My tolerance for abuse was exceeded finally last night. Between working 7 days a week, family things (sad), and M.'s verbal abuse, I finally cracked. Can't be the world's backboard 24/7 I guess. M.'s been nasty for a week and completely refusing to help out with even a bit of laundry/housecleaning/dishes. I've had 3 conversations with him AFTER he apologizes (my method is to give him space and not rise to the fight), and he keeps saying work is awful and clients are ridiculous on the phone. Understood, but my way of dealing when I've had too much crap at work is to go work out or clean. His way is to lash out at whomever's available. Me. Last night after a stupid discussion about whether or not the lawn HAD to be mowed today or if it could wait til the weekend (it could, d..n thing's only 5" tall), he stomps downstairs and comes back up with a half eaten sandwich (which he leaves on the bedroom bureau); growls that he's going riding with the local bike shop's 6:00 ride (doesn't invite me); dresses, and leaves. OK. Fine. So I'm mad, still folding and hanging up laundry, into the 3rd basket with 2 more to be washed. And I finally feel like crying, but I refuse to do so. But I just felt so abused. But mad at the same time. So I finished the laundry, vacuuming, dusting; mowed the lawn, weeded 10 pounds of weeds out of the front planting bed. He gets back from his ride, looking obviously much better (ahh the miracle of endorphins). So I go back in and gave him a wide berth. More laundry. He comes up to talk to me (nice now), doesn’t apologize. Then he showers and I go downstairs with him, belt back a beer, and we make dinner. I eat dinner with him. I talk to him about his family problems and about how he’s letting one (manipulative) family member make him and all his siblings miserable over something they cannot fix and to stop. I can tell he feels better. He says thanks and how great I am and that he doesn’t know what he’d do without me. And I just felt frozen. Guess I was past the point of anything he said making me feel better. He hits the couch (standard for him for the last week and a half), And I go upstairs and throw up dinner, then cleaned the toilet and settled down to read. It’s like I’d just been absorbing bad and stress steadily from everyone because the situation has demanded it, that I couldn’t take any more. Felt just like I was expelling it—rejecting and refusing to play this role and taking a timeout. I wish I could explain it better. It felt like I was refusing to BE any longer and this was the only way I could find relief.