For the longest time, I was trying to figure out what part of Vendetta’s behavior was a result of the stress of marriage versus it being her personality. My mother and I agreed that the only person who could answer that question was Eliot, Vendetta’s ex-husband. I had heard many stories about Eliot. I heard from Tiffany that he was a jerk. I heard from Vendetta that he was verbally and physically abusive to her, and he cheated on her. I also heard that he tried to kill himself. Eliot was a bad enough guy that I didn’t want to ever talk to him before Vendetta and I got married, but after what I witnessed, I knew he would have answers.
Months after the marriage started, I messaged Eliot, but he never responded. Eliot confirmed that he thought it was a joke, so he never responded. When I tried again after Lauren was born, I got a very quick response. We planned a phone call that I hotly anticipated. When Eliot got on the phone, I knew Vendetta was lying within 30 seconds. Eliot was well-spoken, considerate, smart, and a person who was analytical like myself and showed a high level of empathy. This wasn’t the crazy person I learned about. He was more or less just like me. He immediately knew why I was calling. It was Vendetta.
We started exchanging stories. Everything he went through, I was going through. He was surprised that Vendetta was causing all the financial issues in the marriage, but those decisions were made by Vendetta’s accountant to help Vendetta evade taxes and avoid giving up money in court battles. I was surprised to learn that Vendetta was the one who had to be saved when she tried to blow her head off with a long-barrel shot gun1. The story was reversed; obviously, another projection. Eliot gave me far more information than anyone I had talked to. He said that every day he’d come home, and Vendetta would be in an unpredictable mood. He told me that he was locked out of the house for days and weeks at which point he’d have to crash at a friend’s houses. After a while, Vendetta would give him the new key, and they’d go back to the unhealthy arrangement of living together. He made one mistake, that I could understand, but I also did not approve. In general, their marriage could have made it if Vendetta got help. All the stories of horrible things Vendetta did to him helped me to anticipate what Vendetta was going to do to me. We agreed that Vendetta was trying to end the marriage, but she didn’t want to pull the trigger. I was going to give up, so neither one of us knew how she’d accomplish it.