He returned almost like a stranger. Sleeping late every day and after waking taking long baths. He started locking the bathroom door in their large shared master bathroom, even though he’d never done that before. She was sure he’d never even closed the door before. He’d had an occasional soak in the tub in the years they’d been together to relax sore muscles or for them on a romantic evening, but nothing like this. He took a bath every morning after waking, followed by a shower. He’d come home from work late, after the kids were sleeping, and he would go take a another bath behind locked doors. She was very suspicious. She’d listen at the door to see if he was talking on the phone. She heard him talking a few times but could never hear what he was saying. She’d say his name and he’d hang up, saying it was one of his friends. She felt paranoid and exhausted. He hadn’t help her out with the kids once since he returned. It was almost like he hadn’t returned at all. He was a completely different person and everyone felt it.
She asked him to go to marriage counseling and he reluctantly agreed. One of their first tasks was to get back to eating dinners together as a family. She told him dinner would be at 6:00 like normal. The next night she set the table and had dinner ready by 6:00 but he didn’t arrive until 6:30 and he was in a terrible mood. He was stomping around, said he needed to change clothes and use the bathroom. He ended up showering and changing and arrived at the table around 7:00. She and the kids already sat down and were about to begin eating when he sat down. He said, “Thanks for waiting for me.” Sarcastically. She explained that they had waited as long as they could but the kids bedtime was at 7:30 and they were getting tired. He huffed and puffed and started eating the spaghetti on his plate. Then he yelled at our son for being wiggly in his chair. He then said , Are we always going to eat the same boring meals every week? Can you cook something different and good. I’m tired of this shit. She said she would try anything he suggested but with 2 little ones it was easier,for her, to stick to the 5-6 meals she rotates around every week. He rolled his eyes and kept eating. Their 2 year old son was standing at this point and decided to play with his fork, tapping it on the side of his plate. As soon as the tink noise hit his daddy’s ears he stood agressively, jerked the fork from the two year olds grip and hit him hard with the metal fork 3 times across his knuckles. The little boy screamed in fear and started crying silent cries. It hurt too much and he couldn’t even make the sound yet. She jumped to her feet and scowled at him and said we do NOT hit our children with forks. Then she picked up their crying child and ran with him upstairs. The baby was screaming all the way to his room and minutes after. She just rocked him and told him over and over again that she loved him very very much. He finally caught his breath and said, Why daddy no love me, Mommy? Why daddy no love me, with big tears rolling out of his eyes and down his cheeks? This broke her heart. She never thought she’d be protecting her children from their father and the man she’d loved and married. She didn’t even recognize him anymore. How could he do this to their 2 year old little boy. He was just happily making noises and wiggling. All two year olds do these kind of things. She told him that daddy does love him but he should’ve have done that. He should never hurt him like that and I’m so sorry he did.
Something was terribly wrong and if it took all that she had she was going to get to the bottom of it but before she did she needed to get both of the kids bathed and in the bed. Her little girl asked why her daddy was so mad at her and her little brother and why didn’t he like us anymore. She told her little girl that daddy had a temper, it was something he needed to work on and it wasn’t ok. The little girl went to give her little brother a kiss and told him she loved him. Their daddy never came upstairs to tuck them in. He never said another word to them that night.
After bathing, dressing, reading them stories and tucking them in bed with lots of hugs, kisses, and love yous she went downstairs. He was sitting in the recliner. Hockey was blaring on the TV and he was flipping through his phone. She turned off the tv and said, we need to talk. He just said, what the fuck! I was watching that you bitch. Then he started trying to get the remote from her hands. He grabbed it and turned it back on so she stood squarely in front of him and said, if you EVER do that to either of our children again I will call the police. That was abusive AND unnecessary. He said, oh fuck that, I’ll do what I want I’m his father and he was being a little dick. You make him that way. He’s all mommy, mommy, mommy. He needs to grow up and stop being a mommy’s boy. He’s such a little pussy. She stood there shocked for a second and then said, he is 2 you asshole and you won’t ever touch him like that again. I’ll call the police, I’m not kidding. I will not stand here and allow you to abuse our children. He said, fuck you! I’m going to go get something good to eat. I can’t eat fucking basic spaghetti. It’s a lazy dinner. I’ll be back when I’m done.
He didn’t return that night or the night after. He sent one text that said, I just needed some space. I was feeling so trapped and I couldn’t breathe. I’m sorry, I’ll be back home after work. I miss my babies. I love them so much. I love you too. I’m so sorry.