Why does a woman follow her husband to remind him in a brutal way of the vows he has taken?
What do you get when you mixed PMS and GPS?
This question and picture posted by just-ask-susan of hubpages in her facebook account pulled some of my most awful memories and inspired me to do some introspection again, which I share gladly with all readers with the hope that it enlightens some troubled minds and spare emotional pain.
I am reviewing only one event, but there were more, fortunately only for a period of nine months while my husband was besotted with a woman who happened to be just like I was when he met me - playful, sparkling, exciting, yet sad and struggling to overcome causes of severe unhappiness.
So that day I followed my husband to remind him of his vows, or perhaps only to prove to him that I was not hatched up by a turkey....
- Was I PMS?
- Did I mix it with my (then built-in) GPS?
- Was I a moody bitch?
In order to evaluate my actions objectively, I am doing the introspection in the Third Person as if I am a journalist writing a report.
Disclaimer: Both my ex and I conquered our egos. We are not afraid to be living examples of imperfect human beings. We wish we were not so full of ourselves when we were young; today we laugh at ourselves when we share our memories. Therefor this true story should not be seen as an act of revenge or an appeal for judgement or any form of acknowledgment.
Johnny and Betty were married for nine years. She loved him, though she did not like him. He was selfish, full of himself, narrow-minded, insensitive, bombastic, unrelenting and manipulative – an unfair dictator, expecting obedience, respect, love and even adoration from everybody while he refused to make any efforts to deserve it. In silence she blamed his parents for they had spoiled him rotten since the day he was born. And of course Johnny saw Betty in more or less the same light.
They were however contented in their marriage and willing to stay married until Death stop them, as they had solemnly promised on their wedding day.
She was sleeping on the bed she had made for herself, Betty rationalized, proud of herself and her ability to maintain peace in their home by putting the needs of her children first. She made them believe their father was the head of the house and therefore he should be pleased - and so easy by simply meeting his expectations. When he was at work she and her children were relaxed, enjoying life and each other within the more flexible boundaries of her rules. In his presence they were quiet and ‘invisible’ in order not to irritate him or prevent him from enjoying his television, Citizens’ Band, music or own thoughts. Brooding was his forte and woe the one who dared to irritate him out of the depths of his thoughts; his voice was a whip and his tongue was sharper than a razor to cut off all convictions of being welcome on Earth, loved and happy.
Then, all of a sudden, Johnny changed. He started to come home in a good mood, but not exactly on time as before. He started to talk a lot to Betty about his work and the people he was working with, and in particularly he discussed the personal problems of his secretary, Carol, with her.
“She is terribly lonely since her husband’s tragic death, and she has so many problems,” he mused aloud. “I told her that you will be a friend for her, she is welcome to visit us.”
Oh, yes, Betty was everybody’s friend. She was Mother Theresa’s double.
“Do you realize you are in love with each other?” she asked Johnny after Carol ’s very first visit. She could see so easily through them and she could not believe Johnny underestimated her intelligence after knowing her for ten years.
“You must be crazy,” was his answer and, as usual, he added more insults. “Something is seriously wrong with your brain. You need a psychiatrist.”
In silence she rationalized: ‘Maybe he did not know himself well enough, or he has not yet identified his true emotions; maybe Carol had not yet told him that she was in love with him.’ Betty also realized that Johnny was under extreme pressure at work, not able to reach unreachable goals set by government. Carol was giving him a boost he truly needed. Yes, she understood the situation and she could only hope that she and her children would not be afflicted while Johnny played the game God had so kindly offered him to play. According to her perception, everything was coming from God.
So she decided to give Johnny robe to hang himself.
Carol became a regular visitor in her capacity as Betty's ‘friend’, clocking in every evening at six to enjoy music and the new snooker table Johnny bought to give him a propper reason to be the social hunk he had decided to be.
