Monday, October 22, 2012

Turning point

My wife woke up and talked with me about changing her religion, from her local beliefs to Christianity. She told me that her reasons for doing so were because her mother and sister act badly and she didn't want to follow the same religion they did, and that she prayed all the time but never got anything from her current faith. I repeated the same thing I told her a few days ago in annoyance: she shouldn't switch religions just because someone she didn't like was also a member, and she should follow a religion because she agrees with their beliefs, not because she wants something.

She got miffy and pretended that I didn't tell her this a few days ago, then suddenly told me that she wanted to follow the religion to be closer to her recently passed grandmother. This is exactly her same method of drama that I outlined before, and as soon as she mentioned her grandmother, I knew what she was up to. I looked away from her and back to my video game, then said that it sounded like a good plan. I then scolded myself for trying to get involved with my wife's issues again, knowing that every result ends up with her ignoring my advice or getting angry.

She still sounded miffy, but the more I ignored her and responded only with short answers, the happier she seemed to become. Truth be told, I'd heard about this phenomenon only recently, and the results are exactly as people say they are (and the exact opposite of what I expected): the colder a man acts to a woman, the more eager she is to please.

It's completely true. Before, every time my wife started a pointless fight with me then I apologized for my rudeness later (and never got anything similar in return), her behavior would only get worse as the fight dragged on, or in the days and weeks after. But now that I treat her little tantrums with indifference, she suddenly seems more than willing to get things back to the way they were. All I have to do is flick my attention somewhere else and give noncomittal hums, and the drama comes to a screeching halt. I updated my coping post with this nugget, in hopes that it helps other unhappily married men.

I don't like acting like this. And I wouldn't have to act like this if I weren't married. But from this point on, I will never have another p-whipped fight with my wife, fights that I've detailed over the past year and a half on this blog.

In marriage, as with any other volatile relationship, weakness invites aggression. Concessions invite more demands. Apologies invite blame.

Ever since I started ignoring my wife when she's miffy, and speaking directly the many reasons that she's wrong when she's actively attacking me, she backs down every time. Her fits of drama have started happening less and less, in addition to being shut down in seconds. She made a big mistake cutting me off sexually, not doing anything around the house, starting fights nearly every week and wasting hundreds of dollars of my money every month: by treating me like garbage for years while still relying on the benefits I provide her, she's allowed me to check out of this marriage in every way but physically.

My wife has no idea of how I truly feel, but I am so internally removed from this relationship, and my life, that I no longer take any of my wife's crap with the kowtowed posture, voice and words that I used to. I'm not pushing her to divorce me, as happy as that would make me, because we have a son. I'm showing her that I won't tolerate any of her bull anymore. If she divorces me because I've decided to stop taking her abuse, I can't blame myself for it. My son deserves more in life than a father who is a doormat and ATM machine to his mother, and I need to show him that not only will marriage destroy him, but that his life and happiness are in his own hands.

I do everything, all of this, for my son, and I will ever remain his dedicated father. Whether or not my wife decides to get with the program and change my life from crap to lame, I no longer care. I'll continue to provide for her as I promised when we got married, and I'll show her respect and kindness when she's a good person, but I'm not taking her abuse anymore. And in fourteen years, I will be free of this yoke. Forever.

As a contrast to all of this, I came home from work by train, and talked with one of my co-workers about my life on the way. She is incredibly beautiful and really nice, and it was good to get some things about my married life off my chest by back-handedly bashing it through comparison to my single life. I never said a word about marriage directly, but I think she got the point as I entertained her with some stories cribbed directly from my Then and Now posts. If I weren't married, I would definitely pursue something more with her.

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