to abusive men, and apparently things were kind of bad with her most recent boyfriend too.  They had dated almost two years and she showed me a picture of him.  He was a rough looking white guy, a biker, and it honestly seemed she still liked him a bit despite his supposed abusiveness.

We talked more after we got back to my house and she told me she has never been with a black guy before.  Her mother was in shock and told her not to tell her dad, who is very racist.  She said her mom was cool with it but she was going to wait on telling her father until she was sure things were going to get more serious.

She had brought along a huge suitcase full of costumes, most of them never worn.  She said she just sees things and likes to buy them sometimes.  There were also lots of high heels.  As we discussed what to wear I suggested maybe we could be Playboy bunnies and have the Producer wear a silk robe, like Hugh Hefner.  I didn’t know if he had anything like that though and she said “are you kidding me?  He probably has piles of silk robes”.  Um, what?  LOL  Why would he have that?  But I didn’t comment.  I’ve been shopping with him before at Walmart and he bought clothes there.  He’s not really flashy like that with his clothing, though of course he does have money.

She seemed nice but still a little condescending.  Like she acted sorry for me that the Producer was in a relationship with her and that I had been “just” a FWB that developed “feelings” for him.  She was clearly trying to put me in my “place”, which I didn’t like. 

Anyhow, we finally decided that some of her clothes could be put together, with a little altering, to make a French maid outfit but that we’d include bunny ears.  I didn’t really like most of the rest of her costumes, not my style and wouldn’t make me look hot.  We also took a picture of ourselves (fully clothed and sitting on my bed) to send to the Producer, though at that time we figured he was probably still fast asleep.

She left and I was a little depressed.  I couldn’t really figure out what he saw in her and why he would think she was better than me.  I also didn’t get the impression she was nearly as “bi” as he claimed.  He had said she was really into women, but she told me that she was “willing” to play a little at places like a party.  She said she wasn’t into feelings or anything with women (of course neither am I so I didn’t really care about that).

I didn’t really tell the Producer my thoughts about her.  Just said it left me a little sad, honestly, speaking with her and he said maybe we should call off the party because he didn’t want me to feel bad in any way. He said they both felt really bad that I had been hurt by things.  I said that’s okay, I was sure the party would be fun and I just needed a couple days to adjust.

The next day though, I found out something that completely changed my mind.  He made some comment about how she only wanted him to play with other women if she was there with him and I was like, wait, hold up, does that include me??  Because that changes the whole ballgame.  He didn’t answer for a long time and I was getting anxious.  I finally was like ?? well?? 

He finally admitted that she had told him her one request was that he never play with another woman without her present, including myself.  He said it was very important to her that they only play together as a couple and she had agreed to do the same for him.  He said he was going to respect her wishes.

Oh hell no.  I wasn’t going to have her tagging along every time we had sex.  That completely went against what he had said about the relationship between him and I being just the same as it always has been.  If I can’t have alone time with him I am not going to do this.  He said she was okay with us going out together still, for dinner or to a movie, but no sex. 

FUCK THAT!!  OMG!!  Did he seriously think that was going to be okay with me?  I’m suddenly not “allowed” to have sex with him on our own any more?  Um, no.  That settles my decision that this is just not going to happen.  I asked, is SHE okay with never playing with you unless I am there??  Of course he wasn’t answering so I said I was going to text her and ask.  He told me not to do that but I did it anyway.

She gave me a very condescending little “lecture” over text about how they have a “relationship” and I was only sex to him, so it was different.  She told me maybe I needed to “back off” because she didn’t want someone with feelings for him hanging around. Meanwhile he was telling me that he really does have feelings for me but he wanted to go along with her wishes since he was trying to do this.  He tried to hint that if we had a slipup it would be okay as long as he told her afterwards.  Yeah, whatever, I was done.  I said I spent 13 years married to a man who wouldn’t sleep with me and I am NOT okay with dates that don’t include sex or a babysitter and forced threesomes. 

