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2012 – Doormat no more

January 1, 2012

A few weeks ago, I made a resolution.  I wasn’t going to think about divorce for 18 months.  Until my son was old enough to go to preschool, I was going to keep the peace. I was not going to make waves. I was going to just do the house chores, rather than trying to get my husband to help.  I was going to suck it up and make our home life run the best I could until I could conceive of doing everything on my own.

Then two things happened.


After a weekend of doing all the chores and watching the kids while my husband napped, One night my husband went to bed without any discussion at about 7pm.  This is a somewhat typical situation in our life – but the difference this weekend was that I just let him do it.  No comments, no asking for more, I wasn’t even angry about it.

When I went to bed later, he “made a move”. When I wasn’t instantly receptive, he started to complain.  I made an off-hand comment that typically there was some sort hanging out or conversation before sex.  Call it verbal foreplay.   …  Let’s just say he got nasty and said some very hurtful things.  The theme was that I didn’t do anything for him.  It was so ridiculously totally over the top that I was awestruck.   I couldn’t comprehend that level of self-absorption and self-delusion.

It brought back our therapist’s comment to me that my husband uses his anger to get what he wants from me.


I got a Kindle app and borrowed some ebooks from the local library.  One of the books was Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft.    In this book I saw my marriage.  I saw my husband.  In a book that refer to “abuse” and “abusive men”.

No, really.  In his chapter on “Types of Abusive Men”  he has the ones you would easily recognise: The Demand Man,  The Water Torturer, The Drill Sergeant, Rambo, The Terrorist and so on…    But he also has Mr Sensitive and Mr. Right both of who has resemblance to my hubby.  Mr Sensitive is all about his hurt feelings. (The final type was Victim.)

Lundy’s points are many but the main message for me was: These men are consciously being manipulative to get what they want.  He is not out of control when he is angry, he is using his anger as a manipulative tool.  Another tool he uses is to twist things around especially in arguments.   And lastly – couple therapy NEVER WORKS with an abusive person.  They just manipulate the process to get more “concessions” from you.

Lundy’s concept is that abusive people have a totally different thought process than the rest of us.

I am pretty sure that my husband fits into that category.  He may not hit, but it can still be abuse.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 14, 2012 5:54 am

    I stayed for 20 years with this type of “abusive” man. Why did I stay so long…the kids. I warn you that divorcing this type of man is extremely difficult and very painful. Two years later my divorce is finally final, my kids who I worried so much about are doing great…we have all made it through and I am a happier, stronger woman! I wish you the best of luck, and if you’d like read my blog to see how I escaped the grips of a controlling manipulative husband. By the way, mine never hit but verbal abuse is just as painful and unacceptable! No one deserves that!

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