This is going to be long and painful but it’s got to come out.
I wish I had a psychologist write this for me so it didn’t sound like such an attack but at this point I don’t even care about his triggers. I am pretty certain now I’ve been gaslighted. I tried so hard those last 2 weeks to the point I felt my entire person slipping from me and it was like watching my 22 year marriage in fast forward and all at once – for joy to utter despair and losing myself just to make someone like me – which meant giving myself up – and even then, that person wasn’t going to be happy with me.
There are so many things I saw as potential, but the things that stood in the way were things you felt defined you which is a pity.
The immaturity, the drinking, the smoking, the codependent relationship with your child and the utter complacency about work are things I’m just not interested in being a part of. These were not the picture you presented to me when I met you. The real fact of the matter, the part I think you are angriest about, is that you couldn’t keep up the facade you sold me on. And then got mad when I called you out on it. It all turned in to “I’m not the man to change” when the man I met was all about change. The man I met wanted to be a better man, not a bitter and unloving partner.
I will never forget how you told me I was the pinnacle of everything you ever wanted. That you felt you hit the lottery with me. When you said that to me, just as when you fell in love with me, you were hiding major parts of yourself from me. So the man I (thought I) was falling in love with isn’t the man I was with at the end.
I didn’t know you smoked or how heavily you drank. I didn’t know that you no longer had peer friends to do activities with, that your social circle consisted of children. I didn’t know that the reason women were jealous of your daughter was was because you have a codependent relationship and treat her like a spouse rather than a child and the lines get very blurry. I didn’t know you were so complacent to sit in one job until retirement despite the fact you are one of the smartest men I know. I didn’t know that you enjoy the fact that you are the “brute force” guy at work, the one they send to go knock some guys over and scare people and you love it. I didn’t know how much anger you held deep, deep within.
You spoke about all the brilliant activities you did: golfing, concerts, hiking, biking, fishing etc. I find out that many, if not most, of these activities are your so called “legends” and stories of old. You haven’t done many of these activities with any regularity since you’ve moved to VA almost 8 years ago. Your entire life revolves around bar and drinking activities.
What’s even more disturbing to me is when you say that most of these activities you have only done drunk, including sex. You actually highlight how drunk you were in any given activity with a badge of honor. But then, you don’t want me to call out an alcohol problem. You told me that you can’t recall the last time you had sex without being drunk and you certainly never had slow sex. You didn’t know what “making love” even meant.
I asked you point blank more than once if you smoked and you said you stopped. Then you said only cigars occasionally. Then you said you would stop all cigars. Finally, in the last argument, you told me I needed to accept your smoking. I’m not going to accept your smoking. I gave a very clear boundary you chose to break right in front of me and then tell me it’s “no big deal” and try and manipulate how I should feel about it. You lied to me about you smoking in general, saying you didn’t smoke at all initially. Then you continue to lie to me about smoking less and trying to quit all together. Finally, when you are faced with me being upset that you crossed my boundary, you unfairly turn it back on me with other arguments and state I “take a bucket of pills ” to reduce my anxiety. Maybe if you asked questions you would know I don’t take any pills ever during a day to reduce anxiety. I don’t anesthetize myself the way you do with alcohol or smoke. But since you don’t know how to ask questions, you wouldn’t know this, you just make assumptions from the pieces you have heard or seen. Turning an argument about cigars into something entirely different is your way of never being accountable for your actions. Not once in our relationship have you said “I’m sorry my action has upset you” or “I was aware this crossed a line”. It’s always “because you do this I do that”. Every action has a justification in my behavior, you can’t seem to find accountability for your own behavior with anything.
You are so smart, so funny and so engaging and yet you hang out with children. You claim “this is how we do it” yet I know of no adults anywhere who do this. You do this because you don’t have any peer friends. Everything revolves around a bar and alcohol. You go into a bar and literally drink as fast as you can to get drunk – that is an alcoholic and immature behavior. Kids do that. When a man who is nearing 50 is sitting there slamming down shots and trying to hide drinks in his jacket to get them out of the bar at the end of the night, he’s a drunk. More than once a week you call me slurring you’re words at 930 at night, Scott. Is this the man you want to be? I thought you were a better man than that. I think you can be. But the more you hang around with children or hang around in a bar the less chance you grow up.
Maybe you like the fact that they don’t challenge you. They don’t talk about anything important. They entertain the nonsense you bring up. They can talk about the random inane nothingness that fills most of your chatter. Unimportant information. Talk about big dreams that will never materialize like gay bars and weed stores. I notice when I am around if I talk about something more serious that anyone is engaged with, you go blank and bored, and people notice. You want to be an entertainer. You want to act the fool. That’s fine. Be a fool. Just not with me. I want a grown up. A man who acts like a grown up and talks like a grown up and behaves like a grown up when I’m out with them. I don’t want to worry about being utterly embarrassed by being with the local drunk. About your child making sure I’m driving you home. I want a man who can speak about important things, who doesn’t feel a need to advertise his salary so he can get a stimulus check, who considers drug dealers and thieves amongst his “friend” group. No judgement you tell me. Well, yes, I have a lot of judgement. You surround yourself with these people because they don’t hold you to a higher standard. They don’t require you to be a better man.
