I recently found this essay that I had written about a week after my NxGF and I had started what ended up being the worst fight we ever had during our relationship. This fight occurred approximately 4 months before she told me I had been exposed to an STD because of her infidelity and I ended our relationship.
Looking at it now, I can definitely see the enmeshment that was present in our relationship, as well as my codependent behavior.
What do you see in this interaction?
My Essay ->
I have been dating the same woman for over 3 years. We are both in our early 40’s with kids from prior relationships. We still live in separate houses since we haven’t been able to successfully coordinate moving in together due to kids, etc. Everything about our relationship is great in my opinion except for one thing: I just can’t deal with her anger. When she’s not angry at me, we get along very well. When she’s angry at me, it’s positively hell in my opinion. I really believe she has issues managing her anger. When I’ve brought the topic up in the past, she says that we have a “difference of opinion” on the topic or that I’m being “overly dramatic” and acts very defensive.
Below is an excerpt from a recent disagreement. We have a similar disagreement about once a month. This disagreement started the evening of day 1 at her house and went on for nearly a week. It still hasn’t been fully resolved.
The disagreement started over a few comments that were made by her while we were cleaning up after dinner about how I didn’t like going to the gym late in the evening. I’m typically gone 11 hours a day for work and really don’t feel like heading back out to the gym after dinner, I’d prefer to stay home. I became frustrated with her comments and said something along the lines of “fine, let’s go to the gym then”. It was about 2000 in the evening. I went to the mudroom to get my shoes and put them on to get my gym bag out of the car in order to change into my gym clothes. She came into the mudroom, where I was putting on my shoes, and seemed annoyed and asked me what I was doing. I told her “putting on my shoes so I can get my gym bag out of the car so we can go to the gym”. Now she seemed really annoyed but she didn’t say anything more.
After I changed into my gym clothes, we both got in the car to head to the gym. I asked her what was wrong. She refused to tell me what was wrong and we rode to the gym in silence. We didn’t speak at the gym at all. She seemed annoyed the entire time we were there. We left after about 45 minutes. I also asked her on the way home what was wrong and asked her if she was upset that we went to the gym. She said, yes, that was what she was upset about and then told me I “had to know” that was why she was upset. I told her I wasn’t a mind reader and asked her why she was upset about going to the gym. She became rather defensive insisting that I should know and we eventually agreed to drop the discussion. After returning home from the gym, she still seemed really annoyed. I went to take a shower and came to bed to find her in bed with the lights out in the room and her looking like she was asleep. I crawled into bed in the dark and didn’t bring up anything at the time since I figured she was still very angry at me.
The next morning I woke up and got dressed and went to work without showering, since I had showered the night before. I typically will shower in the morning, but since I didn’t have any idea if she was still angry at me, and I had showered the night before, I chose to just get dressed and let myself out quietly. Prior to leaving for work, I went over to her while she was still lying in bed and kissed her on the cheek and wished her a good day. She appeared to be still sleeping.
Text exchange the morning of Day 2 after the disagreement the prior evening:
How’s your morning? Busy day 4u?
I don’t know I guess my day is great, semi busy
Apparently your credit card has been getting charged for tanning at the gym… they caught it and reversed all the charges so it should be good now, just an fyi.
Glad ur day is great. Glad they caught the tanning issue.
I don’t know what your little hissy fit is all about… we are in the kitchen 1 minute talking about working out then you’re throwing a little childish tantrum in the mud room. And because I’m annoyed so you have to get mad and now you won’t speak to me, storm out of the house in the morning and are being cold. Why don’t you just let me know when your little fit is finished. And if it has more to do with just a conversation about going to the gym by all means please let me know. But if you talking to me means being cold to me then don’t bother saying anything at all.
Not going to text fight with u.
Note: She says I stormed out of the house. When I left the house in the morning I made sure to kiss her good bye and wish her a good day (she was still in bed) hoping she wouldn’t think I was storming out. I will admit that I was trying to avoid doing anything in the morning that could possibly set her off, since she still seemed really angry when we went to bed. She later told me that she felt I was ignoring her in the morning.
There was no communication for over 24 hours following this exchange. I went to my house after work on Day 2 and Day 3 since I had my daughter those nights. I knew she was super angry at me and I didn’t know why and I didn’t want to confront her about it when she was still so angry. The next contact was initiated by her via email at about 2030 the evening of Day 3, about 30 hours after our last contact.
Email exchange from Day 3:
I don’t know what the hell you are doing or why you are doing it. But I had always thought we were in agreement that a silent treatment in a relationship is wrong and damaging. You actually believe this more than me. Yet here you are doing it. I am so positively livid right now that you would treat our relationship this way, disrespecting and damaging it, especially after all the preaching that you do on communication. This is so incredibly damaging and i am so pissed off and disappointed that you have chosen this path. And not only chosen to give me the silent treatment, but not even tell me what the hell it is about. It surely can’t be because I was upset with your attitude about the gym… that would be pretty insane. I would expect this relationship to be more mature than my last and this is something that I used to live with and I will not do it again. If you would like to stop and attempt to repair the damage I feel you have now done, I’d suggest contact me soon.
I am not really sure how to respond to your email.
One question for you: Do you honestly feel that you calling my concerns a “childish tantrum” and a “hissy fit” and then threatening me with breaking up and calling me immature creates an environment conducive to me opening up and sharing my feelings with you?
I didn’t realize you had any “concerns” so no i didn’t call your concerns anything. Childish tantrum and hissy fit is exactly how I feel you were acting. And I still do. I did not threaten a break up.
OK, let’s try again
Do you honestly feel that you calling my concerns a “childish tantrum” and a “hissy fit” and then threatening me with breaking up and calling me immature creates an environment conducive to me opening up and sharing my feelings with you?
A yes or no answer would suffice
HMMMM, probably about the same as how you just spoke to me in your prior emails….. And while I may have spoken out loud what I felt you acted like, you did the same thing just without words, by laughing at me at the gym and storming out of my house in the morning and by giving a silent treatment. You can go ahead and throw out accusations that I don’t create an environment for sharing feelings, but take a look at your own actions. So don’t go there and pretend that just because you act one way and not the other that you are any more constructive than anyone else! I will not apologize for saying you had a hissy fit, it is exactly what i feel you did. And not only that but then to get mad cuz i’m annoyed… yes, childish. Now you won’t “text fight” but email fighting is ok?? Not sure what your rules are anymore, they keep changing as we go along and seems to be whatever suits you, no consistency, it is very confusing for me, sound familiar?
so since my kids will be home in 30 minutes… OK, let’s try again, if you’d like to contact me and explain yourself, apologize and attempt to repair the damage feel free. And in my opinion there is now a ton of damage to repair.
So what do you feel I need to apologize for? This is not a sarcastic question. I really don’t know.
How is it my lone responsibility to contact you and to “attempt to repair the damage”? I thought we were in this together?!?
No, I don’t agree with email fighting either, but here we are…
This was the end of the exchange that evening. The next discussion was in person on Day 4 in the afternoon and she was still fuming mad at me, but at least it didn’t turn super ugly. She refused to accept my apology or forgive me for anything I did and to this point (day 7) has refused to offer a sincere apology for her part in the argument.
I’m not really sure what to do. I love her a lot but I’m really at the end of my rope with her anger and how she treats me when she’s angry.
End of Essay –
So what do you think? What types of toxic patterns do you see in this exchange?
Looking forward to your responses!