He was upset with me.  He couldn’t see why I wasn’t okay with this little arrangement.  I said are you kidding me?  You want me to just accept this?  I’m suddenly supposed to be fine with being the third wheel all the time?  Um, no.  I need my one on one time to connect, especially because we’d been seeing each other before she ever came along.

I said I was done with the both of them and since we weren’t going to be seeing each other anymore I would tell him the things I’d been afraid to upset him with before.  I said a real friend should tell you the red flags they see anyhow and I know you’ll think I’m just being a hater but I am going to throw them out there anyhow and you can make your own decisions.  I said this is what I want to leave you with so save it and come back to it someday to see if I am right. He said okay, talk to me.

I told him:

  1. Her family is racist. She’s never dated a black man before.  She said her mom was in shock she is seeing you and told her not to tell her dad.  I know you had a relationship recently where the family’s racism drove you apart and this is something you are going to have to live with for a really long time if you all get serious.
  2. ALL of her exes have been “abusive”, which is a red flag that she may someday be saying that about YOU.  Even if you know you’d never be abusive you did have that one incident where you hit your ex wife that has been haunting you (his ex still brings this up) and this woman might be someone that is so used to abuse she even tries to provoke you to hit her.
  3. She seems like she is trying to isolate you.  She’s already gotten you to completely drop the other women you were seeing and is trying to kick me out of the picture.  A lot of times emotionally abusive people will try and isolate you.  It’s very possible that someone who has been involved with abusive men could be emotionally abusive herself.  She talks down to me already.
  4. She has you getting involved in all of HER activities, martial arts, her church, her social group.  What about YOUR interests, why isn’t she accompanying you to any of those?  It seems like she is trying to change you.  She actually spent time preaching at me while I was there, telling me I should be in church again and that she is “really spiritual” despite admitting that swinging parties go completely against her church’s doctrine. 
  5. She seems really controlling, placing all these demands on you right off the bat.  If she’s like this now, how do you think she is going to be in a couple of years?  A woman who has respect for you is going to follow YOUR lead, not boss you around.

 

  1. I don’t know if I am right about this but she still seems interested in her ex boyfriend, the one she saw for 20 months.  She talked about him a lot and even showed me his picture.

 

  1. Why doesn’t her teenage daughter want to live with her?  Why would she prefer the “abusive” dad?  Even if they have a lot of issues, why would she go 6 months without talking to her?  As a mom that really rubs me the wrong way.  My own mother would do stuff like that but she abandoned us in a lot of other ways too.

 

Then I mentioned the comment about him probably having a lot of robes and that she apparently has some frivolous spending habits with all that stuff she buys but never wears. I reminded him that his ex was a gold digger and he might want to watch out for that to happen again.

He thanked me for my insights and agreed that they were things he should look into and some were very true.  Then a little while later he hits me back saying how could I criticize her about her daughter when I have an out of control son.  I said hey, no one is trying to get serious about and marry me but if they were I would be up front about that.  He is right, my son has a lot of issues but he also knows I love him more than anything in the world and would choose to live with me over anyplace else.  Even if he didn’t I wouldn’t go 6 months without speaking to him.

 

Okay, so then I get a LIVID message from her that he has FORWARDED my entire message to her.  She said I was lying and twisting things to my benefit.  That nothing I said was remotely true. I said, um no, you weren’t meant to see that but I stand behind what I said, it was an opinion based on what I have observed.  I asked why he texted that to her and he said he just wanted to ask her if it was true. 

 

He then texts me to blame me for causing all this “drama”.  He said he can’t believe he is having to deal with this kind of drama from two women when he is all the way overseas and that it’s worse than his ex who is in her mid 20’s or this 20 year old girl.  He was like I thought I was dealing with grown women that could be mature about this.  I said, nope, you caused the drama by SENDING HER my opinion, did you really think she wouldn’t get pissed??  That’s your people, you can deal with the repercussions of that!

