I am very frustrated...at my self. After all of this time, I still fall in traps set by Sybil and allow myself to manipulated. This past weekend brought into stark contrast how little depth she has.
I was planning on going to play DnD (topic of another post). Because of recently having an employee test positive with COVID, Sybil has really become more stringent. She started making little noises about me going to someone else's house to play. Sadly, I gave her ample opportunity to use her emotional blackmail to manipulate me. The day prior to the argument, the massage chair she ordered had finally arrived and was assembled (another post). She claimed the right of using it first. Now, she was not making it much of a priority, really. I had an opportunity to use the chair, so I did. She commented on how rude I was to use the chair first when she "called it". I explained that I saw an opportunity and took it, but agreed that it was thoughtless of me and could understand her irritation.
The day of DnD comes. Sybil asks if I am still going to which I tell her that I am. Instead of using a direct tactic (something she rarely does), she starts in with how could I go? I should realize that I need to stay and make up for what happened the day prior. I did not work to show her how contrite I am. I am totally selfish because all I could think about was going to someone's house and not be with her. Her "depth" of emotion eventually gave way to tears and even threats of divorce. All because of me not re-apologizing and working to make her feel better for using the chair first. All because I did not give her every ounce of energy I have. I was just not a good person because I wanted to go do something that she is not involved in. Let me repeat: Threats. Of. Divorce. I did what any weak willed man would do...I caved. I did not go. I spent the rest of the day with her and Son #3.
While my lack of backbone is galling enough, the next day I did what Sybil demanded that I do: I checked in with her. First thing. I asked how she was doing. She starts talking about how the massage chair (she did finally use it) really helped her. She felt pretty good. I asked how she is emotionally after the day prior's conversation. Judging by her reaction, she had totally forgotten it. I let myself be manipulated. I let myself be sucked into her "crocodile tears". In doing so, I reinforced (again) that she can be dominant and get her way. Her reaction brought into focus how superficial it all is; how meaningless it is. I would think that threatening your spouse with divorce would mean that you are really serious about things. In my mind divorce is kind of like murder. Apparently, not so for Sybil. The whole rest of the day she was happiest I have seen her in a long time.
For me, I am very angry and disappointed in myself. This toxic relationship has become something that is like a deadweight. While I knew that Sybil was superficial, this episode really revealed how superficial she is. To go from threatening divorce the one day and, literally, less than 24 hours later not even really thinking about it, is mind boggling. Yet, I cannot fault her. I am the one that has reinforced this behavior over the years. I am the one that let's her trample over my boundaries. I am the one that refuses to call her bluff. I have to be the one that is willing to say, "You know, that's a good idea. I think we should divorce."