What happens when the rose-colored glasses break

The First Time He Showed Me His Anger

We didn't really fight. I wouldn't say he lost his temper. Not yet. It was early on. REALLY early on. We had been seeing each other for maybe 5-6 weeks. Our first date was, I believe the weekend after Thanksgiving. We spent Christmas together. New Year's day he flew out to Wisconsin to see Zach. Somehow I got roped into dog-sitting for him. He had just adopted a super lovable but also very hyper 4 month old pit bull puppy. Unfortunately, she was not properly house trained. So she had “accidents” on my carpet several times. And she was teething. Chewed up a couple pairs of shoes, my baseboard, and a few other things I don't remember. At first I didn't say anything. We were still in what should have been the honeymoon phase of our relationship. But after several days and my favorite pair of flip flops, I needed to let him know. I was very careful not to complain or get angry. I simply mentioned that she chewed my favorite pair of flip flops and pooped on the carpet. Next thing I knew he was borderline yelling. I don't even remember what he said. Just out of the blue, BAM! My initial reaction was shock. And then confusion. What? Why? Where did this come from? What is even going on?! He then interrogated me about every item she destroyed and every single time she messed on the carpet. Promised to pay me back for the damaged items. That never happened. By the time he returned to Tucson he decided to get rid of her. I begged him not to. It's not her fault. She's just a puppy. It's not fair to her. Pets are family, I told him. You don't just adopt them and turn around and rehome them. I still feel awful for her! She was such a sweet girl.

That confusion I experienced lasted for maybe half a dozen more episodes before I learned that's just how he is. That's when the fear started. I started speaking very cautiously, trying not to offend him. If something came up, I started obsessing about whether I should tell him, how, and how he would react. I stopped speaking up when something bothered me. I went along with everything he said, desperately trying to avoid confrontation. He started coming and going as he pleased. He started leaving trash on the counters, peeing on toilet seats, or not cleaning up his messes. He pretty much moved in without a discussion. I said nothing. He started questioning when I would be home from work. If I needed to stay a little late, or stop somewhere on my way, I was expected to report back and give him a time.

One day I was invited to happy hour with a couple girls I work with. I left before everyone else because he was getting anxious and asking when I would be back. On the drive home he called me. He had himself all worked up. Started up with the passive-aggressive “I've been waiting to have dinner with you” and “it's fine, I'll just go back to the trailer since you're too busy for me.” I'm not even sure why he was at my house in the first place. I told him what I was doing. I assumed he would get the hint and hang out at the campground. We could meet up later either at the campground or my place. Madeline was home, but perfectly fine on her own. Actually, it's kind of strange that he went to the house when I wasn't there. Later it came out that his expects Friday nights to be spent with family. Was just blown away that I don't have the same tradition. Why would I? I've never heard of that. Must be a Wisconsin thing. It ended up being a huge fight.

Another time, shortly after the happy hour incident, he had gotten mad at me the night before for something. We slept, got up, started getting ready for work. I assumed it had blown over – why wouldn't it? Whatever it was wasn't even a big deal, and I've never been one to carry an argument or bad mood into the next day. Well, he does. That “never go to bed angry” thing doesn't apply to him. I had just gotten out of the shower and was putting on a towel when he opened the door. I gave him a look and said “can I help you?” attempting to flirt. Well, apparently, I suck at flirting because he flipped! “You know what Emily!” ... and just went off. Whoa! What's going on?! What are you so angry about? Why are you doing this?

Easily offended and short-tempered. He got offended when I told him he's impulsive. I meant nothing of it, I was teasing him about how he'll just do things, like wake up and decide to adopt a dog, or buy a 5th wheel and move to Tucson for a job. But he took offense.