One of my best friends invited me to dinner at his house tonight. He has a 6 year old son, who calls me Aunt KK. His wife and I are also friends and have shared our struggles with each other over the years. They are both strong personalities and it isn't an easy relationship. They have been witness to the implosion of my M. I dont know for sure but I think they might not have gotten M if it werent for their DS who was an accidental P when they were dating. Their wedding was after his birth.
The H has recently taken a job 3000 miles away. He commutes home for 2 weekends and works remote from home one week a month, but has an apartment near his work.
I have encouraged them both to get into IC and MC to learn abt themselves and the not so healthy dynamics in their M. I try not to stick my nose into their business, but they both open up to me and trust me.
Tonight I went over to borrow a tool and got invited to stay for dinner. I lasted about 30 minutes. Chatted with the W a little, helped the DS learn to tie his boot laces, drank about 1/3 of a beer before H came in the house all aggitated. Within five minutes he was commanding W to come "get DS under control" because he was running around like a 6 year old boy
W attempted calming DS but voices were raised and although I didnt make out the words it seemed he was being critical and she was defensive.
I stay out of it and play with DS outside. H is starting dinner, getting meat ready to grill. W comes outside with me and DS. H is still agitated but voices are normal. At some point he calls W into kitchen. Voices raise. I can hear criticism. H comes out, puts meat on grill, goes back inside. More voices. He comes back out and asks if I could help make a salad. Sure, I say.
I go into the kitchen while H is at the grill. W tells me, "I'ts ok, I can do it" I say, "You sure? I'm happy to help" and she says "Actually I was supposed to make the salad but H asked you to do it because I wasn't doing it fast enough" She kinda shrugged, said "I don't know what to tell you" I said, "OK I will let him know you said you were doing it" and went back outside. H comes storming in and starts chewing her out. She says something I can't hear. He calls her a name (I cant remember what he said, it wasnt a curse word but it was critical and mean).
At this point I snap. I can't stand another second of this hostility. I say to him in front of her, "I wouldn't tolerate someone talking to me like that. If you did that to me I'd want to deck you" "I'm gonna go. I have enough stress in my life and I am not going to hang around listening to you two bicker at each other"
I put my 2/3 full beer on the counter, grab my purse and the tool I am borrowing and head for the car. DS follows me "Why are you leaving?" "I gotta go, Im sorry I cant stay" "But WHY??" "Its an adult thing, I just need to go"
I get to my car and im practically in tears. Total PTSD fit, heart racing, chest tight, tears welling up.
Dammit! I haven't felt like crying except for once in the last few months (huh. Now that I think about it, it was when I was on the phone with him talking about my housing situation and he was offering advice)
Bolting has been my go-to defense during the turmoil of dealing with STBXWH - I just have to get away, like NOW before I explode.
Emotionally I'm right back to my reactions during the worst of false R and the beginning of S. It sucks.
I feel like I need to explain and follow up with them but I havent a clue what to say. Right now Im going with crickets but I know at some point this is going to need to be addressed.
I feel like I did what I needed to do to enforce my own boundaries WRT how I allow others to treat me. No, you don't get to invite me over and then act out in front of me. I'm not cool with that. But I also feel really bad for his W and ultra bad for their little DS. IMO this is terrible parenting to demonstrate to your son that it is OK to be so disrespectful to your wife. Just gahhh.
Obviously I dont know the whole story and who is pushing whose buttons. Having been M to a Passive/Aggressive I can tell you that just because your voice is quiet doesnt mean you arent throwing barbs and pushing buttons. What a mess.