 

At that point he was heading off on the plane to come home to the U.S. so I wished him a safe journey and said maybe he’d find a seatmate that wanted to listen to his woman troubles and offer advice, lol.  When he got back though, shit hit the fan because he was still trying to say he really just wished we could all go to the party together and I would agree to have her with him when we had sex.  Never…..

 

It finally got to the point where I blocked him again.  He just seems so brainwashed by this woman already.  WHAT the hell did she do to him??  I don’t get it at all!!  How could he be so bowled over by someone like her??  She must have some serious skills in some area or another!!  Is it in the bedroom?  I know she doesn’t give better blowjobs than me because he was just telling me that I am a head and shoulders above all the rest as far as that is concerned. 

 

Maybe he likes her because she is such a hit to his ego.  37 years and has never been with a black man and now she’s sooooo in love with him!  I admit I probably didn’t flatter his ego enough.  I held back in that regard and didn’t want to come across as to overeager.

 

The only other thing I can think of is that she is some kind of a master manipulator.  During our last argument he threw in my face that they are going on a cruise together for “their” birthday.  Apparently their birthdays are the same week and he said this means they are meant for each other.  He really seems to believe that bullshit too.  It’s amazing.  My ex husband and I were 4 days apart, big fucking deal.  I was like, well, it sure beats roses that didn’t mean anything to you and he said “you are trying to guilt trip me but it’s not working”.  Um, okay.  He then said I was twisting everything about her.  Apparently she’s really pulling some puppet strings because, no, I was being real.

 

In any case, it’s crazy seeing him act like such a fool over someone he’s only known a few weeks. He’s been totally snowed. Who decides to get all serious THAT quickly?  Seems like a train wreck waiting to happen, but it’s no longer any of my concern.

P.S. No clue why WordPress decided to number my paragraphs after #5 both #1 again. Maybe they think those are extra important, lol. 😉

STUCK in a prison of my own making

bible

All this writing about my ex -husband is bringing up more and more memories, things that make me question how I could ever think that my marriage was happy and good, but I did.  I thought that we were living the way we were “supposed” to be and that I was doing the right thing in not only listening to my husband, but being supportive of him.  So when other people were critical of his extremism, I was quick to back him up.  Remember, he was constantly drilling into me that we were doing this for God, putting Christ first in our lives, living for the Lord.  At times, when I would question or disagree with something he would re-iterate that it wasn’t “right” to question God’s plan for our lives, as written in the Word.

I don’t want to give the impression that I never questioned or challenged his beliefs, because I did, and frequently, but he ALWAYS had an answer for anything I brought up.  He always had a well thought out “Biblical” answer.  He’d been studying the Bible his entire life and HIS father was also a preacher.  He was always quite sure HIS answer was the RIGHT answer and that there was no other way and everyone who thought differently was wrong.  Even his own parents and family, including his father, the very old school preacher, sometimes felt he was taking things too far.  In fact most of our social interactions with other people as a family included hours of debating between him and whoever we were visiting with.  Hours of him debating until he felt like he’d “won” the discussion, affirming that his interpretation was correct.  The debates were virtually always about the Bible, or politics.

I can’t even tell you how overwhelmed bringing up either of those topics makes me feel today.  That’s all that was ever talked about.  I got so tired of religion and politics.  Anytime I’d bring up something else interesting he’d brush it off and change the subject, unless of course it was one of HIS pet hobbies.  He’d go through phases of getting really into one thing or another for a period of time and that would dominate the discussions for a while, to the point where I could no longer stand hearing about it.  For a time it would be gardening, or making bow and arrows, or sheep.  I kid you not, he went through a phase where all he talked about was SHEEP, like all kinds of various breeds and whatnot.  He wanted to start a sheep farm along with his ministry.  I thought I was going to go crazy hearing about sheep.

