So there was absolutely no response from my husband regarding my email about abusive relationships, which I thought was weird.  Actually there was no response from him whatsoever for about a week – and that I expected – but when he did talk to me again his tone of voice was formal and icy.  He didn’t say word one about the email, which was good because I had asked him to respond in writing, but our conversation was stilted and very awkward.

What we talked about my Christmas present, which was tickets to a live show two days away.  Shortly after I moved out of the house he had asked if he could still go with me to the event because, at the time, he wanted to spend as much time with me as possible.  After my email on emotional abuse I thought he might refuse to go but he said he still wanted to so we confirmed our previous arrangement to have dinner first and then go to the event after.

To say dinner was stressful might be the understatement of the year.  My original terms to agreeing to go to dinner with him before the show and for going to the show itself with him were:
1.  No talking personal relationship stuff. 
2.  No holding hands. 
3.  No hugging. 

I just wanted a nice, friendly outing so as not to ruin my Christmas gift.  He made it clear that he considered it a “date” and I figured as long as he adhered to my three rules for the event I didn’t care what he called it.

Those conditions were on top of my very first condition after I moved out that I didn’t want to talk personal relationship stuff for the entire month of February because I needed some time and space to work through things in my own head without having to try and verbalize them to him.  (Which didn’t really happen.) 

He had agreed to my three terms for dinner and the show at the time, (nearly a month ago,) but it was obviously killing him at the resturant.  I arrived first with nervous knots in my stomach and unsure if I would be able to eat anything.  I dressed casual but nice.  He arrived in business casual attire, as stiff and straight as if he had a poker iron for a spine and his face as solomn as though his parents has just died. 

This is not promising to be a happy evening.

We get seated, I order a bacon cheeseburger, he orders shrimp and we start talking.  He obviously wants to talk about “us” but just as obviously knows he promised not to.  He is frustrated and angry… and trying not to be but failing.

My anxiety level is rising and I am picking at my food.

He did something strange – he asked for my set of keys to his truck back saying “it’s locked and I need them”.  Seemed like a pretty lame excuse to me but I have no plans to borrow, steal or sell his truck so I gave him my keyring and let him take the keys off, not knowing exactly which ones were for the truck.  I noticed, however, that he removed three keys (it’s an old truck and has one for the door and one for the ignition) and that the third key looked like it went to the safe.  Hmmm…

I suggest we set a date to talk about “us” and our relationship issues to help the evening go smoother.  He is strangely unavailable for the entire next week so we pick a date in two weeks.  It helped but we still wound up talking about our relationship some… the two parts I remember are when he said “You abandoned your family” and “I did not abuse you”. 

At some point after those statements I felt like a switch inside me flipped.  I became calm and rational and suddenly able to start eating my food.  I went along with whatever remaining conversation we had and prayed the night would end quickly.

We arrived at the show early, I was determined to enjoy myself and he seemed just as determined to not like it.  It was a sold-out show and we sat next to each other, without touching, for two hours.  I laughed and giggled and had a great time.  I glanced at him a few times but he was sitting there like a stone head from Easter Island so after that I decided to ignore him.  On our way out I told him several times that I had a good time and asked him if he enjoyed the show.  His response each time?  A horribly monotone “It was fine”.  He then asked if I would be open to more dates – but made sure to point out that he was not actually asking me on another date.  I was a little confused about how I should be feeling about this…

Overall, I had a good time at the show itself.  Before and after, not as much.  My thoughts about his two statements that I abandoned my family and that he did not abuse me I am saving for another post – but there is a post I need to write between this one and that one because I found out why he took my keys and was not available to meet with me for two weeks…

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