First off, for those new to this blog, I am not perfect. I have a low tolerance for stupidity. My voice, when I get serious, tends to have a very mean sound to it. Not much I can do about that. I tend to be very practical about things especially finances. I am also blunt. I see no reason to tiptoe around people unless I know there is a specific reason to do so. I will not say anything behind a person’s back that I will not say to their face. Normally, I do not keep my feelings or thoughts hidden from my husband. However, things between us have changed. The full story is in a earlier posting.
It’s hard to fully express, in writing, how things go around here. In order to do so, I would have to start at the beginning and it would probably turn into a book. Even still, no amount of writing can capture the tones or nuances of someone’s voice. No amount of writing can truly express every detail of years of problems.
Years ago, I had to take over the finances because DH was a Submariner in the Navy. It’s kind of hard to pay bills when you’re under the Atlantic for months on end. When he went to shore duty, he told me to keep handling it, because I am way better at it than he is. Which is very true. He can’t save money even if you held a gun to his head.
Last week, we were at Lowes getting something. As we passed the lightbulbs, he made a comment about how the only bulbs he could buy were the higher wattage ones. This was in reference to the bulbs he replaced after I told him not to do it in order to save money. That is also in a previous post. At the time, his words didn’t click. It wasn’t until later in the day that I realized he had gone that morning, before I was up, and bought the bulbs I was blinded by. Checking the bank account showed he hadn’t used our account.
A few days ago, I noticed a brand new tube of toothpaste sitting on the sink. This is not surprising. What is surprising is that it is an expensive brand I don’t normally buy. I used to use coupons to buy toothpaste. However we began discovering all of our reactions, and went to a natural homemade tooth powder. The men in the house still use our current supply of couponed toothpaste and will switch when it runs out or buy their own.
I only bought what I could get free or under 50 cents with a coupon. The brand I was looking at is not one of them. Only three people use the downstairs bathroom for brushing their teeth. I knew the toothpaste belonged to DH. The question: where did it come from? I asked him and he said he got it from the toothpaste stash. I didn’t argue with him. I knew it was a lie. We only had two tubes left. That wasn’t one of them. Both tubes are still on the shelf.
I have never understood why he tells these stupid lies that are easily checked. Does he really think I’m that stupid or that, after everything, I will believe him without checking?
The following day he came home from work with a can of Diet Mountain Dew. We are on a tight budget. I buy his soda and stock up on whatever brand is on sale that he will drink: Diet Coke or Diet Mountain Dew. I hate buying it, but he’s an adult and it’s his choice.
However, the currently stocked soda is Diet Coke and Diet Coke with Lime. That means he bought himself a soda. I made a mental note to check the bank account to see if he had used it. Some might think this is odd, but as I said, we are on a tight budget. Any purchases not planned for throws it all off. Every dollar in our bank account has a name attached to it.
I mentioned dinner was running behind and he said, “That’s okay. I’m not very hungry.” If you’ve read my previous posts about DH, you know this man is always hungry. He constantly snacks on his lunch items while at his desk, which throws the grocery budget off, because he runs out of lunch foods before the next payday.
I will put “free foods” in a section of the fridge meaning they are free to munch on. The rest are part of recipes and I need them, so they are separate. He will literally clear a small bag of carrots in one sitting along with an entire head of cauliflower and broccoli. Moderation is not in his vocabulary.
While it is great to eat healthy, and I’d prefer it, that food was for everyone to be eaten over several days at least. The kids will open the fridge to grab a carrot and they’re gone two days after I bought them. If I say anything, I will hear, “Fine! I’ll eat junk then since you don’t want me to eat healthy food.” He will turn it around to me trying to make him sick.
Or he will say that I treat him like a child restricting him on what he can eat, and will completely ignore that he eats enough for three people. And no, I’m not exaggerating. When he goes out of town on business, our grocery bill literally drops by 50%. Think about that. There are 6 people in this house plus 3 animals whose food is included in the food budget. 1 leaves and the grocery bill drops by half.
He does not understand the concept of a budget. He thinks he should be able to spend money as he pleases when he pleases. That is not the way life works, and it is certainly not the way life works when one is 14 years to retirement, needs to pay off debt and find a place to retire and save money, because I highly doubt social security will be around by then.
Back to the topic. One day I will conquer the rabbit trails.
We have expensive toothpaste, a soda and “not hungry” (meaning he ate Chinese before leaving work). Checking the bank account showed no activity on his card. The last transaction was gas the week before. Which means he has money hidden – again.
Which brings me to the point of this: When do you give up?
I tried to talk to him about his hiding thousands of dollars and blowing it on stupid things like eating out or buying expensive things he knew I’d put into the budget if he had mentioned it. I pointed out that I have always fulfilled every birthday and wishlist for him no matter how tight the budget was at the time. I asked him why he kept over $800 hidden when I had told him we were struggling to buy food (I had found it the day after I said it).
I have dealt with the lying, hiding money and gaslighting for over 31 years. Throughout that time I have tried to talk to him, asking him why he does these things, does he want to stay married, etc. He says what he thinks I want to hear; he promises he’ll stop, he’ll do better, blah blah blah.
Almost 2 years ago, I tried talking to him again. I told him if he didn’t stop we were done. He swore he’d stop. He swore he wanted to be married and would try to work things out. The problem is that he never said he was sorry and never admitted he did anything wrong. I was willing to ignore that to try and save 30+ years of marriage.
After that, he lied and hid money 4 more times. The gaslighting decreased, but still continues. And now, it’s obvious he still has money hidden. I think he finally wised up and got a bank account for it. Since everything can be done electronically, no statement would ever come to the house.
I have a history of abuse and other stuff with men. My number one rule is to never, ever lie to me. I don’t trust men easily. At this point, I don’t think I will ever trust him again. It’s been broken too many times. I’m tired of trying when it’s obvious he only cares about what he wants.
My eldest said that this time I set myself up for it. She said, “You said you’d leave. You didn’t. Now he thinks he has free rein to do whatever, because he thinks you won’t go.” I know she’s right. The kids who live at home see what he does, and they tend to get frustrated with me if I make an excuse for him. It’s not that I’m making excuses for me. I’m trying to make sure they don’t think badly of their father by excusing it.
My children are not stupid. They can see right through it all. They are pushing me to leave as well. My eldest son once said, “You’ve done your best. It’s time for you to be happy. I’ll go with you after I’m out of the Marines.” All of the children said they will go with me no matter where I go.
Just writing this I’ve tensed up. My shoulders are literally up to my ears. I had to stop and stretch. I don’t want to throw everything out the window, but at this point I don’t even want to be in the same room with him. I don’t even want him in the house. He gets near me and every muscle tenses up. I became nothing more than a cook and maid years ago. At the time, I didn’t mind because I had the kids. They’re all pretty much grown. Now, I’m being forced by time to face these problems and deal with them.
I did start preparing for this. But I keep delaying it, because I hate giving up and other factors. I could write a whole ‘nother post about them, but are they just excuses as well?
After 31 years, is it time to give up, move on and rebuild my life? I won’t say find someone else. I think I’m done with that. Or do I stay and continue to be treated by someone who really doesn’t care about us, about making this marriage a partnership and working towards the rest of our life together?
That is what I am wrestling with now. I keep flip-flopping on it even though I’d done things to prepare for it. Is it truly time to throw in the towel and stop making excuses?