I know it probably sounds like I’m just bitching about his personality but it’s more than that.  The resentment that built up was so strong because he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise!  Any time I tried to talk to him he would brush off anything I had to say and only want to talk about HIS obsessions.  He even went as far as to tell me that my thoughts and ideas and the things I was interested in were “stupid”.  My dreams and hopes for the future, in his mind, were completely irrelevant.  We were only going to follow HIS dreams, no matter how far- fetched.

In fact, one time, when I suggested that once the children were grown I would like to go back to work and make money so that we could travel the world as a couple when we retired, he got very upset with me.  He said that I was supposed to be helping him in the ministry and that he thought that when the children were grown I should continue to do so and not be trying to do my own thing. 

So, in the face of all this I made do the best I could and tried to support whatever it was HE was interested in at the time.  When he went through a gardening phase he would plant the garden and obsess over all kinds of seed varieties and leave me with the work of weeding and watering and storing all these vegetables and trying to cook with them.  Totally made me hate farms and gardening, lol.  We had about an acre of garden and that was a lot of work!! If it was bow and arrows or sheep or whatever else he was interested in I spent a lot of time just LISTENING to him talking about it, offering ideas, whatever I could but it was exhausting and he never gave me a chance to have any hobbies of my own.

Keep in mind that I was doing all this with babies on my hip and toddlers attached to my ankles.  I was stuck at home because we only had one car and couldn’t go anywhere by myself.  He would be off 40 miles away working and attending seminary and I was home on 6 acres of land, surrounded by Amish folks for neighbors.  I had no tv, no internet, no cell phone and our land line was 12 cents a minute to call anyone out of town so I was limited there too.  No music other than Christian, no radio, and very few books. 

This is how isolated I was.  I was desperate for adult conversation.  When he’d come home I was so eager to talk to him but most times he’d brush me off and pretend not to hear what I said, heading off to read the Bible or “pray”, which involved walking all about the property while I did all the housecleaning and caring for children.  He’d ignore me to the point where I had to raise my voice multiple times to get his attention.  I’m generally pretty soft spoken so this was out of character.  He made me feel like a nag if I even wanted to talk about something cute the kids had done that day.  I tried to remain positive but became increasingly frustrated.  He’d say he ignored me because I didn’t have anything interesting to say, but he never really gave me a chance.

I’d also become increasingly isolated from my own family and friends.  He told me that I shouldn’t associate with them because they were not Christians and would therefore bring me down.  On the rare occasions that we visited with them he was actually kind of rude and distant, only talking to preach the Bible at them or spout his view on politics, knowing they disagreed.  It was embarrassing and further drove them away from spending time with us.  He had only negative comments to make about them and would point out their “wrong” lifestyles.

 I was unable to go to any kinds of women’s meetings at the church or meet new friends that way because he and his parents (who eventually moved next door and kind of ran things) felt that it would be irresponsible of me to expect him or them to “babysit” for me so I could be running off socializing.  They told me horror stories of women who left their husbands watching the kids and how these women ended up having affairs.  In fact, I once left my ex with the baby for about 20 minutes so that I could drive 5 miles down the highway to McDonalds to get a salad one evening and his parents panicked.  They ran over to see what was “wrong” and made a huge deal out of him being “left” with the baby.  Oh, my goodness, they were SO WORRIED about him trying to take care of an infant all by himself!! They thought I was practically abandoning him.

On top of that he would compare me to the Amish women.  He’d say how they were working in the fields all day but that he thought I was being “lazy”.  My “laziness” included caring for kids all day, keeping the house clean and menu planning and cooking, laundry, keeping the budget and paying bills, typing and editing all his papers for Seminary (I swear at least 60% of that Master’s degree he has should be mine, he supplied the thesis but I did most of the work in writing it out), and planning out everything for teaching Children’s church each Sunday.  And oh yeah, the garden, freezing and canning, feeding the cows, mending clothes.  It wasn’t like I ever just sat around watching tv….or like I ever had time to “pray” like he did.

