When the spouse and I began dating in December 1990, I was just getting out of a very damaging relationship. The Idiot had done everything in his power to tear me down, isolate me from friends and family, and destroy my self-esteem.
He did not succeed.
I had known D since the fall of 1987, and looked up to him as a 'big brother' type. In fact, sometime in the summer of 1990, I actually left The Idiot and sought D's support in this decision. He and a friend had taken me to dinner and let me ramble on about the issues I'd been having. D was staying in a motel while he worked, and offered to let me stay with him. I spent a platonic night with him, then gathered my courage and returned to my apartment in Arcadia. I learned The Idiot had also decided we needed some time apart, and hadn't even noticed my failure to come home.
Anyway, by November, I had decided the only way I was ever going to rid myself of him was to sneak out of town in the middle of the night. But after receiving D's letter, and going to see him, everything changed.
He was glad to see me, and we didn't really have much time to chat, for he'd been drinking when my friend BJG and I arrived. He wanted us to stay over, but BJG had to be at work early the next day, and I had driven. He decided to come up and take me to lunch. Eighteen hours later, I spent the night with him, and we decided to only see each other on the weekends. A month later, after one final fight with The Idiot, I gave up my beloved apartment and moved to Indianapolis. Five months later, we were married.
What have I learned in the past 25 years?
-This charming man, who promised me the moon, proved to be worse than The Idiot.
-His favorite game is 'woulda coulda shoulda'.
-All the plans we made, pre-marital, suddenly went out the window.
-He's all talk and no action.
-His bark is way worse than the Idiot's ever was.
-When he has the $$ to do things we'd planned, he has no TIME. When he has the time, there's no $$.
-I have to pick my battles. This usually means losing my temper and bursting into tears when I can't take it anymore, and this usually calms him down. BUT, I can't use this tactic all the time.
-He has destroyed my word. When I make a promise, he reneges on it.
-If he gets interested in something, that's fine. But if I get involved, I'll usually end up surpassing him, so he shuts down.
-He's very jealous and resentful of the fact I have a college degree while he only finished high school.
-He was both physically and emotionally abused as a child, both by grandparents and his uncles.
-He talks a good game, but is usually wrong, esp when it comes to one-upmanship.
-He likes to repeat the same stories over and over and over.....
-His voice is loud, esp when he thinks he's being challenged.
-He tells me he supports my writing, but gripes about spending any money.
-I made one tiny mistake over 15 years ago, and he's holding it over my head, refusing to let me have access to the checkbook. I have to ask him for cash, which I will then hear about for the next several weeks.
-We've been on the verge of divorce at least 6 times.
-I often wonder if he's destroyed my capacity to love. I love my kids,my parents, my close friends, but not him. He destroyed any respect I ever felt for him.
-He's a control freak (but then again, so am I!
-My libido peaked at 30, but was dead by age 40 (at least, with him. It really died at age 25!)
The good parts?
-I've been able to stay home and raise our kids, and work on my writing.
-I have three wonderful kids
-I have a roof over my head, steady flow of income (until his pension or SS runs out), and plenty of food to eat.
-My cooking skills have increased.
-While the self-esteem has wavered a bit, it's still fully intact.