In need of support

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by pigless in VA, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    SO and I have had a rocky relationship for the past year. He was frustrated by work and was angry and critical at home. Last July, he quit his good paying job. I wasn't happy with his decision, but I attempted to be patient. As time rolled on, I became frustrated because he did not appear to me to be looking for work. When confronted about this, he became angry and defensive.

    I admit that I do not do anger well. It terrifies me, I panic, and then I become depressed. SO suggested that we go to couples' therapy. It seemed to be helping. He was trying hard to make changes, and so was I.

    We had a session on Tuesday. We discussed our progress for the first 30 minutes and then SO decides to tell me that he has quit his job which he has held for the last 2 months. We had 15 minutes left in the session.

    I didn't say much to him Tuesday night other than that I needed time to think. He was angry at me for that. Last night we attempted to talk. It went terribly. I have asked him to leave.

    I don't understand how a grown man cannot grasp the concept of staying in a job until you find another one. I've had 3 previous husbands and never dealt with this issue.

    SO is basically a good man. He isn't an alcoholic, an addict, or crazy. I wanted this relationship to work. I wanted him to be there for my children. He does get along with Ferb, but he behaves as though he hates Candy. He says loves her, but the majority of his interactions with her are critical. She does not like being around him. This was a huge area of concern for me as I expected him to be the bigger person and do his part to connect with her. Instead, it is a daily battle.

    His anger is a huge problem for me, too. He gets angry with me for not responding to texts quickly enough. He gets angry with me for talking to people on the phone. Basically, if he wants my attention, he wants ALL my attention, and he wants it immediately. For the past year, I've felt mostly as if he's another child. All the financial responsibilities are mine. I pay the mortgage, the utilities, the taxes, the groceries. He pays the Netflix bill. I pay for his cigarettes, his beer and his gas. I paid when he was not working and wanted to go to the farm for the week-end by himself. I told him I felt used.

    I didn't know that his quitting the job he just landed after 9 months of unemployment would be the straw that broke this camel's back, but it was.

    The problem for me now is that there is no one else. I do not have supportive family members. I do not have a best friend. I also have a huge farm and giant mortgage on it. I have two kids who hate the idea of living in the country. That's where I want to be, but I don't have a support base there.

  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I am sorry that you are going through this. I am horrible with husband/wife issues. I have been happily divorced for almost 20 years.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry. Prayers going up.
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  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You have us, pigless.

    We will all get one another through everything that happens to us.

  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Oh, oh.

    The question is not whether you do or do not do anger well, pigless. The issue here is his anger, not yours.

    The betrayal and mind games here are sickening. It is the betrayal, the lying, the pretend fear, the way he is trying to make you play the role of his mother instead of his woman ~ everything about this is wrong.

    He is terrorizing you with fear of your own anger response, taunting you with it.

    This is very wrong. We had a post once in FOO about the everyday banality of evil. About how it begins. To focus on a vulnerability (anger response) and then, coldly manipulate someone with their own decency (taking time to be certain the response you will make is kind and correct) is an evil beginning.

    I am glad. This is the right thing to do, when the relationships through which we define ourselves turn cold and defensive and confusing. I am sorry this is happening, pigless. Something had to be done.

    I think he understands that, pigless.

    He is telling you a lie without words when he pretends to fear you because he is again out of work. The emphasis shifts from his using you (and behaving badly toward you ~ and toward your daughter ~ while he does it) to your anger response.

    That is what I see him doing, pigless.

    I think you were stellar in taking time to respond when you were angry. Good for you, pigless. There are people who will destroy us with our own decency. They do this by learning our vulnerabilities and mocking our attempts to be better people. As is true of any intimate relationship, those closest to us can derail our lives and destroy us from the inside out. Life is about learning. Make ten thousand mistakes. When we are with someone who tells us the times we were not perfect are the only things that matter about us, it is time to end that relationship.

    You deserve better, pigless, than someone who turns every issue into an issue about your anger.

    You are right to be angry. Your task is to handle it with integrity. To take time, which is what you did. Anger is okay. It is how we know we are being mistreated.

    There is something so awful about him knowing what he did regarding his work, but not telling you before counseling. To me, it indicates something worse than a lack of integrity or courage.

    He will have been manipulating the counselor with his words, with his actions and body language, prior to this session.

    Very cold of him, to have done that to someone who trusted him.

    And that is an honorable thing. I have been learning that there are people who compose a persona. The persona will be constructed to present someone who wants the same things we do. But there are little false notes. Trusting them, we disregard those little pings that tell us something is not as it seems. They shift the emphasis in the relationship. They tell us they are who they pretended to be, but that we are making it impossible for them to be that good person we still believe they are. Somehow, both people in the relationship come to believe that the person letting everyone down is us. If we are good and responsible people, we believe them. We try harder.

    And they escalate the game.

    We believe everything would be perfect again, if only we could be perfect, again. If only we weren't so angry or so whatever they tell us the problem is. We begin working very hard to address the issues they've told us we have.

    But they were lying, pigless.

    Maya Angelou wrote that when someone tells us who they are, we need to believe them. The first time.

