Sunday, October 10, 2010

End of the TXT-MESSAGE-FIGHT story.

First of all, I stopped moderating comments.  Too often, I'll write something in the heat of the moment and not log on for another week, or a holiday will go by or something and I and everyone else don't see your posts.  So now it's no longer moderated.

As for the whole Israel trip.  Here is the end of the story.

The following morning, I was ready to talk to my wife thinking that she'd cooled down from the previous day's interactions.  The first thing she asked me is whether I take back all the things I said before and do I admit that I am a selfish asshole.  I told her that I was still sorry I said them the way I did, but I still meant what I said, but I thought I was right and that I'd be happy to talk about it like adults.

I can't recall the words that were exchanged, but they were primarily insults directed at me where she was venting anger and throwing insults my way, but no, she wouldn't discuss anything that was said.  Finally, I got ready, went to work, and kissed my three kids goodbye.  Knowing that my wife was flying to Israel that morning, I was horrified and sad that she was okay with leaving with such negativity between us, but she made no efforts to smooth things out despite my many attempts the night before and that morning.  Instead of kissing her too, I told her to "go to hell" and I walked out.

I couldn't believe we were going to part fighting like this.  She had deceived me in the way she handled the whole Israel thing, and I was right on the issues I presented to her in the text messages the day before, before they all escalated and exploded into a fight.  ...then my phone rang, it was her!

Ready for some kind of normal discussion, she called me up screaming at me about what an asshole I was, and how wrong I was, etc.  For the first time, I think ever in our marriage, I lost control.  I screamed back at her like a maniac.  She screamed at me like a maniac.  I couldn't believe the person I had become at that moment, it seriously felt like I was channeling my dad fighting with my mom when I was a young child before they divorced.  I mean, I was enraged, and so was she.  She was crying for the second time ever in our marriage, but even so, I thought to myself, "damn, I didn't know she knew how to cry."  Yes, that was an evil thought, but I was not in my proper state of mind.

I didn't back down by her crying, although I took note of its existence.  But I felt that I had a real issue here.  She deceived me and picked up and left the country all in a day's notice after talking about it for a number of months and not following up on it.  I don't know if I was more upset that she was flip-flopping so much, that she made one decision and by changing it so quickly, I felt that I couldn't trust her, that throughout all this fight, she didn't make the effort to read my e-mail or my explanation that I spent hours writing and thinking about (by the way, she *did* read it, but she told me she skipped over most of it because she felt "none of it was relevant.")  Not relevant.  That is what the whole fight was about.  I was telling her one thing, and she was hearing something completely different, ignoring me and making me feel invisible, insignificant, and unimportant, and it was me that would have to pick up the slack when she's gone and she didn't appreciate or consider it one bit.

In the midst of our screaming fight, I told her why I thought she deceived me, mentioning how she lowered the screen on the laptop so that I didn't see what she was doing.  She asked me if I was an idiot, and told me that there was a glare in her eye and so she moved the laptop away from her so that she could see me since I sat down at her.  The floor dropped out of my argument, but she kept hammering away at me.  I told her that my reactions were fully appropriate given the circumstances as I saw them, and given the way I interpreted a number of events to conclude that she deceived me, I had a right to be upset.

I thought this was a weak argument, but misunderstanding the situation if she indeed had a "glare" in her eye -- have you EVER had that happen to you?  I never have, but I'll take her at her word.  All in all, as I described the other pieces of "evidence" why I thought she deceived me, she accused me of having a sick, dark, and twisted mind where I take everything and turn it into a criminal attack scheme.  I couldn't defend myself because I didn't know whether she was wrong or not.  I *do* have a sick, twisted, and dark mind, and I do see things from the "glass half empty, how can I figure out who drank it" point of view.

Anyway, I was exhausted and was tired of fighting, especially since I know I was thoroughly misunderstood -- hey, I was just commenting that it would be nice if she spent some time on me rather than herself, and this whole fight erupted.

