Friday, April 13, 2018

It Was My Birthday...Again

Well, yesterday was my birthday.  I'm one year before a milestone birthday.  It was disappointing, again.  I really shouldn't even care.  I try not to care.  I try to maintain low expectations.  To her credit, Sybil started the day off on a good foot by singing ""Happy Birthday" in the same manner as Marilyn Monroe to JFK.  Pretty good.  The kids text me happy birthday.  Parents sent a card.

That was it.

My birthday present from Sybil was a sandwhich from Chik-Fil-A.  As I was taking Son #3 home, she asked me to bake the cake I bought for his birthday, which was the day before.  I guess I was supposed to buy my (our?) birthday cake and bake it, too.  Anyway, kind of a bummer.  We had spent nearly all the previous day celebrating Son #3's fourth birthday.  It was fun and we all had a good time.  I really didn't want much.  Maybe a nice meal, maybe a card, something.  I guess her early morning acknowledgement is all I get.

I really feel like I screwed up my life.  I realize that I have many blessings: great kids, earn a good living which allows me material success.  Looking back, I blame myself for being so vain.  Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.  No truer words.  I had options.  I could have had a spouse that might have been more loving and caring.  I kind of threw those chances away, though.  I thought they weren't good enough.  I was hung up on outward appearances.  I didn't see into their core.  I knew looks faded, but I put way too much stock in it.  As I've battled problems with low self-esteem, I have come to realize that was the why I pushed these potentials away.  Outwardly, they were just "ok".  I put too much stock into appearances.  As I become "an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone", I wish I could go back in time and just kick my ass.  That's the only thing different I would do.

Anyway, I know I should give up any hope of a fun birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Valentine's day, etc.  Still trying.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Brinkmanship

Ok...so the last post was a little premature.  As I struggle to undo nearly 25 years of conditioning, I am learning the "push-pull" that Sybil exudes.  Also, I am seeing an ugly side (another one) where she is a "user".  Lastly, I am seeing how truly superficial her emotions really are.

Yesterday we had another blow up.  Briefly, I made breakfast pizza for everyone.  As this was my first attempt, I knew things would not go perfectly.  Anyway, the crust was done, but the eggs on the pizza where a little underdone.  Unknowingly, I presented Sybil with under-cooked eggs.  She gagged; I immediately took the pizza; and put it back in the oven and made sure it was cooked.  When I gave her the thoroughly cooked piece, she refused it because the first bite made her feel so bad.  Since I had not eaten, I sat down and ate it.  Later, she starts the conversation to say that, while she appreciated my efforts, she did not appreciate my eating the piece in front of her.  And, I should have known that she was so grossed out that I should have offered something else.  I became defensive and let her know that I was spent an hour straightening the kitchen and preparing the food.  In the back of my mind she was acting so dramatic and immature.  I tried to maintain Medium Chill.  It was so difficult for me.  The conversation continued to where she was sobbing that I just don't care about her.  Finally, I acquiesced to get some peace.  This morning Sybil wanted to cuddle and have sex (which we did).  Now, if I were so upset that I was sobbing and saying my wife was acting like an "asshole", I would be so hurt that the last thing on my mind would be to want sex. 

I have always known that Sybil's emotions were superficial, but the lack of depth is truly amazing.  The act of not understanding her was the worst thing in the world.  Yet, the very next day she was loving.  Is that "hoovering"?  I think so.  I just want to get away.  I don't think I continue this fight.  The constant having to monitor myself.  I have to not show emotions, but I called "robotic" if I don't show emotions. 

Another thing that is become glaring as I struggle to get out of the FOG is Sybil's ability to not just manipulate people, but also use people.  She seems to think nothing of demanding our older kids set aside their lives to take care of our 4 year old.  She thinks nothing of demanding of a backrub, yet become angry if not done to her liking (although I am so tired I cannot keep my eyes open). 

It boils down to boundaries.  It boils down to kind of deciding to care a little bit less.  This is hard for me, as I have morphed (trained?) into someone that puts other's needs first (codependent?).  Instituting boundaries is very difficult, but it is something I MUST do.  If not for my sake, then for 4 yo.  Honestly, if not for him, I would have left already.  I would rather live in celibacy and peace.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Things May be Coming to a Head

So this has been a week from Hell.  Sybil has been the same; I am acting differently.  I have grown tired of being treated rudely with snarky comments and rude behavior.  She talks to me worse than she would talk to anyone else in the world.  I am tired of it.  I have started calling her out on it.  Two episodes this week where she was being rude and snarky to me.  Each ended the same way: she stomped off.  The first one was the ol' classic "you are making me treat you this way" schtick.  When I called her out, she literally said, "I would not treat you this way, if you did not frustrate me".  She she stomped off in a huff.  No apology, no admission, no cooling off so we could have a real conversation.  Nope.  Just left me there.  On the second one, she simply looked through me spun around and stomped off to another room.  Again, no admission of guilt...I mean I made her do it by "frustrating her".

