~Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Part Two

As I got closer to my apartment on the commute home, I grew more anxious and nauseous. What would be waiting for me? I'm making good time, what do I do if I make it home before him? I slid my key in the lock and found the apartment open. He was home, earlier than usual.

The TV was loud and as he walked in from the balcony, I thought he said something to me. "Huh?" I articulated.

"I didn't say anything."

"Oh, must have been the TV." Pause. "Well, hello."

"Hello," he responded equally as flatly.

I nervously put my bag on the counter as he tossed some papers in the trash. When I thought he approached me, I reached to hug him like I always do. Instead he picked up some wrappers off the counter and I looked like an idiot. Awkwardly, we hugged. Whereas I embraced, he patted my back: a sign he doesn't want contact with me. My stomach sank.

"We have to talk you know," he said.

It sank even lower. "I know," I compensated.

Then he went back outside to smoke a cigarette and presumably think about his upcoming speech. I changed out of my work clothes and specifically didn't put on my pajama bottoms. If I was going to run out of the apartment sobbing, it wasn't going to be in pajama bottoms; it would be with more dignity in blue jeans.

When he never came back in, I joined him outside on the balcony. I took the seat opposite him at the table. "Can I start?" I asked. Normally how this goes is that he lectures me with everything we both did wrong and how we both need to behave in the future. But I didn't want to be lectured to, and I wasn't sure we were going to have that conversation.

"Yesterday was awful," I began.

"Yes, it was," he puffed.

"And I'm sorry for everything I did wrong." (Notice how I didn't draw the line at what I did wrong--that was on purpose.) "It shouldn't have escalated to that. I don't like myself when I get to that point; I don't like myself at all. However, the issue I think we were arguing about, which is essentially being more courteous to each other, is totally fixable. That, in my head, is an easy fix. But the way we fought about it is not fixable. I am accountable for my actions last night and I am willing to take whatever steps I need to to keep myself in check from getting that angry in the future." (Again, vague.)

He nodded, obviously liking my impromptu attempt to convey let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I avoided my lecture from him and Scott went directly into his apology. Notably he apologized for bucking up on me. "I shouldn't have done that. I just wanted you to shut up, but I was so angry, I couldn't even form the words."

"Well being aggressive to me like that only antagonized me more."

"It is never okay for me to do that to you, and I want you to know that I would never touch you. If anything, I thought you were going to strike me. You get mean when you get angry."

I made a face at the thought of punching him; it never even crossed my mind.

"No, I mean, you get mean," he emphasized.

"I know," I shrugged, thinking back to my laughing in his face and telling him I wasn't afraid of him when he bucked up at me. Asking him did he feel like a man yet. Did his cock feel larger. Years of my mother insulting me taught me to be sharp-tongued. I always wondered if it affected other people the way my mother affected me. I had my answer.

"And I know I'm a downright asshole when it comes to waking me up. That's something I recognize and something I will try to work on," he continued.

We spoke back and forth for a bit, negotiating the first peace treaty of '08. He told me he called Annoying Neighbor after I left to go to my sister's and asked if he could move in. He told me he would if I really wanted him to, but he didn't want to move out. I gathered from his talking that he is in fact a better bluffer than I am, and never planned on breaking up last night, even when the fight was over and he didn't want to talk to me. He never planned on actually moving out until I bailed on him and left him for my sister's. Even then, it was a backup plan because I showed him how serious I was over it.

I also learned that he didn't go to work that day. He was so stressed over our fight that he threw up all day. I did my best not to outwardly smile--my man must really love me if he was physically ill over our fight. He must be emotionally invested. I remembered what his sister told me that morning: that when it came to personalities, she got the man's one and he got the woman's one. He's a sensitive soul, she said.

She called me again this morning to see how things were going. I told her how he apologized for everything she said he should have. I told her how I learned this morning that my craziness that night could be attributed to PMS. She laughed and was happy that things are worked out.

Now all that's left is to break the news to Annoying Neighbor. Surely he will be disappointed.


Anonymous said...

I love you to death and I'm supportive until the end but I'm sorta calling bullshit on Scott.

He KNOWS what to say to you to make you feel secure to make you feel like this is not going to happen again and he's going to make a real effort at things. He also has one hell of a track record.

I'm worried about you. I'm worried that you will start losing yourself in hope that this will ultimately work out.

I get paid on Tuesday...where are we going for drinks because we MUST talk face to face.

nicole said...

i hope things go better from here on out, and that he does follow through with the things he says.

Anonymous said...

I know I don't know you or Scott or you guys together, but most people don't fight like this. It's scary. Love is great, but it's not always enough. I hope things get better and stay better... (what's going on with his AA?)