He was the Children’s Pastor, but I wrote the puppet shows, planned the activities, made homemade goodies for the kids each week, organized the Christmas and Easter plays, the bake sales, the walkathons, dealt with the parents, attended board meetings (all with kids in tow) and did virtually everything but his 10 minutes of Bible preaching. 

Unfortunately, it was a small country church and there really weren’t many people I could socialize with there, even though we came 3 times a week.  Mostly it was older people or I was involved teaching the kids and didn’t have a chance.  Plus the ex and his parents were always reminding me that as a pastor’s wife I was always going to be living in the fishbowl, on display for everyone to see and needed to be above reproach and come across as “perfect”.  Not that in their eyes I ever could be!  I was under constant criticism, and never got any praise for a job well done.  I tried, I really did but it was never “good enough”.

One of the things that could never be “good enough” was dinner.  Though I was completely clueless on how to cook before getting married I learned and learned well.  A lot of people praised my cooking and it is something I enjoy doing, I eventually even wrote out my own cookbook, but my ex would only comment if he thought something was wrong with the food or that I was doing something wrong.  He’d stand over my shoulder and offer “advice” that was mostly useless but kind of controlling. 

He also expected dinner to be ready the instant he walked in the door after work.  I didn’t really even mind playing the 1950’s housewife, but the problem was that he didn’t come home from work every day at the same time!  So it was impossible to predict exactly when to have the food ready and he was THAT particular about it.  If I was a few minutes late he’d act hateful and irritated, slamming things around, glaring at me, and never explicitly SAYING what he was pissed about.  He made it clear though, that he thought I was a failure as a wife. 

So to end this post (which maybe sounds like a gripe session, lol) I am going to point out some more ways in which this behavior was abusive.  If you read through and are aware of the signs you will see a big one was the isolation.  I was isolated from family, from friends, and even to an extent from church people.  I was made to feel like they were always watching, always critical. 

In fact, there was a time when the senior Pastor’s wife had given a little speech on journaling and prayer journaling and I was so excited to come home and WRITE.  I love to write (as you can see!) and hadn’t in a long time.  My ex shot that down pretty quickly.  He said you should NEVER write out your feelings and thoughts because someone could find it and read it later and use it against him in the ministry in the future.  I’m not sure why he assumed I would be writing anything negative but he did and discouraged me from ever writing down a journal.  I was also reminded repeatedly by his parents that divorced men could not be preachers in their denomination.  This was a subtle way of insuring I felt horribly guilty that if I ever left him I’d be ruining his entire career. 

Besides the isolation, he made sure to criticize me for the very things I was trying to do best.  I poured my entire life into children and homemaking and he would subtly try to make me feel like I wasn’t doing any of it “well enough”.  He’d throw little passive aggressive “tantrums” when I didn’t have dinner done the second he walked in or lurk over my shoulder while I was cooking to make sure I was doing it “right”.  He rarely raised his voice, he never cursed, but his attitude was one of disdain.  He’d point out the hardworking Amish women but “forget” that they had lots of other people helping them and lots of older women and children to help with little ones.  They had a social life and community.  Nevermind that my mother in law was always telling me the Amish women have short lifespans. :p

He trivialized any of my interests or ideas and even kept me from writing for myself (though it was encouraged when I was writing HIS papers).  I did a lot of work, all day long and was trying to please but none of it ever returned a compliment.  He had nothing nice to say and it was all expected.  He felt “entitled” to be waited on hand and foot while he did whatever the hell he wanted or lie around “praying”.  I was made to feel that his “praying” was first and foremost and never given a chance to do so myself unless it was lead by him in a “family devotion”.  To argue with that would be to go against God because his “praying” was important in determining his future and ministry.

