Mark Twain famously said, “When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.” Well, I can tell you that this works–I just didn’t realize I was Hyde’s enemy until he abandoned me.
Very early into my relationship with Hyde, he randomly turned to me and said, “I am selfish.” I remember feeling really confused. First, why is he saying this out of the blue? Did I say something about selfishness? Second, why the heck is he saying this? He doesn’t act selfish at all!
My natural reaction was to assure him he wasn’t selfish and proceeded to point out the things he had done that were selfless. At that point he’d been generous with his time, money and attention so his statement did not really compute in my brain. It was nonsense.
I feel stupid for not taking him at his word, but now I realize I that it was impossible for me to believe he was selfish in the face of contradictory evidence. He created a situation where I could not believe the truth he was admitting to me because it did not match my reality. Looking back, not only was it my first red flag, but it was also my first memory of being gaslighted by Hyde.
As our relationship progressed, he became increasingly selfish. He always got the first shower; he took the car unless I had a really good reason to borrow it; he didn’t ask me if I wanted a drink when he would get one for himself; he stopped kissing me as a newlywed (except for sex); he didn’t leave work to pick me up when I dislocated my knee and had to take three trains home (he did, however, proceed to tut tut me for not demanding him to leave work pick me up–I mean, what do you say to that when you explained how badly you injured yourself and he made no offer to transport you); he limited sex to one weekend day per week against my wishes; he unilaterally decided we weren’t having more children after agreeing to them before marriage; he took our only car leaving my poor son to trudge a mile home from school each day during this winter’s horrid conditions, then he abandoned us in a strange state with a crappy car while he bought a new one; now he refuses to pay spousal support so I can reestablish my life.
Well, Hyde, I believe you now. You really are a selfish, ungrateful monster. And it explains a lot about why you have no close friends.