When Do You Give Up?

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?

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “When Do You Give Up?

  1. Could you possibly get employment to help with expenses? Can some of these grown children help financially? I could not imagine being unable to purchase a soda if I choose as an adult that worked my entire life. After I left my career of 16 years we took a hit of 5500.00 less every month. So what we did was rent a room out in our home to help with expenses.

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    • *sigh* I had my response typed out, went to check another window and accidentally “x”ed out my reply. /headdesk Lets see if I can remember it. As I said in the post, it’s hard to explain everything without writing a book.

      The kids help out whenever and with whatever is needed. They will do things around the house, pick up stuff at the store that they know we need, etc. As of today, one does not work, because he just recovered from a knee stress fracture injury at boot camp. He is now looking for a job. Jobs around here are extremely difficult to find. With the upcoming Affordable Act changes, everyone has put a freeze on hiring right now. Even Walmart who is always hiring. My daughter is on medical leave, because she hurt her leg running. It took her a year to find a job and it’s an hour away. Right now, those two have no income. My Marine just left for three months. That leaves the 17-year-old who works part-time at McDonalds. Legally, I am responsible for him. However, he does do what he can.

      I’ve written about my husband in previous posts. This has nothing to do with me “restricting” him financially in any way. He decided to put me in charge of the finances. His lunch budget for work was discussed by us both and a set amount was agreed upon. He told me how much he wants to eat and drink, and I work around that. He takes sodas from home to work with him. He has no need to buy sodas. He already has them. Everything we planned financially for the next 5-10 years was agreed to by him. We created the plan. It is my job to make it happen.

      A few months ago, he said his laptop wouldn’t play a game he wanted to play. The next day, I took some of the money in savings and bought him a new laptop as a surprise. For no reason at all. I just did it. Even though I knew he was hiding money, and spending it on himself, I decided to take the high road. That’s what I do; I buy things for people. He complained, because it had Windows 8 on it and he didn’t want Windows 8.

      He beta tests Windows for Microsoft. He has for years. He has the ability to reformat it. This is his attitude. He will say “Thank you.” but it usually comes with what he doesn’t like about whatever you just did for him. Even worse, he doesn’t tell me. He tells the kids who tell me what he said. That is not a fair thing to do to them. I go to him directly. He goes to the kids.

      He tends to be passive-aggressive. I have tried working outside the home. In fact, at one point, I owned my own bookstore. He doesn’t like it. He will agree to it, then do things to sabotage it like not feeding the kids (when they were younger), taking my wet work clothes out of the dryer and dropping them in the dirty clothes hamper even though the dryer was running, not take the dog out so that the dog pees on the floor, etc.

      I have had to constantly work around this by having the kids take care of the animals around school and now work, making sure they know to feed themselves (unless he forbids them to which he has done – he insisted he was going to cook but didn’t) and more. The stress levels were extremely high. At this point, we function like he’s not even in the house, because we can’t count on him to do anything. He likes it that way. He can do what he wants while we do the work.

      I now work from home. A couple of weeks ago, I put together a packet for a prospective customer and set it on the kitchen island. My phone rang so I left the room to answer it, because it was on my desk. My daughter, who had seen me set the packet down, went to her room. After my call, I went to leave the house and the packet was gone. I asked everyone and no one knew where it went. I had to quickly make a new one and was late to my meeting. Later, one of the kids found it in the trash. DH said, “I thought it was junk mail and threw it out.” This is an outright lie. I always throw out junk mail the minute it gets into the house. I never leave it on the island. In fact, it doesn’t touch any surface in the house except the trash can. He knows this yet tells lies like this all the time. Very easily checked outrageous lies. I honestly just don’t get it.

      It has nothing to do with the soda. If he said he wanted to buy a soda a day at work, then I’d work it into his lunch budget. I wouldn’t like it, because it would be over $50 a month, but I’d do it the same way I buy the lunch stuff he wants. This is a game to him.

      In the past, I’ve found a digital camera that he said was just a cheap thing he picked up. When I asked him how he paid for it, he just smiled and left the room. After I discovered he was hiding and spending thousands of dollars over the years, I looked it up. It was a $350 camera. He doesn’t even take pictures. It just sits on his desk.

      Doing laundry, I found a brand new silk shirt. He said a friend gave it to him. The same with gold coins, random hot sauce that comes in the mail among other things. All from friends he works with. I’ve asked the guys he works with, and no one knows anything about any “gifts”. When I found the receipt for the shirt in his pocket, I knew he was lying about all of it. The shirt was almost $100.

      Doing things like this is almost an in-your-face type of move – almost like he’s challenging me to do something or proving I won’t do anything. I don’t know.

      We did the rent a room thing years ago. It ended very, very badly. I will never do it again.

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