There was even a time where he was out of work for 7 months straight and at home ALL DAY LONG and he didn’t lift a finger to help.  He “prayed” most of the day away and I was expected to continue to run things and also to help him find a job.  I looked and looked and he’d accuse me of “not having enough faith” if I stressed out over bills or if I suggested that maybe I should try to work instead.  If I worried about money it was a lack of faith.  If I didn’t think God was going to drop a job down from the sky or send us money in the mail it was all my failure to “believe” strongly enough.  Notice how any problems or difficulties were MY FAULT.  It wasn’t his lack of motivation or his job loss, but I was holding us back because I wasn’t giving it all to God.  The blame was all on ME.

Not to mention his parents would harass me daily, also blaming ME for his lack of work.  They thought it must be me who wasn’t “getting after him enough” to go out and get work, that I was expecting help from him with the children and letting him sleep in too late.  It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with his own personal work ethic!

So blame, isolation, knocking down my dreams and things I wanted to do, putting me in a position where I was incapable of going anywhere (out in the middle of nowhere with no car), subtly making me feel like a failure no matter how hard I tried, convincing me that others were also being critical (church members)…

Oh yeah, on that note he was AWFUL on Sunday mornings.  He’d lie around, getting himself ready at the last minute, while I was expected to have all the children and myself ready in time for church.  There was always an extra diaper to be changed or someone had lost their shoe or another issue to be dealt with and he’d stand there and fume instead of pitching in.  Then he’d act angry and drive really fast or run stop signs in an attempt to frighten me into doing better next time. He was constantly saying how I had “no concept of time” and was “always late”.  A funny thing I’ve noticed since the divorce is that HE is always late on his own!  Much more often than me!!  He has also been witnessed driving fast and running stoplights when he was upset with his current girlfriend.  Hmmmm…  Old habits die hard…

He’d also be nasty regarding me getting myself ready.  He’d say it wasn’t important for me to wear makeup or dress nice and if I asked if I looked okay he said I was being “vain” and that I should be happy to go to church in a potato sack.  Never a compliment and he acted as though he didn’t find me attractive.  He was never one of those guys who said “you look nice” or used the word “beautiful” and his attitude combined with his disinterest in sex made me feel so ugly.  It was such a relief to find that other men still found me attractive, once I got back out in the “world”. 

In case you aren’t following, this is a continuation of a couple posts I have written about my ex husband, including Emotional and spiritual abuse, how it all began and How he got in, breaking down the door.  You may also want to check out my post When Men Don’t Want Sex because it talks about him and his attitude towards me in that regard. 

How he got in, breaking down the door

breakingdowndoor

I don’t know if any of you all watch Wife Swap on tv, but I saw an interesting episode the other day when I was visiting the Professor. I normally don’t watch much in the way of television, so I don’t follow the show, but he was finishing up his shower (I got there early) and it happened to be on.

In any case, there was a polyamorous family involved, as well as an ultra –religious, conservative, couple, so it caught my eye. I cannot tell you how much the right wing, conservative, politician guy reminded me of my ex -husband. Not in looks, (this guy had crazy hair and my ex was actually a pretty good looking fellow) but his behavior.

The polyamorous wife who was staying at his house as part of the swap seemed mostly sweet and easygoing. Her only request was that they not discuss religion or politics, but dude would not stop trying to shove the “gospel” (according to his interpretation) and his political beliefs upon her, despite her setting up a jar and insisting the family members put money inside every time those topics were brought up. The money would go to benefit some kind of gay and lesbian organization. At one point he even put in a $250 check, just to “buy” the chance to spout scriptures from Leviticus putting down her lifestyle and letting her know he thought she was hellbound. Eventually she ended up in tears, unable to respond or know what to say to these accusations or how to react to his attitude of superiority. The kids watched on in seeming agreement, obviously having been taught that their father’s way was the only one as well.

Watching that brought back a lot of memories of my marriage. It brought back the feeling of what it was like to try and discuss something rationally with my ex only to be shot down constantly by his superior attitude regarding Biblical knowledge and politics. Those were also his two favorite subjects (and he has degrees in both). In fact, no matter what I tried to talk about, he virtually always brought it back around to religion or politics in a very insistent way that only HE could be right and that nothing I had to say was in any way relevant or worth considering. This was the one area in life where he was definitely NOT passive. He could out argue and out debate and out-shout anyone for hours when it came to discussing his conservative viewpoints or interpretation of the Bible.

