“Thank God, It’s Monday!”

by Annie Kaszina on May 15, 2012

When you’re in an abusive relationship your life doesn’t matter, but the day of the week surely does.  Talking with a new client today, I was reminded of something I’d completely forgotten: “Thank-G-d-It’s-Monday” syndrome.  You’re probably familiar with it.

It’s what happens when you’ve been in the relationship long enough to realize that “less” is still more than enough.  The less time you spend with an abusive partner the better. Which is what makes weekends so hard.  I’m not suggesting that weekdays are a lot of fun, but they tend to have more structure and, with a bit of luck, at least one of you is out working.  The weekend is when he has an abundance of time to focus on making you  miserable.

Where else is he going to get his thrills from?

That’s what makes weekends and holidays so difficult.  You have an agenda, and so has he.  But the two agendas have little in common.  They probably involve the same players, and the same place, but that’s where it ends.  Your agenda is all about peace, quiet, harmony, and good times.  His agenda is conflict, anger, dischord, and bad times.

He loves the bad times.  From where you stand, that’s absolutely counterproductive.  But that’s not his problem.  It yours.  You still get surprised that he can – and will – spoil everything you experience jointly.  He doesn’t get any pay-offs from your good times. He doesn’t get to play Drama Queen when he has to recite a Good Boy script.  But Bad Times leave him free to have a field day, and exercise all his (limited) creativity.  He’ll try out his latest lines, see how effectively he can push your buttons, and do all he can to raise his game and improve on his own personal best – or, from your point of view, worst…  He’s a bad boy looking for ways to behave even worse.

When you get upset, it both irritates and rewards him.  It irritates him because you’ve forgotten that he is enjoying a monologue centre stage and, as he sees it, you’re trying to muscle in on his act.  It rewards him because it reminds him that what he’s doing is working like a charm.

 

Of course, all of this has nothing to do with love.  He may talk about love – from time to time – but it’s not something he understands, or even wants to understand.  Truly caring about another person would burst the over-inflated balloon of his self-importance.  (You’d have to go a very long way, and look very hard indeed, to find someone more self-important than an abusive man.)  Your love may not be valuable to him, but it certainly is useful inasmuch as it means that your life revolves around his comfort.

The worst of it is this: you just don’t understand how unimportant you are in all of this.  You naively imagine that your love, and (long) service, surely must buy you some rights.  In reality, the longer you spend with him, the more he feels obliged to remind you what a pointless partner (and person) you are.

Actually, the pointlessness is all his.  Healthy, functional people don’t make a point of staying locked in a relationship with someone they regard as worthless.  That’s a weird thing to do.  It’s quite pointless, actually…  Unless, you get your rather skewed sense of self from demeaning another person.

So much for him.  What about you?

By the time you’ve been in an abusive relationship long enough to have swallowed the “hook” of his love for you, you’re on a mission to get him to be the partner you think he should be.  That’s pointless, too… because it’s never going to happen.  But you don’t know that.  Weekends are the time he spends pointing it out to you.  And while you don’t get the message, you feel the technicolor hurt he dishes out.  And that’s how we get caught up in “Thank-G-d-It’s -Monday” syndrome.  Monday means some respite.  But it’s no way to live.

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