In early January, I sent this email to my friend Anna and my work friend Kimberly, whom I had started to confide in.
I want to thank you both for listening and being supportive. I need you to help me hold myself accountable.
Brad is going to the orientation for anger management today and he committed this morning that he understands he gets way too mad about little stuff and that it has to stop immediately. He’s agreed that part of Luke’s issues in school are related to things at home and that the kids are the number one priority. He had an epiphany yesterday apparently because his cousin is getting divorced in a similar situation where the wife is the volatile one.
He’s agreed to walk away ‘gracefully’ if we cannot make this work this time. I told him I was prepared to go the difficult way with restraining order, etc if not.
I am writing this down to make it real.
This is the LAST TIME I’m going to try with him. One more bad incident, and I’m going to file for divorce with or without his cooperation – the back and forth is killing me and the kids.
He seems completely rational, open, and willing to change right now, but I’ve heard this before – mostly in the last few months – and it’s never stuck. I don’t know if he can really change or change enough because some of his issues are very deep-seated and he loses control so quickly. I cannot live constantly on eggshells hoping nothing bad will happen.
The unfortunate part is that statistically speaking he’s unlikely to change.
If we have another bad incident –
- I will need strength to file for divorce and to keep saying ‘no’ to reconciliation requests which will be inevitable.
- So if something bad happens I will let you know and I need your help in assuring me that I am doing the right thing for myself and the kids because he can be very convincing when he says he will change.
This link does a pretty good job of explaining what I am dealing with.
Again – thanks for all of your support and help.
It was just a matter of time. I felt bad about leaving him in the middle of his real estate class because I knew if I did, he would stop going and get depressed and stay unemployed indefinitely. I also felt bad that he had finally agreed to go to the battering intervention / anger management program, and now I was going to leave him, but it was truly too little too late. He actually became slightly worse in some respects because now he had this attitude of “I’m trying, I’m changing, and you’re not”. He was very condescending about the whole process. After about 6 classes in the program, here was his version of “better”.
02/1/10 Monday PM – 4,5 mad because I said he was being a little over-protective about school pickup, said my ego was the problem, insisted I agree – called me b***t, c**t, told me we should file for divorce - threatened to throw glass at wall, would not stop arguing, blocked my way, very controlling and condescending, followed me around to keep arguing
02/02/10 Tuesday PM – 4 – said “negative b***h c**t needs to go away”, insists I have to stop being critical for this to work , mad because I said “it’s hard to believe sometimes” when he asked if I knew he loved me deep down, very condescending and demanding, told me I am a bad mother
02/04/10 Thursday PM – 4- mad about needing “TLC”, asked when we would have sex again and I said I needed baby steps first, condescending, would not stop talking about it, said he does not like me as a person because I am too negative and that I have to agree to be positive so he can change, called me b***h, c**t - said no one would love me and that he doesn’t want kids to turn out like me.
02/05/10 Friday PM – 4,5 – mad about sex, said he was lonely, did not like my response, would not stop in front of Luke, told me I was evil, mean – trying to beat him down, blocked my way , trapped me in bathroom
02/06/10 Saturday AM – 5 – still mad from before, said we could divorce, but I’d have to go to his apartment when it was his turn with the kids, says he would take my money in divorce, says he has a girlfriend, threatened to hit me, says I have to lower my defenses and not say anything negative
He’s now trying some sort of negotiation. He’s mentioned divorce several times and even thought about it to the point that he thinks we’ll trade houses for time with the kids. The kids will stay at ‘our’ house and he’ll have an apartment that he’ll live in, and I’ll stay in his apartment and he’ll come back to the house when it’s his turn for visitation. Really? I told him I would never agree to that.
On February 9th, I sent this email to Anna.
Subject: Hey There
Thanks for your calls.
I'm still really struggling with when to actually file and move out. We had a talk not quite three weeks ago and agreed to take it on a week by week basis. The first two weeks were terrible - we did not go more than two days without a fight. Things have been calm since this Saturday afternoon, but I'm afraid it's just a matter of time. He knows he cannot touch me, but the other verbal bad stuff has not really gotten much better.
