The Crazy Making Ex: It’s All About Him and You’d Best Show Your Appreciation!
Submitted by: Cathy
It wasn’t long after I married my ex that I began to fill a wee bit uncomfortable in my own skin. I walked about feeling cranky, anxious, angry, depressed and ready to either scream or cry at the drop of a hat. I no longer knew myself, had lost touch with that happy, carefree girl I was before marrying.
It was not until after my divorce that I began to realize what happened to turn me into such a walking mess of a woman. I read an article about passive aggressive behavior or “crazy making behavior” and I knew, like Oprah I had an “ah ha” moment and saw it all clearly.
I had, had glimpses while dating and during the marriage, little signs I dismissed or refused to acknowledge. One day I was browsing a bookstore and ran across of copy of Living With the Passive Aggressive Man. I flipped through and saw my husband’s behavior on several pages. Quickly I returned the book to its spot on the shelf; I didn’t want that to be my husband.
After all, what wife wants to believe that her husband views her needs, wishes and desires as not being valid. In my fragile mind that was too much to accept. I think because I knew it was not something that could be fixed or maybe I felt attempting to fix it would erode my sanity even further so I chose to ignore it…the “it” being what was going on in my marriage that was costing me so much.
Everyone LOVED my ex. He seemed, the operative word being “seemed” to give till he bled. He gave me everything except what I needed. And in my mind I had convinced myself that I didn’t get what I needed because I was not deserving and the longer I lived with him the less deserving I became.
This is the first in a series of articles about my marriage. Something I’ve never talked openly about. I’ve kept my “Crazy Making Husband” to myself but there have to be other crazed wives out there and its time we come together. If for no other reason than to let others know they can reclaim their sanity, dignity and peace of mind.
He was stationed in Germany when we married. Our son was 2 ½ when we tied the knot and the three of us became a “family.” Why the child before the marriage? I don’t want to talk about it! One of those red flag warnings that should have made it clear as day who I was dealing with.
Maybe I’ll get to that later. For now though let’s talk about the first glaring indication (post marriage) that I had attached myself to a Crazy Maker. His first major covert show of resentment and dismissal of me and my needs came when he had the opportunity to spend three weeks in Italy flying presidential support for Reagan during the G-7 Economic leaders Summit.
When we moved to Germany he wanted to live on the economy, not on base. He found a small home for us 40 miles from base and we settled in with one car, the one he took to work daily. Our son and I were stranded in a small, quant German village without transportation. Being the good man he (thinks)he is, he purchased a car for us to get around in. It was 12 years old, more likely to not cooperate when you needed the engine to turn over. Just the kind of car a mother can’t depend on and the last kind she needs when trying to navigate around a foreign country with a small child.
His auto? Brand spanking new and off he went every morning leaving us behind with the auto that was temperamental. The morning he left for Italy he took his auto and left me behind with the clunker…3 weeks with a child in a strange country and a worthless car. His auto sat on base for 3 weeks unused while he was away.
Who does such a thing to a wife and child? A Crazy Maker! A man who can’t come out and tell you that he feels your needs are too much of a demand but can behave in ways that sends you clear signals of how he feels. It is akin to being beat senseless with a wet noodle!
Seriously, think about it. If you put his actions into words here is what you get, “I don’t care if you and our son don’t have dependable transportation while I’m away for 3 weeks. This is a great opportunity for me and you should be happy, not concerned about some stupid auto.” Who makes excuses for such behavior? The woman married to the Crazy Making Husband!
As I write this I can feel the inside of my head tingling, that old feeling I became so familiar with during my time as his wife. It is a sense of confusion, of being bewildered, I was always slightly off kilter. It kept me from seeing the reality of what I was dealing with and got in the way of me constructively doing what was best for me and my son.
By the time he returned from Italy I was having panic attacks. An emotional state that made the idea of his parent’s upcoming visit less than attractive. But I was one determined woman, I’d figure out what was wrong with ME because darn it, such a good man deserved an emotionally stable wife. Wish I had known at the time that emotionally unstable was exactly where he wanted me…I’d have reveled a bit in my insanity!
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