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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, April 14, 2008

You say controlling, I say Asshat.

My friend is married to a really controlling cretin. There, I said it. But it's true, and it sucks for her and it sucks even more for her kids. They can't catch a break with this guy, any of them. He's just not nice. There isn't any way around it. It's the only conclusion one can make. Even his mother thinks he's horrid.

His behavior is amazing to me. I honestly don't understand why any person, whether a King or a President or a CEO or just a regular shlub thinks that they are more important than anyone else. It's so not in my nature to be like this. I'm the ultimate team player. I like to organize people into teams and then make the collective work together successfully. Not this guy. He likes to order people around, yell when they get in his way, and assert that his wants and needs are much more urgent than anyone else. This adds an incredible amount of pain, anger and stress for my friend and her kids.

The problem is, there's no dealing with this kind of person. Everything, and I mean everything, is a personal affront to him. This is a guy who throws temper tantrums in museums and theme parks if he doesn't get to do what he wants. Not what the kids want, what HE wants. I've seen this with my own eyes, and it is astounding. Nobody in their family counts with him. It's all about him, and if anyone gets in his way, he'll physically push them away.

My friend is miserable. She honestly can't take any more. I don't know how she's lasted so long. Truthfully, I'd have killed this guy by now. There is just no way that any woman should stand for this kind of treatment. But that's water under the bridge. She has stayed, and it's been terrible for her and for her family. However, at long last she's planning to make a break. It's going to be very slowly, because when you're dealing with a person like her husband, everything has to be done behind his back.

The planning is overwhelming. Making a record of their finances, which he controls and keeps fairly secret from her, is just the first step. She has to find an attorney, but at the same time interview every shark in the divorce law field to ensure that he won't be able to hire a real killer attorney due to conflict of interest. That's not an easy task either. But she's doing her homework and doing everything she needs to do quietly, so as not to alert him.

For me, it's very difficult to stand by and watch this continuing saga of pain for my friend. I want her to be happier. I want her to get her life back. I want her to be able to breathe freely in her own home. I want her to find her voice again, and to be able to use it without being cut down. She's the last of my friends with teenage kids to remain married. Everyone I know has gotten divorced in the past 10 years. In every case, it's been situations with narcissistic and controlling men. I don't know why, but it's true in every case.

Fortunately, most of my friends, being older, kept their careers and were able to split their households without too much financial pain. But I worry about the GenY women who have chosen to be SAHMs. They only have a few years left before their marriages start to crumble, and for the most part these women have no way of caring for their families by themselves. I'm not about to start the mommy wars, but I do worry that this entire generation that has reverted back to the 1950's model of moms at home and dads supporting the family is, in my opinion, a disaster in the making. I might be wrong, but as I watch each and every couple that I knew fall apart, I have to wonder just what is going to happen in the future.

My friend does work, and makes a decent salary. She'll be able to live a comfortable life, own a home of her own, and not have to change much about her lifestyle once she's on her own. I have great faith that she will be able to do this. But I'm very scared for her right now. I just wish it was all over already.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Daisy said...

Frightning. I hope she has shelter arrangments (friends or otherwise) in case he gets violent. Emotional abuse, which this is, can turn physical much too quickly.

14/4/08 4:06 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Sounds like my ex-husband. Still trying to finalize the divorce with him. Do some searches under "narcissist" on this one. He sounds like a destructive narcissist.

14/4/08 4:39 PM  
Blogger Moogie said...

Scary..very scary. I hope that she can get everything sorted out and start a new and much better life for her and her children. She is lucky to have you there as a friend, supporting her.

14/4/08 4:55 PM  
Blogger bethany actually said...

Situations like that are just sad and awful for everyone. My aunt was married to a man like this, who was a BAD alcoholic to boot, and even though she's been divorced and living in another state for 12 years he is STILL trying to control her. I hope things work out for your friend.

And keep in mind that a lot of the GenY SAHMs are actually WAHMs. They don't have the same career path as men, maybe, but they're working and helping support their families.

14/4/08 6:38 PM  
Blogger Domestic Sensualist said...

Divorce from my narcissistic ex has humbled me. I would now advise every young woman -- no matter how great her husband is, no matter how great her marriage seems -- to keep her maiden name legally (use his name socially if you like),have some kind of income stream if not a full-fledged career at all times, and be prepared for anything.

15/4/08 9:05 AM  

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