So while outwardly my ex- husband was passive natured, when it came to religion he was convinced that not only was he right but he was called and ordained of God to teach this stuff to others. I knew exactly WHY this conservative couple decided to be on Wife Swap (though they ended up bailing and declining to finish the show). They felt it was their God given DUTY to preach the word to anyone and everyone they could. There was no way Mr. Politician Husband was gonna shut up about this, money in the jar or not because that was his SOLE reason for being there, on TV, where they could get their message out, not only to this woman, but to anyone who was watching.

I am quite familiar with this mindset, because I lived it, daily, for almost 15 years. During our courtship I pretty much became my ex- husband’s pet project, a person he could convert and change into what he thought I should become, which was absolutely nothing close to what I WAS at the time. Don’t think I went in without a fight either! When we met I was quite liberal and my religious beliefs were far from Biblical.

In a way, it was sort of like a war. We debated a lot of topics and went head to head on things because I vehemently disagreed with his worldview and mindset. Yet, eventually I relented and gave in. He won. Why?

I can only say now, looking back, that I believe it was because he began hitting me where it hurt (verbally, not physically). He started to tear me down as a person, my life up until I had met him, my beliefs, just me. Telling me how wrong everything about me and my family was in the eyes of God and how shameful I was. He found my insecurities and doubts, the personal things I’d revealed, and used them to make me feel bad about myself. While to me these debates were originally just interesting discussions, to him they were for a purpose. In his view, a “higher” purpose.

I think he felt like he was “saving” me. Saving me from myself, my “sinful” nature, and my “evil” heart, things he said everyone had, but seemed to have a way of making it appear that I was worse than most. He’d quote scriptures to me and I’d express doubt. So he insisted we read through the entire Bible together as a couple. This became how we spent our dates (hot, I know right?). He said it would “prove” the things he was saying were true. I’d never read the Bible but I was open to hearing what another person had to say, probably too open. He used those sessions to drill into me his beliefs and ideas, and what it all meant, with a very authoritarian attitude. You couldn’t question God and he’d shame me when I tried.

Eventually, my skepticism wore out. He convinced me that he loved me like no one else would, that he wanted to marry me and that he would treat me so much better than all those horrible people in my past had done. It was true that I’d come from an abusive past and had some experiences as a young person that would be considered bad by a lot of people, yet he vilified them even more. He said he didn’t want to have sex with me until we were married, out of love and respect, that he wasn’t going to be like all those other guys who were only using me and treating me badly (his interpretation of course, which confused me and led me to question any times I’d thought may have been different in the past).

Admittedly I’d never experienced anything like this and I guess I fell for it, feeling like he was doing me some sort of “favor” by being with a girl like me. After all, I already had doubts about myself and insecurities, doubts that men wanted me for anything more than “just sex” and doubts about my marriage worthiness. Heck I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to get married, but what if this really was the only man who would be willing to take me? That’s sort of how he made me feel, and honestly I think he viewed it that way. Due to my sexual past I was “damaged goods” that no one would really want. Sadly, though I hadn’t really viewed it in that light before, I started to wonder. Is this how it really was? Did guys really think like that? Was I as awful as he made me out to be? If this “nice”, “Christian” man thought of me this way wouldn’t others be even crueler?

Basically, he was following the standard abuser pattern. Setting me up to feel like he was the only person that would be “good” to me and all the other guys would treat me worse because I was such an awful person, that didn’t deserve it. Only he was using the Bible, scriptures and religion to put the fear of God into me and the fear of Hell (which of course he believed in and told me if I didn’t that was where I’d be going). I was 18 years old, with no clue about the Bible or religion and wondered if he could be right? What if he was right and I made the mistake of not listening?

