I remember his mom told me once about a lady at work whose nerves were shot because she was always getting snapped at by Greg and she was so nervous and jumpy all the time because she was always waiting for the next criticism. And I remember his mom told me once that Greg was beating his brother down so much - his brother who has Cystic Fibrosis and whose health is tenuous at any time (although he tries to hide it) - and she didn't know what to do. I guess Greg was unhappy at how things were going or what his brother was doing and he was berating him about it. Much like our marriage. Still, I feel the need to remind myself of the bad. The guilt that Greg is inducing in me is crushing.
* last Saturday Greg and I went to marriage counseling and dropped the boys off at Denise's house so they could have a playdate with Denise's kids. Marriage counseling went badly, although Greg did acknowledge all of the names he calls me and that he's emotionally abusive to me and the boys. That he's harder on the boys on the weekends when he's home so that he can counteract how "soft" I make them during the week. We drove home, he dropped me off at Denise's house around 3:00 and I stayed with the boys because they wanted to keep playing. Denise and I chatted and gossiped and I got a text at around 3:30 from Greg asking if the boys wanted to go over to their grandpa's house. I didn't get this until 4:50 and responded at 4:55 but I remarked to Denise that I was going to be in trouble for this. If I don't respond quickly enough then Greg accuses me of trying to keep him from the boys. So the next day, after he got done loudly confronting me because I'd left the receipts form Danny's dental visits out (he had three cavities filled and Greg told me, in one of his kinder gentler moments, to just let him know how much they were) and Greg loudly announced, in front of the boys, that he was not giving me a penny because any money he gives me is going to go straight to my lawyer. This was around 8:30. at 9:15 he and the boys went out for their usual run/bike ride at a local park, from which they usually return around lunchtime. Lunchtime came and went. The clock kept ticking and I got more worried. My boys were with an unstable and angry man who believes that I try to turn them against him, and who can't accept the idea that I want a divorce. By around 1:30 or 2:00 I couldn't wait anymore. I texted him if everyone was okay, when were they going to come home. No response. My iphone indicated that he never read the message. I called and left a voicemail asking him to call me and let me know they were okay, I was worried, when were they going to come home. No response. I paced the house and felt ill. When I wasn't pacing I was sitting in the hallway staring out the window, hoping they'd be home any time. It was excruciating and pretty much the worst thing I have been through thus far. I called him once or twice more and didn't get an answer but didn't leave a message. By 4:00 I was officially frantic and called his dad's house asking if anyone had seen them. My niece answered and said no and I asked her to put her mom (who is pissed at me) on the line. She said no they hadn't seen them, but don't worry, she knew Greg was going to be there around 5:00 for dinner and she'd let me know if he didn't show up for that. I explained that I hadn't seen or heard from them since 9:15 and had received no response to my calls or text and I needed to know if I needed to call the police because I was afraid they'd been in an accident. I guess mention of police got to her, so she hung up with me, somehow got in contact with Greg, and she texted me that they were fine and on their way to Greg's dad's house. I never did hear from Greg that day and the boys arrived home at 7:30. Several days later he assured me that he had responded to my text, he swore on the Bible, by Iphones don't lie. I have no text from him. AND. He said that he didn't know where I was on Saturday since I didn't respond to his text from me, and he didn't worry, so he didn't think it would be a big deal to take them on Sunday and not let me know where they were going (i.e. that there had been a change of plans- he took them to a go kart place). He said yeah, he probably should've let me know in hindsight but because I didn't text him back Saturday quickly (he said it took 4 hours for me to respond, versus an hour and a half in actuality) he didn't think much of it. So this was payback. Me being terrified and out of my mind with fear wondering where my children were was payback for not responding to his text quick enough. He knows that I worry. He's known me 13 years. He knows I get panic-y when I don't hear from people and I assume they're dead in a ditch. Now of course he is swearing that he didn't mean to make me worry, but doesn't think it was that big a deal. So there's that.
* And there's the memory of all the times - two Boy Scout camping trips, trips to the pool, etc. - that he has told me not to come with him and the boys. "Just don't come. Just stay home." Because he feels that the boys act differently when I'm around. He recognizes that he has a different connection with them and isn't as close with them, but he punishes me and them for this, versus trying to repair his relationship with them. This is a man, who for their ENTIRE lives, has been out of town Monday through Friday all week, every week, and only sees his children Saturdays and Sundays (he gets home friday nights after everyone is asleep). And on the weekends he is busy. Doing chores around the house, running errands, working over at his dad's house, taking something to the office. So even on the weekends he's home he doesn't spend a lot of quality time with the kids. He's eaten lunch with Danny at his school once and Danny starts 3rd grade tomorrow. I'm not sure he could tell me the name of any teachers Danny has had, including his most recent one. I'm pretty sure he doesn't know the names of any of Max's teachers ever. He has never taken them to a dentist appointment. He has never taken Max to a doctor's appointment and has been to 2 doctor appointments for Danny (who is 8).
* When they don't want to do something with him on the weekends he bullies them and calls them girls, and asks them do they want to stay home with their mommy and paint their toenails (sneering). In our house the worst thing you can call someone is a girl. We can't watch that show, that's a girl show. You can't wear your hair with gel in it, that's what girls do. You can't like that color, that's a girl color. You can't do that sport, it's a girl sport.
I can't remember the last time I felt like we were friends. I can't remember the last time I felt comfortable around him, not always waiting for the next insult or barb. I can't remember the last time I felt like he liked me. What I've mostly felt is that I can't do anything right, and that he has no respect for me. That it's just been contempt. And the contempt has eaten away at my soul until I feel so incredibly fragile right now. I know that marriage is hard and that all marriages have difficulties. And I may be exaggerating or oversensitive and that it has taken two to wreck this marriage. But there is substance to my accusations. I would not feel this broken without cause.
So even if he were to change personalities and continue trying to be nice, I am still broken. I would be in a temporarily peaceful marriage, just waiting for it to all change back any time now. I just can't seem to get him to understand that. He thinks I'm just quitting, giving up on him, and destroying our family. I can't get him to understand that I just can't anymore. Even if he completely changed and became everything I ever wanted, I can't forget the many times that he has made me feel so crushed. Or terrified, like last weekend. That he has had the ability to say things and do things, knowing they would demolish me. And that he has said these things to my face, and seen my face crumple and has seen me cry, and continued on like nothing had happened. I can't be with someone who can do this to me and not feel bad about it. Even if he feels bad about it from now on, there was a time when he didn't.
Does that make any sense?