Every week, a chapter of my book, “Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, please see the links at the bottom of the post.
Chapter 45A: Whack-A-Mole Returns
In spite of my exhaustion from managing a cross-country move for our entire family in such a compressed time—with almost no help from Paul—within a week of our arrival in Utah, Paul wanted to go on a midsummer vacation with Anne-Marie and her family. I told him the timing was horrible for me, because I was spent. Also, the two weekends Paul wanted to be away would coincide with an opportunity for Jessica to join her new lacrosse team for back-to-back summer tournaments. She wanted desperately to go so she could get to know her new teammates, many of whom would be her high school classmates in the fall. Paul was relentless, insisting on how much he wanted to spend some quality time with the kids and me in a beautiful place. Could I please do it for him?
We compromised. Paul would not pressure me to do anything but rest and relax if I joined him and Anne-Marie’s family for vacation, and Jessica and I would only come for part of the vacation so Jessica could attend both tournaments. That meant Jessica and I would travel together for a four-day vacation while Paul and Daniel would travel together for an eight-day vacation.
As I feared, the extra travel with Jessica, so soon after relocating to Utah and sandwiched in between the two lacrosse tournaments, was draining. I tried to rally, but I was dead on my feet.
Upon returning to Utah, I sorted through the mail and noticed an invitation to a wedding from someone with whom Paul had worked years earlier, someone with whom we hardly even kept in contact. It had been forwarded from our Connecticut address, so by the time I opened the invitation the wedding was only weeks away.
When Paul returned, I told him about the wedding, almost certain he would not want to attend, but I was wrong. I told him that I could not make the trip but that it was totally fine if he went without me. I was just too worn-out.
“You never do anything fun,” Paul snapped.
“Paul,” I said, “I’m exhausted from moving in such a short period of time. I haven’t had time to catch my breath. There are still boxes to unpack.”
”You never do anything I want to do!”
“I just put my whole life on hold and moved us to Utah—something you wanted to do.” I was hurt and incredulous. “We hardly know these people anymore. If you want to go, that’s fine. I just can’t come. We don’t even know anyone here who could stay with the kids. The timing’s all wrong for me.”
“It’s always about you, isn’t it?” Paul said.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, feeling back in an all too familiar nightmare. Paul had not mentioned these people in years. Why did he suddenly want to go to their wedding? If he had been so close to them, why did he not even know about the wedding until I dug the invitation out of a pile of forwarded mail?
“Don’t you realize what I’ve been doing the last few months?”
“Like you really did all that much!” Paul said. “You’re mean and controlling, and you complain about everything.”
“You heard me.”
“If I’m so mean and controlling, give me an example,” I retorted.
“Your towel!” Paul said.
“The one you use for the shower. It’s ugly and doesn’t even match the bathroom. The only reason you use it is because you know how much I hate it, and you’re doing it just to upset me.”
“What are you talking about?” I said, shocked at Paul’s comment. “Did it occur to you that I don’t use the ones you picked out because they’re so big and heavy that they hurt my neck when I dry my hair? And it’s my body and my hair. I can use whatever towel I want!”
“And I planned this great vacation, and you didn’t even go on half of it. You stayed here to make sure Jessica could go to those worthless tournaments. You didn’t care how I felt. They didn’t even win! What a waste of time! You gave up time on the vacation I planned to do that!”
“I told you I never wanted to go on that vacation so soon after the move,” I replied. “I’m exhausted. I jumped through hoops to do it at all. Does that matter?”
Paul glared at me as if I were the most evil, self-centered, hateful person in the world.
“I guess not!” I said, fighting back tears and trying to control my fear and anger. I couldn’t believe it. I got in my car, drove a few miles to a secluded spot, and, with the beautiful mountains that had lured me away from Connecticut in the background, stopped the car and cried. Evil Paul was back. Had he ever really gone away?
Start from the beginning:
Go to previous chapter:
Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.