Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Letter to wife [over TXT MESSAGE FIGHT] who is leaving to Israel tomorrow to visit dying grandmother.

Dear wife,

Okay, so you wanted me to read the text messages so you can show me what an unstable asshole I really am.  Really you are mistaken, and I feel that each and every text comment is justified by more than one significant event.  I am really sorry that my words hurt you, but you misconstrued so much about what I said, and contributed to the conflagration of words that were shared.

Upfront, I am terribly sorry I hurt you.  I was unaware that my words would affect you the way they did, I was unaware of how you were feeling about your trip [partly because you neglected to share your feelings with me yet again and YES, it seemed to me like you were the little sister that wanted to be and to have what your big brother and sister had and you were childish in feeling that it was unfair that your parents were not giving you what the others got.  I really didn't get any concern from you about your feelings about this trip when you spoke about it, and it seemed like it was a "thing you should do" rather than something you were moved to do.  I know how horrifying this may seem, but this IS the picture you were giving out and don't tell me I wasn't paying attention to you or what you said.  This WAS the message you were giving off.]

On top of that, yesterday when I came home, I saw that you were on airline websites and you actively tried to deceive me and hide what you were doing from me.  I saw what you were doing, and I saw how you lowered the laptop screen as soon as I noticed what you were looking at.  When I asked you about it and how we would pay for it, you jokingly said with a chuckle, "oh, I figured we would figure out a way to pay for it."  This enraged me, especially knowing our financial picture and our previous discussions of how you acknowledged that going to Israel would destabilize us financially and we would be paying it back for months and months.

I walked over to the kitchen and thought to myself, "you think your friend is destructive?"  "YOU are destructive to our lives, our happiness, and to our livelihood."  In my head, I went through all of the huge big-ticket items we have paid for you, including the exercise bug that you enthusiastically paid for when we had nothing in our bank accounts, but you promised you would use it every day.  But you lied.  Just like you said you would get a job, just like you said you would get me slippers for our anniversary (which you not only forgot, but you never got a gift and you neglected to make time for us to go out after my begging you to go out countless times), and just like you said you would help me as my "project manager" in my law firm and you would cheerfully run errands and do tasks for me that needed to be done, only to back out and complain any time I gave you anything to do.  In short, you lied, you lied again, and you lied again.  It it thoroughly important for me in terms of my value hierarchy that I am able to trust you and I keep finding over and over again that you say you will do one thing and then you do another.  It hurts me deeply that I cannot trust your word and this newly renewed desire to visit Israel just because your brother did just seemed to be childish, especially at our family's expense.  However, I said nothing.  I smiled, and I kept this to myself.

This morning when you told me that you conveniently found tickets to Israel and that you were leaving tomorrow morning, and that my mom who is flying in will just have to figure it out for herself [this after you joking that you wanted to disappear for a few days while she was here] really hurt my feelings.  I was minimally upset that I would have to take off work to pick up my mom and this would cut into work hours we simply do not have the ability to take away from [we are barely making it financially if I max out the hours and here you were asking me to take a number of hours off from work to pick my mom up because you decided to flee the country]... I was upset when you didn't think about anything except for yourself, and you didn't concern yourself with how my mom was to be picked up, or how this will change my work schedule now that I'll have to spend more time home with the kids since I can't leave my mom there all day and night alone in the house with two needy children.  It made me mad when you said you hadn't thought about any of this, but instead of sharing that I was upset with you, I kept my mouth shut and you took that to mean that I was busy.  I successfully again avoided a fight.

Then I sent you the text message, "I am excited that you have been able to pull off this trip.  Your determination is admirable."  Consider that as if I was shooting a cannon across the bow of your ship.  I was testing the waters and giving you a chance to explain yourself such as, "this was very important to me," or, "yes, I know this happened fast and I know it will be a destabilizing experience for everyone. Thank you for being there for me." 

When I got none of this, I got angry.  Thinking about how you have your crazes about going to nursing school, or whatever your craze is for the moment where you spend days searching out every detail of a program only to not follow through with it yet again, I got upset that you always get what you want and that it bothered me that you were not considerate of anyone around you.  I thought of my mom and how she might not meet our youngest daughter, and I thought of the law firm, and how it would be so helpful if you took even the slightest amount of interest or effort in helping me get started just like you spend your attention and your energies getting something you really want.  It hurts me how everything you want is always at the cost of someone else, and that you don't consider other people when making decisions.  You didn't even ask me this morning if I would be okay with it.  You told me, "I found tickets and I am leaving tomorrow."  In other words, again, I'm doing what I want to do because I want to do it and I do not care how it affects you, our kids, or anyone around me.  I'm just doing what I want to do.  This upset me and thus I wrote the comment, "I never know why you can achieve goals for you but you can never help achieve goals for us."

When you responded with "that seemed rude. do you mean why dont i ask my parents for money for other things that are important to u?", I was upset that you completely misunderstood what I was saying.  Deciding YET AGAIN to avoid a fight, I responded, "No. Your just good @getting things done when u put ur mind 2 it.  Just wish u'd get me outta here."

