Hubby had a good week at long last. And so did I. He started his new job and was out of the house for 10 blissful hours for each of four days. He has his own office, his own parking spot, someone to bring him tea and biscuits, a new Blackberry phone, and dozens to prop up that huge ego of his.
The kids and I returned to almost normal with each other. We ate together. We joked. We talked. Son revealed his very poor Maths exam score. We haven't told his dad yet. Daughter wants to go to a music festival and we discussed the pros and cons of it. And how we would approach her dad with the idea. Gone was the oppressive atmosphere. Till the key turned in the door. Then I retreated to my room, the kids to their rooms. They are pleasant to him and don't sound sorry to see him. But it made me wonder. Could the problems I've been having with them be completely attributable to their dad? Could they feel his tyranny as much as I do? Are they afraid of his disapproval? And they're not afraid of mine?
They must feel so confused. I know I do at times.
With Hubby out of the house, I feel I can breathe. I feel like I can take my house back from his oppressive influence. For the first time in months, I've used the family computer (not for this, of course, but for job-seeking). And I did wonder briefly if we'd be where we are if he'd gotten this job two years ago. But I realise that his spying began a decade ago. I remember him coming home about 10 years ago and going through the Sent Mail file. Why? He said he was looking for something. What he found was an innocent email I'd sent to a former (male) colleague. He asked me about it in a strange way, and I never contacted the colleague again.
I remember other instances. They seemed trivial at the time, but perhaps I stored them up in my subconscious. I certainly started feeling unhappy every year at the same time -- near our anniversary. But I kept telling myself how could I be unhappy? I didn't deserve to be unhappy. Look what he provided for me. Look at the life we had together.
Well, let's look at it. It was a life he provided. I had nothing to do with it, being that I was only a stay-at-home mother. I always thought Hubby had a misogynist streak. I even gave him a book called The Natural Inferiority of Woman, which was a tongue-in-cheek look at the misogyny of men. He was proud of me, it's true. Proud of the way I looked. Proud of the way I could cook and entertain (though he never actually wanted me to entertain anyone other than him). But anytime I raised the subject (weakly, it's true) of going back to work, he would say, "You don't need to work." I didn't have to worry about bills as they were all in his name. Do you get what was going on? I was treated as a Victorian housewife. I don't want to be a Victorian housewife. I want to be myself. And I couldn't be that in this marriage and I couldn't pretend anymore.
And so we're having this very nasty split because he wanted things to remain the same and I didn't.