And the first year went much like that: he would abandon me to make plans for our present and future, and then scoff at the plans I’d made. I would gently suggest, “Maybe you can decide where we go/eat/travel so I can take a little break and not feel like a tour guide?” And he’d simply reassure me that he always likes what I plan, that I’m just better at it, and that he doesn’t want to be a disappointment. His potential disappointment clearly trumped my actual disappointment.
I planned a honeymoon glamping. I wanted the vibe of camping without the work. It was beautiful, we stayed at a mid-range spot a few miles from Glacier National Park. I had assumed we would spend most mornings hiking and exploring, most afternoons taking advantage of the spa treatments, and most nights planning our future together. So I was surprised when he brought his computer along and spent most of every day “catching up on work that had gotten away from [him] during all the wedding planning.” Every time I would suggest a hike he’d tell me to go for it. Every time I’d suggest a spa treatment, he’d ask judgingly “can we afford that?” It was like, my boyfriend died at our wedding and replaced him with a husband who hated me.
Every trip I could actually convince him to take was like this. And he turned down most of my ideas. Each time he wanted to go out for dinner, he’d “defer to me” to decide where to go and then gently deride my decision for the cost of the meal. We had never had financial issues while we were dating, I made a fair wage, he did too, and I didn’t understand why the combining of our finances suddenly made us cash poor.
I tried so many things and nothing worked. When I tried new date ideas, he called them too expensive. When I tried to rearrange our apartment for a fresh start, he called me a control freak. When I tried to change up our sex life, he accused me of cheating. There was nothing I could do that wasn’t met with derision.
On our first anniversary, I hoped he had planned something. He never mentioned it, I assumed it was going to be a surprise. I woke up, went to work, came home, no word. I received a text from him at 6:30 asking me what I was planning to prepare for dinner so that he could decide if he wanted to eat on his own on his way home from the gym.
I confronted him that night.