I Am Not A Doormat…anymore


Growing up, both Will and I had terrible examples of what a wife and mother should be. Both of our mothers married narcissistic, self-involved, chauvinistic bullies. They were both used, taken advantage of, disrespected, and eventually, cheated on. They were what was called a doormat. A place where one would wipe their shoes or stomp the mud off their boots. Where marriage is concerned, a place to leave all the crap of the day. We both watched as our mothers took whatever was dished out from their husbands. We both were taught by example that wives were to be used and forgotten. Their existence was nothing more than a convenience for their husbands. Is it any wonder that Will is a narcissist and I put up with it for so long? Is it any wonder that our marriage was so much like our parents? Children live what they learn.

So, Saturday has become a day when Will and I spend time together doing mundane stuff like running errands, home chores etc. But it’s okay, because we spend the day together. This past Saturday, Will came home from his early morning recovery meeting and was on his phone. He was trying to purchase a new phone through our carrier. I could hear in his voice that he was frustrated but was doing a good job of keeping his temper in check. He was dealing with a representative who was not very knowledgeable about the phone he was trying to buy. At the time he came through the front door, he had already been on the phone for over 30 minutes. I puttered around the house waiting for him to finish his call…for another hour and fifteen minutes. He finally got off the phone and said we needed to go into the carriers brick and mortar store to get his phone because the rep had so totally screwed everything up. I told him we could go there first and then do our other errands. We had to return something and pick up a clock from the repair shop….and then maybe we could grab some lunch. He was not in a great mood, but I assumed he would cheer up once he got his new phone. We got to the store, they sorted everything out, he got the phone he wanted and they said it would take an hour or so to transfer all of his data etc. We decided to go pick up the clock and grab some lunch. I asked him if we could get lunch first because I hadn’t had breakfast. He shrugged and said, “Sure, but I’m not hungry so you can just get whatever.”  This was not the plan and I rather enjoy going out to lunch together, but I said fine…just hit up a drive-thru and I’ll grab a salad. As I munched away on my salad, he was quiet as we drove to the repair shop. I asked if he was okay and he just said he was tired and hadn’t slept well. He really just wanted to get our errands done and take a nap. We got the clock, then headed to the pet store to return an item I had bought online and picked up in-store.  I did not have the receipt and the salesperson told me I could just get store credit unless I could find the electronic receipt. We got out of line and I began to search my phone to see if I could find the receipt. It wasn’t an easy task and Will began to nag. He started by saying store credit would be fine. (No, it wasn’t.) Then escalated to telling me to just find a customer service number to call. (Exactly what I was doing.) Then literally started to manage me by telling me how to use my email and how to search for the 800 number. I’m a grown woman. I’m not an idiot. I bloody KNOW how to use my email and the internet. I stopped typing and asked him why he felt he needed to control me and the situation. He got snotty and argued that he was NOT controlling me. Since he did not have his phone, I basically threw mine to him and said, “Fine Asshole. YOU just take right over.” I walked off leaving him standing there. He ended up finding a number (that I had already pulled up) and calling customer service to get an emailed receipt (which is exactly what I was doing) and then acting like he was some kind of superstar because he had done what I was already doing. We got our refund and left to go back to the phone store. I was fuming. He was oblivious. We didn’t talk and I did some internal meditating and deep breathing. He was still oblivious. I had calmed down enough to suggest we get ice cream after we picked up his phone. He mumbled something which I assumed was agreement. We went in to get his phone. It had completed its transfer and all he had to do was remove the SD card and reset it so it could be recycled. His old phone was on the counter as he looked for the app that would delete all the data. He scrolled past the “backup and reset” option twice and I simply reached over and pointed to the option as he clearly wasn’t seeing it. He swatted my hand away! Like I was an annoying gnat or something. I simply told him I was going to walk over to get ice cream and left. I got my treat and went to the car to eat it. By myself. In a complete rage. He texted me and said I could go ahead and get ice cream..he wasn’t really in the mood for anything. I texted back that I appreciated his permission but I had already thought for myself and gotten my ice cream all by myself. *snark* When he got to the car, he realized I was angry and apologized “If something he did upset me” (!!!!!)  I told him to check himself and his actions. I told him he had been controlling and dismissive and he denied, defended and argued. I stopped speaking to him.

Normally, after we do our Saturday running around, we go out to a movie or snuggle downstairs and binge watch something. Not this time. I was so hurt, so angry, so baffled by his behavior that I couldn’t even be near him. After several hours, he came to find me watching a series on Netflix and apologized. He said he had a really rough morning and was sorry he was short with me. That was it. No acknowledgment of his controlling behavior. No heartfelt apology for swatting me away in annoyance. No true understanding of how he had diminished me by his treatment of me. Not really an apology at all. He had reverted to his old behavior and I wanted…no, I NEEDED…him to see that. He had a crappy morning and a rough meeting and a long frustrating phone call and he wanted to just wipe his dirty, muddy boots off on me. I wasn’t having it. I spent over thirty-six years taking his crap and being the doormat for his dirt. I’m not that person any more. As I write this, it’s Monday. I am still waiting for him to figure it out. I am feeling the need to run away. I may just take a few days and have some me time. I’m thinking after the bombcyclone and frigid temps here in the Rockies, Arizona might be a nice warm up. Or maybe just a Marriot with room service and a couple of good books. Either way, I need to have some distance and space. Even doormats need to be refreshed every so often..😏

Leigh ❤️