He says he can change and the classes have made a difference in his understanding of what he is doing wrong, but it's probably too little, too late. I know it's stupid, but I feel like I owe him some sort of a chance to prove he can change, for the kids, but I don't really believe it. He may get 65% better, but that's not enough for me.
Deep down, I know I have to do it, but at some level I feel sorry for him even though he brought it on himself. It's going to be very hard for me to crash his world - it shouldn't be based on what he's done, but it is. I think that is one of the reasons Michael hung on so long, avoiding the pain of having to tell me and hoping I would figure it out - I understand that now more than I did at the time.
I will give you a call soon.
Isabelleps. this account is 'safe' – Brad knows nothing about it.
And then twice in the next four days he threatened suicide, among other things.
02/10/10 Wednesday PM – 5 – said I have to agree to let him have sex with other women if I won’t take care of him, called me b***h, c**t, said I deserved to be cheated on, demanded I go back upstairs to talk to him, blocked my way, I said I want divorce, he threatened suicide, to take my money, told him I would call police if he threatened me, he said “I wouldn’t threaten, I would just do it”, begged for another chance
02/14/10 Sunday all day – 3 – wants to know when I will “come back”, threatened suicide, picked on me about remote, about leaving to go to Barnes and Noble, told Cassie we would all “go away” if she did not take her shoes off. Told Cassie he would make Luke “go away” if she did not stay in bed , very snippy and emotional all day
That last one still disturbs me. Telling Cassie anyone would “go away” because she did not put her shoes on or go to bed is inexcusable. She was three. It’s verbal abuse plan and simple. Then two days later, there is another ‘day from hell’ where he argues morning, noon and night, the only difference is he does not actually physically touch me.
02/16/10 Thursday AM – 3- keeps asking about sex and wants me to come towards him in “inches” – says I am stubborn, ran out to car very angry when I did not answer phone, did calm down, told me to cheat on him so I realize what I am missing with him
02/16/10 Tuesday PM – 4,5 – said f**k you on phone when I said I was not playing games, insists he has changed and is doing what I want, so I have to do what he wants, much screaming and yelling, trying to get “closer”, very condescending and demanding
02/16/10 Tuesday PM – 4 – said he is trying to get closer, wanted kudos for not cheating and for stopping doing some of the bad stuff – would not stop talking about it, insists I “come back” to him and give him a real chance, said he does not like me, says I have to try to talk calmly and walk out of the room without saying my opinion.
So he wants me to give him ‘kudos’ for not physically hurting me? I think not. Last time I checked that was a right, not a privilege. It just shows how distorted his view of reality is. And lastly, the deciding moment.
Sunday night he had been mad and physically intimidating.
02/21/10 Sunday PM – 5 – mad because he thought I was arguing about making him “feel special” – I listened to him tell me what’s wrong with me and then tried to walk away. He said f**k you and followed me, threatened to leave, to cheat, blocked my way, said I have to hear his point of view before I go to bed
And then on Monday, we had been fighting on the phone off and on all day. He was insistent that it made him mad when I had any slight physical reaction to his behavior, eye rolling, etc and that if I would just stop doing it, he would be able to stop being abusive. Classic blame and denial.
02/22/10 Monday afternoon – 5 – mad because I said he needs to stop doing his stuff so I won’t physically react, called numerous times and insisted I have to change and that I am abusive, said “this will go on until midnight unless you apologize sincerely and agree to change”
I decided to get the kids and go to a hotel, he was not getting better, I was very upset, and I could tell he was very angry. I was afraid what would happen if I went home. He meant it when he said "this will go on until midnight".
I always picked up the kids from daycare, unless I had some work event, which was very rare. At about 4:30pm, he called from home and had the kids with him, he put them on the phone to say ‘hi’. I felt sick to my stomach. I’m pretty sure he sensed I might have another plan, because he’d never done anything like that before. I think it was a veiled threat, as in “I’ve got the kids, ha,ha”. I’ll never know for sure.
I went into Kimberly’s office crying. I told her - this is it, I’m done with him. I can’t keep living like this. I was scared to death and yet I had to go home, I could not leave the kids with him. I had to swallow my pride and apologize, even though I was not wrong, just to keep the peace. I apologized on the phone and went home knowing I was going to file for divorce as soon as possible.