Tuesday is the day my divorce will be final ( I hope). I say I hope, because I am so accustomed to preparing myself for disappointment.
Earlier this month I took the kids on a vacation that has been planned for 6 months. He did not go, but likely would have despite the pending divorce, had I not drawn a hard line and said he could not. He was supposed to move out when the kids and I returned. That was 13 days ago. Again, he did not move out when he said he would.
Not to be outdone, last week, he took the kids on his own vacation. On Saturday the 7th, when he disclosed that he had not, and would not be moving out yet, he told me in no uncertain terms that when he left with them on Monday (the 17th), he would not be returning to this house to live. He packed and took only the things he needed for vacation. The lawyer said I should not change the locks yet.
He returned with the kids today. He came into the house, and picked up right where he left off. He plopped on the couch and diddled with his phone or the television as if it were perfectly natural… as if there was never any promise to leave. He’s been setting and blowing through his promised move out date since May 22… for two months. He’s been stringing me along with similar promises and failures to follow through for years. Why would I expect anything different?
I prepared the meal I planned for me and the kids. I asked him to clear and set the table as I was managing the items on the grill. He delayed to the point that I effectively cleared the table, set the table and filled it with food. He sat and ate. I stewed, and tried to manage a cordial demeanor, focusing almost exclusively on the kids. “Is it reasonable for me to expect that you will do the dishes?” I asked. Long pause. “I’ll do the dishes,” he said.
After dinner, while the kids were attending to other things I had a first opportunity to ask:
“Shall I take your presence here to mean that you intend to sleep here tonight?”
“I’m waiting for _____ to call me back,” he said.
“Hmmm.” I said, and walked away.
I’m struggling hard not to hate him for it. It’s only two nights. But it’s so hard with a narcissist and/or abusive man. I have not had a valid (albeit different) perspective in his reality for years. He has no empathy to offer me and therefore could not possibly imagine my experience of his presence. So, there is no talking about it. Nothing. Stalemate. Officially, I find his presence oppressive.
I drew a bath, and before getting in, I told of my anger that he returned. He looked at me and said, as if it were a fact, “I told you I’d be out this week.” This is a blatant, outright lie. I have in writing that eh agreed to leave by the 15th.
…But now you have told me this. “When this week, are you going to be gone?”
“Tuesday. I’ll be gone Tuesday.”
“Last Tuesday, maybe.”
“I don’t care. I never would have kicked you out onto the street, no matter what.”
This is probably true. He didn’t want the divorce. He was comfortable.
“Let me remind you,…”
He interrupts, “You’re a different person, and you would do that. To your husband.”
“That’s not what I was going to say. Let’s remember that you’ve been on this path, and known you would be leaving for 60 days, now. You had an available apartment. You very well could have found and moved into an apartment by now. You had an apartment in June….”
“No I didn’t.” (Denial, Lying, Invalidation)
“Yes. You did. And you didn’t move in because you chose to wait until they built a new apartment building and you could have a second floor apartment overlooking the pool.” Please note, this new build apartment is NEXT DOOR to my workplace. (Continued invasion of my personal space.)
“You’re getting the house, I should be able to look at something other than a parking lot.” (Entitlement)
“That was your decision. It is not my fault you don’t have an address to move to yet. That was your decision.”
And here is where I will pause. I did not lose my cool. I walked away knowing he really believes that I am choosing to make him homeless, without the least bit of insight to his role in this.
I think that lack of insight is pervasive. I believe that if someone asked him the reason for the divorced, he would say he didn’t know, or blame PTSD. But this little piece excerpt of our story highlights so many of the reasons we are divorcing.
He set and agreed to move out several times prior to last Monday. He independently defaults on his commitment, then acts (and sometimes says) that he never made such a commitment. This is standard. It is not partnership. It is not loving, kind, respectful. In fact, it is abusive, and a good example of gas-lighting behavior. It is an utter failure of love, and it is the norm in this relationship.
Absurdly, he is trying to get me to agree to receiving a personal and direct payment of child support, rather than having the State garnish his wages. In the last 3 weeks, our mailbox has yielded at least two checks he has sent to me, neither of which had sufficient funds in the account to clear. I did not cash them, but checked to see if he was writing me hot checks while trying to convince me that he would pay child support faithfully and without the accountability of the state’s involvement.
When accountability comes, “Shall I take your presence here to mean that you intend to sleep here tonight?” He deflects. There is no accountability with a narcissist. They cannot bear the vulnerability required.
I will be the evil, conniving bitch that is blamed for all.