Beware of triggers.
Part One – One sided power games
Point six – partner is always to tired, busy or occupied – no teamwork.
Does this sound familiar? Once again, it sure did for me. I have heard alot of people say ‘it’s like I’m with a child’ or ‘I’ve gotta look after my big baby too’, I’m guilty of this. Many times I found myself bantering to my husbands needs because he was too tired, busy or preoccupied. I always countered my reasoning to do so because he did work hard and was tired. He worked alot and then came home and cooked the family meal, he was busy. In his spare time he would do leisure activities such as fishing or woodwork, he was preoccupied.
I also allowed this because, as a wife, it’s my job to make sure my partner is comfortable and relaxed. If he had a day off, yes go fishing, please relax and put your feet up. You work hard and are constantly busy, have a break. We love you when you are rested and happy. We appreciate you and everything you do.
The problem with allowing this abusive tactic to manifest into something that is considered normal and expected, is when it’s not reciprocated. I would bend over backwards to banter to his needs and place more and more responsibility on my shoulders (hence my eventual nervous breakdown). I also worked, and cleaned the entire house and found no time for my own hobbies. He never acknowledged me or my efforts. I, to, was busy and tired but I still was, even now, expected to banter to his needs without question or discussion.
I didn’t really notice this tactic until my son was born. My entire life changed (for the better, I might add). I was wholly responsible for this tiny human being, and loved every second. It was around this time I noticed that his behavior didn’t change. The world still revolved around him and there was no compromise. No acknowledgement that my workload had gotten so much bigger and stressful. No comforting words or gestures to encourage me to say I appreciate your efforts.
I deliberately didn’t include him in alot of the baby duties, as he made it quite clear he had no time to help (you wanted the baby, you look after it). If I asked for even the smallest help, he would throw a tantrum saying how hard he works and how he has to cook dinner every night. It’s not fair if he can’t go fishing, just to let me sleep in abit, cause He is stressed and needs a break. And no, that’s not a typo the word He is there because he was clearly more important.
I would be at my wits end with tiredness and stress and beg for help (I would only ever ask if I was desperate, even now … ever) but the same reasoning would always be thrown at me. I only worked part time … not full time. I serve customers all day … not lift heavy steel. I could sing at home … he can’t fish at home, could he. And when I say thrown I mean yelled with alcohol infused abuse. I did everything alone.
I loved my baby and was happy to care for him wholeheartedly, without question. But I did start to resent my husband because our lives had changed dramatically and he just continued as though everything was as it was. Please don’t get me wrong he did cook the meals for bub and bathed him everyday (I thought it would be a good bonding experience for him, he and bub loved it). It’s just the getting up all night and the hospital trips the not getting home in time for me to work and then being rude and unappreciative to My friends who stepped up to help me care for bub till he got home (I lost friends because of this).
A relationship works both ways. Do not allow your partner to be babied and constantly get their way. Sometimes life is hard and you’ve gotta step up and take the bull by the horns and get on with it. Alot of people can, and do, do this on their own. But it does become frustrating when you have a perfectly able partner sitting, drinking and then stating ‘why is the boy crying?’. (I don’t know, why don’t you get up and look yourself?)
The clincher for me leaving him came from this tactic. I was actually involved in musical (yes, I’m a singer) and I had discussed with him and my son what the rehursals and shows entailed and we all agreed that it would be beneficial for my mental health (after my breakdown) to do something for me, for a change. I ended up having to take my son to most of the rehursals so he wouldn’t have to ‘worry’ about caring for him. (There’s alot more to this story which I may elaborate upon in later posts) Essentially, he decided to go fishing instead of come and see my show. He was so nasty about how selfish I’d been with the show and came up with the never ending ‘I work hard, I cook for this family, I deserve to go fishing, for me. It’s always all about you (he’s referring to me BTW) you know’. This was screamed at me, as usual. And we’d had a discussion about me doing the show “I asked permission” and he still called me selfish when he still went fishing every weekend. I never asked for anything and still struggle to ask anyone for anything at risk of be selfish. Which I truly, still unfortunately believe, something I need to start doing. When something is constantly repeated to you (as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs) you start believing it to be true.
Over the course of fifteen years I realised that his needs were always going to be put before mine and his sons. I needed to make my life happier and healthier for me and my beautiful boy and it clearly was not going to happen with this man who was always tired, busy or preoccupied with himself. Partnership, teamwork, respect and love is so important in any relationship and I felt none of this from my husband and realised I never actually have and never will.
I started planning mine and my sons exit from that ‘happy’ home.
THIS IS ABUSE!!!
If you, or anyone you know, experiencing this abusive tactic, please, I need you to seek help. Talk about domestic violence and let’s help each other.
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You may feel alone, but everyone loves you and wants what’s best for you. L