When I was at University, one of the first things I studied was The Iliad. I don’t remember all of it (given my social life at the time, frankly I’m amazed I remember any of it), but I do remember being really pissed off with Achilles. Until I read The Iliad, I thought Achilles was a hero, almost invincible and almost God like. Yet, he spends most of the book skulking in his tent, fawning over his beautiful servant, the young boy Patroclus, and sulking because Agamemnon had pulled rank and claimed his mistress Briseis from him (I suspect more because of the pulling rank thing than losing his girlfriend – his ego was bruised).
Like Achilles’ massive, petulant, completely un-heroic sulk, E’s silence is both deafening in its intensity, incredible in its petulance and slightly pathetic in its motivation.
His actions are doing as much harm to him as they are to me – he’s wrecking both his credit record and mine and putting his children’s home at risk. I suppose, Agamemnon-like, I pulled rank when I ‘claimed Briseis’ from him and refused to sell the house the second he wanted me to and now E is sulking in his metaphorical tent, fawning over his 21st century Patroclus (another ‘P’ – how appropriate), and refusing to come out and face the reality that surrounds him.
Unlike Achilles though, who faced potential death (if anyone discovered the heel thing) or humiliation (if he actually lost a fight) if he emerged from his tent, nothing but good can come of E emerging from his – it’s the first step to reaching an agreement and it might even get him exactly what he wants. Yet, for some bizarre and utterly unfathomable reason he is doing everything he can to not communicate
So far, so typical – E has never been one to face up to his problems, when he can bury his head in the sand and hope they’ll go away – but what’s baffling is the fact that by doing so, he’s potentially doing himself out of tens of thousands of pounds.
If our house is repossessed neither of us will get much, if anything, from the sale. So, in not coming to an agreement about selling, E is sabotaging himself – which is the one thing I can’t understand. I don’t understand why he’d hurt himself?
If he really wants to sell, all he has to do is talk to me and/or my solicitor and we can come to an agreement re how and when we sell. It really is that simple. I have never said I won’t sell. All I have ever done is ask to have a discussion as to how and when we sell. As things stand, at the moment, I can’t even put the house on the market until he’s agreed to sell it. I’m unable to do anything – including the thing he apparently wants the most – unless he communicates with me or my solicitor.
E is many things but stupid isn’t one of them and this latest silence is reckless in the extreme. I can understand the petty vindictiveness that might motivate him to want to punish me (although, for what I’m not sure) by ensuring I get nothing from the house sale – but this would mean he doesn’t get anything either. E is someone who has always been motivated by self-interest (usually to the exclusion of everyone else’s needs) and it’s in his interests to sort something out, and quickly, and yet his little tent remains resolutely zipped.
Achilles’ actions prolonged the Trojan War and almost led to the defeat of his own army, it was only the death of his Patroclus that made him face reality and emerge from his tent and finally act like a grown up (although, his actions with the corpse of the heroic Hector, killer of Patroclus, also really pissed me off meaning that, all in all, I sadly came to realise, Achilles was a bit of a twat).
Now – I’m not suggesting for one moment that anyone should do anything to P (on the contrary, she has made her bed and I’d quite like her to lie in it for long enough to really regret the mess she’s got herself into), but I am wondering what on earth it will take to make E start acting like a grown up?
Both of his daughters have recently sent, frankly heart-breaking, messages to him, one (from Oldest Daughter) begging him to talk to me and sort something out, the other telling him how much she resents him and what he’s doing to us all (inevitably, Youngest Daughter). E has ignored them both. I can understand him ignoring me, but ignoring his daughters? They deserve his love, they deserve a decent Dad. They deserve so much more.
His refusal to talk to me has now reached faintly hilarious proportions, with him sending a taxi to collect the boys when he sees them rather than coming in person to collect them. I’m not sure what next – maybe he’ll adopt a range of disguises (false moustaches, sunglasses, blonde wigs, fake breasts) if he’s forced to come near the house? The mind boggles.
Of course, Achilles and co were all being manipulated by Divine beings – the Gods caused the war by making a man choose between three woman (E had this one nailed – he literally had one at home, one in Singapore and one at work – if only Paris had figured this one out the whole bloody thing wouldn’t have happened), so it may be that events are literally beyond E’s control. Maybe it’s not his fault that he can’t face reality? Or perhaps, like Achilles, E is just a bit of a diva, obsessed with his own mythology, refusing to face reality and prepared to lose everything just to prove his point and punish those he thinks are to blame for his unhappiness?
Anyway, if anyone spots E’s tent (somewhere in the Canary Wharf area), could they possibly give it a tap and tell him it’s time he came out now?