When I say that Lora says things in a fight that I find really unacceptable, I worry that I don’t give many examples and that I sound overbearing. Last night’s fight (yes, it was a fight that continued) contained a lot of those expressions and illustrations of Lora’s way of thinking that describe the things that really bother me. So here they are:
The fight was one of those conversations where Lora is talking about her concerns about their relationship and saying that Jon needs to change his behavior in ways that would make it easier for her to control him or to assuage her insecurities and jealousies. It appears that part of it might be about how when she came home today, Jon wasn’t ready at the front of the house to greet her and start spending time with her immediately – things that Jon is totally not willing to do when she gets home. He’s not OK with the idea that when Lora is coming home, he needs to be ready to drop everything to instantly attend to her (I am so grateful that he feels that way, because if he thought that was reasonable, I think that would be the beginning of the end of us. It’s just so…bad of a way to be expected to act with someone who loves you.).
When Jon headed into the little bedroom to spend time with her, Lora lashed out at him for not being there to greet him, and then he shut down. Him shutting down made Lora more upset, and Jon said “When you push me away, I feel hurt and that makes me withdraw. I’m not doing it to punish you, I’m doing it because I feel bad and closed off to you”. Lora’s response was “Oh yeah, well my feelings are wounded and you’re not doing shit about that. What about how I hurt? What about how I said I needed you and you weren’t there?”. Because, you know, when Lora feels bad, it’s Jon’s responsibility to drop everything and be there to fix it. Even if she jumps all over him first.
Lora then said “It’s clear to me that you’re using this as a tactic to control me”. “This” being that he was hurt, and his hurt was limiting his ability to reach other and comfort Lora. Because yes, Jon’s reaction to her being nasty towards him is definitely geared for revenge and has nothing to do with her being hurtful towards. She then told him that he owed her A LOT to make up for the ways in which he’s letting her down. He disagreed and told her that he wants to comfort her because he doesn’t want her to be hurting, but he didn’t cause that initial hurt and her being hurt isn’t an excuse to lash out at him. At that point, she started crying loudly and ordering him out of the bedroom. She kept telling him that he has no excuse for not helping her and that she was done with him. He didn’t leave and said that he was sorry she felt so badly, and that he did want to comfort her because he doesn’t want her to feel badly.
She told him that she knew she’d already “lost him” when he left the bedroom when she went to the bathroom and started talking to me. She said she knew he was just going to zone out and play on the computer and that they’d have no time together. Because, you know, making definitive statements about what you KNOW is going to happen instead of saying to your partner “Hey, I really need some intimate time and attention from you now. Can we talk and spend time enjoying each other for a while before we plug into our respective electronics?” makes the most sense.
He explained to her that he sat down to shut his laptop down because it’s easier to shut it down and gather up the cord/mouse/etc sitting. She said she didn’t want to hear his excuses, she knows he doesn’t really give a shit, that he failed, and that he should get out and leave her alone. She kept reiterating that there was no excuse for him failing her and that she was done.
He kept trying to talk to her and eventually she started talking back instead of just hurling accusations. Jon kept reiterating that he did want to be there for Lora, but that asking him to be there for her and also treating him like an emotional punching bag aren’t OK. She stopped crying and blaming everything on him and finally said that she got really angry that he wasn’t there for her and that she knows that the way she lashed out was bad and not appropriate and that she was sorry – she just gets so upset and she can’t help it.
Yeah, I can totally see how Lora doesn’t need solo therapy and how doing couples therapy is the best idea, because clearly both Jon and Lora are terrible at communication and jump all over each other’s shit. That makes total sense, doesn’t it?
I know sarcasm isn’t good, but I am just so damn sick of this stupidity. Every time I think about Lora deciding that things are “good enough” that she doesn’t need solo therapy, I want to vomit. I also worry that she’s either going to be upset in couples therapy that they’re not equally pushed and culpable for the fighting or that she’s going to give up on it after a visit or two with some bullshit excuse about not liking the therapist when in reality, it’s that she doesn’t like being forced to look at the inappropriate and abusive ways that she acts towards Jon and being pushed to work on herself and change those things. I’ve done couples therapy a couple of times, and when both of us were equally culpable in a way (like say, bad communication on both sides) it went really well. One of the times though, when my partner was simply an abusive human being, he quickly got his back up over how target he felt in therapy. Since I didn’t seem to be just as responsible as him, the therapist was clearly shitty and biased towards being nice to me and punishing him.
I just…I don’t see in her any true desire to change. Or at least, I don’t see more of a desire to change and be a loving person than I see a desire for things to stay the way they are, with her being as shitty and controlling as she can get away with, and with Jon (and potentially me) just accepting her as the way she is. I can’t do that. I don’t want to be friends with this shitty human being. I don’t want her and her poison in my life.
So I spend the rest of the evening subdued and monosyllabic with Lora. I don’t comprehend how they can have a fight like that, where she blames him for so many things that aren’t his fault, and then it finished and everybody is supposed to act normal and like it’s all fine. I know it’s not fine because Jon has repeatedly said that Lora needs to get therapy to change the way she treats him when she’s upset, and he gets teary and choked up when he says it. So for all the “normal” that seems to be going on afterwards with him, it seems like it’s NOT normal or OK to Jon. Which is good, because it’s so not-normal. It’s horrible and abusive. And I still have to talk to Jon about not wanting to be friends with Lora anymore, and figure out how to talk to her about how I don’t want her in my life any more than necessary. Ugh. That’s going to be the most miserable talk ever – for all of us.