There were signs. I just didn’t see them. I thought that since we didn’t fight when we dated or when we were engaged that was a good thing; that we got along beautifully. Little did I know. When we were talking about getting married I told him I wanted to pick out my ring, after all, I was the one who would be wearing it so I wanted something I would like for the rest of my life. He didn’t object; at least, not openly. This would be how things would play out the rest of our marriage. Little did I know.
We went together to pick the ring out. I found one I liked. The Salesman wrote down the number identifying the ring. The time came to propose in Arizona. He was going to propose so my family could be a part of the experience. He refused to propose at that time. Instead he placed the ring in his insulin bag and without my knowledge asked me to carry it around for days. For years to come, when people would ask how we got engaged, this is the only part of the story that he would tell; how he made me carry around my own ring without proposing to me. He thought it was funny—humiliating me like that.
We drove to Utah. He told me he was going to reserve a horse-drawn carriage and propose to me there. He built up my hopes. He drove me downtown. We walked around. He then told me he didn’t reserve the carriage. He drove me up a hill and proposed to me in his car. I was very disappointed. When I saw the ring I was even more disappointed; it wasn’t the ring I had chosen.
It took me years of marriage to figure out that all this was intentional. It was designed to control me; to allow him to be in control in a passive-aggressive way. He would repeat these behaviors in the marriage. He was not being ignorant or thoughtless. He set me up in Arizona and again in Utah, telling me his big plans of how he was going to propose to me, and then knocking me down by making it uneventful. He set me up by making me think I was getting the ring of my choice then knocked me down by substituting one of his choice that I didn’t choose or like.
Twenty years later when I was finally contemplating whether the marriage could be saved or not, we were separated and he called me on Valentine’s Day and told me there was a gift for me at the house. I went to see what it was. There on the table was a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Very expensive. My hopes were raised. He didn’t buy me a Christmas gift, after all- so maybe this meant there was hope. There was a card. I opened it. The card read, ‘A****, I love you but I honestly can’t be with you.’ Who tells someone with flowers that they can’t be with them?!
What the f**?! Is he really setting me up only to pull me down again? I couldn’t believe he is still playing this game with me, after 3 years of marriage counseling, after me telling him I couldn’t do this roller coaster in the marriage anymore! The next day I told my attorney to file the divorce papers.