I feel that I'm one phone call away from being in your shoes.
A brief history: I've been married 14 years. Through out my entire marriage my wife has done things which at the time I only thought it to be immature behavior. I was subjected to verbal abuse, idle threats, and her favorite way to get her way was throwing objects toward me. (breaking them when possible.)
It wasn't untill we had a baby together that I started to be concerned that her angry outbursts were harming not just me, but now and innocent child. I finally did some research and was floored when I found out that most of her behaviors are considered to be forms of spousal abuse.
I knew on one past occasion she changed one specific behavior (slapping me) when someone in a position of "professional standing" (our Marraige Counselor) told her to her face that "her behavior was unacceptable." (she was referring specifically to physical violence.)
I decided to use a similar tactic to confront her on the other behaviors. I printed out information from a Domestic Violence website. It listed behaviors that were considered by law to be forms of intimidation and abuse. I had a talk with her one night, after the baby was asleep, and confronted her with the list. I emphasized that I had a right under the law not to be subjected to these abuses, and I specifically stated that the next time any object came flying in my direction I had the right to call the police have her arrested. (I was quite terrified to say such a thing for fear of retaliation. But, for the sake of keeping my family together, I was willing to take the risk and give her the chance to repent, once she was confronted with the truth about her behavior.)
Afterwards she seemed to change completely. We went for months without any big blowups and we were actually having good, healthy debate using conversation and compromise to settle disputes.
This brings us to present day. Today I woke up feeling bad and stressed and depressed. (I have good reason to be. I'm a disabled veteran with chronic pain. I just switched to percocet because, after 6 years, vicodin wasn't working anymore.)
The first thing I heard from my wife was a statement of two things in our yard that needed fixing. I told her that I was already feeling bad, and depressed and didn't need to be reminded of all the things I can't do because I'm so much pain all the time.
Well God forbid that a man had a feeling ! She immediately accuses me of being "disrespectful" to her. She said I didn't have a "right" to be angry because. after all, it was not her "intent" to make me angry. Next she throws a roll of paper towells toward me (her new tactic is throwing soft things so she can justify that part of her intimidation routine.) She yells very loudly "you are so wrong! You need to APOLOGIZE !" (and does this in front of my 3 year old.) Of course I don't apologize, because I believe I have a right to express my feelings.
Her next form of control is to abandon watching our 3 year old. She exclaimed that she was too upset to watch our daughter (it's her responsiblity to watch her from sun up till 4pm, then I watch her from 4 till bedtime. This is about the max I can tolerate with the level of pain in my leg.) While she's on the phone making an appointment with a counselor, my daughter has a fall right beside her and hits her head and starts crying. I come from the next room and find my wife, still on the phone with her back to my daughter. She didn't so much as turn around and ask her if she was alright. While I attend to my daughters bumped head , my wife leaves the house to go see the counselor.
Fast forward to that evening. We try to talk some more. She again demands an apology. I said I did apologize when you called on your cell phone in the afternoon. I stated that I'm sorry if you had hurt feelings, however my feelings are still valid and I had every right to express those feelings. At this point I've reached my limit on the insults and lies and I pound my fist on the arm of my chair. (She is standing about 3 feet away) SHE THEN WALKS OVER AND LEANS DOWN SO SHE IS RIGHT IN MY FACE AND SAYS "LET ME GET CLOSER SO YOU CAN HIT ME."
Now I know what she's been up to all along. She's been trying to push my buttons through verbal abuse in hopes of provoking me to display aggression. As soon as I showed any sign of physical anger she swooped in and tried to provoke me into hitting her. I'm assuming she wanted to do one of two things. 1) Start hitting and slapping me with all her might and then say "it was self defense." or 2) She might have been trying to put me in a situation where she could now start threatening to call the police on me as an additional, more coercive means of control. She may have had other motives unknown to me. Anyway, it doesn't matter. I didn't fall for her provocation, but I did firmly ask her to "GET OUT OF MY FACE"
Right now she's in bed and I'm staying up most of the night looking for support groups and information for men.
John, It was very eerie to read your story and find out your last words before you were wrongly arrested were the same as the words I just said to my wife. I'm very curious to know if the situations I described sound familiar. I think I will also post this as a new men's story in hopes of getting some support and feedback form others.
Am I crazy? Am I alone? Don't I have a right to express my feelings whether they're good or bad? Someone please write back