When you recognize the neighbor’s voice you hear arguing, is the friendly maintenance man sent to work on apartment issues. You like that man, but now feel uncomfortable being privy to his private moment.
I knew he and his family lived on the property near us, but didn’t realize it was directly across from us. I took my dog for a walk this morning, and the community was very quiet. No wind, no car or lawn noise, and so their argument carried through their open living room window:
“I can’t believe my wife flicks cigarettes in my face.”
“Well, how you can live with yourself with the things you say to me?”
Oddly, they weren’t screaming, but talking in normal conversation, with few inflections thrown in, like every day conversation. It’s not a heated passion argument that burns itself out, but one that they have honed over years and have become skilled with their words to hurt.
Maybe if I pull on the leash it will make my dogs collar jangle loud enough they know I’m here. Nope. I quickly pulled the dog, come this way… after his business, we took a different path back home, but could still hear the neighbors across the parking lot. Amazing what you can hear before the community arises.
And I apologized to them.
I’m sorry guys that you are in this abusive marriage. (I know they are married because he told me he had a wife and kids) This made flash-backs, to a time I was in an unhealthy relationship, fly through my mind. It’s not always easy to end abuse, because a part of you still loves that person, but that love escalates into a love/hate cycle. Either you have to get counseling and want to be more effective communicators, or you need to separate. I made the tough decision to move on and repair my sense-of-self-worth. It took years for me to have a positive view of “me” again.
Because that history was such a terrible time for me, sometimes down-right ugly on the mental abuse for 4 years… I decided to switch focus on my now happy marriage. The wonderful relationship I have with my husband…and how grateful I am for him. I immediately told him so, the minute we stepped back inside…(rubbing his eyes and drinking his coffee…why such a heavy topic so early?) I told him about our maintenance guy and how I feel badly for anyone stuck in a marriage like that. Not meaning you can’t have disagreements, but know how to disagree in a manner that doesn’t tear each other to pieces.
He nodded his head. He already knew what apartment and person I was discussing, as he said that’s been going on for a while.
I’m so sorry for them and anyone else in this boat. It’s hard, and I can’t imagine how much more difficult when children are involved. But life is short, don’t spend it battling each other for years. Because when you eventually decide to part ways, you don’t want to be regretting it took 10 years of your life! I’m still kicking myself for those lost 4 years, thankfully, they were my early 20s – with no children. But it took me another 5 years before I started the relationship with my husband. So almost a decade! Time I can’t get back.
Anyone stuck in that kind of relationship, get out now. And no, it won’t be easy. It will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, and you’ll find yourself making excuses, but your happiness is worth it.