Thursday, September 29, 2005

Apartment hunting: the aftermath

My daughter (10yrs old) came upstairs as I said I had been looking for apartments and heard. Mrs_C said "Well you've accomplished your goal in hurting me. Why tell me that? Why tell me while we're getting ready to go out [ETA 2 hours later]? Why tell me that when we have people coming over for your birthday tomorrow? Why couldn't it wait until Monday? Why couldn't you have lied?"

(FYI: Ironically, I had previously been told that lying about any subject would be cause for divorce)

Our daughter was quiet as her mother walked out the door into the backyard.

I waited for a minute and followed.

As i went outside my Dad arrived with my son. Dad's timing has always been impeccable...

I had to send him away quickly.

I sent my son into the house.

I went to the backyard to talk to Mrs_C.

She refused to talk about it and said we would just get ready to go out and deal with it later.



We went to her sister's place for an immediate family only event. While we are both good actors, the folks there could tell there was some tension between us (you could see it in the way they looked back and forth between us trying to get a read on the situation.

After about a half hour Mrs_C, her sister, and her mother decided to go for a walk before supper (the men were cooking [BBQ]). Mrs_C said to the ladies "Let's go and I'll tell you all my troubles".

When they arrived back they all looked daggers at me. However, decorum was maintained. We generally socialised separately that evening.


Mrs_C has always had an issue surrounding alcohol. When we first started dated she always got sloshed and got really weepy (Even her Mom said once "oh, yeah, she's drunk and weeping again...")

I haven't the same desire to have a drink that she does (no, I've raised the roof a fair bit in my day - I'm no tee-totaller - but i have control), so I weaned alcohol out of our lives for the most part. Mrs_C followed my relatively abstemious lead (and silent disapproval when she got hammered) and didn't drink much throughout the last 15 or so years (having kids to be concerned about also reduced her propensity toward alcohol).

Did I mention that I can't stand the drunken Mrs_C? She isn't a fun drunk. Her emotions wheel out of control, she becomes maudlin, and then starts inevitably crying.

I can't stand it. I can't stand it. I can't stand it. I can't stand it.


Mrs_C got maudlin and drunk. Didn't say a public word at her sister's about the situation, though.

At the end of the evening I got her and the kids home. Got the kids to bed and went to face her where she was sitting in the family room.

We talked.

I explained that what I really wanted was someone who wanted me.

She told me that there was lots of guys who would have her, and that I was looking for someone I should just go.

I said I believed she thought I was a bother and a pain to have around. I said that I couldn't live that way anymore, thinking that she was only tolerating me. I tried to explain that I had used the word "someone" because I was already under the impression that she had no interest in me, and had therefore not used to word "you", already having discarded an appeal to her as pointless.

Mrs_C said she had no idea that I thought she didn't want me, and said it was a foolish and unbased impression.

I listed about 2 dozen examples of when she had told me to "et out". Yes, those words: "Get out", "Either its you or it's me, but one of us is moving out" - the examples go on. They were all pretty much to the point - no mistaking intent...

I pointed out that we had had sex very few times in the 8 months previous, and that she had gone to the point of telling me not to even touch her.

I listed a substantive number fo times that she had directly told me she would be better off without me, and the times she said that except for the children, she would have been better off if she had never met me.

She first said that if she had made me live that way, and that if she had put me through that kind of stress, that she understood why I would want to leave, why I have the stress related condition I have, and that "as a friend, as someone who still cares about you - if you are in a marriage that makes you feel that way, you should get out."

She then said that given the number of examples I cited, she understood where I got the impression she didn't want me around. Then she said she didn't really mean it and only said it in anger. Well, she meant it at the time, but it went away with her anger each time. She said she would have never said it if she thought I took it seriously.

She started to cry.

She let out a wail of complete anguish that slipped deep into my soul. She said "I don't want to grow old alone."