Speaking of your child. I love Lauren, she’s such a lovely spirit. I feel so bad she hasn’t had a decent mother. You have done so many good things for Lauren and I do think you have done a great job of being both mom and dad and being there for her. You have a great relationship. But, You aren’t doing her any favors being her best friend and bar buddy. you wonder why women are jealous and Ive explained this to you before but here’s the right word for it – you are entirely codependent with your child. Stop with the “we” and start living the “I”. You are a 47 year old man. You have a lot of responsibility for yourself, own it and stop acting like your daughter is your spouse. You are unintentionally putting all that pressure on her for your lack of a partner – she’s filling your void whether you realize it or not. She always feels bad when you are alone and she wants you to be happy. Every choice you make in your home doesn’t need to be run by your daughter, you can make these decisions, stop treating her like an adult spouse/partner. It’s unhealthy for her to have such an enmeshed relationship. You’ve taught her how to not respond emotionally and that it’s ok for an adult parent to be an alcoholic. Is that what you want for your own child? Do you know how to make independent decisions? Sometimes I wonder as I rarely hear you say the word “I”. It’s like you can’t think for yourself. You can sugar coat that all you want and say it’s just language, but the psychology of it speaks volumes – you just don’t use the personal pronoun. I was given all the leeway in the world to speak to your daughter and her boyfriend until it no longer suited you, until you could use it against me in anger. You send mixed messages. You were very clear at the beginning that you wanted someone who would be a good mothering influence in her life, well for me that means I don’t go drinking and getting drunk with her boyfriend and watching him take advantage of mine. So the fact that I defended you suddenly was used against me. I simply suggested to her boyfriend to buy you a bottle of scotch because he lives there 4 days a week and you are so generous (and I told you this story the next day because you were too drunk to tell you the night it happened) and your daughter tells you her boyfriend won’t come around because I “yelled” at him. When I told you what I said to him and his reaction, even you thought he was a little shit. But when your daughter tells the story, you throw it back at me a WEEK later. It’s shit like this Scott That shows me me you I can’t trust you to be consistent. When I said I did not “yell” at the child, you said it’s his perception. But when I say your angry with me, my perception doesn’t count.
This is how I know I’m being gaslighted. I can highlight numerous occasions now where you adjust stories to suit your argument.
You told me many, many times I’m the most important woman hands down – until I’m not and need to be “smacked down into my place”. That’s how you treat me. I’m the Queen until you decide I need to be put down a few notches. And when you decide to smack me down, you manage to do it so well, because my insecurities allow you to get right at them, the door opens wide and let’s you right in.
At first I thought every time you said “what do you want to do” or “whatever you want” it was because you really meant it or because you really were trying to lease me but now I’ve come to learn that’s not it at all. It’s because you are simply a people pleaser and you don’t even want to be. That’s where all the “we” nonsense comes from. You think every single thing needs to be aligned on. You can’t start any thought with “I would really like xxx, what would you like?” Everything is open ended. This way, when it doesn’t turn out the way you prefer, you have something to complain about because that’s not really what you wanted anyway. So when you don’t choose the restaurant, it’s much easier to complain about it because you really wanted a different one, but you were not clear about it. Then, many times when I make a decision, it’s not what you really wanted to do and “you did it for me” and were unhappy about it. That’s not flexibility. Talk about being a martyr- you don’t even see yourself up on the cross.
You believe you are clear about things, you believe you say them over and over. You even have these fabulous knack of “I never got to finish my sentence from 6 months ago”. It’s famous. It’s now legendary as you would say. You believe, you really believe, you never had an opportunity to speak your piece. Or that I haven’t heard you repeat the same unclear, ambiguous messages over and over. Doesn’t matter how many times I ask you to clear it up, it’s always the same “just relax” or some form of it.
We have no intimacy. We speak about the most mundane, daily things. Things you can’t speak to any stranger on the street. I hear you tell anyone and everyone the same stories you tell me. How does that make me special? Where is our intimacy? The only form of communication is functional. There are rarely engaging questions from you. I have repeatedly asked you to be more curious and you come up with millions of reasons why not, and still don’t. You don’t know how to have emotional and intimate conversations.
I broke your trust? Supposedly I wrote to my therapist? Here’s the thing you got caught out about, I never write to my therapist other than to confirm and appointment. I have every right to communicate with my friends about anything. You asked me not to communicate to you what I speak to my friends about. So I stopped. Yet, you read something over my shoulder out of context and I broke your trust? I would have clarified or even shown you the text but your stonewalling – another favorite abuse tactic of yours. Once again, had you just asked what you saw in the moment you saw it I would have shared. One night in bed I asked 3 times what Lauren was texting about so late at night and you kept saying nothing, but kept texting – so it’s one for you to have conversations I’m not a part of but not ok for me.
You do not want a mature woman. You need a young girl who wants to go out and act the fool at a bar with you and Lauren’s friends and get drunk and smoke. You want someone to run around and play with. Someone who doesn’t have family ties and will only be bound to you. You don’t like roots because you have none.
I tried to sit this week and speak to you. I tried to set aside time. I kept my tone of voice even. I stayed on topic. I know for a fucking fact I did everything right because by God I wasn’t going to fail this time. And I watched it happened like a scene from a movie I’ve seen a thousand times, but this time I knew it by heart and this time I knew I had no part in the movie, where before I was mistakenly playing a part in your drama. We can’t have a discussion can we? There isn’t one thing, not one single thing, I can bring up that you won’t counter with your own justification. Not one thing you will take actual accountability for.
That’s my first brain dump. There’s more to come. I really need some help and support to pull myself through this one. If you’re out there and you’re listening. Stick around and give me all the feedback you can. But not just “get out, be strong” I really want some solid feedback if you have it. I keep feeling like I’ve missed shit along the way. I know this letter isn’t really something you can feedback on because it’s not detailed enough but o think I might write some examples to get your opinions