In other words, I was sharing how I was feeling and was looking for some kind of recognition that if only you would spend a fraction of the effort you spend on things for yourself on me or on us, imagine what we could get done together. that point, instead of reading or thinking about what I was saying, you decided to start a fight.  "seriously? that seems to be a disgusting attitude. I wonder what you would be saying if this was Rivkah [my grandmother] dying?"  That was not a nice thing to say, and I wasn't having a disgusting attitude.  In fact, if anything, I was still being completely supportive and was just pointing out [albeit with terrible timing] that it would be nice if you spent some time on us rather than on your own pursuits [and yes, going to Israel yet again seemed to be a meritless pursuit.  Your mom suggested that you call your grandmother, talk to her for a few weeks, and only then decide whether you wanted to go to Israel or not.  I heard of ONLY ONE CALL you made to her, and as far as I understood, you lost interest in the pursuit, just like you do with everything else.  You only started talking about Israel again when your sister went and you felt left out.]

Seeing that you were clearly misunderstanding me, and that this had nothing to do with you visiting your dying grandmother, I responded very clearly sharing with you my thoughts.  Quite upset at this point, I said, "The speed @which u pulled 2gether this trip has made me so angry I dont think I can even look @u."  "You are obviously an idiot if you think I am talking about your grandma."

It wasn't until a few messages later that I realized you were needing support because this trip was somehow affecting you emotionally.  You didn't let that on at all in our conversations and in our previous conversations. I explained myself and why I was texting, and you responded, "i dont care about why you are upset. I am going to say good bye to my dying grandmother."

At that point, seeing that you still did not even pay one iota of attention to anything I said, I wrote, "You are a fake. You are selfish. You are insensitive and uncommitted.  You are lazy.  You are a liar."  I carefully chose each of these statements because I *am* feeling these things about you.  Seeing that these things hurt you, I won't go into them.

So now it is almost 1am, and I am going to sleep not knowing anything about what is happening tomorrow, or whether you made some sort of arrangement with my mom who will be arriving shortly before your departure.  I bought you medicine and I scored a significant client for the law firm, but I have nobody to share either with and you have acknowledged neither.  This whole ordeal has left us not speaking, and that makes me sad as well, especially since all I wanted to say is:

"It is baffling to me that when you get an idea or a desire in your head, you take action on it so fanatically that it always comes to fruition, regardless of how it happens, you make it happen.  I just wish you put the same effort into our life and our goals instead of the things you do put your time into.  I am in a dead-end position where I have no internet, no telephone, and no freedom to advance our situation.  Only you can help me help us move forward, and it bothers me that you don't make the effort to do so, but instead you only follow your own pursuits as if you and I had different goals.  This hurts me deeply."

So I hope you enjoy your trip to Israel.  I know it is not a vacation.  I will be here if you need someone to talk to, but I suspect you'll hang onto your anger for some time.  I'm here when you want to talk.



Ahuva said...

"I was still being completely supportive"

Zoe-- do you honestly believe that?

"I will be here if you need someone to talk to"

Why would she want to talk to you? You basically wrote an email accusing her of being an unfeeling, uncaring b*tch who wasn't feeling any grief over the impending death of her grandmother and was only upset that her sibling got to do something that she didn't.

You said that you thoughtfully and intentionally wrote words designed to inflict the maximum possible pain because that was how you *actually feel.*

This is a toxic marriage. Even in apologizing, you consciously or subconsciously look for ways to inflict more pain.

At this point, I don't see any other way to look at things.

Ahuva said...

Sorry... I just keep re-reading this in disbelief..

"I was unaware that my words would affect you the way they did"

You really didn't think it would hurt her to call her:
a fake
a liar
selfish and blind
obviously an idiot
inconsiderate and selfish

and then say that you were
"so angry I can['t] even look at you"

And you really didn't think this would upset/hurt her? Is she some kind of monster or block of wood that this anger/hatred wouldn't cause pain?

And then you REPEAT some of those same words in your apology?

Zoe-- are you trying to get her to divorce you? Honestly, I would probably think there was nothing worth saving in my marriage if I had a husband who felt that way about me.

Maybe everything you're saying about her is true-- but even if it were true-- how does this help promote peace in your family?

Anonymous said...

I don't even know how to react to these recent entries. Tell me, how can self proclaimed RELIGIOUS people speak to their spouses this way? I recall you looking down on "goyishe" haircuts yet you speak to your wife like this and she speaks to you like this?


A VERY SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS. It certainly looks like this "religious" way of choosing a mate is a joke!!!

We happen not to be what you would consider "religious" yet we have a beautiful marriage and treat each other respectfully at all times.

Rae Macklyn said...

Unfortunately, I don't foresee you two being married for much longer.

Zoe Strickman said...

Hey all. I agree that the past few entries were not appropriate for anyone. Not religious people, not non-religious people. My wife and I tear at each other and things are tough, but I hope to convince myself that everything will be okay. Every time we fight it turns out that I was the "sick" one who turned everything innocent into something evil and criminal. I'm the one with the twisted mind, oh well, we already knew that. Now she knows it too.

As for counseling, I've suggested it before and I'll follow up on it again. There has to be some kind of state-supported marriage counseling, and if not, it's probably cheaper than a divorce. ;)

Anonymous said...

Zoe, I am learning through a friend of mine that a divorce can cost easily $100,000. You start off thinking you will both do what is right for the kids but then within moments you are trying to make the other suffer as much as possible by bringing the costs way up!

Divorce costs MUCH more than COUNSELING!
You can do it!!

Rae Macklyn said...

You are in for a hefty divorce if it comes to that (and I foresee it happening).