A bit over a month ago, my Pastor said something during service that was hugely enlightening and has changed much of how I perceive how my husband interacts with me and treats me.
What did he say that was so enlightening?
It was something along the lines of, if you’re seeing someone and all they’re doing is telling you about themselves and not asking questions about you, run the other way.
Such wise words!
And if you give it some thought, it’s rather common sense. But sometimes it’s not extremely noticeable that this is the situation until you’re mired in a relationship with someone.
That little bit of insight set my mind to whirling. Thinking over my relationship with my husband and his historical lack of questions, which has been evident recently by things he’s said. Within the last couple months he has been mistaken in thinking 2 significant things about me, which is disturbing.
Our history is a bit different, as we met online in the mid 90’s. Our relationship was 100% online for 4 years because we were both teens and we were separated by an ocean.
You would think an online, long distance relationship would lend to a lot of questions. For teens? Not really. After all the basics, a/s/l (lol?) his questions were often about my friends, which were primarily guys. And then, the pressure for cyber sex after awhile. Which, I was against and caused drama like you wouldn’t believe for teenagers (or you can?).
We did end up breaking up for about a year in 1998-99 because I ended up dating someone from the U.S., a couple hours away from me (rather than a couple plane rides).
In 1999, he came to visit me for a week right before I was to enter University. This was a few months after my rape, which had happened when I decided to go somewhere with my ex, though we weren’t together anymore.
This all is significant to mention, as just a couple months ago, it came up that my husband thought I had slept with my ex boyfriend. I found this disturbing because when he had come to visit, I confided in him that I was raped and the rapist took my virginity.
Over the years in his mind, that bit of information was disregarded and he let his jealousy build. I do feel that contributed to his affair. He’s always been a “tit-for-tat” person, as our marriage counselor calls it.
And the simple fact that he doesn’t care to ask questions but just talk about himself. Like when I found out he dated when we were broken up. I asked him point blank if he slept with her and he told me no.
I should have known the type of person he was, though, when I found a picture he had of the girl he dated, with him and his hand on her butt. I asked him to get rid of it, because, hello? And he said no because she was a friend (who he never kept in touch with??) and he wanted a picture of her. I realize now that it was intended to make me jealous and/or feel bad.
I also became aware of how in present times, everything (in private, in public he treats me completely different) is about him. Nearly every day I ask how his day was. And I hear varying answers, from short, “It was busy,” to long drawn out stories. I’m always interested to hear whatever he has to tell me.
And I wait for the day that he asks me about mine. I think I will wait until one of us is cold in the grave, as after this long, it has yet to happen. At least not in any recent memory.
I’ve not been telling him about my days, and yet he still doesn’t ask. I can’t remember the last time I told him about my day. Unless it was someone quitting.
I think the self-centeredness is a big reason I feel leaving is necessary to deal with the abusiveness. Quite often, he turns situations around on me and puts his behavior on me. He says he can’t do anything right, that he always feels blamed. I’m not sure if he actually does feel this way because everything is all about him, in his mind, or if it’s blame shifting to confuse me. I don’t criticize him and often apologize for no reason just to appease him, so I am indeed confused.
Either way, if I’m not around, he can be with his own self-centered thoughts and only blame himself. Actually, he’ll blame me for whatever he can blame me for. Until he can see his behavior for what it is and as his own, there is no hope for him to change.
I’ve learned to recognize this self centered attitude in friends and cut them off before I waste time and energy. I’m a giver in a relationship and that tends to feed people who are natural takers. I am getting a bit better at recognizing that, though it does take me some time to develop trust. I’m tired of getting taken advantage of, each time it hurts a bit more because my trust gets eroded more.
To avoid jerkfaces, if someone doesn’t seem to show an appropriate amount of interest in you or others, honestly? Don’t waste your time. You’ve heard people don’t change. Invite them to church, maybe God can change them, because certainly you or any other man can’t.