Anonymous said...

I don't know you either, but I like you from reading your blog. And this relationship sounds so unhealthy for you.

I agree with mjoy and call bullshit on him too. He sounds like a jackass and I hope you get out before you do too much damage to yourself.

Paige Jennifer said...

I know it feels (most of the time) so very right, but from the outside looking in, it looks so very wrong.

I don't know you but I feel like I do. So I'm going to say what I would say to a friend, to someone I care about and want the world for - You deserve better.

Single Girl said...

I haven't said anything in a while because I've been dealing with a lot myself, but now that I've caught up on stuff with you. . . I have to agree with everyone else here - first, I don't think you had anything to apologize for as far as the fight goes, the blame lies totally with him, not you. Did you ever think that he might have been throwing up from drinking? He might have slipped up and started drinking. In my opinion, I think he needs to be dealing with his drinking problem on his own and not drag you into it, especially so early on in the relationship. I just don't know, this just don't seem like a healthy and good relationship. But do what you feel is going to make you the happiest. We're all here for you no matter what.

Appletini said...

Relationships are a lot of work, hun. It's hard to know when enough is enough. Unfortunately, things are easier said than done.

Trust your instincts :)

BeenthereDonethat said...

I had an ex just like Scott. Eventually things will escalate and he will hit you or 'accidently' "TOSS" something at you (like the remote or an empty glass). Also like Scott, he needed his nicotine badly, had an upside sleeping pattern, liked to sleep with the TV on loud (regardless of whether it affected my sleep or concentration when I was trying to read or work on something) and also preferred to sleep on the couch rather than walk upstairs to bed (this is tied in with preferring to sleep with the TV on and the fact that I insisted that the tv in the room was switched off when I was asleep).

He also drank a lot (not as often or as heavilly as Scott does).

Eventually, his temper tantrums (virtually any time he did not get his own way) escalated and he started wrecking the house in a rage. Like Scott, he always managed to avoid actually wrecking or 'tossing' his own stuff towards the wall.

I tried to split up with him and he threatened suicide.

For a long time I listened to his sister, like Scott's sister, telling me how much he adored me, how much happier he's been since we got together "we've never seen him this happy", and how eager they were for us to get married eventually. This kept me in the relationship for far longer than normal, given the increasing frequency and intensity of violent tantrums.

I eventually got away from him, but it was not easy. And for a long time my family and friends were worried about my safety.

I am afraid, from reading about Scott, you are now in the final stages of your relationships. You keep looking back at how wonderful things were at the beginning, but those days will never come again.

Scott has lost respect for you. When a man starts insulting a woman the way he insulted you...it is a sign of virtually zero respect.

Run now. Run before he damages you forever.

J said...

*sigh* I am torn. I want to believe that he is remorseful and sorry. But I still feel uneasy about this situation.

Sarah, I trust your judgment. I trust that you will follow your instincts. You are a smart girl and I know you will know when enough is enough.

Take care of yourself. And remember, no matter what happens I will offer my support without judgment...even if I disagree with your decisions/actions.

I just thought you needed to know that...


Clickme said...

Sarah, if you decide to stay with him, at the very least please read this book:

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How To Recognise It And How To Respond.

It might help you improve your relationship and help him to work on his explosive temper tantrums.

Please read as many of the reviews as you can read. You will find many stories that began just like yours did, but ended up being ten times worse because they stayed and/or did not know what to do about it (e.g. they read the book too late).

Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

I'm with m-joy.

What about the next fight you have, will he able to control his temper then or will he physically hurt you?

You need to step outside the relationship (kinda like looking at it in the 3rd person) and see if you really want to deal with this kinda shit for the rest of your life.

I don't think he'll change anytime soon.


M said...

I'm still not sure why you apologised but I hope that everything is going to be okay. It's sounds a little dodgy to tell you the truth but I know I'm not living it, you are - so only you really know what's going on...

kristin b said...

i'm gonna say i agree word for word with paige jennifer on this one. it all makes me so skeptical. and i want it to be so right.

i do that apologizing thing. just so the fight will be over. i'll take the blame if it means things can go back to the norm. but it seems that his whole.. didn't go to work thing would've had more to do with maybe him staying up drinking than being physically ill over the situation he brought on himself. and it seems like he didn't accept, quite specifically, the blame as he should of. now i'm wanting to come meet you & m-joy for drinks!

Trin said...

I'm afraid for you, Sarah. I didn't think you had anything to apologize for, either. I mean, it seems like Scott is always laying on the couch asleep when you get home. What kind of life/relationship is that? I can see him losing his job and you totally taking care of him. My best advice to you - boot him out.
You could still see him if he lived somewhere else (and, I wouldn't recommend loser neighbor, either - that's too close) but at least you'd have your power and your apartment back.

