2016-08-17 by Object of Contempt
One of my sons was very angry with me. He thinks I’m unfair to his mother. The nature of the abuse is covert as it is. The fact is that much of the conflict is inappropriate to explain to a 13 year old. And how do you explain how much it hurts to love withheld? How do you explain what that even means in a marriage. Most adults I talk to about it are unable to really understand fully.
My functioning is at a bare minimum, and my wife currently has the control she wants. The kids are a source of supply as I see it. She doesn’t yell at them, and she doesn’t insult. She doesn’t attack them. She does lots of things they need. She is affectionate, but doesn’t have any clue that they need affirmation and encouragement precisely when they are struggling and failing. The kids don’t see what they are missing. They only know that dad isn’t happy, and they don’t understand why. They blame me — at least most of them do.
They look at me and I feel the effects of the gaslighting. So much has been done to convince others that I am abusive, mean, and that my perception is cock-eyed and messed up. The frustration and grief I feel, the words I say that betray my anger… all this is proof of my guilt in the eyes of so many. I had the audacity to point out the resistance of my wife to nearly every important goal I have, and many unimportant ones. It really has been very consistent and beyond anything that could be construed as accidental. The worst part, though, is the lack of good-will that would entail encouragement, affirmation, validation…
So, I was voicing my frustration and mentioned divorce. There was no reaction. No expression. Just the usual silence. Sometimes she pouts to make me feel like I’m hurting her… but it’s more common to just have a blank face and give the silent treatment. I don’t know if the old DARVO method was more or less damaging than this.
It doesn’t matter, I guess. My family is being torn from me. I can’t divorce without money. My wife’s parents have advanced degrees in psychology, and her brother is a lawyer. She has help and support everywhere she turns. I am alone. I still pray for her, but I have so little hope.