Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Power Game

People thought they were the perfect couple. He the big hitter in the financial world. She the little housewife and mother. He brought home the modestly big bucks. She tried not to spend them because it upset him so much. They had two golden children whom she ferried round to piano lessons, beavers, brownies, dancing, acting, tutoring, swimming. And then he came home when it was all over. And basked in their reflected glory.

He spent every evening locked away in his study, a room so sacrosanct it wasn't cleaned in 11 years, counting his money and dreaming of ways to make more. He would bring a bottle of wine or two up with him. Or he would be on the phone all night to colleagues. She would read to the children after their baths and put them to bed. Then she would watch TV. Alone. Till he got off the phone to come in and tell her all the wonderful things the colleagues had said about him. All conversation was about him.

She was lonely so she developed hobbies. Singing. Amateur dramatics. Sewing. Exercise. He did not ask about these nor share her interest in them. He counted his money and compliments instead.

He got a job offer in London. This would be a great way to build my career, he said. And she encouraged him. For she no longer had a career, having given it and her country up to be with him. Her home and children became her career. While he was in London she raised the children. He would come home at weekends, demand all homelife revolve around him for 48 hours, then return. She would breathe a sigh of relief when he left. But she was lonely. There was no conversation -- not with him nor anyone.

Then tragedy struck. He lost his job because his fund wasn't performing. He came home and immediately set about upsetting her domestic routine. Any routines she had with the children were overturned immediately by him without a second thought. He demeaned her and undermined her each and every day. She tried to smile through it but was so sad inside. He drank and drank and drank. The children would cry at night because they hated seeing their father like this. He kept getting turned down for jobs so they decided to buy a business. The first sale fell through when he inappropriately tried to contact employees. The second sale fell through as well. Secretly, she was relieved for she knew what life would be like running a business with him. It wouldn't be a partnership, but him making all the decisions and her making the tea.

Then someone old but new came into her life, and the Power Game began. She enjoyed the attention. She enjoyed finding someone she could converse with about anything. She allowed her imagination and fantasies to go wild. And unfortunately wrote a draft email about them. He found the draft email and behaved as though he'd found her in bed with someone else. He sent her sister an email exhorting her to make his wife behave. He behaved like a Victorian husband. And the stricter he was the more rebellious she became.

The Power Game soon took on a life of its own, neither he nor she thinking its conclusion through clearly. And her fascination with her newfound friend continued. She wanted to see him in the flesh, to talk about books and ideas. And her husband found out. He thought that spying on her would be the answer to their marital woes. Instead it flamed the fires of a foolish passion in her, a passion for privacy and freedom. The stricter he was, the more she struggled against the chains. He started to do strange things like send anonymous emails to her friends about her or steal her journal, read it and copy the pages. He put a keylogger on the computer to record each and every keystroke she made. He read her email and kept a diary of all her so-called bad behaviour. She found this diary and was outraged. He felt justified because of her long-distance friendship. He wrote her parents, her friends. He engaged their children in the battle against her. The more he fought to control her, the more she wanted out. Her friendship fell by the wayside, finally the victim of all the stress.

He started to used the money in the Power Game, warning her she would die in dire poverty if she left him. He wanted her back, he made that clear. But on his own controlling terms and without having to make any changes to his now very odd personality. He told her he had complete control over all the money, even that in her name, and there was nothing she could do. She went to the bank, who advised her otherwise. She took money out to pay her solicitor. He threatened her with an injunction.

He started to put around that she would get nothing, that he would get the house and the children because he had the moral upper hand. How could I have ever loved such a person, she thought. She despaired at losing her children and thought of drowning herself or slitting her wrists. But no, she thought, I can't do that. For then he wins the Power Game. And he cannot win.

14 comments:

The wife of bold said...

This must have been heartbreaking for you to write, i'm in tears, stay strong and fight. I think you are a very brave women and you deserve happiness. I don't know why men must manipulate and control us with their mind games. i wish you all the luck in the world.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I was only thinking about you the other day. Nacissistic men are quite selfish and awful to live with. He is clearly a bully and playing with your mind. But he is the weaker one because all his reference points have crumbled as his work and home life change. he will rue the day that he tried to control you when he sits alone with only four walls to stare at. His rather large ego has clearly taken a nosedive. I hope you are making every effort to get away from this man. I sense a very rocky road ahead for you but it will be worse for him, just try to remember that when it gets tough. he will be eaten up with anger that he has lost conrol of you. I am sure he will try every trick in the book but if you keep your cool, the courts will see what his behaviour is like. The odds are against him getting anywhere near what he threatens. This is obviously immensly stressful for you and the kigs. I wish you well and please keep posting as I am sure there are many of us wish you well and would like to listen. X

Linda - Gold Coast said...

Oh Wakeup there is so much I want to write and yet all I can come up with are big {{{hugs}}}. I hope and pray that you will find the strength you so need in this situation. You so deserve to find happiness, don't settle for anything less. I don't know why but an old hymn popped into my mind, Fight the Good Fight with all thy Might. I hope that you can keep blogging as your friends will be a great support system for you. Stay strong Wakeup and sending lots of ♥ Linda xoxo

MIME said...

I'm so sorry that this is such a sad time for you. But something tells me that you will come out of this much better than he will; you seem so strong and grounded. I know the hardest part is that you are so far away from your support system. I hope he comes to his senses & rises above all this pettiness. One day at a time...MIME

Crystal Jigsaw said...

No, he definitely cannot win. And you know he won't.

The first part of this post sounded incredibly like my ex and the way he treated me. The reason I left him. Bullies and me don't go together - I simply walk away.

Best wishes,
CJ xx

Expat mum said...

Oy, oy, oy. At least you know where you are, there is no "moral" upper hand any more. Sounds a lot like a really good friend of mine - but she's fine now! As you will be.

希望 said...

好文..................................................

Jerry said...

I just discovered you...started reading fast...then slower and slower. I can only wish the very best for you...and write more!

darth sardonic said...

holy shit! have i been out of it that long...? anyways, stick with it, i'm pulling for ya.

連絡 said...

It is no use crying over spilt milk...................................................

Linda - Gold Coast said...

How are you wakeup? I hope you are well and finding happiness again. Miss seeing you around ♥ Linda xoxo

Sparx said...

Unbelievable - unbelievable... you're going to be ok though, sounds like you have yourself in order.

more said...

友情像一棵樹木,要慢慢的栽培,才能成長真的友誼,要經過困難考驗,才可友誼永固..............................

twirl unabashedly said...

stumbled across you, and this blog. is this a fiction work? if not, i'm very sorry for your situation... take our babies and run fast and far... if it is fiction, very nice work. :)