Eventually, with lots of pressure from him and from his parents and also from the church we’d started attending together, I caved in and got “saved” and baptized into the denomination he’d been a part of since birth. It’s not that I don’t believe the people there had good intentions, I think many of them did, but he went above and beyond even what the church taught, believing in a very old fashioned, hardcore, Bible thumping version of it all. After we got married his views just seemed to get more and more conservative.

We couldn’t go to movie theatres. I never understood that one, or how it was “against God”, but he was adamant. There would be no drinking whatsoever, or setting foot in any kind of a bar. Even restaurants with a prominent bar were questionable. We didn’t own a tv, which was fine because I didn’t have one in my dorm or ever have time to watch it anyway. He was adamantly against anything “secular” in our home and especially music. This was one of the hardest things for me. I broke down in tears when he asked me to throw away all my music because it wasn’t glorifying to God. I didn’t want to do it and he guilt tripped me into it, reminding me over and over how if I was “really” a serious Christian I wouldn’t hold onto “things of this world”. He was like what if our future children listened to this stuff? And went on to say how upset that would make him, if one day our children found one of my beloved tapes (hey this was back in the late 90’s) and turned away from God because of it.

I finally relented. He wouldn’t even let me sell my music because he said what if someone bought it and we caused them to turn from God by listening to it? So I threw caseloads of music into the dumpster behind our apartment that I had acquired throughout the years, music of all different genres, stuff that he said was in no way “glorifying to God” due to being “secular”. Any time he caught me humming to myself in the days, months and years afterwards, he would start singing loudly, in an attempt to drown me out with praise songs and hymns. I could no longer sing unless it was worshipful to God. On road trips and in the home, he’d want me to sing WITH him and sing songs I didn’t know, criticizing and making fun of me any time I made a mistake. Despite his own off key renditions and my years of choir practice, he was convinced that he was a much better singer.

He made me get rid of all my books too. He said he felt no books were necessary other than the Bible. He would reluctantly agree to occasional other books and later to children’s stories from the library with our kids but he was especially against marriage and relationship books and anything that reeked of “Psychology”, which was my major in college and what I have a degree in. He would make fun of and put down anything I said that he thought was using “psychology”, even going so far as to laugh and mock in later years when I worried that his calling the children “dummies” or putting them down could affect them badly in the future.

I could go on, there is so much more to tell, but I’m going to stop here today, while pointing out a couple of the ways in which his abusive nature was beginning to show. He was attempting to make me feel bad about myself as a person, to see him as the only rescuer, to mock the very thing I had a degree in, to take away things I loved and was interested in (music and books) and tell me they were “bad” for me (and future children) and in direct conflict with God, all to make me feel guilty and “wrong”. He would out-sing me and try to cover up the songs in my mind with the “songs of God”. This is even when I was singing songs from musicals I was in as a child or things I sang in choir, not stuff you’d necessarily associate with “evil”. In later years he told me that I “hated music” and that he was the only one who liked it, just because I wasn’t interested in hearing him blare Opera or classical music at high volumes when I was trying to focus on something else. At that point he’d decided that those forms of secular music were okay but anything I liked was not. Not that I even dislike Opera or classical music, particularly, it was just the way he was using it to drown me out.

When I had my affair it was such a relief because here was someone who is highly musically talented (he plays the piano, used to be in a jazz band, writes his own music, sings beautifully and often for people’s weddings and music was one of his majors in college) who actually APPRECIATED it when I sent him a video of a song I liked and reminisced with me about things we used to listen to when we were young. It was like, wow, I’m not crazy after all. There isn’t anything wrong with what I like even though I have someone here telling me I’m wrong all the time and that I have bad taste and what the hell I “don’t like music”? Me???

Yeah, more and more when I write it out I can see just how unreal it all was and how stereotypically his behavior folded out. In case you aren’t following this is a continuation of my last post Emotional and spiritual abuse, how it all began I’m sure I’ll have much more to write in further posts. Stay tuned.