    Whoever he told you he was in the beginning, now he is telling you who he is.

    And he's blaming who he is on you.

    Just like we say about our children pigless, we have zero control over someone else's behaviors.

    An ethical person would not be using your vulnerabilities to control your thinking about yourself.

    Is he creating a scapegoat and a Golden Child do you think, pigless?

    How awful, for both children.

    And for you.

    This is classic behavior, pigless. Isolation from your sources of strength and sanity.

    And then, he quits working. He is home all the time. Our privacy is gone and with it, our self respect. And everything gets darker.

    How awful for all of you, pigless.

    In a way, this is good. You will be financially secure. The problem will be getting him to leave and stay gone.

    He will not want to stay gone.

    It seems always to be about his needs, pigless.

    That is not what men do. They strengthen and console and encourage. And they are kind. And they are not so selfish as to respond to a young girl with pettiness. They are aware of the power of a father's words.

    So is he.

    He knows what he is doing.

    It's the pattern he's setting up. During the time of his unemployment, he will have tightened his hold on you and your children. The emphasis will have come to be on his moods and his needs and your anger and how that makes him feel.

    And how that makes him feel.

    Working interferes with all that. If he is out of the home, if he is bringing money into the home, he loses a prime weapon created to increase your frustration levels.

    This is called gaslighting. And yes, there is a name for it. It is another unbelievable thing some people do to other people.

    With him out of your home pigless, you will build a support base. He is isolating you, and has been for some time, to make you have no support. So, you will be alone for a little time, here. A number of months, but probably no longer than that. In the interim, you do have us.

    And that will make all the difference.


    If you decide you wish you had not posted this publicly pigless, a moderator can delete this thread.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Something is off about him, piglets. I hope you find peace away from him. He seems unable to be genuine. You do deserve better because you are a good and genuine person.

    Sending you warm vibes.
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  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, pigless. Been there with Miss KT's father. Sending hugs and strength. You will get through this.
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  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh Pigless, I'm so very sorry. I can't help feeling when I read your post that he and my ex - my son's biodad, would have been much alike. Your SO is not so extreme of course, but close. Ex also wouldn't hold a job, spent money I earned and wanted it all done for him. He wanted us to buy a house, so I did, then ended up foreclosed because he was happy to spend my money, but not earn any. He was jealous - I wasn't allowed to have any male friends, he even worried about co-workers and I couldn't be alone with anyone ever. Back then, I'd have said, "He's basically a good man" too. He was the kind of guy who would literally do anything for his friends, work super hard helping them with car repairs and home improvements, but wouldn't get a job with a construction company or a car repair place and do it for money. I never understood it.

    You will move on. You will find the way. As time goes on you will develop supports. As for money, you say the farm is "huge". Do you have fields that you don't need? Can you rent them out to local farmers to make some extra money? I know a lot of small farmers who do that, I don't know what it pays. There must be some ways to help the farm bring money in. Maybe that's where your research should start?

    In the everyone else has have us. :group-hug:
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  9. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Man problems are hard. I have been through two marriages prior to my current one but we have been together for 24 years. I cannot believe it has been that long. Most years have been very good.

    To me it sounds like SO expects more from you than HE is willing to give. That never works. You are not his mother. What is that saying that sometimes you can be lonelier being with someone that being alone. I think that is true.

    I know it's hard but we are here for you.
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  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry Pigless, you've made a difficult decision, however, it sounds as if it is a good one, based on taking care of YOU. Sending prayers and big hugs for you. It's tough not having the support you deserve.......we're here for you.....
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    "I didn't say much to him Tuesday night other than that I needed time to think. He was angry at me for that."

    This says so much about him. It's not as if he was laid off unexpectedly. He thought about quitting and didn't discuss it with you. He quit and didn't tell you afterwards. He wasted half an hour of a session and didn't tell you. And he didn't want to allow you time to think about it?

    I'm sorry that things have gone South for you and him. We always want our relationships to grow. But how can they grow when there are secrets?
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I'm so very sorry. Just awful. ((((hugs))))

    The one thing positive about the story is his suggestion and willingness to go to therapy. But, I agree with the above poster that something about him seems "off," especially if you compare and contrast it to you and your postings which, although we don't know you in "real" life, always are intelligent, up front, well thought out, indicate clear thought and a hard working, caring individual.

    "He isn't an alcoholic, an addict, or crazy." A thousand apologies, but this criteria seems limited to me. And did I read this right...he gets along with one of your children, but not so much with the other? It is concerning to me that he left a job without a replacement or at the very least, strong intentions and actions to replace it immediately. AND that he left his later job without telling you.

    Unless he corrects this situation ASAP, perhaps goes to personal therapy and the two of you go to family therapy and there are big improvements.... but..... Follow your gut. This, for this very moment, is not looking good. Difficult. Asking him to leave sounds absolutely fair!

    REgarding support, housing, your future....can you sell the farm if necessary? Might you make a profit? Are there separate quarters at the farm that you could rent out? Is there any chance at all that you could get a promotion at work? How old is your oldest child? Can he or she get a summer job?