...then she started the "I'm not going.  I'm canceling my trip.  I don't feel safe leaving my kids with a monster like you" talk.  I was thoroughly horrified, and saddened, because that is what people say before they get divorced.  I was hurt and belittled, and I was weak inside and wanted to throw up.  How could she say I was a monster and that she didn't trust our kids with me?  What, as if I would hurt my own children? was she KIDDING?!?

In my mind, she really was no longer seeing me -- just some monster she painted in her eyes.  Even today I am very upset about this statement, even though she turned it around later and said, "I meant that I couldn't leave the kids period, with you, without you.  The focus was me, and what a bad mother I would be for leaving the kids for five days."  I decided not to get upset about this, but days later, I am still hurt because she DID use those words.

Anyway, so here she is not going to Israel, and it would be my fault.  I called her some hours later and convinced her to go.  I told her everything would be fine here, and that my mother would take care of the kids while she was gone.  I told her I would take off from work and pick my mom up at JFK and arrange everything.  She should just pack and go because she should go see her grandmother.  When I saw she was hesitating because she didn't want to give in to me, I told her that she wasn't giving in to me by going.  We still had a fight to have when she got back, but I wasn't angry at her and the fight had nothing to do with Israel, in fact at this point the fight seems pointless and I'm not sure I even want to bring it up again until we're healthier like I thought we were.

So she went.  We've spoken a few times, but she's irritated.  She hasn't said a word to me other than she saw her grandmother and she wasn't doing well.  I'm sure we're fine, but I am on edge, and I'm sad we had such a fight over really nothing.

Bottom line, I completely regret sending her those text messages, and in fact, I wish I left the phone at home that day.  I don't think my points were invalid, I just lost my cool and I'm not convinced it was entirely my fault.  I am an asshole as she described me, and I am a twisted, dark, pig-headed moron, especially after I misjudged so much of what happened.

But all in all, I'm confused how we can go from so loving and in such good shape to this with just a few text messages.  What kind of anger has she been harboring for me and me for her?  I'm really saddened by this whole course of events, and I wish I could just turn back the clock.  But undoubtedly, there ARE some SERIOUS issues that need marital counseling, and both you and I are not kidding.

We just have to find someone we trust, and we need to figure out a way not to go broke or get divorced while going through the sessions.



Ahuva said...

I'm glad that you're starting to see the necessity of marriage counseling. You're right; these are the kinds of things people say to each other before they get divorced.

Anonymous said...

Halleluyah!! I have been suggesting marriage counseling for quite some time and IF IF IF you both truly go through with marriage counseling you may have a chance of a good marriage but you need lots of counseling, two willing participants and you will need to stick with it.

Good luck!

Zoe Strickman said...

Hey, out of curiosity, what should we look for in a marriage counselor? How much should they cost, etc.?

Ahuva said...

Zoe- I don't know about costs, but I would look for a counselor who is familiar with the frum world but not necessarily frum (shouldn't be too hard to find in your area) and who has experience teaching communication and listening skills (which seem to be the the biggest problem areas in this marriage).

You're going to need someone who can understand the "Hashem will provide" comments and also know enough to be able to tell when the two of you are using religion as a tool to get the other person to do what you want.

Anonymous said...

Zoe, did someone hack into your blog or did you actually post this photo here????????????????????????

roy said...

Zoe, you kind of deserve that pic showing up on your post, you shouldn't hotlink and steal other people's bandwith. Next time download the pic to your computer and upload it into the post. If you were stealing my bandwith I would replace the pic with something way worse!

Anonymous said...

I now see from Roy's post above that someone did this to you. i know NOTHING about tech stuff BUT can't you delete that picture?

Funny story, I teach elementary school and during our breaks we are welcome to use the computers any when we wish, of course appropriately. Well, last night I saw this picture and today I was curious if you blogged again yet remembered about this picture and knew that it would be totally uncool to have that picture show up on my screen!!!!!