Is it typical for men to switch to nice mode once they get the letter of representation?
After almost a decade of being told I cannot do anything right I decided that the next time my husband said he was going to leave, I would NOT plead for him to stay (two small children) and try, try, try again to make things work; I would accept it and make it happen.
A month ago he said he wanted to leave, I said I accepted it and he received his letter of representation yesterday. Since we still live together (house not sold yet in this market, no extra money) I wanted him to know the letter was coming and not just explode when he got it, I told him it was coming.
First of all, he flipped out that I actually have a lawyer. He didn’t expect me to follow through or stand up for myself. He also wanted to separate when the house was sold but it’s miserable living there with him especially now.
He likes to be the one in control. He was ready to walk out and sleep in in office but I (nice, nice) said to stay. I wanted him to leave but my reasoning was that he needs to find a real place to stay so the kids can stay with him sometimes and give me time to see which of my feelings are real and which are being manipulated. And also, if I admit it, I don’t like fighting with him and I want him to be nice so I give in and try to do and say what I think he wants.
Usually, he’s only happy when he says mean enough things to make me cry but now he’s had a TOTAL change of attitude (manipulation, is my first thought), he says he wants to work it out for the children’s sake and doesn’t understand why I can’t play “happy, grateful, let’s have sex now-wife” because for four days he’s been civil.
I’m so guarded around him. I’ve explained how much I’ve hurt over the years and he never cared–that I don’t trust that he can change. I can’t just flip the switch like him and show gratitude for the tiny bit of niceness he’s showing. BUT, have I been too sensitive all these years? Is it too much to expect a man to love me for the things I am and accept the things I’m not instead of being critical and mean to force me into a mold I will never fit? I know I can never make him happy and I would zap him a perfect size 6 southern belle who keeps an immaculate model home and has a healthy, home-cooked dinner ready at six every night if I could because I do love him and want him to be happy. It’s really not unreasonable for him to want a nice, clean house and predictable meal times. I just can’t seem to get it together all by myself.
Here’s the thing: I feel guilty now that the shoe’s on the other foot. He’s always been the one threatening to leave but now that I’m making it happen, he says I want this more than him and that makes me the 'bad guy" breaking up our family. He even said he wanted to be more involved with the kids (homework, bathtime, bedtime) but that they don’t want him to be–they only want me. I think that would change if he actually spent more time with them alone, for years I thought he would be better as a ‘weekend Dad’.
I finally thought I could start standing up for myself but I’m being pulled back into a swamp of guilt. He’s not a horrible person, he just doesn’t like ME and maybe it’s my fault because I was too sensitive and gave up my self esteem and withdrew. I’m not a great housekeeper and he’s a better cook than I am. I am a great mother though and there ARE some things I do right even if he won’t acknowledge them.
I need reassurance, I was so sure what I am doing (separation–officially) is the right thing but now he’s being all nice. I never used to second-guess myself like this before we got married.
I’m a wimp.