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Saturday, December 29, 2012

WALKING ON EGG SHELLS - a cranky re-run

A Cranky reminder that the New Year can be the start of better things, especially for those that are:

WALKING ON EGG SHELLS (From December 2011)

When you hear stories of spousal abuse, people often think, why would you stay so long with such a person?  As a man I think I used to have these thoughts more than I suspect would most women, until I realized I was myself a victim of spousal abuse.  I won’t say which of my ex-wives was the abuser; if you know one of my exes, and this accusation surprises you, then know it is the other ex-wife.  

My wife did not physically abuse me, although if she was capable she would have.  There were many occasions where I fended off her feeble attempts to punch or kick me.  Her abuse was mental.  The difficult thing about abuse is often, and this was the case for me, the abuser is sweet, loving, charming and just fun to be with 85% of the time.  The other 15% she is an “Exorcist” like demon with a violent temper and vile nature so unlike the person you love, that it shocks you every time it appears.   

I never knew what would set off one of her tirades.  The cute little thing I did last week when I channel surfed right over her favorite movie made me a “fucking asshole piece of uncaring selfish shit” today.

No amount of my apologies would right a wrong, and later when she was “normal” again she would never address her insanity.  (She did once say to me, “It isn’t easy living in this head.”) 

After one of her explosions her mind would stay firmly locked onto my perceived miscue and was ready to bring it up again and again during future tirades. 

My favorite accusation was, “You don’t love me as much as I love you!” 

Always, there was the threat of divorce.

When I came home from work, I never knew who would greet me.  Most times it was Donna Reed.  Sometimes it was SATAN.  Anything could set off a tirade at any time. 

Living in my house was like walking on egg shells.

I often thought, “If only I hadn’t done this or if only something unforeseen hadn’t happened.”  The truth is when she was ready to explode, she would find something.  I think she even may have planted things to use when the “curse” hit her.

Some years ago, she left me for an old fiancé, a past lover, the Mr. Big to her Carrie.  It was not until then that I could step back and look objectively at our relationship, and realize that I was in fact abused.  It is not an easy admission for a man to make.  It is difficult to admit you put up with absurd temper tantrums when you probably should have shaken her and yelled, “Shut the fuck up you crazy bitch!” 

Of course in the eyes of the law and in public opinion, that would have made me the abuser and I would have lost everything; everything, but my own self-respect.

It took her adultery, and my being thrown out of my own house in one of her final fits of uncontrollable, irrational temper, for me to realize that I had been a victim of abuse for some 14 years.

It took me several years and the subsequent love of a sane woman for me to come to grips with the fact that my ex-wife was in fact…er…let’s say unstable and our separation and divorce was a God send.  If I had remained married after my retirement and forced to stay home 24/7, I doubt very much I could have survived her abuse.   My escape from her tantrums, heavy smoking and heavy drinking, would probably have killed me.

Mental illness is insidious.  It not only affects the life of the afflicted, but it turns upside down the life of everyone connected to that person.  Fortunately I am now out of that insanity.

I have been with Mrs. C for over three years now and we have not had a single argument.  Oh there has been a couple (maybe) of “discussions” and an occasional harsh word (although I can’t really think of one), but nothing even close to approaching the intense insanity of my previous relationship. 

I am now in a relationship based on trust and love, a relationship where I don’t need to filter my every thought, where I am allowed to make a mistake, and where I can be myself.  It is being in such a relationship that I realize…I used to walk on egg shells.   


  1. Excellent post Cranky. Pity the poor fellow who inherited your ex.

    There are wonderful relationships out there. Thank God you (and me, too) found one. :)


  2. Seems you and I have more in common than just being 'cranky' (I signed the Peter Pan pledge years ago and refuse to admit to 'old'). I know all about the egg shells. Got rid of them more than a decade ago. This one now is a keeper.

  3. I am SO LUCKY to have gotten a keeper the first time--2 months until our 58th anniversary!!

  4. Great post Cranky. Interesting to hear it from another perspective.
    Happy New Year!
    Glad it is egg-shell free ...
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  5. I think I may have commented on this the first time around ...

    Sometimes it's the people who destroy you from the inside out who do the most damage ...

    Hmmm, so glad you don't live that any more.

  6. I'm with S - I'm wondering if she's any happier w/ the Old Flame (or he w/ her). . .

    I guess I'm w/ Fishducky, too (altho he's evidently old enough to be my dad); we're 32 years in, and it just keeps getting better (altho, Lord knows, it ain't because I'm so freakin' wonderful. . .)

  7. Wonderful post, and one I'm sure many men would benefit from reading. I'm glad you finally found the person you were supposed to be with. Take care and Happy New Year.

  8. I have witten posts that are the flip side of yours, so I know the egg-shell walk you speak of all too well, and I endured it much too long. It is good to hear it from a male perspective, to remind us all that it's not just women who find themselves in abusive relationships. I too am now in an amazing marriage that showed me for the first time what love and caring can really be. After nearly five years, some days I still wake up and wonder if I'm dreaming, it's that good. I am delighted to read that you found your way out of hell too, life is too short to live with someone abusive, and you are so right that they never, ever see themselves as the one with the problem. Great read, I hope you continue to share this story ever year!