Lpeg said...

I agree with alot of the comments here, Sarah. You are a smart girl, but he does sound like he knows what to say to make you feel secure again. I am going through that now, and am finally saying "I've had enough." I can't do that to myself anymore, because with him, they are just empty promises, and he does the same thing all over again.

But like I said before... you are a smart girl, and you need to trust your gut. Either you will find that he is being true and sincere, or else you will eventually see that he's full of it. I hope it is the first one.

Goodluck with everything :)

Kale Rae said...

I commend your openess in writing about this on your blog - not many people would be so forthcoming. Relationships are never easy, I just think you two moved in too soon - you didn't spend enough time together to really get to know the quirks and baggage/issues the other person has before making the big step of combining your lives as one - I would suggest you have Scott move out - and try to work on your relationship apart - at least if you live apart and things like this happen, you don't have to run to your sister's...you can just run home - your home, not yours and his.

>*;* said...

I just have a few comments.

First off.. I thought Scott stopped drinking?? Maybe I missed the blog where he started again?? But WTF I thought he had said he needed help and was getting it.

TWO... why the heck did YOU appologize.

Three... you two moved in together way too soon. There is nothing wrong with saying "hey I love you but i don't think we're ready to play hubby/wife just yet.. and need your own space.

It feels like your bending who you are and your comforts to fit into his world.

THAT right there is what scares the hell out of me about when I fall in love... I do my best to be who THEY want.. not necessarily what I want anymore.

Diane Mandy said...

I've been catching up on your blog this evening. Wow. Heavy stuff. I've learned over the years never to comment on other peope's relationships, but i will say that I'm sorry you've been fealing with such things.

Venting said...

I'm confused as to why you've apologized, but I do that too. Apologize so the fight will be over and things can go back to normal. What's not normal is his tantrums. Seriously.

I ask this again, do you really want to deal with this for the rest of your life?

Tilly said...

I don't know what to say either. But like the rest of these folks, it just seems like things have progressed to a potentially unhealthy relationship stage, whereas before when you had issues and fights it seemed pretty typical of relationships occasional rocky roads. All I know is that I care about you, and want you to do what's best for you. And for him. And sadly, it may not be staying together. AH. I hate that I just wrote that.

londongirl said...

Well, good on you for making peace, which is a first step. But as m-joy says, words aren't enough. Actions are needed and I hope they come through soon.

rw said...

you two are perfect for each other

"Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock" said...

i have to say (as many others did) i dont know you, him or the relationship at all.

but what i did want to say was that you seem like a smart person. im sure you know right from wrong, and you know how much you are willing to deal with or put up with and where you limit is. so if you can stick it out and work things out. i say more power to you, you have not hit your "i give up" mark. but if you do, dont keep moving the bar up for him. leave. heres a great line ... it has helped me. "sometimes you have to forget how you feel and remember what you deserve." i hope that little $0.02 of mine helped some. :)

Anonymous said...

Only you and Scott can determine whether this is something that can be fixed. I'm not saying that it's okay to fight like that; it's not. But to suggest that you should automatically bail on the relationship sounds a little hasty to me. It's not a black and white issue. I wish you all the best.

JC said...

Please go talk to someone. None of this sounds healthy and none of this sound like a man who "really loves you" or is "emotionally invested" or is a "sensitive soul".

Maybe there's genuinely fantastic stuff about your relationship that you don't share on this blog - but I find it hard to imagine that 20-something comments on each post all sound worried about you and there's nothing to worry about.

Take care of yourself.

dont eat the token said...

Where are you, I can't see you through the thumb.

When all else fails to make sense to me I do a percentage. I = 100%. How much of you is YOU right now?

If it doesn't feel like a good % then try to eliminate what is suffocating you.


I tried thinking about what I would hear from people if I wrote about all the fights I have had with J. He and I bicker, then fight, a lot. But it's never name calling and it's never violent (words or actions). Usually just misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I've been verbally abused my whole life (up until I saw it and finally reshaped my world to avoid it best I can). Words are more powerful because they stay on the inside and fester.

I care very much about you (as the lovely person I see in your blog!) and appreciate you sharing in your life. I hope that changes are being made that will be healthier for you both.

Anonymous said...

WHY DID SHE APOLOGIZE? Well you do guys really need to ask? He provoked HER into retaliating and lashing back at him with equally venomous insults and name calling. That is what he wanted her to do. To sink to HIS level so that in the end, they both feel they have to apologise for the verbal abuse.

