~Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hold on to Your Horses

Scott and I got into a major fight last night. I don't know what's going to happen.

The fight itself was over something so trivial that I feel silly recounting it now. I got home from work to find Scott sleeping on the couch. While this is not unusual, it is irritating. His sleep schedule is out of whack and he'll sleep all afternoon and night, only to awake at 12:30 (long after I've gone to bed) and will stay up all night watching TV.

If we lived in an apartment with separate floors, this wouldn't be an irritant. Also it would probably be less of an irritant if we lived in an apartment with doors, but alas, loft living is not so. After one night of me listening to Spanish infomercials, I arose at 4 am to go to work at 5 am, because if I was awake at this hour, what's the point? I came home from work that day with heavy, opaque curtains and hung them to separate the bedroom from the living room. It helps with the light, but not much else.

I shook him awake after I walked in the door yesterday and received a warm, "Let me sleep, goddammit." So I did. Out of courtesy to him, I went in the bedroom and watched my newest Blockbuster rental. But when 8 pm rolled around and the movie was over and I was hungry, I left the bedroom to make dinner.

According to Scott, it was the noisiest bologna sandwich ever made. Tired of living in my bedroom and indignant over the whole situation, I sat down in the living room with my sandwich, and turned the volume of the TV DOWN and changed the channel.

He got up and stomped around the living room, calling me a lot of unflattering names. "If you want to continue sleeping, go into the bedroom--that's what it's there for," I said coolly. He called me more names and I repeated myself. He stomped in the bedroom and then I heard the remotes for my TV and DVD player go clacking across the room and thud against the wall. He threw the remotes across the room.

I have never been with anyone who throws temper tantrums before, and I don't know how to handle it. Do you baby them and concede to their wishes? Do you remove yourself from the situation? I've tried both of those, and while they seem to work short term, they don't cut down on the amount of tantrums, or even the severity of the tantrums. I have a broken table in the closet to prove it.

This time I chose to confront the tantrum. Calling me names, throwing my things over a nap? Who is this person? If he wanted to war, we would war.

And war we did. Shouting on both sides, he eventually bucked up to me--stood over me really aggressively and gave me the crazy eye.

"What are you doing? I'm not afraid of you! You're gonna hit me? Are you a man now?" I shouted it again for emphasis, "Are you a man now?" The name-calling, the breaking of (conveniently only my) things, the always being on his schedule, I wasn't going to back down this one time.

Scott went for the ol' escape hatch, "We're not married! We don't have to be in this relationship!" I've told him time and time again that I need to be able to fight with him without him pulling the If-I-don't-get-my-way-I'll-just-leave-you card. Every tangle, no matter how small, he plays it. He always apologizes and promises never to do it again, but he does. The last time we talked about it, he told me to call him out with it by using our code word. When I did, all he said was, "Fuck you!" so clearly code words mean nothing. I told him the next time he did that, I would call his bluff.

I think I shouted something about good riddance and I know I opened the door to let him leave, which he refused to do. At first he shouted something about coming to our senses, but at this point, I was too angry. He wanted to be done, so we were. Get out. He went out on the patio to smoke and I looked at my dinner which I never got to eat.

As with the great uncorking of emotions, I felt drained and empty. And a bit remorseful. I also felt better. Sometimes I just have to yell and get it all out, and then I feel good again, even if nothing is resolved.

He came back inside the apartment. "You want to talk?" I offered.

"No, I'm done with you."

"Okay," and I went into the bedroom and packed my things.

"You're leaving?"

"Yeah, you don't want to talk, so what's the point of being here?"

"I'm over it. I'm done."

And I took my bag and my dog and I drove over to my step-sister's. Upon hearing the story, she ordered me to march back to my apartment, because it is my apartment, and if anyone was to leave, it would be Scott.

I also called his sister, who didn't answer. I left a message saying that we broke up and I wanted her advice on how to handle him when he gets like this, but if her loyalty kept her from calling me back, I understood.

I walked in to find him gathering up laundry from the dryer. "Jennifer said this is my apartment, and if anyone is going to leave, you are."

"Who's Jennifer?"

"My sister whom you promised you would be good to me!"

"Don't call her and make me look like I'm the bad guy in this!"

"Oh no," I laughed. "I told her I egged you on!"

Scott began folding his clothes, and we talked for the first time. I told him I would go to my grave before I ever admit to purposely and spitefully being noisy in the kitchen to wake him up because it is simply. not. true. He said he tossed the remotes, he didn't throw them, which was the catalyst of my wrath.