I just do not think I care anymore.  I am too tired of it.  Last night I did instigate an argument because I just am over it.  I have too much anger and resentment.  See, I understand we are human and we make mistakes.  I understand people can be frustrated and act out.  I have no beef with that.  What I am angry about is the total lack of respect Sybil has for me.  I brought this up to her as to why I am angry and hurt.  Her response?  I do the same things.  On the surface that is a true statement.  I have had a "tone" or used the wrong words in moments of frustration.  The difference is I tend to own it and try to deescalate the situation.  Sybil?  Nope.  It ALWAYS someone else's fault.

The funny thing is during the argument Sybil kept saying "I can't do this anymore."  Meaning she can't continue fighting.  With the exception of last night and a very few other times, I do not create and extend the arguments.  Last night?  Yeah, I was upset.  I wanted to argue.  I wanted to revel in the anger.  Feast on the pain. 

I grow tired of living with this emotionally stunted "adult".  There is no resolution to any of this and there never will be.  Sybil lacks the capacity to see me for anything other than an object.  Something that has utility to her.  Whenever she decides I am no longer useful, I am sure that she will cast me aside.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Quote Sums Up our Marriage

‘The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.’

The Great Divorce
C.S. Lewis

Sybil is progressively worsening.  Now, she has always been difficult to deal with, especially a couple of days before her period.  Not always, but that is when we have the most drama.  Last week was no exception.

Since we work together, Sybil and have to put together products to sell.  There is a machine that I use to cut things that go into making these products.  On a particular day, I finished all of the orders that were in front of me.  As we were nearing the end of the day, I decided to turn the machine off.  Turning it off and on is merely a flip of a switch.  Not a big deal...or so I thought.

Later that day, Sybil made the comment that I should have informed her that I was turning the machine off.  I explained why I turned it off and added that it is no big deal to, simply, turn it back on.  As Sybil does, she indicated that my lack of communication is the hallmark problem in our marriage.  That I just want to be a "one man show".  I told her that it is nothing to turn the machine on, if needed.  She pressed on.  Finally, I stated that her reaction makes me feel that she wants to control me, and stifle my ability to think for myself.  Yet, Sybil persisted.  Noticing that Sybil did not even break stride over my feelings, did not address my feelings, nor acted in way that even heard my feelings, I realized that she setting me up for JADEing and circular arguments.  I decided to let her rant and keep my mouth shut, as there is nothing to gain.  Finally, I stated that next time I can (not will) inform her.

The next morning Sybil is acting detached, as I am preparing to go to the office.  As I am leaving, she asks me if I want to know what is wrong.  Knowing that this is not going to be fun, I say sure.  She proceeds to restart the previous day's argument about turning off the machine means I don't take her into consideration.  I am so angry with so many emotions going on, that I spontaneously start laughing.  I cannot help it.  The ridiculousness of the situation hits me so hard that I cannot even speak; I just start laughing.  In doing so, I find that Sybil hates that more than be ignored.  She tells me to go to hell.  I leave.  She chases me to continue ranting.  I finally extricate myself and go to the office.

As I am pulling up, I get a text message stating that Sybil is packing her bags, taking Son#3 and leaving.  I reply something about that is mistake, yes I should not have laughed because that was rude.  However, leaving would solve any problems and may create more of them.  Yada yada.  Still trying to talk her down.

At the end of the day, Sybil informs me that she is taking Son#3 to a hotel.  She has packed her bag.  Again, I have to talk her down.  She did have a bag packed and was ready to go.  I managed to keep her from leaving.

Why did keep her from leaving?  A few reasons.  I don't want the house.  It is not a bad house, just more than I need or want.  If she left, I was concerned that I would be stuck with it.  Also, Son#3 is paramount.  I want him to have as normal of an upbringing as possible.  I realize that is not possible with a crazy mother.  Whether Sybil Narcissistic Personality Disorder or bi-polar or just crazy does not matter.  Being there for me son is reason #1 for trying to keep us together.  Lastly, God hates divorce.  I made a solemn vow, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that vow.  If Sybil chooses to leave and break her vow, then that is on her.  I will not do it.

Anyway more of the same.  If I want to keep the peace, I have to make Sybil feel that she is the center of my universe.  She has such emptiness and relies on others to fill it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Emotional Pain is Worse Than Physical Pain

About ten years ago on a family camping trip, I was squatting whilst washing dishes.  I was in that position for a awhile.  Suddenly, I felt a painful "pop" in my lower back.  After that episode, if I lay in bed too long or sleep on the wrong mattress, I have lower back pain that will go away by walking around or sitting upright.