It's a trick of abusers. Push your buttons until you fight back, then make you feel guilty for the things you said and did after you were provoked.

treacle said...

Sarah, all I can say is that I am saddened by what’s happened and first of all I hope that you are ok. And I hope that Scott is okay too.

Only you know what you really want to do about it, whilst I can echo what others before have already said only you can make the choice. I hope that whatever you choose to do that you will have a good bunch of people from real life around you that can help you get through whatever decision you make.

Take care of you. x

Anonymous said...

Love your blog, I read all your archives like a novel last weekend.

I'm sorry to hear Scott is behaving like this. Calling someone names and throwing objects is never ok. I used to fight like this with my ex (tantrums, always threatening to leave, verbal abuse, etc.) and I rationalized it for a long time. I hope you can work things out, but you deserve more than this.

AmyD said...

I'm glad to see this crisis was diverted and you used a new tactic to avoid the lecture and one that led to an outright apology from Scott. Effective communication is the #1 most important aspect of a good relationship, so I commend you for coming up with a new way of dealing with this awkward situation!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sarah,

Please know that whatever decision you make that there are a lot of people who care about you and want the best for you.

Take care.

KennethSF said...

My friend, I'm not so sure that "things were worked out."

Ponder this: If you have a sister or a daughter, would you allow her to be treated the way you have been treated?

Jessica said...

It's sometimes surprising how small the catalyst for an argument can be.

It does sound like his sleeping patterns has a lot to do with it as he's moody when you wake him and this again seems to stem from the drink.

Although I can't think of what to suggest.

Anonymous said...

hi, i found you on a few other blog links and i must say firstly that i'm glad the peace was made. It sounded like a horrid fight.
But as many people here seem to think actions speak far louder than words. But then i don't know anything about your relationship to give any really usefull advice:/

But i do hope this doesn't happen again and that you watch his behaviour carefully. And maybe talk to him about his sleeping patterns, if his sister is right he made need some form of sleep therapy to help with it. It helped me with my insomnia anyway.

But i wish you the best anyway!
Rachel xxxx

p.s i love the template, especially the pink.

Anonymous said...

To all those people who bash Sarah, regardless out of love or what you think is her best interests, you need to remember one thing.. this is the internet version of her real life. Meaning that she uses her blog for a creative outlet to let out what is inside. Some of it may be good, some may be bad.. but don't fall victim to bashing her because your perceived thoughts of how HER relationship should go don't match up to yours.After all that's why most of you have blogs right, because you feel like you can't talk to your friends "IRL" like you can on your blog

Everyone has their good days, and their bad days. Every relationship sometimes escalates out of control and we say things we don't mean. The only difference is she choses to blog about it most of those times and you don't.

So while i'm not saying voice your opinion because that's why we come here to be a part of her blog life.. I am saying don't fall victim the judgment and scorning because she's not saying what you want to hear.

Blue soup said...

update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update update

Surely an update is due?


minijonb said...

peace treaties are tough. i'm still trying to figure out how to make them work.

Single Girl said...

You are much worse with the cliffhangers!!!

Tilly said...


dont eat the token said...

How are you doing? Just checking in. I hope that things are feeling great today!

Truth Hurts said...

Guys, isn't it obvious what Sarah is up to? On the one hand she is deliberately using her silence to make you all concerned about her (whilst she continues to post comments on OTHER blogs...so don't worry she is doing okay and still in love with The Tantrumer) and on the other hand she is punishing you all with her silence for daring to express dismay at Scott's behaviour. So no more blog entries for you!

You see, the reaction she was hoping for with this post is one of relief, that you guys 'celebrate' with her supreme efforts to apologise to him and get the relationship back on track, instead you guys jumped on the 'abuser' bandwagon and kind of suggested she dump him. That has upset her.

She's probably now hoping that if the silence goes on for much longer, a lot of you would stop visiting this blog and think it's died and gone to Blog heaven...so she can then revive it and get a whole new (naive) audience who would be more tolerant of Scott and his tantrums.

She's not about to throw the towel in on this relationship regardless of verbal abuse or alcoholism issues.

Sarah wants Scott to propose. ASAP.

Single Girl said...

Okay, seriously, an update is in order.

Drama Queen said...

Yikes, I've been gone too long. Its got busy round here. I don't know what to say. Its not my kind of normal but if it somehow makes you happy then stick it with it. Hugs.


(ps really why all the fuss because you want to have a blog break - enjoy).

Diane Mandy said...

You ok?

Anonymous said...

Hey, are you okay? I've been reading your blog for a month or two. I really enjoy your writing and I relate to a lot of the stuff you're going through. I hope you are well.


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