He left to go put his clothes away and I thought back to the whole fight and how escalated it got over something so stupid. I felt remorse. I didn't mean for it to get out of hand; I just wanted to eat my sandwich not in my bedroom because his highness monopolizes the couch. I followed him in to the bedroom and stood at the door of the closet and I apologized for everything, which I shouldn't have done, but I just wanted it to be over.

He said regardless of what happens between us, he's moving out. He said I was right when I told him it was too soon for him to move in. He said he hates this apartment and he didn't choose to live here. It was my fault because of the flooding at my last one.

I asked what was going to happen to us, and he said he didn't know. That he wants to wait until everything calms down to make any decisions so things won't get worse. He said he's done it before. He said he's done it before with me. We agreed that he would sleep on the couch and I would get the bedroom until we decide what happens next.

And then I remembered my panicked phone call to his sister. Oh crap. There's no way of us ever repairing anything if he knew I called his family. I stole another phone call to her and apologized into her voicemail and please just forget I called, because we all have our insane moments.

The hour before bed was stone silent as we pretended to watch Mission: Impossible on AMC. He fell asleep again on the couch, and I turned everything off and went to bed. A couple of hours later I awoke to the noises of him walking into the bedroom, stripping, and getting into bed. I don't know what that's all about.

This morning his sister calls me. She was really great and supportive and we had a nice long talk. I told her about the tantrums and she said her husband did that the first couple of years they were married. Her husband had also bucked up on her before. I told her sometimes I feel so alone handling Scott on my own; I've never been in these situations before in my life. She blames his drinking for his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality and insists that he stop drinking altogether. Yesterday was a Monday, so if course he was left to his own devices all day. Who knows what he had. She also blames the drinking for disrupting his sleeping patterns. She told me that I could call her anytime and she wouldn't tell Scott, and she told me how often and how highly he speaks of me to all his family, so she doubted this was it. I hung up feeling less like a freak.

I haven't talked to Scott all day and I don't know what's waiting for me when I go home tonight. Normally this would reduce me to a sniveling mess, but today I am okay. I'm optimistic. He climbed into bed with me last night. He mentioned last night that we would work things out. He didn't call his family after the fight and normally he does.

But there is also the chance I could be so miserably wrong.

20 comments:

Peach said...

he's an attention seeker... you'll get through this Sarah, he loves you, remember ?

Tilly said...

Whoa. Speaking from experience (hi, I'm 3 years old--don't give into the tantrums. When I whine about stupid shit, Fiji ignores me, which drives me batshitcrazypantsinsane, but given enough time to ponder my bratty nature, I am the one who ends up feeling ridiculous and apologizing. Luckily he loves me and thinks everything I do is cute. That and he thinks I'm funny. Funny never hurt nobody. Good luck though. Nobody ever said anything (especially LOVE) was easy either.

p.s. Please excuse my horrendous grammar. It's been a long day.
p.p.s. Please excuse my post in your comments section. I'm an ass.

J said...

I completely understand your stand on this. I do not think that you acted irrationally...I would be annoyed with having to live in my bedroom too. If he wants to sleep he could use the bed...

You will work through it. And no matter what you will ok.

*Hugs*

Anonymous said...

I never read that you love him. Why are you letting this man into your life? This is crazy you need to dump this loser now. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. The next time he may hit you or worse. Have some self esteem and make him leave.

Appletini said...

WOW! What a story! I am sad to admit, that I once had a tantrummer too. It completely blew me away the first time.

We actually went to counseling for it. It is HIS issue, not YOURS. Even though it is easy to feel as it is. No matter what you do, HE always makes the choice whether or not to have a tantrum.

btw, we are doing wonderfully well now :)It just is really hard work. Both parties need to be willing to put their part.

Best of luck to you *hugs*

M said...

well with kids you don't get emotionally involved when they have temper tantrums. You are to take a strong stance because you are the boss. The thing is, with adults - there really isn't a boss so in the end what can you really do?

For what it's worth, I don't think you should be the one to back down all the time, simply because you are adult enough not to have a tanty every time something goes wrong. It's obvious that in the past he gets to have his tanty and then suddenly because he's a big grizzly bear people just leave him and he gets to do what he wants to do anyway. It's a clever ploy that everyone has allowed him to continue. The thing is though, he IS an adult and he IS in a situation where he has to regard the feelings of others so basically he has to grow the hell up and just suck it in for once.

I know it sounds like I have little sympathy for him and his troubles (which, btw are no excuse) but I deal with this shit all day from kids and usually it happens because they are spoiled by mum and dad. So try not to fit into that pattern because it just makes it worse imo.

