Between a black eye – and verbal abuse? I’d take the fist… (though I’d much prefer neither!).
People see and respond to a black eye. They know something went down. Through the years I learned that abuse have more faces than a Broadway theater production. And I’m not even an expert on the subject… Thankfully
I tried hard to figure out why I got myself involved with Mr. Pride, but I did – Boy, I should have seen that coming!
After deliberately concealing Mr. Tough guy from my parents (see previous post: What if), I carried around a load of guilt.
Guilt made me look for a guy whom my parents would like to see me with. That’s a “parent trap” if one was ever made! A good decent guy? Well, I found one… but “peel an onion and you begin to cry”!
There was no real spark between us. No physical attraction. But we would look good on family photos and it was a really good frosting on the guilt cake. My parents were thrilled; A decent guy with a good education… oh yeah – they saw grandkids already.
But, between Mr. Tough guy and Mr. Pride I found a “perfect” anti-climax!
We went on a couple of dates. He came over for dinner, I visited him in his rental place. He lived remote from his workplace and 3 months after our first date, he was already talking about moving in to my apartment. I lived 5 min from his work… his argument? We could save a lot of money.
Yeah, that’s not really what you want to hear if a guy wants to move in with you… huh!
I stalled for as long as I could. But 6 months into the relationship, he brought it up with my dad and I couldn’t stall anymore… argh!
At the same time, between the sheets things were no good and it was impossible to talk about. The reality probably was that Mr. Pride really couldn’t compete with my previous experiences.
While moving in, he arrogantly laid down the rule; His expensive design stayed – The rest had to go! I actually really liked my furniture…
But my parents were thrilled and I wanted to please them. So I agreed (not) – while drowning and compromising myself.
I tried – I really did. But he got increasingly arrogant, critical, argumentative and it drove me nuts. Everything had to be his way and his style. If I was of a different opinion or taste, then I was wrong and he would both publicly, privately and within the family correct me and argue against me. He became angry if something disturbed his “picture perfect” family image.
My choice of tablecloth was changed into “the correct designer brand”. I of course participated in selecting the patterns and colors, because otherwise it would look like he was “in charge”… ?!? – but it had to be his choice of brand. After a year of this tension, I was broken and lost my voice. I became a doll-like person too scared to speak.
While my parents were waiting for a declaration of engagement, I was working up the nerve to tell him to move out. When I told my parents the break up news – to my shock – they supported Mr. Pride and despite my explanations of what had gone on, they couldn’t believe I wanted out.
I said “But I want to be happy” and my dad responded “happy loneliness”.
I told my mom “but I don’t love him” and she said “why don’t you just take him – he does everything for you!”.
Sometimes, a fist in the face that leaves a visible bruise, is far easier to explain than low-key verbal abuse. Had I had a bruise, my dad and brother would have kicked Mr. Pride’s *beeep*… but all I had was an outwardly “perfect relationship” which I, as the “bad guy” wanted to end. – And all this, because I wanted to please my parents so I could cover up the guilty feeling inside.
Guilt! It’s a bad friend to walk with!
I have surrendered to the Spirit of Jesus and I no longer feel that guilt. I laid it at the cross. It doesn’t make things right, but my heart was made whole again. I can’t change my past. But maybe I can help you decide your future.