The Sci-Fi Series part 1: You will be assimilated.
“You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.” – the Borg. I feel that X wanted to assimilate me. He wanted to “shape” me, he declared. My desire was to have a family that brings glory to God. My boundaries reflected that desire, that hope. I was resistant to certain songs because I found them repulsive. Color Me Bad’s “I want to Sex You Up” is the first one I remember really HATING. And he couldn’t stand for me to have boundaries. Bed time = a boundary that must be broken and was. My moral objections to certain TV shows and music = boundaries that must be broken. Mockery and name calling were his go-to boundary breaking tools. He would insist that I try food and beverage that I didn’t want to. I called him, “food bully.” He wouldn’t stop until I took “just one bite.”
Titus 2:5 AMP To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited).
When I did resist and try to have some boundaries, I felt so very guilty, like I wasn’t adapting and I was therefore causing the word of God to be blasphemed. And boy did he know how to exploit that guilt! It will take me a while to navigate what this should look like. My whole world revolved around him. I took him to work and picked him up. This meant that my day didn’t start until he was ready to go to work and I would often spend 30 minutes or more waiting in a parking lot or garage with my kids while he was “just finishing an email” so we could go home. And I told myself that I was a good wife because I didn’t complain and I didn’t call him repeatedly. The kids and I found things to do in the car. We (mostly) accepted our fate. “He works hard. He has pressures we can’t begin to understand. This is how he takes care of us” was my self talk.
Of course there was pressure in the bedroom to do things I was uncomfortable with. I was labeled a prude. I was told that he’d be stuck having sex with just me for the rest of his life so I should at least accommodate this little thing so it wouldn’t be such a beating for him to be monogamous. Wow that looks so harsh now. I know that his view of being stuck with me and so I should ___ isn’t at all what God had in mind when he gave us the gift of sex. *
Sense of humor is another area where I feel I was assimilated. Making him laugh bought a reprieve from criticism. It helped him to find value in me somehow. So I looked for funny things to tell him about. He likes things that are off-color and highly inappropriate. He relishes shocking people. If I played along, it seemed to endear me to him. I didn’t realize how much I had been assimilated in this area until we took a trip together after the separation. I noticed how much I was bending my standards of what I thought was acceptable in order to make him laugh. I did NOT like myself when I noticed that. A friend later noted that she and her husband really like me—when I’m not around X. But with him I wasn’t as good a friend.
At first I had no idea how to have fun outside of the sarcasm and shocking mockery I had learned to mine out to amuse X. I decided to refrain from sarcasm, something I’ve loved since at least the fourth grade, and from laughing at or even taking note of inappropriate humor. I was quite concerned that I would live a humorless life without those 2 important tools. That isn’t the case at all! In fact, God has brought me a lovely friend who regularly makes me laugh until I cry. And she’s never once made any jokes that would displease God! I am taking notes. I hope to learn this “new” style of comedy.
I dream of being in a healthy relationship one day where I’m not required to learn to watch The Sopranos, but perhaps because I love someone, I can learn to think golf or fishing shows are interesting. This will be a process.
Did you think you were adapting?
How have you learned a healthy difference between adapting and being assimilated?
Posts in this series
Part 1: Is this post.
Part 2: The Wraith
Part 3: Marilyn Munster
Part 4: The Mind Meld