The reason I bring that up is that we had to go out of town last weekend.  My best friend from high school was retiring, I had not seen him in years, and I wanted to go.  Sybil, graciously, helped with arrangements.  One of which was a two night stay in an overpriced hotel in Nashville.  The beds were terrible.  The first night I got my back spasm and had to get up pretty early to get the kink to relax.  Since Sybil, Daughter, Son #3, and I were in the same room, I was quiet.  I mentioned it to Sybil, but it was not a big deal because it happens all of the time.

The second night...well morning actually...was no different.  I was lying there trying to "will the pain away" because I just wanted to relax in bed.  Sybil, uncharacteristically of late, put her head on my shoulder while catching up on her Facebook feed.  Occasionally, she would whisper something that might be interesting (nothing on Facebook is interesting to me, but I digress).  After about 30 minutes, I could take no more, kind of shook Sybil off of me, and sat up.  She asked me what was wrong, and I told her my back was hurting.  I sat there doing stretches trying to get the muscles to relax and eventually they did.  Naturally, Sybil did not do anything to help, but I did not really expect her to.  The rest of the trip was uneventful and we came home.

On Monday morning I greet her with a smile and a kiss.  Sybil is giving off a vibe of irritation.  I figure whatever...it's Sybil.  I proceed to do my morning ritual, we get in the car, and drive to the office.  On the way, Sybil tells me that I "am doing it again".  I am not communicating.  When I sat up Sunday morning, I did not tell her why.  I was cold and distant.  She had to ask what was going on.  I did not tell her what was happening, and she had to pull it out of me.  This accusation hit me pretty hard.  I explained that I was in physical pain and all I could think of was to make it go away.  Naturally, she was not having it.  The only time she even acknowledged the possibility of my pain was her statement of "the beds were hard and everyone's back hurt".  I tried to maintain Medium Chill (MC) and Grey Rock (GR).  I tried not to JADE or engage in a circular argument, as we sat in the car.  Finally, I could not take anymore and went into the office leaving her in the car.  We worked that day.

When we came home, Sybil started in.  It seems she was just trying to point out my lack of communication and how I was "doing it again" by not immediately telling her.  She felt that we were snuggling and my sudden departure was mean.  Again, I stated my case once.  Tried to maintain MC and GR.  Again, my "cup was full" and I blurted out that for her my physical pain is less than her feelings.  She stated as my wife, I should care about her feelings.  I replied that as my wife she should care about my physical pain.  I stated that it was apparent that I am no better than some utilitarian tool to her.  A box cutter...a piece of paper.  I stated that I am a paycheck.  Feeling that I was about to lose control, I went inside the house.  The conversation was pointless anyway.

That night Sybil started it again.  By this time I had calmed myself down.  I was able to maintain MC and GR much better.  I stated that I feel badly that she feels bad, but I probably would do the same thing again in the same situation.  I stated that her lack of empathy is telling.  I then closed my eyes (these conversations are so draining) to go to sleep.  Now, we lying next to each other.  I hear my phone chime her tone.  I asked, "Did you send me a text?"  I am lying right next to her.  I asked her to just tell me what she wrote.  Naturally, she would not (the words petulant child came to mind).  I went to sleep.  Here's the text:

So Sybil is acting pouty.  She maintains a poor attitude.  Again, petulant.  I'm tired of having to raise her.  As if to add insult to injury, she has not even looked at the Apple Watch I gave her for Christmas.  That will be the last Christmas present from me.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Almost Made It This Christmas

