22nd May 2016 at 1:14 pm #17752SerenityParticipant
I managed to keep my house by exposing his financial lies, with the help of a brave lady witness.
I have realised something today. Though I lovely house, I have felt emotional being here, because it is such a beautiful house- not in that it is expensively done out, but it is in a lovely (removed by moderator) location, and much love has gone into making it beautiful in terms of peaceful colours, quirky nik naks, comfy cushions- many things salvaged from a tip or bought second hand, or even made by me. The garden is long and rambling. Foxes sniff around in the evening, and seagulls perch on the roof. The road’s cats seem to congregate in my garden, and sing their chorus!
I felt emotional because I couldn’t comprehend how my ex could it appreciate such a place, how he didn’t seem to realise how lucky he was to have a family and have this.
At times, I looked around at a few move bits of DIY which he did, and felt a twinge of pain: maybe he did try, maybe he did his best, maybe he did really love me once….
But then the reality hit me in the face. The reality is that I managed the garden singlehanded. The reality is, he bought Agee essential appliances, and yes, he ‘allowed’ me in a rare moment of generosity to buy quite a nice bath, and he made quite an effort with the bathroom, but now I realise a few things:
He didn’t do all those nice DIY things for me. He did them so I wouldn’t get any one else in to do them, and pay them. Also, of course a house is a status symbol to a man. He is very much one for status symbols. I am not. I know I would make any house a home.
Plus, he did the rate thing in the house as a’reward’ for my submission and to keep me quiet. He bought my subservience.
My house – as it was- represented me shutting up and doing as he said.
Proof of this was that, if I ever bought anything for the house without his permission, the silence and passive aggression was deathly. How dare I show financial freedom and buy something to make myself happy! However cheap! I was meant to ask his permission for everything and to be happy having little and thinking only of his needs.
He refused to buy a sofa, so I bought it and chose a nice one in the sale. He always looked at that sofa with hatred. It represented me showing independence and choice. To the kids and I, it was just a comfy place to relax and be cosy. To him, it represented rebellion.
He used to tell my son off for using water to have a bath. We had to bathe in eachother’s water. The kids would go in, then me. By the time I hit in, the water was sludgy. Yet, if he was asked to use another persons water, he went mad. He said “I am not bathing in that slurry.” If my son an a fresh bath, my exwould shout at him. It was like we didn’t deserve to relax or look after ourselves.
We had to put on layers of clothing, as he refused to put the heating on. When I maces hot water bottle for the kids and I to keep warm, he ridiculed me for being like an elderly person. It was like he wanted us to breve the cold and live a life of hardship. Just like, when we went for walks, he would set a punishing regime, forcing us to climb steep hills for miles and miles, desperately trying to keep up with him as he showed off to us how physically able he was.
My house doesn’t represent a time when he was nice it reasonable. It isn’t a relic to better times, when he was nicer. The house represents- or rather represented- a battle ground, a place where we were allowed crumbs if we showed him worship and obeyed him. It represented a place where I was struggling to inject peace and and beauty and freedom for everyone.
Now, I can see it as the place where the kids and I can live in peace. Where I can be creative and not fearfully look over my shoulder if I buy anything. I can enjoy a bath or resting my tired bones on a soft cushion. I can sip my cup of tea on the de King, watching the cats frolick or the seagulls swoop.
I don’t need to feel guilty for having four walls and a roof over my head: I worked hard enough over the years. Sometimes, I worked both day and night. He made me feel like I didn’t deserve a roof over my head, unless I was being a perfect submissive wife. And I certainly didn’t deserve ‘extras’ like a sit in the garden or a bubbly bath.
Today, I am going to buy some mismatching cup it’s door handles, to make my bedroom look a bit quirky, because I am like that. I have always wanted to, and never dared to. Ian going to sit and have my coffee on the outside bench. If he were here, I wouldn’t have been allowed. I would have had to have been planning his next meal.
Now it’s time to get back to being the slightly quirky, artistic nature lover that I wade when he met me. One who didn’t feel guilty sitting down.
I am afraid I bowed out of being the traumatised, work horse, submissive wife who turned a blind eye to his cheating, as he wanted me to be. I have been told this week that I look fresher and younger. That will be because I now have time to run, to dream, to read, to relax. I went out the other day and came across high street shop that was selling off clothes ridiculously cheap. I bought a whole pile if things, and I only bought the prettiest things. From now on, I am only buying the prettiest things.
Sweet, sweet freedom.
22nd May 2016 at 1:31 pm #17753betterdaysParticipant
Hi serenity yes I often wonder why he built me an extension at my other house. Why he did every bit of d.I y. I used to think he is a good man. But when he started building the extension he were yet again living in a flat so I guess he might have done it to buy him time as if to work on me enough to get his foot back in the door and give up his flat. Also to give outsiders the impression what a wonderful guy he is. But they didbt live between 4 walls with him. I guess there’s always a price to pay. Who knows? Your house sounds just the ideal place peace and tranquillity. X
22nd May 2016 at 1:49 pm #17754
Hi serenity, what a joyful, heartwarming post to read. I am so pleased that you are rediscovering your quirkiness & independence that were there before you met but that he eroded over time. Your house sounds beautiful, what a healthy location, (removed by moderator) & nature, you & your sons deserve a happy, positive life without such severe, unnecessary restrictions. I really cannot understand these mens mindsets, why ruin what could have been an idyllic life,a loving family, a beautiful home & a bright future? The only thing that seems to fit is that they have internal anger or other issues that they cannot deal with so they take it out on those closest to them. I wouldn,t mind betting that your ex,although he would NEVER admit it to you but in quiet private moments he feels regret & remorse at the family life that he has lost.x
22nd May 2016 at 2:46 pm #17757
My ex was useless with DIY although (removed by moderator). I would ask him for small gestures to help me in my house,things he could have easily have managed but which I would have struggled with. He would not help me, would complain or make me feel uncomfortable I would not bother. This caused me a lot of resenugent, this is what relationships are about, helping each other out.
22nd May 2016 at 2:48 pm #17758
I meant resentment
22nd May 2016 at 3:33 pm #17768SerenityParticipant
My ex use to find it hilarious that I had to ask him for years ( literally ) todo a job which, in the end, took him 5 minutes.
Yet he wouldn’t let me do it, or get anyone else in.
23rd May 2016 at 12:41 am #17813
That is so controlling, more or less holding you to ransom in you wanted something done. Excerting power,relating to something similar so trivial.
23rd May 2016 at 12:42 am #17814
Something so trivial.
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