“The Demand Man is highly entitled. He expects his partner's life to revolve around meeting his needs and is angry and blaming
if anything gets in the way. He becomes enraged if he isn't catered to or if he is inconvenienced in even a minor way.”
- Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men -
I've divided this week’s ‘Our Story’ post into two sections because it is quite long. I tried to condense it, but because it’s such an essential incident, I found it next to impossible to do so. Part one is uploaded today; part two will be up this evening or sometime tomorrow or Sunday.
(update: After doing some more writing, I'm dividing it into three posts. The story is much longer than I anticipated.)
(continuing from last time...)
So my ex and I finally separated (the divorce would come later) but because we had very young children it was impossible to disengage from him completely. We were going to be co-parenting for a very long time. And I was okay with that. What I wasn't okay with was that he continued to have a high sense of entitlement, expecting me to carry on the practice of meeting his needs. There were many such moments, but I’m going to share a very crucial one.
For a few months after we split up, my ex continued to drive a car registered and insured under my name. Without a license. The monthly insurance bill was sent to me and when my ex came to pick up the kids, he’d hand me a cheque to reimburse me. A week later. Two weeks later. After a month. Whenever he cared to. I continuously requested that he find someone else to register the car to and remove my name from it. He never bothered.
|Despite some of the tough times,|
my single mom years were wonderful.
In addition to the obvious legal problems for me with this setup, there was the huge financial burden. Instead of returning to the tourism industry, which I had experience in, I decided to change careers for better job prospects. So I applied for a student loan and returned to school that September to study computer programming. This would prove to be a great decision but in the meantime my financial situation was difficult. Therefore, that monthly insurance bill caused me a lot of stress and anxiety.
Some of you may be asking why I didn't just repossess the car or cancel the registration and insurance or be more firm about this. For those of you who have never interacted with an individual like my ex, you have no idea what it’s like to go up against someone like him. Someone who becomes enraged if he isn't catered to. Someone who will explode if he is inconvenienced in any way. Someone who I once witnessed tear an entire wooden door into small pieces with his bare hands during one of his fury-laden episodes. If you decide to challenge such a person, get ready for the intense battle that will ensue. Be prepared for the ugliness that will follow. And it will get very ugly. Very quickly.
But that autumn when the registration for the car was coming up in addition to yet another insurance invoice, I couldn't take anymore. I threw caution to the wind and decided to step into the lion’s den. I called my ex and told him that I’d had enough. That I was tired of paying these bills. That I was fed of up waiting to be reimbursed. That I was giving him till the end of the month to find someone else to register the car to. Which I kept asking for and he kept ignoring. And that if he didn't, I was canceling the insurance and the registration. I was pulling the plug on this convoluted arrangement and there was no room for negotiation. None.
Then I hung up.
I knew that he wasn't going to take this lightly. That he was going to be furious and annoyed and frustrated. I knew that he wasn't going to simply get someone else to accommodate him and quietly change ownership of the car. And I knew that he would confront me the next time he came to get the kids. With anger. Resentment. Hatefulness. Disgust. And remind me yet again of everything that was wrong with me and how I pushed his buttons and how I was the reason our relationship failed and how no one would ever want me.
Yes, I knew how he was and I expected a tornado to inevitably arrive. But what I didn't expect is what happened that evening. Although, looking back now, I should have.
To be continued... (click here)