Yes, the names have been changed to protect the innocent...
Christopher was a high school romance. He was a dark, moody man who I saw as an insecure mess in need of unconditional love and support, and I knew I could change him, make him happy and secure. At the tender age of 18, there were no red flags warning me that this was a textbook mistake, according to every book on relationships that you will ever read. Well, actually, there were signs. At 21, and several months before the wedding I did talk to my mom, who explained that wedding jitters were normal, and too much time, effort and money had been spent to back out now. So, Beth and Christopher were married.
What Christopher actually turned out to be was an insecure, control freak of a man who didn’t know the meaning of unconditional love, and he was very opposed to change. Christopher wandered from job to job, usually with a sizable gap between career paths, trying to find a job that matched his self-described superior intellect. The more success I achieved – professionally or personally – the more hateful Christopher became. He was manipulative, condescending and unsupportive. Our relationship was toxic, and no amount of effort would change that. His need to sabotage my happiness was overwhelming.
“Chris, I need you to talk to me. I can’t help you if I can’t understand how you feel.”
"I'm working on some issues. They are mine to work out, and they have nothing to do with you."
"Again, Chris, I'm your wife. Talk to me about what's bothering you, and let's work through the issues together. I don't even know what your issues are, according to you. I only know what I believe your issues are, but that doesn't help us get past them."
“WE don't need to get past anything. And, why do you call me Chris? My name is Christopher, always has been, always will be, and I never told you it was okay to call me that. I never wanted you to call me Chris.”
“What? I’ve called you Chris since high school.”
“I’ve hated it since high school.”
Wow. This is three years into the marriage, after having known the man for over six years. The confusion and disbelief over this exchange made me crazy.