Of course Betty could have been rude to Carol. She could have called Carol a slut trying to steal a husband and a father. She could have chased Carol away, but she had empathy with Carol and realized that brutal tactics would not solve any problems. By being rude, she would only encouraged more unfaithful activities behind her back, while by playing Johnny's game, she could pretended she was blissfully happy with not the faintest suspicion that her husband has feet of clay; she could confused Carol with her lightheartedness and outbursts of laughter; she could perhaps made Carol see herself as the sly and selfish female Homo sapiens she was; she could saved her marriage by simply suppressing and hiding her fears and bruised ego. After all, she was a dedicated Christian; she trusted God; she believed He was in charge of her life and He was teaching her something she ought to know.
However, Betty had no choice but to face the future as a divorced woman. She had her own business, supplying self-designed and self-made knitwear to boutiques and private clients. Her factory was attached to the house. What would become of her and her children after the house has been sold in accordance with her marriage contract? Would she be able to earn enough money to meet her children’s needs? This was two of many questions that felt like frantic tigers in her stomach, eating her guts.
And yes, her heart was broken. In her it felt like a heavy stone throbbing with pain. In spite of Johnny’s incompetence as a husband and father, she loved him dearly and passionately and for ten years she was under the impression he loved her too, as he was proving it every night behind the closed doors of their bedroom where nobody could see him falls apart in a state of elated bliss.
Then came the Friday Johnny told Betty that he was invited by a colleague to go hunting on a farm in Zeerust. This would be the first time ever he would leave her and the children alone at home to go do something with a friend. Besides playing rugby with his colleagues once in a while he was a-social, confined to his Lazy-Boy chair and presently also to his snooker table. Betty did not utter her thoughts; her pride would never allow her to behave like an insecure woman with a suspicious mind.
“Enjoy the opportunity!” she said and packed the clothes he needed in a bag.
After he had left, she studied a map of her country to see where on earth Zeerust was. To her surprise it was near Rustenburg – a town with a romantic holiday resort embraced by mountains, about an hour’s drive per car away. She remembered Carol confessed a rendezvous in the very same resort with her previous boyfriend who was apparently married to a ‘bitch’.
Lying was, and still is, perhaps the only thing in life Betty could not handle with dignity. Call her whatever, she regarded, and still do, lying as classifying and certifying her as a complete idiot. Her urge to prove that she is not an idiot was stronger than any other urge in her system and stronger than any rational and irrational thought in her mind. PMS or not PMS, she turned into a bull seeing red.
Perhaps she jumped to the wrong conclusion, she hoped while she phoned her dear friend Carol to invite her for coffee.
“Carol is not here,” said Carol's mother, and not at all to Betty's surprise.
“Oh, maybe she is on her way to me?” Yes, Betty could have been a famous actress if she was given the opportunity, or even a successful detective. She could have been anything Life would allowed her to be.
“She's on her way to Rustenburg to pick up her new car,” was the answer she expected.
She took her time to pack some clothes for her and the children before she phoned her favorite cousin who happened to live in Rustenburg. Then, with the needed directions scrabbled on a piece of paper and the assurance that she and her children had lodging for the night, she phoned her best friend to update her status.
“Oh no, don’t follow him.... don’t humiliate yourself like that,” said her friend, but Betty was determined to lower herself to ground level just to prove her intelligence to a man who ought to keep it in mind every minute of his life. Since he had met her, she never made a secret of her obsession with the truth. “I may fear the truth and it may hurt me, but I can deal with it and accept it without losing my dignity. Don’t change me into a bitch with a lie!” Even her children knew she was not able to tolerate lies.
Driven by anger incited by a lie, Betty indeed found Johnny exactly where she knew she would find him with his pants on the floor.
"What would you get when you mix PMS with a GPS – a moody bitch who will find you."
I don’t disagree with this, BUT, this is not the only kind of bitch that will find you.
- "I don't have a problem with men. I have a problem with STUPID men." ~ Maggie Estep
- "There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth." ~ Toni Morrison,The Bluest Eye
- "To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself." ~ George Orwell
- "Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then." ~ Katherine Hepburn
- "You know what is the worst thing about being rejected? The lack of control. If I could only control the where and how of being dumped, it wouldn’t seem as bad." ~ High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
- "The problem with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then they marry him." ~ Cher
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