Ironically, he accused me of never being able to lose in an argument,of never agreeing to disagree. I actually think there was some truth in there.
You see we tended to argue over things that were important to me.
Things that were important to him tended to happen. He''d phrase something he wanted or wanted to do, not as a question, but a suggestion "I''m planning on doing such and such on Tuesday night" It was set up in such a way that if I disagreed, then I was the unreasonable one. Mostly what he wanted wasn''t an issue, so he got it.
Things that I wanted to do often didn''t happen. I now realise this was because of a couple of things:
Firstly, I tended to ask if I could do something. Mainly because I''m a SAHM and needed him to look after the children if I wanted to do something. I now realise that he assumed I''d look after the children, whereas I didn''t assume that he would. It was an unequal playing field and remains so (when he left he never even thought that he would have the children except on his time off during the week, regardless of my committments). Also, because I asked, rather than suggesting, it was easy for him to say no or find a reason why I couldn''t.
Secondly he would use a look of disgust when I did suggest doing something that he didn''t want me/us/him to do. He''d do this even as he would say that he didn''t mind or it was up to me. That look is designed to shame the person on the receiving end. And that, combined with telling me it was up to me, gradually, over the years, made me doubt my own judgement. I loved him, I didn''t want to disgust him, so usually things weren''t important enough to make an issue of.
But we did argue sometimes (nowhere near as often as he makes out - he''s a passive aggressive conflict avoider we didn''t argue much!) and it was when I refused to back down OR got so frustrated with his procrastination or emotional detachment that I chose to lash out.
In the second circumstances, I was fighting about the wrong thing to start with, and then get down to the core reason. He''d quickly say sorry to end the argument, promise to change, would do whatever job it was (often badly) but then nothing would change. If I tried to talk more about it, he''d get mad back. He always wanted me to apologise. And I often didn''t want to because I felt that I was fundamentally right. Well, I kind of was, but the way I handled it was not right and it gave him more ammunition for his resentment pile.
In the first circumstances, this is when we''d have the long arguments. He very rarely didn''t get what he really wanted. He really didn''t like it and would get sulky with me for days and passively resist a whole lot more. This is when I''d be accused of not being able to lose an argument. He did this even more when we were in false R.
I felt like I must be a horrible human being and wife. I thought I must be emotionally abusive. I wondered if I was BPD/NPD/sociopathic...thankfully the IC showed me that I wasn''t. I''ve got my own FOO issues that make conflict hard. I try to avoid until it boils up and explodes out...and WH used and exploited that to get his P/A projected anger fix. I''m learning to stop when I start getting angry and work out why and what''s really going on, what I''m really feeling and why. I don''t manage it all the time, but I''m getting better. Of course WH knows exactly what buttons to push.
Anyway...I''m learning that I''m not a horrible person. I do say sorry, I admit my mistakes etc, etc. But WH doesn''t!
He admitted once in MC that he never believes that he''s wrong. He doesn''t care if others agree or not, he knows he''s right! He''s quite happy to say sorry to end an argument, but not because he believes he''s wrong.
Whereas I often thought I was in the wrong. Thought I was becoming like my emotionally abusive dad. Thought I must be awful to make a man who doesn''t feel anger (WH) argue. Hated myself for it....because I just wanted a loving relationship and didn''t understand how I was being manipulated, so I blamed myself. But couldn''t let WH knowthat because I couldn''tbe emotionally vulnerable with him.
After DDay I knew I had to risk everything and let him in to my most vulnerable parts, because then maybe he''d feel able to reciprocate. I''ve told him things I''m ashamed of, scared of....I confessed like a WS, hoping he''d do the same. He didn''t. He resisted and blameshifted. He targeted me when I''d taken all my armour off. I was an easy, soft target. So I found myself defending myself, working on changing myself,working at the M...while he did nothing, except pretend remorse and get ready to leave when he realised I wasn''t going to rugsweep.
Ironically, working on myself made me stronger, made me not accept his blameshifting, made me not rugsweep. Got me to IC and made me realise I'm not a harriden. His manipulation backfired there!
[This message edited by Softcentre at 1:44 AM, January 26th, 2014 (Sunday)]