Knowledge is Power

One day last week, Tom woke up in a bit of a mood. The best way for me to deal with his moods is to leave him alone until he snaps out of it. He was working from home so he spent the next couple of hours on his laptop. I got on and tidied the house. At one point he asked if he should hoover the living room, I said it was okay as I was going to do all the way through once I’d tidied and dusted. While doing the study, I put a footstool in the hallway and said to Tom that I may leave it out of the study as it takes up a lot of room. To cut a long, boring story short, the stool wasn’t there when I next looked. I asked Tom where it was and he shouted, ‘It’s in the fucking girls’ room.’ I asked why he felt it necessary to swear at me and he said I’d been looking for an argument all morning. He then didn’t speak to me for the rest of the week.

Fast forward to Monday morning, he came into the kitchen and said, ‘Do you want to give me a lift to pick up a car?’ I jokingly said that no I didn’t want to but that I would anyway and he stormed off, returning later having a go at me for making him late for work, for being selfish. I tried explaining that actually, if he’d listened, he’d have heard I was joking but that quite frankly, given that he hadn’t spoken to me for six days the least he could do was ask properly. That set him off again and he said he didn’t need to do that, that I knew what he meant, and that I was childish and mean. He then went away with work, returning yesterday which was Annie’s 2nd birthday. He walked in the door, looked at us, looked at the toys all over the living room and said he was going for a shower without even so much as a  ‘happy birthday’ to Annie. After his shower, he went in the kitchen, made himself dinner and sat and ate it while going on his laptop and watching telly and apart from having a quick bath with Annie that is where he stayed all evening. He did eventually say happy birthday to her but didn’t play with her or ask to see what she’d got.

This morning, he’s working from home again, I knew the car he hired was due to be returned at 10am. At 9.50 he got up and gave Annie a kiss goodbye. I said, ‘Aren’t you going to ask for a lift?’ he said, “Why should I ask? We live together and have been together six years, I shouldn’t have to ask.” I said it was common courtesy to ask, he said he’d walk as he wasn’t going to stand and beg me. He left and out of the sheer goodness of my heart because it’s pouring down with rain, I followed him and picked him up. All I got for my trouble was him shouting me . . . “I shouldn’t have to ask you. You should know what I want. Do I have to email you a polite request for every single thing I need?” I said given that he hasn’t been speaking to me for ten days the least he could do is ask and I asked him how come he asked other people questions with manners. Again, he said I was childish, small-minded and petty and that he didn’t have to ask me as we live together.

I am so angry and frustrated with him. He’s taking me for granted and he’s just so bloody hard to live with. His mood swings are terrible and after years of him saying my moods are up and down I can see that actually, it’s the other way around. I think the fact that he drinks almost every night of the week is affecting his moods. He’s completely wrapped up in himself. If he thinks I’m unhappy he’ll tell me I’m miserable and to cheer up. If I try to say that his behaviour adds to my sadness he tells me to get a grip and take responsibility for my own happiness and believe me, I’m seriously thinking of doing exactly that.

I can’t sit down with him and resolve this. We don’t talk. If we try, it’s all about him saying what he wants to say and then talking over me when I want to talk. I don’t think he’s ever listened to me. He even puts the telly on or leaves the room if I try and speak to him. This situation will not ever be resolved, it will just get pushed aside by the next incident that comes along but pushing it aside builds up my resentment towards him and certainly doesn’t make for a happy, loving relationship. I know that I’m trying to convince myself that this can still happen rather than face the fact he’s actually abusive but it hurts too much to do so. I keep tricking myself into believing that he does love and respect me but he wouldn’t act this way if he did. He’s so set in his ways and so selfish but he won’t hear it. He thinks he’s the kindest, most generous man on the planet. The thing is, I don’t feel strong enough to leave yet and I don’t know how to achieve strength when he continues to knock me down nor do I know how to leave when he has control of all the finances. I also have the children’s needs to take into consideration. I know this is not healthy for them but I can’t just pack up and leave without a lot of thought and forward planning.

It’s very sad. We’ve been like this for ages and I really thought it was improving but it’s stupid of me to fool myself like this. I intend to seek advice from a solicitor to see where I stand. I would have to leave, he made it clear that if we ever split he isn’t going anywhere. The house is in his name and I’d never be able to afford the mortgage but I’m currently arming myself with information: How much money I’d have to live on and my housing rights. After all, Tom has always told me he’s more intelligent than me and that knowledge is power. Now I’m going to go and get some knowledge and use that to empower me. To leave him. No matter how long it takes.

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