He did not set out to be abusive. He felt that punching a wall was an acceptable way of getting rid of his anger. He and I both believed that we were lucky that he had such good self control when we’d look at the hole in the door. It was so out-of-character for him to feel so much rage.
Those things happened even before we started our family, but on such a rare occurrence that it didn’t appear to be an abusive trait, never him and not to me… I loved him and I accommodated him so that he might not feel that rage again.
But by accommodating him, in hindsight I was enabling him. When I could feel his fires lighting up, I’d tone them down by cooking his favourite foods or making sure the house was extra clean. I’d tiptoe instead of dance ~ just to keep his home life calm.
Eventually that was how we lived. When visitors would drop in I’d apologise for the mess of crayons on the table or a basket of unfolded clothes freshly in from the clothesline. He’d look around in disgust, giving me the evil eye that I knew would result in his icy silence for the rest of the week. As the years rolled on those silences were occasionally predated by smashing his guitar through our dining room table or damaging more doors. We lived with our breaths held. I had set the precedence and that was how it was.
I am not taking all of the blame here but I am taking on part of it. Initially he was never a bad man. He never started out to be abusive. And had I known then what I know now, I’d have turned him around and told him to come back when he felt nicer, just as I did with our children. But I didn’t do it that way. And in my tender ministrations, I gave him permission to behave like a spoiled child. In my attempts to appease the situation, I set the stage for his resentment to own our relationship.
I pray that I have done better with my sons, that they will respect women and be able to handle their moods, to talk about problems and to grow. I pray that my daughter has the wisdom to see where the roads divide and takes the higher ground, the one where we demand the respect that we deserve. Now that I am older and supposedly wiser, I no longer accept that the demise of us was all HIS doing. I had my hand in that too…