Chapter 25

I’ve decided to confront her tonight. I alternate between being enraged at the level of disrespect she has continually shown me about money, sadness at the breach of trust, and complete apathy and disinterest in fixing it. Wanting out. To leave her to clean up this mess without relying on me busting a gut to keep pouring water into a bucket full of holes.

I tell myself to stay calm. Losing my cool will achieve nothing. Yet what will calmly asking for an explanation achieve? More lies? More promises to be broken in a year or two when she decides she fancies maxing out another credit card because she’s feeling unfulfilled or whatever fucking bullshit reason she will have lined up to simultaneously make me feel guilty and pass on taking any accountability for her own behaviour. I’m not interested. This is not what marriage is.

The guilt resulting from my own poor behaviour is always close at hand, ready to remind me that I don’t necessarily occupy a moral high ground. And in terms of being emotionally unfaithful, this is true. I was deeply unsatisfied in my marriage and I went elsewhere, sought out a connection with someone else, in the hope that mere talk would be enough to fill the vacuum where feelings of desire and love and tenderness and intimacy were supposed to be.

However, that is a different topic. My actions, for all their moral decrepitude, don’t have the potential to screw over my family, my children. They don’t risk us being bankrupted and living on welfare. My actions were born of desperation and loneliness, after raising my worries and having them fall on deaf ears. For years.

So while there is a conversation to be had about why I sought love from someone else and the hurt that has caused, it’s a separate topic and should not interfere with her explaining exactly why she thinks that she can continue to max out credit cards and store credit and any other money she can get her hands on that she can’t afford to pay back.

I’m in no position to make threats right now. Maybe in January, when I find out about pay rises and bonus. Maybe then I’ll be in a position to follow through. Right now I just want to understand why she thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to continually treat me like a fucking mug.

In the past she’s been able to trample over my self respect and dignity by claiming that it’s I who is at fault for her spending habits. My fault because I’m so controlling with money. Despite the fact that I give her a huge chunk of money every month and never ask a single question about what she is doing with it. Apparently that’s controlling. I’m not sure if I need to break it down; it seems obvious to me but maybe not. Maybe I need to say “You don’t have a job. I do. So each month I give you money to cover everything you and the kids need. Maybe not everything you want, but everything you need. And a lot of what you want. So given that’s what happens, and given I have never once asked you what you spend that money on, just what about my behaviour is controlling?”

I’m so tired of this. We’ve been here many times before. I won’t be able to believe anything she says. Yet I must try. I need to ask, to hear what she has to say. The difference this time is that any time she uses guilt trip tactics to put the fault on me, I’ll be ready.

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