"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult;
whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you;
rebuke a wise man and he will love you.”
The last five years of my life takes these verses and proves them in a way that I truly never thought that my friendship with R would or could due to the subject matter. In the beginning I was very guarded! I listened to his story without sharing a lot of mine. He didn’t even know I was married until mid-2007. As time went by he very gently got me to open up more to him; “you can trust me, k”…apparently not, oh that 20/20 hindsight!
Our friendship was one where we could be honest with each other. If there was something amiss, the other would point it out. No matter the issue we could depend on each other to be honest to the point of brutally honest. There were very few lines between us; at least until she entered the picture, then not only did I make a line I built a wall! I met her and could not stand her!!! He asked me what I thought and I murmured a noncommittal reply. My first (second and third) impression of her was that she is heinous, self-righteous and a completely horrid human being. He was going to have to figure that one out on his own; seriously, people have to be free to make mistakes and learn from them. I was at the wedding reception and the best man was giving the toast, my focus was on her and she looked at some guy, smirked and held up her ring finger as if to say ‘married, nothing he can do about it now’. It gave off a very bad vibe! When I went to say goodbye, she gave off the same weird vibe. And now, he is in a marriage that makes him miserable and I am sorry for it, but even if I would have told him that I didn’t like her the odds are it would have torn us apart and he would still be in that marriage! Of course using that 20/20 hindsight maybe, just maybe us being torn apart would have been a great thing…
Over the years, there has been a lot of teasing between us. There has been a lot of correction and slight admonishments between the two of us – not because he started as my boss…seriously as a manager he is lacking in that ability…we did correct each other when we did something wrong. If it was something that was serious there was scolding. But, he was one of the good guys, or so I thought. Kind, considerate, loving, gentle, positive…those are the qualities that I adore in him. Does he have “flaws” (I hate that people deem others to be flawed…those flaws are what makes a person an individual and are to be accepted as much if not more that the good qualities that make us love a person), yes R is “flawed”…horrible tunnel vision, self-absorbed, vain, he must have a façade of perfection, easily influenced, he gives up when things look hard, he settles rather than fighting for what he believes in or for what he should have. There are other things about him both good and bad that I have discovered by not being afraid to look under the surface.
This past summer I was teasing him that if anything happened I was picking his next woman! I have better taste than he does. He replied to me that if it were up to me that I would not have let him marry either his first wife or his second. I had to correct him that I did indeed allow his marriage because he had to learn that lesson for himself, I just wish he would hurry up and learn it! This wife is very much like his first wife, and his marriage is following along the same course because he refuses to learn that outer beauty does not always equate to inner beauty. He is dissatisfied with his marriage because there is no love there; as is evidence by her telling him very plainly that she did not love him then, now and never will. I tried to tell him a few times that I don’t believe it is T that he was in love with, it is what she portrays – the pretty blonde wife to complete the picture that he believes he must show to the world. I informed him before the two of us blew up that I believe now he is not in love with her, he feels indebted to her for what she does for his children. Gratitude is a great feeling, but it is not a feeling to base a marriage on! At the end of all of it he will settle because it is too hard to start over unless she ends this marriage…his words to me in December as I was calming him down and telling him that he did not want to kill himself and we started talking about his home life – what am I to do with the Catholic Church becoming more strict on divorce.
Oh yes, we mocked and rebuked each other…one of us became the abuser and one the abused. Was it because of this that that happened? I don’t know. I know that it started in December 2008. It started subtly, with an email filled with angst, confusion, emotions that were too much for him to handle. Too hard for him to handle! I thought that email was it; I thought he was going to do the goodbye right then but instead he started the yo-yo. For anyone who has been on the receiving end of psychological abuse who knows about withholding, you know all about the yo-yo. I need you, please come to me…wait no I can’t handle it, I can’t talk to you right now…I adore you and you give me strength to get through the hard times…I need space to deal with my issues myself…Oh that yo-yo where you don’t know if you are coming or going! The one that destroys self-worth, self-esteem, self-trust and so much more…I dealt with that particular yo-yo for 2.5 months. Then I got another round of it plus emotional blackmail and a little verbal abuse the following summer for 6 months…yes, I am stupid for allowing him back in. I trusted him with things about me that only 2 others knew, well because he said I could of course!!!! One situation he could have been a man and he refused, same situation my friend could have stepped up but didn’t, yet again same issue the Catholic (yeah the one who is so concerned about divorce) could have stepped in but was silent. He betrayed me in ways I never thought he would! Misrepresentation – he said he never lied – sure, the Order of Protection just happened I believe it – so we will play the verbiage game…abusing me – ya know if it would have been physical I could have handled it but he went for the part of me that matters! The part of me that should have meant something if our friendship ever meant something to him…I told him that if he ever wanted to abuse me to make it physical – the body heals and you can shut off the part that really, truly matters!!!
I guess he said it all in what should have been our last phone call, but wasn’t, when he told me that he hated me. He could have saved both of us so much time and frustration by not having to prove he is “the man”. He really didn’t need that notch on his belt, it’s not like he can even brag about it because it ruins his perfect façade. Oh well, lesson learned for me I guess. I dislike that this lesson took so much out of me, but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger – isn’t that the saying?