I haven’t shared much about my second husband. Honestly, he was not one of the best decisions I ever made. In fact, he might be in the top 10 bad decisions I’ve made in my lifetime.
I met him when he was just about to graduate with his PhD. He was a research analytical chemist. We married the day after he walked in his graduation ceremony. The day of the wedding, his mother tried to talk him out of marrying me. It truly was very hurtful. She just keep telling him what a bad person I was because I had a previous marriage and a child.
We had two ceremonies. One in Canada and one in the US. After our US wedding ceremony, we honeymooned in St. Augustine, Florida.
On the first night of our honeymoon, he told me that he if I was just a little skinnier it would be the “icing on the cake”. Having come from an abusive childhood and very little self-esteem, I just accepted it as part of the being loved program.
This would be the start of many, many abusive comments and conversations. He was always using his intelligence as a reason for permission to be psychologically cruel. He knew very well how to use his narcissistic behaviors to manipulate a situation to meet his desires.
Frequently he would comment on my lack of college degree and how I should listen to him because he had a PhD. He also had a serve me mentality. He didn’t want to do anything for himself and anything that he could pay someone to do he would. He would get mad at me for washing my own car. Or ironing my own clothes. He hated having to have dinner at home. He always wanted to be served in a restaurant.
I would attend some of his office functions and he would get so mad at me because I was rarely serious and seemed to always entertain his boring friends. He wanted me to sit down and be quiet. He wanted it to appear as though I was subservient and had no voice of my own.
After the honeymoon, he began a new job at a very well-known eyeglass lens manufacturer a few cities away. His starting pay was very nice and he immediately began to think of himself as much better than the average middle class person.
After one week of work, he sat on the side of the bed one morning and made this statement. “I don’t know if I like this whole job and instant family thing”. I was shocked. But I kept thinking he would grow to love everything about us.
That really never happened. He resented everything about sharing a space with someone. He resented anyone knowing where he was or what he was doing. He resented talking about finances. He resented pretty much everything in our lives. He even refused to ride in my car because it was not “a car a doctor would drive”.
After about 6 months of what I now can see as his narcissistic behavior, the most unusual thing happened. And it was the beginning of the end of our marriage. Although we were married a total of 5 years, I still thought he might change his mind and begin to love me.
One particular day, a few days after Christmas, I was cleaning up the remains of gifts, the decorations, etc. He had a book laying on the coffee table and I picked it up and moved it to his bedroom side table. He came out to look for it a few minutes later and was furious that it had been moved. He made some loud statements about his things being his things and no one should touch them, etc. I tried to ignore him and went about my business of cleaning. I went into my son’s room and was cleaning up some in there. He was very quiet and I suddenly got the weirdest feeling in my gut that I needed to go look for him and see what he was doing.
Well, there he was in the yard. He had dug a huge hole and was burying all of my clothes in the ground. I yelled, “What are you doing?” He said something to the effect of me learning a lesson about touching his things.
I cried hysterically and began to dig out my clothes. The shame and humiliation was enormous. How could I have gotten myself into this relationship with an abusive man? Why didn’t I see the signs? I felt so stupid and guilty.
Anyway, there were many more stories much like this one, and I will share them in the days to come. I’ve learned that I had no idea of my own value or worthiness and I stayed because I wanted to feel loved.
In retrospect, I don’t think he knew what love was. And I surely could not tell him how to love me, since I didn’t even love myself.
I’ve chosen to be single for many years now, because I wanted to just work on me. I am told that I’m a pretty good person and have a lot to offer someone. Now I just have to believe it.
Until next time – I am being MJ every day.