Blue soup said...

Oh.
My.
God.

I am disappointed in Scott.

Mind you, perhaps he is being so stubborn about the moving out thing because he is embarrassed and in the post-tantrum calm down has realised how utterly ridiculous his behaviour towards you actually was?

It all sounded terribly Kevin and Perry....

bexmeister said...

Re: peach - Is love enough in these kind of circumstances? I mean, my son is 8 and doesn't do temper tantrums.

I feel like you deserve so much more Sarah .. the emotional roller coaster you seem to be on may just not be worth it .. sorry, it's just my thoughts.

Take Care x

Me said...

Not a huge fan of the name calling...and then the more name calling....the aggressiveness....but maybe it's and after-effect of the quitting to drink bit?

How's that been going? Well, not really a question, you'll write about it if and when you want to....just saying...you are in this together with the drinking. If this behavior is something that has something to do with quitting..that might be excusable...but if he does this on his own, if this is part of his personality....holding over you that he will walk out and all...not so cool.....and remember. You WILL be ok.even without him.
Not that that's going to happen.
But you will be fine.

Maybe separate places is a good idea. Loft living is tough. I couldn't do it myself.

Lpeg said...

I'm disappointed in him right now.

It is your apartment, and you have every right to do what you please in it! I had a similar situation in college, except I wasn't dating my roommates, and I pretty much lived in my bedroom. It's not fun.

He needs to realize that he's being very immature and that tantrums from 30 year old men aren't as cute as a 3 year old's. In fact, they aren't cute even then!

kristin b said...

i'm with lpeg. i am really disappointed in him. i feel like he had promised you, very much so, that it wouldn't be like that. and he's disappointing the one person he promised not to disappoint. but i'm glad you've stood up for yourself, stood up for him. that's what you've gotta do. you're definitely handling it all the right way, sarah.

treacle said...

Oh honey, I hope it all went ok. Good for you for standing up to his tantrum and speaking what was on your mind. I think its right that if he really wants to be with you forever - like he has said before - he will have to make the necessary changes.

big hugs x

LN said...

I can totally relate to you...the only times I really fight with my boyfriend are about a) stupid things he does while drinking, or b)"roommate" issues. Living in a small apartment can definitely test a relationship. But if it's worth fighting for, then I think you can work through it. Maybe living separately again isn't such a bad idea.

SuvvyGirl said...

Yes it is the drinking. He has an addicts personality. when he does something he will do it completely. It can be a good quality at times and not so good at other times. I have dealt with alcoholics all my life. And there's a coupel of different ideas for his reactions. Either a) he did drink, and hard liquer and that's what made him growly or b) he is trying to quit and didn't have anything and that's why. You have to take them in strides and try your best to have thick skin when it comes to their comments. 99% they don't mean and down the rode won't remember saying. It's hard to deal with them but is possible. And use his sister as support. You need it just as much as he does.

Trin said...

Hang in there, girl! Someone has to be strong in all this and it's certainly not Scott. You did good in standing up for yourself!

Anonymous said...

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Venting said...

I haven't read Part 2 yet, but I have to say that it's really horrible that he uses leaving you as a weapon. McDreamy has only done that ONCE in almost 2 years. Once. (Incidentally, he was very drunk.)

There is no way I could deal with that (it reminds me too much of my childhood). I would walk out on someone so aggressive.

But you? You love him right? Is this something to do with his drinking? If so, you can probably work through it. If it's his personality - well, do you really want to live with someone like that your whole life?

londongirl said...

Umn. this sounds like over-tired people over-reacting.

I suggest bio-ears as a first step. the best ear plugs in the world. They stop me killing my neighbours, which is an achievement for a start.

AmyD said...

Crap, look what I miss when I'm too busy to read my blogroll! :'o( I'm so, so sorry you had to go through this, but you really handled yourself perfectly. You did nothing wrong (except, ahem, to apologize when it wasn't your fault). It's not my business, but the first thing I thought when I was reading this is Scott's drinking. If he has cut down, this could be because of withdrawals and resentment to some degree. If he hasn't cut down on the drinking like he promised he would, it could be that he's disappointed in himself and is taking it out on your. Either way, this is a slippery slope that hinges on his next actions - not yours. Best of luck and hang in there! You are a strong lady and I know you'll figure this out. ((HUGS))

KennethSF said...

Temper tantrums are acceptable--in 11-year-old boys and girls.

The only silver lining in this episode may be that it occurs before you two get married. If I were you, I'd sort it before moving forward.

 

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