Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let's Make a Deal

Let's Make a Deal

So last night he tells me he is sorry he called me a bitch. Unfortunately, further conversation revealed that he is still holding me responsible for how he behaves.

I told him that in order to feel safe with him again, I need to know that he accepts full responsibility for his behavior and that name calling will not happen in the future under any circumstances.

"What?", he said. "You want me to just unilaterally disarm?" "This isn't a war", I told him. "Weapons have no place in a marriage."

I pointed out that I had stopped yelling, because I knew it bothered him. I no longer slam doors. I don't try to continuing engaging with him when he wants to stop talking, even though he has not kept a 'time out' agreement in a year. (When he takes a 'time out' it doesn't mean he is going to go calm down so we can better discuss the issue. It is his way of disengaging for weeks.) "I did all that", I told him, "and your behavior has not changed."

He wouldn't agree to a ban on name calling regardless of circumstances. (double standard here). Basically, he says if I do something to make him mad (like tell him I am upset about something he did or didn't do) then he will reserve the right to 'fight back'.

This is what Lundy Bancroft says in "Why does he do that?"

He justifies his hurtful or frightening acts or says that you "made him do it."

The abuser uses your behavior as an excuse for his own. He therefore refuses to commit unconditionally to stop using a degrading or intimidating behavior. Instead, he insists on setting up a quid pro quo, where he says he'll stop some form of abuse if you agree to give up something that bothers him, which often will be something that you have every right to do.

So I'm not going to take that 'deal'. I could use 'I feel' statements and stroking and never raise my voice over a whisper and he would still find a way to justify abuse.

Just because I'm not perfect
doesn't mean I deserve to be abused.


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