She then told me she really did want me to stay with her. I agreed to stay and to try to work through things.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

As my queasy stomach turns

I went out on the weekend after my last post. I looked at apartments.

I picked one near our house so that my son could go home to care for his pets after school (he wants to move out with me).

I went home and Mrs_C asked me where I had been so long. I thought about lying to her, but chose not to.

I had the suspicion that she thought that telling her where i had been was an expression of anger, not an expression of intent. I wanted to underline the fact of my intent for her.

There might have been a subconscious desire to hurt her in there someplace (her opinion), but my real and largest motivation was to not lie.


I have lied to Mrs_C in the past. I have regularly lied about my feelings - being hurt or angry or whatever (I truly hate discord and fighting [part of the reason I've rolled over for almost 20 years with Mrs_C]), and I lied about the state of my business (about 10 years ago) - we had a rough spot in the business and Mrs_C was on my back every day because I was working 14-16 hours a day and cash was tight. I negotiated some financing and tax issues without discussing them with Mrs_C until after the fact (BTW - she was not a partner/employee and had told me she didn't want to be in the operation). The deals allowed me to spread some of the costs/lost revenues of my business partner's non-delivery of some work over a few years.

I have been told that not telling her in advance was an error of biblical proportions. It probably was. I was pretty freaked at the possibility of being sued and took the easy way out (easy in the interpersonal/marriage sense). I was trying to avoid having her on my back as well as the clients. When Mrs_C gets stressed about something (even if it is not my fault - like something her boss did to her at work) she will spend a lot of time (sometimes days) ripping into me. At the above mentioned time I just couldn't cope with more on my plate.

Since then Mrs_C has brought this situation up again and again as her example of how she can't trust me.

I said then, and I say now, I was trying to avoid the pain and suffering of having to explain the situation to her (and the lengthy diatribe that would have followed) and having to explain how this "failure" could have happened and why hadn't I listened to Mrs_C's plan for the business.

Her plan for the business usually involved re-telling me my own analysis of my own mistakes that I had told her a few days before.

I was in a highly technical computer/internet business. She didn't know shit about the business - still doesn't.

My business partner had some skills I didn't. We worked on mostly separate elements of our projects.

I found out he wasn't doing some of his work for some clients and had missed a bunch of deadlines (he subsequently had a nervous breakdown).

I hired out, fixed the problems, negotiated the abrogation of some of the contracts where the relationships had deteriorated to the point of no return, and wound down the business and the partnership. I was going to continue in business on my own.

Mrs_C had been instrumental in driving out a third partner when the business had started, and had been instrumental in driving away some contract employees as well - she was highly aggressive toward them and all but accused them of stealing from us.

She had been telling me to get rid of my remaining business partner since pretty much we started the business (At the time we started the business he was one of 3 people in our entire province that had the specific skill that was needed - the other two were already employed, and he happened to be a friend of 15 years).


No - there was no bankruptcy. Yes, there was financial pressure on me, and it left me paying off some debt for several years. Mrs_C's cash flow was not disrupted. My take-home income was exactly the amount I had predicted and she had agreed was adequate when the business plan was created. It just wasn't enough to deal with Mrs_C's newly enlarged spending plans on our house, and didn't allow the vacation she had decided we needed to go on.

I know it may sound like I am gratuitously bashing Mrs_C but she has a history of moving targets throughout our relationship.

I folded the business, mostly because she couldn't cope with what she felt was the lack of certainty of income, and got a salaried job. My job income was higher than I was making in the business and was adequate to make my payments and have enough to finance the expanded spending plans as presented to me by Mrs_C when I wound down the business.

Her new plans got upgraded further. My income was then short of the new plan/target. My inadequate contribution to the family and our finances have been subsequently pointed out.

(oddly enough, whenever my income goes up [as i got raises and better jobs], the new spending plans always just outreach my new income)


Back to the present:

I didn't feel like lying.

I told her I looked at apartments.

She looked like I'd punched her in the stomach.


Soon: the aftermath