    I would review your financial holdings. Quietly check out how much it would cost to live in a small apartment not too far away from your job.

    If you aren't doing so already, perhaps get some at least short term counseling for yourself to review your options and to strengthen your resolve.

    Whatever you decide to do, there is no doubt in my mind that you can get through this difficult time and will do very well. You have a good head on your shoulders and my guess is just like you are thought of highly on this site, are thought of highly in "real" life as well.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is so true Witz, that it makes me want to cry.

  14. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Although there are some moments when it is best not to spill the beans (tell your boss you got drunk over the weekend...etc. for example) for the most part, I think we need to AVOID secrets. Be open with ourselves (most importantly) and our closest loved ones.
    And impossible to have a healthy relationship filled with secrets.

    "You are as sick as your secrets."
  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh Pigless, I am so sorry you are going through this. You shine through your posts as a kind, funny, intelligent loving human being. You deserve someone who holds you in the highest regard, loves both your children equally and shares the load.
    This is not what I am reading in your post and I am so sorry.
    You deserve more, Pigless. Much, much more. There is something here that does not fit the profile of "basically a good man." We work hard to fulfill our end of a realtionship "for better or worse" overlooking idiosyncrasies and pet peeves, women are usually the peace makers, the forgivers. There are just some things that cannot be overlooked.
    This is a big one. Especially at her age. She deserves to be cared for and cherished by the man in your life, a father figure. It will set the model and foundation for what she seeks in a man. This is a huge red flag.........he is a bully.
    UGH. Controlling. No, no, no. Isolating, no, no, no. He is insecure. I see men who celebrate their SO's, cherish them and support their friendships, hobbies and endeavors. We are supposed to have partners, Pigless, not be lorded over. Partners.
    I am the same as you, I do not fare well with anger, it turns my stomach. I seek peace.
    Your SO knows this and is using it to bully and manipulate you.
    Sabotage and secrecy. Unacceptable. He is not your partner, or your friend in this.
    Pigless, I want to live on your farm, too and I haven't even seen it. I don't blame you for hanging on to this dream.

    I am glad that you have been taking care of things, that you are financially sound without SO, you have established that, so it is not finances that would force you to hang on.
    Your SO has isolated you. This is not fair, we all need relationships outside of our So's, a support base.
    Isolation is intentional, so you feel trapped and stuck. I know this, because hubs was much the same way. Remnants of his upbringing. His father was abusive and controlling and I struggled with that dynamic that leached into our relationship. Hubs was a hardworking man, and I loved him dearly, but I put up with a lot, rationalizing that he was "basically a good man" and he was, who wrestled with the demons of a horrible upbringing. It was hard. We all have our faults and shortcomings. He attempted to isolate me, too, was jealous and suspicious at times. That hurt, I was faithful to the end. But, I lived my life, worked and contributed, cared for the kids and did what I had to do to take care of my need to have friends, hobbies and relationship with others. He was resentful at times. I asserted my right to live my life.
    So, yes, I have experienced the attempt to isolate. The controlling and demand for immediate and complete attention. The anger. I shut it down. I was not going to live that way. It changed a bit, but it was mostly through my putting up the shield to fend it off. That took a lot of energy.

    You deserve more, Pigless. I remember a Dear Abbey column where a writer was woeful about her man's habits and ways. Abbey remarked that women stay in relationships thinking that things will change for the better.
    I agree.

    I am sure that though you feel alone now, you would be able to build friendships.
    You are self sufficient, self reliant, this is key.
    You will be able to figure things out. Take the time you need to think, Pigless, this is your life.
    No one should resent your need to think things through, especially your SO. This is very telling about him. He is probably worried that with enough time to consider and analyze your situation, without his controlling you, you would gather the strength to choose differently.

    You, my friend deserve much better.

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  16. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Pigless, our son is "basically a good man". It doesn't change what he's currently choosing to show the world. Any man with any sense of responsibility wouldn't quit a job without another to go to. Before I left the maximum security institution I was working at, I was SOOOOOO stressed out. I was ready to snap out. The job was killing me. But I stayed. Because I Needed It! End of discussion on that. You don't leave a job without another to go to.

    Having a relationship with step children, and I truly hate using the term "step", is always difficult. I can assure you that I've had serious issues with our son, but you try to work through it. You don't care for one but not the other. Whether biological or step children, love is unconditional. Like we tell our son, especially when he is being a real douche, is "We will Always love you, we just really don't like you right now." Granted, it tends to piss him off but hey, perks of parenting an adult child!!! LOL!

    As far as the farm goes, prioritize. If you really want to keep it, find a way. If you have to move there to do so, the kids will have to deal. It's part of life after all. Sorry you had to go through this but hopefully its for the best.
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It is good to hear a man's take on things, Jabber.

  18. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. We had a terrible storm and we have no power. Everyone is safe and no damage for us. The neighborhood looks like a war zone. I may be gone a few days.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hang in there. Our thoughts are with you.
  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh no. Thanks for letting us know you are okay. Take care Pigless. Check back in when you can.