For the last 5 Christmases or so, the Sybil has had some sort of melt down to ruin things. Nothing is ever good enough. This year, I tried to take over the Christmas stuff due to her being very stressed out. Stress creates a hair trigger. I tried to discuss the Amazon list that our kids had created on a couple of occasions, but I was rebuffed due to her working. Not a big deal, but time was wasting. Finally, we discussed the list. The next day I placed the order without consulting her and her letting her know I was doing it. I didn't share the order details. I admit that was a major oversight. It was unintentional just forgot due to the everything going on. Last night, she discovered that one of the toys for was left off of the list (I really thought I ordered it). She was enraged because I did not communicate with her that I was placing the order and did not forwards the list. I took ownership of it. I apologized. Sadly, I ruined her Christmas again. Argument ensued. Heard "I hate you!" Told to leave the room. Etc. After sometime, I went back to salvage things. Argument continues. I try not to JADE, but defuse the situation (I know...lost cause). She is so upset she cannot talk. Instead, she sends me a text
today, i release u of any responsibility for me since i dont exist in ur life and u dont need me in ur life. u dont have to spend another christmas seeing me disappointed...this will make the 5th time! i have cried every christmas except for the one time u and the boys went to visit ur mom...and i did not exist then either. u never sent me pictures until prompt by me and never tried to call or communicate with me while u were away.  u dont care whether i am in ur life...u function fine without me. u dont care about how i feel so the best thing is to just release that burden--ME. u dont like how i make u feel...how i  reveal to u how u really think of me... i dont  want to tie u down or make u feel bad any more.  just let me go. i know divorce is not ur thing so u leave me no choice but to kill myself... i am dead to u anyway so that won’t be any different.  i love my kids but like u said, if i die, u can always find someone to help take care of the them. i know u r thinking i am being selfish...i may be but u leave me no choice..i need to stop suffering. i have tried and tried and tried. just like u said, you tried and tried and i supposedly left u no choice but to make that decision by urself and even after u made that decision, u kept it to urself since i have not earned the right to know since i was not never wiling to give my time of day.  u gave up on me...i can give up on this marriage. i am a fool to ever think our marriage would be different than ur parents. i come from a family that has parents that lean on each other no matter what. u come from a family that has parents that do things individually.  i cannot live like that...so loveless, so unwanted. i rather die than to be in that situation. tonight, i have never hated u as much as before. u kept blaming for ur actions...that is wrong. that action shows that u dont love me EVER!!!!!! you taught me well...I AM NOBODY, I AM  NOTHING!!
I'm in the room!

This occurred last night. This morning, she would not leave the room. The kids had to wait a couple of hours to open presents.

The kicker is I had gotten her an Apple Watch (she was acting good and did need it). She's barely touched it. She hasn't set it up. On the bright side, I got a present from her for the first time in years: socks and undershirt.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Really Struggling to Just Maintain Right Now

Going though a major blow up right now.

This morning Sybil was feeling amorous.  She will not use the Pill, will not allow me to get a vasectomy, will not get her "tubes tied", and does not like condoms, I asked her where she was on her cycle (she uses an app to track it).  It was not good timing.  As we have 4 kids and all surprises, my anxiety level went up.  I kind of cut her off.  I was not rude, but I did not want things to get out of hand.  It hurt her feelings.  She started acting passive-aggressive.  I asked her what was up; she told me her feelings were hurt; and I apologized...sincerely.

Flash forward to this evening.  The only kid in the house was the 3yo and he was napping.  I felt that it would be good to spend time with her undisturbed.  Sybil was working in the bedroom.  I asked to change the channel to a football game, she agreed, she continued to work, and I sat in a chair looking at my laptop and watching the game.  An argument has ensued: I did not sit next to her, talk to her (hard to do...she was working), and I didn't even ask if she wanted to watch the game (huh?).  I tried to address these complaints, rationally.  I did not want to engage in JADEing, so I made one comment. Naturally, it went no where.  I left the room.

Sybil followed me to the room I went to so she could continue the "conversation".  I tried to maintain my cool, but it is so hard.  At this point I don't even remember what I said.  I mentioned that I was feeling a tightness in my chest (a couple days prior I had told her that I was having a flutter in my chest).  That's when she said she has issues, too.  She just did not want to tell me (as an aside: it's odd that she brings this up now).  Some other things were said.  I can't remember them.  It seems I go into an amnesia thing.  Anyway, she storms off to the bedroom.  I am so emotional that just sit looking at the TV...not watching it.  I go to the bedroom to find that she has locked the door.  I become so angry that I very briefly contemplate breaking the door down.  I don't.  I unlock it, go in, and get what I need.

I am really feeling like I've hit the end of my rope.  I am tired of the manipulation.  I am tired of the rage whenever her expectations aren't met.  I'm tired.  It is so emotionally draining.  If it weren't for our 3 yo, I'd walk right now.

UPDATE -

Had a major "conversation" last night because Sybil has had her fill of not feeling loved.  She agreed  I did nothing wrong.  In fact, she said I was a "good father and provider", and I'm a "good guy" with "good morals".  Yet, I didn't make her feel like I loved her.  Sadly, old habits die hard, so let the JADEing begin.  I asked why does she think that is?  I pointed out examples of her treatment of me within the last 2 weeks (one of which was in front of our adult children with them saying that she wrong).  Silence.  I know. I know.  She'll never "see the light" and realize she is part of the problem.

Now, I am feeling anger and depression.  Angry because I stuck around for 25 years and have 4 kids with Sybil.  Angry at myself more than anything else.  I feel depression because my choice (and it is my choice) to stay means that this is as good as it gets.

How apropos: Characteristics of Professional Victims